by Marissa Charles
“Gal, you better watch what you eating now you know. You cyan [can't] keep on eating like that.”
Those were the words of my Uncle Junior when I went to visit my folks in New Jersey in March 2008. I had just finished the Los Angeles marathon and was proudly showing off my medal. But, as he watched me inhale the Trinidadian food on hand that Easter Sunday, Uncle Junior reminded me that – as I was no longer running a total of 30 miles each week – I had better curb my eating.
Boy was he right. Soon after putting on 12lbs I panicked and, in the past three-and-a-half years, I have dieted myself fat. In my desperate bid to lose weight I have put it on at a breathtaking rate.
I have added 24lbs to my 5ft 8 frame. That’s in addition to the 12lbs that I wanted to lose, which was really about 15lbs heavier than what I considered to be my “fighting weight.” So – stick with me here – if you add all that up, I’ve put on a total of 50lbs.
I’ve counted points, calories and fat grams. I’ve detoxed and spent hours in the gym, but I’m still bursting out of my clothes. Every Monday I start another diet. It’s a familiar scenario: I start a new plan full of hope, lose a few pounds, get bored, binge, say “f** it” and go off the rails, regaining the weight I lost and more.
It’s a shame because I really thought I’d cracked this dieting thing. Five years ago I falsely believed that I had beaten my curves into submission. You see I’m a seasoned dieter. I started when I was a chubby nine-year-old, eating low-fat potato chips while the other kids were munching on candy.
That was 26 years ago. Ronald Reagan was in the White House and Rihanna wasn’t even born yet. THAT’S how long I’ve been dieting.
Through the years I became a devotee of every fad going – from the Dr Hay Plan to Slim Fast. Even then I wasn’t really fat until about seven years ago. For most of my 20s I swung from 154lbs to 175lbs. I am genuinely big-boned so at154lbs I looked too thin – collarbone jutting out, breasts non-existent, pancake-flat butt.