Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Day 8 - Weigh-in 2, Exercise, Meatballs and Michael Pollan

This morning I made an EXTRA effort to wake up at a respectable hour (9.30am yo!) and I decided to start the day with a celery, apple, tomato and grapefruit juicy smoothie.  It made me feel so powerful I ended up doing a work out!  Having tried this several times I've decided The Ministry of Sound's 'Pump it up' work out DVD is just not for me.  This may be because of the style or possibly the incredible cheesy grins, but mostly it's because the only place I can do this is in my room and it's definitely too small and not suitable to jump in.

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So I gave up that up and decided to try out some work out videos recommended to me by a fellow subscriber.  It's by a Youtube channel called StartToLoseWeight and there is a belly dancing working that I thought seemed easy enough to follow.  I didn't sweat particularly with it but it entertained me for a while and got me moving!  So all together it was about 45 minutes to an hours workout and I was pleased, so today I did not count my steps. I did wear the Ped whilst exercising and I earned some Weight Watchers points and it was more than what I would earn with 10,000 steps, so I take that as a good sign.

Anyway I had my weigh in today, here are my results:

Start
Weight: 12st 8.6lbs 
Waist inches: 32inches
Hip inches: 42inches
Arm width: 15.5inches
Thigh width: 26inches
BMI 33.25kg/m2

Week 1
Weight: 12st 5.6lbs 
Waist inches: 33inches
Hip inches: 43.5inches
Arm width: 15inches
Thigh width: 25inches
BMI 32.7kg/m2

So, I've lost 3lbs!  How exciting!  I am extremely pleased and I feel so good this week.  However it seems I have some how gained inches on my waist, hips and arms!  Perhaps all the walking has taken off an inch from my thigh but I'm still curious to know why it is I've put on an inch else where.  Perhaps it's water retention? 

But I'm not too worried about it, I'm just pleased I am seeing a change in my body (and mind!)

Another exciting thing I did today was make home made meatballs!

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A total success!  I only had a few and stuck mostly to beans and vegetables but it was happily accepted by the family :)

Last thing I want to update you on is a book I picked up.  It's Michael Pollan's 'The Omnivore's Dilemma'.  I've been looking at a lot of his work and apparently this book will provide an insight into the foods I'm eating.  Part of this journey isn't just about losing weight but understanding what it is that is happening to our food culture and how we live.  I've only read a few paragraphs today and already I'm intrigued!DSC01161

The last note of the day is that I also went into Holland and Barretts and picked up Millet Grain, Quinoa and Tofu Cheese Spread.  The Tofu spread is amazing (especially with broccoli) but I'm looking for recipes and ways to get both Millet and Quinoa.  Any ideas anyone?

