My Insta ‘Top 9’ for 2018
I always find this time of year so reflective with the cross over from one year to the next & how you look back over what you have/haven’t achieved, laugh (or cry) at memories then of course the looking ahead to make resolutions for what you want the next year to bring.
2018 will always stand out to me. It’s the year I actually stuck to a New Years resolution I’ve been making continuously for pretty much my entire adult life & managed to use every ounce of will power & determination inside of me to lose a whopping 6 stone (well, currently 5ish as I’ve put on a good stone in December after being bed bound for 2 weeks after a big operation & then falling off the wagon entirely over Christmas…). If I’m honest, I didn’t believe in myself & the task of losing such a huge amount of weight felt completely unachievable & incredibly daunting.
Many people aren’t a big fan of making New Years resolutions & lets be honest, the good intentions that begin in January rarely continue in to February but I’m a big believer in self improvement & challenging yourself as well as setting goals so I always do them, so at least I can say I’ve tried. I’ve written a post on resolutions & reflections pretty much every year on this blog, but this is the first one that I’ve written which I can firmly say, I did it!
I started 2018 in size 18-20 clothes with little/no self worth or confidence in my appearance. I felt fat, miserable & like I wasn’t worthy. I’d spent years hiding behind the camera rather than in front at any available opportunity & would constantly embark on unhealthy (& quite frankly ridiculous..) crash diets which just made me binge, pile weight back on plus some more & feel like it was an impossible task. Time after time I’d be knocked back which would only add to my feeling that I would always be the ‘big’ one & was destined to be this way forever despite feeling so low
Looking back, I feel sad more than anything else. Sad that I let myself feel so unworthy & let myself spiral to the point of not making an effort with my appearance in any way. I’d scrape my hair back, never wear make up & hide myself in baggy clothing to make myself as invisible as possible. Something needed to change.
Me & my bestie on NYE 2017
A year to the day today, on New Years Eve 2017, I sat with my best friend Sian welcoming in 2018 (literally a few minutes before the top pic above was snapped) & we both made a vow that this year would be the year we’d make a huge change & lose weight. We started on 2nd January (I mean can anyone start a diet on New Years Day whilst very hungover?!) & whilst she decided to go along to a Slimming World group, I decided to go it alone & try something I’d never done before which has no set plan or secret formula. She’s now lost an incredible 5.5 stone & set up a page @sian.and.slimmingworld.
It’s been pretty much the thing we all know of eating less & moving more. Everyone knows how to lose weight, it’s common sense, but the actual doing is easier said than done & changing your way of life can be incredibly difficult & at some times consuming.
So what have I learnt during 2018?
1.You can do anything you set your mind to –
Honestly, I never thought I’d be sat here saying I lost 6 stone in 1 year. Never in a million years. If you asked the majority of my close family/friends to describe me, I’m 99% sure they’d put ‘head strong’ &/or ‘determined’ in there somewhere so the trait is definitely instilled in me but for some reason I just couldn’t quite muster the one thing that I wanted to change more than anything. I’ve always been a massive self doubter & I suppose all the trying (& subsequential failing) knocked me more than I realised. All I can say is, don’t set yourself up to fail & believe in yourself. Wonderful things happen if you just believe & I mean it when I say that if I can do it, anyone can.
2. Don’t compare yourself –
I used to always google weight loss stories & secrets in the hope of finding some miracle pill or shake which would help me at 3am & read about these men & women who’d done the same in complete awe. I’d be inspired for a few days then after ending up demolishing 5 bags of wotsits in a crazy hungry binge I’d just end up feeling even worse that something was wrong with me for not having a single ounce of will power like they had. I’d follow weight loss accounts on Instagram & they’d end up losing 7lbs in a week whilst I’d only managed 1/2 a lb after being practically an angel all week. The change came when I stopped comparing myself to others & focused purely on what I was doing. I learnt that actually what works for one, may not work for another. I learnt that we all lose weight at different speeds & actually, that’s okay as long as we’re going in the right direction. It’s not a race.
