Tuesday, 11 April 2017

MY BATTLE WITH WEIGHT


Weight can too often be a no-go or sore subject for most of us. In my opinion, it really isn’t spoken of enough. I completely get that when you’re at your lowest or simply stuck in a rut with how you feel towards your body, talking or confiding in someone is probably last on your list of things to do. Though, however uncomfortable and upsetting it may seem, odds are the person understands exactly how you’re feeling. This was probably the most important thing that helped me get out of the situation I was in.

This post has been sat in my drafts since January. I was uhming and ahhing on whether or not to share all this publicly, but why the hell should I not. I know (and hope) many of you will relate to some of the things I am going to say.

So, let me start this post off by saying I am in no way a fitness freak and I'm certainly not going to go on in this post like I am. But, after a long struggle over the years I have found a way to balance my lifestyle to a point where I can maintain and manage my weight and be almost completely happy in my own skin. I say almost, because well, who really is?

Everyone has a different story and view on this, but I wouldn’t technically label this as my ‘journey’. I don’t think weightloss should be branded as that. To think we have so many years ahead of us where our appearance and figures could change – we have to accept that that’s just life, c’est la vie and all that. It is so much easier to stay motivated to lose, but even harder to maintain.

I’m not one of those people that believes in the scales. But there is definitely a sense of pressure and acceptance to be 'skinny' in today's society. For me, it’s all about how you feel towards your body, and how confident you become in turn. I am so incredibly envious of people who flaunt their curves and are proud of their womanly shapes, I wish I could be like that.

It's sad that people are pushed to a point where they feel ashamed or insecure about looking a certain way. Learning to love yourself is probably the hardest challenge we all face in life. But once you get over that and begin to love your imperfections, life honestly becomes a better place. The most uplifting thing for me is looking back on how unhappy I was, and making the most of and focusing on where I am now.

Now to get personal, I have never been 100% happy with my body. To be honest, I’ve been far from that the majority of the time. Thinking that even celebrities are completely content with themselves is such an unrealistic outlook to have, and really, it couldn't be further from the truth. I could make a long list of things that I am insecure of, but I try not to focus on them now. Though like anyone, I am human. I have days where I hate the way I feel, look or even think about myself. But this is totally normal.

Like a lot of people, my weight has constantly fluctuated, sometimes drastically. Ever since I was a teenager I never really saw the importance of things I was eating or what I was doing. When you’re young you’re naturally active, but you never really take into consideration or recognise the impact that bad foods have on your body - because well, you're a kid. From about the age of 16, I always thought I was overweight and looking back I wasn’t

I found that my weight changed drastically when going through a particularly tough time, such as a break-up. I lost all sense of hunger like my appetite had been chucked out the window. If you have gone through a break-up or a situation similar to one, you’ll know how hard it is to feel happy in your own skin afterwards. I was so unhappy I struggled to accept myself at all. I think I lost a stone and a half during this time but I'm not entirely sure - it was that long ago. Food was incredibly unappealing and not a priority whatsoever. I know now how damaging that was for me but I was young and I’ve definitely learnt from that.

Once I started to feel more like ‘me’ again, I seemed to pile the weight back on. I am probably what you like to call the opposite of a comfort eater. I’ve learnt I tend to stuff my face when I'm having too much fun and being too happy (yay me). This was when I hit my peak weight - 11-stone. Now, I understand that many of you may not see 11-stone as big, but for a girl of 5 ft 4 around the time, this completely and utterly mortified me. Yes everyone is of different build, height and your genes hold an impact in what body shape you should typically inherit. But with two slim parents seeing 11-stone staring back at me on the scales was a complete shock to the system.

I was gradually becoming out of breath doing the simplest of tasks. And fundamentally, I was leading an incredibly unhealthy lifestyle. I remember being so down about my body that I would hate shopping for clothes, looking in mirrors or accepting the size I was.

