Friday 22 September 2017

Back to Weight Watchers (9 months on)

I've been pretty candid on my blog in the past about weight loss and body image, I think, including documenting a two stone loss back in 2013 when I did Weight Watchers. I've been struggling for a long time with the implications of wanting to lose weight and not being happy with my shape - being part of the 'oh, women and their diets' trope always makes me feel like a bad feminist, and makes me wonder if it's possible to be truly body positive when you don't feel positive about your own. I don't have the answer. On social media I follow and admire so many awesome, gorgeous plus-size women who look incredible and truly own their size, and try as I might, I've never been able to see myself in the same way that I see them.

All these conflicting emotions is why this year, I decided to give following a diet plan a proper go again and not to talk about it too much on my social channels. For the record, I don't believe that fat means unhealthy. I don't believe that skinny means healthy. BUT I do recognise that, for me, when I weigh more it's the result of an unhealthy lifestyle. I find it easy to slide into the habit of eating lots of fatty food and doing no exercise, and not only do I see the ramifications of that pretty quickly, I feel them too. Prolonged periods of eating unhealthily does nothing good to my IBS. And that's why I wanted to try Weight Watchers again this year, and see what happened.

I'm also holding onto guilt about being the most awful of cliches. It's inescapable, everyone brings it up in real life when mentioning my weight loss - I'm getting married next year. And I HATE the idea of being pressured to lose weight for your own wedding, but... look, it's not a total coincidence that the upcoming event coincides with the first time since 2013 that I've actually stuck to a diet plan and seen a real difference.

The truth is, I felt crap at the start of this year. I really hated how I looked. And I felt really sad that the idea of trying on wedding dresses filled me with dread. It wasn't so much how I looked, but how I FELT about how I looked. So in January I decided to go back to Weight Watchers, to give it a proper try and see what happened. And I can't deny that the wedding has definitely given me an extra kick of motivation that I haven't had for a while.

I chose Weight Watchers because it's worked for me before, and because I like their ethos of focusing on putting good food into your body. Eating less is part of it, but so is eating as many fruits and vegetables as you possibly can. And it works for me. Nine months on, I've lost just over two stone. I've started exercising again and looking into fun ways to keep fit, such as Zumba and Clubbercise. But also my IBS symptoms are so much better. My energy levels are up. And I'm much happier when I look in the mirror.

I do think that following a diet plan encourages obsessive behaviour, and in my case that's meant becoming even obsessed with food. While I try to use that power for good, by trying out exciting healthy recipes like veggie curries and comforting stews, I recognise that it's not lasting behaviour. But I know that I'm at least eating a balanced diet, and I still let myself have treats too like meals out, desserts, alcohol and even the odd takeaway. And I'm listening to my body a bit more, and realising what makes me feel awful after eating it (takeaway pizzas, man - all that salt kills me) and what isn't actually a problem at all (gluten! You're fine!). I had a bit of a tummy bug a couple of weeks ago, and it made me realise that I couldn't remember the last time I'd had a proper IBS flare up, which is amazing. Eating well does wonders for managing it, in my case.

There isn't a huge point to this post. I guess that this time, I hope it sticks. I am actually enjoying being back in good habits, and even enjoying exercising again (I've just spent the last half an hour on Skate Hut on a shopping spree for workout tights, which is, er, new) - I am SO not an active person, but once I took the plunge and went to my first workout class in four years (fun fact: haven't done a workout class or DVD or anything for the whole duration of my relationship with Matt) I actually enjoyed it, and wanted to do more. I am not a big fan of exercise, but I know it's good for me, and I want to get to the point where it's a normal part of my routine that I enjoy, rather than resenting it. Anyway. In a nutshell, I'm trying to get into good habits that will last, rather than faddy unsustainable madness. Let's see if I can do it.




  1. This sounds really good! I have a couple of friends on Slimming World and they've lost loads - I think I'm going to jump on this bandwagon as I've put on so much weight in the past two years.


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