Slimming World Update – Week 52 – One Year Special

Hi there

I’ll start by telling you that at last night’s weigh in I lost 2.5lb which, despite not being all the weight I gained over the last two weeks, is a good enough start for me. It takes me back to 5 Stone 12.5lb.

But actually what I want to talk about today is not last night’s group, or even this weeks result.

You see this is a pretty special post for me, because last night’s weigh in marked the 1 year anniversary of my joining Slimming World and starting on this incredible journey I never believed I could make.

A year ago I was in a very different ‘place’. I weighed 6 stone more than I do now, had a very different relationship with food in general and my outlook on life was tired, sad and often on the negative side. I was so consumed with being a new mother and the associated challenges that come with that, that I’d almost ceased to exist as a person in my own right. I don’t think that’s wholly unusual in new mothers, but I was compensating for this lack of self worth by giving myself the one thing that I really didn’t need. High sugar, high fat food and lots of it. It’s sad to think I gained 2 stone after I had my son (and not, as someone assumed the other day, while I was pregnant), but I think I need to make it clear that I can’t blame my starting weight solely on motherhood. I have been obese my whole adult life. My weight’s fluctuated a bit, but except for a year or so I’ve been a size 22/24 all my adult life. The last time I wore the size 16’s I’m wearing now was in my late teens.

A couple of things happened to motivate me to change things in 2013. Firstly my son turned 1 in the April (I wore a size 24 dress to his party. It was pretty tight) and I realised I wouldn’t be able to the use the ‘new baby’ excuse for much longer. He wasn’t new any more!

Around the same time I also started keeping a gratitude journal via the Happier.com app, recording three happy moments a day. I did it daily and realised within a few months that all my happy moments were about Oscar and never about me. This got me thinking. So I started my blog to give me something of an outlet, with no intention of sharing it 😉 !

Then over the next few months I happened to see a couple of photos that shocked me rigid.

First there was this one.

May 2013 (c) Louise Phillips

May 2013 (c) Louise Phillips

At the time I told myself it was just an awful photo – that the boy was extremely wriggly and I was caught in an unflattering position, trying to keep hold of him. Now, I think it looks like I’m trying to hide behind by one year old son.

Then a couple of months later this was taken at Oscar’s toddler group summer picnic.

July 2013

July 2013

I was convinced this was going to be a great picture of the two of us and when I saw it I was heart broken. That dress is a size 26.

I knew something had to change, but funnily enough joining Slimming World wasn’t so much about losing weight at first. It was more about getting some space for me. So OK, so my reason for joining might sound odd to you, but it was hugely motivating at the time. I’m not sure if I had joined with the sole intention of losing lots of weight I would have succeeded in quite the same way. I went with no real expectation, putting no pressure on myself to ‘do well’.

But to my surprise, after a couple of weeks I did start to ‘do well’ and the boost it gave me was immeasurable. The ‘plan’ (I never call it the ‘plan’ – it makes it sound a bit cult like!) made me question how I thought about food. Don’t get me wrong, I knew what foods were nutritionally better for me than others, but this actually made me stop and think about the food I was eating, rather than blindly eating whatever I fancied. The group sessions, or Image Therapy as Slimming World rather grandly call them 😉 were also a revelation. I found, and still do find, talking about any issues I’ve had that week incredibly useful, but not only that it also gave me the space to be proud of my achievements, something I’d never done before. Accepting compliments is incredibly liberating. If you’ve not done it before, I highly recommend it.

The rest of the year you probably already know. It’s passed anyone’s expectations, probably because no one actually had any 🙂 . My SW achievements include:

  • Winning Slimmer of the Week 12 times
  • Winning Slimmer of the Month 3 times
  • Losing 10% of my body weight
  • Winning ‘Greatest Loser of the Year’ for Liphook 7.30 group
  • Losing 6 stone in just under one year

12 What a loser! 20140627-124559-45959549.jpg

But the achievements I’ve seen every day have been just as incredible

  • Going from a size 26 to a 16 Dress (with a stop off in my gorgeous size 22 Monsoon dress)
  • Getting back into my pre-pregnancy size 22 jeans and quickly slimming out of them again
  • Walking everywhere. I’ve halved the time it takes me to get anywhere, meaning I keep arriving early to everything!
  • Buying my first ever pair of skinny jeans – and living in them!
  • Finally fitting into Fat Face and Joules and other brands that don’t even carry plus sizes.

photo 4 - Copy

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But I guess my greatest achievement so far has been just to keep going. To finally understand that no one else is responsible for this journey. Only me.

It’s not always easy. I have hard times, same as everyone. I have set backs and disappointments. I have days where I just don’t want to care any more. Days when I’m sick and tired of thinking about food and whether the choices I’m making are the best ones. Weeks when I look at the scales and want to cry, be it a gain or a loss. But despite all that, I just keep going. Something in me wont let me not.