Helen

Monday, 30 August 2010

Day 7 - A walking success

My Sunday has been a particularly exciting experience.  I woke up extremely exhausted from the abuse last night and having only had five hours of sleep, I really could not stomach any food.  However I forced down a blackberry and blueberry smoothie which was wonderful.  I love a smoothie for breakfast and I am so pleased I've gotten into the habit so quickly because I know it will come useful when I start working full time. 
On Sundays I usually spend the entire days with my lovely and adorable nephews.  We we0nt to the Wildlife and Wetlands Trust in Barnes and spent most of the day walking, appreciating wildlife and educating the small children.  I found the day easy to cope with as I packed an abundance of sustenance with me including strawberries, raw broccoli, celery, a sandwich, water and bananas. It was an absolutely wonderful day.  Here are some pictures of the day that I want to share with you.
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The day went on and I treated myself to a bar of 70% fair trade, dark chocolate from Divine (one of my all time favourite chocolate bars) and towards the evening we all headed back to a local Chinese restaurant and had dinner.  As for that meal, I could not steer away from MSG or salt but I went carbohydrate free and limited myself on the meat.  I ate until I was very full but overall it was a good dinner.  It's still hard to eat with friends and family but I think this is just going to be one of those things I will learn to do properly along the way.
As for water I think I've had about 1500ml only but that is OK. The most exciting this is that i managed over 12,000 steps today!!  Hurray!  I feel totally powered up to try and do a bit of cardio work out tomorrow.  Life is so amazing.
Tomorrow is weigh-in day and I'm slightly nervous.  I'm sure I have lost weight but I just hope I can reach at least 3lbs.  I'm unsure about these prospects with the slip ups that happened towards the end of this week but I am hopeful.   I can't wait to tell you tomorrow morning!
My final thoughts for the day is that this week has been a true wake-up shake-up.  I love what's happened this week for me and I feel inspired and have changed for the better.  This week has not only been an Earth-quake of an experience but a particularly life-changing ordeal that I quite frankly, need to keep doing because it makes me so happy.  It takes a lot for me to feel peace these days and when I think about how good I am doing, I am so happy. 
I've been doing  a lot of research lately on not only diet but living green and being the best you can be.  This is partly why I get so little sleep because I spend so much of my time having these ideas and curiosities buzzing around in my head. 
I've been learning a lot about the Macrobiotic Diet and while I've been fairly familiar with it in the past, I'm looking at it in more detail and being very scientific about my research.  I've always been fascinated about it and while you all know that I hate the word 'diet', I do think the Macrobiotic uses it in a completely different scene.
As well as this I've finally found out the word for the 'type of eater' I've always wanted to be but have been shot down for doing so.  The word is 'Pescetarian' which describes a person who does not eat meat but does seafood and vegetables.  It's a way of eating I've always been aspired to practice  but have never had the courage or support.  Somehow, somewhere, I've managed to gather courage to go on this journey without fear and so far, I am loving it- talking about walking outside of your comfort zone.
I don't want to be apart of a diet but I am interested in learning from different techniques as I always have been.  I'm very interested in the The Kind Diet (or Kind Life) by Alicia Silverstone and want to learn more about Macrobiotics.  I'm still learning about Raw Food and I'm still keen on researching about exercise.  I've discovered a passion and it's self-improvement, for sure.
I don't want to keep rambling so I hope you enjoyed today's post.  Fingers crossed for tomorrow and let's hope it's going to be fantastic!
With love,
Helen

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Day 6 - If at first you don't succeed...

Another day of mixed feelings.  I remembered that tonight I would be going to a BBQ before going out to clubbing and I have to say it really worried me.  I spent the whole morning trying to think of the lowest calorie foods possible.

This morning I had a cherry and raspberry smoothie for breakfast and it went down well seeing as the binge eating made me feel awfully bloated.  Lunch was plain scrambled eggs on one slice of wholemeal toast.  For a snack I ate raw broccoli with Philadelphia  cheese dip.  I actually really love broccoli raw and I've been told that raw sweet corn is also delicious so I'm going to give it a go.  All of that was 646 calories and by the time I set off I had walked 7000 odd steps. 

At the BBQ I felt I could not say no to the food.  I arrived late to the BBQ but I did think this would work in my favour because I would spend less time with the food.  Unfortunately when I got there the lovely parents gave me a really sexy (and bad) cheese burger and also two hot dogs.  I just could not say no because I didn't want to upset them so I ate them.  Granted, it was delicious, even the white bread.  I was also given a beautifully made cup cake which I scoffed and then washed it all down with some apple juice.  Well, if that's not chaos I don't know what is.

I spent the rest of the night dancing in a sweat which I felt good about because it almost justified what I did...well it doesn't but it made me feel better. 

Tomorrow I'm off to the Kew Gardens with my nephews and hopefully it should be a relatively peaceful day on the food front.  Perhaps I can make it as good as possible ready for my weigh in on Monday.

Happy Sunday everyone!

Helen

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Midnight Binge - She's coming to get me...

One of the likely events I didn't quite prepare myself for is the lapsing of my bingeing habit.  It's 5.32am and I've just murdered everything I've done in the last five days.

Before I went to bed I submitted a post about day 5 and just how wonderful I had done that day, but remember how I said I was hungry and I think I made bad food choices?
Well as I submitted that post I was beginning to get ravenous and I hadn't even partaken in my evening shower and face routine.  By the time my head hit the pillow, my stomach was so empty I felt sick.  In hindsight, I wish I had made the sensible decision to eat something small so this wouldn't happen; but I guess I just wanted perfection for the day.  This is what happens when you don't listen to your body.