I was in denial regarding my dress size that I remember going into Topshop to get new jeans and grabbing a few sizes off the rail. I quickly ran into the changing rooms and went with the ones that felt the best – not looking at the size. I think they were a size 14 from memory, but how embarrassing for me to feel the need to do that - I was only 17. From putting on so much weight, I had stretch marks all over my inner thighs and when a few started to develop on my hips I felt even lower.

My trigger to stop carrying on on this downward spiral was my dad, he told me upfront in the car one day that I had put on a lot of weight recently. Him being this brutal was really what I needed at the time. It gave me that kick up the bum to sort my diet out and up my exercise.

From then on, I went to the gym during most of my free periods in Year 13. I knew I was heading to Uni in September so I really wanted to keep consistent with it. By eating well and going to the gym around 3 times a week, I managed to lose just under a stone. I was content but not happy deep down with the way I looked.

When Uni hit, I kept it up and found an even stronger spring in my step for eating well and going to the gym. Me and my friend Becca would walk to the gym every day at 7/8am for a good few hours and absolutely love it. I think around this time I got down to the 9 and a half stone mark. My love for fitness had never been consistent enough to call it a "lifestyle", and I think people underestimate the commitment that it takes.


In second year, I put more weight on. I think I was around 10-stone but I am convinced that was down to the contraceptive pill I was taking. I'm definitely what I like to call a yo-yo gym goer and I fell quite lazy during this year. During second year I wasn’t particularly enjoying uni at all, and I was going out a lot. I was finding it difficult to lose weight for Thailand in the summer that I kind of gave up trying. I was incredibly conscious during the 6 weeks I went travelling that I regret not putting the effort in in the first place. I definitely didn’t feel my best, or happy at all. The picture above on the left was in Koh Tao. I was an average size 12 but I still felt uncomfortable and overweight.

When I returned home just before third year, I was back on it. I cut down my portion sizes, though I didn’t drastically up my exercise. Down to the stress of third year, working hard and being strict on diet, I felt really happy and positive towards my body just in time for my 21st and graduation. After that I went on holiday to Barcelona & Ibiza. This was the first and only time I felt comfortable in a bikini. I didn't mind my boyfriend getting the camera out on me because it was the first time I liked the way my body looked in the photos (it's the little things!). 


Now I have managed to lose 2 and a half stone from my peak weight and maintain it for nearly a year. I’m around 8st 7 and a size 8 (which I sometimes struggle to come to terms with), but I am the most at ease and confident I have ever felt within myself.

My problem areas have always been the weight on my face, legs and hips but I have learnt to love my naturally curvy figure. You can see from my own experiences over the past few years that a lot of various aspects, even mental, can impact and effect your body shape.


Looking back I'm so glad that I've been through tough times and seen myself at my heaviest. I've vowed never to go back to the way I was and I know it is something I will commit too. Selling all my old clothes on Depop and eBay has probably been the most uplifting thing. By getting rid of it all I see it as never falling back into that size.

By setting some goals like I have for the end of 2017, feeling body confident and not necessarily losing a whole bunch of weight is possible if you have the right attitude and outlook. Have any of you had similar experiences or problems with your weight?

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17 comments

  1. Ellie I'm so proud of you! You look amazing and this post is so inspiring to all girls feeling down about their weight. I love this post so much and love you for being brave to post it!! You look amazing and I think it's also because you probably feel amazing so it's shining through xxx

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    1. omg thank you Naomi you've literally made my day! I hate looking back at how I used to look but its nice to share it with others and inspire them to show that we all struggle with our weight and looks at some point! xxxx

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  2. You look amazing Ellie! I have been through the same kind of body stages as you so I can totally relate. 8 stone 7 is my goal but at the moment I'm about a stone heavier which is driving me mad. I did get on a roll with the gym then I injured myself (there of all places)
    I cant do much about my weight at the moment because the doctor won't even let me go to work,so I'm having to be so careful about what i've shovelling down.

