Before I moved to Johannesburg, I cleaned out my cupboards and chucked everything I haven’t worn in years. My tendency to insulin resistance has led to my weight climbing sneakily and although there was a time where I weighed less but looked infinitely worse, my dress size became one I was very ashamed of. Of course, being tall helps and the few people who do know what size I wore were genuinely surprised by the number. I didn’t for a moment think I’d need my “skinny” clothes again.
When returning to Jhb after the Festive Season, I decided that a drastic change is in order. So starting on 10 January, I did a two-week extreme weight loss kick-start, by cutting out carbs in all shape of forms. That lifestyle is by no means healthy or sustainable, and I decided to choose my carbs carefully. I made a radical cut in the amount of sugar I consumed: no more soft drinks other than Sprite Zero (mostly as a treat over weekends); two teaspoons of sugar in my coffee and tea (when honey is not available), as opposed to the usual four; diluted fruit squash (just enough to make water taste more bearable). Breakfast is mostly protein based, and lunch features whole wheat pasta or brown rice with lean protein and mixed veg. Dinner doesn’t happen real often, and is usually little more than a handful of rice crackers and a cup of instant soup.
In 14 weeks I’ve lost a total of six and a half kilograms. That’s 700 g more than my first target, three and a half kilos from my second target, and nine and a half kilos from my ultimate target. That is a lot of weight to shift still. And I’ve come to realise that weight is just a number. Why? Because the real change is in my body; this is both good and bad.
The good is the confidence that steadily increases every time I try something on from the very back of my cupboard; something gorgeous, but just a little too tight in places. Now it fits perfectly. Well, mostly. My winter wardrobe is no longer constituted of jeans alone – two pairs of black pants and one lovely green pair now fits my curves – and that is good, but also bad. I only have three pairs of jeans that fit at the moment (something very unusual as it is my wardrobe staple), and they are starting to get a little too loose around the waist.
That brings me to the bad. Last winter I only bought a couple of long-sleeved tee-shirts to wear with my jeans under short-sleeved tee-shirts. This year I’ll have to buy at least two new pairs of jeans, at least two new bras, and in all likelihood a new winter coat/jacket/blazer. For me, finding the perfect pair of jeans is an absolute nightmare. I’ve thought about trying something other than my trusted wide-leg option, as I am more confident about showing off my legs, but I still have doubts. And although this is a versatile basic in any wardrobe, jeans tend to be a little pricey. Still, probably not as expensive as my preferred brand of female support: La Senza. I just love the quality of their bras. Their strapless bras (which come with removable pads, fabric and translucent straps last time I bought a pair) and their t-shirt bras (offering great cover and wider straps for curvier girls) are the best. I usually buy each style in both black and nude. I should at this stage perhaps mention that I’m not as particular about the sexy lacy numbers in my cupboard, since their function is mostly seduction, and when they do get worn (which isn’t often), they don’t stay on long. The exception is the exquisite designer lace corset I bought a few years ago.
So as much as I was hoping to treat myself to a pair of new boots this winter (if my feet are cold there’s no warming me up), I suppose I need to get my priorities straight. I was looking forward to buying new clothes once I’ve gotten to a stage where I’m content with my body – which is still a bit of a way off – but this in betweenness is not making me happy. At the same time I’m not too keen on wearing slouchy oversized clothes – not only does it make me look neglected, it keeps me from seeing my amazing transforming body and keeping me motivated.
Now that I’ve gotten my sulk in writing, I shall put it aside and do what needs to be done, when I’m able to do it. Eye on the big picture, so to speak, and all.