I go by the name Iris (not my real name :P) and welcome to my weight loss blog (I hope)!
Here's just a bit of background information about me and what I have and haven't accomplished on my weight loss journey already.
So I was born on a Wednesday 13th November 1996 at a ridiculous 4:21am (or so my mother says).
As a young child I was pretty thin to be honest, I remember being the fastest runner out of my friends and winning a lot of school sports days.
I think it was my 8th birthday when my parents noticed my weight gain, I would mainly put down my weight gain to a lack of information (at the time anyway) about portion size and the huge rising popularity of frozen dinners. What my mother thought was one spoonful (actually a huge ladle full) of rice was about 4 portions for an adult, I was an eight year old child.
But my parents weren't too worried. My brother followed a similar pattern, He became obese at around the age of 8 as well, but returned to a slightly chubby but healthy weight by 14 years old. So the same should have happened to me right?
Growing up in a traditional Sri Lankan home, none of you relatives are afraid to point out how fat you look, even in the most inappropriate of situations. But I put up with it. Mainly because of the whole 'respect your elders' and the fact my metabolism would kick in soon and I would lose weight like my brother.
By 16 I had no luck, so using my knowledge of dieting from Google and Youtube I set out on probably my most successful diet to this day. My diet consisted of using webmd to count my calories and dancing just dance for 30 minutes 6 times a week.
And it worked!
When I started I was 88 kg (194 lbs) at 5ft and 6 inches. A year later I had hit 78kg (172 lbs), I was ecstatic! I managed to lose 10kg and go down 2 dress sizes by just limiting my calories to 1600 a day and playing a video game. The only diet change I did was to cut frozen dinners from 5 times a week to once a week. I still had my crisps and chocolate, providing I had worked out that day and I was under my calorie intake. Looking back now, I see there were a lot of things wrong with the way I lost my weight.
1. I never celebrated my success.
If you have parents who always expect 100%, to the point where a 99 on a test is disgraceful then you can imagine my parents reaction to my weight loss. Their replies were -
'Your still fat.'
'So and So's kid is so beautiful whats wrong with you'
'Lose weight faster but don't eat less (0_0)'
'You have a long way to go'
Without celebrating my successes, I only remembered my failures.
2. I lived by the scale.
No joke, I would cry every time my weight did not drop, and I would have a mental breakdown if my weight increased. I weighed myself TWICE a day, in the morning and night. Just to check I wasn't eating too much, which is silly since i was already counting calories very strictly.
And then the worst thing happened.
3. I hit a Plateau.
Most of us have been there before, You've planned everything out to perfection, you have a exercise you love and a diet that's working. But for some reason your weight just hits a standstill. It refuse to move. And that's because my body had become used to my exercise. Pssh I could dance all the choreographies to Just Dance 3 in my sleep.
(Here are some ways to break a diet plateau- apparently, I've never tried it)
But I did the worst thing, I gave up,
At this time I had got my GCSE's, which were 7A* and 4A. I even had a scholarship to a private school so my parents wouldn't pay a penny. But my results weren't good enough to me or my family, I couldn't get into med school with this.
So for the next 2 years, I left my diet behind and spent 2 years crying and stressing to get into medical school. It worked, I entered one of the best medical schools in the world (Imperial College London) with my so called mediocre grades and proved my family wrong. I also entered Medical School at 88 Kg (194 lbs).
While at Medical school, I had so many Doctors tell me I have or don't have PCOS. Too this day I don't know?! I don't have any cysts but I carry all the other symptoms of PCOS. So I started a Gluten Free diet and once again IT WORKED!
I went from 88 kg (194 lbs) to 82 kg (181 lbs) within 4 months. Everything was perfect, my periods came back, my weight went down and I was enjoying living in university accommodation.
But life is never perfect for long. I lost my best friend exactly today (9th April 2017) a year ago. The worst part about it being, I think I could have stopped her from taking her life had I just noticed the signs of depression. But I thought if I opened up to my parents, I could get back on track. Surely any parent would hug their child if they asked for one.
Not mine. My mother just laughed, said she could have committed suicide and she wouldn't be living such a rubbish life. As much as I love my mother, she doesn't think before she speaks very often. But the part that disappoints me is she never apologises. Especially not to me, because as a child, members of my family think it's okay to say anything, that they have the right to say anything without expecting to deal with the consequences. Me personally, i'm the type to hold grudges, but the moment we can talk and apologise, my grudges fly out the window. As I grew older and confronted my mother about the things she has said, she plays the I never did that card.
