I can’t ever remember not being ‘fat’. It has always been an issue for me, from the time when I was 11 and couldn’t be a bridesmaid for my auntie because they only made the dress for age 12-13 – far too small for my tall and chunky frame. I remember feeling like an absolute elephant, and as time went on I only became more aware of being larger than the other girls in my school – not only was I bigger than them, I was also much taller. I never let anyone know that it bothered me, and other than my pathological fear of the P.E changing rooms and my refusal to wear the skin-tight black mini-skirts that comprised most of my peers’ school uniforms, nobody would have known that I was conscious of my size.
When I was 14 I changed secondary school, and academically I went strength from strength. At a comprehensive school in a county where Grammar schools reign, I was certainly the big fish in a little pond and I did well in every subject. I also got along well with my peers and had a lot of friends. I was never ‘popular’, as such – but I got on well with a lot of different people and there was nobody who I particularly disliked. I was becoming increasingly conscious of my size – by this point I was wearing a size 16-18, compared to the size 10s that most of my friends wore – but I didn’t let it show and I carried on doing well. Succeeded in exams and having a lot of friends allowed me to kid myself that being fat didn’t matter, because I was good at other things instead.
The first time I joined Weight Watchers was in my first year of 6th Form. My confidence was at an all-time low after splitting from my first serious boyfriend – looking back, I believe it was the beginning of the depression I’ve suffered from ever since. In spite of that, it hadn’t been my idea to go. I was merely there to accompany a friend. At the time I weighed just under 14st. After losing 8lbs I got bored and gave up. I wasn’t there for myself, and my motivation dried up quickly.
Five months later I went back – this time at the suggestion of my mum. In five months I had gained 2st and was just under 16st. Again, I wasn’t there for myself and my motivation to stick to my Points Allowance disappeared quickly – I was more interested in eating Ben and Jerry’s and drinking a wine. I don’t think I had allowed myself to really see how big I’d gotten. If I had, I would have done something about it quicker.
The next time I went back to Weight Watchers was in January 2010. I’d completed my first term at University, running mainly on a diet of takeaways and huge portions of pasta. I was also very deeply depressed – although I was slightly more depressed when I got on the scales and read 19st 11.5lbs. It would have been so easy to give up there and then – it was such a huge number that I felt like I’d never be able to achieve it. For some reason though, this time was different. I was there for myself, not because a friend had asked or my mum had dropped hints about me being too big (although she had, many times. I had ignored them as thoroughly as I’d ignored my expanding arse). I knew that I had to lose the weight, because I couldn’t go on being miserable about my size anymore. Not only that, it was ruining my health – I couldn’t even climb the stairs anymore without getting out of breath. Knowing that I was there for myself made all the difference, and something just clicked. I knew I could do it. I lost 10lbs in my first week and continued to lose steadily after that.
Almost a year and a half later, I’m 4st 3lbs lighter – 80% of the girl I used to be. I still have another 3st 11.5lbs to go – which will bring me to a total weight loss of 8st. I could have been at goal by now, but I’m more than happy to admit that I’ve slipped off the wagon a few times. Eating sensibly at university isn’t easy, and sometimes the lure of takeaways and alcohol has been too strong. I will never be one of those people who no longer craves junk food, and losing weight will be a constant battle for me. Despite my slip-ups, I’ve never regained all the weight, simply because I’ve always managed to get my head back in the game before things got that bad. That, more than anything else, tells me that I’ve truly changed.
I can now say, without a shadow of a doubt in my mind, that joining Weight Watchers was the best thing I have ever done. If I hadn’t, I would have continued to gain weight – weight that would have eventually killed me. I may not be at my goal yet, but I know I’ll get there – nothing is impossible anymore. Without me even realising it, Weight Watchers has become one of the most important parts of my life. I’m happier and more confident now than I have ever been before.
A Few Weight Loss Tips
- Do it for YOU! Losing weight to please your family, your partner, even your kids truly will not work. You have to be in a position where you’re ready to do it for you, otherwise you will just come to resent the people that you’re doing it for.
- Don’t deprive yourself. If you want something sweet, have something sweet. We all crave treats sometimes, and there’s nothing wrong with that as long as it’s in moderation. I always make sure I have Weight Watchers bars (2 ProPoints) two-finger KitKats (3 ProPoints) and Sugar-free jelly (0 ProPoints) in the house for the times when I’m craving something sweet. I also swear by Options Hot Chocolate Sachets, which are 1 ProPoint each.
- Fill up on 0 ProPoint Fruit and Veg. You can have fruit with any meal and use vegetables to bulk up your meals so you don’t feel like you’re going without.
- Distractions are key. If I’ve had a bad day, or I’m feeling bored and peckish, I find something to do to distract myself from the biscuit tin. Updating my blog, having a long hot bath or even painting my nails always work wonders for me.
- Be open about what you’re doing. The whole world and his wife knows that I’m on Weight Watchers – I’m always updating facebook and twitter with my weigh-in results and people are constantly questioning me about it. Being open about whatever plan you’re on makes it much easier to fit it into your lifestyle, particularly when it comes to socialising or eating out.