A break with tradition this week - a week time guest post! Everyone say hello to the lovely Hayley!
Hi I'm Hayley from Oh My God Is That From Tiffany and I have been allowed by the lovely ladies and gent of Where Are My Knnes? to tell you a story about how weight loss has to happen at the right time and is not just about calories.
Overweight, exhausted, stressed, unhappy.... These are some of the words I would use to describe myself about 1 year ago. On the surface I looked pretty good; good job, wonderful fiancé, nice house but inside I was pretty sad about my weight. I just knew something didn't feel right. Don't get me wrong I was pretty happy with the other areas of my life, but it's exhausting going to bed most nights and instead of celebrating what you did well that day hating yourself for not sticking to a ridiculous diet you concocted. Add into this mix binging tendencies, food intolerances and a poor relationship with exercise and you get the drift.
A heart to heart with my mum made me realise that because of the type of person I was I am always looking for the next challenge and never stopped to smell the roses. Challenges for me were work based, saving based and all of this happened first leaving me and myself coming last. A healthy motivation is a good thing, left unchecked and out of balance and it can become your Achilles' heel.
So I vowed to change, to take the time to smell the roses, to work out what I really wanted and to prioritize time and money to making that happen. The first step was a trip to a naturopath. She advised me that she could supplement me to build up my reserves as my body was exhausted but that she did not recommend dieting or extreme exercise until my energy was restored. She also said there was only so much she could do, she could only fix the symptoms, and unless I really changed this would happen again. After my first trip I took time to think about what was important to me? What did I admire in others? How did I want my life to be? What was this ever elusive goal I was working towards? For me what I wanted was health, work life balance, a toned figure that may not be perfect but that I could dress up and feel good about, a strong healthy feeling body, a more natural relationship with food and most of all to have these habits ingrained before having children so I could teach them well.
At first it was so daunting. I gave up personal training (which had helped me loose zero weight), I quit the low carb diet efforts, I vowed not to travel for a year (including back home to England) and I worked out what I wanted from work and set about finding a job that offered it. I learned to sleep properly at night, to rest at weekends and to enjoy being in the moment. I walked a lot and did some yoga and for four months that was all. In April I found a new job and handed in my notice. By this point I felt energised and ready to try more actively for weight loss. I knew my extreme diet tendencies led to binge cycles so I joined Weight Watchers which allows all food and surprise surprise it worked. Each week I promised myself I wouldn't eat my weekly points or I would exercise daily or only eat protein. Each day I never did these things but I didn't fail as I was still within my points and gradually the weight came off.
As I learned to trust the program these extreme thoughts left my head. I started walking. A few months ago I started running and my weight loss stalled. After a chat with the naturopath we thought running was probably another stress on my body so it went into fat storing mode. I LIKED running and I wanted to continue. So I did and my body realised it was ok and not in stress and the loss continued.
The new approach and trust I have in the gently gently approach has spread to other areas of my life such as my career; I now enjoy being challenged but not overworked. For savings I save some but spend some too and I know that with the gentle approach you probably get there faster than with an extreme plan where you are set up to fail.
Since April I have lost nearly 20kg. I have about 10 more to go. I don't really care. I wear a size 12. Don't tell anyone but I think I look ok! There are wobbly bits but it’s not all bad and it can only continue to get better.
I have new clothes as of 3 weeks ago and wear them with pride. In 12 weeks I turn 30 and I may be at goal, or I may not quite be there. Either way 'lose 30kg' will no longer be on my things to do list and I am so excited to wear my wedding dress next year. Words I would use to describe how I feel now are relaxed, calm, happy, positive, energised and so excited about what the future may bring.
I guess the most terrifying thing was giving up on diet and exercise at the start of the year, but I needed a break to get my head and body strong enough for the task of losing the weight. I had been trying so hard for years and just getting bigger and this has honestly been the right time and place for me and it has not felt too challenging once. Give yourself a break, make small changes, don't give up food make little healthy swaps and introduce a new one each week. Before you know it you will too turn round and not recognise yourself in shop windows (which happens to me at an alarming frequency at the moment).
Pop on by for a catch up and hear about my wins (and losses) and I would love to hear about yours.
We are Where Are My Knees? want to say a big thank you to Hayley for taking the time to write this guest post. We are always looking for people to guest post for us - whether it be to share their story or a favourite workout or recipe - so if you're interested in posting for us then please get in touch. You can email us on firstname.lastname@example.org, or tweet us on @wherearemyknees.
Team WAMK xxxxx