Year 2 week 32

6th – 12th August 2017

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! 


Year 2 week 31

30th July – 5th August 2017

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 

Year 2 week 30

23rd- 29th July 2017

I have always loved the summer, it’s usually warmer, it’s a time to go on holiday, it’s time to relax and wind down. 

Since I have been going down this weight loss journey, and I am now half way through my second summer, I find that the summer is also the hardest. 

Summertime is when all routine is gone. I am a person who likes routine. Routine means you know what is coming and you can prepare for it.

In the summer it’s always been see where the day takes me, no particular plans. Trying to lose weight with no routine is the hardest. It’s like I can’t concentrate on my goals, I am totally lacking in focus. 

This week I have spent a few days at a conference called Focus. I was hoping, because of the name, it might help me with my focus. 

One thing that was said was “don’t think that God is invisible – his fingerprints are all over your life” 

One thing I have noticed over the past 18 months is how much help God has actually given me. How even through the hard times he has been right there by my side. 

Here I am going through another hard time. Finding it hard to stay focused on my ultimate goal. One thing, though, that I am forgetting is that God is there beside me leaving his fingerprints. I just forgot to look for them. 

Year 2 week 29

16th – 22nd July 2017

We have had a lovely 2 week holiday. We have been doing all the normal things you do on holiday. Like relaxing in the sun, exploring new places, swimming in the pool, eating in nice restaurants. 

Because we have had a normal holiday also means that the normal has happened. I have put on a few pounds. Normally when I go on holiday I put on loads of weight, I get used to eating more and when I come home I don’t change my habits back again. 

We went on holiday with a couple that we’ve become friends with this year. We met because she was doing a half marathon in Rwanda with me and her husband did the marathon. 

Three of my sons came too.  My youngest was wanting to do all these clapping games with us. You basically say a poem and clap out a routine with our hands. 

While we were doing this with my son, I remembered a time when I would do the same at school. It was all the craze in those days, you would sing a silly song and then clap out a routine with our hands. I spent so much time practicing at break time and any other opportunity I could get. I remember loving it. 

As I was telling Jake (my son) Michelle (my friend from Rwanda) commented that she did the same at school too. We thought we would try and remember it and teach Jake. 

To our surprise we remembered it really well. We remembered the words the routine and everything. Not only that, we could do it quite fast. It was like we only did it yesterday.

Jake thought it was hilarious and couldn’t stop laughing at us. We then went on to teach him. He did eventually get it after practicing for the whole 2 weeks. 

It has got me thinking. I have had 18 months of really good eating habits, 18 months of making good choices – why should I let 2 weeks of bad eating habits drag me down. 

That clapping game came back to me after not doing it for over 30 years. I should be able to get back on the healthy eating after just a 2 week break!

Year 2 week 28

9th- 15 th July 2017

The kids have now broken up from school which means the summer holidays have started. I like it when the summer holidays are here but it can also mean that my usual routine has gone. 

Trying to start a new routine can be hard. I like not getting up so early in the mornings but everything else can be tough. 

Always as soon as the kids break up from school we head off for our summer holidays. I always find the run up very busy. I’m busy packing and getting things organised for our holiday. I can never seem to relax on the run up. 

By the time we are away the holiday is always well deserved – everyone is tired and needs the break. 

I however find it really hard to relax. I am not a person who can relax by the pool or the beach for very long. 

I can sit there for a few minutes and then I get really bored. It usually takes me a good few days to unwind. When I do though I can start to enjoy myself. 

A big part of holidays is the food. It tends to be different from home. One of my weaknesses is the bread, especially when we go to France. The French bread is something that I can’t resist, it’s so nice. 

I feel I have not been as motivated this year as I was last year but I am surprised that 9 times out of 10 I am managing to resist the bread. I am generally keeping my good habits that I have created over the last 18 months. But I am a little more relaxed than last year with the odd treat creeping in here and there. 

I have decided to still watch what I eat, but not beat myself up over having a treat once in a while.  

Year 2 week 27

2nd – 8th July 2017

This time is a busy time of year for me. At the end of the school year there is always so much to do with sports days and presentations and I am usually packing for holiday too. 

This year is no different except that instead of packing for 6 people this year it’s like 8. It’s because my kids are going to so many different places over the summer. One of my sons has left on a school hockey and cricket tour in Sri Lanka for 2 weeks and he goes from there to India doing some missionary work for a month. Two of my other sons have come with us on holiday but as soon as we get home they go off to Serbia on mission hence so much packing.

