5 years ago I had a great breakthrough in my weight loss and fitness regime. I was moseying along nicely, loving life. I had shifted over 4 stones in weight, I had a new job, I was loving my new found passion for exercise and good food. Everything was going great! Better than great, life was awesome!
Life totally sucker-punched me in the guts. I fell pregnant and unfortunately it resulted in a miscarriage. Needless to say I was distraught and felt completely lost for a long time afterwards.
When it happened I was the healthiest and fittest I had ever been. The pregnancy was a surprise, and at the time I felt like it was the most amazing gift that my husband and I had ever been given. When I miscarried I felt like my body had just let me down. I blamed myself. I took it out on myself. The shame was crippling. Ashamed that I'd had a miscarriage (I still don't know why I felt ashamed, it's like a default switch). Ashamed that the weight started piling back on, and not caring or wanting to stop it. I wanted the world to just swallow me up whole. There was nothing anyone said or did that was a comfort. I felt numb.
Often when people talk about being overweight and overeating they will tell you that they feel completely out of control, that they can't help themselves. I was the opposite, I was in complete control. In control of punishing my body, filling it full of crap, and then comforting it with the same. Trying to cure the never ending feeling of loss. I was angry, upset, grieving, and rather than deal with my emotions I tried to eat my way through them and went back to my old ways.
It took me a long time to realise that sometimes there is no explanation. Like any injury, it takes time and tlc to heal. It was only with time that I realised that I wasn't to blame, no one was, and that life had to carry on. It was time to stop punishing myself. I no longer wanted to be defined by that one event in my life or look back in years to come and regret not doing something.
It is now a few years on and a couple of months ago I was finally at a point where I felt like I was mentally ready to get myself back on track. For a longtime I put off doing anything, I knew the kind of commitment and handwork I'd put in before, just thinking about it would have me reaching for the nearest bag of crisps. But where to start? I had done this all before so it should be fairly easy...right? WRONG!
Being heavier than I had ever been before I felt panicked about what I was going to do. I needed some kind of structure/plan to get me started, so after some research I decided to go along to a local Slimming World class.
Why Slimming World? I knew a few people who had used it previously and in speaking to them it seemed like a more sensible, sustainable and freestyle approach to turning my eating habits around. Not much counting, just lots of veg, fruit and meats, changing the way that food is cooked (Fry Light mainly and staying away from oils, butters and any kind of fat). The only thing that you need to count was your treats, sugary, wheat and fatty foods really - the deadly SYNS. It worked - within two months I had made a dent and managed to drop 1.5 stone. RESULT!
As the weight started to come off I also started going to the gym again, doing exercises that I had previously enjoyed like kettlebells, body weight circuits and some light tinkering with the weights. But there was a lack of progress or structure to my workout sessions. Choosing to do what I liked and not really challenging myself, I didn't feel like I was making much headway. I was kidding myself on. Frustratingly, as soon as I started exercising my weight loss slowed down. I knew there was a better and more effective way to do things. I started looking for ways that I could streamline both my nutrition and exercise to maximise the results.
A good friend and work colleague recommended a local nutrition and fitness programme, Transformation Team Training (TTT). I went along and spoke to Simon, one of the fitness and nutrition coaches at TTT and talked about my current frustrations, previous history and what I was looking to achieve. I decided that their approach sounded like a good fit for me. They specialise in working with individuals on their nutrition and fitness to boost results. It might be the best decision I have made.
The fitness classes are monumental, for everyone, no matter what level of fitness you might be at. The coaches push everyone to work hard. I crawl up the stairs to my bed most nights after the sessions because my legs feel like wet noodles then hobble around like John Wayne for a couple of days after. It is HARD work. But you get a real sense of achievement and progression after each session.
I am just a couple of weeks into both the fitness classes and my nutrition and I am already seeing results. What I have learned so far is that consistency is key. Consistency in everything from planning what I will eat, to how much and what I will eat, from perfecting and practicing techniques in lifts, to how much I put into each sessions.
The weight loss each week is not massive, however it is moving in the right direction which is the main thing, but funnily enough I am not that bothered, I knew going into this that there was never going to be a quick fix. I know that the weight loss will come in time along with improved fitness. What is more surprising is the inches I am shifting each week. I can really feel it in my clothes which is even better than seeing the scale drop. I feel so much better, more energised, I can already feel progress in my strength, and my mood is significantly lifted. I am eating more than I ever have and I love my food again rather than seeing it as the enemy. Best of all I know that all is not lost. I can and I am turning this ship around!
This is a fresh beginning.
Forget about past failures and hangups.
Stop self-sabotaging my hard work.
Stop underestimating myself.
Have more self-belief in my abilities and how far I can push myself.
More importantly, relax and enjoy the journey.
Writing these posts really helped me stay focussed and chart my progress the last time, so here I am again, at the start of an exciting new path. I will be keeping you posted along the way!