I’ve been gone a while… but I’m making a slow comeback. 2015 was a funny old year. Actually it wasn’t really funny, but it marked the year I started to prioritise myself and my health over a lot of other things… including blogging. After a bit of umming and ahhing, I’ve decided to add another category to my blog, Health & Fitness! I’m no expert but I am learning as I go along… so here goes nothing.
Warning: I’m about to get pretty personal…
I’ve been overweight for as long as I can remember and although I always maintained I was happy/healthy/fine/insert any other generic word that fits, I was kidding myself. I was unhappy with how I looked, how I felt and how inactive I was. I joined gym after gym, went a few times a year and made excuses about why I couldn’t go… all the while paying a nice monthly donation to whichever gym I was a member of at that time. Since 2005 I’ve been a member of Healthlands, Greens, Healthlands again, DW, David Lloyd, DW again, Springs and now Nuffield (formerly Greens).
In March last year I decided it was time I made some big changes rather than burying my head further into the sand. I’d tried the 5:2 fast diet in 2014 for a little while and although I was losing weight, I took a break from it and (surprise surprise) gained back a bit of the weight I’d lost – but not all.
I was introduced to the 5:2 by my aunty who has been doing it for a few years and has had great success. It’s a pretty simple concept, you fast twice a week, eating up to 500 calories on those two days (600 calories for men) and eat ‘normally’ the other 5 days. Anyone who is familiar with 5:2 will tell you it’s not a quick-win, you lose approximately 1lb a week and at first those fast days can be difficult to get through. Luckily, I’ve got my aunty (I call her my 5:2 guru) on hand for any motivation/support. I’m also a member of a few Facebook groups which help loads when I’m having a tough fast day, my husband has always been extremely supportive too.
When I first started, not many people had heard of intermittent fasting and I did get a few comments about how it didn’t sound safe/sensible… but I’d watched the Horizon documentary and had seen my aunty’s results first-hand so I just nodded/smiled and carried on. I’m not going to go into it in this post, but the benefits of fasting are wider ranging than simply losing weight, this knowledge helps keep me motivated if the scales don’t move one week.
Even though I was happy with my weight loss, I wanted to get more active, so in June I started dragging myself to the gym I was already a member of. I hated it. I hated myself for being there and was so self-conscious that everyone was staring at me. They weren’t of course. I was just being majorly paranoid.
I bought some new gym gear and this really helped me get motivated to exercise. This must sound really stupid, but it worked. I now have a patterned legging addiction and I call my first pair my ‘magic leggings’ because they were solely responsible for getting me to the gym.
Here are my magic leggings!
I now go to the gym 3-5 times per week and can honestly say I love it. I do a combination of HIIT, cardio and resistance training. I have a routine, I make sure I go straight from work a few nights per week and at the weekend I go first thing in the morning, so I’ve got the rest of the day to do chores/meet friends/binge watch series on Netflix. I find it helps to clear my mind after a busy day at work, I do have less sofa-time in the evenings but I can deal with that.
So far I’ve lost 59lbs and have gone from dress size 20 to 16, (I’m nearing size 14 I think) although I bought a size 12 dress last week which fits. I’m not a real size 12 (YET), but I’ve never bought clothes less than a size 18 since I was 18 years old. So for the first time in 18 years, probably longer actually, I’m happier with how I look and how clothes look on me. I still enjoy delicious food (if you follow me on Instagram you’ll know this!), eat out and order takeaways now and again… but fasting has completely altered my relationship with food. It’s changed forever. I no longer eat like I’m never going to find food again. It’s been a gradual lifestyle change and I feel so much more energised now I’m losing weight but I do sometimes forget how much weight I’ve lost… e.g. look at size 20 clothes in shops, assume I won’t be able to walk between cars parked closely together.
I’ll talk more about the changes I’ve made, food-wise, in my next post. I really hope this has been interesting, I know it’s a bit of a change from my usual ramblings!
To end, here’s a before/during picture (not “after”, because I haven’t reached my goal yet).
Thanks for reading x