In recent years my weight has fluctuated somewhat. I started 2019 at what I’m sure is the heaviest I’ve ever been (over 12.5 stone), even taking pregnancy into account! While I was aware that I was heavier, I wasn’t aware of quite how ‘chubby’ I’d got.
I lost 2 stone between 1 January 2019 and 1 January 2020. Having run over 1,000 miles during that year it would be easy to think that’s how I’ve managed it. However, over 300 of those miles were run in the last two months of the year, and during those two months my weight was pretty much stable.
So, how did I do it?!
Well, having realised just how much weight I’d put on during the last two months of 2018 I decided I wanted to do something about it. But as someone who has never really been focused on her weight, I knew I needed something to motivate me to lose that weight, a bigger reason. I found a rowing competition that piqued my interest and it was weight categorised, so I entered the weight category which would bring me down to a weight I’m more used to being.
The rowing competition was in April, so this gave me a few months to drop the weight. I tightened up my diet and became a little obsessive about weighing myself regularly. I can honestly say I wasn’t enjoying being so strict with myself. During this period, my relationship came to an end, but I couldn’t allow myself to ‘eat my feelings’. If nothing else I’m stubborn (determined some say, if they’re being polite haha), so I stayed focussed on the bigger picture of the competition.
I knew with the competition that I would be better off being on the heavier side in the lighter category than being light in the heavier category. In the last few days I was so worried I wouldn’t make weight that I tightened up my food even more. I ended up being a couple of kg inside my weight category, having lost 19lb in total. Because of that restriction I’d put myself through, I then put 3lb back on almost over night with being back to eating properly again.
Competition over and done with, I knew I wanted to lose more weight, but didn’t want to obsess over it. Just a steady loss over the rest of the year would be fine and if I could get down to 10.5 stone that would be fantastic. I became more mindful about my food choices, but also didn’t ‘ban’ particular foods. I’ve enjoyed chocolate, take-away and Christmas indulgences, but also made steady sustainable progress.
Too often when people want to lose weight, they want instant results. It’s easy to get taken in by sales pitches for weight loss plans, detoxes, cleanses etc that make it sound so simple to lose excess weight and keep it off. The hard truth is, there is no easy way. You have to be honest with yourself about what you really want, what you’re actually consuming and set yourself small realistic goals to hit along the way. Then, once you’ve hit your end goal you can make minor tweaks to your diet so you maintain your weight.
I didn’t set out at the start of the year thinking I must lose two stone as quickly as possible. After the rowing competition, I checked in on my weight sporadically. Sometimes I’d lost weight, sometimes I’d maintained and sometimes I’d gained a little and all of that was ok. I increased my vegetable intake, to make me fuller and give me more nutrient dense foods. When I had a take-away I just tightened things up a little over the next few days to balance it out. Being in a calorie deficit is the only way to lose weight after all.