A SLIMMER'S STORY OF GRIEF AND GLORY
Jenny was once 230 pounds (approx. 105
kgs), and 5'6" in height. Being in a very
unhappy marriage, the sharpest criticism her husband
could make was about her weight. The relationship was
broken, and she decided to make a few changes in her
life. Her resolution was to be slim.
Having been overweight most of her life,
Jenny was very aware of the social pressures to be
slim. It was difficult to find shops which sold large
size clothes. Seats in public transport, and even
friends garden chair didn't suit her, she could
hardly go through some doors in places where most
people can walk in easily, such as dairies and
grocery shops. She also felt uncomfortable while
eating with other people. The amount of food she ate
was about twice the amount her friends ate. She never
thought she could be an overeater, she only ate when
she was hungry, and only enough to kill her hunger.
As Jenny grew older, she was becoming
heavier. She decided to join a slimming programme. It
was very hard. She dropped her food intake from 2500
to 1000 calories a day. The day after she started the
programme, she had a sensation of dizziness and
nausea, strong hunger, and difficulty in
concentrating. She thought she would fail. She didn't
want to fail again. A marriage break-up was enough.
So she decided to stay in the programme and never
drop out until she achieved her goal.
Taking part in meetings with other
overweight provided strong support, because besides
sharing her ups-and-downs as an overweight, she also
learned a lot about foods and how her body digested
it. The support Jenny received actually made up for
those feelings of unwellness while slimming.
Six months later she was weighing only
115 pounds (approx. 53 kg). That was her greatest and
only achievement. Within the same period of time she
couldn't find a job, had failed at making new
friends, and still had to cope with unwelcome
enquiries about her broken relationship by old
When looking in the mirror, Jenny's face
was much smaller, so she had to have a haircut that
suited best her new look, she was also proud to walk
into a shop and trying on sizes 8 or 10. That was her
new self: a much smaller figure, a much slimmer body.
She couldn't wait to meet her ex-husband! It was
still very hard to keep away from treats, sweets, and
food in general, however this was the price she had
She didn't know that there were a lot
more hidden costs to her new shape.
Once in one of the popular TV shows,
Miss Universe was interviewed. She was asked: if the
world had no rules, what would you do? Her answer:
"I would eat, eat, and eat. I would eat
everything twice". The audience gave her a huge
clap of hands. In fact it, eating healthily takes a
lot of discipline. Eating less then one's natural
body requirements takes a lot more than discipline,
it takes self-sacrifice.
Jenny still had many difficulties in her
social life. Men who tried to get closer, were soon
perceived as a threat, or somebody just looking for
sex. Having much less than her desirable daily quota
of food, she had very little energy, felt tired and
depressed most of the time, and looked pale.
While continuously looking for a job,
she used to make a very good impression at the
interview, as she walked in the door, tall and
confident. However, her confidence was knocked down
at the first attempt to answer a question that
demanded thinking, there was no coherence in what she
said, because she couldn't concentrate. There was no
energy for enthusiasm.
One day, she saw her husband in a social
gathering . He approached her, said that she looked
very different, and introduced his new girlfriend.
From that day on, Jenny gave up the food restrictions
she imposed on herself.
This time Jenny would eat twice as much
as she used to eat before dieting, she wanted to make
up for those long months of semi-starvation. Within a
few weeks she reached 230 pounds again. And now it
was a struggle to keep that weight.
It was only after restructuring all her
eating habits that Jenny finally managed to keep the
same weight. A self-esteem course helped her accept
herself for what she is, and build confidence.
Nowadays she runs a restaurant, wears size 20, plays
netball, has a busy social life, and can't cope with
the demands for dating. Jenny never looks back in
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