I woke up about half an hour ago cold from being hungry and my stomach aching with emptiness.  I woke up thinking about food and within seconds I shot out of bed and marched to the kitchen. It was like my whole body was possessed by the old-fat me and I could not shake her off.  I allowed myself to do what my craziness wanted because I needed to feel the crappiness in the morning to teach myself a lesson.  Like a movie, I watched myself rip open the fridge and like a crocodile I snapped at the things closest within close range.  In went for a cold, deep fried chicken wing that Mum insisted on keeping in the fridge (I'm not blaming her but I KNEW I should have thrown those out). What was next?  Some pickles!  I almost went back in my room but my eyes caught the wholemeal English Muffins.  As if my body knew I didn't allow myself to eat those, it took revenge by scoffing one too. I even had the audacity to toast it!  It doesn't end there, I decided to throw in my favourite piece of smoked mackerel in the mix.  As I made my strange fish muffin I was feeling rather ashamed because by this time, my craziness was beginning to subside.  Why was this happening to me, again?

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I sat down with my demon sandwich and began munching the salty flavoursome badness.  It wasn't long before I felt a bit sick because of how fast I was eating and the strange texture of only carbohydrate and meat. So in my clever wisdom I decided to grab one of my organic tomatoes and eat that.  I think in my head I felt better for eating a vegetable but in reality I was just adding calories and fooling myself. 

When I finished, I took a swig of water and slumped back into my cold bed and tried to sleep.  I could not even close my eyes because my stomach is now bloated and full to the brim.  This is not an ideal situation.

I'm scratching my head thinking about why this has happened.  Let me try and break it down but it is 5.45am and it's not like I've demonstrated sanity so bear with me.

  • I wonder if it's because I ate too big of a lunch and therefore eating a very small dinner had caused me to be hungry at midnight?  I'm unsure but this could be it.  In saying this, I had a fair bit of food in the evening and it should have tide me over.
  • My second theory is that perhaps the mid-day bowl of white rice was not a good idea.  Sticky, white carbohydrates must have caused my sugar levels to drop so I woke up cold and hungry.
  • I hope its one of the above because if it happens to be theory three then I'm really worried.  My final theory is that perhaps I've been pushing myself too hard and it was my body's way of rebelling. It knew that I had little discipline, will or rationality at this time of morning so it was the easiest way to get to what it wanted.  God forbid that happened because now I'm afraid to sleep.

I hate that I talk about 'my body' as if I have so little control that my soul, mind, and body are all separate entities.  The truth is I think that is so until I learn how to control everything that is actually mine, but I just have not managed to do so.

I considered that the meal I just ate was about 400 calories and perhaps I should deduct that from my 1200kcal allowance of day six.  But I've decided that I will omit it and do some exercise when I wake up.  If I ate 800kcal only I would probably repeat this mornings mistakes and perhaps collapse in the London bar I will be partying in.

I'm mad at myself and myself only.  What an outrageous sabotage to everything I've been working for.  I don't want to beat myself up about it but I am utterly ashamed and disappointed.  It's sad to know that this journey isn't just about doing things like a soldier but actually listening to my body and never depriving it.

And what are my lessons learned?  Perhaps I will never allow white rice to touch my lips again but that's unlikely.  I will eat if I'm beginning to get hungry and if I wake up in a cold sweat like this morning I will sip water and have a banana instead of a fish muffin.

The worst thing is I now have a headache and I've disrupted my sleep, bad time.  No doubt I'm now going to have a nightmare and the rest of the day will be a struggle.  I will report back in the evening and it's probably not going to be pretty.

Helen

PS, I just realised on top of everything, I filled up and drank from the wrong water bottle.  Someone will not be happy when they wake up.

Day 5 - Greasy Chinese, you interest me no more.

It's Friday and what a wonderful day it's been.  I'm sitting here tonight slightly hungry; perhaps I made some wrong food choices but I've eaten well within calories and it's struck me that today I ate very little processed goods.  I count tinned goods as processed (tinned Chinese mushrooms for lunch today) and while I know frozen vegetables can also be classed as so, I can let whole frozen foods slide (more on this subject another time).

This morning I woke hungry again especially because I rose at 12 noon again.  I hate that I just cannot manage to sleep early and wake up early; this is a habit I MUST break.  Funnily enough it seems harder to manage than eating healthily and ironically I love to sleep.  I guess I love doing 'nothing' more.  I started the day with a mixed berry, banana, honey and soya milk smoothie.  I have to say, starting the day with a nutritious hit really makes me smile.  At lunch time I ate a huge stir fry with fish and lots of leafy greens and mushrooms.  Unfortunately I decided to have some rice which was not so clever so 545kcal went straight to my tummy.  It's not so bad because I had a really small dinner of herby Philadelphia baked tomato with a broad bean and bacon salad.  I snacked on bananas and apples (I'm really loving the organic braeburn variety at the moment). 

