The other day whilst in H&M looking at accessories, I noticed something strange about my fingers, I noticed that they looked like short, fat little sausages – the type you cook up for kids at barbecues that only taste nice if they’re covered in sauce.
I had chipolata fingers.
Now, needless to say realising that my fingers had gotten fat was a bit of a shock. I knew I had gained weight over the past 18 months, but it wasn’t until my fingers were chubby little things that it hit me exactly how much weight I had gained.
When I got home I weighed myself, and was disgusted when I saw such a ridiculously high figure. I knew I had gained weight, but when I stepped on the scales to discover I had gained 50lbs since moving to Scotland? I was gutted. I weighed 140lb when I first moved to Glasgow, and now I weighed 190lb, and given I am only 5’2 that is in no way, shape, or form healthy.
In this post I discussed my intentions to lose weight and the fact that my weight loss journey was going well, but unfortunately that didn’t last too long, and with an armful of excuses I managed to gain not only the weight I had lost, but then an additional lot of it.
It’s easy to do that though, isn’t it? Make excuses for gaining weight.
But I’ve been stressed! I’ve been jumping from contract to contract! I’ve had no stability! I had to eat gluten for a month!
At the end of the day, I ate too much and I got fat and I literally have no excuse.
For some reason, weight gain is one of those things that happens where, rather than take responsibility for, we find excuses for, which doesn’t make sense.
Let’s think of it in terms of alcohol – if we drink too much, we get drunk. When we’re drunk we don’t say “Oh, but I was stressed, and that’s why I got drunk!” we acknowledge the fact that we simply drank too much alcohol.
If we drink alcohol faster than it can be metabolised we get drunk – pure and simple fact.
So, why is our attitude towards food different when it is literally the same? If we eat too much, we get fat. If we consume more calories than our bodies burn we gain weight.
It’s science, and it can’t be argued with, and I need to stop making excuses for it.
But I’m Eating What The Internet Says is The Right Number of Calories!
Firstly, yes, the internet is a great resource for a lot of information, however given the internet doesn’t have access to my medical records, food intolerances or blood samples, expecting it to accurately tell me my Basal Metabolic Rate (i.e. how many calories to eat each day) is just silly. According to online tools, I should be eating anywhere from 1200 to 2000 calories a day, which being an inactive person who’s 5’2 is far too much.
I’ve had tested how many calories I need to survive eat day without getting hungry or affecting cognitive ability, and guess how many calories it is?
I only need 1000 calories each day, so imagine if I’m eating an extra (at least) 200 calories I’m not burning off! Well, no need to imagine – I got fat.
But I have a slow metabolism!
See above. Having a slow metabolism means my body is slower to metabolise calories than usual, which means I don’t need to consume as many calories as the average person my height and age, i.e. 1000 as compared to 1200. Having a slow metabolism isn’t an excuse for gaining weight.
But I’ve been stressed and too tired to cook!
Again, this is an excuse not a reason. I’ve been stressed beyond belief over the past 18 months, where I’d get home late from work, far too tired to function, and so I would grab a takeaway on the way. Takeaway every night leads to an expanding girth, and stress is no excuse for gluttony.
What I should have been doing, were I too stressed to cook, is buy a Microwave Meal – every supermarket has ready meals available that contain less calories than they’re usual counterparts, and they’re also a lot cheaper than a pizza. Or, from the pizza shop I could have bought a kebab, and ditch the bread. They contain salad and protein, and are a much better alternative to junk food.
Eating junk food was a choice I made and being stressed was an excuse to not only indulge, but overeat to the extreme.
But I’ve been eating healthy!
Every person’s body is different when it comes to their metabolism, and so what may be ok for one person to eat might not be ok for another. Because I live a very sedate lifestyle and am unable to exercise often, it means that if I eat carbs I gain weight, as I am unable to burn the calories carbs give me efficiently. However, Ben lives off carbs and is tall, trim and terrific because he is quite the active (and attractive) young man.
Over the past few months, I have eaten far too many carbs using the excuse that I was on a budget, and carbs are cheap which lead to too many pasta bakes, too much pasta added to soups. I’ve also been eating foods I shouldn’t be (i.e. gluten) which has also affected my weight. Sure, the meal that contained the gluten may have been low in calories and healthy, but because of my gluten intolerance it was yet another bad dietary choice that I made.
I may have been eating what may be considered healthy, but for my body, metabolism and dietary requirements, I was choosing to essentially eat junk food in disguise.
At the end of the day, being overweight is no one’s fault but my own, and although it may not have been an intentional choice, it was a decision I made each time I ate either too much, or the wrong foods. It wasn’t because I was stressed, or because I moved, or because of anything other than the fact I chose to eat too much, I chose to eat the wrong foods.
It’s time we start taking responsibility for our health, and stop making excuses but acknowledging the fact it’s a choice – every single thing you put in your mouth is a choice you have made, is a decision to either be unhealthy or healthy. We need to start being more conscious and honest about how much we eat and what we eat and take responsibility and hold ourselves accountable for our diets.
I didn’t gain weight by accident, I got fat by choice.
And now I choose to loose it.