Hi, my name is Heather and I have been a yo-yo dieter for around, I would say, over half of my life – so 20 years give or take.
I think I first joined a weight loss group after the birth of my eldest (who is now 20) after I used pregnancy as an excuse to most definitely eat for two and piled on the pounds. I was also young, naive and unprepared for the body changes that come with pregnancy.
I’ve tried them all – WW, SW, Atkins, shakes, calorie counting, high protein, low carb, fasting, paleo, keto… and nothing has ever stuck. Don’t get me wrong I have lost weight with them all initially but then I have either become complacent or I have become bored and just stopped and lo and behold the weight just piles back on and then some.
I am a huge believer of you do you, you do whatever fits you, whatever suits you – some diets will suit some, some will not. I don’t think you should bash anyone for trying either. I personally discovered on SW and to some extent WW I was eating far less calories than was healthy. Now that was how *I* was doing it – isn’t the same for everyone! But it does explain why I was gaining weight as soon as I stopped doing it religiously.
Each diet has it’s own pros and cons. I loved the freedom of SW in regards to pasta/potatoes etc but found I literally ate 500lbs of them both a week – that cannot be good on ANY diet. I hate the tracking of points in WW but I also like the range that you get and it seems a little bit more balanced and portion control is definitely there if you choose the right path. With Atkins I literally lived on cheese and meat, which felt amazing for a while and then man, did I miss bread.
Right now I am trying to eat a balanced diet – I make sure I eat more protein but I don’t cut out carbs. I have swapped chocolate bars for protein bars, I have swapped proper crisps for properchips or popcorn. I do not feel like I am missing out on anything at all. I’m just making better choices. At the minute that is easy because I am buying a lot of ready made meals from Musclefood and their Do the Unthinkable plan. But I’m slowly introducing my own stuff and they send you a folder of recipes so it’s all good!
I can tell you what I have noticed is the BIGGEST thing though – exercise. I can literally hear a collective groan and I honestly groaned a little myself. I have never EVER been a fan of exercise. I did PE in school and wanted to die or break my ankle every time it was anything athletic, especially the frigging beep test. Simon is always telling me that I need to move more and whilst I agreed, it didn’t make me move.
When we found out my dad had cancer I took on Sweatember. I went to the gym every day for 30 days (except when it was closed and then I did at least a 30 min workout at home). Suddenly I could run upstairs without having to have a lie down, I was having people at work tell me how much my shape was changing! I felt good! Then Sweatember ended and I gave myself a day off, then another day off, then I wasn’t well, then my dad went into hospital and a whole amount of other stuff and I gave up – again. Not the first time I had joined a gym and used to tell myself it was the thought that counted.
I had done it again. I had got somewhere, found something that worked and then just let it all fall apart. Life isn’t always easy and it’s so easy to tell yourself you don’t have the time, but the truth is there is always time. So anyway, when lockdown started I began couch to 5k and I soon saw my fitness levels go up a bit again – when I jogged 20 mins non stop I almost cried! But it wasn’t enough and I got bored and complacent again because I do not want to out in public and jog – OH HELL NO!
There was only one thing for it – I talked to Simon and we found me a personal trainer. His name is Raphael and he owns We Train You Gain and we do 2 sessions a week at the moment via Zoom. After the first session I literally had to walk up and down the stairs like a crab – holy CRAP did my legs hurt, everything hurt, I just hurt. But even from the first time it was apparent it was what I needed – someone to actually motivate me and do it with me and push me.
Today I will be having another session and when I get up I do immediately think OH UGH TRAINING TODAY – but then I remember how accomplished I feel when I have finished. We also have good banter so that’s a bonus!
I still try and hit my 10k steps a day – it’s a little hit and miss with not being at work and just feeling like I have so much else to do – but I manage to get out to walk the dog for at least 30 mins a day unless he hides from me and then I go on my own and may do less because I move a lot bloody faster without him stopping every nanosecond to sniff everything. If it is not a training day I try and do something for at least 20 mins – whether it’s something I have done with Raphael or I did try pound fit for a while because I like the idea of being a drummer – either way I do something.
I have learned not to take the scales as gospel – something I have always known but struggle with as on any diet we are encouraged to put our whole efforts into getting a number down, but non scale victories are huge. I have realised that exercise is good for my mental health, if I am feeling particularly crap I just go for a quick walk out in the fresh air and I honestly just feel better – even if only slightly.
I know a lot of people judge others for trying to lose weight and think you’re some kind of hater against larger people, but that isn’t true. I don’t care what anyone’s size is, legit not my business – people need to be happy with themselves and I most definitely am not. It’s not all about my weight, sure. But some of it is and if losing a few inches or pounds helps me become happier with myself then I can only see that as a good thing. I used to care what society thought about me, but as I get older I realise it’s about how you feel inside, how you feel about yourself. Other people do not live in your body, they do not walk in your shoes. Screw other people whether they bring you down by mocking you, or bring you down by not supporting you or making you feel bad for trying to get healthier.