BLOG 8: THE PLEASURE OF NEW CLOTHES
This week, I was invited to a party at the magazine I work for. It's very prestigious and there are always lots of amazing and illustrious people there - Theresa May was at the last one - so I wanted to look lovely, and ordered three dresses from ASOS. My measurements have dropped so drastically that I wasn't sure what size I was, so I ended up ordering all the dresses in both a 14 and a 12. It turned out I was being optimistic and can't fit into a 12 just yet, but there was some give in the 14s so I live in hope! I have no full-length mirror where I'm staying, so took some selfies and was taken aback by how much better I look since starting Alevere - the jowls on my face have disappeared, so my face just looks pleasantly full instead of fat. I genuinely didn't recognise myself.
I don't think looks are everything, but there is so much pleasure to be had in trying on beautiful new clothes and getting ready for a night out. For years, I completely shut myself off to aesthetics - I always thought 'What's the point in clothes shopping or buying make-up? I'm obese, so nothing's going to make me look better.' And then, because I felt so miserable about my weight, I'd have a pizza, and after eating it I'd feel even worse because I knew I was just compounding the problem.
In contrast, I feel optimistic when I put my Alevere sachets in my bag for a day out, knowing that sticking to the programme will make me lose weight. The weekly weigh-ins keep me accountable, and I really like seeing the doctor and therapists - it's as though there's a whole team who've got my back. The science behind the diet is fascinating - the fact that the pure protein sachets not only keep you feeling full, they also stop you losing muscle as you lose the weight (with most diets, your muscle mass decreases).
For the first time in years, I'm putting photos of myself up on Facebook - and my lovely Facebook friends are saying appreciative things! Previously, my heart would sink when I'd receive the notification 'X has tagged you in a photo', and I'd sprint straight onto Facebook and hit 'remove tag'. Going through life feeling ashamed of how you look - especially when it's self-inflicted - is no way to live your life, so it's great that there's a solution. And it's not the 'eat less, move more' solution that people who don't have weight problems kept telling me, either. Weight loss just isn't that simple.
Anyhow, I now have a pretty navy blue lace dress for the party. It's bias cut and it actually skims my silhouette and makes my figure look curvaceous instead of lumpy and bulgy! It’s all to do with having a waist, which I think is largely down to the ultrasound treatments, and it makes all the difference.
Ariane Sherine is a writer and stand-up comedian. You can find her on Twitter at @ArianeSherine. www.arianesherine.com