With so much to do means that I lose focus on my goal of losing weight. My eating habits are not as bad as they were 18 months ago but I feel that on occasions I do let things slip a little though. 

I still have that problem of looking in the mirror and seeing me the same way I always have. I sometimes struggle to think I have changed at all. These struggles are things that I face all the time and they can be very disheartening. It actually makes me feel a bit of a fraud – like I have been lying about my progress over the past 18 months. Then when I lose a little focus the feeling is worse. 

When I feel like that I just think of where I have come from. 18 months ago I didn’t have the energy to keep going all day. I was over 5 stone heavier and I definitely couldn’t have ever ran a half marathon. 

Sometimes though I get reminders in the little things like the fact that I can go shopping and buy clothes in a much smaller size than I use too, I try clothes on they are more likely to be too big than too tight, that I can get off the sofa in seconds and without pain rather than it taking me over 5 minutes. 

The latest thing that reminds me is the fact after I have a shower and I only need one towel to wrap around me rather than 2!

It is one thing that I have noticed lately. I get slightly overwhelmed every time I wrap a towel around me and I can tie it. I half expect that I still need 2! It also means I can use the second towel to dry my hair. 

These little things help to remind me that I am not a fraud. I have done better than what the mirror translates in my mind and even though I get set backs it helps me to move forward.

Year 2 week 26

25th June – 1st July 2017

I have been a person who has been brought up on cars. The family business is cars and when I was younger my Dad imported cars into the country from places like Japan, Korea and China. My brother now runs the company. 

Because of the family business I got to go to the motor show, the royal show and a lot of other motor events each year. I remember always loving them. My sister and I would always walk around collecting as much free merchandise as we could carry. It was always a fun day. 

However I have absolutely no interest in cars. To me as long as a car gets me from A to B I am happy. I don’t care how many cylinders it has or how fast it goes or what size engine it is.

This week I feel like I have spent everyday in the car. One place we went to was Goodwood Festival of Speed. Out of all the motor events I have been to I have never been to Goodwood. 

It was very different to the shows I went to as a kid. One thing that I found different was the fact that there was so many really old cars there and they raced them at the event. 

Matt and my brother found all these cars very fascinating. There were cars from so many years, some going all the way back more than 100 years. There were cars that had raced in races like F1, Le Mans, NASCAR and many more. I have to say I found it mildly interesting. 

There were a few cars there that were made or won races in the year I was born. 

The thing that really hit home to me was how well they have been looked after over the years. They were someone’s pride and joy and in many cases these cars had been lovingly restored. 

If I had seen a car from the year I was born I would have thought it would only be fit for the scrap heap, but these were still going strong and still winning races. Their value had gone up considerably over the years but despite this they would use them, race them and they would sometimes crash.  But they were still being used for the exact purpose they were built for. It shows that when you look after something it can go on for a long time. 

I think the same applies to humans. If we don’t look after our bodies we could end up on the scrap heap a lot sooner than you should be. I think that was the place I was at 18 months ago. 

Sometimes I think it is a really hard thing to do but it is a vital thing to do. If you don’t look after yourself you are absolutely no help to anyone else. 

Even though my journey of ‘restoration’ hasn’t been an easy one, with a few crashes alone the way, it has been a rewarding one. I feel I am now able to accomplish the things I was made to do. Which is a total turn around in a year and a half.

Year 2 week 25

18th – 24th June 2017

This week has been a very slow week,  It has been frustratingly slow. The reason it has been like that is because I couldn’t get out much and I couldn’t exercise at all. 

We are having work done in our house at the minute and everywhere you turn there is some kind of building equipment around the place. I can’t get things without moving something out of the way first. 

One day I needed to get my shoes out of the cupboard but blocking the way was 15 sheets of plaster board.  I needed my shoes so I tried to struggle and get them out, while doing so everything slipped and the next thing I knew I was lying on the floor with the plaster boards on top of me. 

I never really knew how heavy plaster board was. Apparently each one weighs 25 kilos that means I had 375 kilos of weight fall on me and I was lying there in my house with no one around to ask to help. 

 Eventually I managed to get myself out from under it. I don’t know how I didn’t break a bone.  However I did come out with many bruises, lots of swelling especially on my right leg and I think I ended up a lot worse than the plaster board. 

Because of that I have spent most of the week with my leg elevated which has meant that I couldn’t really do much except get very bored.

