Wednesday, 28 August 2013

No more excuses...

Do you find you always have an excuse? “I can’t go training, I’m too tired”, “I can’t eat healthy food, I’m too busy to cook”, “I can’t lose weight, being overweight runs in my family”, “I hate my job, but am worried I’ll fail if I try something new” and the list goes on… If you’re someone who always has an excuse for not doing the things you really want, or being the person you want to be, then you’re probably reading the wrong blog. I don’t believe in excuses; I believe in getting things done and setting small goals to make your life the best it can be. On the other hand, maybe you’re in exactly the right place, and by reading about my experiences, you can take small steps to improve your life…
I should probably tell you a little about me…I’m 26, living in Dublin, and the past few years have been tough to say the least. I’ve battled through chronic illness (I’ll share more later), depression and being morbidly obese. I guess it’s true to say that what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. I made a decision 2 years ago, that I was going to change my life, and I have. I’m still working towards my goals, but I am immensely proud of my achievements to date.
I’m still struggling with illness, but am incredibly strong and have great support so I’ll overcome whatever hurdles I’m faced with.
I’ve shed over half my body weight in the past 26 months (I promise before and after pics are coming…it’s worth sticking around just for this!) I genuinely think this has provided me with the greatest learning experience I’ll ever have in life, and I’d love if I could help others take steps to make positive changes for their health.
  • I never realised how overweight I was. I avoided the scales, so genuinely had no clue what weight I was (I’ll share this later… can’t be giving all my secrets away just yet).
  • I ignored the labels on clothes, convincing myself that sizes were getting smaller, not that I was getting bigger.
  • I wore heels all the time, thinking if I looked taller that it would disguise my weight.
  • I avoided getting in photos.
  • I had to wear make up to feel better about myself.
  • The lights would make me sweat, I didn’t even need to be moving!
  • I had zero energy, and would avoid socialising that would require any physical exertion.
  • People made comments about my size when I’d walk by, some whispering, and some out loud to deliberately hurt me.
  • If someone looked my direction, I’d assume they were judging me for how I looked.
  • I wasn’t honest with myself about how I felt, and was embarrassed.
  • I didn’t know how to change things, I had terrible eating habits I didn’t know how to break and I thought if I went to the gym, people would laugh at the fat girl drowning in sweat on the treadmill…
If you can identify with any of the above, then I can definitely help you… (Whilst you might think I was naive etc, I was actually depressed and in denial)
People make snap judgements of those who are overweight, or different to themselves. If you take anything away from this post, please realise that everyone has feelings, and one thoughtless, off-the-cuff comment from you could be crushing to someone…
I stopped making excuses. I decided I wanted to wear nice clothes; not to be ashamed to look at myself; to be fit, active and enjoy life; and most of all, I wanted to feel confident and happy again. Nobody else could do this for me.
I kept things simple, I threw out all the rubbish food in my house, went shopping for fresh whole foods, joined a gym and promised myself that I would achieve my goals.
The first steps are the hardest. I heard someone say recently “It’s far easier to quit at the beginning, than at the end”. This is so true! Walking into the gym changing room, and stepping on the scales was terrifying, but had to be done. I burst into tears. I could have walked straight back out the door, and gone back to the comfort of the sofa and food, but I didn’t. I took a deep breath, and swore I’d take it one day at a time.
I love cooking, and found myself really enjoying cooking sensible portions of healthy food rather than mountains of processed ‘food’. Every day I went to the gym felt like a little victory. I made tiny changes like using the stairs and parking in furthest corner of the carpark. These little changes made a huge difference. I was shocked that healthy food tasted great, and I wasn’t hungry ten minutes after a meal.
After 7 days, I stepped on the scales and had lost 4lb. I was so proud of myself, and that little victory, motivated me for the next 7 days. I knew on day 7, that I could do it.
I’m now half the size I was, have found my confidence, eat great food inspired by the Paleo lifestyle, love training and couldn’t imagine ever going back to my old habits. The key for me, was taking things step by step, and most importantly, doing it for me.
I plan to use this blog to highlight my struggles and victories… Since I love to cook and bake, expect some foodie posts… good food doesn’t have to just come in the form of boring salads right?!
So no more excuses..decide what it is that you want out of life, and make it happen...

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