Running the flab away

I’m a size 24 (and a tight one at that). I have a lot of me to haul around. I also love to run. Yes, you did read that right. Have I lost weight running? Actually yes I did to start with and then I started using it as an excuse to eat more junk and drink that extra bottle of wine on a Friday night. It can help you lose weight but I know exercise alone is definitely not the answer.

I run long distances too. In April I completed the London Marathon. That’s 26.2 long, slow and lonely miles. It was hard, harder than having a baby. It was mentally and physically draining. I wanted to give up so many times And I think I would have if it hadn’t been for my amazing husband helping me! He deserves that medal as much as I do! I also feel,that I could have done a whole lot better, so when I’ve lost some weight I fully intend to complete another marathon! We have unfinished business!

Running when you are bigger has a lot of stigma attached to it. It’s hard to find running clothes. Most xl running gear is a 14. Sports companies have obviously assumed that fat girls don’t run. Most of my running stuff is men’s as a result of this. I want pretty running things so I can feel good as I run. It isn’t going to happen for quite a while, although primark do nice stuff and go up to a size 20 so there is a chance. I’ll buy some when I’m at that size.

Secondly, there is a lot of heckling when a fat person runs out in the streets. I’m immune to it now. But I’ve had all sorts of comments. Usually from young boys in their cars, barely old enough to be driving. I’ve come to the conclusion that at least I am doing something, unlike anybody sat in front of the TV! The comments hurt, I’ve come home crying before but they also make me more determined! 

And then there are the other runners. Runners are competitive. All of them seem interested in personal bests (PB’s) and my ones just don’t hit the mark. Some are very judgemental about the fact it takes me 40 mins to do a 5k, or that I can’t run a marathon in 4 hours. I just tell them I’m an endurance athelete instead of a speed one. Soon shuts them up, but the comments hurt. One runner told me I couldn’t be a serious runner because I’m too big to run quickly. His furthest distance was 10k. At that point I was half marathon ready which shut him up as well!

That aside I love running. It really is good for the soul. I can go out in the worst mood ever, feeling like the whole world is against me and I never fail to come back in a good mood, or athe the very least as better one than I left in. I love the time it gives me to myself, to think, to bitch, to moan and to plan. It reminds me that I really can do anything I set my mind too and it gives me focus. When I don’t run I miss it and become quite irritable. My husband actually tells me to go for a run when I’m stroppy now!

Will running help me lose weight now? I hope so because I’ll be watching what I eat too. I’m only doing 20 mins once a week at the moment so I’ll increase the time and distance too. Even if it doesn’t help me lose weight I will be more toned. I have an impressive set of abs hidden under the flab and despite the size of it my bum is pretty impressive! Proper solid! 

Which diet is the right diet?

Who knew that there were so many different diets out there to choose from. A quick google search gave me well over a million hits, and probably as many different diets promising me huge weight losses in no time at all. I am not convinced by their claims, and a lot of them seem unrealistic, and at the very least unsustainable in the long term. I need something that I can keep up for the rest of my life. I need something that suits my family because I’m doing it from them as much as I am doing it for myself.

There seems to be a diet out there for almost every food group. There are ones that limit your intake of certain foods, ones where you only consume liquids or certain foods. There are diets endorsed by celebrities, with before and after pictures of them looking like stick insects. The sceptic in me wonders how much airbrushing the ‘after’ pictures have had? 

Some of the diets seem quite extreme and like a lot of hard work. The juice diet is one of those that I eliminated fairly quickly. Can you imagine how much time I would spend making up juices every day? Plus I think I would be hungry all the time, and surely it can’t be good for you to only consume liquid? I must admit having watched the Joe Cross documentary Imwas impressed with the results but it isn’t for me, or my family. 

As a vegetarian anything that eliminates carbs is out. I would literally never eat! That also rules out the Atkins Diet as well. I think hubby would be quite happy with that one as a confirmed carnivore. Little Miss would quite happily be a vegetarian I think but I give her meat and will let her make her own mind up as she gets older and can make informed choices. She only eats chicken and fish now, as she isn’t keen on the taste of the other meats.

Of the ones that seem vaguely sustainable in the long term I still feel overwhelmed by the choices. The ones that I am seriously considering are the 5:2 diet, Slimming World, Weight Watchers, the NHS Eatwell programme, the Mediterranean diet and going Vegan. Each has their merits and their drawbacks. If I’m totally honest I’m considering a combination of a few of them.

