Editor’s Note: The following article mentions details surrounding the author’s experiences with body image, which may be upsetting for some readers.
When I was in my finals year at Uni (the second time around) in 2013/2014 due to stress, I was at my lowest consistent weight for ages, which was 9 stone 2 pounds (128 pounds). For few weeks right at the end, I went down to 8 stone 13 and that was the dream! To say I was in the 8 stone bracket made me so very happy. And everyone tells me I was too thin then; but I didn’t see it. I just saw a flat stomach and hip bones and no bulge when I sat down, and this was good.
Why I hate the scales
At 5ft 6 and a half, arguably I was too thin. But in my head I was happy. I am now 9 and a half stone (133 pounds), and I don’t like it. Getting weighed at the hospital is the bit I hate the most. Digital scales to 2 decimal places. Not good for my mental health. And it’s hilarious. As I write this I remember years ago when I weighed 10 stone and more, that I dreamed to be 9 and a half stone, and now that I’m here, I want to be thinner.
I always want to be thinner. I definitely want to be back at 9 stone 2 pounds, but nothing I do seems to get me there. And I won’t starve myself and limit my food intake. I can’t. With rubbish energy levels that would mean that I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed.
I think this is where my natural weight is. I just wish it was less….
I don’t like the fact I can’t go running, well, jugging anymore because of my fatigue. I miss it. It made me feel good and I hated my weight less. Made me feel less guilty about having cake occasionally. I have since January been looking after a dog during the week, which has made me walk more. And I manage it. I really do my best to do 10,000 steps every day. And when the summer is here, it’s wonderful. And I feel good for it.
Finding a new exercise routine
A few weeks ago after a really bad time of not liking how I looked, I decided to start doing exercises at home that a cancer charity had given me. When I’m in a bad place I don’t tell myself nice things. Mainly criticism about my thighs and my abdomen. All those photoshopped photos of models are so damaging. I look at photos and think ‘that’s how I want to look’. And then I walk past a model in London when they are on their way to a casting or a shoot and think, “You are too thin. You need to eat something! You don’t look healthy.” So I am aware of the ridiculous yo-yo of thoughts in my head. It’s hard to let the logic overrule the emotion at times.
I’ve managed to do the exercises 3 times a week for the last 3 weeks and I think it’s making a difference. I’m at the hospital in a few days, so I will see what the scales day.
I don’t worry about my appointments, blood tests, results, leukaemic rate. None of that. I worry about how much I will weigh. I’m always terrified that my cancer weight loss will go, and I’ll be that fat child again.