Saturday, 17 September 2016

My Weight Loss Journey So Far

I've spoken before about how my weight is something I have struggled with and felt very uncomfortable about for quite a long time, now.

After always being a skinny child and sitting at just below 9 stone throughout my teenaged years, it came as a bit of a surprise to me when - after being diagnosed with Graves Disease at 18 and put onto steroid based medication to treat it - I suddenly started to gain a substantial amount of weight.

Graves Disease itself is a condition which effects the thyroid gland and this alone can have an impact on a persons ability to maintain their weight - the condition means that my thyroid production switches from overactive to underactive at random, and when you have an underactive thyroid this means that your body isn't burning off calories as it should and can result in weight gain.

Added to the effects of the steroid medication, this meant my size 8 clothes were soon a thing of the past and I went up to a size 16 quite quickly.

But, as is the case with Graves Disease, after a while my thyroid went overactive and the weight started to come off again...This brought me back down to a size 14 and it is then that I fell pregnant with my first child...I was by no means as thin as I once had been, but I felt comfortable at a 14.

Me on my 30th birthday, just before I fell pregnant with Tyne

3 babies in 3 years later, and I found my weight at an all time high - this April, when Sailor was 8 weeks old and I had lost the weight gained during his pregnancy, I decided it was time to start seriously trying to do something about my weight gain.

This was certainly not the first time that I had tried to do something about it, but the problem with a condition like mine is that quite a lot of diets that work well for lots of people seem not to have any impact for my body at all - i've had past attempts at Weight Watchers, calorie counting and exercise, and the Atkins diet which all failed to show any real results.

And when you're putting your all into a diet and exercise plan without seeing any results, it gets very disheartening.

But I knew I had to try.

May 2016, at my heaviest weight - 10 weeks after Sailor's birth

And so I decided to give protein shakes a try - my cousin had been a distributer for a well known protein shake company for a while and had managed to lose around 5 stone in a year by following the plan, so with her as my inspiration I got started.

The diet plan wasn't cheap but I soon found that there are lots of websites who offer low priced sports nutrition and fitness clothing, which meant I was able to stick to my plan and keep it affordable.

Every day I had a shake for breakfast and lunch, and a healthy 500 calorie meal made up of 50% complex carbs, 25% protein and 25% wholemeal carbs. I would also have a protein based snack in the morning and afternoon, ensuring I was eating something every 3 hours and drinking at least 2 litres of water per day.

I also made sure I was exercising for 30 minutes per day, even if this was just going for an uphill walk with the pushchair.

After around 2 months of this, I had lost 10lbs in weight and 14 inches from my body which I was really pleased with and, perhaps even more importantly, I felt much better in myself and could feel my fitness improving. I suddenly had so much more energy to play with the kids, which was fantastic!

Since then, I have switched over to the Slimming World diet as it fits in more easily with my lifestyle at the moment, and I am now down to 2 stones lost.

It feels like a sort of limbo state to be at - I've definitely lost weight because the scales confirm it, but although my clothes feel looser I'm still able to wear them (albeit with some hoisting up!), and I don't feel all that different in myself - when I look in the mirror I don't really see any difference most days between me now and me a few months ago. It's only when comparing photographs that I start to see it a little bit.

Taken last week, at my current weight

But it's all about progress and knowing that, even though there is a long path ahead of me in my journey to fitness, I'm in a better place than I was 4 months ago....And of course it's not all about the numbers on the scales, It's about the non-scale victories too - this week I bought a top from the standard section of a high street store... it was the first non-plus size item I've bought in over 2 years and I was thrilled when it fit fact it was even a little bit loose! I could not believe it!

I still have 5 stone to go but I'm taking it in baby steps - focusing on 7lbs at a time, and hoping that by this time next year I'll be where I want to be!

Wish me luck!

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