We never know where life is going to take us or what challenges it brings. In January 2010 I was happy, so happy I wanted to stay that way for as long as I could. I realised that if Ali and I wanted a long and healthy life together, we had to change. I was clinically obese, had a bad back and my knees were feeling the strain. I had various health problems and I was ageing faster than my years. I looked ahead to a life I did not want. It was time to change. By the end of the year I had lost 4 stone - 56lbs. My confidence rocketed - I had taken control and it had worked. I was exercising, enjoying buying clothes, speaking up for myself.

I began to believe in myself again, I began to dream. For years I had watched marathons with admiration and a lump in my throat. In April 2013, I ran my first marathon.

This blog is about living life as a slim person, staying slim and fulfilling my dreams. Come and join me, support me, advise me!

Take care, Sue

Sunday, 15 May 2011

There's a right time for everything, including diets

What is that makes a diet work? I've been thinking about why I didn't lose weight for the wedding, why did I start 9 months later? And why do people do diet after diet and it just doesn't work, then one day for no apparent reason - bam, they've started a diet, lost the weight and it stays off. What is it that makes that critical difference?

Some people lose weight ready for a big birthday; a wedding; a holiday, a new outfit, a race.  They have a goal, a very clear reason to lose weight and a timescale to lose it in and they go for it.  Some people lose weight as things happen to them - after a divorce, or a break up or a happy event.  Feeling that I should lose weight was enough to send me straight to the biscuit tin.  I sailed through big birthdays, our wedding and honeymoon like a magnificent galleon in full rigging. I hadn't meant to be a fat bride, but I obviously didn't want to be a slim one enough for it to get me on that diet.

Talking to people thinking about weight loss, it's clear diets can start in our heads way before we start losing it on the scales and this preparation time can make all the difference between success and failure.  Some diets start with us feeling unhappy about our weight, dress size or how we look. Some come when you can't run for that bus or climb those stairs. Some start with that dreaded family photo; beach or no beach, I was the family whale for a good few years.  Gradually a cluster of things that matter to us begin to prepare the ground and something unique to every one of us plants that seed of an idea - the thought that we want to change and we want to be different. For many of us, it takes  time to grow and take root before we begin to see any leafy shoots of change. Growth needs the right environment, things have to be right in the real world too, it's not just about heads.

Looking back, I began to get unhappy with my weight about 7 years ago when I got noticeably bigger than my gym buddies. I became the fat one. If you'd asked me, I would have said I was fine, but the thought had begun to settle. I started to think about healthy eating and even bought a GI cookbook. Over the next few years, I looked at weight loss websites - in passing of course! I didn't do anything about how I ate until 6 years later. Ali and I been out for a lovely walk on the beach. We'd treated ourselves to hot chocolate and a toasted tea cake at the Seabird Centre, watching the waves and looking forward to the return of the gannets.  As we headed home, we talked about our future and how we both  wanted to have many more days like this, and our worries that our growing waistlines were likely to cut our happy ever after short.

 When we got home I signed us both up to a weight loss programme. We started that evening and never looked back. It was the right time.   Losing Dad, getting married, holiday photos from Fat Hell were all part of my journey, they all took me a step or two closer to losing weight. That Sunday our time came and we went for it.

It's easy to feel a failure because you're not on a diet and not losing weight. But diets are hard work, they take time, energy and mean you have to change how you go about your every day life -  how you shop, cook and what you eat. You have to be prepared to take some time and energy out for you, and if you're focussed on caring for others that's not always workable.
Life is too short for guilt, if it's not a good time to diet then accept that, but you can begin to prepare -  mentally, physically and emotionally - for your diet.  If you're reading about healthy living, you're already on your weight loss journey, you're preparing and learning. If you've tried a diet and it doesn't work, then you are experimenting to find out what works for you.  You are not a failure. Feeling a failure is not good for anyone, and is totally counter productive, especially round weight where guilt and feeling bad about yourself are so much part of the problem.

For many years, I was fat I and I was very happy, especially on the day Ali and I got married.  Here's a photo taken on the beach at North Berwick on our wedding day, you don't get much happier.  We realised that caring for each other with rich food was going to steal precious years away from us. We decided to lose weight because we want to stay happy and healthy for a long time to come.  Our right time came that Sunday on the same beach. We went home and changed our lives, the next stage of our journey had begun.   The Bass Rock is behind us, and so are our fat days!

Take care