My name is Georgie and I am a serial dieter. There you are. It’s out in the open. No hiding, no excuses and no more running away from the truth of the fact. Over the years I think I’ve tried them all. I’ve been a member at Slimming World more than a few times. I’ve tried intermittent fasting (also known as the 5:2 diet), I’ve been to Weight Watchers. I’ve tried using apps. I’ve increased my exercise and recently I even tried nutritional shakes in an attempt to lose weight. None of them have ever provided me with a long term result though.
My most successful attempts at losing weight have been with a combination of Slimming World and exercise. I used to be quite the fitness freak once upon a time, which is probably pretty shocking to anybody who knows me now. I used to walk everywhere (I didn’t have a car!), swim 2-3 times a week and run as well. To give you an idea of my fitness levels, I completed the London Marathon in April 2017 (yes I was still fat then!).
So now I know for a million and one reasons I actually have to get down to it and lose some weight but it’s really hard. I have to for health reasons, mental wellbeing reasons and for pure vanity as well. The problem is, I don’t know what to do. I think there’s probably some sort of psychological reason why I’ve put on so much weight. It hasn’t escaped my attention that most of this weight went on in three very distinct stages, and I generally either lost or maintained my current weight at the other points.
Why have I gained weight?
I first gained weight after giving birth to Lottie. My mum died when she was only eight weeks old. I was adapting to life with a new baby, and then suddenly my mum wasn’t a part of my life anymore. She has lung cancer, so it wasn’t unexpected, although I had assumed we had longer than we did. She was also only 45 years old, and it just seemed too young for her to be dying. We had never been especially close, and particularly during my teenage years our relationship became very strained. In fact at 15 I moved in with my grandparents and didn’t speak to her again for three years, until my husband made me. So, when she died I think there was a lot of emotions and guilt to deal with. Rather than doing that I buried them, and turned to chocolate to help me get through.
My next big lot of weight gain came just as we decided that we needed to take a step back from trying for another baby. I know I was depressed at this point. I spent nearly a year in counselling to help me deal with it. We’d tried for nearly 5 years, exhausted every fertility treatment the NHS would fund and in that time suffered several devastating losses. The last one was particularly devastating as we’d got past the ‘safe’ point, announced our pregnancy to the world and had started preparing for life as a family of four. Then all of a sudden it was taken away, and Lottie nearly lost her mum in the process. I was really, really poorly. We both decided we needed time to recover, and just enjoy being a family again. I really struggled to accept this and I know that yet again I turned to food to help me, and didn’t have the energy or inclination to do anything so gained a lot of weight.
My third weight gain has come in the last year. I spent most of it thinking my husband was having an affair, and that I was heading towards life as a single parent. My self esteem was at the lowest it had ever been. My husband was meant to be my rock, my best friend and the most dependable person in my life. Then all of a sudden he was more interested in somebody else and was definitely neglecting our relationship. Again I turned to food for comfort. It probably hasn’t been helped by the fact that this time around I’ve been unable to move much and exercise because of my broken foot.
Why do I need to lose weight?
So why do I need to lose weight? Well my health is pretty crap at the moment. I have PCOS and my symptoms are out of control. I know that losing weight is the single thing I can do that is certain to see a huge improvement in my symptoms. My body is also letting me know it’s feeling the strain of my current size. My knees hurt, my hips hurt and I’m tired all the time. I have a b12 and folate deficiency that leave me exhausted and I’m sure my weight is a huge contributing factor. On a plus note, my cholesterol levels are perfect, my liver and kidneys are working fine and I’m not diabetic. I’ve also just been told that I am starting to show the signs of macular degeneration, which is a scary thing as it could mean losing my sight. I know losing weight will help me manage the symptoms a lot better. It’s not all bad but I know my health will get a serious boost if I lose weight.
Losing weight will help my mental health. It probably isn’t the best it’s ever been but it’s certainly on the up. My weight is definitely the one thing that is holding me back now. I’ve spent so long wondering if my weight was the cause of my marital issues that now it’s a big thing for me. Despite constant reassurance from my husband that he’s never cared about my weight, it’s still something that weighs on my mind. It does stop me from doing things that I want to do because I lack the confidence.
And finally I want to lose it for pure vanity. I want to look good. I want to be able to go into normal clothes shops and buy what I want to from there. I don’t want to be limited to the plus sized ranges available in a select few shops. I also don’t want to have to squeeze into the rides when we go to Florida next year.
And finally, I’ve got a marathon to run again! I got another ballot place in the London marathon for next year. I’ll have to defer the place until 2020 but I still want to spend the next 18 months getting as fit as I can, and losing as much weight as I can. The less of me there is to drag around 26 miles, the easier it’s going to be!
So what’s going to be different this time?
In all honesty, I can’t actually say I know the answer to this. I hope that because I have the time to focus on myself now I can do it. Working from home gives me much more flexibility and surprisingly means I’m more active and eating less. It’s weird I know but I’m losing weight without even trying since I finished work. I wonder what I can do when I make a real effort to lose the weight.
I’m also in the right place mentally now. I don’t think I have been before but now I know that I can do it, and I want to for myself, not for anybody else. I think this really helps keep me focused on what I’m planning to do. I am doing it now because I want to, not because I feel I have to, and that makes a huge difference.