I mentioned before that I had lost a lot of weight, which was really kicked off by illness and the recommendation of my doctors.
What I didn't mention was, that I was just over 24 stone...341 pounds... 154.6 kilos... BMI of 55
Yep, that's pretty big.
So.. first things first...
How the hell did I get so big? I ate crap, lots of it, and didn't do any exercise.No excuses here... I can't blame a glandular condition, or the medication I was taking. I had been overweight for as long as I could remember, but during my late teens, my weight really became a problem. When I went to college, I had a terrible student diet of processed foods and too many cocktails. During college my weight rocketed. I was always the 'fat one', and I hated that. It really damaged my confidence. Hindsight is fabulous, I don't think I saw it like that at the time, or perhaps I just didn't admit it to myself. For me, I couldn't wear the clothes I wanted to wear, and I didn't like that feeling of being 'different'.
That feeling continued after I graduated. Once I started working, the problem got worse. Instead of using my new found riches to buy better quality healthy food, and join a gym, I just bought a larger quantity of processed foods. I wanted to lose weight, and clearly I knew what I needed to do to make it happen, but I'm not quite sure why I wasn't prepared to commit. I guess there's always that fear of failure, and there was definitely a lack of confidence that I could do it.
What changed? Why did I decide to change things?
In January 2011, my hair started to fall out because of radiation therapy for a mass in my brain. I FREAKED out! Seriously, I was hysterical. I knew it would fall out, but no amount of knowing that prepares you for the moment that you're in the shower and clumps of hair start to fill the shower floor. I had quite long hair, but had cut it into a nice bob in preparation for the hair loss, but wow... there was so much hair. I remember wiping away the tears as I pulled my hair from the drain. That's really vain I know... but I loved my hair. I spent a lot of time looking after it, because it was probably my favourite thing about myself. Seeing it being washed away was horrendous. I'm not sure I've ever cried so much since.
Only the hair on the crown of my head had fallen out, so I looked like Andy from Little Britain. I decided to go to a hairdressers, and have my head shaved the following day after work. I had already picked a wig, so I was ready to go. I told a friend that I was dreading having it shaved in a hairdressers, but couldn't bear to do it myself, and I was also dreading people realising that I was bald. Today FM were organising a world record attempt for the most number of heads shave in one place as part of their Shave or Dye fundraising event for the Irish Cancer Society, so I decided to take part. It would be a bit of fun, I'd raise some money, it would make me feel better about shaving my head and everyone would know and the difficult questions would be avoided.
Decision made... I had my head shaved on 18th February 2011. Ray D'Arcy chatted to me on the radio as they shaved it, and thankfully I managed not to cry!
For the next few months, my focus was on treatment and still the poor food habits continued.. I could eat whatever I wanted cos I was sick right?? Wrong...
Why did I decide to change? In late May 2011, a friend emailed me a link to photos of the Shave or Dye event. I always avoided cameras, but here was an unposed (clearly even more unflattering) photograph of me having my head shaved. Holy crap. Yes, it was bad. This combined with the knowledge that my weight may have been hindering my recovery was all I needed...
I threw out all the processed foods in the house. I went and bought gym gear.... size 26. Yeah, I know alright?!
Getting started was the hardest... but it was the best decision that I've ever made. I've lost 13 stone, dropped 7 dress sizes, 2 shoe sizes (yes it is possible to have fat feet), and a serious number of bra cup sizes (plastic surgeons offering free boob jobs, leave your number below!) ... What I've gained is far more important so listen up..
I'm happy, healthier, more confident, fitter, can wear the clothes that I want to wear, and do the things I want to do..
I fully intend to keep you updated with how I did it, lessons I've learned, struggled I faced, the little victories, and how I'm pushing towards a new set of goals...
Oh and you know what.. I'd never have done this before, here's that photo!!
And just for balance...
Here's my totally posed Twitter (@gingerbreadmiss) pic! I'm blonde at the moment...feels a little weird!!