Since living in America, my clothes have been shrinking! I am not sure whether it is the washer or the dryer but, finally, I had to buy a new wardrobe. I have also noticed that clothing stores have changed their sizing which means that I have been disqualified from wearing certain brands. I suppose I may have put on a few pounds but it can’t be much. When I stand on the scales, it reads…. Ahem!
After several months of marriage, there was the comfortable denial where I felt happy as a newlywed and no longer had to say ‘no’ to all of the delights on offer. Hubby and I enjoyed going for breakfast on the weekends and, of course, I enjoyed desserts like never before. But after a year, I could not even squeeze myself into the little dresses from my single nights out, and there was an increasing resemblance to Winnie the Pooh when I wore my low rise jeans and t-shirts.
My problem is that I am a real foodie. I love cooking, I love eating, and when does socializing not involve nibbles? But here in the States, it is very easy to be caught off guard and fall into the trap of obesity. America is the land of chain restaurants! Presented with a platter big enough for two, I still await the included extras. There are very few healthy options, particularly at affordable prices, and it is easy to be lulled into a false sense of security when choosing these items from the menu. Salads are doused in dressings which, more often than not, means that they are less healthy than other choices. Trans fats are also of great concern, particularly when there are no safeguards against manufacturers or restaurants from using them as a means of enhancing flavor and extending the shelf life of foods. These processed solid fats are worse than saturated fats as they raise levels of bad cholesterol and lower levels of good cholesterol in the body. Even labeling is deceiving well-intentioned customers as the Food and Drug Administration allows products containing 0.5g or less of trans fats per serving, to be presented as 0g. Therefore, recommended limits are being exceeded when customers eat multiple servings of supposedly trans fat free foods.
Once you start to feel as though things are a little out of hand, it is exceptionally hard to stop viewing food as a comfort. I know that I have used it as such: if it’s cold, I’m in the mood for something hearty; if I am bored, chocolate can distract me for a few minutes; ice cream is the only way to cool down on a hot summer’s day; and cake, well, it’s always a good time for cake.
I have seen my waistband expand over the course of two years and have been on a continuous diet, whether this has actually involved sensible eating or not. I managed to motivate myself to work out on occasion but this didn’t last. I completed a four-week boot-camp on Boston Common, I bought the Insanity workout with every intention of doing it, and recently, I started working out with a colleague. But I know that in order to get that hour-glass back, I have to limit eating out, manage my portion sizes, and go into a gym and work hard to fight the cravings.
Just a few weeks in to my healthier lifestyle, my pants are a little loose, I have more energy, and my confidence is up. Over Christmas, I did not over-indulge and, with help from my family and friends, I enjoyed all of the traditional offerings without any guilt. Mince pies, Christmas pudding, stuffing, mulled wine, pastries, cheeses; there was no need for me to make any sacrifices. For now, I may be stuck in elasticated, high-waisted pants but it won’t be too long before my little black dress is out of the flat-pack.