It’s a strange relationship I have with weight loss, I always thought I was terrible at it, but yesterday I was awarded my two and a half stone loss award…two and a half stone?! I know crazy right? I guess maybe I’m better at it than I thought.
One of the most frustrating things for me about having put on so much weight was the fact that I always felt like I couldn’t change it. Alot of my weight came from my cancer treatment, the steroids, the not being able to dance anymore, not being able to walk any further than the end of the street without feeling like I might collapse from the pain. So you can probably see why I struggled to figure out how to lose weight, even after I’d finished my treatment all those years ago it left me with a joint condition so really, I’ve never been able to get back to the same level of fitness.
I went through stages of thinking about it, thinking about trying to lose weight but being genuinely worried that I’d only disappoint myself and feel worse, after all, how could I when I couldn’t even run? Last year, I hated the way I looked, I’ve had my fair share of comments about weight in the past and that hurts, it makes you think about it alot, especially when it comes from people that are close to you, that are supposed to be supportive, every time I thought about it, it was like I was being torn down from the inside and I hated it. I hated what I saw in the mirror.
Something I don’t talk about really is that directly after my chemo I went through a whole phase of just not wanting to eat, my doctor even at one point decided I should see a dietitian and therapist! I guess it was a result of being totally aware of how much weight I had gained combined with having things said about it. I didn’t want to eat in front of people so I skipped meals, I stopped eating around my family altogether because it was more comfortable not to. I don’t think it did me any favors to be honest and it certainly didn’t help me lose any weight. I did pretty well in moving forward from that and last year I didn’t want to go right back to the beginning, I didn’t want to be the person that refused to eat in front of people or just didn’t eat at parties, I was determined not to be that person. I noticed my weight beginning to impact my confidence in a really big way and I wasn’t going back there.
So last year I joined Slimming World, along with my mum and I was really determined to change something, anything to try and lose weight. To try and figure out exactly how I could change. I was surprised to be honest, at the weight losses I had in those first few weeks, I barely said anything in the groups at first because…well, why would anything I said even be of use?
But gradually I did, I think my confidence grew within the group first because they are all so lovely, so supportive, we’re all there for the same thing and we all know it’s not easy. It’s not uncommon for people to get upset, for people to be annoyed or confused at their slow progress…but what’s priceless about the group I go to is that we can just listen, guide, support and remind each other that it’s ok to have a bad week, it doesn’t change our commitment or our goals, it simply means we’re taking the scenic route. I have definitely done that.
I’ve had a bit of an upside down year this year to be honest, I started it with lots of pain and trips to the hospital to figure out what the hell my hips were playing at. Turns out they are doing what they’ll always do and just wearing away! The doctor did mention that losing weight may help which just made me even more determined. When I do finally have them replaced I want to be able to be back on my feet as soon as possible and I knew weight loss would help. I then left a job that didn’t make me happy and chose to not work for a while; I needed the time to rest, to figure out exactly what it was I wanted to do, where it was I wanted to be in a few years time and of course have some fun. I definitely managed that with lots of holidays!
All the while my weight was kind of going up and down, I got to my two stone loss and then put some back on, I’d lost interest really, I thought I had got to the point where I was gunna be stuck there forever or just keep putting it back on, it’s extremely frustrating at those stages because I just wanted to give up and eat that whole share sized packet of Doritos (anyone else been there?)
I don’t know if it was that I’d lost interest or I just couldn’t get my head in it, I think it was that I wasn’t happy with other things. Taking time off from working was good but it can get a bit…depressing, when you end up finding yourself in friendships, relationships or any situations that you just don’t want, don’t feel right, it makes you unhappy, it’s bound to, so I was not having a good time at all, I wanted to find a job I would love, I wanted to be around people that pushed me to follow my dreams, not tell me they weren’t achievable.
I’ve changed alot in those few months since summer to be honest, I became my own biggest support network, my own hero, not that I needed a hero but I wanted something that would make me feel more confident, more like I could achieve anything and over time I realised that something was me, it was the way I thought about my weight loss, about my job search. If I constantly just beat myself up about not getting anywhere it wasn’t going to change because it stopped being productive and started being destructive.
So I waited and found a job that I knew I would like, I knew I could do and I could grow in, I was lucky enough that that came along. I expanded my friendship group and got to know people I would never have thought I’d be close to and I also let go of some relationships that weren’t making me stronger, happier or pushing me on.
Over the past month, my weight losses have really increased, I’ve been so on track and I have still had those treats, I’ve sat at my desk and eaten chocolate biscuits but I know it’s all about moderation. If I’m sticking to good meals in the morning, dinner and at night then I can have those treats, I don’t have to miss out. I can go out for dinner and still lose weight. My slimming world group and consultant taught me that.
Losing weight is hard, it’s an uphill battle for most people and it is for me, I never in a million years thought I’d get anywhere but honestly, I think it’s about how you think about it. If you don’t like something you have to put in the effort to change it, no matter how hard that is, no matter how much you really want that whole chocolate cake…think about how you’ll feel if you have it, get on the scales and have put on 3lb next week? It’s not worth it, not if losing weight is going to make you happy, if it’s what you want, nothing we want comes easy but it is worth it. And if you do reach for that cake, don’t spend the rest of the week beating yourself up about it, you’re allowed to have a bad day, we all are, it’s about what we learn from it and how we move forward. I think if we believe in ourselves, even on bad days we are capable of achieving anything and everything we want.
I’m not where I want to be yet, I will be one day but getting my two and half stone loss, just a few days before my birthday as well, it’s incredible and I’m so proud, it’s so important to remember how far we’ve come in a journey not just how far we have to go, focusing on the positive is the best way forward.
I finally feel ok to have my photo taken, can finally browse the shops and have so many options, I even felt ok to be interviewed on camera for television…something that this time last year would have been a huge no. I’m now very happy to say that I will be looking forward to the Christmas party season and getting to dress up, I’m excited to go shopping for an outfit and more than anything, I’m happy when I look in the mirror and I know that will only increase as I get closer to my target.
Alot of it has been down to the group I slim with, without their hints, tips and support each week I’d easily have put on more weight this past year instead of achieved what I have.
Believe me, if I can do this, anyone can, you just have to take the first step in trying…or the next step in pushing forward, have a bad day, cry about it, get angry, then focus, plan and just watch how far you can get. Don’t give up and keep believing in yourself.