‘Are you happy?’ – The question that changed my life.
I finally realised it was time to change, when I started being honest with myself. If you have to hide how you truly feel about your lifestyle, feelings and body then there must be something wrong.
After being really active in my early teens with a demanding gymnastics training schedule that saw me in the gym at least 6 days a week sometimes 2 or 3 times a day, I gave up the sport at the age of 14. Then started to grow up, I learnt to drive so stopped walking, I met my partner and got settled. Slowly over the next 14 years the weight crept on. I moved from a seat behind a checkout to a seat in an office. Took lifts and escalators instead of stairs, had takeaway at least once a week, but in honesty usual twice. There was nothing wrong with leaving Tesco with a full weeks shop to head straight to KFC and pick up that night’s dinner.
I had played at losing weight before. Joining Slimming World and Weight Watchers – even trying a meal replacement plan (it lasted 3 days!) I managed to lose 1 ½ stone on my first try of Slimming World, but looking back now I was never committed to change, it was just something to say I was doing.
I joined the Chase on the 31st January 2016 with the main goal to be a size 12 for my best friend’s wedding on 5th August 2017. A completely realistic target and still my main driving force – but not the way I wanted to do it. My initial thought was to go 2 or 3 times a week for about 20/30 minutes a time. I didn’t have time to do any more than that. Again when I look back and am completely honest with myself, I didn’t even really want to do that.
Then everything changed. I lost someone very close and my world felt like it was falling apart. The grief changed me and made me do things I’d never done before – I went abroad (yes for the first time at 27!), I went to a festival and I was so open to life and everything it could offer.
2nd August 2016 was the day I took control. A normal programme review turned into the most frank and honest conversation I have ever had about how I feel. It made me face things I would normally turn my back on, and opened my eyes to exactly the shell of a person I had become. Something changed inside me that night and I haven’t looked back since. I fear failure more than anything, and still do. I am so hard on myself if I can’t complete an exercise, or find it harder that I did the day before. I have had a bad week where I didn’t want to be at the gym, and that terrified me – I am so scared that I will go back to the way I was. But the new me is so much stronger, and this confidence is something I am continuing to work on.
This incredible journey has not only changed the way I look – but I have changed as a person. I have much more energy, I hate sitting at home and always want to be up and doing something. My 2 or 3 20 minute session have turned in to training 6 days a week either in classes, swimming or in the gym. It’s amazing how you can find time in the day to do something you enjoy. My confidence in my self-image has grown, but so has my confidence in my ability to get what I want. I now know that the only thing stopping me to be the person I want to be and accomplish the things I want is me. This process has helped me overcome so many hurdles and every time I become stronger and more able to cope with the next.
There are so many things that have helped me so far on my journey, but the main 3 things would have to be:
Mind set – this is honestly and truly the be all and end all for wanting to make a change. You can work as hard as you want in the gym, and eat as healthy as you can at home – but if your head isn’t in the right place it won’t work. I want this more than I want anything. The feeling I get buying clothes from Topshop in a size 14 is better than any cake or chocolate.
Support Network – you have to build a team around you to help you with the process and mine are amazing. I have gym mom and a work mom who have been my biggest cheerleaders and the most supportive friends I could have ever asked for. Their belief in me encourages me to believe in myself. Every pep talk and compliment just pushes me that much further to get to my goal.
Alan (my PT) – the reason this all started! Without that first initial chat I would never have decided to change my life. His support and guidance from that day on has been invaluable, he has helped me work through my grief and struggles and is always on my side. I will be forever grateful for everything he has done for me.