Today's guest post comes from the lovely Elinor of You Haven't Failed Until You Quit Trying. Pop on over and say hello :)
First of all can I just say how lovely it was to have been asked to guest post for Where Are My Knees? :)
I'm Elle and I'm a 21 year old graduate (still in denial I'm no longer a student!), weight watchers lover & half marathon runner!! Too date I've currently lost 80.5lbs (5st 10lbs).
My story began when I joined Weight Watchers back in May 2009 weighing 16stone 12.5lbs and a size 20-22. Having always struggled with my weight, seeing dietitians, and half heartedly attempting to lose weight, something on that Monday clicked in my head. It was time to lose weight for good & more than anything I'd be doing it for myself. If I was to give anyone some advice it would be that losing weight has to be for you, you can't be pressured into it because you'll try it for 2 weeks and then give up.
I knew the Weight Watchers plan and knew that it would fit in with student lifestyle; although I never imagined I'd be where I am today. My first week I lost 3lbs as was amazed [I still didn't think that I'd ever get to the point that goal would be in reach], I hadn't been hungry, hadn't done much exercise and had still been out getting drunk with my friends! The weight started dropping off & before I knew it people were commenting on how well I was looking. These comments are things that keep you going when you feel like throwing in the towel! Which trust me I have done, a million times!
When you get to a certain point in your weight loss journey the inevitable plateau hits, it's times like this that I just wanted to give up, and to be "normal" and not have to care about what I was eating; resisting a dominoes take away when that's what everyone is eating is SO hard! But then friends & family around me would remind me just how far I'd come, how good I was looking and remind me that the cycle of gaining & losing the same 2lbs would eventually break and that those small gains were nothing compared to what I had lost. Surrounding yourself with friends and family who will encourage & support you is another thing that will keep you going.
Exercise, unfortunately becomes a must in order to keep up your weight loss, and also to tone up. But I've found once I get into a routine I can actually start to like exercise, although I will never love it. People that do are just a bit strange! But yet I found myself, with 2 friends,signing up to Bristol Half Marathon Running is great because it's free, you can do it at your own pace and build it up depending on your own abilities. However if you're anything like myself I used to hate, actually despise, running in public! Convinced people were always staring at me because I was the fat person who was attempting to run. Yup even after losing almost 6 stone I still see myself as fat. But I soon got over that fear of everyone watching me and learnt to enjoy running, it gave me so much more energy, was a great de-stresser and having signed up for the half marathon I had something to aim for so I couldn't just stop! I'm not going to lie there were days where it would take me a good couple of hours to convince myself that going for a run would make me feel better, and once I'd got out there I felt so much better. The feeling once I'd got back of how much I'd pushed myself & looking back at how far I'd come was such a confidence booster!
The half marathon itself was such an emotional day! The nervousness before starting of thinking "oh god I've got to run 13.1 miles" but yet the anticipation of crossing the finishing line knowing how far I'd come is something that kept me going, especially around miles 10-11 when I almost cried! Not sure if it was due to pain in my legs or realising that I didn't have far left to go! Seeing 2 of my best friends at the side of the road shouting our names was such a boost and exactly what I needed! And yes I had a small tear in my eye as I crossed the line! My official time came in as 2:19:41 and I've already signed up to my next half! I'm not going to preach about how you should all go out and sign up for a half marathon but if you want to build exercise into your life then I would definatley recommend running!
Something it took me a while to get my head around is that losing weight isn't just about the number on the scales. And something you should all bear in mind when having a bad week or a STS or a gain. Taking your measurements is a vital ingredient to monitoring weight loss & something I would advise you all to do if you don't already. I have photo's of myself that are only abut a 5-7lb difference but I'm wearing 2 totally different size clothes in them, just because I've been exercising & losing inches rather than pounds!
Support comes from anywhere whether it be friends, family, facebook, twitter, blogging or weight watchers boards. There have been days where everything is going wrong but someone will say something and you'll re focus on why you are doing this. I still have days where I eat everything & anything in sight (sometimes my inner fat girl just wins!) but the next day I'll draw a line. There's a quote that I often see floating around something like "you wouldn't smash your phone up having dropped it, so why let one bad day ruin a good week". I would also recommend comparing pictures of yourself; I do this quite regularly & I'm sure my Facebook friends & twitter followers get fed up of it sometimes but seeing the comments and encouragement from people is sometimes the boost you need to get your head back in it.
Joining Weight Watchers was the best thing I have ever done, whilst I've physically lost so much, I have also gained so much in terms of confidence in myself, pride in who I and my abilities and some fabulous friends along the way! To date I am 11st 2lbs and a size 10-12! It still shocks me that I have achieved this, but have faith in yourself and confidence in how far you can go.
"You haven't failed until you quit trying" - A quote that keeps me going at times I want to throw in the towel, I may not be at goal yet but I am still working on my journey!
Lots of Love