I love Slimming World. I joined it a few years back, when I naively thought a size 14 was fat and wanted to look good in a bridesmaid dress. I lost nearly 2 stone and dropped 2 dress sizes. Plus I never felt hungry either! The recipes are generally tasty, family friendly and easy to make when I’m stupidly busy. The downside is that it involves going to a group. They seem very meat focussed and even the staple mullerlight yogurts are out for me as they have gelatine in them. But it’s also a night out, and there are hundreds of groups on Facebook to help! Plus it encourages healthy eating and a healthy attitude to food for all of us.

I also like the idea of the Mediterranean diet too. It had loads of tasty recipes, was recently said to be the healthiest in the world and would be easy to follow, but again meat seems to play a significant part in it. I’m also not so sure how likely I am to get hubby and little miss to be part of it. I will probably import parts of it though, especially the healthy fruits and vegetables.

Vegan is another contender, but I know for a fact I would be doing this alone. It’s hard enough getting hubby to accept my vegetarian diet. This will be a step too far from him and he would never allow me to let our daughter follow a vegan diet. But, I am seriously considering it. The lack of dairy will probably help my hormones balance due to no extra hormones being added to my diet from the milk. I already eat practically vegan anyway. It really is just the dairy and eggs. I would probably really miss eggs though. I might see how dairy free works and take it from there. Plus some of our favourite meals are already totally vegan and hubby loves them!

The 5:2 diet intrigues me. I love the idea of being able to eat and drink what I want for 5 days of the week and only having to watch what I eat on two days. I love food. It’s how I ended up Fat! But I’m not good with being hungry so I’m not sure how the two fasting days would be. 500 calories is not a lot! And I can’t limit my daughter to 500 calories either so it isn’t going to really promote the attitude I’m looking for in her. I have downloaded the book to my kindle though so will give it a read and look into it. 

I do think Slimming World is the most likely option though, with me joining a group when we get back from Lanzarote. I would be interested in hearing other people’s thoughts though! 

Why am I doing this to myself?

I’ve been thinking a lot over the last week about what I want to achieve as I try to lose weight and what my motivation is for starting out on this journey. I know myself well enough to know that I need to have thought everything through properly and come up with valid reasons why I need to do it if I’m going to stick to it in the long term. Ultimately I know I need to so I’ve written a list of my motivations and aims to keep me going when it gets hard and I want to give up. A year ago I would have said I have no willpower but now I know I do. I completed a marathon, and trust me 26 miles is a long way. You can only achieve something like that with a hell of a lot of determination and willpower. So I KNOW I can do this!

OK… here are my reasons why I want/need to do this:

  1. To set a good example to my daughter.
    • She’s almost nine now and I want her to never struggle with her weight and all the issues that go with that. I want her to be happy with who she is and the shape of her body. It’s hard for that to be the case when she see’s me constantly putting my own body down because I’m unhappy with how I look. I need to change that, especially before she starts secondary school when these things suddenly start to matter to young girls.
    • I also want her to have a healthy attitude to food. I want her to know that healthy food can taste good and to want to choose healthier options over crap like crisps and chocolate. She needs to know that these are occasional treats and not go to first choice foods. I’m the worst example in the world about this at the moment!
    • So I basically need to have a complete and utter personality transplant and become the person I want her to be when it comes to body image attitudes and food choices
  2. To be healthy
    • I can feel it in my body that all this weight is taking its toll. I never have any energy. And lets face it, it’s understandable. I fuel myself with junk. It takes a lot of energy to haul this beached whale around all day. It’s no wonder I’m tired
    • I haven’t had a period in over a year. I have PCOS so this isn’t unusual but the less flab I have the more regular my cycle is. The hubby isn’t keen on having another baby so quite likes my lack of fertility but I’m open to the idea of another so like it less. And not having periods is actually quite bad for you.
    • I’m going bald. Again this is linked to the PCOS. I would guess that the less I weigh the more likely this is to sort itself out. And hopefully my hair can grow back. I hate losing my hair the most. It’s probably the one thing that truly makes me want to cry about being a fatso. I used to have beautiful thick hair and I want that again!
    • My hips are always achy….this is directly a result of my weight. They’ve got more sore the bigger I’ve got. They nearly killed me while I was marathon training. I would quite like to not be in pain!
  3. I want to look good in a swimming costume
    • Yes it’s shallow and vain but I do want to look good when I’m sat by the pool on holiday. I’m in my thirties, have had a baby and will have a saggy tummy forever so a bikini is out but I would like to feel better about exposing my body in public in a swimming costume.
    • Every year I go on holiday and every year I feel like crap on the beach. Every year I swear something needs to change but never do anything. This year I know I have a new self belief so I know I can do it and I will do it!
  4. I want to be able to shop in normal clothes shops
    • Plus sized clothes suck! They’re not my taste and they’re expensive! I end up buying most of my clothes on eBay. This is because it means its affordable, and it saves me the torture of going into town. My local New Look obviously doesn’t want fat customers because they don’t stock the plus size range anymore. I really like fashion and losing my style has been hard. I can’t buy the clothes I like in my size and if I could they wouldn’t suit my body shape anymore. I think secretly my husband is happy about this development because I no longer dress like a hippy and I’m much more conservative. He has been warned that as I lose weight the hippy is returning! I have to put up with him as a chav so it seems only fair.
  5. I want to eat in a restaurant without feeling people are judging my food choices
    • I think every fat person has been in this situation. Your in a restaurant with your family and you order a burger and chips. You then feel seriously self conscious as you eat it because you feel like every skinny person in there is wondering why a fat person would eat yet more junk food. I hate eating out because I feel judged. I used to love it and want to get back to that! I know I should be a stronger person and think ‘Screw You’ to all the people and ignore it but I’m not that person!
  6. I want to go to theme parks etc
    • I have a young child who is currently discovering the joy of theme parks, water parks and such like. I want to be able to go to these places with her. At the moment I can’t because I know I’m too fat to fit into the rides. I know I need to do something about this because it isn’t fair that she misses out because I eat too much crap and drink too much wine (honestly I’m not an alcoholic!). I also want to be able to get on a plane without worrying about whether the seat belt will fit me! I like to travel and hope to go abroad 3 times in the next 12 months plus I fly to Scotland to visit my sister a couple of times a year so this is a big one too!

