At the beginning of 2008, Pete and I started planning our wedding for the following September. As we wanted to look our best, we both decided to join Weight Watchers to try to lose a bit of excess flab. After giving birth to Emma in January, I was just over 10 1/2 stone (150 pounds or 68 kilos). Of course having 2 children had done my figure no favours, but my weight had gradually been creeping up throughout adulthood - I'd been over 10 stone and a size 14 for at least 10 years.
I never really thought of myself as overweight though, and according to my BMI, I think I was still in a healthy weight range. The funny thing was, all through my twenties, I kidded myself that I was quite fit, despite not doing any exercise since leaving school. As long as I did a bit of walking now and then, and bought (but not necessarily read) plenty of Health and Fitness magazines, I thought I was doing well.
August 2006 - after Robbie, before Emma
Anyway, we stuck to the WW system, counting our points every day, and we both lost a fair amount of weight. By the morning of our wedding, I was just under 9 stone, having lost 1 1/2 stone (over 20 pounds or 9 kilos).
On honeymoon September 2008
That was the first structured diet I'd ever done, and it wasn't too difficult, but it did test my very weak willpower. It's only recently that I've realised that I have very little resistance to certain foods which are not particularly good for you, such as chocolate, cakes and biscuits. If I eat out in a restaurant, it goes without saying that I'll have dessert. Whenever I'm in a cafe getting tea or coffee, I find it almost impossible not to have some kind of cake or biscuit. Even in the supermarket, I find myself thinking I ought to take advantage of the chocolate available, seeing as it's there, and I don't know when I'll be in a shop again. (Ridiculous behaviour). If I'm in a situation where there's a box of chocolates on the table, for example, I can't stop myself from digging in, over and over again until I feel ill. And I've only just become aware of this, and the fact that this compulsion isn't something that everyone shares.
The reason I haven't put any weight back on is the running. I try to eat a reasonably healthy diet, but I don't go a day without chocolate, and I make sure I can fit in plenty of treats. If I find my weight creeping up again, I cut back for a few days, and somewhere around the 9 stone mark seems to be my personal ideal. While I was training for the marathon, I pigged out most weekends, and the extra training didn't lose me any weight. I just love food.
Highlights from our Honeymoon
My usual goal is to eat healthily during the week, then treat myself a bit at the weekend, as I'm not trying to lose weight, and that seems fairly balanced and do-able. However, I generally find that I can be good from Monday to Wednesday, then on Thursday I crack and have something indulgent; good again on Friday; then all bets are off for Saturday and Sunday.
So thank God for the fat-burning effects of running. It allows me to keep eating. Yum.