I don’t know about you, but when I hit my mid-thirties, my calorie consumption hit my waistline. My metabolism seemed to noticeably slow down. In short: I became a barrel.
What on earth?
At this point, I was in the first two years of my current profession – balancing late nights prepping on top of a full work day combined with being a parent to a young child meant that my health and well-being trailed behind all of my other commitments.
I was not my own priority.
Realising that ‘Cakey Friday’ equalled ‘Cakey Arse’ did nothing for my self-image! Constantly consuming sugar-rich foods to ‘power through’ yet another long working day meant that I literally ‘piled on the pounds’. At one point, I went to have some underwear fitted, only to find myself with the bra size 38D. How on earth did this happen? Mortified, I struggled to admit that my lack of self-care, through neglecting the quality my diet as well as a definite lack of exercise had resulted in all of my clothes sitting uncomfortably ‘around’ my body. My arms were puffy, my waist had disappeared and I lacked definition everywhere.
I refuse to even look at any pictures from this time, sadly.
The harsh reality of my bloated body loomed in the mirror. Loathing what I saw, I vowed to do something about it. I was fat. I hated it.
Being very limited in my knowledge of diet and fitness, I signed up to Weight Watchers’ online programme, which created an ‘accountability’ mindset. Accessible and convenient, the programme fitted into my life, only with some minor tweaks. Encouraged by the weekly weigh-ins online, I loved watching the graph plot my progress over time.
Limits and goals translated into changes and results. Over 12 to 16 odd weeks, I did manage to move from 9st 8 to 8st 4.
Regaining control of my diet, motivated through a range of different types of exercise to keep me interested, meant that I felt empowered, which revolutionalised my relationship with myself.
By counting calories consumed, calculating calories burnt, alongside mini-goals to acknowledge my positive progress meant I remained in control, less swayed by poor choices, importantly maintaining a positive mindset.
As a first step, in the right direction, I finally (for the time being) found a balance within myself.
Reflecting now, as I write this post, the following thoughts sit in my mind – I still did not understand the importance of nutrition, what my body struggled to digest or tackled the issue of ‘sugar’ in my diet. In fact, I was able to consume Weight Watchers’ biscuits, cakes and wine, as long as my points ‘added up’. For most women, the sense of deprivation is a real ‘diet-killer’, however, this creates a real lack of knowledge regarding what you really consume, not to mention how this shapes your long-term health and well-being.
At this point, Weight Watchers enabled me to reach my goal – yet I had not ‘re-learnt’ how to maintain my goal weight. Instead of revolutionalising my overall health, I had only learnt how to restrict and control, which, in my opinion, is only one successful strategy…
As a first step, though… it was definitely in the right direction.