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Let's talk weight loss: The good the bad and the sexy

Trigger warning: In this post I touch on some sensitive topics around weight loss, body image, food and related topics. This may be uncomfortable for some people. Please only read on if you're comfortable.

Hello! Long time no chat internet. How you been?

Been a little while since I posted on the blog. But I've been pretty busy, life and all that.

Today I want to share with you my journey with weight loss and the changes I've gone through both physically and mentally. This has been almost two years in the making and there is a lot I want to discuss.

I thought about waiting longer before writing this but then I thought, fuck it. I'm ready to share and if there are further changes down the track I can share those too. Afterall, this is a lifestyle thing and things change all the time.

So, I think its best to start from the beginning.

I've always struggled with my weight. Ever since I was a kid I felt 'fat' even when I wasn't. It was a name I was called at school and it became the name I called myself and thus developed into my greatest insecurity. I would wish to be skinnier when blowing out birthday candles. I'd pray for it, like if I could just focus my desperation enough it would happen.

I wanted to look like the other girls at school. I wanted to be tall and model thin (my 5'3 self never had a chance). But I wanted it none the less.

When I hit teen years this obsession with my weight became all consuming. It was the centre of my depression. Looking back on photos of myself when I was 13 I can't understand how I ever saw myself as fat. I was a normal enough kid. I was active. I played lots of sport and I ate like any other teenager.

But the body I saw in the mirror was vastly different in my head. I hated it.

This hatred of my body built up steadily. By the time I hit 16 I was obsessed with being skinnier at the sacrifice of all else. Before my year 11 formal I dropped down to 64kg by going almost completely vegan and exercising hard every single day.

To this day, I have received more compliments about my profile picture from that night than I ever have about anything else in my life. But what I remember most about that night was how uncomfortable I felt. I looked for every reflective surface so I could criticise my body and I tried to keep my hands in front of my stomach at all times. I wanted to hide myself away, despite all that work.

I still wasn't happy.

When I moved to Canberra I gained a bit of weight back because I started eating normally again. I ended up landing somewhere around 68-72kg and I started hitting the gym and seeing serious strength gains. For the first time I felt strong and that was what was important.

I used to repeat to myself in the mirror the mantra:

"Skinny looks good in clothes, but fit looks good naked"

I was 17 and I wanted to feel sexy. I told myself I was healthier because I wasn't obsessed with being skinny anymore. But I wasn't healthier, I'd just changed tack. I still hated my body. It was simply a shift from wishing it would be skinny to wishing I could have abs or a tighter stomach and a toned ass. Nothing I did was satisfying.

Flash forward two years and I was suddenly two relationships deep with a 10kg gain in each.

I stepped on the scale one afternoon near Christmas 2020 and saw a 9 in front of my weight for the first time ever. I was 92.5kg.

I was at a loss for words. I'd spent the last year getting comfortable with therapy. I was starting to talk through my issues and get to the core of my insecurities. Part of that was becoming comfortable in my own skin.

I'd stopped fixating on my weight and instead I'd unknowingly lost control.

I didn't realise that it was happening. I had a boyfriend at the time who loved me and told me I was beautiful and I pushed the weight complexity to the side to deal with some other issues first. I had noticed the gains, but I wasn't weighing myself so I let myself believe it was normal.

Clothes fit a little tighter, but it wasn't the end of the world. I was learning to accept myself. I was learning through therapy to believe that I was worthy, that people liked me, that I had things to offer. Part of that had to come with accepting what I saw in the mirror as enough.

I felt sexy. Even at my heaviest weight I got to a point where I looked in the mirror and liked what looked back at me, I knew I wasn't at my fittest but I was ok with where I was.

Post Christmas I decided I wanted to lose some weight. Not because I felt I needed to look a certain way, but because I wanted to feel healthier.

For the first time I was approaching weight loss with a totally new perspective. I wanted to run again because I'd missed it so much and I wanted to feel the joy I'd felt when I'd been hitting the gym and feeling strong. Because strong felt sexy to me.

So I started slow. I went walking twice a day. I started tracking my calories and just taking it day by day.

And the big difference was that I didn't quit.

I stuck with it, I lost and gained and bounced around but I was seeing progress. I got to 87kg and thought I had smashed it. For the first time in my journey I was proud with the little steps. I started trying to run again, just short distances. When it was hard I tried again and pushed a little bit more. And it felt good.

Then my personal life collapsed in on itself. I was back home at my parents house and faced with the challenge of starting my life over again with the shame of what felt like failure hanging over my head.

I got back to 90kg and I felt saddened. Not by the weight itself, but because I knew I'd given up.

In August 2021 I started over. Lockdown felt like the ideal time to just give it a go. In September I moved into my apartment and I bought some home weights and just kept pushing.

By December 2021 I was 82kg and I felt fantastic. I was up to a 5km run. My clothes were fitting so much better and I was proud. I was really, really proud of myself for not giving up.

By March 2022 I was down to 79kg. Progress was slowing but I was happy with how it was tracking. By my holiday in May I was down to 77kg.

Now, as of September I'm sitting at around 75kg.

This is the best I have felt physically in close to five years. This is also the best attitude I have had towards my body ever. I love looking in the mirror. I love trying on clothes and seeing how they look on my body. I love being naked. I just love being in my own skin.

And for someone who has hated their body since they were a little kid, the way I feel right now is stupidly liberating.

And more than anything else I just wish I could go back in time to my 13 year old self and tell her that she's beautiful. Because looking back at those photos breaks my heart remembering how sad I had been. How lost and deeply frustrated I had felt with who I was.

I wish it hadn't of taken me this long to start working on my mindset first and trusting that everything else will follow the way it's supposed to.

Here's some comparison photos so you can see the change overall.

So, where to next?

I have a coach now who is helping me set goals and who helps me with my food tracking and workouts. At the moment I'm trying to drop a little more weight ahead of my half-marathon in November (that's right - ya girl is running a half-marathon!!) then after that I'm working on strength.

I want to see what my body is capable of. I spent so many years hiding it away and being ashamed of it and now I'm excited to push the limits. Lift heavy, run long distances, wear tight dresses and not worry about my stomach. All the things I've been missing.

Life is too short to shit on your body.

I was really nervous about writing this because weight loss can be a really difficult topic for people. But if you're struggling with your body image I just want to remind you that you're not alone. Everyone has insecurities. We're all dealing with our perception of ourselves and working on it everyday.

What I've taken away from this journey so far is that at the end of the day it's you vs you. It's you who decides what you want to do and it's you who decides when you want to quit.

So, go look in the mirror, tell yourself you look sexy and get on with it.

Till next time,

Rhi xx

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