Above; Pre Weight Loss. In order; Top: At The Maze venue after a Dakesis show © SD photography. Middle: An outtake from a Dakesis location photoshoot © Stagedive Photography. Bottom: New Years Eve 2012.
You may have seen references to Gem and I’s current fitness routine in more recent months. I figured it was about time I actually put a post together about our journey so far and what’s still yet to come. I’m hoping to make this a regular thing (unless I fall off the wagon and bury myself in a pit of denial) and hopefully it might be a bit of inspiration for others and will show that if you put your mind to something, you really can achieve great things!
So let’s start from the beginning; about a a year and a half ago, we both decided that it was time to make a drastic change to our lifestyle. Years of living off junk food and being forced into grabbing some crisps and McDonald’s fries on the go whilst on tour and gigging up and down the country due to our Veggie diets had left us … rather bulbous to say the least. It really hit home to us when going through many stage photos – the one’s we don’t get to vet and pick because they -all- live on the internet, just how much weight we had actually put on. It was horrifying and even more so now when I look back a few years to see just how big I’d gotten. So we began making a change to our diet and when I took the plunge into self employment we re-joined the gym. We were somewhat successful for quite a few months, but we finally decided to take our weight loss to the next level by joining Weight Watchers about 10 months ago.
I never thought I’d end up joining a “diet” or “slimming” plan, but it’s been one of the best decisions of my life. It’s not really a diet, more of a gentle and gradual lifestyle change. I always liked to think I ate pretty well before, but one of the things I struggled with was portion control and I feel like I’ve grasped this by the hands and am making much better decisions about my diet. We’re both also keeping up with the gym and our fitness levels are soaring.
Since I joined Weight Watchers, I’d already lost about a stone before hand, but I’ve racked up another 16lbs+ in weight loss and have reached my 10% goal with weight watchers (yes I have lost 10% of my own body weight!). I’m a long way off, but it’s so great to see how far both of us have come.
With that, there are some surprising changes that happen to your body that no one ever warns you about, so to kick off our first Weight Loss Wednesday, here’s some of the things we’ve found out the hard way;
Last week always catches up with you.
Remember that pizza last week? Remember how you worked extra hard this week to try and regain some control? Are you now carrying an extra pound or two despite your amazingly on track week? Well, we’ve found out that the previous 1-2 weeks really do catch up with you, so don’t feel disheartened if you’ve put your heart and soul into turning down every sweet, doughnut and dorito offered to you because you will be rewarded!
They don’t do “in between sizes”
Be prepared to part with your most favorite items of clothing. If you’re lucky like me, you’ll have an awesome best friend who you can give all your old clothes to. Unfortunately it also means you get to linger in that awkward “betwix thy size” stage. Your size 14 jeans are now no longer safe to wear anywhere unless you want to spend the day clutching onto them for dear life to prevent showing the world your equally as large “granny suck me in pants” yet those size 12 “ooo I’ll fit into these one day” are a little on the tight side and as much as you thrive off cake, you aren’t ready to share your extreme muffin top with the world. I’ve found that my best friends at the moment are long tops and leggings.
I write out a meal plan each week to keep me on track and it also keeps things interesting as I’m always trying out new recipes and ideas.
Your weight loss is a psychological journey
You’ll begin to see patterns and realise how you got to where you were. Instead of getting angry over your quite frankly, most ridiculous previous behaviors and then reaching for that pot of Pringles; use this as a learning curve to spot trigger behaviors for when you crave that comfort food. I’ve noticed that if I’ve had a busy day and am feeling a little run down, the last thing I want to do is stand in front of the cupboards and think of a meal, and that generally results in bad decision making and or the ordering of takeaway. Now I plan my meals a week in advance so I don’t have to think creatively after a day of mind frazzling coding.
Your feet shrink
About three years ago I was a size 6/7 depending on the type of shoe and where I bought them from. Fast forward to 2 and a half stone lighter and my entire shoe collection is rendered useless (much to Gemma’s delight) and I’m now a size 5 and bought a pair of size 4 boots some weeks back.
Your fingers shrink
Because no longer fitting into your vast collection of shoes clearly wasn’t enough. I’ll just explain here, that I’ve had a gold signet ring with my initials carved into it since I was about 8 years old. It started out on my middle finger and since the ripe old age of around 14 when I probably stopped growing (upwards anyway), it lives on my ring finger. It was bought by my Nan who is sadly no longer with us and is the only possession I hold that has a connection to her. So having worn this since I was a wee lass, I was profoundly confused when it started to fall off my ring finger. Not only that, it’s now too big for all of my other fingers along with every other ring I own – including my beautiful and fairly newly acquired asatru esque silver rings that I utterly adore.
This is forever
There is no quick fix. It takes hard work, dedication and a yearning to be in it for the long haul. This isn’t some fad diet, it’s changing the way you think and feel about food for the rest of your life. It’s hard and there are times you’ll want to give up, but if you fall off the wagon, you have to will yourself to get back up and carry on. One step forwards and two steps back, or rather in my case it’s often more of a 2 pounds off and 1 pound on. You are the only person that can provide yourself with the determination and motivation to do it, so make sure you are doing it for you and I promise you will succeed.
Just some of the delicious food I’ve been eating; home made falafel and salad, home made chilli and tortilla chips, vegan sausage, onion, mushroom and pepper skewers, butternut squash medley, chickpea and cauliflower curry with homemade naan, tikka marinated Vegan fillets with cauliflower rice, mixed salad and pea and parsley spaghetti.
You don’t have to miss out on anything
As I said above, this isn’t a quick fix or a fad diet. You shouldn’t deny yourself anything, something you should learn on your magical psychological journey is that you can have your cake slice and eat it, just not so much the whole cake. Providing you are filling yourself with lot’s of healthy and nutritious meals, there’s no reason you can’t treat yourself now and then. It’s all about control and knowing when to choose your “treats”. I’ll be keeping a mental note of all the delicious things I eat over the coming month’s and put these into a post too, but before I sign off, here are some “after” photos to show our progress so far;
Above a few shots from the Dakesis set at the Metal All-Dayer in Northampton on the 7th June 2015 thanks to David Sarah photography and at Rock Zombie Dudley courtesy of Stagedive Photography on 29th May 2015.
Again at the Metal All-Dayer in Northampton Rock Zombie Dudley.
Above; zero chins and less thighs! At Quinphonic Festival at the Barge and Barrel and Rock Zombie with some good friends Cath and Bexie
I hope you’ve enjoyed the first of a fair few weight loss journey post’s that we’re planning and we’d love to know whether you’ve been on your own journey recently in the comments below.
Totally hellbent for the new us