I got back from Australia in December 2012 and spent the next two years yo-yo dieting. I would lose 15lbs here and 10lbs there and quickly put it all back on again, and then some. I would go to the gym, to bootcamps, to fitness classes. I’d take up running and then realise I hated it, I’d lift weights in the bedroom of my flat. I tried pole fitness, and rugby and I went back to hockey. But nothing stuck. I was unhealthy, unhappy and unmotivated.
I don’t know what was the turning point in my brain but, on April 21st 2015, enough was enough. I’d had one too many breakdowns to Mum about how miserable I was and we decided to go all in and Mum was going to coach me through the process.
I wasn’t living at home anymore so we set up a Google Spreadsheet where we could track all my weights and measurements and I started using My Fitness Pal to monitor my calorie consumption.
I started eating completely gluten and dairy free (with a period of paleo), which made a big difference in the quality of my skin and how bloated I was. I really love cooking so spending the evenings after work making a healthy dinner (with leftovers for lunch the next day) was fun and usually resulted in some sort of taste experiment! I was bootcamping every night of the week and hitting the local 24 hour gym most days after work too. It didn’t take long before I started to see changes.
I was pretty tired from gymming daily, whilst working a full time and a part time job. I didn’t socialise too much anymore but I was losing weight and feeling great! My friends respected my goals and didn’t pressure me to hang out, which I was thankful for. I was aware of how hard I was having to work to stay focused and didn’t want to invite any unnecessary temptations into my day.
Despite my lack of social life, I was happy and seeing some awesome results; not only in my dress size but in my mental health and my physical strength too. I remember even getting stopped by a neighbour, who I’d never spoken to before, on the street who commented on how different I looked. Moments like this spurred me on to work even harder!
In August 2015 was my 21st birthday and I let myself get a little crazy for a week. By now, I was working towards being at my goal weight for a wedding I was headed to in America in May of 2016, so a year after I had first started and I soon knuckled down again once all the celebrations were over.
By the time that wedding came around, I hadn’t been going as hard out as I had towards the end of the year before, but I was still feeling confident and comfortable with how much effort I had put in. I had bought a beautiful size 14 dress to wear (although I’d had to get it altered to fit the girls in!) and it felt amazing to be able to wear something so much smaller than I’d been in 6 months previously.
I didn’t hold back during my two week vacay to Colorado and I enjoyed every minute of my time there. I tried so many new things, I explored boundlessly and I made the most of the time I had. But I came back heavier; two weeks of eating whatever I wanted and not training had had an impact on me.
I was already committed to doing Tough Mudder with a group of lads from work after my trip, as well as a couple of half marathons, but this didn’t stop me losing my mojo. In the six months that followed, a lot happened. There was a trip to Morocco, a lot of charity work, another house move, a short term boyfriend and another job change. I was busy and happy, the depression had passed and I was feeling more myself than ever before. But I wasn’t committed to improving my health. Even though I still went to bootcamp and the gym often, my nutrition became less strict and the weight started to creep back up.
In December of 2015, when I flipped my whole life upside again and moved to New Zealand, I was almost back to where I started. In the 6-8 months of going hard, I’d lost just over 55lbs. By the time I got to New Zealand, after a month in Brisbane with the sister, I’d regained 25lbs.
And 18 months later, in May 2017, I was back to square one and then some. A year and a bit of brunching with my new friends, partying every weekend, getting too many hungover Maccas and never exercising had played its part. And something was going to change. (The answer is me, I was going to change!)