Today I would like to present one of my fellow friends from Twitter and also a blogger, who has a fabulous weight loss journey behind and whose tips could help so many out there.
Over to Lins from Boo and Maddie now:
Do you ever do that thing where you look in the mirror from sideways and realise that your physique is fairly similar to that of Homer Simpson so you hurriedly suck everything in, pull your jeans a little higher and hope that the button at the top won’t pop off in public? That’s me, or at least it used to be.
I’m always a bit reluctant to talk about – or should I say evangelise – following a healthier, fitter lifestyle because I know that everyone is different and weight is a very personal and sensitive subject. Also, what works for one person may not be suitable for someone else – there’s no right solution for all of us otherwise wouldn’t we all be doing it?
All I can do is speak from my own experience of being unhappy with my weight and appearance in my late teens through to my early-mid twenties and transforming myself from someone who wouldn’t want to walk to the end of the road at 23, to someone who ran a half marathon at 33.
I don’t pretend to have reinvented the wheel and there’s nothing special about my achievement but from a size 16 23 year old weighing 13.5 stone, to a size 10 35 year old weighing 9.5 stone, I can’t even being to describe how much happier I am. Again, there’s nothing wrong with any of those figures it just didn’t make me happy. Here are some tips possibly from a more holistic approach than offering any quick fixes which I thought might be helpful if you’re wanting to get fitter/lose weight/change eating habits.
Be the Tortoise, not the Hare
By most people’s standards, it took me a while to lose the weight I lost. I started around 2003 and by the time I got married in 2007 I’d lost 3 stone. However for me, that was the key to success – not making drastic changes overnight and just gradually, slowly, sustainably losing weight. On my wedding day I was 10 and a half stone and absolutely delighted. I’ve never come close to regaining any of the weight in the 8 years since then, either. So for me, working at it slowly and manageably was the key to success.
It’s a Lifestyle
I must admit, I’ve never tried any of the weight-loss diets and programmes. Not because I didn’t want to, but for a very long time I was definitely in denial and kept convincing myself that I was meant to be heavier and it was my metabolism, my bone structure, a-ny-thing. I knew that if I wanted to achieve long-term health and fitness, it would have to be a lifestyle change and so I had to be honest with myself, look at what I was eating, and eat less. Which was tough, and why it took longer because I couldn’t bring myself to radically change my eating habits overnight. Little by little, they did change. The mid-morning cake stopped, breakfast became one bagel instead of two (I can’t believe I used to be able to eat TWO bagels for breakfast, now I’d struggle to eat half of one!). It wasn’t counting calories, or assigning points, just eating less and eating better.
I had a lot to learn about food, about myself, about my likes and dislikes. I was never prepared (and am still not) to live a life devoid of all naughty food enjoyments – there’s a total admiration for people who can but it’s not for me. Instead I tried to listen to myself and understand what made feel better and not so. I have a ridiculously sweet tooth and enjoy cakes and chocolate, but I know I can’t have them every day, multiple times a day which is what I used to do. Education has definitely changed my outlook and attitude.
Since 2008 I’ve hovered around 9 and a half stone, and this is my happy place, acceptance. I go up a few pounds and then back down again, depending on the time of month but my happy weight is where I’m full of confidence, energy and vitality. I’ve been patient with myself, taken time and listened. I don’t starve myself, or deny myself. I’ll eat fish and chips if I feel like it, or a hot chocolate, or a glass of wine, but because it’s not all the time it’s all the more enjoyable.
There’s no going back for me now, I never imagined I’d say “I look better at 35 than I did at 18” but it really is true. It’s definitely been a journey of discovery, of feeling positive, of a sense of achievement. I’m the world’s biggest pom-pom shaker for anyone I come across on their own journey because I’ve been through it and now how hard it is. But I also know that with determination, anything is possible.
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