Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Halfway along the road

I was the fat girl at school. Actually, that's not fair as I suspect I was merely overweight, but sadly, I saw myself as fat. The first time I dealt with my weight, I was away at University. I lost weight but I took it way too far. At one stage, I was 8st7 - and I'm 5 ft 8  tall. I did it by eating very little, but also by doing running (which I hate). And when I started eating normally again, I put weight back on.

I think I struggled with my weight after that point until 2002. I had been various different sizes but at that point, I felt bigger than I had done in a long time and even my fat clothes were getting tight. Something clicked in my head, I ate carefully, neither too little nor too much, and exercised regularly. I really got into doing classes and got down to a size 12 from roughly a size 18. Don't ask me how much I lost as I don’t generally weigh myself but I reckon on 3-4 stone. I weighed myself once when I was a size 12 and was 10st 4.

After that, I maintained for 2 years - and then I got pregnant. I exercised regularly during Monkey's pregnancy - I was even at class 5 days overdue! Once he was born, I knew things would change and they did. I did go back after a few months but I got pregnant again quickly. I struggled much more this time so had to stop.

Since Missy Woo landed, I have fallen off so many wagons that I have lost count. I don't think I was actually all that big after she was born, but the weight never came off - if anything, it has piled. I tried several times to get going again and I've either been thwarted by childcare or injury. I kept getting muscle injuries in my back, neck or shoulder - seemingly caused by having two pregnancies close together. Every time something happened, I would be advised to rest for a couple of weeks and that would turn into 4 or 8 or even 12 before I started again.

I hated it, and hated myself. Last year was the worst. We went away early in the year and I avoided having my photo taken where possible. I also have pictures of me at a family wedding last July and I think I look hideous. There is no picture of me without a small child in front of me for protection. I wore a last minute desperation purchase dress that I could get it on but the fit was appalling.

I started my weight loss journey this time in February 2010. Again, something in my head just clicked and I know I can do it. It is still hard - trying to fit it all around children , feeding them etc. It's taking longer - I know I was not quite as big was I was in 2002, I'm 6 months in and I'm still not where I'd like to be - but then my life is very different to how it was back then. I view slip ups very differently now  - I just get straight back on track whereas before one slip up could turn into ten very easily.

The other day, I was getting a bit fed up because I am not yet a size 12, so I took a photo of myself. I've compared it to the "before" pictures – from the holiday and the wedding - and I think there is a difference. I am a size 14 now but an unfortunate side effect of two pregnancies for me seems to be that someone thinks I should have Dolly Parton sized proportions in the chest department. They don't seem to be shrinking as fast as the rest of me so I may never get to wear my lovely size 12 tops again. *sob*

Being the self-critical sort that I am, I have cringingly shown these pictures to a few people for unbiased opinions and the reaction has mostly been "Wow!" which I'm taking to be a good sign. I'm putting them here as a record of my progress, and to remind me to keep going at weaker moments. Looking at the pictures, I think "not bad" but also that I have a way to go. There might have been a bit of stomach sucking going on and dark tops do hide a multitude of sins. I have seen other pictures of me from only a few months back and I think I look huge, but then I am never going to be a stick thin lollipop.

January 2009
July 2009
August 2010


So here I am. Halfway along the road, maybe a little bit more, who knows? I don't want to go back to how I was last year so I am proud of how far I've come. I am not about to start to think that I've done the job, and I have got to keep going. I am determined to be healthy and happy, both on the outside and from within. And yes, I do still eat cake, just not every day. Life is too short not to have the occasional treat. It keeps you sane, and I find that complete denial just does not work for me.

Onwards and upwards, huh? 

38 comments:

  1. Well done you. Definite progress from the evidence in those pictures. Looking good, lady. :-)

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  2. Wow, what a difference, me too, i am half way along my road. I have lost 33lb in a year and just back from my holiday (where I gained 6lbs) but I am now back on the plan. Remember, it's a marathon not a sprint. and if you have a bad day, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start again tomorrow. good luck xx Granny

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  3. Oh well done you! It isn't realistic to aim for what we were pre-children, some genetically fortunate people do manage it seemingly effortlessly but they are in the minority. I think you look fabulous in ALL your pics. I agree that you do have blinking large boobs - but there are definitely worse afflictions to have! I think you need to allow for the extra weight of your lovely chest when considering how much you weigh... I would kill for hips the size of yours lady :o) xxx

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  4. Well done You! How are you doing it? following a diet or just being sensible? you look absolutely fab. I agree about expectations of being the size of years ago. I'm having to come to terms with being nearly 60 & not as sprightly as I was therefore not going to shift those extra few pounds easily. Well done!!

