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My weight loss story

So here's a post I've been putting off writing. Most people working in health and wellbeing have a personal story behind it. I've not felt motivated to write about mine, because what I really enjoy writing about is  the things that can help people like you to improve your lives too. But people like to know where their information is coming from, so this post is all about me! In fact it won't just be a post, it will be a series of posts, because when I started writing I realised that the revelations that I have had as a result of my own experience are going to take up a bit more space.


The skinny


Now we are going to get straight to the stuff people ask me about.

18 months ago I weighed in at about 93kg, which is the most I'd ever weighed. While my weight had fluctuated throughout my late teens and twenties, 2 difficult pregnancies left me about 15kg above where I started out, which was already a heavy point for me.

1 year ago I hit my first goal weight of 75kg and moved from a weight loss goal to muscle gain/body composition. Since then I've lost a couple more kgs, meaning I've sustainably lost about 20kg. That's also about 5" from my waist and some amount of dress sizes I'm not really sure about but I'd estimate about 3. I'm still working on body composition, my weight is stable but it's shifting into muscle mass as I continue to slowly lose fat.

How? Well, I ate less, and moved more. Sorry, there are still no "weird tricks". 

The motivation

It wasn't that I hated my body, or was disgusted with myself, or even that I was unfit or unhealthy. And I have to point that out, because otherwise it's just awkward when people say things like "Oh you look so good now", because I was rocking it back then too.

I was most definitely not unfit - there's this myth that if someone is overweight they must be inactive - I'm a dancer, and for at least 8 months before I started losing weight, I was dancing and conditioning for 2 hours a day. Then I started switching my pilates based conditioning for HIIT, and I was doing 5 HIIT workouts a week. At 93kg. I am not entirely convinced I could do that now with a 20kg backpack on!

Due to my history of yo-yo dieting, I wanted to be absolutely sure that I was losing weight for the right reasons, so I worked very hard on being OK with my body as it was. I'm lucky in being surrounded by a very body positive dance community, where how you move your body is more highly prized than shape or size, and I've never had a problem with another dancer's weight, so I just had to learn to afford myself the same kindness.

Once I knew that I was no longer judging myself unfairly, or trying to measure up to some unattainable "ideal", I could look objectively at my situation. I still didn't feel "right", I was strong and powerful, but how much more could I utilise that if there was less weight to move? I also didn't really recognise myself in my body, I felt like I was wearing a costume of someone else. When I choreographed it was for the shape I was in my head, and out in the world, the lines were all wrong, because things didn't quite match up. I was at doing fine in my body, but it didn't feel like it fitted me. So I decided to see how being at my pre-baby weight felt.


The success story...


I'm going to show you before and after photos, but with a disclaimer.

I hate before and after photos. I find it really offensive how we are conditioned to look at them, recoil from the horror of what came before and feel hugely relieved that the subject is no longer this terrible monster.

Or maybe that is a bit extreme. Lots of trainers and coaches use before and after photos to keep track of progress, I know from my experience, and reports from others, that many people going through major body changes lose track of themselves, because it is a gradual process and it is hard to see a difference when you see yourself every day. But I always feel a little like publicising these images is somehow disrespectful to the person in the "before" picture, and I don't want to be that way, because she was badass. I also think it's generally dangerous to say mean stuff about how a person used to look.

March 2015 to December 2016

Seriously, I have video footage of that performance and it was a blast.

Losing the weight did feel better, I do feel a lot more like "myself". I feel that the lessons taken from learning to be confident pre-weightloss are invaluable to me, as an individual and now in my role as a personal trainer There's a lot of things I have come to understand about successful weight loss, as well as the importance of all aspects of health in the fitness industry. This is what I'm going to talk about in the coming weeks....


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