At least once in your lifetime,you will go through a fat phase.
This will most probably happen in your 20s when adulting occurs so fast that you lose your dedication to healthy eating and regular exercise.
My obese phase happened after graduating from university. I worked crazy hours, and because I was in the media and entertainment industry, I was every night at a party or a work function, and I wasn’t shy on downing the booze. Exercising took a back seat, and I thought that I could rely on my fast metabolism to keep me slender.
It dawned upon me that I had spiraled out of control when I looked at a picture of mine on Facebook wearing leggings and a crop top, and I looked like a tightly-squeezed sausage. It explained why I felt like my digestive system had stopped working. All that constipation and excess body fat was spilling over, and my body was trying hard to keep it together.
I was heavily embarrassed of how I looked, and so with the help of a dietician and personal trainer, I embarked on a 12-week fitness programme to get back into shape.
I gave up the booze, fatty and high carb foods and sugar, and replaced them with good carbs like oats and butternut and lean meats like chicken breasts. I did cardio and weight training 4 times a week.
The 12-week programme was more challenging on my mind than it was on my body. It’s so easy to give up along the way because of all the food cravings and the hard work and consistency you have to put into it, but I realized that the bigger lesson to learn was discipline and sticking to my goals no matter how hard it is to achieve them.
Going through a fat phase made me realize that I’m not going to be young forever. Growing up and experiencing changes with my body is a real thing. I’m also human, and I’m growing older, so if I don’t pay attention to my health, I’ll suffer the consequences.
The phase also taught me a lot about social expectations of beauty. I wasn’t necessarily body shamed because of my weight gain; if anything, I was praised for developing a bit of meat around my bones because I was always skinny. Everybody will have an opinion on what beauty is, but if you’re physically uncomfortable with your body and hate the way you look, change it and screw what people have to say. You’re the one that has to live with yourself.
If you’re going through your fat phase for whatever reason and you’d like to get out, don’t do it on your own. Work with health professionals that will help you with exercising and a proper lifestyle plan, and make time to talk to a therapist because a lot of emotional issues will pop up and you’ll need someone other than your friends to talk to.
*image from The Times.