Friday, August 17, 2012

You are what you believe

Have you always struggled with your weight and longed to be thinner, healthier and all around more toned up?

Have you vowed to start a new diet and workout regime?

Did you start out with the best intentions to succeed, only to find that this new way of life was much tougher than you imagined?

Did your seemingly perfect plan start to fall apart until, eventually, you were back to square one and left feeling like an utter failure?

Well girls, if you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, you can now be assured ten fold that…… YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

Let me start off at the beginning for you all. Ever since I reached the age of about eight or nine, I have continually struggled with my weight and that is something I rarely talk about but nonetheless, it is true. I was always a “chubby child” and I was quite often teased about that, even by my own family. I suppose I never really let on that it had an impact on me but in hindsight, it was quite upsetting to feel as though your own family even believed in what the bullies in school were tormenting you over. My weakness has always been my sweet tooth, something I’ve inherited from my family since that tender age. I grew up snacking constantly on sweets, never so much as glancing at vegetables, however I always liked fruit but given a choice between an apple or a chocolate bar, you can bet your bottom dollar that I chose the latter.

        When I hit my teens, I remained chubby and I never really lost the rounded face until I reached seventeen. It was then that I lost SOME of my puppy fat. I constantly envied the more slender girls in my school year, wishing I could look like them and feel more confident in myself. In fact, I used to be extremely shy in school which resulted in me suffering socially. I’m a naturally chatty person but I really need to get to know people well before I can show my true self, which is probably due to how I feel about my looks and what I assume people see when they look at me first. Basically, what I’m trying to say is, my constant criticism of myself led to me suffering socially at times.

        It was when I left home to go to university that I started to slim down and that wasn’t due to any new exercise regime or fad diet. It was simply down to the fact that I had more things to do for myself. I had to walk more, clean more, run errands for myself and because I was more occupied mentally, I found that I didn’t snack as much. I went down by about 1 to 2 dress sizes and feel that I looked so healthy and the way I should all the time. The funniest thing of all is that I didn’t even put any thought into losing it, it just fell off without me really noticing until people told me.

        It’s safe to say that I was at my happiest then. I looked and felt great, was having the time of my life and was really just living the way I wanted to for the first time. But then in October of 2011, I decided to leave my course because I no longer liked it and seen it as a pointless path to pursue and this is where everything started to go downhill. I moved away from my university town and new friends and I was also living away from my school friends, who were studying at various places around the country. I was living in an apartment basically on my own as my boyfriend worked full time. I felt myself tumbling into a lonely, black hole and in January 2012, I was put on medication for depression. I do not regret starting this as I feel it does help with my moods and I have always felt that I needed some sort of help in that way, even when I was younger. However, since then, I have began to put the weight back on plus some. The tablets themselves don’t add weight but they slow you down so you feel tired more and don’t get around as much as you should. Also, because I was living closer to shops and not doing anything really, I found that my days were spent on the computer or watching TV. So, as a result, my clothes were getting tighter and my mood was depleting. It has only been in the past two months that I have been trying to motivate myself more and eat healthier. I decided I would go back to university and start into my second year with different subjects which I am looking forward to as I know it will benefit me mentally and physically. I have been eating healthy smoothies for breakfast, fibre rich cereal, home cooked meals, fruit, vegetables, you name it.

        I felt I was just starting to like myself again when my Dad decided to tell me that I am overweight and need to change radically, even though I had told him I was trying my hardest, he still persisted to insult me (perhaps unknowingly). Even though I knew he was only trying to motivate me and help me out, that kind of thing just hurts my feelings and brings me down. I’m the kind of person who likes to do things for me and not just because someone else thinks I should. It really bugged me and for a week or so I wallowed in sadness and sweets.

        I am now back to feeling like myself and genuinely want to stick with healthier options. Which leads me to my original idea of what I was to write for S.H.E. I contacted Sarah about four weeks ago, asking if I could share my new health/fitness regime with all you girlies. I had gone out and bought a month’s gym membership, new fitness gear, trainers and a full fridge of healthy goodies. I was absolutely convinced I could do it and get fit again.

        Then, reality set in. Four weeks later, I sit here, having used the gym twice and not following the diet I had intended to. And why? I really have no excuse but for that I have been away from home and on the days where I have been here, I kept putting it off. I knew that the thing to do was to just get up and go without causing any thought but instead, I would find excuses to put off my exercise until “later” and in the end, I wouldn’t bother at all. I am ashamed of myself to say the least but I really am trying to still stick to good food. Exercise has always been the thing I have struggled with and I know it is something I need to work with in order to find what I enjoy and will keep up.

        It’s so easy to look at the negatives in my story and get bogged down further but no, I refuse to do that any longer. I am twenty years of age, I’m young and I have all the time in the world to come to a natural and healthy way of life so from now on, I am going to focus on the positives and work on them to get to where I want to be as I believe that is the only way. I now feel better mentally and have been making myself do more things around the apartment that I would have put off no end a few months ago, which is making me feel more organised and useful and therefore my depression isn’t so bad for it. I genuinely am eating healthier, although not perfectly yet, but I am really trying to say no to the sweeties and God knows, we all find that tough! I am starting college in a month too and I really am going to throw myself into it in a way that I never would have before. It has taken a year of extreme lows to bring me to a conclusion that I need to be occupied in order to be happy. If you stay motivated with even the simplest of things, it will ultimately drive you on further. As for other people’s opinions, I am just going to have to learn to try and ignore them. Nobody is perfect and I know that, it’s just getting others to see this is what is hard but hey ho, I won’t give up. One day, they will see that I was able to reach my goals without their insults.

        So, in closing, I want to say that I know this may not be the most interesting or inspiring post that I could write for you all but it is honest! Sometimes its nice to know that others struggle and don’t always succeed. It can make you feel better and even encourage you to start afresh with a new mind frame. At least that’s what I hope you will take from reading this. I want everyone to know that, as long as you focus on the positives and what YOU can do to better yourself, without the input of others, you can really discover the path to success. It worked for me in the past and I am going to put that plan back in action. And then, as the old saying goes “If at first you don’t succeed, try again”.

        Keep the faith girls,




1 comment:

  1. Reading your post I felt like I had written it. I had such a similar childhood experience, especially when starting secondary school. I had put on loads of weight. I was bullied in school and in a way at home too. My dad would twart me about my weight thinking it was funny but really it was upsetting. I think I have come to terms that I will never be 'skinny'. I will always have curve and I need to have a healthy balanced diet to tone up certain areas. I remember looking at girls in secondary school and wishing like crazy to have a body like theres. I remember one girl even had abs, word had it she did push ups every night before bed. Sure I would have had no time for Father Ted and Friends if I had done that!