So 2 litres of water has been guzzled happily today (even a cheeky cup of tea).  I only managed 7000 odd steps today but that's quite OK as I ate around 1180 calories.  So overall, a success.

What's more of a pat-on-the-back is my will to resist the greasy Chinese take away food we serve in our shop.  I'm always picking at food on the weekends when I work but today, not a single chip or chicken ball touched my lips.  I've just suddenly realised that this stuff is awful.  Don't get me wrong, not all Chinese take away food is bad for you and if you choose wisely, you can still do well eating Chinese take away; it's one of the few take aways you can buy in England that isn't as bad as it seems (unlike our Pizza Hut, KFC or McDonalds).  If you're smart and ask nicely at a trusted place, you can ask for vegetable and meat stir frys and ask for little salt and MSG.  So I'm not shunning the Chinese take away I've grown up with, I'm just saying no to the deep fried goods and the sugary sauces! 

Lastly I wanted to add that I'm thinking of joining my local leisure centre because they offer a cheaper membership and it's supposed to have a good reputation.  It has great facilities and I'm hoping that I can start using their machines or go to their classes. Often at leisure centres they are less fancy than gyms but they do have everything you need.  I believe they even have a badminton court so I might give it a nose around.

It's exciting times and I hope you're as excited as I am!

Helen

Friday, 27 August 2010

Day 3+4 AND Body Shots AND Vegetable Ramble

Hello everyone, I'm back for another post update for both day three and day four.  Ideally I would update everyday but it's been an extremely hectic week with a job interview and lots of life organising.

Yesterday being day 3 was not completely disastrous but went well considering the circumstances.  I woke up to mackerel and a tomato for breakfast; I know what you're thinking but I personally can eat smoked mackerel anytime anywhere and we had little in the fridge so tomato it was.  I wasn't hungry because all I could think about was my job interview.  Before I left the house I microwaved a corn on a cob and it's become my new favourite power snack.  There's something about eating a corn on a cob that makes you feel like you're really going for it; it's like eating a chicken drumstick but sweet, crunchy and healthy!
Having travelled across London and endured a really gruelling interview, I went to meet a friend and ended up in Starbucks.  Fortunately at this point I had many calories left so I had a Chicken and Roast pepper panini, ginger snap biscuits and a skinny white chocolate mocha.  Honestly, I don't count that as a disaster because the rest of the night was chaos in comparison. 
I went to meet my girlfriends at a local bar and as usual to accompany our bottles of Rose and Woo Woo pitchers, we ordered food platters to keep us fed and to soak up the alcohol.  Needless to say I ended up picking at lots of deep fried goods and crisps; "delicious" but I did feel mildly sick eating it.  Having rediscovered my love for healthy food again, these foods no longer did much for me but make me feel awful afterwards.  I drank a glass of Rose and a glass of Woo Woo.  I'm not proud but it could have been a lot worse!  I did OK in terms of water but it could have been better.  Luckily, I managed my 10,000 steps.

So it's day 4 and today was a complete and utter success; I didn't manage the 10,000 steps and nor did I drink all the water but today I made correct choices and decisions, that is what is shocking and extremely encouraging.
I woke up to more mackerel again.  You see these days when I wake up I'm not only thirsty but ravenous.  Having downed lots of water my stomach was crying out for sustenance.  I realise when this happens it's protein that my body needs even though I would love to gobble up a bagel.  So I will choose something like fish, eggs or even cheese.  I later made myself a smoothie with berries and added spinach for an extra boost in iron. 
I went shopping today and I find eating out one of my bigger challenges.  My sister and I had planned to go to Crepe Affair and luckily they have nutritional values of each crepe on their website.  I asked for less cheese in my Veggie Delight crepe and I had water!  I said no to a second crepe and skipped out on ice cream.  What a triumph!  I did feel a bit sad at the time but it soon passed.
I went home and made a wonderful dinner of grilled aubergines, a chick pea salad, steamed brocolli and grilled green pepper.  I am feeling great!

