I’ve always been what, I suppose in politcally correct terms, you would call ‘big’. I was a dumpy little toddler plodding about in dunagrees and Doc Martins. I was a kid with ‘puppy fat’ to spare. I was a teenager carrying a few extra pounds and then, I was just a woman with a weight problem. An over weight, morbidly so, problem.
Given my rotund start in life I always felt I would grow out of it and, I rporbably would have but, children can be so cruel and, round about the time where I would have naturally started loosing weight I didn’t because, unbeknownst to me, I was comforting eating rather than talking about the fact that I was being bullied.
From primary school through to secondary school I was picked on. My friends, as a result, are a rather small group of people who I trust whole heartedly and to who looks matter not. To the wider world though looks are everything and I looked like; ‘Big’, ‘Broad’, ‘Chunky”, ‘Fat Cow’ I was even called ‘Hagrid’ at my formal in front of my whole school year.
The list was long but you get the idea! I knew I had a weight problem and, as I went into University and left the bullies of my childhood and the mean girls of my secondary school behind I thought that my new leaf had finally turned over.
I tried, on and off and on again, I even made half-hearted attempts to go to the gym on campus. Joined weight watchers, quit, rejoined and quit again, joined a polercise class which, did shift some of the weight but after injuring myself well, that option was also out the window.
And so I kept going until there I was in my third year of University with a solid 2:1 Undergraduate degree under my ever expanding belt. As the depression set in I started to convince myself that I was happy with my ample curves, that I didn’t mind being a bit bigger, that the weight suited me.
I told myself anything I could to just get by day to day but as I inched ever closer to 18 stone and my depression started to weigh heavier on me than the extra weight I was carrying.
Living away from home as I took on a MA that, inexplicably broke me, was when I started reaching the point of no return. By the end of 2012, when I’d finally moved back home for Christmas I was 18st and miserable.
Now, I will say this, what I put myself through to reel back from the brink hasn’t been easy, or steady. I’m probably not as dedicated as I ought to be having suffered for so long but I take great pride in knowing I did something that I said to myself; “Fuck this!” and made a change.
It wasn’t a diet and having tried them all, every pill, shake and ‘quick fix’ going I knew what I had to do needed to be maintainable, permanent and above all things ongoing.
Although I’ve dropped down to the weight I was in secondary school I know I have a long way to go yet. Every day is a battle, sometimes I win, sometimes I loose. I learn from my mistakes and try harder. The days I succeed I use to motivate myself to keep going.
What I decided to do was overhaul my very lifestyle. To make positive changes that would give me the results I desired to painfully.
I joined a gym – cliché I know – but I was excited about the thought of having to go somewhere to exercise, of setting time aside in my week to go and train and joining the gym I remain a member of really did help me. It was there I got involved in a weightloss course that promised to help where all others failed and it was there I met a personal trainer who would see me right and become a great pillar of strength as I struggled onward.
The six week weightloss course helped me see all the mistakes I was making when it came to what I was eating and the personal trainer I now call a friend showed me great, effective ways to train that I found immensely enjoyable as well as exhausting.
As 2013 trudged on, so did I. I started to get more and more engaged in my weight-loss journey and lifestyle change, more so than ever before. I set up an Instagram account to follow others loosing weight and fitness models for inspiration, I kept food diaries, I bought things I could easily use at home to train with, I downloaded apps and set myself monthly goals.
I was even counting calories but it wasn’t tedious, the food I was eating was varied, filling and delicious. It was healthy.
Everything I was doing was making me feel better. Even talking about it now is stirring my motivation once more.
Inside a year I’d gone from 18st to 15st 8lbs. It was a hard slog and I am still stuck in that 15st band – I’m in a slump, something that does happen – but I’m not letting it get me down anymore. Whenever I’m at a low point and feeling fat I just have to look back at old photos or remember how good it feels trying on a smaller dress size and having it fit. Recall how good working out feels and that sweat is fat crying!
I’m not on a diet – far from it – I’m changing my very lifestyle. It’s the best thing I’ve done and if it takes me to my thirtieth birthday to get into the shape I want to be in that’s fine because I’m doing it for me, to make myself feel better and I don’t need anyone else’s opinion influencing my choices anymore.