OK, so they are my reasons. I know I’ve probably sounded really miserable there. I promise you I’m not in general! I don’t like my size particularly but I do like my life. I have a beautiful daughter, a husband who isn’t a complete waste of space and makes me happy. I love my job, have a nice house and a good family. Generally life is good. Sorting my weight and the issues that go with it would just be the icing on the cake I think!

A Hello from Fan Flabby Dozy

It doesn’t happen very often in my life but yesterday I had a light bulb moment. You know, one of those moments when all of a sudden you realise something has to change, although you aren’t entirely sure how to change it! Well yesterday it happened. And whilst I know I need to change it’s pretty fair to say the thought of it petrifies me!

Basically I’m a beached whale, and my body is starting to show me that I’m one now. It’s protesting about the amount of flab I’m carrying around meaning I’m always tired, always achy and I’m now starting to lose my hair (which was always one of my best features!). So yesterday, when I was sweating away on the hottest day of the year I realised I couldn’t do another summer like this. So….I guess this flabby mummy is going on a diet!

I should put a disclaimer out there right now….

This is quite literally a major deal. I like food, and I mean I like it a lot! I’ve enjoyed every mouthful of becoming the size 24 (probably 26 if I’m totally honest) that I am. I love chocolate, I love takeaways and I love cakes! I think my local Indian might have been kept in business by my custom!

I also like a drink or three! I can quite happily sink a bottle of wine on a Friday night! I am a good girl and don’t drink on a school night! It depresses me that there are so many calories in wine and that something made from grapes can’t be counted as one of my five a day.

So for me to give it all up and go on a diet means major sacrifice. And almost impossible for me to stick to it so I’m going to find a compromise! There has to be one out there and the purpose of this blog is to chart my progress and keep me accountable! If I’m putting it out there on the internet then I need to keep it up! If I’m totally honest I think I’m most likely to try Slimming World but I won’t join until August as I’m going off to Lanzarote for two weeks of All Inclusive over indulgence next month! And I fully intend to enjoy that! I’m going to try and be good until then, maybe trying out some of those quick fixes I seem to read about all the time in the celeb mags at the hairdressers!

I’ll be totally honest. I will admit to the days when I mess up totally and when it feels impossible. But I’ll also post my good days in the hope that it motivates somebody else who is struggling.

In case your interested here’s a little bit about me (although honestly I am just like you!)

I’m a 32 year old woman living in the South West of England. I’m mostly happily married and have an eight year old daughter. We have two cats and a dog. I work as a teaching assistant in a school. I do like to run, and in April I completed the London Marathon (mostly to prove that a fatty can do it too after somebody told me I was too fat to be able to!). My problem is that I go out for a run and think that it means I’ve earned that extra glass of wine or chocolate bar so have never managed to lose weight doing it!

So here we go….wish me luck



Starting Weight: 19 stone 13lbs (How the heck did I manage to get THAT fat?????)