When I was getting married, I lost about 6 stone in a year. It was a hard, hard year, and I remember a lot of emotion, a lot of eating foods I really did not like, and hating myself every time I didn’t follow the diet plan I was on. I didn’t it the target I had been aiming for. But I got close. I look at the wedding photos and I like them. It was a happy day.
The next few years consisted of pregnancy and breastfeeding, and a diet plan didn’t really feature. The weight came off, because of habits I had established with Slimming World, eating mostly “green” each day, but I was busy and running around, and so food wasn’t a worry. It was only after my 3rd child, when that last stone of baby weight didn’t seem to shift after a year, that I got stressed and something snapped. I look back now and realise I was fine. But changing a way of eating, and living with depression. It was not a good combination. Suddenly I was losing and lost a lot quickly.
Of course, the deprivation hit me. I had not established good long term habits, I had been starving myself for the goal of loss on the scales. It wasn’t healthy. I passed out in a restaurant once as my blood sugar was so low. Ridiculous now I look back.
But that was 7 years ago, and 7 years has taught me a lot.
For instance, when I would lose a significant amount quickly, that significant amount would return equally quickly. I would lose and gain a stone, then gain the extra weight on top. My weight increased over those years. In spite of the hypnotherapy. In spite of the herbalife. In spite of the Slimfast. In spite of the juicing. Because they all, in some way, forced a way of limiting food and restricting what or how I should eat. And since discovering Intuitive Eating, the deprivation felt all the more keen. The deprivation felt harsher when I read there was an alternative way to live.
But 7 years has allowed me to experiment, and become more in tune with myself. I am finding a way of being able to lose weight with the help of the Slimming World plan, but I am doing it with far more kindness and acceptance than ever before. A significant loss on the scales means nothing if my week has been full of deprivation and annoyance and not eating something or drinking something I wanted. And so my syns will exceed the 15 a day at times, and I will look at ways of eating more healthsome foods at mealtimes to allow myself to benefit from those to perhaps compensate for the excess. But a loss that is slow is still a loss. And 11.5 months on from starting Weight Watchers, I am nearly 3 stone lighter. I have achieved and maintained a significant loss, while still enjoying food and drink and social occasions!
I have lost nearly 3 stone in the time it takes some people to lose 6 or even 8. But in losing slowly, I am coming to terms with how different my body shape is. I can accept and get used to the different curves and abilities and it is not a drastic shock. A size 20 to a size 16 is a significant loss and and there is a significant difference. A bigger bounce in my step, a desire to look my best at nearly all times, not feeling exhausted after every little thing. No hiding under big tent like dresses and play suits and kaftans. I wear items that emphasise a waist, and show off my more shapely legs. I enjoy my body now and I enjoy dressing it.
It may take me another year to lose the next 3 stone. And I am content with that. I may not be a size 14 this Christmas. Will Christmas be drastically affected if I don’t lose a single pound between now and Christmas? Will it affect how I cook a turkey, and whether I roast the spuds in goose fat? Not a chance!
But I have found a way of losing weight that fits in to my lifestyle, and it’s the slow path, but it’s a path that works for me. And it’s progress