I have been overweight for most, if not all of my adult life. I have dieted and pigged out on a rotating basis. I was a professional eater. I’m not overly fussy but I eat in bulk and have the capacity to put away massive amounts of food. I have tried every diet club you could imagine although I was never a fan of the real extreme diets like the cabbage soup or egg diet although was very tempted on many occasions to try the Mars bar diet. I was a big fan of low calorie ready meals, everything you need in a microwavable dish. No thinking required. Every year I went through the same pattern of dieting at New Year until around June, and I would lose around 3 stone and then I would fall by the wayside again and gradually (or sometime even very quickly)put all the weight back on (with extra too!) until the next year… and then it would start again.
I’m not sure if it was because I was coming up to my 40 birthday or whether I had just absolutely had enough of not being able to do anything without getting out of breath and puffing and sweating, but I decided enough was enough. In the back of my mind is a horrible experience on a night out when a couple of young lads had shouted fat comments at me when I was with my friends which made me feel utterly ashamed and embarrassed of who I was. Somehow shouting yeah I ate all the pies doesn’t quite seem to the right thing to say even if it is the truth. I think the reason for wanting to change was to blend into the background, to not stand out in the crowd, to be unremarkable, I suppose.
In January 2009 I stepped on the scales and they showed I weighed 18 stone 6pounds. I thought I was going to passout!! I knew I was heavy but nowhere near that. I always thought “yeah I’m heavy but I carry it well” and whenever I saw myself in photos I would say that it was an unflattering angle, and my friends would say things like that is quite a good photo of you. They could obviously see me for what I was but I seriously did not see myself like that in the mirror. Of course I knew I was big but not that big! Although if you are wearing size 26 clothes,that really should give you a wee hint. Well after the weigh in I decided I was far too fat to join a gym – so started another stint at a famous slimming class and I did ok in the first few weeks. Then I thought that I wanted to do a bit more than just dieting, I thought I would like to try some exercise (nothing too much mind, something sitting down and low impact, after all I didn’t want to have to break sweat) and decided to join the gym.
I joined the gym mid February and the Manager asked me what I was hoping to get from the gym. I did have to bite my tongue at that point – all I wanted to say was “seriously? Look at me – what do you think I’m after” but I gave the lame old answer of “to lose weight and toneup”. So that was that – joined up and raring to go (kind of) and as I was leaving, he said “oh I’m going to chuck in a free session with a personal trainer for you – I’ve got the very person. You’ll get a phone call over the next few days”.
I was pretty mixed about this – I thought personal trainers were for proper hardcore sporty people – and then I thought “oh no I’m going to be so busted because I knew I wouldn’t really be working really hard in the gym… after all I was really overweight and limited in my abilities wasn’t I? I had seen all the muscely trainers and wasn’t looking forward to it…. It didn’t help when I went home and told my boyfriend. He found it very funny and proceeded to tell me I would be crying like a baby ten minutes into the session. Yes very supportive.
So, I think it was a Sunday afternoon, I know for sure I was on the sofa with a giant bag of Doritos and dips and a big bag of maltesers and the phone rang. It was the personal trainer phoning to schedule the appointment and it was girl!!! Things were looking up. A girl would be much easier going than a guy. Yeah – think again!