Us 12 months later & 11.5 stone down on Christmas Day 2018
3. It’s a journey, not a straight path –
As absolutely cringe as it sounds, weight loss is a journey. It’ll take you down paths you don’t want to go down, but bring you bath on to the main road eventually. Expect many many bumps in the road along the way & expect to be going at 5 miles per hour down a motor way when others are rushing past you at 70mph.
4. Plan, plan & then plan some more –
Follow the 5 P’s of ‘perfect planning prevents poor performance’. This, along with some hardcore control, will help you more than anything. I couldn’t have done it without my trusty slow cooker as I recognised our main downfall was takeaways after a long/bad day. This took away the decision making when you feel least like making a decision & also, who doesn’t feel like they’ve aced life if they’ve got dinner sorted & on the go by 9am?! I’m a list maker so I also found writing everything down came in handy, from meal planning for the week to daily food diaries. When it comes to food shopping, it’ll also mean that you don’t end up buying things that’ll end up going to waste so saving you money. Never ever shop on an empty stomach though & take healthy snacks in your handbag if you might be tempted when you get hungry whilst out & about…my go to’s were fruit & low kcal popcorn.
5. Be kind to yourself –
My final & most important point is to learn to love yourself no matter what dress size you are. I truly believe that if I’d embraced this instead of belittling myself constantly then I may have had the confidence to do this years ago. As I said on my ‘the diet that made me‘ blog post a few months back ‘remember that you are not defined by the number on those scales. You are a beautiful person & so very loved, so whether you start now or in a year, it really doesn’t matter. Don’t let anyone tell you any different! More than anything, make sure you’re doing it for yourself first & foremost.’
I can look back though & hand on heart say, I don’t look back at the past year & feel like I’ve missed out in any way shape or form. Has swapping pizza for salad left me miserable? No, it’s made me feel empowered & motivated. The results speak for themselves & I can promise anybody who’s currently embarking on a weight loss journey in 2019 that it will be so worth it. It takes time & no doubt you’ll have bumps in the road but just keep pushing forward.
I’ve completed transformed myself (& in the process changed as a person more than I can even tell..) in 1 year…& you can do it too.
What else have I learnt this year?
1. Stepping out of your comfort zone can be amazing –
Sometimes the scariest, most daunting things can end up being the most amazing. Taking opportunities that come your way, even if they aren’t your usual can end up opening your eyes & leave you with a whole new perspective.
2. Travel is good for the soul –
Last year we didn’t leave England. This year however we spent 11 incredible days in Bali celebrating Mr THTMM’s 30th birthday & then I took a spontaneous short trip to Havana in Cuba with my good friend Kiri who’s cabin crew. I used to think that money is better invested in paying off your mortgage early or improving your home but now I feel like my eyes have been opened to the beautiful world around us & how I want to experience it. I hope 2019 brings lots more adventures for us which is why we decided to makeover our lovely caravan to take last minute breaks away & see the lovely country on our doorstep too.
3. The power of positive –
If you’re familiar with the law of attraction then you’ll know what I’m talking about. I’m a naturally negative person & tend to worry or see the worst in situations but am retraining my mind slowly & feel like this year more than ever I’ve learnt to just think about things in a better light. I push towards the can not the can’t & feel like actually my life has taken a turn for the better because of that.
4. Find your tribe & love them fiercly –
I couldn’t wish for a better close knit group of people around me who are so incredibly supportive. This year I’ve let go of people that don’t make an effort with us & embraced those that do. I feel so lucky to have such an amazing family & some incredible friends. This hasn’t come without it’s downside & some heart break though but I’m now in a good place of acceptance.
5. Just do your best –
Finally, I’ve learnt that as much as I want or try to be I’m not super woman & it’s okay to have to ask for help. It’s better to have tried & failed than to have never tried at all & as long as you can say you did your best & put your all in to it then you can rest easy.
Tomorrow I’ll be doing another blog post, this time focusing on what’s ahead rather than reflecting on 2018. I may have smashed my resolution for this year but I’ve got big plans for 2019 which I can’t wait to tell you all about!
Finally, I have one great big THANK YOU to make to all of my loyal readers & followers for supporting me throughout 2018. You have no idea how much it means & seriously, if it wasn’t for all of you, I wouldn’t be where I am right now. I appreciate every like, comment & message more than you’ll ever realise.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
What have you learnt this year?