Diets and Stuff

Diets and Stuff

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.


Let’s talk Mental Health

Let’s talk Mental Health

Mental Health – we all have our moments with it, no matter how strong we are, no matter where we come from, no matter what we deal with. Some days we just wake up and we struggle. There is no shame in that at all, most of us spend a lot of time being told to ‘get on with it’ or being told that what we are thinking is wrong. Let me tell you right now – your feelings are VALID – no matter how you feel. If you wake up one day and just feel like life is a struggle that is fine. If you wake up one day and thing “I just need to hide away” that is also ok.

I believe I have struggled with mental health all of my adult life, if not earlier than that. I did not get diagnosed with GAD or Depression until I was in my 30s and I spent most of that time struggling almost daily with the way I felt. I felt I had no support – not because people didn’t want to support me, but because people didn’t know how to handle me. The day I went to the Dr and he acknowledged I needed help I went back to the car and I cried, I cried because I was relieved that finally, FINALLY someone had listened to me and agreed I wasn’t quite alright.

I have gone through the motions of feeling ashamed, useless, weak.. but I now realise that it’s far stronger to get up every day and deal with issues you may have than it is weak. Mental health still has that stigma surrounding it that is all hush hush, let’s not talk about it and it will go away – that isn’t true. People that suffer need to stand up and speak and they need to be heard.

I do find some days a real struggle, I don’t want to get out of bed but I do, I don’t want to go home and deal with things, but I do. I struggle and sometimes I struggle alone, sometimes I struggle with the help of friends and some days now I don’t struggle much at all, but there is no rhyme or reason to when I struggle and when I don’t – it’s always there but some days I just deal with it better.

But you know what hurts – people throwing around insults like “you’re mental”, “you’re insane”, “wow you’re crazy” – I mean we all think it of people at times and will just blurt out “wow that person is batshit!” but you must NEVER use peoples mental health issues against them in an argument – it’s unfair and it’s not ok and quite frankly as humans we should know better. That isn’t to say at times we all mistakes and that is only human too, but if you hurt someone using their mental health against them you really should apologise and learn/grow from it.

Since my dad died I have kept a lot of my feelings in – I don’t think I have really grieved – I have been too busy trying to support everyone else and just get on with it without falling apart – it’s that feeling of if I break and fall I may never get back up and it scares me. But I’ve thrown myself into a few things – I got a personal trainer! (if he’s reading this – HI!) and I always scoffed at people that said exercise makes you feel better, but it’s true! He puts me through my paces and we have some banter which is nice – at the minute it’s all via Zoom but that works! I also took on c25k and managed to get to week 5 and run a whole 20 mins without stopping! I say run, it was more of a slow jog – but it was better than sitting there festering. I make sure I walk the dog daily (except those days he hides from the harness and I just go out alone) – I really find getting out in the fresh air clears my head and honestly some days I have walked around with my sunglasses on with tears in my eyes and that’s ok – it still helps to be outside in the fresh air.

It’s been a very tricky time for all of us, some more than others and nobodies issues are less important or more important – our issues are relative to us and nobody should be made to feel their issues aren’t important. I find quite often dealing with someone elses issues takes my mind off of mine – so I welcome people talking to me, my inbox is always open. I don’t often reach out to friends, not because I don’t care, but because I don’t want to be a bother.

We must talk, we must speak up, we must support one another and if we don’t understand we can at least strive to be as supportive as possible.

Another random ramble but I do feel strongly about this – mental health is very important and it’s time we started looking at people wanting help in the same way we would look at people breaking an arm and needing a dr, or grazing a knee and needing a plaster and a hug.

Hello world.. take two

Hello world.. take two


It’s been a while. A lot has happened since the last post. Coronavirus, George Floyd (and I’m sure many, many others) and general shite.

My dad passed away. It’s been around 2 months now and I still haven’t grieved properly. People tell me I may not grieve for years, or I may grieve for all those years, or forever. It’s been especially hard to cope with during lockdown. I’ve been on my own with no support and honestly – it’s mentally, emotionally and physically taken it’s toll.

I’m tired more so than usual, I’m less tolerant of anything, I’m sad and then I cheer up and then I’m sad again. I’m painfully lonely – I’m a whole bunch of messed up nonsense because all this has been happening and life hasn’t stopped. It isn’t like time stands still and you get to catch your breath when someone dies, life continues full pelt and just drags you along.

I am struggling a great deal with life. I don’t have Simon at home, I have to deal with work and the kids. I have to do all the stuff in the house, I have to feed the pets and walk them. I have to remember to eat and shower and all those things that normally would be second nature. I have to keep my own mental health issues at bay while I deal with my mums grief, my kids grief, my dads finances etc. It’s hard, it’s not just hard it’s a fucking miracle I haven’t just sat in a heap and given up tbh because that’s how I feel quite often.

I need to start writing again to get it all out. At the moment it’s just trying to get from one day to the next and try not to feel all the dark things that are creeping in – it’s day to day trying to survive and get on. Everyone keeps telling me how strong I am and how well I am doing but honestly I’m very broken right now in so many ways.

I have a good gaggle of friends that have been keeping me busy and I have many that have checked to see how I am and just made sure I’m ok which is really appreciated considering that everyone else has so much going on.

Anyway, I think I’ll definitely do this more often – it’s quite cathartic to just get it all out even if no one ever sees it.