As I sit here, on the floor with my laptop on my knee, I’m snacking on some WW Mixed Fruit Gums. The internal battle in my head to get those out of the cupboard and not the bar of chocolate was strong. This internal battle happens most days. Sometimes it wins and I get the chocolate, then the bowl of cereal, then the bread and butter etc. Some days the willpower is strong enough to push those thoughts away and I remember where I want to be. Body positivity and acceptance is what I’m striving for.
I’ve been on some kind of healthy eating plan for about 12 years. When I left university I was the biggest I’d ever been. Since then I’ve done Slimming World, Lighter Life Lite, 1-1 Diet and WW (used to be Weight Watchers). At my biggest I’ve been around fourteen stone (this was six months after I’d had my son). My lowest was this year, but I still haven’t got to the target weight I would like to be. I find WW works best for me. It’s got the right balance. I eat healthy meals but I don’t feel deprived from the odd treat too. 1-1 Diet has been a quick fix in the past. More recently I went back to it and tried to do their strictest plan. It wasn’t for me. As much as I’d love to shed 10lbs in a week like last time I need more treats! What it did do is give me a bit of a kick up the backside to do things properly.
I’m the stereotypical yo-yo dieter. Desperately striving to be thinner, slimmer, lighter, more healthy. Why? I don’t feel like me when I’m bigger. I’m usually a fairly confident person but I become more self conscious and I compare myself to everyone. I struggle to pick clothes from my wardrobe because I’m so aware of my body, especially my stomach area. It really gets me down and affects a lot of areas of my life. I can’t accept my body as it is.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not striving to be a size 8! I’m a curvy girl and I like that. I LIKE that I have boobs, hips and a bum. I’m not even aiming for what my BMI tells me I should be. I don’t think I could maintain it. Ironically, I look at women online and I see those that are a similar size to me. Sometimes they are bigger and think how fantastic they look but I can’t accept myself as I am.
As well as my vanity, I know that I need to be lighter to be healthier. As well as thinking about how I look, I want to be a positive influence on my children. I want to cook them healthy meals and have the energy and motivation to play and run about with them. I don’t want Sienna to have this view of herself that I have. Therefore I want to try and get to target before she becomes aware.
My Body and Me
My relationship with my body has always been a tricky one. Even as a teenager I always felt like the “chubby friend”. When I look back I realise I wasn’t even that big. Curvier than some of my friends, yes, but by no means “chubby” and I’ve always hated my stomach area. It’s never been a wash board. I’ve never wanted it to be! In all honesty, I don’t think it’s that much different post two babies as it was pre two babies!
When I look in the mirror, as much as I know there are positives, all I see are the things I don’t like. I see the dint under my belly that seems to make my belly look rounder. There’s my pasty skin covering every inch. The love handles. The less pert boobs. What I actually need to tell myself is that my arms and legs aren’t too bad. My boobs aren’t touching my belly button and nipples don’t point to my toes. My stomach didn’t suffer too many stretch marks after carrying my children. These are things that I don’t like about myself.
I want to make it clear that if others have these features and they like them, good on them. Who I am to say what you should or shouldn’t look like, I just know how I want to look. Just like if you weigh more and you’re happy with yourself – good! Genuinely, I’m so pleased for you. I just wish I could be. I follow so many body positivity accounts on Instagram and really wish I could be like them. I’m hoping their words of wisdom and confidence rub off on me!
I’m fairly accepting of my face – I like it…apart from the bags under my eyes that appear when I smile. However below the neck, it’s a different story. After I had Sienna my friend said:
“I know you don’t like your body much, but one thing it’s obviously made to do is grow and deliver babies because you do it so well.”
That stuck with me. She’s right. I do house and pop out babies fairly “easily” compare to others that go through a tough time. I’m so grateful for this. Uncomplicated pregnancies and births are all I’ve experienced and I need to be proud of my body for that. But, right or wrong, the less I weigh the better I feel. Earlier in the year I’d lost one stone ten pounds since having Sienna and was feeling far better in myself. I was happier with the view when I look at myself in the mirror. However, in the last few months my weight has gone up and down in the same five pounds. In the last month I’ve gained more!
Food and Me
My relationship with food is very hit and miss. I don’t think I’ve ever had any kind of eating disorder, nothing that serious. I battle between wanting to be slimmer/improving my body confidence and loving food. This is a fact I’m not ashamed of. I love nothing more than a meal out, or a buffet. Chinese take away is my fave! What I need to remember is that, if I want to maintain a slimmer frame, everything needs to be in moderation. I’m a bit of an “All or Nothing” kinda girl at times.
I can’t just have a naughty meal or a chocolatey treat. Eating just eat a couple of Mini Eggs from a bag is impossible, who can do that?! I can’t just eat a couple of biscuits. Within ten minutes the whole packet will be gone, especially if it’s fig biscuits! In fact, if I’m being honest, I can’t always stop at a bag of mini eggs! I’ll have that, biscuits, crisps and I’ll just keep going. Luckily, this is changing because I am aware how bad binging is. It happens less but does still happen occasionally.
I’d love there to be a day when there is no longer the internal battle. I have come to the conclusion that there will always be part of me that will want the naughty stuff and that’s fine. I’m never going to be a person who craves salads – ha ha!
I need to realise that with moderation I can live a healthy lifestyle. I’ll be able to maintain a healthy weight I’m happy with and still enjoy treats every now and then. I’m not unrealistic. I get there are weeks where I will gain weight – holidays, birthdays etc. I won’t beat myself up about that. However, on the days where I don’t have an excuse, I need to be making better choices.
I can say all this and I know it’s true, but I don’t do it. Actions speak louder than words. I know what I need to do. I know I can do it. However I don’t and some days I don’t know why. Losing weight is so difficult but it is doable. At the moment, I’m just not sure how I’m going to get to where I want to be. I know I will be so much happier when I do. How do I know that? Because even when I get to a stone before target weight (which I have been) I feel so much better so just imagine what another fourteen pounds would do.
I’ll keep you updated on my progress. It’s definitely an ongoing thing. It’s the summer holidays and we’re out of routine. I’m conscious that if I keep eating as I am, I will end up back at fourteen stone. I’ve made an effort to cut down on the rubbish since I got back from Whitby. I’m going to try my best and then go full on willpower in September when everything is back to normal. You can read more about my weight loss in relation to baby weight, over on Emma’s Diary.
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