In early 2014, an event triggered a change in my life that I never thought would happen. After a very sad family funeral, my mother and I were in our dingy hotel room in London when she turned to me and said she loved me, but she was fearing for my health.
It was at that point I knew I had to change. I had to lose weight.
Was I obese?
Yes. There’s no way of cushioning that fact. I was quite severely overweight. I was a size 18 and standing at 5ft 6. That’s not good in anybody’s book. Looking back, I can’t remember why I never thought I could change. But being the ‘big girl’ had been my identity for so long, I never thought I could be ‘smaller’. I was a size 14/16 in school, and just got bigger as I attended University. I’ve always been the fat friend, the one boys ignore, the one who got bullied for her size. The shy, painfully quiet bookish type.
Back then, the thought of me losing weight was like shedding off part of my personality. Something I simply couldn’t do.
So what triggered my weight loss?
That’s something I can’t really answer. It may be thanks to the emotional place I was just in – this being the evening of a highly emotional family funeral. It may be down to the fact that I was easily the largest person at this funeral – including all my cousins, aunts and family members. It may just be the fact I was bored and hated who I was.
How did I lose weight?
Slowly. So slowly. From all my years of reading, I knew that dramatic weight loss could lead to an eating disorder. And because of my personality, I knew that weight loss could easily become something I fixated on. So I took my time, and never weighed myself.
For me, not weighing myself was just a cowardly way out. I didn’t want to admit how big I’d got. And to be honest, I still have no idea what my starting weight was. I’m guessing around 15 stone.
So what I did was simply upped my exercise and changed my eating plan.
How I lost weight through exercise.
Upping my movement was definitely something that attributed to my weight loss. Beforehand, I had the movement of a slug. I could sit very still for hours on end and not feel the need to move.
But I knew I had to do something to change.
I thoroughly dislike doing exercise in places like the gym. It doesn’t appeal to me, and my crippling shyness just wouldn’t make it a good place for me to go. So I started researching alternative ways of exercise.
And that’s when I found the YouTube channel FitnessBlender.
To keep this brief, FitnessBlender is a gimmick-free fitness and exercise channel run by husband and wife team Daniel and Kelli. On this channel, they provide full-length workout videos and plans – alongside health and nutrition info.
For a novice like me, I found their ‘beginner’ workouts were at the right level to tire me out and I could slowly make my way through the videos, and through the difficulty level.
After about 6 months, I was exercising about 4/5 times a week, twice a day.
These weren’t insane workouts. I was averaging about 1 1/2 hours a day, split in half, and they were ranging between things like cardio, upper body, abs, pilates, and weights.
I got a real buzz from exercise, and I loved how supple my limbs felt after a good workout.
How I lost weight through eating
This was less of a massive change, and more just about tweaking. Gone were the large meals, biscuit guzzling, and takeaways I was having. And I embraced a far more sustainable way of eating. I found out what my body needed, and stopped eating for the sake of it.
I couldn’t tell you how much I was eating back then. Because I used to eat through boredom. Snacking was a very regularly, fatty part of my day.
Nowadays, my relationship with food had massively changed. I’ll be dealing with that in a later post, but I’m far more aware of what I’m putting in my body now.
How long did it take me to lose weight?
About 4 and a half years. I’m now down to a happy size 10 and around 9 and a half stone (once again, a guess).
I’m very proud of what I’ve done in regards to weight loss. I could never imagine myself getting big again, and frankly have a real terror about it.
But I hope this has helped some readers if they’re interested. I’d love to answer any questions you guys may have (if I can).
A brief disclaimer.
I’m not a trained nutritionist, doctor or any medical professional that deals with weight loss. I cannot offer any information or advice that should be deemed as ‘gospel’. If you really want to lose weight, you should speak to those who are trained in it, rather than me.