So four days are over but they are the least of my worries; the weekend is usually what breaks me because I work in a Chinese Take away.  I find myself giving into greasy plates of noodles but I know I can choose healthily. I will plan and try to minimise damage by walking, drinking and eating more vegetables.  I need to remember to lay off of the salt!

Also you will find in my Quick Progress Time Line pictures of my body in underwear.  I do apologise if I offend anyone but I'm sure it would be useful to others and myself for comparison.  I will do these body shots once every month and hopefully will not bombard you with too many of these pictures.  So I thought I'd give you a quick look now:

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I'm not too sure what to say about this but "yuck".  How did I let this happen?  Anyway, I hope this is the last time I will be like this!

Lastly I wanted to share with you my thoughts on the new diet and how it's helped me rediscover loving vegetables and how little I need or want meat.

Despite what you think (considering the picture above) I have been a huge vegetable eater and I love salads above onion rings, chicken wings, burgers or steaks.  I love my vegetables and quite clearly my vegetables love me.
Having gone through four days of eating relatively clean I've found an even deeper and intense passion for them.  How did I eventually lose this love and start focussing on processed goods like Cake bars and frozen sausages?  I have no idea.

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There's something very beautiful about eating what earth provides for you and what's more amazing is how it almost seems like the earth wants your body to be great.  It's making me appreciate the land I live on and now I feel even more of an need to be more 'green' in life.

In the recent issue of Healthy Magazine (which is BRILLIANT this month!) I remember reading something that sent me to the heavens.  A very clever person reminds us to eat foods that are grown on plants and do not eat foods that are made in plants.  It's not as obvious as it seems but it's so true.  The same article talks about what your body needs and that a healthy diet consists of mainly plants, natural goods and only the occasional meat, and I completely agree with this.  For the last few days, living by this philosophy has given me peace and that's probably because meat has a tendency to give me mood swings due to hormones etc. 
Lastly, the man who was writing this article says to never eat something that does not go off.  Obvious, but profound.

I just wanted to share that with you, I will be recording a video all on this tomorrow.  Wish me luck for the weekend!

Helen

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Day 1 + Day 2 - Positive Start

Having not written an update for day 1 or 2, I'm going to give you a quick update on both days.  These diary entries shouldn't be too long winded but hopefully will provide you with insight, entertainment and inspiration.

I spent Day 1 very positive and I completed the day with 1200 calories and a big smile at the end of the evening.  I was most pleased about successfully drinking my 2 litres of water!  What a triumph!  After day 1 I felt hydrated, not too hungry, accomplished and ready to take on the world.

The interesting thing about day 1 is that I wore my pedometer to see how many 'steps' I do on a daily basis.  Granted, this happened to be one of my 'sit at home and vegetate' days and I was shocked to see I only walked 3000 steps and that's WITH doing house work which is a rare event.  I looked at my pedometer (shall we call him Ped) and swore I would see 10,000 tomorrow.  I would show him.

Today I woke up ravenous and extremely dehydrated... had my body turned into a desert over night?  I downed tons of water before breakfast and I was craving a greasy fry up, slabs of toast and lots of cereal.  I shook off the urge and turned to my eggs and thought "you are protein, and you will make me slim".  I made a quick vegetable omelette (yay for basic frozen vegetable mix!) and I spent the rest of the day shopping for clothes.  I have an interview tomorrow and I'm extremely worried, but forget about that for now.

For lunch I headed to Pret a Manger because it was close and I knew that a lot of their foods have calorie information on the labels.  I chose a 'slim pret' sandwich of Cray Fish and Rocket and also their Tuna Salad.  I finished the meal off with a Vanilla Chai tea (skimmed milk, please) and including the estimated chai tea, lunch was well under 400 calories.  It goes to show you CAN eat outdoors if you choose wisely.

Smug faced but starving, I went home and eventually prepared for dinner.  I wouldn't call dinner disastrous but the one thing I did learn is that:

a) I CANNOT have excess food on the table.  This means traditional chinese way of eating is like a mine field. 
b) If I'm not cooking, I have to eat less. 
c) Never make big batches of mixed foods when you're eating with others (i.e. Today's Sausage Ragu).  You just can't tell what you're eating! 

I understand I have a control and discipline problem.  Before I came to terms with that but now I want to fight back.  I refuse to be held prisoner to the voice in my head.

We end this post with pleasant news; I managed my 10,000 steps and I am over the moon.  It wasn't that hard and I really think I can do it tomorrow.  I've also hit my 2 litre water again, go me! *does a dance*.