Moving on from the depressing talk, I threw my diet in the bin, turned to food for comfort and tried to get back on track for my degree. But my degree didn't matter to me as much anymore. Medical School is 6 long years followed by a job with the worst hours (at least in the UK). After losing my friend, the glory and reputation of being a Doctor didn't appeal to me anymore. I wanted to be happy.
But for some reason I put my parents needs before mine. My parents, as cold hearted as they can be at times, have suffered. They left their home country as refugees of a war, came to the UK when they couldn't speak a word of english, and have lived in and out of debt. So much to the point my mother says her dreams is to live debt free one day. With my parents being old, I don't have much time to be with them and I don't have much time to earn money and treat them either. Although they didn't force me to become a doctor, I knew my father loved the idea of having a doctor in the family.
But that went down the drain.
September 14th 2016 I failed out of one of the best medical schools in the world. But now I know I was in medical school for all the wrong reasons. When I failed, My first thought wasn't OMG I won't be a Doctor, but OMG everyone is going to make fun of me. Almost all of my cousins in my extended families are a Doctor, married to a Doctor or are a medical student. So everywhere I looked I could only be reminded of my failures.
I let go of my diet and pretty much slept in my bed for the next month and cried. Members of my family and even family friends took this as the opportunity to beat down a person who already hit rock bottom.
I got called names, got called out for biting more than I could chew, I even got called a dog -_-. Of course my mother told everyone it was because I lost a friend, even showing off her crocodile tears... charming. I almost got persuaded to go study medicine in Europe. I was so hurt and upset I wanted to escape and prove to people I wasn't stupid. But I knew it wouldn't be the right decision.
I couldn't take it one night and went down to the kitchen and held a knife to my wrist. But I couldn't do it, not after losing a friend to suicide. So I jetted off to singapore to stay with my brother for 3 weeks and healed.
When I came back though, I fell into more depression, People kept asking me what I was studying, coupled with the fact that I couldn't find a job caused me to retreat back to my humble abode - the bed.
Without the glorious backing of a world class medical school, people felt they were comfortable to start poking fun at my weight.
Except this time i'm not at 88 kg (194 lbs), i'm at 95 kg ( 209lbs). The heaviest I have been at my entire life. My 20th birthday came and went, I didn't celebrate it at all. I just had some cake and slept. My 19th birthday was full of surprise birthdays and fun but by my 20th I had lost all my friends. My University friends were back at uni working, a lot of them didn't bother to even contact me, that being said maybe I should have reached out to them. A lot of my sixth form friends were studying abroad, some even studying medicine in bulgaria. The rest of them didn't like my attitude when I was depressed and didn't want to consider me a friend. Fair dos :P
Fast forward to now,
In terms of life, most things are on track. I have a place to study pharmacy (a degree I want to study) at UCL this september, My brother is getting married in two weeks so we are jetting off again and I now scream at anyone who pokes fun at my weight or my education.
One thing I have learnt is to not expect anything from anyone. I don't mean never ask for help, I mean don't expect it. Whenever someone says something about my weight and my parents/brother stare at the floor, I just stand up for myself. If my parents have a problem with it I just point out they have never done anything, that usually ends the argument.
In terms of weight, As much as I love myself, my weight is going to cause some major health complications in the long run. And i'm too embarrassed to even play Just dance EVEN WHEN NO ONE IS WATCHING. But I feel I have a better knowledge of how to go about losing weight, and how to do it in a healthy way. A healthy mental and physical way. I know it won't be easy and i've accepted the fact that I'll probably the heaviest at my brother's wedding. But that doesn't mean the future me will be same as I am now.
I terms of a job - no luck, but I have found other ways to occupy myself. I've done things that I never thought I would do. I made a gaming youtube channel, as in I film me and my double chin playing pokemon everyday. And I love it!
When choosing my name for my channel and this blog, I thought about it for a long time. I eventually ended up googling the meaning of magnolia (after playing bravely second). I then realised the one thing that has kept me going through the darkest times of my life.
Hope. Hope that one day, I'll make it out of the darkness.
(Quote from Erin while on the Biggest Loser Season 17)
Iris is the flower that represents hope.
Currently I have about one foot out of the darkness, but it's a start,
And tomorrow I'm off to start my new way of healthy living. I'm terrified of the scale but I know this time I'm taking on everything I have learnt in my last two attempts. Let's hope that third times the charm! But even if it's not, I hope you'll stick by me for my fourth, fifth and how ever many times I need :)
P.s. Is it bad i'm meeting a friend at westfields for lunch tmr? I hope this goes well. I hate salad T_T
(Please don't attempt the above at home T_T)