I have always struggled with my weight, it’s just been one of those things. My parents used to call it puppy fat and would constantly tell me “Don’t worry, you’ll lose it as you grow up”, “Everyone gets it and it goes away eventually” and it didn’t… it just kept gaining and gaining!
I wanted to share this with you as I thought it may be helpful to anyone who is in the same position as I was at the start of 2016 and to be honest I just wanted to share this journey I’ve gone through.
At the beginning of 2016 I weighed 14.5 stone or 205 lbs and that was, as far as I’m aware, my heaviest weight but I may have been heavier as there was a long stretch of time where I didn’t weight myself. I’ll be honest with you I’ve always been on the larger side, I’ve not weighed the average weight for my age since I was 6 or 7 – maybe younger. But I won’t use that as an excuse, I like to eat and I like to sit around or at least I used to. I also am only 5’4, or technically 5’39 but come on! Basically I was overweight for my age and my height and not just overweight, but ranging into the obese category for my height. In fact I had a BMI of 34.5 when I weighed 205 lbs which was overweight, almost extremely so. (Upon editing and researching I was actually in the obese category according to the NHS calculator)
Just after Christmas as we went into the new year I made new years resolutions to lose weight as well as a few other things, but making new years resolutions was in fact not the thing that got me wanting to lose weight it was the fact that I jumped on those scales and saw over 200 pounds and that represented me!
When I sat down at my desk I felt uncomfortable and when I wore shirts I was always looking at my stomach and worrying that it was noticeable. Then for my own health sake I realised I should try to lose weight as it would only get worse and soon I would find myself at 16 stone, then 18 and then 20 and if I did that I would not at all be able to run away from the zombies in a zombie apocalypse and I didn’t like the idea of being zombie food…
All jokes aside I saw that I was heading in one direction unless I slammed on the breaks and gave myself a rude awakening.
So I had to do something about it. My first steps were running on the elliptical that we owned which had only been used by my mother up until now. I started running for 7-8 minutes and felt pleased when I reached 10 minutes. Over a few months of work I was reaching 15 minutes running with a break at 10 and would occasionally stretch it out to 20 minutes. At this point I weighed 187 lbs.
I am back updating this post in September, I currently weigh 172 pounds, and have been struggling to cross over into 160. It’s been difficult over the summer, I haven’t been out walking, I have been mostly sat at my desk doing nothing in particular and I have dropped from running 20 minutes to 13 minutes a night but I know that as long as I keep on doing it I will lose the weight eventually and that is all I am hoping for.
It’s not easy, I’ll tell you that much but I knew it wouldn’t be but it already feels better – I went shopping for clothes a few weeks back and have dropped two dress sizes from a size 18 to 14 which is absolutely ridiculous and makes me strive even further to reach my goal. It was great to look at clothes and be able to see the difference those dress sizes made actually did make.
The main reason I am doing this is for me though, I never want people to get the wrong idea. This is all for me, to help me feel more comfortable about myself and as I painfully admitted to my mother on a car ride to Sheffield I am doing this because the people I am attracted to were not attracted to me and I couldn’t blame them, as I wouldn’t be attracted to me either.
Something had to change, and I wanted to make that change to be a better person as losing the weight made me happier, I feel it now – I am not as angry, I am much happier and I feel better about myself.
October 23rd 2016
This part is being written on October 23rd, a Saturday. I’ve just gone on a half-term holiday and have weighed myself at 166 pounds. I’m amazed at how far I have come and when I say to myself that I’ve already lost almost 40 pounds I realise the impact it has had. Losing this weight has changed my view on almost everything, I eat healthier now, exercising is something I enjoy doing, I am so much happier, I am less angry, I am looking forwards to the future and I no longer dislike having photos taken.
Walking has become a favourite past time of mine since losing weight, I take any chance I can get to walk just a bit longer on my way home from school. It would do me some good to get out and see a bit more of the world I think… instead of gazing at it from a computer screen so I want to discover a few more places and walking is rather a great way to do so.
I’m around about 8 months into my weight loss journey and I think I’ve learnt enough to maybe put together a list of tips for other people struggling or starting out. Let me just point out that I am 17 and have done this on my own, I haven’t gone to any weight loss classes as personally I don’t need other’s motivation to motivate myself – I’m already pretty self-motivated which is both a gift and a curse. But if you want to go to these classes they can be a great help and can keep you on track, I know a few people who have gone and said they are great.
Tip #1 Starting isn’t the hardest part. Keeping going is! For sure I’ve had lapses in wanting to exercise but I’ve never questioned whether it was worth it or not, it was always worth it. For me starting was easy, I just started without having to push myself into actually starting. One of the best things I have learnt is not to think about the pain now, think about what you are aiming for and think how little that pain lasts for. Just think that in an hours time there won’t be any pain, you’ll just be proud that you did it!
Tip #2 Learn to love the ache and the pain. Luckily for myself I exercise before I go for a bath so when I walk off the machine sweating I just jump into a warm bath and am clean. The ache of the exercise is still there and first I hated that, when I’d lie there just feeling my legs burning it was so uncomfortable. But now I almost revel in it, as it means I’m making progress and for that day I didn’t give in to the part of myself that said, just take the day off.
Tip #3 It is human to take a day off! We are all humans at the end of the day and sometimes it gets too much for us but taking a day off isn’t something to beat yourself up over. I used to do that, when I missed a day I’d make up for it by doing two lots of exercise on a different day. This didn’t help me it just made me say “It’s okay I’ll just do it on another day” and that wasn’t helping me. I had to learn that days off are okay. Some days you eat salads and go to the gym, some days you eat cupcakes and refuse to put on pants. It’s called balance.
