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 had the greatest metabolism – 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 more about that here 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you considering trying a vegan diet? Check out my blog post on why I tried veganism for a week and how it made me feel.