Fairytale Fantasy

Saturday, 8 August 2015

My Weight Loss Story

For as long as I can remember, my size has been an issue for me. I've always been on the larger side, right from my chubby childhood days. I went on my first diet when I was thirteen, where I lost 7 pounds in a week from eating only lettuce leaves. The next week I gained 9 pounds. And there-in lies the problem. Every two months or so, I would have a breakdown about my size and declare that I was going on a diet. Each time, I would only stick to it for two weeks maximum before I cried into my comfort chocolate bars. 
Pounds creeping on: Age 10, March '10 & August '13
And so this continued until last September. Over that past summer I had eaten my feelings with anything I could get my hands on. I was the heaviest I had ever been. I had a reality check when I was looking through photo's from my summer and I realised just how massive I had grown.
Summer '14, Summer '14 and Summer '09
This is the photo that scared me
When I moved back to university in September, I had a fierce determination unlike any I had had before. I moved into new halls with new people I quickly became friends with. When I went shopping, I only brought fruit, vegetables, salad, rice (wholewheat), grains and chicken. I avoided the chocolate/ice cream isles completely as they were my main weaknesses. A typical dinner for me would be chicken and veg, chicken and rice or veg and rice. I wasn't monitoring my food intake with apps or food diaries like I had tried before, instead avoiding unhealthy items completely. The one cheat I allowed myself were Starbucks frapps and coffee, which were crucial to my functioning at uni. 

I didn't think of this as a diet, instead it was a change in lifestyle. This was cemented by my decision to join the university gym. Now I should point out here that I absolutely despise exercise of any kind and whilst I've been a member of gyms before, I rarely went more than once a fortnight if I were on my game. Initially, the idea of joining the university gym was terrifying. I find the environment so intimidating, with these skinny-blonde gym bunnies spawning from everywhere like minions in a video game. Instead, I had a look at the class timetable. My membership included free access to classes and so I built up the confidence to try a few, in the knowledge that I wasn't wasting any money if I didn't like it. Some classes I absolutely didn't get on with, mainly Zumba where I felt like a headless chicken with legs of lead. But some I actually found myself enjoying. By the time classes started, I was going to pilates, yoga, body conditioning and spinning every week. I actually ended up going to the gym 8 times a week. 

I KNOW. Don't worry, I wasn't over-doing it. For every spinning class I did, I did two yoga or pilates classes. I didn't want to set a precedent I wouldn't be able to maintain. My flat mates all had memberships too, so I often ended up going to classes with Liz, Megan or Schenelle, meaning we had a flat-wide support system in operation. 

I didn't have any scales at uni, which actually was a blessing. I wasn't focusing on how much weight I was losing, just in making sure I kept up with my new lifestyle. The first time I weighed myself was October 9th, when I went home for my brother's birthday. I knew I had lost weight, as my mother had exclaimed so the second she saw me. I figured I'd lost a few pounds, and I was totally happy with that. Instead, I realised I had lost well over a stone. I was shocked and proud, but concerned. I never thought I would be able to keep it off. But I did. 

I maintained my level of exercise until mid-way through November. You may know that I entered NaNoWriMo, a writing competition in November where you attempt to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. I had been entering since my early teens and whilst I never managed to complete it, I still loved participating. November also became insanely busy with university work, as I had several assignments to submit. I only went to the gym once or twice a week, but I managed to keep my food intake about the same, with the exception of more Starbucks to get me through the twelve hour stints I was pulling in the library. Not to blow my own trumpet, but I kind of aced the semester. Despite how busy I was, I managed to pass my modules with two firsts and a 2:1. I also wrote the first 50,000 words of my novel, completing NaNoWriMo for the first time. Upon reflection, I think my change in mindset relating to my health and fitness crossed over to my academic progress. I was even more determined to do well than I had been before. And I refused to give up with NaNo, no matter how hard it was. I was so proud and happy that I felt content with the fact I probably hadn't lost any weight during this period. But I was wrong. When I weighed myself on New Years Eve, I realised that I had lost two and a half stone since September. I was utterly elated. 
A brief moment of fun during the deadline week slog
Christmas is a hard time for everyone, with an abundance of delicious food and the comfort of the cosy sofa and magical films. I found that I couldn't eat anywhere near as much as I used to, as I had grown used to my more healthy sized portions at uni. On Boxing Day I grew ill with a virus, and I didn't really eat much the next week. When I recovered, I ate as healthily as I could. 
From my uni trip to Malta in Jan '15
This is something I continued throughout the next semester. I didn't go to the gym any-where near as much, as I was spending every day in the library from the get-go. I still managed to keep loosing weight as I controlled my food intake. This carried on until June when I began my summer. 
March '15
At Ascot in June '15 and a photo from my blog taken June '15
Being at home is diffucult as I have no access to gym facilities. I'm also not doing the food shopping, so there are lots of treat-like items around. I've relaxed my eating somewhat, but I haven't let myself go crazy. When I weighed myself last week, I worked out that I've lost 57 pounds (4 stone) since the beginning on last September. I'm so overjoyed and proud of my progress. I've learnt a lot in the last year, and whilst its no doubt been challenging, I wouldn't change anything. I'm back at uni in a month, and I'll start up at the gym again. 
At the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in July '15
People ask me what my 'goal weight' is. It's not so much about the weight as it is about how I feel in my own skin. Whilst I am so much happier than I was last year, I still feel like I have a way to go still. I am planning on trying to lose a further stone this coming semester. But even once I lose that weight, I will still try and maintain this lifestyle. I want to keep feeling healthy and happy. 
Let me know if you have any questions about anything I've written here, as I've tried to keep it as short as I could. I'd love to help out if I can!
Soph x

P.S. If you're reading this, I'd just like to give a shoutout to Liz, Megan, Alice and my lovely mumma for their support. Love you girls!

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