Tip #4 No one cares that you are exercising! I say this and I don’t mean that people won’t want to hear that you have started exercising and I am not saying don’t tell people, what I am saying is that no one is going to look at you when you go out running. No one is going to look at you if you go swimming. No one will look at you while they are in the gym… and if they do and are judging they obviously aren’t worth much in life!
Seriously, no one is that bothered about you because we are all wrapped up in ourselves at the end of the day. Just go out and do it and should people stare just tell them where to go, if anyone takes the chance to bully someone over making a change they aren’t worth much in life at all. At least you are making a change!
Tip #5 Just keep going. It doesn’t matter how long it takes you, for some it takes a few months to reach their goal, and for others it takes years. It is different for us all and we just have to find our own way. It’s the journey that matters, not how quickly we get there or where our destination is.
January 23rd 2017
So it’s now 2017, it’s in fact January 23rd as I sit writing this and I hoped on the scale this morning to find my weight around 156 pounds. I’ve been struggling over the Christmas period, roughly keeping my weight fluctuating between 154 and 158 but thankfully not crossing over the line back into 160. It was not only difficult as all the Christmas treats were out and about the house but it was also difficult as this was my first Christmas as a pescatarian, which meant no turkey for me. I enjoyed a salmon meal instead!
I’ve tried eating healthier too, I now eat porridge in the morning and have tried snacking less, mostly filling that hole with drinking water or fruit that is around the house. Though the crisps on top of the fridge are always a dark temptation!
I still enjoy the occasional walk as well, I try to walk on the days I don’t have school so I can at least get some kind of exercise in that day.
When it really comes down to it all the things I’m doing now is to make me more proud of myself, so that I can look in the mirror and go – damn I look good. Because we all need those days, and we shouldn’t feel bad about taking them, about taking the time to just say “Hey, you now what? I do look good today.” I had one of those moments a few days ago, I took a photo of myself and I thought, holy hell, and in that moment I realised I was proud of myself.
If we don’t have those little moments then what are we doing this for? That point goes for everything in life.
It’s now March time and it’s very difficult to lose weight right now, I’m sat around that 155 mark and on good days I’ll hit 153. I can feel myself getting angrier and angrier at myself, I’ve stopped running as frequently and becoming disappointed in myself all over again. I know I just want this weight to be gone before University and I just want to have a body I can be proud of which just makes me want to work harder. I have to remember why I’m doing this again, how I felt when I was that big before and how I don’t want to ever reach that again.
I’ve started drinking 8 glasses of water a day and walking at least 6,000 steps a day. I’ve also increased running, when I do actually run, to 20 minutes every time and I managed to hit my goal of running 30 minutes before going to University – I was immensely proud of myself for this.
May 7th 2017
Now it’s May 7th, and 4 days away from my 18th birthday. Things have picked up in the last few weeks, I am now at 146 and have managed to lose a pound a day for 4 days straight now. Only 6 pounds left to go before University!
After watching 13 Reasons Why I had the urge to go out on a bike ride and ever since then a friend and I have gone out at least one day every weekend on a bike ride for lunch. I feel this had helped a lot as I’ve slowed down on running now and focus more on my diet so the occasional bike ride just helps and it doesn’t feel like exercise, it feels like fun and exploration.
Speaking of diet I’ve started using MyFitnessPal to monitor my calories and weight and that app is brilliant! It’s amazing. It’s helped me see how many calories I should be eating a day for my height and I can change it depending on how much weight I want to lose a week.
I’d seriously consider using this app if you are trying to lose weight and monitor not only how much you eat, but what you eat too. This app has made me much more conscious of what I eat but here’s the great thing… I still eat the things I like! It’s crazy but I still eat a couple of squares of chocolate with my lunch, I still drink on the weekends and I still spend the majority of my time at my computer desk. But through understanding calories and content in food I have managed to do all the things I like and still lose weight.
June 19th 2017
Today is June 19th and I have technically just handed in my last assignment for my course today, tomorrow or the day after I should be free with education. But that is not what I am writing about here, I weighed myself a few days ago and reached my lowest yet – 142 lb. I am merely 2 lb away from my goal before University!
I’ve gone through a few ups and downs over the past few weeks, I managed to reach back up to 149 lb the week before I went down to 142 lb, mainly due to celebrations that went on that week. I was very upset with this, possibly that was the angriest I’ve been with myself since starting this journey, it just felt like such a let down.
June 30th 2017
It is the 30th of June today and this morning I had the great pleasure of jumping on the scales and seeing a shining number jumping at me. 140 lb! I checked 3 or 4 times, stepping on and off and then off and back on before I called in my mum so she could also confirm that my eyes were not playing tricks on me.
So that means that today I have finally reached my goal of 140 lbs before University, in fact I managed it almost 10 weeks before I head to University which is a bonus! It took me about a year and 5 months but I have finally done it, I shed 65 lbs of my body weight and I wouldn’t look back on that decision.
I have given up drinking alcohol, celebrated living on a pescatarian diet for over a year, decreased the amount of time I spend playing video games, increased the amount I read and have finished full time compulsory education. I think this has been a more beneficial journey than I could ever have imagined!
I hope you have enjoyed reading this, sorry this is a long one – it was written throughout the year and a half at various different points. Thank you for reading this, I hope it has been at the very least entertaining if not informative.