I wasn’t sure whether to write this post, not because I’m particularly fussed about publicly admitting I’m overweight (guess what? I’M OVERWEIGHT) but because I always fear jinxing something if I say “I am about to do X” rather than “I have officially done Y”.
I could have waited til I had results pics, inch losses and sassy anecdotes about how cucumbers have changed my life, but I just need to get it out there in the open that I’ve started a programme because a) I am having to drink a LOT less booze on this new plan and I’m reeeeeeeally bored of explaining to people that I’m not preg and b) I’m quite proud to be taking some positive steps to help myself. Caring about our bodies isn’t a luxury we always afford ourselves, but we should. They’re our houses! We only get one! And so on and so forth.
I am your classic yo yo dieter. I’ve been varying degrees of ‘overweight’ (in the BMI sense) for the past 15 years. There was a magical interlude at the very beginning of my twenties where I was a normal healthy weight (which of course I didn’t appreciate at the time, *stupid past me*) but I have recently crept up to my all time high weight. A weight I haven’t been since I was 18. A weight which isn’t exactly fun and is 100% a direct result of being so sedentary I may as well be comatose.
The sedentary part is the killer (literally, if we want to get depressing about it). I work from home and can near enough roll to my desk, where I sit tapping away for what can feel like years at a time, only to get up to wee and….errr….get food. It’s not exactly a kind way to treat a human body. You gain a pound, then another. Then pounds become half stones and half stones become stones and suddenly you’re nearly 30 and very aware that legs weren’t made to be shoved under desks for 10 hours at a time.
I’ve tried all sorts of things in the past: gourmet delivery services, protein shakes, 5:2, SlimFast (not recently, but I’m not going to pretend I haven’t done it!) and even those ludicrously silly tablets that don’t let your body absorb fat (and we all know where the fat goes instead so let’s just gloss over that disgusting episode of my life – GAG). But I’d say calorie counting and food tracking have been my most consistent ‘diet’ of choice over the years.
Long-time readers will remember I became swimming obsessed a couple of years ago too (you can find some of my swimming posts here) but that wasn’t about getting slim so whilst I did lose weight in the process I was still overweight. I was very fit, but I still ate badly and drank too much. You can’t out train a crap diet, as they so eloquently say.
The most successful weight loss I ever had was with Weight Watchers, where I lost two and a half stone between the April and September of 2005. My goal was to be a healthy weight before starting uni and I got there, but as my baby cousin starts uni next week it hits home that in the ten years since that exceptionally happy weigh-in day and gold star badge, I’ve put it all back on.
I did try Weight Watchers again three years ago, but the approach had changed a lot and the leader’s style was very different. I was desperate to get on with it as I loved the group setting – the idea of a supportive club, weekly weigh-ins, classes and having a leader to ‘answer to’ and keep me on track. But it really didn’t work for me. There was a worryingly heavy focus on processed food (all their own brand, natch) and I couldn’t find anyone who’d talk sense when it came to food AND exercise. I wanted to get fit and strong, not ‘just slim’. It drove me a bit crazy so I quit.
But anyway! Back to the here and now.
As I said at the start of this post, I’ve joined a new programme – Nuffield Health’s Healthy Weight Programme. It’s run at Nuffield Health gyms (not all, but loads of them do it!) and from my limited experience so far, I really really like the concept. It’s a twelve week programme that is tailored to you, with an emphasis on YOUR goals and YOUR lifestyle. The emphasis is on health, as opposed to size.
I’ve only just started but the first thing it involved was having an hour one on one consultation with a nutritional therapist and then a further hour having a ‘Health MOT ‘. Being shoved a booklet and told to get on with it, this was not.
The Health MOT looks at the whole picture and is what really made me think that this is the right programme for me. Yes I was weighed, but I also had my cholesterol and blood glucose levels checked. I wore a heart monitor. We discussed my sleeping patterns and energy levels and all my hopes and dreams for a new and improved me. This wasn’t a quick fix bikini body lesson in starvation, it was about ALL the pieces of the puzzle that make up ‘health’.
Will I be slimmer by the end of the 12 weeks? I hope so. I know I’ve learnt a lot about food from my one on one nutrition consultation already…and that’s as someone who thinks they know a lot about food. I can’t quite believe I’m not going to obsessively calorie count, opting to look at the nutritional value of foods as a whole instead. It’s a weird but liberating feeling. And I’ve started swimming again! So that’s making me cheery.
I’m not just doing this Healthy Weight Programme with Nuffield Health ‘to blog about it’, I have wanted to do something like this for forever I just didn’t know the service existed. I have to admit I was invited by Nuffield Health to try it, but it’s something I would definitely have signed up for anyway had I discovered it first and I’m doing it alongside ‘real’ members – nobody at the gym knows I’m there blogging about it so I’m not getting any VIP treatment. (Although there was classical musical playing in the pool yesterday, so I definitely felt like a VIP. More swim sessions to Bach please!).
Prices start at £12 a week and you can find out heaps more about it here. If you’ve ever wanted to join a programme which is flexible enough to consider your individual needs and goals whilst looking at the bigger picture of health and not just ‘summer bodies’, this may be just what you’ve been looking for.
I really hope the programme works for me. I’ll be back in twelve weeks to tell you either way! I may do an update post sooner, at six weeks perhaps. And will inevitably rabbit on about it on Twitter and Instagram as and when.
Wish me luck…and fog-free goggles.
p.s I have taken some cracking ‘before’ pics, but OBVIOUSLY I am not jinxing myself by posting them til there’s some after pics to compare them to. I may never post them, but let’s just say they’re suitably amusing.