I recently posted a #transformationtuesday post on Instagram, and> it got me thinking about my own fitness journey and> weight loss. And the incredible amount of ups and> downs. The photo I posted was 2 images 10 years apart. One was my graduation photo, taken just before I decided to make changes and> lose weight. The second was my wedding, taken June 2016. Without sounding too dramatic, this is the point in my life where everything finally fell into place. I found my happy place, and> now enjoy a healthy balanced lifestyle. You can read my post with more about that here, so I won’t repeat myself.
What I wanted to talk about today and> what that photo represented to me was how long my journey to this point took, and> how many twists and> turns there have been. I have spoken about my weight loss before and> how I am now in a happy place where I have found my balance but I have never spoken about everything I have been through and> experienced.
Where it all began…
I was overweight and> unhappy. Years of the party lifestyle at University, and> moving in with my boyfriend had led me to balloon. I didn’t realise how unhappy I really was until I had a bit of a breakdown whilst getting ready to go out. Vowing on this day to make changes.
I changed my eating habits and> followed a calorie controlled diet. Reducing my portion sizes, and> cooking everything from scratch. I also started to exercise. I had no confidence at this point though, so I turned to workout DVDs. My go to DVD was Joanna Hall’s Drop A Size For Life [DVD]. I loved the short at home workouts, that you could do alone or use as building blocks to create longer workouts. I started to see results and> felt so much happier. People commented on my weight loss and> how good I looked, this was definitely a high point.
Weight Loss Obsession
As a continued on this path, I begin to get obsessed with losing weight. Restricting myself more and> more, I exercised religiously. I remember fitting into a Size 6 dress and> still not feeling happy. I’d gone from squeezing into a size 14 to fitting easily into a size 6 and> it still wasn’t enough for me. I enjoyed the control and> the results and> I was starting down a scary path. Luckily I had friends and> family around me who noticed this, and> helped me to change my ways. I slowly put some weight on and> found a version of balance.
Ups and> Downs….
Over the next few years by weight yo-yoed up and> down quite a lot. Struggling to give up my controlled eating habits, I continued to restirct myself but also found myself indulging more often to compensate. I still exercised, having got into running this was my main focus. Still a healthy weight, the pounds had started to creep back on. It was shortly after this that I found weight training. Lifting weights changed the game. I saw my body change and> even though I was eating more my clothes fit better and> I felt great. But then the obsession kicked in. I dreamt of having abs and> being super lean, leading me to more restrictive eating and> obsessive training.
The final turning point…
The final turning point came in the run up to my wedding. As with most brides I wanted to be in the best shape of my life. I signed up to an online coaching plan. It consisted of a strict diet plan, and> lots of hardcore training. It was more than I had ever done. I really enjoyed the extra focus to my training. And seeing some weight loss again. You can read about my thoughts HERE! I was definitely in the best shape I had ever been at the end of these 12 weeks. But in hindsight I was also quite miserable. I missed social events, or took my own tupperware packed meals. My results were great but I didn’t feel this level of restriction and> training was worth it. This weight was unsustainable for me. I started to relax a little after this, and> this is when I finally found my balance. And realised that it was OK not to always be striving to look differently, and> to be happy with where I am.
A healthy lifestyle to me…
For me a healthy lifestyle is one that is sustainable, and> that you enjoy. The weight that allows you to enjoy pizza and> wine with friends occasionally, but that you still feel happy with. I have gained a few extra pounds since my wedding but I’m happy. One of my favourite ones to sum up how I feel is definitely, Body Image: Works out but definitely likes pizza!