I'm feeling great but I am very sleepy.  Part of this journey is to regain a normal and healthy life and this means I must make an effort to sleep.  I want to wake up at a decent hour tomorrow so that means I should say hello to my bed soon. 

Let's hope tomorrow is going to be amazing.  How is your journey going?

Helen

Monday, 23 August 2010

My Plan [Phase 1]

Tonight I'm going to go to bed as the fat girl in a rut and tomorrow I'm going to wake up the positive and motivated person I want to be. 

To begin I must inform you on the plan that will be commencing as of the 23rd of August 2010.  It's not going to be perfect and not everyone is going to agree with it.  There's going to be slight changes on the way I'm sure, but this is my guideline; it's how I want to do it and it's of course an experiment in itself.  So if you have any tips or suggestions I will welcome them with open ears but I will not tolerate slander on my life style choices.  So if you are interested in what I plan to do, please read on.

  • I will be eating five times in a day; I choose to have three small meals and two tiny snacks a day.  This is probably the best way to keep what's left of my metabolism up and hopefully keep my sugar levels from slumping (providing I pick my options sensibly). 
    • The general guideline is to consume 1200 calories a day.  From my understanding for weight/height/lifestyle I will lose on average 1.2lbs per week. 
      • Breakfast = 200kcal.  Snack 1 = 100kcal.  Lunch = 400kcal.  Snack 2 = 100kcal.  Dinner = 400kcal (including dessert). 
      • Breakfast guideline:  Protein, vegetables/fruits, water, whole grain.  Low sugar, low salt.  Vitamin supplements.
      • Snacks guideline: Vegetable crudites, fruit, low sodium crackers, nuts.
      • Lunch guideline: Whole grain, protein, vegetables.  Lots of water.  Sugar free. 
      • Dinner guideline: Mainly vegetables and protein from time to time.  Lots of water and sodium free.
      • Dessert guideline:  Fruit, sugar free ice lollies, low calorie ice cream lollies, fruit teas.
  • I will attempt to drink as much water as possible, mainly trying to hit 2 Litres a day.  Having tried and tested this more than once in my life I know how difficult this can be for me but I shall persevere.  Drinking water will not only train my body to crave water as opposed to snacks but it will clear out my system, keep me hydrated and keep my liver healthy.
  • I will aim to sleep more.   It's been suggested that those who sleep little and inconsistently (me) are more likely to become overweight.  Sleeping also keeps my mood levels consistent and means my body will wake up craving less energy.
  • I will aim to exercise very gently three times a week; it's recommended that adults exercise 30 minutes a day, fives days per week.  I detest exercise but I'm trying to change my view of that but I don't want to push myself and in return burn myself out.  I need to start moving but I don't want to turn myself off completely.  For now I shall be walking 10,000 steps a day with the help of my pedometer.  We will see how this goes.  If and when there is a definite exercise regime established, I shall inform you.

That is the rough guideline of phase one.   Good luck everyone, see you on the skinny side.

Helen

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Moving on and never looking back

 

You can call me anything you like so as long as it's not rude. If you're stuck for names, you can call me Helen but most of my life I've been called "Fey Mui" which translates to "little fat girl" in Cantonese. 

I've reached a point in my life where everything is changing; people are leaving, growing up, moving out, looking better, looking worse, getting jobs and breaking up.  For me I feel like I've been standing still for so long and I really do feel like its my time to shine.

I want to begin this journey by giving you a brief summary of my diet history as well as my lifestyle.  Without knowing this, the rest of what is going to happen will probably confuse you.

It all started between the age of 6-9 (my memory fails me on a regular basis) and I flew back to Hong Kong to visit my family and stayed for a good few months.  I went to Hong Kong a bright, healthy, skinny young child and arrived back in Blighty twice the size.  As a very young child I loved food and looking back, had it not been for that holiday I might have had a chance at being one of those adults who were skinny but ate loads, or at least understood moderation.  I remember arriving back in the airport and my whole family looking shocked.  At the time I took it lightly and didn't think much of it; now I realise how much weight I must have put on to be able to get that kind of reaction. 

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You see I started off a normal child.  I wore pretty dresses, I had a pretty face and for the most part they both still apply.  Except my life carried on and a series of weight loss and gain commenced forth.  You MAY notice this below.

