I keep putting off writing this post, I don’t know why but I’ve found it difficult to write. Maybe part of that is admitting that I was really unhappy with how I looked, admitting to the world that I was overweight and it was all my own doing. I just wanted to feel happy when I looked in the mirror. It has also been a very personal thing for me which can be a little bit scary to share, but at the same time I want to write about it as it has been a big part of the last year of my life.
Starting from the beginning: in June last year my husband took the below photo of me. We had been sent a lovely Ergo Baby carrier to review and I knew I would need some photos. It was super hot and I was feeling really uncomfortable, I kept trying to cover up but it was just too warm. When I came to edit the photos my stomach sank and I just couldn’t feel happy with the images. If I’m honest it was the wake up call I needed! I initially lost weight after having the twins but it had started to creep back on all over again. I remember buying that stripy vest top in a size 18 and expecting it to be a little loose, which it wasn’t! It was time to change and I knew that I was ready to do something about it.
I spoke to my husband and said I just had to go back to Slimming World, that I wasn’t happy with how I looked and I really needed to make some changes in my lifestyle. He has always been incredibly supportive of me however I looked but it doesn’t help your relationship when your own self esteem is low. It wasn’t just about my appearance, I felt uncomfortable; I lost confidence whenever we went out. I hated being like that in front of my boys, feeling tired and achy. I didn’t want them to see me unhappy with myself or not being able to run after them: chasing them around and playing with them the way I should be.
I have been to Slimming World in the past. When I first moved in with my husband I put a lot of weight on. It was a bit of a low period for me, my parents were going through a divorce which led to my relationship with my Father breaking down. I definitely used food as a comfort and it’s only now that I’ve realised just how much I have always done that. I initially lost weight for our wedding but I still wasn’t a size I was 100% happy with. After having Lucas I went back again but I knew we’d be having more children in the future so I didn’t put everything into it. This time I really felt like it was it, I was ready to change. There was nothing in particular I was doing it for, no event or holiday. This was just something I wanted desperately to do. I was fed up of looking through my wardrobe in despair, still wearing maternity clothes because they were comfortable. I avoided mirrors, I didn’t want to be in any photos even with the boys because I didn’t like looking at them.
I joined one day in June last year and instantly felt better. Something felt different this time and I think I’ve finally adopted the idea that this is it now, this is the food I want to eat. And not only that but this is the food I enjoy. I’ve lost just over 3 stone now and I have another few pounds to go until my final target is reached. In 10 months I’ve gone from a size 16/18 to a 10/12. I’ve completely changed my relationship with food: I’ve always cooked homemade meals and they’ve always been pretty healthy but for me personally I need to go and get weighed each week to keep me going. It stops me from over indulging on chocolate and wine. I now have my little treats when I really want them rather than just eating them because they are there. I’ll buy us a couple of slices of cake, a bottle of wine or little bars of chocolate rather than gorging on the naughty stuff. My real weakness is pizza and if I want it I’ll damn well have it! There is no sense depriving yourself but I have to be prepared not to lose weight that week. And that really is fine – this is the first time I’ve seen this as being just how I eat, how I will always eat. Some days/weeks maybe won’t be so great and that’s okay because I will always get back on it.
I’m pleased with my size now but I have a little way to go with toning. So far my only exercise has been walking to pre-school with Lucas – I reckon I do about four miles each day – and a Zumba class once a week. I’m ready to try something a little more challenging now, maybe Yoga or Pilates. My stomach, quite rightly, bears signs of a twin pregnancy and c-section so my final goal would be to tone that up, but as for my weight and dress size, I’m perfectly happy with where I am right now.
Surprisingly, or at least it has been to me, the thing I love the most about the weight loss is not the physical appearance but it’s how I feel. I have so much more energy, I feel like I can run and play chase with the boys and I can make it up the stairs without getting out of breath. My knees and my back no longer ache and I feel like I have a spring back in step. It’s just how I want my boys to see me, to remember me, as someone fun, who was confident and happy in herself.
That has been the most remarkable thing that this new healthy lifestyle has brought me. It doesn’t make you instantly happier to look in the mirror and see a slimmer you, in a lot of ways in my head I still think of myself as bigger. I buy size 12 clothes convinced that I will get them home and they won’t fit. I look at photos of myself and still feel surprised that I’m slimmer than the image in my head. I feel better now than I have in maybe eight years. It is hard to admit that you don’t like the look of yourself, that you really have let yourself become too overweight. To be able to reach out for the support and help can sometimes be even harder.
I haven’t shared any part of my journey on my blog or social media before because basically I’m crap under pressure. I kept it quiet from most people only telling them as they started to notice the changes. This was something I just wanted to do for myself and I feel proud of what I’ve achieved so it finally felt right to share. I have been putting off sharing this story for months as writing about weight loss is such an emotive subject for me. Being a bigger woman has been so linked into my personality for so long I kind of feel like I’m finding out about myself all over again. I find it hard to look back at these photos but I try not to look at them with regret. I’ve made the changes now and it has made the world of difference to me, I feel healthy and I’m starting to feel truly happy in my own skin.