Today’s task: Discuss something difficult about your “lot in life” and how you’re working to overcome it
To be honest I’ve not really got anything that bad to complain about in my life. I mean yes I’ve lost people, I go through days of loathing my job, yes actually loathing, and of course I wish I had a bit more disposable income. But that’s no different than everyone else, nothing really that I’ve needed to overcome. However, there is one area in my life which I’ve been working hard on for the last year or so, it’s not something to do with my ‘lot in life’ but instead it’s something that I inflicted on myself. Perhaps it doesn’t strictly fit into today’s task but nonetheless it’s what I’m going to talk about as it’s something that I’m still working hard on to overcome.
When I was about 12 I started to get chubby and I was no longer the skinny, freckley, scabby kneed girl I’d been. I don’t know what the trigger was for this – I suspect secondary school as I don’t take well to change and there was suddenly a vending machine full of crunch bars, munchies and fox mints on my school campus. Ever since then I’ve always been overweight/obese, I never really thought much about is as while I’m definitely one who lives to eat rather than eating to life, I was also very active in the school rounders, hockey and netball teams. This active lifestyle stopped when I was at university and I’ve never really been good at exercise ever since and yet my food intake never slowed time, infact it probably increased. This meant that by the beginning of 2012 I was at my heaviest weight and officially obese. If I’m honest I was way into the obese category, much to my shame. The crazy thing is that even though I’ve clearly been overweight for a long time, I never thought anything of it. I just thought that was how I was meant to be – that’s my build. I never considered that there was a reason why I couldn’t always get clothes to fit in normal shops. I felt like it wasn’t a big thing, it just was.
I’m not sure what spurred me in to action last January or what it was that made me stop this slightly self destructive path I was on, it was as if there was suddenly a light bulb moment and I thought hang on I’m better that this. My life doesn’t need to be this way. Ever since that January I’ve been working my ass off (literally) to change my lifestyle and to be totally honest it’s not been as hard as I thought. The key thing to note is that there hasn’t been a quick fix or easy solution either, I was determined to change my entire lifestyle so that it was manageable and possible for me to keep to. In my mind I knew there was no point in starting something if I wasn’t going to be able to maintain it for the rest of my life. So diets like 5/2, Weight Watchers, et al were out. This had to be something I could do for the rest of my life and that allowed me to eat whatever I wanted. So the answer was simple: eat less, exercise more. I know that sounds ridiculous but to be honest it’s so obvious that what’s the point in doing anything else?
Once I’d made the decision I downloaded the My Fitness Pal app and the couch to 5k app and began. That first week was a novelty, but the second week was hard. Suddenly going to eating just 1200 calories when I’d easily been eating three times that each day was a shock but I did it and when the scales reflected the hard work I was ecstatic. I could see the results instantly. It definitely helped that Lau and I were in this together, so we could encourage and push one another, plus we would stop each other buying biscuits or bad stuff at the shop. Over the last year and a bit I’ve kept it up and whilst I’ve had moments (or weekends) where I have slipped and had a blow out, the next day I’ll be back on track and I honestly now wonder how I’d eat what I did in a day. The key thing has been eating the food I love, but restricting the amount, realising a correct portion of pasta or rice was eye opening as I’d been eating three times that and thinking that was normal. Now I eat a normal size portion and I’m full – I honestly think it’s just about trying it and seeing how you feel.
Seeing my body change and become something I can proud of, being able to complete a 10k, having to buy an entirely new wardrobe and getting loads of compliments from friends and family about how well I’ve done, how great I look and how skinny I’ve got really helps. That’s when I know that actually it’s been worth it all and I’m proud of my new lifestyle. Now I can look back to 15 months and almost three stone ago and think yes I was unhealthy and obese, but now I’m happier, healthier and I’ve become a better person. A person that I’m proud to be, as I’m honestly not sure I can say that about the person I was for the 10 years or so before.
Wow, that was actually quite cthartic, to discuss something that I’m still working on to overcome, even if it was something I did to myself. Writing it all done reminds me of what I’ve achieved and fingers crossed it’ll spur me on to get to my goal, as it’s still a little way off!