I used to be one of those people who would roll their eyes at the sight of yet another ‘inspirational motivational’ quote that a friend had shared on Facebook.
To cut an extremely long story short – I have always been overweight. My weight has fluctuated from 16st to 14st, back up to 17st, down to 15st 7lbs for all of my adult life.
In September 2010 I weighed 18st 7lbs. I know this as I took a career break from work for 3 months to travel some of the world and I remember weighing myself the day before I left Ireland.
I returned just before Christmas 3st lighter thanks mainly to the backpacker lifestyle of living off beans and toast & carrying all my belongings on my back everywhere we went.
My lifestyle while I was backpacking couldn’t have been further from my reality.
I’m a computer programmer so spend from 8.30am to 6.00pm sitting at a desk. I drive to and from work and in general, I’d admit that I have always been a lazy person.
Fast-forward to Saturday, August 25th, 2012 and I was helping friends move house. We were doing one final sweep of upstairs to make sure everything had been packed away and I found a weighing scales in their bathroom.
I don’t own weighing scales (probably out of denial) and I stood on them. That Autumn afternoon in my friend’s empty bathroom, I watched the needle on the scale fly past NINETEEN STONE (19st 2lbs to be exact).That Saturday afternoon in my friends’ empty bathroom, I stood looking down at the weighing scale and I felt so much shame… I am the only person to blame for my own size.
Not one person has ever force fed me, prevented me from taking a walk/exercise class/joining a gym, made me choose a takeaway over something fresh and homemade.
On Tuesday, August 28th 2012, I rejoined Weight Watchers – Something had to change! From September to Christmas I followed the Weight Watchers plan, pointing my food daily and sticking to my daily point allowance. I lost about 3st in 3 months. The small changes I had made to my food intake had massive effects on my body. Instead of having 6 coffees during my work day, I drank water instead of every second coffee. I brought porridge to work. Instead of having a Mars Bar at 3pm, I had an apple.
Each of these sounds so trivial but collectively played a massive part in my weight loss. I’m not saying it was easy to resist the instant gratification achieved from eating ‘bad’ food like chocolate, pizza or takeaways but with a little self-restraint and discipline, I found myself moving in the right direction. Each little Silver 7 (a sticker you get when you lose 7lbs/half a stone) motivated me towards getting the next Silver 7.
By Christmas (the picture on the right below), I was 16st 7lbs and I felt great. My weight loss has slowed down either due to the fact there was a lot more temptation around close to Christmas in the form of staff parties, selection boxes and tins of roses or the fact that what I had changed in life had reached its plateau.
I want to be a healthier, fitter, better person – that was when I remembered my own advice ‘If you change nothing, nothing will change’. I had to make another choice, am I happy being 16st 7lbs or do I want to push for more?
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