You don’t have to struggle to get into your Skinny jeans—to be clear these aren’t skinny leg jeans necessarily, they’re your Skinny Jeans that you use as a way to keep tabs on your weight—not when you’ve got this secret up your sleeve.
No, it’s not OD’ing on Bootea or Skinny Tea™ (lol where my #spon money at?). It’s not doing the Master Cleanse or going ham at the gym. Wanna know what it is? But like, do you really want to know what it is? You probably won’t, not after I tell you.
Why? Because the most effective weight loss method I found was an eating disorder. Before you damn me to hell for even insinuating that others should adopt this approach, hear me out: I’m not. In no way am I advising people do what I did and deprive themselves of nutrition or ruin their insides from the binging and purging cycle, if they choose to behave this way that’s their journey. What I am noting, however, is how easy weight loss is once you finally figure out that it purely comes down to food.
“We’re taught a trillion different things about a trillion different ways to ‘drop a dress size fast.’”
It’s not a matter of Forrest Gump-ing, or benching a shit-ton (do u even lift, bro?), your weight is completely dictated by how much you eat. Groundbreaking -_-. But it kind of is. We’re taught a trillion different things about a trillion different ways to “drop a dress size fast” or “get a flat stomach” or “tone your booty,” and ultimately we think that to lose inches, exercise is the way to remedy months/years’ worth of dietary indiscretions. But it’s not.
In terms of your recommended daily calorie allowance, exercise might help you redeem what you “owe” for the above indulgences, say, but it won’t be primarily responsible for your overall weight loss. It accelerates it, for sure, but it doesn’t directly affect your size.
I learned this the unhealthy way: from getting petrified at the end of high school that I would suffer the “freshman fifteen” and become a clichéd, overweight uni kid. But the record should also show that at the time my parents were separating and I soon became another cliché: the anorexic/bulimic daughter of divorcing parents.
I sought solace at the gym. Les Mills was my confidante, the cardio room my confessional. After nine-ish months of going to the gym five days a week, I was certainly looking fit, but I didn’t have the waifish look that I’d always craved. So I started cutting out foods and continuing my gym regimen. This is when shit changed.
“How easy weight loss is once you figure out that it purely comes down to food.”
In a month or so what little fat I did have also dropped off. Mom basically banned me from going to the gym because she saw the slippery slope I was on. And, to be honest, I was relieved. I now had an excuse to not force myself to go. I was exhausted. Quickly I started seeing the results I’d secretly been wanting to see for months: I was getting the bordering-on-the-edge-of-too-thin-but-not-quite-there look.
And it was all because of my food intake—well, lack thereof. I ultimately got scary-thin and Mom and Dad made me see someone. A good six months of counselling helped me begin what will be a lifelong quest to maintain healthy coping mechanisms and address those pesky things called “emotions.” But nevertheless I feel this is an important health lesson to share.
Again, I am by no means endorsing my unhealthy behavior, but it did teach me firsthand how body weight works — insight my physiology textbook had yet to impart. My rapid weight loss experience, harmful as it was, is proof enough that the hard work you’re doing at the gym, superficially, isn’t going to show if you’ve got fat covering it. Until you get rid of the fat, you’re not going to see all of the personal bests you’ve smashed and the overall muscle mass you’ve obtained.
It’s plain ‘n’ simple: Does how much you ingest match how much you expend? Pretty goddamn obvious, but until you truly comprehend this you’re probably going to go round and round in this annoying cycle of slaving away and not seeing the results you’re after. (I’ma do a follow-up post with bitchin’ healthy food sites to check out and meal plans to follow, just FYI.)
Now, don’t go too crazy with this knowledge, fam, don’t pull a Steph. But if you feel like you’re taking it a lil’ too far, or someone you love seems to be, there’s help! Be you in the UK, the US, or even Down Under, wherever you are there’s plenty of avenues of support and even more resources to educate. Hell yeah to you losing the flab that’s affecting your confidence, but respek yo’ bod-ay. Know your limits, self love is where it’s at.
Meanwhile special shout out to the dudes at National Eating Disorders Association, Beat, and The Butterfly Foundation. You guys are hustlers and are doing dem great tings for those affected by eating disorders.