Because you see I’m not finished yet. I still have further to go than some people ever do, but I have lost more than I need to lose and that’s a great feeling.

Hey what am I saying, I haven’t lost this weight. It’s gone. I have no intention of finding it again!

So the coming year? Who knows. I still have no idea of what my final target weight will be, or even should be. It was so far away I couldn’t even think about it before. Perhaps this year I will. I have my next interim target (to lose 2 more stone, making a total of 8 stone) to reach and I’m happy enough with that for now. Scales aside, who knows? I’m looking forward to buying a new winter coat to replace my old size 24 one. I want to take up yoga or pilates. Little things really.

Most of all I want to keep this happy, confident feeling. I feel like I’m visible for the first time in so long, I don’t want to fade again.

See her? That’s Lisa that is.

Have a great week

xxxxx

 

 

My one year Bloggiversary

OK so I’ve just noticed something and I had to share.

I’ve been blogging for a year.

Well over a year actually. I wrote my first ‘proper’ post on 7th July 2013. I remember writing it like it was yesterday, on my phone, sat in the Friary Centre Costa Coffee in Guildford. It was about Primark. Random I know. Do I share it again? I didn’t actually share it the first time round. It’s not really that interesting. But hey, I guess it’s kind of important because it’s where I started. In that case here it is:

I’m having an afternoon off from mummy duties and spending a bit of alone time in Guildford. I needed to get Oscar some more short pyjamas (as the ones our friend Becky bought him for his birthday are proving such a hit). So my first instinct was to go to M&S. They have always been a staple of O’s wardrobe, providing good quality basics at reasonable prices. So anyway I went straight there and got exactly what I wanted. Short pyjamas, three pairs, for 12.

However, as all my maternity/holiday/savings finally ran out this month I’m on something of a budget drive. It’s not that I wasted money before but one of the things I always worked hard for in my life was the ability not have to budget. But needs must and anyway I think “hmmm I wonder if Primarni has anything cheaper?”

I don’t often go to Primark. Not because I have anything against it per se, just as a plus size I’ve never found anything to fit me in there. I have also found the children’s section, particularly for young boys, to be woefully small, especially in the Guildford branch. But as I’m trying to careful with my pennies (well not my pennies but that’s another post) I thought I’d check it out.

It was a mistake and a complete waste of time. Not because, as I suspected, they had nothing I wanted. They did have some really nice little boy clothes. No the problem with Primark was the people in Primark. I’m not talking about the staff, who seemed present and helpful. No I mean the customers.

I know that makes me sound like the worse kind of snob and to some extent it is the people themselves. The kind who will leave their babies screaming in the buggy whilst they rummage for a bargain. It upsets me but who am I to judge?

No, I think its the environment that brings out the worst in people. The low prices somehow send out a signal that this store isn’t really worth caring about thus clothes and shoes and accessories are thrown about with complete disregard rather like a jumble sale. I even found myself taking less care than I ever would in M&S for example. It was then I realised I needed to leave, empty handed.

If you do want to, I think Primark is one to do first thing in the morning and midweek. Other than that I think I’m going to stick to M&S and shop the sales.

Blimey! Don’t I sound posh! I like this post. It helps me see how much I’ve developed my own style – one much less formal than I began with!

I had no vision of where this blog would go back then. I still don’t to be honest. All I know is it’s opened me up to so much more in life than I could ever have imagined. I always secretly harboured a desire to write. Not a novel, I don’t have the patience, but something. I kept extensive journals as a teenager and I’m so glad I did. I love reading them back now. They show me how far I’ve come, but also remind me of the time with such clarity I can practically smell the 50p shots of whiskey and taste the kisses of teenage boys. It’s powerful stuff. Maybe I’ll feel the same about these posts when I’m older, or more to the point when Oscar is older. I’ll look back and wonder what on earth I was worrying about all those years ago.

I think blogging has also helped me to find a voice. To look at my life, really look at it, and decide who it is I actually am, or want to be. I’ve been much more honest in writing than I ever would have been in person. But being honest with myself has made me much happier and positive in real life too. Someone came up to me a toddler group to ask me about this blog a few weeks ago and then proceeded to tell me why she wouldn’t want people knowing stuff about her. I could only say that whilst it’s not for everyone, being so honest with the world (and consequently yourself) is bloody liberating. I’m not sure she understood and to be fair I don’t think I would have had I not pushed myself to do this!

My last post was actually written on my bloggiversary (is that a word? It is now!). It was also my 100th post. 100 posts in a year? I’m pretty proud of that. Proud of the volume of writing and proud of the fact I kept at it. Yay me! However, I think I mentioned my lack of patience before 😉 and I’m certain that I wouldn’t have kept going had it not been for the awesome feedback I get from the people that read my words, you, every time I write. It baffles me and yet at the same time makes my heart happy. So yay you too!

So here’s to us. To a year of writing. And to many more years to come.

Cheers!!!

Cheers!!!