I remember sitting in front of my computer less than six months ago and staring at an empty page, thinking about the blog post that I wanted to write. Sharing my biggest insecurities and fears with the world, laying myself bare to criticism and the chance of public failure. Telling everyone how unhappy I was with my weight and health, and that I was going to take steps to change that... Or at least, that I was going to give it a try.
Was I going to succeed? Or was I going to look like a fool when a few weeks down the line I had given up and the improvements I had planned to make had come to nothing?
It has been 24 weeks since that day. In that time there have been 4 rounds of Project 6 Pack, a Race for Life 5k, and a trip of a lifetime to Australia celebrating a friend's wedding. It has been a whirlwind. I don't really know where the time has gone. But 24 weeks on, I could be sitting here thinking "I wish..." having given up, or I could be sat here looking at progress pics of 24 weeks worth of hard work & thinking "I've done".
Since January, I have now lost 23.9kg (52.6lb) and 35 inches all over.
That's another 6kg and 10" (27cm) in just the last six weeks. I look at these photos and can't really believe that it is me. Amirah & Hayley handed me 23kg worth of dumbbells at the studio on weigh in day & I struggled to hold them - I can't believe that I used to carry that extra weight around daily. I've gone from a UK size 16/18 down to an 8/10.
I am so grateful for the amazing support I have had throughout. Changing your lifestyle isn't easy, sticking to it isn't easy, but it is worth it. I feel amazing & am in the best shape of my life at 32 years old, after 5 babies. I am walking, talking proof that it is possible.
There are a lot of contributing factors to the success that I am enjoying. Sensible meal planning and preparation, a whole list of ways to improve your chances of sticking to your goals, the health and fitness apps & devices that I use to optimise my weight loss, building up a bank of meal & snack inspiration to refer back to when I need it as well as attending classes at Project 6 Pack. But mostly - it's taking some responsibility for what I put in my body, and getting off my ass and exercising even when I really don't want to. I have never gone to a class or gone for a run and thought "I wish I hadn't bothered" afterwards. I always, without fail, feel good after a workout.
I had a huge sort out of my wardrobe the other day and have treated myself to some pretty new undies that actually fit me (it comes to something when you 'treat' yourself to underwear...). I'm looking forward to replacing it all with some lovely new bits and pieces for the Summer, and for our Mark Warner holiday in October when I can play on the beach and swim with my children and feel confident doing so without wanting to cover up - and every bead of sweat and aching muscle will be worth it just for that.