What’s made you proud today?

I’m conscious that there are things Oscar clearly loves and others he’s not so keen on, but I’m also aware that he’s a toddler and fickle as you like. What works today, wont work tomorrow as it were. So while it might be easy for me to avoid things he hasn’t enjoyed in the past, it’s also somewhat lazy (and if I always did this we could end up doing nothing). He could change his mind about an acticity any day, so it only makes sense for me to give him periodic access to the things he hasn’t enjoyed previously. It’s like me with olives and Edam (now love olives, still can’t stand Edam)

This is how we found ourselves at a Top Banana craft session this morning. We’ve attended various courses and sessions run by our good friend Lana, some have worked for us and some haven’t. This morning was craft based fun, so playdough, painting, sticking and colouring. Seriously what’s not to like? It was a pretty safe bet. Only thing was the class was being held in his favourite place, The Hen House and previous attempts at getting him to focus on something in the party room, when there is all that free ranging soft play the other side of the door have failed dramatically.

So it was with some trepidation that I took him this morning.We arrived a little early, to give him a chance to play as he wanted to, and as Lana really kindly emailed us the list of activities to me last night, I took some time to tell him what was going to happen. And I’m happy to say it wasn’t a disaster. He played with the playdoh for a while and then made a snail, sticking small pieces of card to a paper plate. He’s not used glue before and I think we’ll definitely be investing in some for home!

This morning's Top Banana Snail

This morning’s Top Banana Snail

 

All in all he lasted 20 minutes of an hour class. I could have tried to hold him in the room, when he really didn’t want to be there any more, but who would have gained from that? I’d given him the access I planned to and it actually wasn’t as awful as it could have been. It didn’t stop me feeling deflated afterwards, sitting alone drinking my coffee. Then I realised I was focussing on what he hadn’t done, when really I should be focussing on what he had done. Which was more than I thought he would. Positive thinking is quite a new thing for me. A year ago, I would have totally just focussed on what we hadn’t achieved. But now, I don’t know, that just feels pointless. Seriously what’s the point on focussing on what wasn’t there? Something that didn’t ever exist? When there’s this concrete thing in front of me, something that does exist?

It’s not always easy and yeah sometimes I still wish he’d do stuff other kids do (or what I think they do – who I am to say what they do is better?). But for now I’m focussing on what he does do. What IS there.

Which today was a feeling of pride and a snail.

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

10310657_10153018031210616_5979446403600930612_n

10380164_10153086577255616_626458390849447359_o

10525961_10153188807680616_8218510534091087663_n 10467062_10153144945450616_5617995078990603884_o

 

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