So today (16/03/17)I was featured in The Daily Express on a full page story all about my weight loss. It was both nerve wracking and exciting to be asked to be featured, and I was so nervous this morning when I opened the paper, desperately hoping that Elizabeth Archer, the journalist covering my story, had captured the essence of my health/weight/lifestyle ethos.
Aside from a couple of tiny inaccuracies, Lizzie did a fabulous job, and I was thrilled with what she published. I hope that the article shows that fads, set meal plans, meal replacements, deprivation and starvation will only get you so far in the world of weight loss - sure you'll lose some, but you'll struggle to keep it off if you don't also tackle the deeper issues causing your weight problems.
For me there was a series of problems behind my obesity - namely my hugely unhealthy lifestyle and in order to achieve and maintain a big weight loss I had to address each one and make big changes before progress could be made.
Here's a list of some of the issues I had surrounding food/diet/exercise:
-emotional eating (using food as a reward/comfort, eating when bored, eating when stressed)
-eating when tired or thirsty
-lack of understanding/education about food, calories, macros and exercise/expenditure
-lack of understanding about suitable portion sizes for someone my sex/age/build
-a severe lack of confidence/ability when it came to anything "sporty" which meant I ruled out pretty much all exercise
-lack of culinary inspiration and methods for reducing fat and calories in food without losing out on flavour.
Once I had started to acknowledge and address all of these individual points I started to see changes - the numbers on the scales started decreasing, my clothes were fitting better, I felt fitter and younger...I realised that a series of small changes and addressing my lifestyle as a whole would lead to big changes, and that it did.
A size 20 to a size 12 - and I'm so much happier, more confident, and more in control of all aspects of my life. I feel a balance in both body and mind that I never realised was even possible.
Post second baby I have been concentrating less on the numbers on the scales, and much more about fitness, exercise and how I FEEL. This is liberating after 3 years of weekly weigh ins, but knowing that Connie will be the final addition to our family gives me the freedom of knowing that any positive body changes I work on making now will and should be forever (no more pregnancies to contend with, hooray!) and that there's no rush to ping instantly back to my pre-Connie figure. I cut myself some slack for the first three months after she was born, then began hitting the gym hard around October time. Six months into my new found love of the gym and I'm still going twice, sometimes three times per week. I have a weekly session with my amazing personal trainer Matt King, do a cardio/machines session by myself and sometimes a class too such as Legs, Bums and Tums or Spinning.
And the results? My shape is changing - I'm toning up and seeing definition in places I've never had it before. I'm stronger, both physically and mentally. The gym is making me a more disciplined person, more determined to achieve. My back pain from Degenerative Disc Disease is under control without the need for painkillers (this is amazing!) and my all-round fitness has improved so much. I'm working towards goals such as being able to do a set of pull ups and being able to jump onto a higher plyo box rather than to lose a set amount of pounds.
I'm back in my pre-Connie size 12 wardrobe, which was the main goal for me and although I'm still a bit heavier than just before I fell pregnant with Connie, I'm also aware that I'm building a lot more muscle (which weighs more than fat) and that as I have slowly began to reduce my daily calorie intake again recently (currently at 1400 per day) I have begun to see the last few pounds start to shed. As I said, I'm not obsessing about the numbers, I feel good, I feel strong and that is my priority. I probably weigh in once a month now rather than weekly, and so long as I am slowly headed in the right direction then I'm happy with that.
For me it is all about maintaining a healthy balanced lifestyle in definitely - being a positive role model to my children so they grow up without the food/weight issues I did, and whole-heartedly, honestly and unashamedly embracing my love for food, because throughout all of this that hasn't changed a bit. :-)
Here's the article for those who missed it:
Bye for now