How I lost weight: part 2 (before & after pics).

I recently updated the weight loss tab above as it was out of date considering I have lost a further half a stone since I originally blogged about my weight loss (here). That blog post was more about my tips and advice and hopefully a bit of motivation for anyone out there looking to lose weight. This blog post will go into a bit more detail about when and why I made changes and where I'm at now (with a few old photos thrown in for good measure).

It was tweeting about the updated tab and receiving a whole host of lovely comments that brought me here, writing this. I don't often think of myself as inspiring but I know before I started to lose weight that I was so unhappy and looked everywhere for inspiration, so I figured I should talk about it more. It is quite difficult to talk about some of these things (and to share old photos) so I hope you'll be kind to me in the comments.

The first half of 2010 was super stressful for me. I was trying to get out of a bad relationship but felt trapped and resigned to a discontented life. I had just started a new job in HR, which was all new to me, and I was trying to balance a difficult personal life with staying upbeat and positive in my new busy career.

My weight had been creeping up for a while and 2010 was my heaviest year. I was eating takeaways for dinner several nights a week, skipping breakfast, eating too much junk food and only exercising very occasionally. I didn't feel healthy or happy and I was desperate to make big changes.

To cut a very long story short, the relationship eventually ended in the summer of 2010 and after several difficult weeks of sharing a house with my ex partner we both moved on. I moved back in with my parents but this time I had two little dogs and a whole load of belongings in tow.

During the break up I lost my appetite. I rarely ate breakfast and would often forget to take lunch to work with me. For dinner I would have packet noodles, beans on toast or (my favourite at the time) fish finger sandwiches. I didn't know how to cook and was a pretty rubbish food shopper.

Once I moved back in with my parents I began to eat much better and felt happier in myself. Proper home cooked meals with veg were always on the cards and I started to feel ready to make some positive changes. Although I had started to lose weight the wrong way, I continued to lose weight once I had got my eating back on track and got into the swing of my new routine. I also started to do a bit of exercise, mainly jogging and the 30 Day Shred.

A couple of months later I met Jonathan and he was to become the driving force of motivation for me. Although he has a fast metabolism and can eat whatever he likes, he chooses to eat healthy food, rarely has takeaways and plays sport twice a week as well as visiting the gym most weekdays on his lunch break. Although I had dabbled in exercise before I met him it was only after we started dating that I really got into it.

By this point I had moved out into my own place and most evenings I would go jogging or do a workout DVD and Jonathan taught me how to cook and do my food shopping on a budget to make healthy dinners.

After 6 months of living on my own, my rent lease came to an end and I moved to Rotherham into Jonathan's house (poor Lily and Lola were sick of moving by this point, as was I). I continued with my evening workouts and on a weekend we would play squash together.

In 2010 I weighed around 11 stone 3lbs at my heaviest. Today I weigh 8 stone 12lbs. I'd like to get to 8 stone 10lbs and stay there, and that's my goal for 2013 (my height is 5'5).

I suppose the summary of my story is that whilst I was trapped in an unhappy place I didn't have the inclination to eat well or exercise. I couldn't cook and takeaways were the norm as opposed to being a treat once in a while. Once I got myself to a better place and surrounded myself with better people I had the desire to look after myself, exercise and eat well. I couldn't have lost the weight and kept it off without making some big changes and incorporating them into my everyday life.

I have managed to maintain the same weight for a while now which I'm really pleased with. I do have days and weeks where I overindulge and don't do much exercise so, if that happens, I try to work twice as hard to burn off those extra calories. I do worry about my weight creeping back up to what it was but I know that my lifestyle is so much different now and I am much more motivated.

It was (and is) hard work exercising several times a week and having treats in moderation. Working out is hard. It's sweaty and horrible and most of the time I'd rather not do it, but once I get going I really enjoy it and always feel better afterwards.

Picking up the biscuit tin and only having a couple of biscuits is a test of my willpower and still something I struggle with, often falling off the wagon and eating every sweet thing in sight (yes Christmas, I'm looking at you!)

I hope this has been helpful to some of you (if you made it this far!) and I'll definitely be back soon with more posts about food and exercise. If you have any suggestions or requests then please let me know in the comments section. I'd happily answer any emails too. I do like a good chinwag! :)
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