This photo was taken just at the end of last year (on a particularly mild November day!) It was around then that I started to realise that my weight had crept up and along with it I was having to buy more and more size 14 clothes. Size 14 can be a totally healthy size on some women but I'm 5'3" and it just doesn't sit right on me. I remember weighing myself at the start of the year and realising the scales said 10.10 lbs rather than the 10.1 I was roughly expecting. This meant I had a BMI of almost 27 and was firmly in the 'overweight' bracket.
A typical day for me would have been no breakfast, a sandwich, crisps, chocolate and Haribo at lunchtime and pizza or waffles and cheese for dinner. I did no exercise and was completely miserable about my weight. I used to grab the bulging fat around my middle and dream of cutting it off! I felt uncomfortable and a the turn of the year I knew I wanted to do something about it, I just didn't know how.
They say 'when the student is ready the teacher appears' and that's true for me. On the 17th January I was offered to undertake a free trial of Jenny Craig, which I wrote about on my own blog. It was a big shock to the system not having all the sugar I was used to and introducing lots of vegetables back into my life. In the end I stayed on the plan until April and lost 1-2 lbs on average every week so I was down to 140lbs when I came off it. This is me in April.
I kept up lots of the good habits and was able to hover around that mark for a few months. By August I was 141 lbs which is still actually marginally in the 'overweight' category for my height. I wanted to lose more but I didn't know how to. I'd started running but I wanted to make sure I was eating right too and I didn't know anything about exercise. Again it was obviously the right time for me as Laura at Chambray and Curls mentioned to me that her partner worked in nutrition and fitness and had helped her lose weight when she was struggling through helping her understand what she should and shouldn't be eating and helping her meet her fitness goals. Her partner Charis (who runs Louca Personal Training) kindly offered to do the same for me and took some time understanding what my goals and habits were before asking for weekly diet and exercise diaries. Every week he would analyse my food and exercise log and help me identify where I was going wrong and where I could make positive changes. He introduced me to 'clean eating' - not eating processed or pre-packaged foods and instead eating lots of protein and vegetables. I pulled out all my cookbooks and started making healthy, delicious dinners, making sure I ate something every mealtime and increasing my exercise. I had one day a week where I would eat whatever I wanted, and I would 'eat clean' the rest of the time. The best thing about 'eating clean' is that it's not a diet, it's just an education in making healthy choices and not eating things that are super processed or full of sugar. Charis helped me realise that if I did this 90% of the time I could still go on holiday and eat what I wanted, or eat what I wanted over Christmas or on special occasions because I know it's not going to have a long term effect on my weight.
As I jetted off to Florida for two-and-a-half weeks in September I've really only been doing this properly since mid-October. I'd lost a few lbs already through Charis's good advice but I started as 139 lbs in October and have continued sending him my weekly diaries and taking on his advice and I'm now 127 lbs, meaning that with his help I've lost another stone, the majority of that in the last two months. I hit my 10 week pledge target (129 lbs) a few weeks early and I now comfortably fit into a size 10. The best part of all of this is that all of the changes I've made are a part of my life now - doing exercise classes in the evenings, eating clean the majority of the time, running in the mornings etc, are now things I 'do' rather than things I 'do because I'm trying to lose weight'.
This is the most recent photo of me I have. I think the biggest difference is in my face! No more chubby cheeks! In total I've lost 23lbs (over a stone and a half) and I feel comfortable, happy and healthy. I used to go to bed feeling sick almost every night (probably due to all the sugar I was eating), I was tired all of the time and I'd collapse into bed at night completely exhausted and then not be able to sleep. Nowadays I hop out of bed in the morning to go for a run and still look forward to going to an exercise class in the evening. I couldn't have done any of this without Charis's help and I'd really recommend him and his company if you're looking for a way to make long-term changes, get fit and lose weight. He offers several different plans at really reasonable prices and he's so motivating and supportive. He is also offering 10% off any of his plans if you mention Where Are My Knees when you get in contact.
I'd love to hear about your weight loss journeys this year. Remember that 2013 is a new year and it could be the year you make some amazing changes.