Over the years, I’ve often mentioned my battles with weight loss on social media. Fitness has been a huge part of my life since I was 17, but the main barrier in achieving my goals has been struggling to lose weight.
When I was younger, weight gain was never something I struggled with at all. Then in 2017, I gained almost 2 stone very rapidly, within just a few months. It all started when my Dad was very ill and I was kind of just living off convenience food, adrenaline and stress. And then in the months following his death, I turned to comfort food. Before I knew it, my body had changed a great deal. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t see this as a negative thing. Life happens, we do what we have to do to cope!
For many years, fitness has been something I really love. My relationship with exercise, food and my body has fluctuated and changed over the years, as I think is natural, but that passion has always been there.
However hard I tried, though, I just couldn’t seem to make any weight budge. It seemed as though I’d tried everything; Joe Wick’s SSS plan, intermittent fasting, shakes, classic calorie counting, Slimming World. You name it, I tried it! Whatever I tried and however much I trained, I just couldn’t shift the body fat I’d gained so rapidly.
Then at the end of 2019, I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, which made a lot of sense and perhaps explained my struggles in losing weight. PCOS is often considered a metabolic disorder and can make losing weight (or not gaining it) quite difficult.
I did a lot of research and tried adopting a low-GI, gluten and dairy free diet for a few months, as I had seen so many success stories online from other women with PCOS. Unfortunately, it didn’t make any difference to me and was so restrictive that it made me miserable anyway.
Then the weirdest thing happened when the country went into lockdown. I found myself going back to a more intuitive form of eating. Getting food in wasn’t as easy or ‘convenient’, and takeaways weren’t really an option either (despite my dietary efforts, takeaways were always my weakness). Suddenly, I found I was losing weight. This was a huge breakthrough for me, as it made me realise that perhaps it was obsessing over exactly what I was eating that was holding me back the whole time (alongside my PCOS).
I used this initial natural weight loss as inspiration to keep it going, and went back to a really stripped down method of trying to lose weight. I now track my calories (roughly), and eat whatever I want, in moderate quantities. Eating what I feel like eating is working so well because I’m actually fully satisfied after my meals. When I was eating purely for nutrition rather than enjoyment, I would eat one meal and straight away be thinking about my next because I hadn’t been able to enjoy it.
Exercise wise, I’m obviously not able to go to the gym at the moment and I honestly hate home workouts, so I’ve just been making an effort to go on plenty of long walks in the countryside!
To cut a long story short, I’m finally succeeding in losing weight, and it feels so good. I’ve always felt like my weight has been a barrier in being able to build visible muscle, so I’m hoping to be able to lose enough to form a baseline for me to do this! I’m currently 1 stone lighter than my heaviest weight, and 7/8lbs down since the beginning of lockdown.
After a long time of feeling defeated about my health and fitness goals, I finally feel as though I’ve got my spark back, and I’m so proud of myself! Finally succeeding in losing the weight I gained during a period of immense stress and grief feels so empowering, and the transformation is far more mental than physical.
The plan moving forward is to continue cutting until I move back to Uni in September, then work on building muscle whilst I’m there (COVID-19 dependent, of course!) I’ll then reassess my goals ready for 2021.
I’ve also decided to post a fitness-y progress update at the end of each month, mainly to hold myself accountable and also because I want to start posting a bit more fitness related content again!
Note!!! I 100% do not believe that weight loss and being smaller is the ‘ideal’, however this is something I want to do for my health (weight loss can be highly beneficial for PCOS) and my personal fitness goals! Weight loss is not right for everyone, and all body sizes are absolutely fab!!