Heaviest Weight: 15st 3lbs
Last known weight: 8st 10lbs.
As a kid I had always been overweight and as a teenager that didn’t change. In all honesty I had become so comfortable with being the ‘funny, fat one’ that I was completely in denial about the extent of the damage I was causing to my body.
I ate without thinking - what I wanted, when I wanted; anything from takeaways, to loaves upon loaves of bread, chocolate and cakes. A favourite treat was to microwave cheese sandwiches until the cheddar oozed out the side and dip it in lashings of thick mayonnaise.
Thinking back to how poorly I was treating my body, makes me feel shudder, but as anyone with a weight problem will know it’s easier to ignore the problem to face it.
I avoided mirrors, taking full-length photographs and was always reassured by my mum constantly telling me I had a ‘thin and pretty face’. In reality I was tipping the scales at an alarming 15 stone 3, squeezing into size 18 clothes and hiding behind big baggy cardigans and hoodies.
The turning point for me was during travelling around
when a group of hot surfers hurtled past me in the car. Never one for being shy,
I threw them my most confident smile. Australia
Instead of responding with wolf-whistles and admiration one of the boys shouted ‘Hey Fatty!’ in my direction and was met by a chorus of laughter from the rest of the car.
As my eyes stung with tears, I tried to keep it together for the rest of my walk to the beach, but it was too late. I looked down at my rolls of fat billowing out of my shorts and realised - ignoring my problem wasn’t making it go away, and every day I ignored my health, my weight was ballooning and my body was suffering. Something had to be done.
Over the last four years I have completely turned my life around. It has been a long hard struggle and at times I had such an overwhelming urge to revert to old habits but deep down I knew I had to get healthy - my future depended on steering away from obesity and the strain I was putting on my heart.
I began with joining a gym and doing stints of cardio on the treadmill and cross-trainer. Like most women, I was always very scared of the weights and presumed that they would leave me with giant manly muscles. Oh how wrong I was! My fitness regime now consists of 5/6 days a week of 1 hour weight training with small bursts of High Intensity cardio to finish. This isn't something that works for everyone and I am not suggesting you begin with as an intense regime. It's all about what works for you and lots of late night online research and talking to a lot of people on social networking sites has helped me to mold my fitness plan into an effective fat burning tool.
I've ditched the fast food and sugary snacks for lean protein meals (chicken, fish, turkey), lots of yummy green vegetables, healthy fats (avocado, oily fish, nuts and seeds) and healthy carbohydrates (sweet potato and oats)
I know - easier said than done right?! But once you start eating healthily it's amazing how much your energy and happiness increases! And once the results start coming, so does the drive to carry on.
I never feel like I'm on a diet anymore, I eat lots of little meals throughout the day and genuinely enjoy the foods I eat. A healthy lifestyle is as exciting and as colourful as you make it, and I'm often experimenting with different foods to keep me excited and motivated to succeed. (see recipe section)
When I last weighed myself I weighed in at 8stone 3lbs - having lost a total of 7 stone. I have recently stopped weighing myself and now judge my progress on what I see in the mirror. Since muscle weighs more than fat I am now concentrating on being healthy and active rather than being obsessed with being 'skinny'. Strong is the new sexy after all!
Some people lose weight very quickly, and others take much longer to change their habits. One of the best pieces of advice I was ever told during my journey is 'its a marathon, not a sprint'. You aren't going on a diet, you are changing your lifestyle into a healthy and happier one.
The word 'diet' implies restrictions, bans and a temporary fix, don't tell yourself you can't have things because believe me you'll want them more. It's about asking yourself 'do I want this chocolate more than I want to be healthy' and chances are the answer will always be 'no.'
Taste is temporary but the guilt will last, and eventually there will come a time where the cravings disappear and you learn to love eating right, exercising well and transforming yourself for the better. My journey has been four years long so far, and for many that is a long time, but I have completely changed my lifestyle for the long-term and so can you!