Running with the theme of new year's resolutions and the fact that half of the world is on a diet right now, I thought I'd share my weight loss story and how I lost four stone. I'm no professional by any means, and you may have a different way of dieting or exercising than me, but these are my views and methods which worked best for my lifestyle.
From 2009 to 2010 my weight creeped up and to be honest I think I was totally in denial that I was a size 16. I was never the thinnest person in the world, but the weight piled on after I started college in 2010 and had my own money to buy unhealthy dinners at college and takeaways at the weekend. At my worst in 2011 I was probably eating about 2 takeaways per week, I would eat lots of frozen food, hardly any fruit or veg and often had an extra meal before bed. I also did absolutely no exercise and got buses everywhere I went instead of walking.
Towards the end of 2011 and early 2012, I realized that I wasn't happy with my weight and that my BMI was classed as overweight. The doctor told me I needed to lose three stone to be at a healthy BMI for my height, so I realized that I needed to eat less and exercise more. It's quite an embarrasing subject really, nobody wants to feel unhappy in their own skin, and like they are doing something wrong. For a while I tried to just cut down what I ate by not eating snacks. That maybe lost me a few pounds, but the unhealthy food that I was choosing to eat for meals made me crave even more food. It also didn't help sitting in front of the TV, is it just me or do you have to have something to eat when you're watching a good program too?
In 2012 I bought a year gym membership, and tried my hardest to go at least once or twice per week. By the photo above I had lost around a stone and was a size 14. This gave me so much more confidence, and although it may not look like much, the positive comments that I got really boosted my self esteem and made me even more determined to work hard at the gym and cut down on the unhealthy food.
From 2012 to 2013 I lost an extra three stone and got to around a size 8/10. By then I only snacked on fruit, I had stopped eating frozen food, switched to brown carbs and ate two to three healthy meals per day. I think the key is to not starve yourself and have big portion sizes of fat free meals. I would often have weetabix for breakfast, a sandwich on brown granary bread for dinner and seasoned chicken with potatoes and salad for tea. If I ate out I would treat myself and got whatever I wanted, because if you feel like you're on a diet then you're more likely to break it. I saw it as making positive lifestyle changes. I also didn't cut out alcohol, but chose to drink spirits as they are less calories, and I always drink diet or sugar free drinks. My workout routine was mainly cardio on the treadmill, cross trainer, rower and stepper, though I also did around 100 sit ups each time I went. Back then I was also a huge fan of Zumba and probably went around 2 to 3 times per week for 1 hour sessions of high intensity dancing. It's always so hard to get up off the seat to get ready for the gym or exercise class, but as soon as you're there you might as well put in 110%, and once you're done I guarantee you'll be in a good mood for the rest of the day.
From 2014 to 2015 I put on around 11 pounds, and got a little less strict on my diet. I went back to eating the 400 calorie Subways instead of the 300 ones, and I do have the odd takeaway now and then. It's one thing to lose the weight but maintaining it for a long time is just as hard, because once you say 'Just this once' you do it again and again. It's a hard habit to break! I have now maintained a healthy weight for about two years and I'm currently a size 10. I still eat healthy and exercise at the gym twice per week, the only difference is I snack on chocolate or sweets in small portions probably every night, but make up for it with healthy meals, as my family are on Slimming World. I also walk a lot more than I used to and have begun to enjoy exercise a lot more. I think I probably would like to get back to 9 stone again, like I was in 2013 but the main thing is, i'm happy and i'm healthy.