Taking the scenic route.
by Gem Zammit
I have never been skinny. Growing up looking different and getting bullied for it, was just something else to contend with and my self confidence always took the brunt of it. In July 1998, I met Ray at work. He was unbelievably shy so I had to do all the chasing. We bought our home together, moved in the following June and married in July 2000. I was happy, secure and content and the weight literally piled on.
I had a few attempts at losing weight after getting married and lost around 1 and a half stone, but it soon went back on and more. Fifteen years of becoming comfortable and content with life had seen me gain over 5 and a half stone from the point when I first met Ray. In August 2014, 1 week exactly before my 37th birthday I decided enough was enough, only I had the power to do something about the way I now looked and felt, I was desperately unhappy in myself so I asked Ray for a 3 month subscription to Slimming World online for my birthday present.
The following picture shows me as I began my journey weighing in at 16 stone 2lbs (226 lbs). I weighed in on my birthday a week later with a 4 lb loss and so it began.
In November 2014 I started a more physical role at work and by Christmas December 2014 I had lost 2 stone (24 lbs)
My entire relationship with food was changing. Instead of skipping breakfast and sometimes lunch, then getting in from work and snacking on biscuits, sugary coffee, tea and multiple bags of crisps, all before sitting down to dinner or a takeaway and an unimaginable amount of full fat Coke. I was now eating healthily and regularly, filling myself up in between meals with fruit. People were beginning to notice and this spurred me on even more. I began jogging, bought an exercise bike and was clocking up 9-12 miles a night walking at work.
By the time we departed for our fortnight’s holiday in May to Egypt this year I was 4 stone lighter. One of my proudest moments was putting on the seat belt on the plane, just 1 year before the belt was right at the end of it’s length, this time however I had around 10+ inches still spare! This next picture shows a comparison, me on the same holiday 12 months apart. I had gone from a size 22-24 to a size 14-16.2 weeks all-inclusive was kind to me. I ate and drank what I wanted of the evening, but made healthy choices for both breakfast and lunch, gaining just 4lbs overall. I felt confident walking around the pool in my swim suit, instead of hiding under t-shirts and sarongs. I was not slim, but I was definitely heading in the right direction.
Upon our return I struggled to get back on plan properly and after not seeing the losses I wanted I began to beat myself up and basically gave in altogether.
In August this year I decided I needed to get back to it before I lost all control. Not content with just trying to lose the weight I had re-gained (around 14 lbs since May) I decided I would give up smoking as well! A few weeks later I joined a local Slimming World group as I decided I could no longer do it alone. I weighed back in at group 2 days after my 38th birthday at 13 stone 4lbs, almost a year to the day, but still just under 3 stone lighter than before. I quickly reached my ½ stone award and managed to get back down to 12 stone 8lbs, but then again I began to struggle and the old doubts began to resurface. The last few weeks have been difficult, this time of year is such a hard time when you are trying to be good with get togethers and parties and I have had 3 gains in 3 weeks. I have been really good this week determined to get a loss at group this Monday even though I dare say with 3 days off plan decided for Christmas itself I will get another small gain the week after.
2016 is going to be the year I shift the remaining 26 lbs, I will get to my target. I might not get there as quick as others do or have done. Weight loss is a journey, as the lbs disappear you unveil more about you. Here’s me right about now, at the works Christmas Movie Theme Party as Darla from Finding Nemo.As I say to those who are new to my slimming world group and at the beginning of their journey, If I can do this anyone can! Honestly.
The real you is inside somewhere no matter what. If you want to do it then you will, but you need to do it for you, and you alone. The real me was there all along. I just needed to shed 50 lbs to see her again. I am so much happier in myself. I am far from perfect and never will be, but I will be happy in the skin I have. I’m just taking the scenic route to get there.
(This is a guest piece written by Gem Zammit not Sarah Woodside.)