Another guest post for you today and something completely different. Back at the beginning of the year I found a wonderful lady through twitter and looked at her blog and was amazed to find she had been on the kind of weight loss journey that I dream of taking. She invited me to be part of a group of special women on Facebook who support each other through their eating dramas and I just find her to be the most inspirational and uplifting person. I asked her to share a bit of her story with us. I give you Alyson...
Michelle asked me to write a guest post about my weight loss and when someone as lovely as Mich asks then it’s time to get writing.
For all of my adult life I have been overweight to a greater or lesser extent, sometimes a couple of stones overweight, sometimes 8 stone overweight and all the stones in between, I had that conversation with my doctor that involved the phrase `morbidly obese` oh how I hate those awful pigeon holes... but that's a whole other post.
I`ve tried EVERY diet, all the mental ones, liquid only ones, cabbage and doctor prescribed ones, the whole nine yards, and depending on how I was feeling at the time, I either fell royally off the wagon and gained back more, or succeeded in losing a lot and then went straight back to my lifestyle and ploughed it all back on again.
Then I had an epiphany, at Christmas 2009, it involved being bought 3 Krispy Kreme Mugs, and me thinking my family just saw me as a massive walking donut eating machine. I set off on diet number 478... it basically involved me giving up booze first, then sugar, then processed carbs and then slowly evolved from there.
I did it alone, I wasn't following a program, or attending meetings, but I had certainly decided enough was enough, I couldn't live like that anymore, I wasn't prepared to compromise myself and my life anymore. I’m a black and white thinker, the sort that has to hit the absolute bottom to start to bounce back... Size 24 was the absolute bottom.. I looked in the mirror and genuinely did not know the person staring back.
I was committed and stubborn, but luckily for me my determination was quickly rewarded and I lost roughly a stone a month for 6 months... it then slowed up but I continued, I lost another 2 stone making it 8 in total. See even now I can’t believe I managed that.
Along the way, many people asked me what I was doing and we started a group on Facebook to support each other and it’s been a revelation, a place to go when I feel low, when I feel great, to help each other through tough days, those days where you could happily fall off the wagon, there is always someone there to keep you on the straight and narrow or even to pick you back up, dust you down and get back on that wagon again.
I'm working with moderation in food for the first time in my life, its normally been that which has let me down so badly before. So here I am - weighing less than I did at age 18, I passed my goal weight a stone ago, and my past 18 months has been made up of a concerted, controlled way of eating, and I'm finding that a hard habit to break, and that's a good thing mostly, I can say loudly and proudly that I have NEVER kept the weight off like this before, but I think I never really 'got it' before, it was my head that needed to get it not my body, if that makes any sense.
I used to look at other women and what they were wearing and doing and feel like they had stolen the life I should have had, but now I have that life, I'm picking clothes that I dreamt of, not just what fits, I'm running down beaches with my gorgeous girls, I'm swimming in the sea without that shameless disgust I used to feel. I'm a whole other person, and I have to tell you that it’s the weirdest thing, I'm still mentally adjusting as whilst I found all the time overweight feeling like that wasn't me, I'm now not overweight and feel like I'm still not me either.
At CyberMummy this year I had so many lovely compliments and it felt quite overwhelming, lovely but overwhelming, I'm slowly getting used to it, but when people meet me for the first time they have no idea I was the size I was - and I’m trying to stop telling people too, not because I'm ashamed but because if you didn't know me before you don't need to know or think about me in that way. I think I was doing it for a multitude of reasons, I was proud of my achievement being the main one, but now I have to get used to people seeing me as this slimmer person and accept that's who I am now, and just know that I am happy with it, not look for reward, praise and compliments from others.
There are a few things I don't think it will ever get old... doing the changing room dance when something fits and looks great, looking forward to Summer instead of dreading it, or my husband looking at me with pride and desire... he says it’s like having an affair with a fit blonde (whoop) and without question its improved our relationship no end, I'm not ashamed of him seeing my body anymore and he loves... well let’s just say he loves it.
I've probably bored friends and family senseless with all this weight loss lark, and now it’s time for me to move on and accept I am this person, stop looking backwards and start looking forwards, 'embrace the new skinny self ' as my husband says, but it’s not easy. Food has always played a huge part in my life one way or another, I was an obsessional eater, a binger, a comfort eater, food was my friend, reliable and consistent so leaving all that behind feels a bit weird, like leaving out or ignoring a big part of me or putting the old me away like last season’s clothes.
I'm now 'expected' to have more confidence and feel great about being skinny and probably 90% of the time that's true and I do, but years and years of self disgust, and low confidence make it difficult to like myself even now, it appears that whilst I wouldn't swap what I have now for all the Krispy Kreme donuts on the planet I don't appear to like myself much whatever size I am, the waistline might have changed but my self esteem is still catching up.
Thanks so much Alyson, what an amazing journey you have taken and carry on treading each day. You are amazing. Mich x