Initially I started my blog to monitor my weight loss and to help me stay on track. I realised that I was falling into some bad habits and gradually my weight was creeping up and up and my clothes were getting tighter and tighter. I decided that it was time to stop worrying about my weight and getting upset over none of my clothes fitting and to get off my butt and do something about it.
Unfortunately, I didn't really know what I was doing... I got myself the Weight Watchers pack, calculated my daily point allowance and spent the next few months working out the points value of everything I ate and writing it down in my little journal, I spent hours searching the Weight Watchers site and forums for low points value meal and snack ideas, I ate the "low fat" versions of everything and always had a full supply of Alpen cereal bars to hand, I switched to the "diet" fizzy drinks and started putting artificial sweeteners in my tea and coffee, if I was in a hurry I'd microwave a Weight Watchers ready meal and crack open a Weight Watchers desert for after. I remember being so happy when I noticed Tesco had started putting points values on some of their ready meals. Typically I'd star my day with a mug of tea and some Splenda, followed by a bowl of Special K. I'd head to university with some Light crisps and my trusty cereal bar in my bag to snack on. I'd have some shop bought sandwich for lunch and go home to some boring points counted, cheap meal or just microwave something. In the evenings if was hungry it would be anohter bowl of cereal or another cereal bar, may and Options hot chocolate or two. Maybe I might do some exercise, but if I was within my points for the day I didn't need to bother.
I don't think I need to tell you how badly I failed after a few months of this.
Bizarrely, I decided I would try Weight Watchers again a few months later! I simply repeated what I had done before, I had lost a good few pounds the last time so I was bound to lose a few more. I didn't last as long second time around.
Throughout University I continued to try out a few different diets. Atkins, Slim Fast, the Jordan juice diet, Carol Vorderman's detox diet, I had a look at what Gillian McKeith was up too but it sounded like too much effort so I quickly moved on (not hard to spot where I was going wrong is it!?), seriously considered trying Stanley Burroughs' Master Cleanse (also known as the Beyonce Maple Syrup diet), the nothing but soup and fruit diet and every "Bikini Body" diet I ever found in celebrity gossip magazines, I was shoulder pressing tins of beans, doing countless sit ups, prancing around the room to some dodgy workout DVD, walking on the cross trainer for hours at a time.
I was still fat. And unfit.
I finally accepted that Diets. Do. Not. Work.
I had learned a little about fitness and nutrition from my flatmate, who was studying Sports Science and was a competitive swimmer - she was in great shape and had a brilliant attitude towards food and exercise.
I had a rough idea about what was good to eat, I knew some good fats were good for you, I knew a balanced diet was important, I knew I wasn't going to bulk up like Arnie if I lifted some weights in the gym. So I thought I'd have a go at putting all these things into practice, with the help of Paul McKenna - I Can Make You Thin and Rosemary Conley's 5 Day Fat Burner DVD I started to make some changes, little changes but definitely a step in the right direction. Paul and Rosemary helped me learn to listen to my body, stop eating for the sake of eating and start doing regular exercise. Know I don't know about hypnosis, but I do know the Paul McKenna book and CD certainly got me thinking more about how I was eating and although the 5 Day Fat Burner can no longer provide me with a great workout there were some good body weight exercises in there which helped me move onto more serious exercise. I later bought Rosemary Conley's Gi Hip & Thigh Diet book - fortunately by this point I knew there was no such thing as spot reducing fat and that no book was going to magically slim down my hips and thighs, I bought this book because I was interested in the low Gi part. I noticed a lot of Rosemary's recipes involved making regular meals healthy by making simple substitutions and using a lot more herbs and spices for flavour rather than fats. Yes she does have her own range of ready meals but I avoided those and stuck with the wholesome home cooking, switch from white rice, pasta, noodles and bread to wholemeal versions, started adding fromage frais, greek yogurt and cottage cheese to meals, eating loads more vegetables, snacking on fruits and yogurts, cutting out alcohol, cutting down on tea and coffee, exercising for fitness not because I'd run out of points...
I started this in June 2008 and although I was successful in losing some weight and learning more about food and exercise I lost the plot at Christmas time and ended up back where I started by the following February.
Here is my blog post from June as you may notice I have come a lot further than then! I re-started my blog in April and have come even further since then!
Since I really began sorting out my health and body I have had my ups and downs, I have had the odd day, weekend, week, or even month where I have let myself slip back into some of my old habits but I am always very aware of what I am doing and I am very aware of how it makes me feel and that is enough motivation for me to get back on track. Eating junk food makes me feel terrible now. I have no energy, I'm sleepy and grumpy all the time, I have a general can't-be-bothered attitude about everything, I feel sick, I get headaches, I feel like I have a perma-cold and I always feel like I just can't wait to get back into healthy eating! So I do!
I am no longer "on a diet", and I never will be. I'm eating good, wholesome, nutritious foods and getting plenty of exercise and, most importantly, I love it!!