Instead I gained a bit too much. I went up to nearly 10 stone (68 kgs). Now, I know I wasn't overweight. It wasn't a lot, and I didn't look big, nor was I unhealthy. But I was getting there. It was around this time that my mother went to the doctors, was diagnosed with high blood pressure and told she needed to lose weight. Turns out she was nearly 90 kgs (14 stone) and a fair bit overweight. No one noticed. She had put it on slowly. She is pear shaped, so didn't look that big. But it woke me up to what was happening to me. That, plus the fact I couldn't fit into some of my clothes and I can't afford a new wardrobe. So I decided on a target: 60 kilos (just over 9 stone). I'd like to be a little less than that, but I'll be happy at 60. I don't want to be stick thin, but I'd like to feel happy in my own body again.
Today I stood on the scales and I'm half way to my target. It's take a long time. Of course it has as I didn't have a lot of weight to lose. And some weeks I've put on what I lost the week before. Some weeks I've not even lost half a pound, but I've lost something. At the same time, I eat better, with one bad day a week. I exercise a little more. Not as much as I'd like, but it's a start. And I've discovered something else...
...I was never happy with the way I looked before. I always thought I had fat thighs and a saggy backside. I hardly ever thought I looked pretty. Now, as I lose weight, I'm noticing my thighs toning. The cellulite reducing. I feel good in my clothes again, even if I still can't quite fit in some of them. I am happier with the way I look now than I did at 16. I actually like what I see.
I spoke to my mother before posting this. I mentioned this to her and she said she feels the same way. Even as a stick thin teenager, my mother never wore a bikini. A few years ago, she put one on for the first time and happily sat on a beach. She's growing her hair. She's buying clothes that cling a little. And she looks good in what she wears. I always thought she was more attractive than she thought she was. But now that she realises it a little, too, she walks tall. And it suits her.
It's a shame it took my mother and I to gain weight, and then lose it again to appreciate what we had before. But I'm glad that we've both come to the realisation that, while we're not perfect, while we will always have something we're not that keen on, we should be happy with who we are and how we look.