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  5. Thank you so much. I was a bit dubious about posting these pix but that's just me, I guess.

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  6. Thanks Granny! You're doing amazing too and a 6lb loss over a holiday usually goes again pretty quick as a lot of it is water. And yes, I do just get straight back on it if I have a bad day. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

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  7. Thanks L! I am really not bothered what the scales say (I don't weigh myself because I got obsessed with weighing in my early 20s and put me in not a healthy place) - it's more to do with size and how my clothes fit.

    As for my hips, I think I've managed to get my good side. ;) The face-on rear view wouldn't be as pretty. :o Some way to go there.

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  8. Well done, you are making great progress. It is all about lifestyle change rather than diet and you look amazing

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  9. Hi Julia, thanks for your comment. I aim to eat about 500 calories less than I need but I do get occasionally lazy with logging food etc. Generally, I try to be sensible rather than follow any mad diet. I know enough about it (Nutrition was one of my 3 final year degree subjects..) to know that most diets work by restricting your calorie intake rather than any quack medical claims.

    I would just love to fit into some of my old clothes. I have some lovely ones I'd love to wear again.

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  10. Thanks love. It is about overall lifestyle change, I agree. The exercise is key for me - in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't have as much effect on overall weight loss, but if I'm regularly working out, I *feel* healthier and I take more care over what I eat. If that makes sense. I'm aware that the more I comment on these, the weirder I sound. :D

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  11. You look fantastic. I really admire you doing this journey and wish I could find the willpower to do it too. I have been a size 16 for a few years now. Unfortunately, one of the side effects of my medication is weight gain and it's shown, even though I don't drink, don't eat chocolate, never drink or eat caffeine. I don't get much exercise which is part of my battle but I do need to change. Well done.

    CJ xx

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  12. Very Bored in Catalunya17 August 2010 at 15:53

    I Think you look fab! It is a long road, my own progress seems to be one step forward and two back but you're right that exercise is definitely key.

    Hang in there and buy clothes that flatter you're figure, preferably tailored as they tend to take pounds of you.

    xx

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  13. Wow, you look amazing and I'm honestly not just saying that. I definitely wouldn't say you looked overweight now at all. Now I'd just say you have to get a place that you are happy with. You seem to have the same view on weight loss as me. If you eat less and exercise more then you'll eventually lose weight. My main problem is snacking during the day but I am doing much better these days at resisting the urge for a biscuit. But I also think that life's meant to be fun and if you can't have a bit of cake once in a while where's the fun in that!

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  14. You look great. You're definitley a good advertisement for regular exercise and a sensible diet. I read your blog so I know you eat well. Quite inspirational, actually. Well done.

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  15. What a fantastic post, it is the honesty with which you write which really drew me in. I personally think you look fantastic, curves in all the right places!

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  16. Well done to you for keeping at it. I can really see the progress in the pictures. Wish I could be a bit more disciplined but find it so hard when I am constantly preparing food for the toddler. What are you doing... following a diet?

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  17. Hi CJ, thanks for the comment. The medication really can't help you. As I've said numerous times, the exercise doesn't have that big an impact but it does help me to get in the right frame of mind. There used to be a brilliant PT guy who used to dispense free advice on a discussion board I used to visit and his fave expression was "You can never outrun your mouth". In other words, they go hand in hand really. You can do the diet without the exercise but you can't just do the exercise without the diet. The battle is making the changes so I wish you best of luck in that. K x

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  18. hello PP. Thanks for the lovely comment, I really appreciate it. I find it easier not to have biscuits in the house most of the time, and anyway, try to keep them away from the children although I find I get so far in that I am far less tempted but in the early weeks, it's best to keep them away or just have a bad day then ignore them all over again.. but yes, cake every now and then is must!

