Do you remember my complainy posts earlier this year about how generally rubbish I felt? Well, I'm happy to report I'm feeling a lot better. Hooray! I'm sure you won't miss the moaning.
The thing is, I was at a point where I realised I wasn't taking care of myself, and I could feel and see the results. I was constantly ill, permanently exhausted and just looked awful. It wasn't a life highlight.
A lot of it came down to diet and exercise, in the end. I always wish there was something simpler to do to change things, but in truth, if you're feeling crappy for months on end and don't have anything specific wrong with you, then you kind of have to look at what's you're doing with your body and what's going into it.
I've tried all year to get back into Weight Watchers, as it worked so well for me in 2013, but while I started to feel a bit more human, I didn't see much result on the scales. Ultimately, losing weight is the goal - feeling better is priority, obviously, but fitting back into my beloved dresses would be a welcome side effect.
I'm getting there though, finally. It's taken months, but my motivation is finally back, and I'm feeling great. I'm back to doing Weight Watchers strictly, rather than half-heartedly pointing my food a couple of days a week and then eating whatever I wanted for the rest of the time. The first week I did it properly, I lost 4.5lbs, which just shows me it works. I've lost about half a stone in the last month - it's not a massive number, but it's nice to see a result. And I know from experience that fast weight loss doesn't stay off. It needs to be a lifestyle change, or it won't work. Actually, since January, I'm nearly a stone down, which feels a touch more notable. But for me, it's that next stone that will mean something, that will see me back in the clothes that I miss wearing and feeling a bit more like Sarah again.
As I've written about, I'm eating vegetarian food 70-80% of the time and cooking from scratch almost always. And I've upped my exercise, so much so that I'm at that weird point where I WANT to do more. I'm pushing myself to do 10,000 steps a day - every day - thanks to my Fitbit, and I've also started swimming a few times a week. I ACHE. But in a good way. And what's really shocking is noticing how much more energy I have. I'm not falling asleep on the sofa at 9pm any more! I started feeling like an old lady, and while 33 isn't THAT young, I aten't dead yet (to quote Granny Weatherwax). There's still time in your thirties to undo bad habits and treat your body right, but what I didn't want to happen was to get to a point where it was too late.
For now, I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing. The thing I liked so much about Weight Watchers in the past was how much it got me into cooking, and that urge to experiment is back. I'm not focusing on what I can't have, but what I CAN have - which is everything, actually. Not in huge portions, perhaps, but chocolate, cheese, crisps and carbs are all very much still on the menu. At the moment, I'm having Saturdays 'off' and sticking to it the other six days, and that's fine. And I'm setting myself mini-goals, such as getting back into my red coat by the time I go to New York at the end of November, and into this beauty for Christmas. And then it'll be focusing on my sister's wedding next July, and squeezing into a bridesmaid's dress.
I think it took me so long to get back to it because I do have conflicting feelings about weight loss. A big part of me wishes I could just learn to be happy with myself at a bigger size, and I envy women who do, who just OWN it... but I can't. Obsessing over my weight is something I've done my entire life, and it's a pretty much impossible habit to break. And I accept that, but what I refuse to do is go on a crazy diet, cutting out food groups for the sake of it, because I know I'd hate that and I don't want it to turn me into someone who doesn't love food any more.
I know it won't be everyone's cup of tea, and that's fine - but I'm going to start doing monthly updates here with my latest news and maybe some advice. It helps me make sense of it to talk it out on here (being that kind of person is why I have a blog in the first place) and I like hearing from people who are struggling with it too, or have cracked it. Helping each other is the way forward, right?