I am writing this post as lately I have received great encouragement to do so by some newly made friends who have made me realize that I have really come a long way over the years in my quest to become fit and healthy. Apparently I have been an inspiration..?! Therefore I hope my writing this inspires others too.
Dedicated to those who have supported me through the process. I love you guys!
Looking at the petite athletic person I am today it’s often hard to believe that I used to be incredibly overweight. Yes, this little 107lb person you see before you used to be around 190lb. I still struggle to believe it myself so hearing peoples response of ”No way!” and ”How did you do it?” have become quite a regular occurrence when told of the transformation.
Looking back, I have always struggled with my weight. Right from about 7 years old I was a ”chubby” child and was told ”It’s just puppy fat. You’ll grow out of it”. Only I didn’t. Yes, I did go through phases of slimming down slightly but I was always overweight. Diet upon diet I tried and always failed, no sooner had I lost 15-20lb would gain it all back again, plus a little bit more.
It didn’t help that family members teased me on a regular basis. I won’t lie, it hurt like hell but then nobody tried to help me or give the right advice. By the time I was in my mid twenties I had simply given up even trying. Obesity is something that a lot of family members suffer with so I just gave into the fact that it was hereditary and I will always be that way.
”So what was the turning point?” a lot of people ask.
It wasn’t some amazing story of do or die. Just a simple self realization of how bad I had let myself get. I remember the day so clearly. It was June, the weather had just started to warm up and where I had spent the entire winter hiding under loose fitting trousers and over sized sweatshirts I decided it was time to switch to shorts. I didn’t have any that fit so it meant a trip to the Mall. I wanted a pair of those 3/4 length Jean shorts and tying on the largest size the store had, a UK size 18 (US 14) I froze in shock when I couldn’t get them past mid thigh. I knew I had gained over Winter but really wasn’t aware of just how much. Needless to say I broke down crying in complete disgust with myself.
That moment of self pity didn’t last long though and looking back at the mess that was myself in the mirror I guess you could say something inside me just snapped. I came to the realization that I didn’t have to be overweight. That if I wanted to change only I could do something about it. Nobody else was to blame but myself. I left the store that day with a goal and headed straight to the nearest grocery store to stock up on lean meats, fruits and vegetables. My ”diet” started then.
I decided not to weigh myself as I think this is part of the reason I failed before, I got too hung up on numbers and got disheartened when the scales didn’t show the hard work I thought I had put in. Instead I simply decided go by how my clothes were fitting. Also being a severe Asthmatic and hating exercise with a passion I started off by just changing my eating habits.
Those first few weeks were tough, really tough. Munching on my Salad while my (now Husband) had his favorite Pizza or Curry was torture but it paid off when after about 6 weeks my clothes had became very loose and I plucked up the courage to step on the scale for the first time in close to 2 years. 178lb! I was gobsmacked that the number was so high, especially being just 5 foot tall but I felt good as we estimated I had probably lost around 10-15lb already and instead of wanting to give up I set my first small goal of reaching 168lb followed by another of 158lb.
By the time I had reached that second goal I introduced exercise. Slowly at first as with my Asthma I struggled immensely. It started with workout DVD’s followed by purchasing a Cross Trainer (Elliptical) to use at home and before I knew it 8 months had passed and stepping on the scale I was 134lb! Things had become a lot easier and somewhere In those months my ”diet” (man, I hate that word!) transformed into my new lifestyle. It was time to join a Gym and reach my final goal of 120lb.
That final goal was a few years ago now, clearly I surpassed my own expectations even despite recently finding out that I have an under active Thyroid where I go through periods of unexplained weight gain.
It’s also during this journey found a new passion. A passion for exercise of all things! Shortly after joining my local Gym I decide to sign up for their training program and in January of 2010 I passed my certification as what the awarding body call a ”Fitness Professional”.
Where I did get down to 101lb I have now increased slightly. Why? Muscle gain! This is a good thing, it actually makes me happy and where I do still weigh myself from time to time (2-3 times a year) I still stand by the fact that the scales are not completely accurate for measuring your progress.
My life is now completely different and eating healthily while working out is my passion. 6 and sometimes 7 days a week you’ll see me sweating it out and finding new challenges to push myself to. If you have read my previous posts you will see Running is where my heart is and had someone told me 5 years ago that not only would I be able to Run but also enjoy doing it I would have said they were crazy!
Now, here I go with something I don’t let everybody see purely because of how ashamed I am. The following is a picture of me ”before”. Not at my largest as I hated having pictures taken but when I was a UK size 14-16 (US 10-12). Please excuse the dodgy fancy dress getup.
I now wear US size 0/2 (UK 4/6) and couldn’t be happier.
So what am I saying here? Never give up trying! Yes, it is hard and yes, you will question yourself but the results are totally worth it! Here’s a few tips to help you on your way:
– Set lot’s of smaller goals as opposed to one big one.
– Do not ”diet” by restricting certain foods. Make healthy changes that you can keep up long term and way past when your reach your goal.
– Take measurements. And some ”before” pictures.
– Introduce exercise.
– Do not get too hung up on the scale and definitely don’t weigh yourself every day.
– DO NOT starve yourself.
– Remember Muscle weighs more than Fat too. So if you’re working out the scales are not completely accurate but a rough guide.