When I got on the scales I couldn’t believe it, 1-2 lb at a time, week by week it had come off and I’d done it! 5 Stone weight loss! I cried, I actually cried at what I had achieved. Food has always been an issue for me, from a young age it has been my comfort, in my teens I related it to feeling better and I didn’t really care how it impacted me, because of this I had always been slightly overweight and never felt great about the relationship that I had with food.
Fast forward to years later after having a baby and going through a bit of a rough patch my natural reaction was to turn to food and very quickly what had always been a few extra curves escalated into a pretty dangerous weight gain. I don’t think I wanted to admit it, until one day I saw a picture of myself next to my pregnant friend at a baby show and I looked a lot bigger than her. My buttons were literally bursting at the seams and I didn’t recognise the person in the photo. It didn’t look like me, my face, it just didn’t look like me. I got home and I cried. I didn’t recognise myself anymore.
I know it sounds like a bit of a cliché having an ‘aha’ moment, but I really did. For me loosing weight had so many different aspects to it, firstly I wanted my little boy to grow up seeing what a healthy balanced lifestyle was, I never wanted him to have the unhealthy relationship with food I had. I wasn’t happy with how I looked, I didn’t look like me. I didn’t like how I felt, after being at this weight for only a few months I felt sluggish, out of breath and my knees were hurting but really one of the most important areas for me was my life felt out of control. I felt like I couldn’t stop myself, just one more chocolate bar, one more packet of crisps, one more pizza, one more takeaway, one more tub of ice cream, one more. Of course for me one more was never just that. It had to end, this relationship with food had become far too unhealthy.
So in that moment, seeing that picture I changed, just like that. In a single moment my mind-set changed. It wasn’t all smooth sailing don’t get me wrong but the difference had been I finally cared. So that day, mid week (I wasn’t waiting until Monday like I always used to) I weighed myself. I looked at the scales and had gained 4 stone since I had my little boy. I was gutted but relieved all at the same time. I finally knew and had a starting point.
So here are the things that I believe made an impact on my weight loss:
*disclaimer – I AM NOT a weight loss expert, professional, doctor, nor do I have any medical, nutritional or healthcare experience or expertise at all, I am just writing about my beliefs, what worked for me personally and what helped me achieve my goals. What worked for me may not work for you and your body so please do your own research and if needs be get medical advice or consult an appropriate professional*
- I weighed myself – I know this isn’t for everyone but I wanted to know what my weight was. I work well with numbers and I like targets so seeing the numbers go down on the scales really made me feel like I was achieving something each week. I know that scales can be hit and miss with weight loss as water retention/ muscle mass can effect results but its just what worked for me.
- I started with the end goal in mind – I knew what I wanted to achieve – I wanted to get to my pre-pregnancy weight which would mean loosing 4 stone. Having this goal was a great focus.
- I had micro-goals – although I started with that end-goal in mind it also seemed like a long way to go. Because of this I decided to focus on smaller achievable goals , I started with 7 lb at a time, that way it seemed manageable and I didn’t feel the need to rush the weight loss.
- I didn’t do faddy diets – I tried it in the beginning, don’t get me wrong I wanted my weight gone but honestly I found I had no energy and with a little one around that just didn’t work for me! Besides that, I LOVE FOOD! Far too much to restrict myself in this way.
- I ate clean food – I decided I would simply eat ‘normal’ food, by this I mean no processed meals, no ready meals, nothing re-constituted, just good wholesome food. By this I mean food in its purest form, fruits, vegetables, grains etc.
- I educated myself – let me tell you this was a big game changer for me when I began to read what ingredients were in the food we all eat every day. I didn’t even know what half the words meant – and I was consuming this. As I mentioned I love my food and I knew if I got fed up with boring meals I would stray, so I set off on a bit of a mission and purchased a lot of recipe books (I will share which I have loved most on an upcoming post) Doing this has changed the way our family eats for good.
- I meal planned – with a little one and a busy lifestyle making meals from scratch can be a huge ask, but with everything I knew I couldn’t go back to eating how I was so I got super organised. I make granola ready for the week ahead with a ton of yummy healthy ingredients (that my little boy goes mad for!) so breakfast was taken care of. For evening meals, my hubby and I chose some things we wanted to make during the week and we purchased specifically for these meals and I always make sure I have whole-wheat bread, wraps and pita bread in for easy lunches.
- I started to view food as fuel – I rarely eat food that has no nutritional benefit, I want everything that I put in my body to have a purpose and make me function more efficiently. That’s not to say if we go out out with friends or family for Sunday lunch that I wont have desert! I’m partial to the odd chocolate brownie – but its not often. Everything in moderation.
- I never punished myself – some weeks I didn’t loose weight, and that’s ok. I was totally ok with that, like I mentioned above I knew scales were hit and miss so as long as over a few week period I felt my weight loss was going in the direction I was happy.
- I stopped drinking alcohol – I have never been a huge drinker at all but I don’t mind the odd glass of red on a Friday night occasionally. I just found it was undoing my work in the week so as I’d never been that fussed anyway I cut it out while I was focused on my target.
- I moved more – nothing major, i’m not a huge gym lover so I did this in the form of HIIT work outs on YouTube in 20 minute intervals – this fit in with my schedule well. We are also an active family which helps, we love going on big walks of a weekend and exploring our local National Trust properties and I felt every bit helped.
- I took my time – I believe doing this is the reason for my success, I didn’t rush it and I didn’t punish myself, in my case slow and steady has won the race. It made this a lifestyle change and not a diet.
So why have I shared this, well I guess I’m proud of the journey and what I have learned. My weight loss was about so much more than how I looked. Every woman of every shape is beautiful. For me it became about health and my mind-set. Before I lost my weight food controlled me, the relationship was unhealthy. Now that link is broken and I control it, and its liberating. I’m healthier, happier and genuinely have more energy than ever and guess what, I still LOVE food!