This photo was taken in May last year, just after we’d got back from our honeymoon in Bali. I wasn’t at my slimmest then (five weeks of eating your way around an island will do that to you) but I definitely felt confident and happy with my weight. I stuck with my exercise plans after returning from holiday; running a few times a week and going to the gym or to classes in the evenings. I guess it all started to slow down in August/September time – a flurry of weekends away, festivals, and then on into Autumn with all of the allure of comfort foods and weekends spent hibernating meant I well and truly lost my weight loss mojo.
I should have reined it back in really – but come December I was all about the Christmas food; tins of Celebrations, mince pies, mulled wine and party food. I am that person who makes Christmas last from 15 November to 1 February and I have well and truly done it this time. I got (
and bought myself) so much chocolate for Christmas that I still have a chocolate orange, two packs of Toffifee and a Hotel Chocolat box of chocolates in my cupboard. I promised my friend Kate that I would show solidarity and give up chocolate and cake with her for lent… and had my hand in a tin of Celebrations a few days later at work. Last year I was whipping myself up green smoothies for breakfast, preparing lunches of chicken and rice and having dinners from the slow cooker – chocolate and sweets were a rarity and I was focussed on healthy and nutritious food. But now, I just seem to have completely lost my motivation for healthy eating and I find myself constantly craving chocolate and crisps. As soon as I get home from work I have my hand in the biscuit tin or am digging around for a bag of Kettle Chips and a pot of dip, and my trips to the Co-Op on my lunch break often leave me returning with a Wispa or a bag of Mini Eggs (Easter chocolate is definitely another of my weaknesses).
As if treating myself like a human dustbin wasn’t bad enough, I seem to have lost all of my enthusiasm for exercise. I think I’ve been to the gym three or four times this year, and probably been out for a run about the same number of times. My health has been suffering (apparently surviving mainly on beige foods and sugar doesn’t do wonders for your immune system) and I’ve been hit with a serious of illnesses, from coughs and colds to gastroenteritis. I’m currently writing this whilst suffering from a chesty cough that leaves me gasping for breath and sounding like a deranged seal. I’m craving some fresh air but the cold just gets straight on my chest and makes me cough – so I spent the whole of last weekend and most evenings this week in my pyjamas feeling sorry for myself.
I’m cross with myself – I’m cross with myself because since that photo was taken I’ve put on 12lbs, and most of my trousers don’t fit anymore. I’m nudging into the next dress size up and if I carry on this way I’m going to have to buy a completely new wardrobe. And yet in my most depressed moments, looking in the mirror almost in tears at how my body has changed, I still reach for the comforting bar of chocolate.
I know I have to stop this cycle now, and I plan to ease myself gently into cleaner eating and exercise. I’ve made the mistake in the past of going from doing nothing to an ambitious gym plan of aiming to work out four times a week and survive on quinoa and kale – and it never works. The reality is that even if I went for one run a week it would be better than I’m doing now – and swapping my daily chocolate bar for a Nakd bar or piece of fruit would be a step in the right direction. I want to draw a line under those pesky 12lbs now and start getting those numbers on the scale moving downwards. Consider this blog post me making myself accountable – and feel free to tell me off if you see me gorging on Mini Eggs over the next few weeks…