My pledge to keep the ‘balance’ over Christmas


Health and Wellbeing, Personal / Wednesday, December 20th, 2017

It’s hard to keep a balanced diet when you’re not happy with yourself. Up until the past few years, I have never really been happy with my body. I remember finding an old diary of mine from age 7, thinking that I’d open it to find notes about the boys I fancied in school and other cringey things, but actually feeling quite sad reading my ridiculously younger self talk about how I wanted to get to 6 stone and how I was ‘fat’.

I went through school always being a bit bigger than all of my friends and I’ve never been naturally slim – I think I might be a bit unlucky in that way – but I never really accepted that everyone is shaped differently. I tried every diet under the sun – none of which were sustainable because I deprived myself and always ended up binge eating endless slices of toast, biscuits and anything else I could get my hands on. At the end of school I found a ‘diet’ that at the time worked very well  – I basically starved myself, eating about 400 calories a day and going for 6am runs before school – and I lost a shit load of weight in a very small, unhealthy timeframe. I was far too skinny for my frame and lost any boobs I had. This lasted for about a year through uni, until I went to do my first summer season in Magaluf – I came back after that summer 2 and a half stone heavier with a size F chest after having lived on sambuca and Burger King for 3 months (read my Mallorca travel blog if you fancy some laughs). For a very long time, I had a very unhealthy relationship with food, and with myself as a result.

A few years back after a lot of yoyo dieting, I was probably at the heaviest I’ve ever been. I was pretty miserable and sick of the constant up and down, so I decided to try the Body Coach plan after seeing him on Instagram (and admittedly finding him a bit dreamy and wanting to stroke and braid his beautiful locks). This completely changed the way I approached and thought about food and helped me to lose the weight I’d gained (and lost and gained and lost and gained again over the years). I’d finally achieved a balanced diet, and actually felt happy with myself for the first time in my life. Pretty embarrassing, but I suppose I should show the difference it made back then:

Quite a difference, huh? Since then I have been a different person – my friends used to never want to share food with me because I’d eat the majority of it; I had absolutely no boundaries when it came to chocolate – a bottomless pit; I used to eat until I felt sick sometimes. I now have a lot more self control… apart from when it comes to the festive season.

They say Christmas is the time of year that you can eat whatever you want and over indulge and shouldn’t feel guilty about it. Well, touché to those people who can – but I’ve found that when I’m eating unhealthy things and too much of them, I just feel miserable. But it’s easy to get out of a good routine when it’s the time of year that mince pies are constantly on display in the office and mum gets all of the good fatty foods in like Lurpark (oh my God – Lurpak on toast) and you’re constantly going out for dinners and drinks with friends and family. Every winter I’ve stuggled with this and temporarily taken myself back to my former self, and indulged far too much on those bad things. I can gain a LOT of weight in an impressively short amount of time if I don’t really watch what I’m eating (great party trick, Kate) and Christmas has always kicked my ass on that front. Now, for the even more embarrassing pics – this is what a month of no gym, drinking too much and eating one too many mince pies can do, and this is how long it takes to lose it again:

Actually looking back and comparing photos (and making a personal note to remember to wear nicer underwear next time I’m sharing half naked photos of myself with the world), it’s shocking how much difference there is between them – before and after the Christmas podge (although I can see I have improved every year). It took me months each year to get back to a happy size and I always wonder what I could look like if I didn’t set myself back half a year each Christmas and just controlled myself a bit. So – this year, I am making a pledge to reign it in slightly (pardon the Christmas pun). Having a holiday to the Philippines coming up in 2 weeks, I do feel like I have a bit of motivation to say no to the extra pudding and try to keep in shape, and what better way to keep my promise by announcing it publicly to the whole internet?

I don’t have a gym now I’ve left London and come back to Glasgow so I’ve been trying to do a Body Coach home work out each day (I usually do my own thing or do Kayla Itsines in the gym, but that involves weights and gym equipment, so these have been quite good to keep me going). If I’m not doing the Body Coach, I’ll go outside and do some hill sprints before breakfast – but it’s so frigging cold outside I’ve mainly kept it indoors.

As for food – I’ve been trying out intermittent fasting which has been working quite well for me already this year. It also means I cut the calories of breakfast and can leave a bit more room for a more indulgent lunch or dinner (given I’ve been meeting about 3 people a day each day since I got home to try to see everyone before I move to Australia). I’ve also just been trying to stick to the healthy diet most of the time, and cutting carbs (alcohol doesn’t count as a carb – right?). I can’t say I’ve been perfect but I have at no point eaten so much I feel like I’m going to burst (yet – I’ll leave that to Christmas Day).

Everybody is different, but for me – overindulging just makes me sad (and chubby), so I’m trying my best not to outdo the hard work I’ve put in this year to training and diet. I suppose you’ll see if I managed to succeed in a few weeks (if I don’t put any bikini photos on Instagram, you know I gave into the cake). I’ll be sure to let you guys know how I get on!

If you’d like to find out more about me, my writing, or my crazy yoyo dieting, don’t hesitate to get in touch at hello@katebrown.blog.

Are you considering trying a vegan diet? Check out my blog on why I tried a vegan diet for a week and how it made me feel.

2 Replies to “My pledge to keep the ‘balance’ over Christmas”

  1. This post really resonates with me! I was my heaviest this time last year (71kg at 5ft 6) and managed to get down to 61k in November. However I was unhealthily too restrictive with food and exercise and when I went on holiday to an all inclusive, had Christmas and then a breakup I’m now back to 69kg after too much overindulgence / treat yourself mentality!

    I’m moving to Australia in May and I would love to get back to low 60kgs but finding it hard to motivate myself to exercise. How many workouts do you do a week & what calorie deficit do you do on a daily basis? I find I’m healthy Mon-Weds but then weekend plans mean I probably end up in a surplus over the week!

    Any tips you could share to keep consistently in shape would be a huge help!

    P.S. your body is absolutely insane!!! xx

    1. Hey Lucy,

      Thanks for commenting! 🙂

      Firstly, don’t get yourself down about regaining some weight. It happens all the time. I still do it too – food is yummy and humans love to binge! Secondly, nothing wrong with you being 69kgs, but it’s good to change habits to feel more healthy and comfortable in yourself. Losing weight requires a calorie deficit, yes, but the key to keeping it off is changing habits rather than restricting yourself short term.

      I usually work out 5-6 times a week because it’s now part of my routine and I enjoy doing it. But choose whatever you enjoy doing and fit it into your routine! When dieting, calorie deficit is usually around 15-20% less than what I’d eat to maintain, but just choose something that you can stick to. Check out a TDEE calculator (google it) to find out what your maintenance level calories would be based on your height, weight and activity level, and reduce that by around 15-20%. Track results for a couple of weeks and adjust if necessary. Make sure you’re eating high protein meals and lots of fibrous veggies so you feel full and satiated. Then fit in any other foods you want into your calories so you have a good balance and don’t feel like you’re missing out on anything yummy.

      Adherence over a consistent period of time is going to be key to losing weight, meaning being mindful on the weekend as well as during the week. Don’t let it ruin your social life but why don’t you try tracking your food (even if just on the weekends) so that you don’t go over your calories – still go out for dinner etc. but choose the items on the menu that have less hidden oils and fats, and have any dressing on the side. And make sure you include alcohol in your calorie tracking 🙂

      Also make sure you’re walking enough. People underestimate how many calories you can burn just by taking the stairs, getting up to make a cup of tea, making dinner etc. 10k steps a day can be an extra 300-500 calories burned depending on the person.

      Hope that helps. xxxx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *