One thing I have learnt on this journey is that losing weight isn’t just about dropping the pounds . It’s also about changing habits, changing your mindset and the way I think. It’s about forgetting the way you have done things in the past and changing it for the better.
For me it has also been a journey of self discovery. I think the first step was knowing I needed to change and the second was doing something about it. Losing all those bad habits and emotional issues I had lived with for years was a bonus.
One thing I find though is that I have to keep re-evaluating. Sometimes I feel that some of those old thoughts and feelings are creeping back in.
The only way I can describe it is like I am playing a game of chess, but I keep getting myself in check. I feel I have to always be one step ahead of the game to even attempt to overcome my opponent.
It can be tiring re-evaluating all the time because one wrong move will end me up in check mate and that means it’s game over.
I am finding 40 odd years of bad habits is hard to get rid of forever. This is why I am constantly re-evaluating my thoughts, my emotions, the way I think.
Some weeks I find I do really well and I can keep it all at bay. But some weeks I have to admit I fail miserably.
I just feel I need to keep myself moving around that board. I feel I am in a never ending game of life and I just need to keep moving keep evaluating to succeed.
From a very early age I have always had a fascination with hair. I don’t know why but I was always amazed at all the amazing things you could do with it.
When I was little I would spend so much time in my Mum and Dads bedroom. They had this mirror where you could see the back of your hair. I would practice putting my hair up, I would perfect one style and then I would try another. I would stand there for hours just trying new styles.
I don’t know why I was so obsessed but it was definitely one of the reasons I trained to be a hairdresser. I then learnt how to cut, colour, and perm. I learnt all the techniques and I loved it just as much. Once I finished my training I went on to specialise in cutting hair and I also did a course on putting hair up.
I remember at the course the teacher was showing us techniques. At one time I remember saying that I prefer to do it differently because it’s easier and a better result. If I think back I always find it funny because it ended up with the pupil teaching the teacher.
It didn’t take me long before I started doing weddings. I remember I was 19 and I hadn’t finished my hairdressing training at the time. My first wedding was 11th August 1990, it was my brother who was getting married and I did my sister-in-laws hair. She had 4 bridesmaids – me, my sister, her sister and her 2 year old niece, Laura.
After that the weddings came flooding in. I must have done hundreds of weddings, thousands of peoples hair and millions of bobby pins have past through my fingers in my life time.
I have always found it a privilege to have been asked to be a part of someone’s special day. I have always loved it. It was always a challenge getting people finished in time but I have never made any bride late – well not yet anyway.
There was one time I had to do a bride and 12 bridesmaids for an 11.30 wedding. It was for my sister so I was one of those bridesmaids too. I even did my own hair for my wedding!
I always prepare the day before by putting the rollers in and have fun listening to the stories about the funny looks they got throughout the day. One wedding party went to a nightclub in the evening with their rollers in.
Always on the day before it’s like the bridal party don’t care what they look like because it’s all about the adventure on the run up.
On the big day I am very often up at the crack of dawn and working tirelessly until I finish. It has always been very tiring, but to me I am glad I can help to make someone’s big day special.
It would be nice though to go to a wedding when it hasn’t taken me 2 minutes to change, I don’t feel so tired and not be the last person to arrive at the church. Once I walked in late to the church, fell over down the aisle with everyone watching. I then stood up totally embarrassed and sat myself on a strangers lap to move out of sight. Obviously this caused lots of laughter.
This week I have been preparing for another wedding. It was for that little 2 year old bridesmaid I did on my first wedding 27 years ago. I thought what an opportune time to make it the last time I do one. Finishing with a person who was at my first!
Letting go of something I have done for so long is actually quite hard. I am for now saying it is my last one but I know if someone else asked me I would still probably say yes!
In some ways that is how I feel about the journey I have been on – I had been doing something a long time which I’ve now stopped – eating badly. But sometimes I think I am slipping back but I’m not going to let go eventhough it’s hard work. I have come too far to stop now.
