It took 18 months but I’ve done it! I lost that damned weight!

Four years ago I bought the single most expensive piece of clothing I have ever owned. An ankle length, semi-corseted black leather evening dress. It’s gorgeous, comfortable, and feels simply sumptuous against my skin. I also only got to wear it once. Literally, once.

Shortly after my one, and only wear of it my health took a very serious nose-dove from which it has yet to recover. Now you would think that would mean I lost weight. And for a couple of months I did. Then realising that I needed to have some physical reserves in case I ended up with anything else to cope with I did something about it. I over-ate, constantly.  I went from eating the normal calorie intake for a woman of my age, to almost twice that amount. Basically I was eating 4,000 calories a day, and only just clawing back my weight loss a few ounces per month.

That’s the problem with chronic diarrhea, you lose so much before you get to process it. So the only way to make up for that loss is to make sure you’re processing something all the time. And when that comes with vomiting, and intestinal bleeding…wel you’re always playing catch-up with your own body. Unfortunately for me, and my beautiful dress I ended up more than catching up.

First of all was the permanent bloating that comes with my tummy. Near instant (human body version of instant here, two weeks, maybe even less) gain of around 3, very painful, inches to my waist despite losing about a quarter stone each week. Then after I had regained those lost pounds my weight started to creep up. And you know what? I didn’t care for a long time. I didn’t care that I had gone from 12 1/2 stone, the healthiest and happiest weight I’d ever experienced, to almost 15 stone. I didn’t care that literally none of my favourite clothes would fit me anymore. In fact I gave a lot of them away.

Then came the day I tried on my beautiful leather dress. And it wouldn’t close. It wouldn’t even come close to closing. And I cried for hours.

You have to understand, that dress was bought for a very special celebration. But mostly I bought it as a personal celebration of finally becoming the woman I always should have been. It was, it is my dream dress. Other girls might dream of something with lace or satin, silk or velvet. I dreamt of tight, well-tailored leather encasing me.

And I couldn’t get into it anymore. And I knew I could never afford to replace it.

I realised that while I didn’t care about my weight gain, I wasn’t happy either. That I’d stopped looking at myself in the mirror. That I’d stopped dressing well. That I would now roll out of bed into anything that was handy. That I had become, for me, a slob. So I decided to do something about it.

Losing weight for me is a dodgy thing. That period of ill-health which had led to my gaining weight has still not ended, so that always has to be born in mind. My past with eating disorders is also something to worry about, and control. And the fact that I am somewhat OCD, and thus liable to weigh myself over and over in the one day if I don’t have someone stop me meant monitoring it all would be hard.

In the end I decided to just use my waist measurement to gauge my weight loss, and that only measured once a week. I started very carefully, reducing my calories by 100 a day for a month, then 200, then 300, etc until I hit the golden number that let my weight drop slowly. And boy was it slow. It’s taken me 18 months since finding that amount to go from almost 15 to just under 13 stone in weight (I only ever weight myself at my moms, and only once per visit. Seeing as I only get there maybe once every 5 weeks it tends not to trigger anything too nasty.). It’s taken another couple of months to stabilise at that weight.

And yesterday for the first time in 4 years I could fit into my dress! I felt like crying, I felt like giggling, in the end I sat in it and played Diablo 3. How I celebrated doesn’t really matter though. What does matter, is that for the first time in my life I’ve controlled my weight, and that control hasn’t gone on to become an illness of its own. I know now that I can lose weight slowly, not crash it. That I can stop that loss, and still feel great about myself. I’ve finally broken the power my bulimic tendencies once held in my life, by caring enough about myself to want to break it.

For a few hours yesterday I was a leather encased goddess again. And it felt so damn good, and I feel so damned beautiful again.

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