Or the Lifestyle Change I was looking for
I was never a petite size 8, never have been, never will be. What I can be is fit, healthy, full of energy and a curvy size 14. I have done it once before, carried it off through sheer power of will and an extremely competitive nature. So there is no reason why I cannot do it again, and keep it up for as long as I am physically able.
Let me explain. I have spent most of the last four decades of my life feeling out-of-shape. I have never been totally comfortable in my skin bar that period in my life when I made these changes happen.
The year was 2010 (pre-motherhood) and I was determined. There was money at stake, after all. We had started a weight loss club at work, something akin to The Biggest Loser. The person who lost most weight went home with a wad of cash. It was also the year M went and bought the Nintendo Wii Sports and Wii Fit.
This is where the competition started. There was no way I was going to let M outrank me on that leaderboard. Not in the hula-hoops, not in the boxing, not in the jogging. Not even in the snowball fight. I remember coming home from work and spending a good couple of hours trying to outdo his scores from the previous day. The best part was it was tremendous fun. It never felt like exercise. By the time I noticed, I had a neatly raised heart-rate and had burned a couple of hundred calories just playing games.
It was the same with the tennis on the Wii Sports. There was no way I was going to let some computer-generated avatars out-shine me.
I could have done it the easy way, of course. Parked my behind on the sofa and just swished my wrist to register movement. That would mean I was cheating. Not M, not the Wii, but myself. I don’t do that. So there I stood, breaking into a sweat, whacking a virtual tennis ball with my pretend tennis racket.
As with most things in life, the more you put into something, the more you get out of it. By the time I got pregnant, I was down to 12 stone. Still overweight, but feeling more energetic, fitter than I had done in a very long time.
The stresses of parenthood meant I resorted heavily to emotional eating. Something that, unfortunately, I was brought up believing to be normal, even healthy. It was the end of the weight-loss and fitness I had worked so hard to achieve.
Until… 2016 is the year I make the change. The lifestyle change I have desired for so long. The Wii has been revived and I have made it a point to use it at least three times a week since the start of this year. 3 pounds lost in 3 weeks is a good start.
This, coupled with sensible eating. No fad diets, no crazy counting, nothing but old-fashioned good sense. If I feel hungry, I stop and think. What do I feel like eating? Junk. Should I really eat it? No. But I feel like it. Okay, why not eat a piece of fruit first. Or some cheese and nuts. Then have a drink of water. Then have that piece of chocolate or biscuit or crisps. By the time I have eaten the healthy snack, I have had time to reflect on my actions and their consequence. My hunger is somewhat satiated too. So I eat only a small piece of junk, if at all.
This is what I have been telling myself to stay motivated. “It is not a diet, I am looking at a lifestyle change. I am not accountable to anyone but myself.” So if I cheat, eat when nobody is watching, I am, in effect, cheating myself.
Diets end when you reach your target weight. Once that happens, the pounds start piling back on. With a lifestyle change, I am making a choice. A choice to eat better, move more, stop to see if I feel full before reaching for seconds. A choice to ensure my son, my family, gets a strong foundation in healthy living that will see them making the right choice for themselves.
Join me as I aim to achieve that elusive change. Maybe we can do this better, together.