In some stages of my life I have suffered with depression. It has usually been when I have tried to lose weight and failed.
Depression is something that comes on so gradually that you hardly notice you’re getting it. Once it has got hold of you it’s like you still don’t notice that you have it – it’s the people around you that notice and they are the ones that suffer.
For me, when I had it, I didn’t want to do anything. I would sit on the sofa all day and do nothing other than watch films. Jobs that needed to be done around the house just didn’t get done because I couldn’t be bothered. Any slight little issue that cropped up I just couldn’t deal with it, I would end up in tears not knowing how to sort it out. It usually meant that Matt sorted it out for me. My kids have learnt to become very domesticated, which is great now, but I am sure at the time it wasn’t fair on them.
This may sound really stupid but depression was a place, at the time, I think I was happy to be in while I was living it and I didn’t have the desire to leave. Thankfully, now I am not there anymore, I see it as a place I do not want to go back to.
Over the last 18 months I feel I have found a remedy – it’s called exercise. If I think back some of my most happiest times is when I have been doing exercises. Training for my half marathon in Rwanda was one of the hardest things physically I have had to do, but mentally it was a release from all that negativity in my life. It also gave me purpose – something to aim for.
We have been very lucky because we have room in our house for a gym. It is a place I have been a lot over the past 18 months. However over the past 2 months we have decided to renovate our house and our gym is no more. Well that is until the work is completed.
I have not done too much exercise since coming back from Rwanda. Partly because we have been away a lot and partly because we have no gym.
I do like exercising outdoors but I like to go with other people. But the days I plan to go it always seems to be raining.
Exercising in the rain is not much fun. I have never been a person who is really proactive when it comes to exercise so l struggle to go on my own – especially if it’s raining!
I have to admit that over the last few weeks I have been getting slightly down. It can only be the lack of exercise. This week though I have tried to be a bit more proactive and get myself back out there.
I have managed to do a few bike rides and some walks. I have not started the running back up but I will soon. I have to say it’s worked and cheered me up no end. That’s probably because the weather has been nice as well.
So I never thought I would ever say this but I can’t wait for the gym to be finished so I can start running again and not have to go out in the rain!
Now that I am back from my holiday and at home for a while, I thought I would take the opportunity to get myself back on track – back on track with organising healthy meals, organise my food intake, continue with my exercises and hopefully lose more weight.
18 months ago, when I first met Jenny my nutritionist, she told me that at first the weight would come off very easy. Then I will get to a stage and it will stop. In that pause I was to maintain my weight and after a period of time has gone, to try again and see if I can lose anymore weight.
That is exactly what has happened to me. In previous diets, that pause has been a frustration for me, it has been the part where I give up and turn back to my old habits.
This time I am not as frustrated. It would have been nice to continuously lose weight but I haven’t. Instead of getting down about it I have just tried to continue and not really worry too much about what the scales say.
Now that I am back from my holiday I feel I can concentrate on it a bit more. I thought I would go back to basics and start from the beginning again. It meant I had to take a look at what I did all those months ago.
Hindsight can be really good and useful but looking all the way back to the beginning, seeing what I went through, makes me wonder how I ever did it the first time.
What I did back then was the hardest thing I have ever done. The pain and suffering I went through to change my eating habits was so immense that I don’t think I could do it again.
My habits have changed so much and all that hunger, shakes, eating less, low energy levels, tears, eating food I didn’t like, cutting out food I did, pain and suffering were worth it.
Looking back now, knowing how hard it was, makes it even harder for me to start again. So on this occasion hindsight isn’t good.
However things are a little different and should possibly be easier as I am already eating less and I won’t have to eat food I don’t like anymore because I have grown to enjoy it. I will have to cut back on foods I have let creep back in and I will have to go hungry again. But it seems like nothing in comparison.
Because I’ve looked back it has made it difficult to start again, so I have decided to tweek things a little and do it slightly differently so I can’t see what’s coming. Hopefully when I start seeing results again it will help me to continue