Second "Diet" Update Post

TW: talk of diet & weight loss


I wrote last week about having caved under pressure from my doctors and agreed to go on a special NHS diet.

So, how’s it going?

It’s crappy. The first few days were hard because I craved carbohydrates pretty much constantly. Some one cooked a Rustlers microwave burger (one of the most grim and soul destroying food stuffs ever invented) and I actually started salivating. As that anecdote hopefully clarifies, last week was a very dark period in my life.

This week I’ve gotten over the worst of the cravings which is a relief. I was getting scared I’d sleepwalk into the 24 hour Tesco and start working my way through the Krispy Kreme doughnut display, cardboard and all. I’m not sure if my stomach is shrinking or if I’m a bit lactose intolerant and all the milk is just filling my voids with gas but regardless, I’m not missing food that much. Every now and then I’ll think that I want some mashed potato or a bowl of pasta then I drink something and I’m ok. I am however absolutely shattered. I can’t remember feeling this fatigued before. I am sleeping for over 10 hours (on nights when I’m not woken by my body) & waking up knackered. I’ve fainted twice so far, and started loosing vision at least twice a day because my blood pressure issues seem to have been kicked into overdrive by this. I fell asleep whilst moving my wheelchair along the street two days ago. I don’t have the energy to exercise, I hardly have the energy for prolonged thinking. Today I went swimming I could only manage half the distance I’d normally do. In part that’s because I partially dislocated my shoulder but I was so exhausted at that point I was thinking about asking them to get the hoist ready anyway.

Right now all I can think is “If this is what health feels like then it can fuck off”.

On top of this I’ve noticed well meaning friends have taken to telling me I look thinner and better already. I am not thinner, my clothes attest to that. I also do not look healthier, I look like a spotty zombie this week. This leads me to believe that they are trying to be supportive & encouraging.

The thing is this encouragement serves to push the idea that loosing weight or as I think of it, changing your body to better fit societies ideals, is a positive thing. I personally am struggling to see anything positive about what I’m doing right now. It’s also a bit sucky hearing all those (mostly female) people who said “You’re beautiful as you are!” saying how much better I look only a week and a half into this diet. I start asking myself questions like “were they lying?” and “what were they saying about me behind my back?”

Actually, it’s just another sign of how we are all socialised, women especially, to judge peoples value on how well they match up with an idealised body shape. It’s also a sign of how we, inadvertently at times, work to keep up the idea of an ideal body shape. When we cheer peoples diets on and applaud how much better they look when they are closer to the “ideal” we create an environment that makes pressurising people to conform ok.

Well, I don’t think that’s ok so in the future I plan to check myself before I (out of politeness) cheer on a dieter or praise weight loss. We all hear enough of that message from everyone else. It’s time to do my part to try to improve the dialogue around weight.

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