How I lost (almost) 2 stone.

This post has been a long time coming. Lots of people have commented on my weight loss and I've had a few emails asking me to share my story but it's just been one of those things I've put off. However, I know so many people are looking for inspiration and most women I know want to lose weight and get fit, so if I can inspire a couple of people to go for it then that's brilliant.

A year ago I weighed, at most, about 11 stone 3lbs. I now weigh around 9 stone 5lbs. I was never terribly unhappy with my weight. In fact I thought I looked okay. But I felt terrible. An unhappy relationship, lack of exercise and poor diet was making me feel rubbish.

This was me 1 year ago:

And this is me now:

Losing weight for me was very simple. I just needed to get into the right frame of mind and I had to really want to do it. Once I got to that place I found that the weight started to come off, I felt amazing and I actually WANTED to exercise.

Initially, my break up triggered my weight loss. Now I'm not saying to go and be single to lose a few pounds, of course that would be very silly. But I had been through a lot, and finally being free of those restraints gave me a whole new lease of life. I had something I could focus on, and I just knew I could really do it and make myself look and feel happier.

This is when I stepped things up a gear. I started to exercise, I swapped sweets and biscuits for fruit, I learnt how to cook basic but healthy meals, and I turned to fellow bloggers for inspiration. Then I fell in love.. and became the happiest I've ever been in every aspect of my life, and this has rubbed off onto my desire to be fit and healthy.

Now I'm not saying I'm perfect now. There are days when I don't do any exercise and I consume biscuits like they're going out of fashion, but most days I give my body good, healthy food and get my butt into gear by exercising, even if it's just for 30 minutes.

I hope the tips in this post helps some of you to give your weight loss journey a kick start in the right direction.

Eat breakfast
I always used to skip breakfast. Now I have it every day without fail - muesli or bran flakes with semi-skimmed milk or 2 slices of toast with butter. I can't eat when I first wake up so I make it at work at about 8.45am and it's the perfect time. I have it with a cup of tea and it sets me up nicely for the day. 

What do I drink
I have never been one for fizzy pop so I mainly drink water, cups of tea (no sugar) and sometimes fruity squash. I don't drink nearly enough water as I should and I'm working on this one. I definitely feel better in myself for drinking more of the stuff. 

Meals and snacking
As mentioned above I always have breakfast. I have cut down on snacking, especially boredom-related snacking. At work I keep busy so I don't have time to sit munching at my desk but I always keep bananas, apples and satsumas close by for when I'm feeling peckish. I almost always have a sugary treat in the afternoon with a cup of tea but the key is not to go overboard. I won't deny myself anything because it only makes me feel miserable and then I want that thing more. 

5 a day
I don't always achieve 5 portions of fruit and veg a day but I get pretty close on most days. As mentioned above I always keep fruit by my desk at work so I usually have an apple and a banana per day, and my evening meal (if it's pasta for example) will always include veg such as mushrooms, peppers, carrots, etc.. The more chunky bits of veg the better! 

On 1 January I kicked myself up the backside and told myself I had to do more exercise. The only way I was ever going to get the body I wanted was to do a considerable amount more than I've ever done before. I want to do even more than I currently do because it makes me feel so much fitter and firmer, however currently on average I do my Jillian Michaels workout 5 or 6 days a week and some jogging in between or instead of. I'd like to do an exercise class once a week and jog more.. and push myself harder. 

Don't lose hope
Reducing portions, cutting out/down on snacking and exercising can be difficult at first. And results won't happen overnight. But if you stick with it you WILL see results and that's what makes you want to carry on. 

I'm always working on my diet and on my exercise routine. This is an ongoing thing for me - I've lost the weight but now I want to tone up and increase my fitness levels. It's hard but stick with it!

 I'd quite like to look like this (Source)

- Nothing happens overnight. The key is not to get disheartened when you don't see results straight away. I used to give up on exercise and dieting after a week because I didn't look any different and I thought "what's the point". Well, the point is hard work DOES pay off and once you start to enjoy exercise and build it into your daily routine then you're bound to see results.

- Be realistic. Set yourself realistic goals. I know people who lose a couple of pounds a week and they're disappointed. To me it's a fantastic achievement and a gradual loss, week by week, is going to be easier to maintain.

- Don't be tempted by quick fixes. I've tried crash diets before - the maple syrup one, the soup one, the shake one. Yes they can work, but you will be miserable/get bad breath/pass out/think about food ALL the time/put the weight back on once you eat proper meals again.

- Discover fruit and veg that you love. Give me a Royal Gala apple over a bag of sweets any day! (I'm being serious).

- Be happy. Don't jog if you hate it. Find something that you do enjoy.  Don't eat food that makes you miserable. Make changes to things that are bringing you down in life.

You only get one chance at life.. make it a happy and healthy one!
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