Since I was a child I have always struggled with my weight,always the chubby girl, always the one struggling to the back of the clothes rack, praying they had my size, which they almost never did. Of course I didn’t walk around completely naked but I could never wear what I actually wanted to and when they did have my size, the image staring back at me in the mirror did not meet expectations. I was a thin girl stuck inside an obese body.
At my heaviest I was over 18 stone, unfortunately I didn’t keep an accurate record of my exact weight, as at the time, I didn’t really intend on losing the weight. I was in denial.
It’s really easy to overlook the causes of weight gain and over the years I’ve used every excuse in the book.
‘Well, I had a pretty rough childhood, no wonder I eat loads’
‘I honestly don’t think I eat that much!’
‘I’ll have this weekend to eat what I like and I’ll start on Monday’
‘I’m not feeling great, so I can eat what I like’
The list just goes on and on and on but in all honesty I am and was, fully in the know as to why my weight continued to rise and rise and rise –
I hated exercise
I love food
I have a full blown sugar addiction
Full fat Pepsi and Coca Cola are my elixir. On many occasions I have fought back panic attacks over my lack of fizz and how I might be able to acquire some. I would get up in the morning, and drink a full pint of the good stuff to start my day. I would hardly ever drink anything other than Pepsi or Cola and months could pass without a drop of water passing my lips. I also ate an abundance of takeaways, restaurant food, processed packaged foods, microwave meals, you name it! Plus my portion sizes were ridiculously big, probably over double what I should have been eating. So no wonder I got so big.
About 2 years ago I saw a small video clip of myself walking our old dog and I actually gasped, I couldn’t believe how big I actually was. I was so shocked I showed my mum and asked her why she never said anything to me. She responded by saying she didn’t realise the extent of my weight gain as she saw me all the time, it wasn’t a dramatic gain over a few weeks or months, this was over years and years, so it’s easily unnoticeable.
The weight first started to come off when I was pregnant with M, I had horrendous morning sickness and some days I just couldn’t face eating and I lost in the region of 2 stone over those 9 months. In the years that followed we had a pretty tough time of it, we were moving around all over the place and not feeling settled, I struggled to get back to work, we lost Kirsty’s Nan suddenly and then within a week I also lost a good friend. Losing someone in your life whom is so young can really put your life into perspective and that’s when I decided enough was enough. I then managed to bring my weight down to around 13 stone through mostly exercise but it then plateaued and I just couldn’t get it any lower.
Then last March I took myself to the doctors to ask for some advice or to see if there was anything they could do for me. At this point I was desperate and I just didn’t want to be overweight any more. So they suggested I contact Live Well Dorset, who could offer me a 16 week free membership to either Weight Watchers or Slimming World. So I snapped that up and started Slimming World last April.
Initially I did really well and kept seeing big loses. I am a highly competitive person, so knowing there were awards for ‘Slimmer of the Week’ and ‘Slimmer of the Month’ up for grabs, I made sure I won them and lost 1.5 stone. Eventually I started to lose a bit of faith in the system and I didn’t see it as a way to maintain a healthy relationship with food so I stopped.
As I predicted, I put on a few lb’s and lost my way a little, but I’ve since regained control and I am eating a healthy balanced diet, exercising regularly and feeling so much happier in general. I try to mix things up a little and I’m always up for trying new exercises or changing my routine as my body gets used to one specific thing and it tends to plateau again. The one consistent exercise I partake in is my exercise bike. I absolutely love it and can sit in front of the TV or listen to music or an audio book and raise my heart rate to keep my body working. I use my machine at least 5 times a week, even if it’s just for 20 minutes.
I still have to put a lot of energy into kicking my bad habits and fighting that urge to gorge myself when life gets especially tough. It’s not an easy journey but it’s most certainly a rewarding one.