Alright, let's get a little serious. Over the last few years, health has become a really big deal. It can often be quite controversial and there have definitely been a lot of arguments over it, but however you feel about it, it's certainly one of the biggest topics discussed at the moment. Lately, I've had quite a lot of friends come up to me and ask me how I did it. How did I lose the weight? I thought I'd share my story with you.
Recently (well, over the last year and a half) I lost around 20kg. Whenever I say that out loud, I'm not quite sure how I feel about it. Obviously, it is a lot of weight. If someone else told me they had just lost 20kg I would be totally impressed and proud of them. Sure, I feel a lot healthier, my clothes fit me better and I've gone down a couple of sizes but I don't really feel any different. Everyone treats me the same (except for when they tell me how great I look - thanks team) and my boyfriend still loves me as much as he did when I was at my heaviest.
Maybe we should start at the beginning. It's going to sound pretty familiar, I'm sure you've all heard a similar kind of story before. Girl is born. Girl gets a little heavy. Girl is always one of the biggest in the class. Girl gets bullied.
The thing that's different, is that I've always had great self esteem. This story is not about me feeling disgusted/ashamed/without confidence because of my body. My size never got me down until I was at my heaviest and that was more because I felt unhealthy, rather than fat. I have my beautiful Mum to thank for that. I'm so lucky to have her. She made sure that those bullies words didn't effect me, that I still wore the clothes that I wanted to wear, that I still took part in whatever I wanted to do.
I started doing ballet when I was about three. Even then, at three, being big was already starting to take it's toll. My ballet teacher told my Mum that I was never going to do well because of my size. From there, Mum decided that ballet wasn't for me. I went on to tap for a bit and then spent about ten years doing Jazz. Dance was definitely one of my passions. Hello, I pretty much spent my whole life dancing. Being a bigger girl surrounded by petite dancers wasn't as much of a challenge as you might think it would be. I was pretty good at dancing, and it definitely gave me a lot of confidence when I was doing well and scoring top exam marks. I wasn't silly though. I was well aware that my costumes were bigger, that I was larger than the other girls, but I honestly didn't care. I loved dancing and I was happy.
Slowly, as I started going through puberty, my body started changing. Dancing wasn't as fun as it was before because I had to lug more around. Boobs and hips got in the way and prevented my body from moving as it used to. I also started high school and wasn't as active as I used to be. It all got a little to hard, I stopped enjoying it and eventually dropped out. I wasn't upset about it. You do grow out of things and not everyone is made or even wants to be a dancer forever.
Soon I started at the design school where I got my diploma and eventually got a job. That's when it all seemed to go down hill. I hadn't realised how much dancing had helped me maintain the weight/body/shape I was and once I stopped, everything changed. I joined a gym while I was working but I found that it wasn't really for me. I just didn't enjoy it. I carried on eating the same food and because I wasn't exercising as much, the weight started piling on. It was a pretty slow progress, and I never truly noticed what was happening.
In August 2012, I jumped on the scales at a hospital (I never really weighed myself, Mum never allowed a scale in the house) and couldn't believe the number I saw. 101. 101kg. I looked at Rob and while he covered it well, I knew he was shocked as well. It clicked how naive I had been. Here I was, eating takeaways nearly twice a week with Rob, doing next to no exercise and just expecting that I would always stay the same. Sure my clothes were tighter but I had never really thought about why.
I decided then and there that things were going to change. I stopped eating takeaways, I was a bit more careful with my portion sizes and I decided that I was getting back on the "running" bandwagon. While I was dancing, I was walking daily and eventually I started running part of the routes rather than walking the whole way. I found that running improved my fitness quite a lot and thought that it would be a good place to start. I decided to start with AMileADay challenge. Basically, all you have to do is run a mile a day. Pretty simple right? Well, it wasn't. I don't think I ever finished a whole week of miles. The first mile, I didn't even make it the whole way. It took me about a month to finally get up to running the whole mile. But that didn't even matter to me. I had started. I had started changing my habits and begun a healthier lifestyle.
While I failed my AMileADay challenge, I definitely have it to thank for my success. Without this goal, I don't know if I would have kept up running. Motivating yourself is hard, especially at the beginning when you are starting from the bottom. I know it as well as anyone. I also started boxing, which is something I never thought I would try, and have just started getting into weights. I think it's so important to find a form of exercise (or two or three!) that you enjoy. If you don't enjoy it, you won't want to do it. Pretty simple really.
I wanted to share my story because I feel like it's a little different from other "weightloss" stories out there. I never started this journey because I wanted to lose weight. I started it because I was unhealthy and unfit and wanted to change. To be completely honest, the weightloss has been a bonus. I didn't jump on some crazy diet. I didn't see a personal trainer every week or push myself to the point of vomiting. I dropped the takeaways, stopped eating so much crap and ran.
It's weird. I can't even remember what it felt like to be bigger. At the time, I think my confidence was a little down, but it wasn't awful. I didn't hate myself. I didn't stop looking at my reflection in the mirror. I wore the same outfits, the same length shorts. I even wore a bikini and I still felt happy. Being where I am though, feels natural. It feels like this is where I'm supposed to be. I'm happier because I know that if I had to run after one of Rob's niecephews (it's a word I made up, I'm sure you can figure it out haha) I knew that I wouldn't be out of breath. When I go into Glassons, I know that I'll fit their sizes. If my friend suggested that we go for a walk, I know I could make it the whole way without collapsing. Being healthy feels awesome. And the best thing about it, is that you don't have to do anything drastic. Cut out the rubbish that you eat but don't need, and get outside and go for a walk. It's a start, and I guarantee it's worth it.
If you have any other questions for me feel free to email me at email@example.com. Also, if you are feeling courageous and want to start somewhere, check out our 365 Miles Over Days challenge. Obviously you'd be a little behind, but it's a great goal and there are some awesome people who are doing it with us. Being a part of a community definitely helps. Having like minded people who are supporting you and what you're doing definitely gets you pumped and motivated. I believe in you. Go get it.