On my 31st birthday (sorry… 29th…) back in June I was a size 12-14 with a measurement of 36E-30-36 and weighed 10 and a half stone. I am now a 34DD/E-28-32, with 9 and a half stone, and fit into a size 10-12. How did I do it? A fad diet? Personal trainer? Nope. I have only made small changes to my lifestyle and it’s made a big difference to my waistline.
Okay, I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t done some dieting. I used to live on takeaways – quite literally. We’d have 3 or 4 a week, if not more. I also drank a lot of coke, ate a lot of chocolate, and snacked on crisps and biscuits. We’ve cut down on takeaways by a long way, and when we do get one I’ve cut down on what I have or make a healthier choice. Pizza – instead a large one all to myself, I now only eat 3 slices if that. Curry – my major downfall since I LOVE curry – I now have a chicken tikka biryani instead of a cream and fat laden masala.
I don’t snack anymore either. I will occasionally have a glass of coke, but I don’t drink 2 litres a day like I used to. I rarely eat biscuits or crisps now either, choosing fruit or a glass of juice or water if I’m feeling peckish.
Once a month for a week I do the Soup Diet. This is a fad diet, I have to admit to that. But I only do it once a month, and I’m not strict about it. I tend to have the soups with chunky bits of vegetables in them (Spicy 3 bean being my favourite), and I do add a handful of crutons to it. I also only have soup for my main meal and eat fruit and salad during the day.
I think it’s helped that my daughter is on a gluten-free diet now, so the only gluten I’m eating is in bread and pasta (she has her own). Plus, while I do still use jars and packets, I have to be careful about what I’m using, so tend to make a lot of things like bolognaise and chilli from scratch.
I still drink a lot of tea though…
I am no exercise freak but I do like to keep active. Unfortunately after breaking my ankle a few years ago, followed by a hysterectomy last year, and tearing the ligaments in my foot back in July, I’ve been unable to do much in the way of major exercise. I miss kickboxing, horse riding, and going to the gym. But I’ve found little bits and pieces to keep me going.
I walk to school when I can. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, I do drive to pick them up, but only because the kids have got to get home, fed, and changed before swimming / Rainbows. But otherwise, in the morning, I do try to walk to school. It’s not a long walk – 5 – 10 minutes at the most when I’m on my own, 15 – 20 minutes with the kids and their bags (I’m a pack horse), but every little helps.
I also walk the dog when I get home. Sometimes it’s a quick 10 minute walk around the block, sometimes it’s 20 minutes up to the park and back, and sometimes it’s an hour or more around the fields or up to Ham Hill. It all depends on the weather, what else I’ve got planned for that day, and my general mood.
Housework helps – it’s true what they say, a housewife has to be fit. I must climb those stairs at least 50 times a day, and I’m not exaggerating. With getting the kids ready for school, tidying toys away, vacuuming, putting clothes away, doing the washing, cleaning the bathroom, bedtime… It all adds up, and it’s all exercise.
Lifestyle has been my major change. I suffer from clinical depression and anxiety, which leads to days where I have a serious case of CBA (Can’t Be Arsed). After my operation, and with everyone getting pregnant around me, I did begin to feel very down. On top of trying to get books finished, and the ones that are, publicised, it all got a bit too much and I fell into the trap of waking up, doing what had to be done and nothing else.
Add that my health problems and injuries were making it impossible to exercise, and I was comfort eating, I soon began to pile on the weight. But in June when I hit 29 (again), I decided enough was enough. I went to my doctor and got myself put under a physiotherapist and am currently having talking therapy as well. (I think that’s a PC way of saying counselling.) But before the counselling (let’s call a spade, a spade here!) could start, just admitting that I needed some help boosted my confidence and self-esteem. That boost is exactly what I needed to help with my diet and exercise.
I still have down-days, but I try not to wallow in my own self-pity and concentrate on what it is good in my life. I’m feeling better about myself, I have two wonderful (if not bratty and diva-ish) children, a loving husband (who is far from perfect, but with a bit more nagging he’ll get there), and my career as a novelist is really starting to pick up.
So there you go. That’s how I lost 2 dress sizes in 2 months – sheer bloody-mindedness, simple bits of common sense, and absolutely no hard work required. Just will power.