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The picture above is of my high school friends and I.  I was 16 years old and I believe heading around 11 stone.  I wasn't the fattest kid around but that's not saying much giving that most kids ate junk and most of us were unhealthy and overweight.  I was at a loss around this time of my life.  Food was my comfort.

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It got really out of hand during college where lunch times consisted of cakes, sandwiches and large bottles of sugary drinks.  I didn't do much any exercise and I was always tired, not to mention the catastrophic mood swings I had.  It was around this time I attracted the attention of boys I shouldn't have and here I began my journey into becoming the insecure and somewhat angry person I am today.

 

4

This is me at my heaviest in Japan.  The sad thing about this picture is that I'm happy on the outside but I was mortified that there was barely enough room for anyone else to sit on the seat with me. 

 

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By the end of the Japan trip, I had well and truly eaten like a King and looked like a hippo.  I felt like rubbish and I looked like rubbish too. 

 

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What you see above is probably half a year later where I was at my skinniest.  I will talk about Sureslim in a later post but I launched myself into a gruelling and soul destroying diet and I lost weight rapidly.  I may have looked better but I was unhappy, always hungry and forever falling asleep.

 

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It wasn't too long when I gave up Sureslim that I went to Austria to go skiing.  I remember looking at this picture horrified because I could tell I was putting on weight.  It might not look a lot here but I could tell worse was to come.  I knew this because I felt completely out of control all over again and I didn't have the courage to stop.  So the weight gain began.

 

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A particularly disgusting picture of myself consuming processed sugary goods at Thorpe Park.  At this point I didn't care.  I loved my then boyfriend and it didn't matter.  What was I doing to my body?

 

10

A much sadder person here in Greenwich Park where I began to overwhelm every single picture taken again.  I still had a pretty face but the rest was just frightening.  I saw these pictures and my heart sank.

11 I decided to begin Weight Watchers and sure enough the weight loss began.  I was happy and smiling and recovering from a bad break up.  I was trying to find myself and I became a better person here.

12

I found an inner confidence somehow but I was still very disturbed deep inside.  This picture was probably taken over a year ago now and I was about a size 12 here. 

 

13

Surprise, surprise, I'm back here again.  Weighing at 12 stone and 9lbs (that's 180.6lbs) to some of you.  I'm heading towards unhappiness again and I cannot really fit into my size 12 clothes.  I'm definitely a 14 going on 16 again and I refuse to go back. 

 

I've done this over and over again and in time I've acquired so much knowledge on the subject.  However, as I have understood, it does not matter how much you know, it's about how willing you are and how much you want it.  I can tell you EXACTLY what I should be doing but I never do it.  Why?

I can put it down to being incredibly lazy; it's hard to begin because the emotional journey that goes along with it is gruelling and my past experiences were not happy ones.  My relationship with food has always been an unhealthy one where by I can classify myself as a food snob but sometimes a good saveloy and chips really hits the spot.  In other words, there isn't much I do not like.  As well as this, my ability to know when enough to enough has disappeared so the portions I eat are getting bigger everyday.  I know and understand a lot about healthy eating and I have some knowledge on exercise.  I've done it before and I can do it again but will I?

So what about my lifestyle?  I'm a student that doesn't 'booze' much at all and eats relatively healthily.  I cook my own meals regularly but my downfall is my weakness against processed carbohydrates as well as fatty meals when dining out.  My exercise routine can be classed as sedentary and I am also an emotional eater.  One of the classic traits I also have is that I began a habit of eating when I'm bored and always clearing my plate even if I'm stuffed.  Grazing cannot be used to describe my snacking habit; it's more like 'get as much food in me as possible when I can'/  It's things like these I will shake off.

I've been on a healthy lifestyle change for a while now and my skin is thanking me as are my moods.  However I'm struggling to shift the weight so I must kick into action The Slimming Strategy.  The amusing thing about that statement is that I do not particularly have a strategy that will wow you.  I plan to eat right, eat less, exercise more and love my body, mind and soul. The specifics of my 'diet' lifestyle change shall be revealed in the next blog post; I was just hoping to fill you in and give you a bit of inspiration to kick start your journey too.

 

This is a journey I hope you support me in and I promise, I will not fail you or myself.

Here's to a lifestyle change,

Helen

 

PS.  I cannot guarantee a post every single day but I think I can manage most :)