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  19. hi, thanks for the comment. I'll try to buy tailored stuff, but it works out more expensive for brassic mummies like us. ;)

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  20. Wow! Well done you and very well done for posting! I have to admit to being mightily jealous of those FABULOUS boobs! You look terrific and it's great that you are doing it the slow but sure sensible way. Just fab. x

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  21. Hi Kirsty, thanks for your visit and lovely comment. I'm very humbled that you think I'm inspirational - I am me and do my best but I regularly fall flat on my face. :D

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  22. Hello Nathalie. :) Thanks for your lovely comments. I know from past experience that daft diets just don't work and I'm sure you've seen me argue against all fad diets many many times. There IS no magic bullet but people still try to find them.

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  23. hi NVT, and thanks for your comment. I am not following a "diet" as such but I try to aim to eat 500 calories less than I need a day. When I'm being ultra strict, I log all my food on http://www.foodfocus.co.uk which is free to register and use. But I eat everything - just some things in moderation otherwise I know that this can lead to cravings.

    I know what you mean about preparing food tho - was very like that when mine were smaller. They largely help themselves now and luckily eat lots of fruit.

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  24. You look fantastic. It's hard to get back into a fitness (or any other kind of) routine after having a baby and too much pressure around to snap back into shape. I was very fit before I was pregnant, had SPD so couldn't excercise through my pregnancy and really struggled. Every time I tried to get fit again after having my daughter I'd get tonsilitis. It's important to listen to your body, as you suggest here. Good luck with being healthy and happy! It's those things that are important, not looking just the same as you did before babies. (I have to keep reminding myself of that!)

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  25. Chris, you make me laugh as always. You probably wouldn't be quite so jealous if you had to buy bras and swimwear for these boobs - they cost a flipping fortune!

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  26. I think you look great in all the pictures but the big difference that I can see is that you look so much more confident in the recent picture (no glasses or children to hide behind). And the way you feel positive about yourself really comes through in your writing.

    More than anything, that is what I think is a fantastic achievement.

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  27. Hello, thanks for your comment. :) I agree, routine is the hardest thing to achieve with babies around. I never bothered about the pressure to get back in shape. The pressure was all internal rather than feeling I should look like anyone else. I ignore those daft "I was back in my jeans in 3 days" sleb articles. I may have had mild SPD second time but never diagnosed but all that relaxin doesn't help close together and think it was that that was causing the injuries. But even then - last summer, I was starting again and I tripped over outside school and twisted my ankle which stuffed me for a couple of weeks. Arrrgh.

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  28. Thank you so much and yes, you are right. A lot of the changes are internal rather than external but lots of women's self esteem is tightly bound to their appearance. I know men find that frustrating sometimes but it's so true. I never felt as brilliant as when I lost weight in 2002.
    (And I still hide behind those glasses, they're great; cost me a whole 5 euros in Albufeira!!)

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  29. Oh my god you look amazing well done you. Don't lose too much more, men like curves, at least mine does anyway. I'll be following your progress. X

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  30. Thanks so much! Don't worry, I won't lose too much more - my goal is a size 12 and I will still have curves. With my bust, I don't think there's much chance of losing them. LOL

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  31. Thank you on both fronts. I took a bit of a risk, yes. I'm glad I did and it gives me something else to compare to as time moves on.

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  32. Wow, you look great!! You look healthy and beautifully proportioned, and that bra does great things for you :-) You're an inspiration, I'm at the point where my fat clothes are too tight..trying to find motivation...hopefully this is it! Thanks for posting!

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  33. Thanks so much Eileen. I got a proper bra fitting a few weeks back and it certainly helps on the bra front. I'm very humbled that people think I am inspirational but that also helps me to stick at what I'm doing and keep going.

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  34. Massive well done on your weight loss and on having the courage to post your pics. I think you look fab. Keep going... Mich x

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  35. Thanks very much, Michelle. That's very kind of you. I certainly feel a lot better in myself about this tho I was having a wobble last week and needed to be reminded of how far I've come. Which kind of led into the post. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

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  36. You look fab! And, the same thing happened to me after three pregnancies -- I went from a B cup to a rather ample D.

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  37. I started bigger than a D. :o Let's not go further with that!

    And thanks for the lovely comment. :)

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