For some reason in my early 20’s I thought having three children in three years was a good idea.

Going from a full time worker with hobbies that included aerobics and swimming to a stay at home mum of three tiny tots had a disastrous affect on my weight. Food was my comfort and my friend and I gained 7 stones.

At various times I tried dieting… Every diet ever invented I think.

Most of them worked initially.

In fact I was an expert at losing that first stone on any diet … I lost it many times! I just couldn’t keep going. After the initial euphoria of dropping 5-10lbs in week 1 on various meal replacement plans or at clubs to then only see 1lb a week come off if that…. the diets were too hard to stick to long term for that. I felt weak and miserable, I felt deprived and resentful. So the motivation didn’t last either. I then felt a total failure and hated myself for my weakness.

So I ate the weight back on again.

My final wake up call came when a routine blood test put me at the pre diabetic stage. Already on meds for high BP, high cholesterol, under-active thyroid and depression.

Enough was enough.

I decided to pay attention to nutrition. I started to use MY FITNESS PAL religiously. It told me what level of calories was right for me in a day/week to lose just 1lb a week.

I learnt which foods were filling and enjoyable without taking me over that calorie allowance, I learnt to portion my food on my plate to keep it roughly balanced so that my macros (Protein Carbs and Fat) weren’t far out.

I learnt to stop eating when I was satisfied rather than clearing every plate. I had a gastric band fitted around my oesophagus to slow down the speed at which I was eating. So I ate slower, more mindfully and really enjoyed my meals.

It didn’t feel like a diet at all.

It took me two years to lose 5 stone by plodding along like this 1lb a week, sometimes less!

A calorie deficit every week, week on week of balanced meals and it just came off slowly. I  had to accept that speed was not important.

I still ate treats and had nights out and meals with family and friends. I just accounted for them elsewhere in my week or accepted a small gain.

My weight loss graph looks rather like a mountain range than a ski slope.

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Despite officially having another 2 stone to lose to be a “perfect” BMI, I am happy here. I’m no longer striving for skinny. I’m wanting healthy. And strong.

So I’m getting there, slowly, too. I reluctantly, at first, added training sessions at Fortitude honestly thinking it wouldn’t suit me and I’d quit in week 2. But here I am 10 months in, not only enjoying it, but feeling so much better in myself that I look forward to it.

I’m a different woman now. And I quite like her.

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