My name’s Sarah, I’m 28 and currently live in Leeds although I was born and brought up in Cheshire. I decided to set up my own blog in January 2011, focusing on healthy eating and fitness after being an avid reader of other people’s experiences, triumphs and struggles for a few months, plus some gentle persuasion from my boyfriend that it might be something that I would enjoy doing myself.
When reading other people’s blogs I found similarities with my own story and found them brilliant motivators to keep positive about staying on track with my health and fitness goals.
As far back as I can remember I was bigger than other children in my class, which I must have been aware of, but I can’t remember being particularly upset by it. I begin to pile on more weight once I got to high school and looking at pictures now I am even bigger than I recall feeling at the time. My breaking point was after a family holiday when I had just turned 15. I remember being in my bedroom crying and my Mum came in and asked me what was wrong and I confessed that I was very unhappy with my weight. At this point I was nearly 16st. My mum took me to my GP and through eating a low fat diet, introducing exercise and careful monitoring at my GP’s surgery I managed to lose nearly 6st by the time I was 18.
Then university happened! I still followed a relatively healthy diet and exercised, however my alcohol intake increased vastly, as did my chocolate consumption and my college canteen did the most amazing fruit crumbles that I couldn’t resist! I’m not sure how much weight I gained over the three years, but I would guess at around 2.5 – 3st.
After I left university I had a gap year when I went to China and then came back and worked in a temporary job. I wasn’t particularly aware of my weight at this time and I’d say that it stayed pretty much the same or I gained a little. The big gain happened when I took a job as a retail manager for a supermarket chain. The hours were long and irregular and I found the job extremely stressful. I would get tired and then mistake the tiredness for hunger and eat without restraint – my favourite snacks being chocolate bars and huge bowls of cereal.
In August 2008 I woke up one morning and decided to do something about my weight. I looked up Weight Watchers meetings on the internet and found one locally that was being held that morning. I went along and I have never looked back. I’ve lost weight slowly and sensibly, always aware of trying to include as many healthy foods as possible, and in December 2009 I had lost 50 pounds. Ditching the job I hated in favour of something a bit less stressful and with regular hours really helped.
However, maintenance is hard. I found myself relaxing my diet for a few weeks and gaining a few pounds and then being ultra-focused on my diet and losing them and more. After a few months I got fed up of constantly worrying about what I was eating and felt myself getting obsessed. I read some more about nutrition and started reading healthy blogs and decided to ditch the low fat diet and concentrate on eating healthy, nutritious and satisfying food that my body and mind love. I feel so much more relaxed about food, eating out and eating with family and friends because I know I’ll be able to make the right choices and be able to treat myself if I want! I don’t weigh myself or measure inches anymore, but I measure myself on how my clothes feel, how energised I am, how fit and strong I feel and the condition of my skin, hair and nails.