Hi. My name’s Chris.
In October last year, I wrote on this very blog about my adventures in weight loss – at the time, I was 80lbs lighter than I was when I started my diet, and I’m back again to talk about how the last few months have treated me.
Well first off, I hit my target in November.
Chris, before Slimming World
After reaching goal in November 2011
One hundred pounds of weight, gone.
That’s seven stone.
That’s two adolescent Labradors; and in my case it was ten inches off my waist and two entire new wardrobes. It’s incredible.
And you know what the key was?
I was never on a diet. I’d changed how I live my life.
I hear a lot of people telling me about how they’re going to lose some weight. They have a wedding to go to and they want to make sure they look good in their dress, or they have to have a six-pack for their holiday. So, they spend six weeks desperately starving themselves and shredding their backsides off in the gym, the event that they absolutely had to lose the weight for passes… and then like Groundhog Day, everything reverts to how it was at the start again.
THAT’S NOT HOW IT WORKS.
If you want to lose weight and keep it off, guess what? You need to change how you live your life. It’s not easy, it’s not fun, but unfortunately it’s true, and I’m here to tell you that if I can do it, then you can too.
I hit my target of 199lbs back in November, and I’ve stayed a few pounds either side of it since. I’ve been down to 194 and up to 201, but on the whole I am now so comfortable with my lifestyle, I can live without worrying (too much) about my weight.
What do I do? Not too much. I don’t follow any crazy dietary plan (there is nowhere near enough Pic ‘n’ Mix involved in Paleo), and while I try and fit in some exercise at least three or four times a week, I’m talking a few rounds of press-ups, dips and crunches while I’m watching TV, and a bike ride on the weekend – I’m never going to be one of those lycra wariors that do seven million miles before breakfast and do handstand press-ups on their way to work.
They say that if you go on a diet, you need to stay on one to make any changes stick – and that’s both true and false. Whilst it’s true that if you go back to how you were eating before, you will put weight on; it’s also false because you don’t ‘stay on a diet’ – eating healthily and exercising every so often just becomes your new way of living. Yes, there are people out there who never put on weight, who seem to burn through everything they eat and never put on a pound – but if you’re not one of those people you need to accept it and move on. I quite often have a fat day (or weekend!), but I do so in the knowledge that I will have to have a few good days afterwards to counteract them – it’s actually all about balance.
I’m aware that this piece has been somewhat confrontational in tone, but the message I’m trying to convey is unswervingly positive.
Don’t try and convince yourself that once you’ve hit your target you can stop trying. You’re better than that.
Don’t think of weightloss as a “diet”. Think of it as your access route to a whole new life, the key to unlocking a new world of health and fitness that makes every single difficult day, every worry and every quashed temptation worth it.
Believe me, if I can do it, anyone can. I used to be a famously lazy glutton (how do you think I ended up being 21 stone?) – but with a little motivation (and a huge amount of heartbreak that I wouldn’t recommend to anyone, I got there in the end. Yeah, I work in life insurance, so I'm surrounded by data and information on just how much being overweight can screw up your life, but I managed to ignore it for years before I decided I was going to stop making excuses and do it.