This journey started in January 1999. It was then that I joined Weight Watchers. At that time I weighed 90.8 kilograms and I was wearing a size 20-22.
It was not always this way. When I was 20 years old I weighed approximately 50 kilograms and fitted a size 10.At the time I had been unwell and not eating much for a month or two, hence the weight. Previously though I had never really been overweight. Around this time I discovered a taste for chocolate and junk food and never looked back. When I was growing up we rarely had junk food of any kind, so when I had some money and had left home, I fear I went a bit wild with my new found freedom and ate as much of it as I liked.
Once I started eating again I soon gained weight. By the time I got married when I was 22 I had gained about 15 kilograms and was wearing a size 12-14. Things only got worse once I was married. With both of us working we had takeaway a lot. When I did cook, it was easy to prepare food, high in fat etc and often fried. My husband also managed to gain quite a bit of weight and he was pretty big to begin with.
By the time I fell pregnant with Matthew in September of 1996 I was wearing a size 16 and weighing in at around 75 kilograms. I got a very bad bout of the flu in the first trimester of my pregnancy and lost quite a bit of weight as I was unable to eat much. I was very good while I was pregnant, eating lots of fruit and vegetables, and not as much junk food as I was used to. Nevertheless by the time I was 9 months pregnant I weighed in at 87 kilograms.
Matthew was overdue by 10 days and after a long labour and a ceasarean was born on the 2nd June 1997, weighing 6lb 14 oz. I only lost about 7 kilos and still weighed about 80 kilos when I went home. I was still wearing my maternity clothes for a long time after he was born, none of the clothes I had from before fit me anymore. I had to go out and buy myself a new wardrobe of size 18 clothes. My wardrobe now had clothes in it ranging from size 10 to size 18!!! While most of you discover that your stomach returns to normal after a few months, mine never did. it looked permanently about 4 months pregnant.
My mum had joined a local gym and I decided to join too. I wanted to flatten my stomach and lose some weight. I went to that gym twice a week for the next year. I would do 1/2 hour of exercise on the treadmill and bike etc and then a variety of weights. Sit ups etc came last. I had a pair of navy pants that I wanted to fit into, but at the end of the year they still didn't fit. In fact at the end of that year I weighed more than ever and was now into size 20-22!! At least I was fitter than I used to be! My problem was still eating all the wrong foods.
After my hour at the gym I would stop off on the way home and buy some chocolate and a packet of chips. After all I had just done an hour of exercise and I had earned it!! And this was not just any chocolate. Usually I would get a family size block and consume it in an afternoon. The packets of chips were family size too and I could finish those off just as quickly and still have room for dinner. On top of that I would eat what my son didn't eat at dinnertime!! I would walk up to the shops instead of driving and feel really proud of myself, until I bought and ate more chocolate on the way home. I was so big by now that I always felt people were looking at me and thinking "no wonder she's so big if that's what she eats", but I was so addicted to junk food that I couldn't stop.
But eventually crunch time had to come. I could no longer buy clothes at just any shop but I had to go to the "fat" section of the shop where they had nothing but tent dresses etc. Most of the clothes I didn't even like but there was nothing else that fit, so I had to buy what they had. The purple dress I was wearing in my "fat" photo, I didn't even like it, but it was about the only thing that fit me. One of the happiest days of my life was the day I gave that dress away!! Around that time I saw some photos of myself that absolutlely shocked me. it was one of those moments when I could kid myself no longer. I looked at that photo and thought "surely I am not THAT fat!!". But I was and there was no hiding from the truth any longer.
It was coming up to Christmas. My son was 18 months old and I was bigger than I had ever been in my life. The previous Christmas my Aunt had commented on my size, asking when I was going to lose my post baby weight. I got defensive and told her I was going to do it when I was ready. Well Christmas was almost upon me again, I was now 10 kilos heavier, had gone up yet another size in clothes, and I was dreading seeing my Aunt and having her ask me about my weight again. I decided I would join Weight watchers as soon as Christmas and the New Year were over and when she asked the inevitable questions I would tell her my plan and hope she would be satisfied with that. I wanted to enjoy my Christmas and new year before i joined up and enjoy it I did.
I thought diets meant grapefruit for breakfast and salad for lunch and dinner. I had started diets before. I would start on Monday, swearing to give up junk food completely and would last about a week before I would be craving junk food and go on a big binge. This time I was determined to do it right. I knew I couldn't do it on my own and decided WW would give the support I needed. So that was how I found myself at my first meeting in January 1999. When I saw how much I weighed and how much I had to lose I knew I had my work cut out for me. I had to lose over 30 kilos to get to my goal weight, but I was determined to succeed.
The very next day I went to the supermarket and bought all the WW food I could find. I started cooking the low fat way, baking and grilling instead of frying everything. I ate lots of fruit and veges, changed to diet softdrinks, skim milk, no butter on my bread etc.
The first week I lost 1.5 kilos and I knew that this program would really work. I found the points program really easy. No complicated weighing and measuring, counting kilojoules etc. I bought all the cookbooks I could lay my hands on and had great fun trying new recipes and surprising my family with lots of new food. They never knew what they were going to get for dinner.I was surprised to find myself eating real food and still losing weight. It was great!! I could still have little bits of chocolate here and there, so I didn't end up craving them and going on a binge. I discovered Milky Way's for 2 points and Darrell Lea Peppermint Nougat Bars for 3 points. I would have low fat icecream bars with low joule topping for a treat at night and never felt deprived. I attended all my WW meetings. I knew I needed the support and information I got there. My leader was great and could always answer my questions.
