Louise discusses her battle with her body, and why you should change your outlook on “I’ll start Monday”.
I’ve been there, this time it will be different…
When you look at losing weight it’s often a daunting task. I remember staring at the scales with horror, shaking and feeling sick. I had no idea I had gained so much weight (I had avoided the scales for a while). It was a Wednesday afternoon, I remember thinking right, that’s it. It’s all going to change. I will get geared up and start Monday. Yep, I was a Monday hopeful too. I had all these big plans of changing for the better.
I saw my current clothes, and myself, in a completely new light. I felt awful, disgusted and ashamed. I tried to think about how I was going to approach this massive diet and lifestyle overhaul, whilst juggling a demanding job and a two year old as a single parent. It seemed almost impossible.
I kept telling myself how easy it would be; on Monday I was going to buy some meal replacement shakes and appetite suppressants, because that would fix it. I wanted a miracle and I wanted it in that moment.
So Monday arrived and I was already in a bad mood, I knew I was going to be hungry but it was ok because I was going to lose the 3 stone I had gained in 3 months, I had decided!
Needless to say I was looking at it all wrong and all it took was my little sisters graduation meal to send me into a total frenzy because I had no idea what to eat and, faced with all the foods I had restricted myself from, I dug in and found myself crying in the restaurant toilet after ordering a desert. Well that was that. Diet blown, I had lost a stone and a half by this point. I was convinced I had undone all my hard work and that lead to a 3-day binge of ultimate proportion.
To cut a long story and a lot of tears short it had made me miserable and more antisocial. I still felt the same amount of shame and disgust about my body and gained all the weight I had lost back and some more. I was destined to spend eternity fat and unhappy I had decided. I made jokes about it and brushed it off but it was really starting to effect me psychologically.
Ok, I really have rambled on enough, get to the point… This isn’t a feel sorry for me kind of a post. I want to tell you how I was looking at things all wrong. I was confused and lost and looking for the perfect solution to an unpredictable problem. I was standing at the bottom of an unmanageable task and looking at the scale of the problem it seemed terrifyingly unreachable.
Now, had I known then what I know now things would have been a whole host different. I needed a mind-set shift; I needed to look at things differently. I needed to stop searching for the miracle, the answer, and clinging to hope like it was the last doughnut in existence and just do something, do anything.
Eventually about six months later I had that light bulb moment and I started to tweak things gradually. I started by drinking more water, going to bed at a decent hour, not wasting my evenings glued to the sofa eating takeaways, I ate more veg, I walked a little more, I got used to doing things in small manageable chunks that taught me how to get really good at losing weight but most of all I stopped beating the crap out of myself for the occasional slip into bad habits or even spending time with friends and family (mine are all social eaters).
The process wasn’t an overnight success and it still isn’t. I had really great days, and some wobbly ones and some plain awful ones. I learned about weight training, and started to go to the gym (despite 4 attempts of crying in the car park and then going home).
All of these things happened in stages, and if you take nothing else from my ramblings it’s this…
Don’t let there be another Wednesday that you don’t start something because Monday is so close by. Don’t sob into a pizza thinking about how much weight you need to lose. Take action today; change one small habit that takes you one step nearer. Let me use an awful metaphor, “you don’t climb a mountain by staring at the top but by a series of steps towards the summit”.
Break down your journey and work to it backwards. Get into the habit of succeeding and ask yourself the following question. If there was no next time what would you do this time?