Thursday, 17 February 2011

How did I get there and why did I turn my back on cake?


In the middle

I could sit here and try and tell you that I was extremely overweight because of genetics, or I had medical problems, but whilst that is true for some people, for me it was not. I was overweight because I ate too much and didn’t exercise enough. I was an emotional eater. Well, I still am, I just make better choices now. Whether I was celebrating or dealing with stress – I was eating.

When I was much, much younger (like 8), I was actually pretty thin and I always remember being fairly active. Coming from a continental European family, good, healthy food was always promoted. I thank my family for my love of salads and soups. But as you get older, and you start making food choices for yourself, it is easier to just eat crap. Convenience food out of the freezer, McDonalds late at night after work and pre-packed sandwiches all contributed to weight gain that I chose to ignore. Any problem, or difficult time I encountered, I dealt with by eating. Once I moved out of home, it only got worse. I didn’t bother cooking any “proper” food and then once at Uni it went even more downhill. Uni was such a busy time. Meeting new people, actually going into classes, socialising, helping to run a student society, all meant even less time to cook decent meals. Well, that’s what I told myself then. In reality, it’s crap. You can always make time to make a healthy meal (that will be a blog for another time). Breakfast was skipped, lunch was noodles and/or a sandwich and dinner was a takeaway, and in-between was a whole lot of snacking to give me energy. Nights out drinking certainly took their toll as well.  Every Monday we would go to The Ritz (we went out other nights too, this was just the “worst/best” night) and on average I would drink 6 pints of cider and countless shots of this creamy spirit thing. As if putting all that into my body wasn’t bad enough, we would then go get a takeaway, where I would have pretty much a whole pizza and a massive box full of cheesy chips covered in mayo. Of course, feeling so crap the next morning meant eating more junk food. Various challenging times I faced whilst at Uni meant always turning to food to make myself feel better, not knowing that I was actually making myself feel so much worse. So much so that I just ignored the problem and hoped everyone else would too. I was treated differently because I was “fat” and I did get horrible abuse from strangers because of my size, but that just made me want to eat more. There are so many other people who experience this, and they think that are alone. Sadly they are not. Strangers think that just because someone is overweight and vulnerable, it means you can talk to them like they have no feelings. They are not helping the situation, they just make it worse.

This is coming across a lot more “please feel sorry for me” than I had intended. Don’t feel too bad, during those couple of years at Uni that I was abusing my body, I had a blast! I met some awesome people, had some of the most memorable nights of my life, and have the scars to prove it! But, in the end, I could still have had just a good time without filling my body with junk. So, what made me turn my back on the comfort eating, late night snacking and my generally calorific life?

Well, without going into too much detail, in the winter of 2008, I had a massive health scare. 4 weeks of tests and uncertainty left me feeling so scared and so guilty that if I did get bad news, that I had possibly brought it on myself through an unhealthy lifestyle, that I vowed to change my lifestyle completely. I am thankful everyday that the news was good, and it was just a scare. Although it was an awful experience, I am grateful that it happened, as it really gave me the kick I needed to change my eating habits, start moving more and generally sorting myself out.

I told Dave what I wanted to do, and he was fully supportive, and has been ever since. Well, he benefits from it as well. A week after I got the results, we went to Gran Canaria on an all inclusive holiday where I was unable to eat. I think I was scared to put crap in my body. I ate some salad and some fruit, but that was about it. That wasn’t the healthiest way to start, but it was a kick start. That was also the holiday where Dave proposed <3. So not only did I have the incentive of improving my health, but I was going to be a bride, and I was determined not to be a fat one.

Unfortunately, a couple of months later, I started having heart problems. After having loads of tests for that and finding out what it was, I had even more of a push to sort myself out and that really was the start of my weight loss “journey”.  Over the coming blogs, I will talk about how I actually lost the weight in more details; I know a few of you have said you wanted some tips. But basically, I completely changed my diet, started swimming and doing yoga every day, cut-out takeaways and made everything from scratch. I also gave up drinking for about 6 months. I truly believe that if you have a lot of weight to lose, you can’t do it whilst drinking. It might work for some, but you are making it so much more difficult for yourself. I will blog about that at some point too.

I think most people who decide that they need to lose weight are pushed by a health scare or a negative comment from someone. But you don’t have to wait until that happens, be motivated by a success story, or by how good you feel after eating a healthy meal. You also don’t have to wait till a Monday to start your lifestyle change, it is going to be just as hard on a Wednesday as it will be on a Monday.

It is difficult seeing all these “celebrities” on the covers of magazines looking all toned and thinking it is unattainable. They have personal trainers and their own chefs to help them look good. But, know that it is attainable for you as well. It might take a bit longer, and it WILL be a challenge, but it will be the best and most rewarding challenge. This is not just aimed at people who need to lose weight. I know some people who have fantastic figures, yet have appalling diets. Everyone should eat well. It’s not just what you look like on the outside you should worry about, think about your insides too.

And on that note, I am going to post this before my lunch break is over. I still have my cous cous salad to eat.

No comments:

Post a Comment