Boredom usually makes me eat. But despite this set back my eating has been pretty good considering.

Before I started this weight loss journey my energy levels were fairly nonexistent and I would limp and I would never plan to go out for the day – it would just be too tiring. 

One thing that has been on my bucket list for years was to go to Royal Ascot.  It’s a place I didn’t think I would ever go to because of the amount of time you are on your feet. This year was my chance. I was looking forward to dressing up, wearing a fancy hat and maybe even have a flutter. 

I did manage to go but I felt like I was back to the old me – limping everywhere and struggling to get around. Despite the pain I had a really nice day and I enjoyed it immensely. 

One thing it did was make me glad I am not like that anymore.  These struggles are temporary because I will soon heal.  It has also made me think how did I live like that before for so long! 

It has made me realise that I am so much happier now, even though I have bruised and swollen legs and temporarily walk with a limp.

Year 2 week 24

11th – 17th June 2017

The other day I was driving and Matt was in the passenger seat. We had just been shopping and Matt decided that he wanted to try on one of his new shirts. 

He found it quite a struggle putting it on in the car. Once he had got it on he thought that there was something wrong. He realised he was now totally entangled in the seat belt and he was trapped and couldn’t move. 

My first thought, was not to help him or pull over – it was to laugh hysterically.  The only trouble with this was that I laughed so hard that tears were filling my eyes and I couldn’t see. Which was not a good situation when driving. 

I eventually managed to control myself  fortunately without having an accident. Matt eventually managed to untangle himself without any help from me. 

I told him that I had actually done that before and I soon realised that changing while in the car is something you must never do.  It got me thinking about other things that you shouldn’t try and do as you will see below. 

This week has been quite a busy week for me. This week I have had 4 parties to go to.  I have always been a person who loves a good party, but 4 in one week can take its toll. 

3 of the parties have been black tie events 

It’s nice to dress up on occasions and have a good night out and I have to say I enjoyed them all. At this type of event you get to meet people you haven’t seen in a long time, it’s a good time to catch up, wear out your feet on the dance floor and eat good food. 

Last week I also decided to start a detox. Detoxing, I have learnt, is a really good thing to do. So this week I have also learnt that you shouldn’t do it with so many events coming up. 

The trouble with a black tie do is that it’s a set menu and you don’t get to choose what you can eat. The fact that I was detoxing meant that I was extra hungry by the time the food came. This meant that the detox went out the window.

I was also staying in a lot of nice hotels, which also meant a lot of nice food. It was like I was really trying to punish myself. The thing that crossed my mind was who in the world would ever start a detox with so many events coming up. 

I thought I would not be able to get back on the detox after. However I did and I actually lost a few pounds this week too.  But I wouldn’t recommend it – neither would I recommend changing shirts in a car with your seat belt on!

Year 2 week 23

4th – 10th June

This week has been a much better week, I seem to have abolished my fears of last week and I have got my act together and done something about it. 

I had focused so much on my fear of going backwards that it didn’t give me much room to do something about it. 

This week I have been really focused on my food. I have tried to get it back under control. For me to get it under control has meant cutting out the carbs, eating healthy and going hungry. 

It has been a good reminder of what it was like for me a year ago. I have absolutely no idea how I did it for so long because this is really hard. Last year I got the shakes went through sugar withdrawals and I felt really hungry for a long time. Now all I am getting is the hunger but it’s a struggle.

I have tried to do some exercise too. I didn’t want to go so mad because of my energy levels and the lack of food. So I thought gentle exercise would be ok at this time. 

I have had a few appointments this week. So for my exercise I decided to walk to my appointments rather than take the car. 

Leaving the car is something I have never done. I take my car everywhere. Walking on my own is also something I have never done. For me to exercise I have always needed the motivation of someone being there with me. 

To be self motivated is a big step up for me. For me to feel that I can go out by myself and not rely on other people is great. I just hope I can continue it because it means I can go out for a run, walk at my own convenience rather than waiting for people to be available. I do find going with others is more fun but now I have the option. 

To you this may sound silly, people exercise on their own all the time. To me though it’s not. I have always wanted to be self motivated to do it alone but there was always something holding me back. It was usually the sofa, the TV or even my bed – they always seemed so much more appealing. 

When you have to meet someone it’s easier because I would never want to let them down so I would always turn up whether I wanted to or not. 

So I’m going to try and do things on my own a bit more now.