I’ve been there, scrolling through my Instagram or twitter or whatever social media platform, seeing people’s ‘before’ and ‘after’ pix, thinking ‘yeah, great, THEY can do it.’
These pictures never inspired me because they seemed so false.
It was just a picture.
The ‘before’ picture doesn’t explain how unhappy that person was with their appearance, what triggered them to make a change, what changes they made that weren’t some miracle, quick-fix, idiotic diet, or even how they got to that point in the first place.
Just as the ‘after’ pic doesn’t say what hell they went through to get to that point, how long it actually took, how many days where they thought they wouldn’t see their end goal, how many social events they had to turn down because they were sick of explaining to people that they don’t drink, don’t eat certain foods, have to be up early because they are dedicated to another plan.
Another term we all hear is ‘Mind over matter’, again, no one really takes the time to explain all this. Something has to spark off in the mind to make you want to completely overhaul your way of living to make a huge physical change.
So, for me, I had been comfort eating since Mom was diagnosed. I was exhausted from working full time, caring part time and living with an inept partner who wouldn’t think to prepare a meal for his burnt out, drained girlfriend.
It was an agonisingly slow process, from having to sever the relationship, which took months of back and forth. Repairing family relationships. Taking a step back and seeing that I was being guilted into staying in my job when I knew my family was infinitely more important.
Having to learn to take time out for myself, with all the running around making sure everyone else was taken care of, I neglected myself in so many ways.
These were just the first steps, and these took months. While all this was going on I was always cooking healthy food for Mom. Researching and inventing new recipes to make boring food interesting for her. I just forgot to make stuff for myself! Which lead to quick to cook foods, pastas, breads, potatoes. Fast food, always labelling it as a treat and wouldn’t do it again. I stopped going to dance classes, I stopped going to the gym because I wasn’t feeling it anymore, and so the spiral downwards began-where you eat to feel good, then you feel crap once the sugar high stops so you eat more and so on…
Once Mom was gone, I thought I was taking control by enrolling into a fat camp in Ibiza. Although it was a good experience, and I learnt that my body was a lot more resilient than my mind told me, it wasn’t a long term help.
Eating 1000 calories and exercises for 5 hours a day isn’t maintainable in the ‘real world’.
The weight went back on.
I buggered off to China. I felt massive! I went traveling, this helped me lose a bit, mainly through all the walking and sight seeing and attempting to make healthy choices which were generally cheaper!
Back in the UK, I joined some kickboxing classes and eventually found some confidence again, I made the decision (just in time) to hire a personal trainer.
I had always put off hiring a personal trainer on the basis that I’m not an idiot, I know what food is good and what is bad and that exercise is imperative.
But without a plan or someone to answer to, I was my own worst enemy.
Cain of GB Fitness required me to complete a questionnaire about basically everything!
He designed a meal plan and several exercise plans for me.
Just after the first meeting I felt hope.
Someone believed in me.
Yes, I paid him, but it’s also in his best interest for his business and his reputation that I succeed.
So I am now beginning to see the pain and glory behind those many ‘before and after’ pictures.
I am learning all the time while I change my lifestyle-and that is the key-it’s a lifestyle change. No quick fix, no fluctuating weight, just bloody hard work, food prepping all the damn time to make sure you don’t slip. Watching as your friends order three course meals while you try and inconspicuously eat your chicken and veg out of a Tupperware and hope you don’t get kicked out of the pub! Drinking water, lemon water, green tea, when sometimes you just want a full fat coke!
2014 is when I started piling on the weight, we are nearing the end of 2017 and I’m still not where I want to be physically, but I’m definitely where I want to be mentally.
And for me, that was about 90% of the battle. Getting my mind to believe I could achieve this goal!
And even though I’m not looking how I want to, I will share my progress photo.
I want to re-iterate, this is a BEFORE and CURRENT PROGRESS pic. This is a long-haul journey, no bullsh*t, just actual commitment to a plan.
I’m not putting this out here as a sob-story, I’m hoping readers can relate. You are not alone. There is always someone going through something similar. And you will come out the other side if you choose to.