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Strangely becoming an inspiration!

So, to write my journey of the past year in a blog! Some of you will know me and will have seen me and my transformation, others will not have a clue so I shall start from the beginning……

I am 44 years old (I reach 45 in August 19) I’m 5ft5 and a bit tall! and this time last year I weighed in at nearly 20 stone! I knew I was overweight! But nearly 20 stone!!!!! I was a size 24 in clothes and I really didn’t care for how I looked very much, I made small efforts but not really efforts just attempt! My personality always outshone anything else, If I have to describe myself it would be as ‘wild and bubbly’ but underneath my outgoing and social exterior there was a very unhappy fat me, a me that often wished I would not wake up the next day as that would be easier than dealing with weight loss! Yup that maybe shocking for those of you who know me, but that is real. So, amongst all my fattiness I got told I was heading straight for a heart attack and diabetes, now funnily enough the heart attack didn’t really bother me as I thought if its big and I die someone else can deal with that, but diabetes! Whoa, you see I have Asperger’s tendencies as well as being, and having ADHD! And I do not cope with oral medicine at all, I am the Dr worst and best, patient, I rarely go but if I need drugs it has to be injection and that is not always possible! But you see that is not my fault or my choice, but it does mean that getting diabetes scared the hell out of me, enough to make me look at my options and decide what to do.

As most large people will tell you (and most slim people it turns out too) I’ve always been on a diet of some description, I’ve tried everything and when I was 30 I lost 5 and a half stone, but I didn’t educate myself or get the help I needed, as it turns out I am addicted to food, just like an alcoholic is to drinking, I love eating! (and drinking too, but not in that way) 😉 lol. I tried slimming world at least half a dozen times but that just didn’t work for me and going to a room to weigh in with lots of other fat (and slim) people just wasn’t for me and I failed which made me feel worse. Now as your are probably gathering I’m quite independent and I can do things when I put my mind to it, so I made myself a plan, this took a lot of thought but it was my plan, for me, for me to follow. I decided I was sick of dealing with food and all the right and wrong choices I made. I wanted to give it up and take a step back, so I decided lighter life would be my way to go, this is how I lost my weight previously, but this time I would make it different, so I looked at my calendar and made no more social dates from 23rd July 2018 on wards, I figured this would be one of the hardest but most important things I have ever done so I would give myself as much of a chance as possible, and as supportive as people think they are being, when you are out with someone who is not eating a meal, it makes people feel awkward and I didn’t want that for me or anyone else, so I booked no more meals out, day trips or social gatherings for a couple of months! This was going to be me time! My other half is great he is so supportive hilarious in the same breath! When you take food out of your life a go onto food packs, yup just 4 food packs a day, mainly small bars of food, it takes determination and courage as it is not easy, but it was do or die! So, the first two weeks were always going to be the hardest, but boy I didn’t realise how much food was advertised on TV! In one commercial break I could have been out the door for a Maccie D’s, Burger King and KFC! Lol and when we got to Christmas and all the food and drink was advertised, I realised the extent of the gluttony in our lives. As by then I was never hungry and losing weight weekly and starting to see a massive difference. I never deviated from the food bars, not once, not even Christmas day! I ate bars or spaghetti bolognaise (from a food pack) and our of a microwave jug for 7 months! I taught myself to drink black coffee, as my drinking options were black coffee, black tea (yuk) and water, we bought a soda stream and that was great as I much prefer fizzy water to still!

I still managed to cook meals for Drew, in the first two weeks I decided he would have to cook all his own meals, but then he would come in and say things like “I’m really sorry but how long do you cook this for” lol I nearly throttled him in the first two weeks but after that we found it funny, he would often forget I was not eating and come in and say, “do you want a packet of crisps” ummmm no darling! Hehehehehe and then the Marks and Spencer’s deluxe Christmas pudding advert came on TV, with orange peel and all sorts of lovely looking stuff in it and he pipes up “ooh I don’t like that, would you eat that” to which my reply was “I’d happily eat a scabby donkey right now” lol lot’s of apologies and much laughter perused, and this continued for the whole 7 months, I got to the point I was strong enough to go out for dinner and just have coffee and a bar, I did a holiday to the costa del sol and manage 4 days there and I did a week out in Athens at a zoo conference and managed not to deviate at all, I was very proud of myself at this point and things like that gave me huge confidence to carry on, when I had lost 7stone 3 lb I had lost the same amount as one of my members of staff weighs, that was the first Facebook post I put on about weight loss! Then I was nearly at the end of my goal at the end of February 2019 and at a charity ball I organise with a great friend, and people were walking past me and asking Drew where I was as they just didn’t recognise me, that is a funny and great feeling, I felt and looked a million dollars that night. I have the most amazing friend who makes my dresses and has always made me look amazing in a ball dress, but they were massive dresses, now I have to have one chopped in half! The 2020 Feathery Regimental Vulture Ball, looks to see me in half a dress! How cool, all sounds a bit Vivienne Westwood darling!!!

