“I cannot take a compliment & I will NEVER be happy with how I look despite having lost the weight I wanted to lose.”
These words have echoed in my mind since writing my first blog post. I have repeated the sentence over & over again in the hope that I would eventually look up, see my reflection and think differently……….I DON’T!!!
I have battled with my weight since I was 18 years old. Once a young skinny girl, I embarked on college life, I went traveling & I discovered the joys of eating & boozing. Before I knew it I was retiring my skinny, Size 10, bootcut jeans and buying the next size up & then the next one up again. The realization of what was happening to my body didn’t dawn on me straight away but when I became the “fat” one in my group of friends my battle began.
Being overweight played havoc with me, I became insecure, I lost my confidence but even more worryingly I became abusive towards myself. I would look in the mirror & mentally or quite often verbally abuse myself. I would call myself names, I would point out every single negative feature I could find until I couldn’t take it anymore and I would sit & cry about how ugly I was. On nights out I would find myself looking at my friends, making comparisons, seeing their good points and using these as ammunition towards myself; it was just another reason for me to put “me” down.
In my naiveté I believed if I lost weight all of this would change, I would start to love myself, I would become more confident and I would just be a better me. So, in January 2010 I finally found myself in the correct frame of mind, and decided to do something about my weight. I was 12stone 7lbs and 5ft 4” dressing in sizes 14 -16 and things needed to change.
I made the decision to join Weight Watchers, as for me this seemed the only sane way to lose weight while still being able to enjoy the food I liked. I was determined. For once I wanted it to be a long term, lifestyle change & not some quick fix where I lost a few pounds but then had the weight back on a couple of weeks later.
Losing weight is not an easy thing to do; it is a journey that can quite often bring you huge highs but equally huge lows. So here’s my advice; celebrate each loss, whether it’s a ½ pound or 4 pounds, one is equally as important as the other. If you slip off the wagon and gain weight, don’t become disheartened, but use it as motivation to drive yourself onwards to encourage you to get back on track.
It is now a year and a half on and I am proud to say that I have lost just under 3 stone and on my last weigh-in I weighed 9st 8lbs, and am happily fitting into a Size 10. So, let me share with you what I’ve learned in that time…….
People never thought that I was fat & I hear that now all the time, from my friends, my family and even from my work colleagues. I have been and always will be my own worst critic, and that’s something Weight Watchers can’t change. I still look in the mirror and pinpoint every flaw I can see; I clearly still haven’t got my head around the fact that I am now “skinny”.
Losing weight does not build your confidence but it did make me realize that I never want to be in a place where I abuse myself mentally or verbally again. Most of all it has taught me that as you grow older, you have to learn to love you; even though I find that very difficult I have learned to look at “Jennifer the person” as a whole package & not just what you see on the outside. I look at the impact I have on people’s lives, the smiles I create, how I love people unconditionally & the friendships I value & I realize that if I do all these things well, my size shouldn’t really matter ……