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    1. thank you so much Alice! I'm glad being this honest has resonated with you and so many others :) it's so annoying having an injury too, it limits all exercise! hope you have a speedy recovery doll xxxx

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  3. Ellie what an incredibly vulnerable post - thank you for sharing it! I agree, we need to talk more about the "taboo" topics out there. It's the only way to deeply connect about personal and vulnerable things. My favorite part: "But once you get over that and begin to love your imperfections, life honestly becomes a better place." So proud of you!! Sending love from Chicago, xo

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    1. Ahhhh I am so overwhelmed by your kind words kira you absolute babe. I have so much love for you!!! xxxxxxxx

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  4. This was such a great read! You've done amazingly! Xx

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  5. This is so inspiring!! I am so uncomfortable with my body right now and I'm going on holiday soon, did you change anything about your diet? xx

    Jasmine | http://jasminelaurenfancy.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. thank you so much Jasmine! I think my diet has been the biggest change for me. I really take care during a food shop, although I do enjoy takeaways and treats like any normal person does. Everything in moderation and you will be on your way to feeling better for your hols xxxx

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  7. Ellie, what you have said here is not only true for ladies but also for the men out there as well! I don't know a single man that is happy with the way they look. They're either "too skinny", "too flabby" or complain about their muscle mass, but like you said at the beginning, that is just the way of things.
    You will know as well as anyone from secondary school that I definitely had an eating problem and after many years of being far too over weight i too decided to do something about it!
    Unlike yourself I would describe myself as a bit of a fitness fanatic, Gym 3-4 times a week, cycling close to 200 miles a week, i play badminton competitively and my job is very active! but the one thing that let me down was my eating. I was taking in way too much of the bad stuff and that needed to stop. So i set up my clean eating program, upped the cycling and what a difference that made!
    I lost close to 3 stone in the first 3 months! (it felt like i was living proof of those super weight loss diets) but i kept on going!, granted i was tired quite a lot of the time because my calorie deficit was huge. the results started to tail off once the "easy to burn fat" was gone but i knew i could keep going.
    I started up in the gym come new year and like everyone else had put some of that weight back on over Christmas, but i stuck to it and have now built up more muscle and lost even more weight.
    We get to now, three weeks before i go on holiday and my cutting phase going (kinda ish) well but even so... 10 months after i started i am now over 4st less in fat, have more muscle mass, better fitness and am on track to reach my goal before the holiday.
    And after all this... i am still not happy, i'm proud of what i have achieved in that time but i know i can shed a bit more.

    Enough of me waffling! This article you have produced here is a piece of art, the fact you are honestly and openly talking about your experiences is inspiring to us all. and it shows what can be done with a little "kick up the bum" and some motivation.

    I look forward to reading more of The Indefinite Diaries.

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    1. Wow thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my blog chris!! I can't believe you have achieved so much from high school, I would've never have labelled you a fitness fanatic but that's honestly amazing and such an achievement! So glad you liked it! X

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  8. A very emotive read Ellie,beautifully written.There is so much pressure on young people these days to aim for the skinny look instead of focussing on maintaining a healthy lifestyle which does not always equate to skinny in my opinion.Keep up the good work,I love that you are sharing your experience to try to help others.You should feel proud!Love Sol X

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    1. Awww thank you Sol, I completely agree! You're comment is so lovely and appreciated :) hope you Giles and the kids are all good! Xxx

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  9. Very well put together and well done for sharing. I recently shared a similar post and I was convinced I was going to take it down after a few hours so I know how much courage it takes. I'm so happy that you have got to a stage that works for you. Inspirational xx

    Chloe
    Thengguidetolondon.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Chloe - I am so glad you didnt take your post down!! Its honestly so nice to know I have been able to inspire others from this and I hope we all start to share the experiences that we wouldn't necessarily ever think to share (especially on the internet hahah) xx

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