Monday, 13 October 2014

From a smaller perspective

I take a lot of photos.  A.  Lot.  But other than the occasional selfie, they're pretty much all of other people.  My hubby's pretty good though, when I hand him the camera, he takes great photos for me.  Earlier this year, at Isaac's birthday party, I did just that but boy was I not pleased with the results.  Don't get me wrong, Andy took some lovely shots that captured the day and all the things we got up to.  It was that cuddly mummy I saw wearing my clothes.  I knew that I'd put on weight after my babies; I managed to lose some of it after Anna and then put it back on again once she was breast-feeding less often, and then some more when I was pregnant with Sam.  Something about those photos really brought home to me how much I didn't look like myself and this time, I was going to do something about it.  I was determined that I would take Isaac to school and meet all his new classmates at a weight that felt like me.  Plus, I've always hoped for four children and there was no way I was accumulating more weight with another pregnancy.  I struggled more with Samuel than with the others and I knew that I wouldn't manage all my reponsibilities during a fourth pregnancy without getting healthier.
I started off with an exercise routine that a few of my friends were doing but to be honest, I was in denial about the main cause of my weight; our diet.  A friend had recently posted some amazing photos of her weight loss through Slimming World and I was inspired.   I knew she had a busy family life and worked as well so I thought this might be the way for me.  I do really well when I've got a structure to follow and some accountability.  I've been a member of Weight Watchers in the past and I knew that their point-counting plan wouldn't work with our family routines and meals.

I joined a great group nearby on a Tuesday morning and stood on the scales that first day to find out that I was the largest I have ever been.  I had just been out to buy some size 16 trousers because I had nothing that would fit me.  I dutifully took my measurements and wrote it all down.  I had a dream weight; a number that has always been in my head, that I've never thought I could get back to, based on a photograph when my arms and my face are skinny.

Fast forward 17 weeks and I've done it.  I've hit that target weight and I feel fantastic.  I've been shopping and bought everything in a size 10, knowing that it would fit me when I tried it on.  I own skinny jeans, elegant boat-neck jumpers and clingy t-shirts.  I feel like myself again.  It is awesome.
I can't pretend it's been easy but it hasn't been amazingly hard either.  I just followed the Slimming World plan; loads of fruit and vegetables, lean protein and starchy carbs with enough treats to keep me sane.  I didn't eat white bread for 3 months.  I stopped adding oil to food.  I grill instead of frying.  I bought fun size Milky Ways and sugar free squash.  I rediscovered yoghurt.  The nice thing about the plan for me is that I can see the sound nutritional principles behind it and that it's flexible enough to deal sensibly with breast-feeding (increasing your calcium-rich dairy foods).  I'm trying to find a new balance now, where I can maintain this healthy weight as I adapt to feeding Sam less often and eventually stopping.

I'm so proud of myself for sticking with it and for achieving my goal.  And now, when I hand Andy the camera, I get photos I like looking at!

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