We went away on a sailing holiday in Febuary for a week and when I got back I had actually lost a kilo. I was thrilled. We went away again for Easter and I had my first gain. We stayed with friends for the weekend and we certainly didn't eat low fat food!! I had lost almost 10 kilos by then and I was not going to give up that quickly. I got back on track as soon as we got home and by the next week I had lost 2.3 kilos and was down below 80 kilos for the first time!! The journey was by no means easy all the way. I had weeks when I gained a little or stayed the same, but I had great faith in the program. I knew it worked and I wasn't going to give up. I had a bookmark that I got after losing my first 5 kilos and each time I lost another 5 kilos I got a gold star on that bookmark. Each time I got a gold star I would refocus on the next 5 kilos. 5 kilos at a time was a much easier goal to strive for than the big 30 kilos I was looking at when I began. Towards the end of July I was down below 70 kilos and the end was in sight.
I finally got to goal on the 12th October and I was so excited!! It had taken me 39 weeks but I was there! I weighed 61.9 kilos and I had lost 28.9 kilos!!! I started on the maintence program that night. I was a bit scared when I found out I could eat more food and very reluctant to do so!! After the first week I had gained a little but the week afterI was down to 61.1. I went away for 2 weeks in November in the middle of the maintenace program. I was determined not to miss any of the 6 weeks of maintenance so I arranged to go to the local WW meeting. I had a great time meeting new people and sharing my story. I recommend it to anyone. I actually lost 2.1 kilos while I was away without even trying. Must have been all the bushwalking I did. It felt so good to have lots of energy and be able to go walking without getting all out of breath. Before I lost weight I would get tired just living. I always seemed to be tired and never had any energy for doing anything. I thought I was a pretty active person,but in reality I would spend most of my time sitting around watching TV. Now I discovered life!!!
I made lifetime membership on my first night back from holidays. The first thing my leader said to me was "So when are you going to become a Leader??" I was a bit shocked at first but after I thought about it for a while I decided to give it a go. I felt that losing weight had done so much for me. I was now back into size 10-12 clothes and since I had thrown all my old "Skinny" clothes away in a moment of madness about a year before I had to go out and buy yet another new wardrobe of clothes!!. Only this time it was because everything in my wardrobe was too big!!! The pair of navy blue pants that I had wanted to get back into when I was going to the gym now fell down around my ankles when I put them on!! It felt so good to go into any shop I wanted and buy things off the rack! I had so much energy and my self confidence had gone through the roof. I used to have high blood pressure (believe it or not) and now it was back to normal.
I would see people who were overweight and think "It doesn't have to be that way you know. The solution is easy and you can do it too!" I wanted to help other people achieve what I had achieved. I started Leader training in Febuary of 2000 and started teaching a class in March. I was very nervous to start with but felt it was pretty amazing that I was doing it at all!! Not that long ago I would have laughed at anyone who suggested that I would be standing up in front of people teaching them how to lose weight and now I was doing it every week. It just goes to show how far my self confidence had come. I really felt that if I could lose all that weight I could do anything!!
I maintained my weight around 56 kilos for approx. 9 months before I fell pregnant. I started on the Pregnancy and Lactation program and at the time of writing I am 3 weeks away from the birth of our second child. I feel like I have gained a lot of weight, but apart from a big belly I don't look like it. I still have a waist and from behind you can't tell I'm pregnant. This has been a much healthier pregnancy than the last one. Last time I had very high blood pressure, this time my blood pressure has been very low. I am looking forward to getting back in shape after this baby is born and remain hopeful I will be back at goal when it is born. If not I know I can lose it again, after all I've done it all before!!
Joshua was born on the 8th May 2001. After his birth I was weighing in at around 64 kilos, only 2 kilos above my goal!
When Joshua was 10 months old I finally reached my personal goal of between 56-57 kilos. About 2 months later, I fell pregnant again! Currently, I am weighing in at around 59-60 kilos, still below my official goal at 4 months pregnant. I am aiming to put on less weight this time, but even if I don't succeed, I know I can lose it again after the baby is born.
Emily Rose is now here. She is 6 weeks old and I am weighing in at 69 kilos.I have about 10 kilos to lose, which will hopefully not take as long as it did with Joshua. I am heavier than I was after Josh, but I put that down to enjoying Christmas and New Year just a little too much!!
Emily is now 1 year old and my journey to my original pre pregnancy weight of 56-57 kilos has not been as easy as I thought! I am currently around 64 kilos and have been for approx 6 months or so. I am struggling to find the motivation to stick to losing the extra weight and I don't currently have the money to go back to Weight Watchers.I am constantly reminded that weight issues are a life time thing. Here is hoping I have good news to share soon.
Well it is nearly a year later and there is no good news to report. I am now around 70 kilos and don't fit into most of my clothes. My love of chocolate and other junk food has been my undoing. I simply can't say no and have cravings you would not believe and end up giving in. But it is a new year and time for all those new year resolutions. This is all getting rather depressing isn't it?? Well I am only Human and though I am not at my goal weight, I am still 20 kilos less than I was at my biggest and I won't get that far. Time to pull my socks up, exert some self control and self discipline and lose some weight!!!
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