I’ve always struggled with my weight. Hold on, let me rephrase that with a more honest appraisal – until 2009 I ate too much and exercised too little. Even at University when I was wearing tiny sizes I still always thought I was on the chubby side mostly due to my love of a St. Andrews fish supper, and my lack of motivation to do anything physical in cold, wet and windy Fife. At school I didn’t participate in any of the few sports available, again due to lack of aptitude and interest.
When I arrived in the US, in 2000, for some reason I thought the heat and healthy eating would help me lose weight. Who was I kidding? I very quickly paid the price of the HUGE portions that I ate ALL of (there are starving kids in Africa you know!), the cheap beer, and the sun loungers – how the hell can you exercise in 90 degree heat? It was the ultimate constant vacation. As I moved into my 30’s I resigned myself to the fact that I was a ‘big’ girl and I should just stop worrying about it and enjoy life. I hated shopping for clothes and in hindsight I was probably more miserable about my weight than I was prepared to acknowledge. Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t all bad but I did kind of feel I was letting MM down as he had always been physically active playing football, running and just generally being more ‘get up and go’ than me.
My daughter arrived in 2006 and I PILED on the pounds. I really did adopt the mantra eating for two. Because I then lost a lot through breastfeeding and stroller pushing I persuaded myself I was back to ‘normal’ though I never stepped on scales – all I knew was that my pre-pregnancy clothes fit again, but given they were all US size 12s that wasn’t saying much…A year after my daughter was born I was pregnant again. Hooray another opportunity to eat all I want. Admittedly I didn’t gain quite so much with my son but I was still probably unhealthy. When my son was born in 2008 I was in a much happier place, we had moved into our new house and I was feeling more settled. I had a sense that changes were afoot. While on maternity leave I discovered the joy of being out and about and had even ‘jogged’ a little with the stroller. Maybe I could be more active? I knew I had it in me as I had done step classes, jogged a little and played some football in the early 90’s – but my downfall was always that I was consistently inconsistent with any form of exercise that I tried to embrace.
When I returned to work I noticed a good friend had started to lose weight…she was changing shape dramatically and quickly and I asked her for her secret. It turns out it was Jenny Craig. Now I am NO fan of fad diets or paying to lose weight – I really do believe it is down to the simple math of burning more calories than you consume, but I needed something to get me on the right path and give me a kick up the backside. So at the beginning of March 2009 I headed with some trepidation to a Jenny Craig center and signed up for membership. I returned home with my bags of food determined to make it work – especially as I had just spent what seemed like a small fortune (but worth every penny now). In the first week I think I lost 5lbs which was incredible motivation. By September 2009 I weighed 135lbs – I’d done it – I lost almost 40lbs!
So today I celebrate 3 years since taking the plunge, and keeping it off has completed my metamorphosis into the occasional half marathon runner who thinks nothing of running 6-8 miles, cycling 30 miles, and swimming 30 laps of the pool. Oh and hence the short hair – I was so thrilled to see my neck and collar bone again I wanted to show them off! Not surprising that I don’t recognize the girl in the photos – who is that again?
Fall 2009, post-Jenny, in my 26″ Diesel Jeans