I have decided to do something very brave and set myself a challenge. Tomorrow I start my weight loss journey but that is not the part that scares me, in fact I am pretty excited! The scary part is that I have decided to share my experience with the world – well with the portion of the world that chooses to read my itty bitty blog. Every time I lose a stone, I am going to write a post about my experience so far. The hope is that you can witness my journey to success and by exposing my intentions to you all this will give me the boost and encouragement I need and, in turn, inspire others like me to take action.
Getting Started with the Cambridge Diet
I am going to start my journey with the Cambridge Diet but I want to reiterate that I am not directly promoting or suggesting that anyone else reading this do this specific diet. I really have tried them all over the years and learned a very important lesson. It is about finding one that suits you at that specific time in your life.
Now, before all of you diet haters out there start spouting your various opinions – hear me out. If you are thinking ‘just eat less and move more!’ as a qualified aerobics instructor and ex dancer, I hear you. But really – for some of us it’s just not that simple. Firstly there are a vast range of reasons for obesity – so I implore you to widen that perspective and open your minds a little. In my case, sadly my weight combined with my struggles with IBS, mean that exercise has become more difficult and therefore, to avoid injury and get my BMI to a healthy level fast – I have decided to go for a more rapid approach with a VLCD (very low calorie diet). I then plan to slowly introduce exercise and increase the calories when my body is able to keep up with the hyperactive dancer within me that is fighting to get out! Anyone who has seen me on a night out, will know what I am talking about!
That is my choice. That is right for me right now. And I am going to share my experience with you with each stone that drops away.
It’s Okay to Diet Switch!
I believe I will succeed on my weight loss journey but what I do want to make clear is that I am not promising to lose my weight following one specific diet necessarily. Shock horror – you mean you can switch diets? Yes. Yes you can. While each diet brand will make you feel guilty for thinking it, I strongly believe that the reason most of us pile the weight back on straight after a diet is because we think the only choice is to stay on that diet or stop suddenly. Well there are other options – do what works for you, be honest with your support network or just switch! Don’t get that take-out, don’t have a whole week eating muffins and drinking booze – find another plan that suits you better or, if you have the added bonus of a consultant (like you do on Cambridge), speak to them about having a more controlled break for a while. I am not talking about Yo-Yo dieting, I am talking about always having a plan – whatever that may be.
Having said that, at this point in time I am hoping to go the full distance with the Cambridge Diet. They have 4-steps which allow for more calories so with the help of my one-to-one consultations I am feeling positive.
Why Do I Want to Lose Weight?
I was reading some weight loss success stories recently that horrified me. They attributed their weight loss to various moments of verbal abuse from friends, family or strangers and while I have also experienced this kind of bullying, it is not okay to condone or encourage this behaviour by thanking these people for the kick up the bum they needed. While these moments may have been triggers, the reason for losing weight can only come from within you. Most importantly, like many others, these moments did not help me in any way.
I have been asked when the baby is due so many times I cannot count them, one lady even thought I was about to go into labour!
I have not been able to sit in seats at restaurants or cleared tables with my bum.
I have been made to wear a seat belt extension on a plane and had girls randomly shout to their friends “oh my god, look how fat that girl is!”
I have been on a date and had a man lean in, as though to be romantic, and tell me I am too big for him.
And while I was teaching aerobics had many women assume I was not qualified because I had curves (size 16).
I was even sacked from my own girl band when I was young because I was a size 14 and told I was too big to be a dancer in a pantomime when I was 16 and a size 8-10.
For me, all of these moments led to further destructive behaviour; it didn’t make me stronger or determined it made me feel worthless and defeated. It made me eat and drink more to forget about the fact that I wasn’t good enough as I was. Had I been one of the millions that also suffer from severe depression, all of these scenarios could have led to disastrous consequences. So please don’t think its okay for people to put you down or think that anyone has the right to verbally abuse you – no matter how big you are.
Now, please understand that I am very much an advocate of a ‘real’ woman and I am not aiming to be skinny. I will always be a curvy woman and proud of my curves but I am at an unhealthy weight and I am losing this weight for me. I want to feel energised, I want to leap on my boyfriend Josh, without the worry of a jelly belly induced earthquake as I land and most of all – I want to dance more and live longer. Lastly, I hope to have children one day (don’t worry Josh! Not for a while yet), so I want to get to a weight that will be safe for me and the baby when the time comes.
What is My Target?
For now it’s 3 stone. But ultimately I would like to lose 6-7 stone. While I am not comfortable revealing my actual weight just yet – I will tell you that I am currently size 20-22. The 22 pretty much being attributed to my mahoosive boobs and belly!
The only time I do well with a diet is when I feel happy and confident. So along the way I will also be treating myself with a new outfit for every stone that I lose and I promise to share the piccys as I go along. To get us started here is my future ‘before’ picture.
This is me now. A me that is; tired, bloated and a little hung-over if I’m honest. But a version of me that is determined to be the best I can be… for me.
What Do I Win for the First 3 Stone?
Well – aside from the sense of achievement and obvious benefits to being 3 stone lighter – having spent the most amazing holiday in Devon recently in a private lodge with a hot tub – I am having hot tub withdrawal symptoms. I have promised myself that when I lose my 3 stone I will save to get myself a hot tub for our garden! I could not be more excited about this prospect – let the ‘post for every stone I lose’ challenge begin!
I have started a ‘Diet Switch’ Facebook Group for anyone else who would like to share their experiences, get support or swap ideas, no matter the diet you are following. So please feel free to join or pop me a tweet @jenniferthered if you have any comments or questions.
Watch this space!
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