Be Body Positive

by Natasha Anne Chaudhary

Hi There. My name is Tasha and I am the creator and writer of the blog Slimming it My Way. I started my blog at a time when I wanted to feel more accountable for my weight loss journey, as I heard that this helps keeps you on track. If you have to share your story with the world, then you have to be totally honest and tell it all about the problems you face, as well as the successes.

Now over a year on, my blog is still small but my journey has taken a turn into trying to be happy with the current body I have whilst also trying to live a bit healthier. My focus has shifted from weight loss to loving your body and treating it like a princess!

©Natasha Anne Chaudhary

©Natasha Anne Chaudhary

I started my journey after my uncle died of a heart attack in December 2013. He was a very large man and must’ve weighed at least 30 stone. This scared me so much, I decided I didn’t want to end up the same way. So I made the decision to get healthy once and for all and started eating better, cut out takeaways and even stopped drinking alcohol completely for a short while. Throughout my journey I tried various ways to get healthier. I stopped drinking fizzy pop for a long time and at one point even drastically cut down the amount of bread and carbs I ate.

After I lost the majority of my extra weight, (now currently a size 14/16),  I felt more comfortable in my own skin, healthier than I have ever felt and started to love the skin I’m in. It’s sad that I’m only appreciating my body now but nobody’s perfect. I’m a vain lady and I’m the first to admit that!

I decided more recently to promote body positivity because I never liked my body when I was big. You’ll know my reasons for weight loss if you follow my blog but basically, I felt really unhealthy and was worried about how long I had left. At 24-years-old, this is not something you should be worrying about; am I right?! I was also very low in self-confidence, would comfort-eat because I hated my body and would buy clothes to cover up instead of show off my figure.

©Natasha Anne Chaudhary

©Natasha Anne Chaudhary

©Natasha Anne Chaudhary

©Natasha Anne Chaudhary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Body Positivity is really important to me now more than ever, because now that I’m older and a bit wiser (debatable), I see what the media does to women and specifically, the plus-size community and it ain’t right! Plus size women are made to feel inadequate and like they’re not allowed to wear certain clothes because their shape wouldn’t flatter them. Who cares if you feel flattered? Do you like that horizontal striped jumper? Good, then wear it how the hell you want! We are all too quick to judge others based on their looks and never delve deep enough to see the beauty within. A girl may be wearing green dungarees two sizes too small with her hair in a frizzy bun but she may have an amazing intellect that you should take the time to get to know! It’s not your business how she dresses; as long as she feels good, that’s all that matters right?

If your weight affects your health, then maybe make a few healthy changes but do it to feel healthier, not because someone else told you to. Treat your body well and look after it in any way you can.

It’s not all about weight loss, it should be about loving your body in its current state. I love my stretch marks because they show my journey and tell my story. I love my smile because it warms a room. I even love my now seriously saggy boobs because they have gone through a lot throughout my journey to get healthier and my other half  says they are cute! I love that he loves them just as much now as when they were a 40 F!

Promoting self-love and appreciating your body is super important to me because I have been in that place where I hated looking in the mirror. I have shrugged it off when people have pointed and made rude remarks about my size. I believed those inner demons that told me “I wasn’t good enough” but I have also come out the other side a stronger person.

Now I see the importance of promoting yourself and treating your body like a princess. If that means wearing a sexy bodycon dress just because or doing an exercise class to sweat out the day’s stresses, then so be it. It’s your life, it’s your body and you should do what the hell you want with it.

I am choosing to appreciate mine in its current state but also push it further with exercise. That’s my choice. Whatever you do with your body, make sure it is your decision and don’t ever let anyone tell you what to do with it.

 

(This is a guest piece written by Natasha Anne Chaudhary not Sarah Woodside.)

Taking the scenic route.

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.

© Gem Zammit

© Gem Zammit

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.

© Gem Zammit

© Gem Zammit

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.

© Gem Zammit

© Gem Zammit

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.)

Girl In the Back Row

Beautiful 💜

alwaysthinkingimfat

I’m the girl in the back row

Hoping that you don’t notice me

Sweat is pouring off my face

With crimson red cheeks

Gasping for air

Overweight and older

Makeup strewn all over my face

Desperately keeping up with the pace

Not a pretty sight

Please don’t discount me

Because I’m still smiling

Giving it what I have

From my heart

One a quitter

Now a fighter

Terrified people are laughing at me

But I refuse to feel I don’t belong

I’m here to stay

Help me to my goals

Give me your support

I may not keep up

But with help and guidance

I can take it to the next level

So when I’m in the back row

Flash me a smile

Give me a wink

Let me know you understand

I just want to exist

In this new world

To feel stronger

Every day

To define my life

On my own…

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