I’m not going to lie to you, I am a larger lady.
Not always this way, I was a bit of a fattie in my youth, University was marked in chips and wine, then I managed to lose it all, get married, wear a pretty frock, and for a few years I kept the weight off.
I was so committed to keeping a smaller frame, that after BB was born I went out and ran a marathon within the year and the baby weight dropped off.
When it all went wrong
In early 2011 our lives pivoted in a way it never had before, the world literally tipped on it’s axis and I lost all self control. I watched helpless as BB had seizures, and then as her epilepsy started to be controlled, she was diagnosed with Hip Dysplasia. As that journey started to ease and the path became smoother, my eldest child was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, and my son joined the party soon after with teeny tiny broken ear bones.
I don’t mean to sound dramatic, but it has been a bit stressful at times and that stress took up permanent residence on my belly and arse. I reckon I have gained at least 4lb per hospital appointment.
There have been a lot of appointments in the last few years.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not averse to being chubby, some days I quite like blundering through the day with a large white wine in one hand and a white bread cheese sandwich in the other. But I stopped looking in full length mirrors in April 2013, and I took the batteries out of the scales shortly after.
For a while now, white bread and butter and wine have not really been doing it for me.
Food and self control and unhappiness all sit in one handbag for me. I cope through humour, wine, and salt and vinegar crisps. But when I have my shit together, and am controlling the speedway that is my life, well then I don’t need to cope, I am simply me and I am in control.
Time for a change….
In January after three years of watching my backside start to replicate the moon, and growing a spare tyre fit for a large haulage truck, I made a decision to claim my life back, to get off the circle of grumpiness that was consuming me and squeeze back into my former self.
I put the batteries back in the scales, poured the wine down the sink, and rid the house of chocolate.
My eyes literally bulged when I saw the reading on the scales, and I was surprised I only had the three chins.
It felt like such a long way back, and I really didn’t know if I wanted to be me again that much.
But the truth be told, panting when playing tag with your kids doesn’t feel nice, having to break halfway up the stairs feels even worse, and wearing baggy clothes over a muffin top because you cannot contemplate going up another dress size is really depressing.
The old me had energy, could run for miles, and didn’t need a glass of wine to smooth out the edges.
January to February was hard, I dieted, I went to gym classes, I sweated through simple aerobic steps and picked at lettuce and swam in diet coke.
I lost a bit of weight, I got a bit more energy but didn’t feel the food I was eating was doing anything for me, and therefore not sustainable in the long term. Plus my teeth felt furry with all the diet coke and the thought of my insides being washed in aspartame and phosphoric Acid was more than niggling at me.
Then I read about Paleo, the caveman diet. I decided this was a bandwagon I wanted to jump on, I stopped eating anything processed, anything with gluten or wheat in it, and very little dairy. I eat this way at least 80% of the time and the rest of the time I ensure it is only clean food that lavishes on my palate. I had heard this way of eating could be life changing and I figured it was worth a try. Plus I didn’t have to count calories, convert food to points, or eat different colours on different days.
I still don’t feel like the old me, I feel like some Duracell Bunny version of the old me. It is almost embarrassing how fantastic I feel. Paleo, for me, has changed my whole outlook on food and life. I eat a high fat, high protein, and a lower carb diet. The meat and eggs I consume in relatively large volumes are free range and oozing with goodness. I don’t eat anything with a long list of ingredients, and I avoid sugar unless it pops up in an apple or pear. Gluten is gargoyle of evil that I simply don’t need in my life. I am starting to understand nutrition more and more, and I know what I put inside me makes me who I am and how I feel.
Food is no longer a comfort, it is a love, I eat the food I love and it seems to be loving me right back.
I know, I am annoying – and I have lots of energy to be really annoying.
But today I hit a bit of a milestone, and I figured if I wrote about it, then if I start to slip back to the women who uses food and wine as a comfort blanket, maybe these words will remind me how great it feels to feel great.
What happened today?
As of today I am 40lbs lighter than when I started trying to exert a bit of self control in my lifestyle. I can’t show you a picture from the start – I wouldn’t even look in a mirror so cameras have been pretty much off limits for the last few years.
I can show you a sneaky shot taken at New Year, by my lovely friend Gemma, I warn you, I have had a few sherbets….
Then here I am four weeks into starting a Paleo lifestyle, and then eight weeks on.
The journey I thought was going to be so long and arduous, is actually pretty painless and remarkable tasty.
Problem is my Natalie Cassidy lycra no longer fits….
To keep me going on my feeling fabulous tour, Sportsshoes.com have sent me some new training kit, it came at just the right time as my existing leggings were threatening to fall down round my ankles and expose my backside to the world. As my confidence is starting to grow so is the spectrum of colour I wear, as you can probably see from my bright purple legs in the image below.
Thanks to Paleo I am 40lbs lighter and a hell of a lot happier in myself. Thanks to Sportshoes I have a fantastic new fitness wardrobe to get out and train in.
And here I am, today, a bit less of me than yesterday….
Disclosure: Sportshoes sent me a range of t-shirts, leggings and socks to review. Their site is extensive and you can spend hours looking at different clothes to work out in. From my experience of the site the prices are competitive with the high street and they have an incredible range which suits runners to weight lifters. I will certainly be returning for more kit when I grow out of my new stuff.
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