So skip 7 months, and 8 stone of weight loss and I’m in a size 10 top and 12 bottoms, I’m the size I want to be, I’ve been working the whole time and luckily I do not have huge amounts of excess skin but I still have the problem of food! I have lost all this weight before and put it back on and more! I now look great, feel sexy, and pretty and happy, but how do I keep it off, step in Ellen Picton. A friend of mine the amazing Tim Morphew had recommended Ellen and her company Health Aspire, she is in the depths of wales but I was willing to travel wherever for the right person and from Tim’s description Ellen was (and is) that person, I’d spoken with a dietitian and got a bad vibe and an air of flippancy so was put off of her immediately but Ellen knew exactly what the diet I had been on was about and how to introduce real food, so on the 6th of March we took a trip away to Wales with the dog (we both fell in puddles on the beach, not so glamour’s) and we visited Ellen, I would not be with her if you paid me not to be, she understands, she is sympathetic but proactive and my eating plan and lifestyle now is achievable, the 6th of March was the anniversary of Drews lovely mums death and also her birthday so in the evening in a log cabin on the beach in Wales I ate my first meal and had one small glass of Mumm champagne, well turns out Champagne is the lowest carb drink and my favourite tipple, and nope Prosecco is a different method and much higher in carb so we cannot even substitute lol. Who knew I would end up being keen to learn about my own health and nutrition!

I now follow a low carb diet, which is helpful as I am also entering the menopause! And women can become more susceptible to carbs in this time! And there is no way I’m going to be an overweight grumpy old woman! I can do the grumpy and old but overweight not a chance. I weight twice a week, I can eat loads of food, but I don’t eat bread, pasta, rice or potatoes. Yup I hear ya, what none of that…... and if you had told me a year ago, I would not be eating those foods again I would have asked, what can I eat? And I would have said shoot me now, life will be so dull, but hey I don’t miss them at all, last night I had a lovely steak and salad and tonight I have courgetti carbonara, tomorrow I have cottage pie with cauliflower topping.

Now don’t get me wrong, none of this is easy! Far from it, I work at it every day, I speak to Ellen every other week now, it was every week to start with. I visit her every couple of months, and I watch what I eat, I am now a slim person who wants to stay that way. I used to look at slim people and say, “your so lucky” well reality is, most of those slim people work at it every day, some have amazing metabolism rates, mine is a tad on the lazy side 😉 but most slim people watch what they eat and how often, I used to watch a packet of cream cakes call me until they were all gone! In my tummy.

It turns out I seem to have inspired quite a lot of people to lose a lb or stone, and I am truly honoured that I have been seen as an inspiration, I just did it my way and found what worked for me, I gave it a bit of thought and a lot of hard work and a massive dollop of pig ignorance and determination.

In January I was light enough to get back on my horse! And at the end of June, in my British Show Jumping league in the south west I was in the lead and in the whole country I was 2nd! To some people this won’t seem like a big deal, but to me I am over the moon, this time last year I was to heavy to even think about getting on a horse! Let alone jumping a fence and winning, all my fellow competitors have been amazing and so supportive, I truly love my sport and am thankful that I am able to be back in it and competitive, sometimes I think I’m Welsh as all my Welsh show jumping friends go so fast and always win and now that’s me! Well my nan was Welsh 😉 For some years now I have been doing a bit of work for Shires Equestrian Products, (which I love) in the past couple of weeks I’ve done some photoshoots where the horses need to run/canter in a rug, and someone has to do a bit of chasing and a lot of walking to catch them and take them back to where they need to run. Last year I didn’t do that, this year I’m running with them 😉 I wear a Fitbit and I love it the more steps I do, I have more energy and a massive dollop of enthusiasm for my work again.

So for anyone who is reading this and are struggling with anything, remember…… you can do anything you put your mind to, you just have to have a plan, have strength, determination and surround yourself with as much support as possible, and to all the people who have been around me and been supportive I wish I could name you all, but you know who you are, you know if you have given me a pat on the back, a word of support of have drank champagne with me to celebrate, all you messages, and kind words have really made me very happy and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

For me now, my plan is to always be the best I can and to try and look the best I can too, I’m having so much fun I’ve had to up my anti-ageing daily moisturising processes (thank goodness for boots No.7) as my laughter lines were making an appearance! 😉

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