Yesterday was my goalaversary....yes I know that is a made up word but I feel the event needs a word! I have been at goal for a full year now. I still remember how it felt to get up on that scales and see my weight. I knew at that moment I was there. I'm not sure at that point I understand that the real challenge was just beginning! Don't get me wrong, losing the 52.5lbs was tough, especially the last half stone. It required dedicated and determination and there were times I thought I wasn't going to make it. However maintenance is whole different ball game. You feel like you should be able to just "eat normally" again but the fear of going back is always there!!
Then you think about what does it mean to "eat normally". I never ate normally, otherwise I wouldn't have ended up at 14 stone. I had to realise that I needed to equate normal eating with what I had done the previous year and anything else was abnormal eating. That has been key to my continued success is really making the connection that I had made a lifelong commitment to my health and well being!
Here I am a few weeks after I started weight watchers in 2012, hard to believe when I look back on this that I had already lost nearly half a stone. I still get surprised when I catch a reflection of myself but I equally get surprised whenever I look at my before pictures too. I never felt like I was that big at the time, sure I knew I needed to do something and I really wasn't happy, but the person in these pictures doesn't look like me. When people who never knew me in person back then see these pictures they can't contain the shock, and until they see the pictures they don't really have a full understanding of what I mean when I say "I was fat". I still am the same person in most ways, but the person in this picture is so far removed from me now its hard to think of us as the same person.
It's been an amazing year but not perfect. I have had times where I have wobbled around the top end of my goal, even stumbling over it once or twice. When this happens I know to check myself and see I have had a week or two of "abnormal" eating and know to bring it back to normality. I hope to one day to not have to be so acutely aware of food, but there is a certain amount of freedom to being at goal.
One of the big highlights of my year was when Weight Watchers Ireland featured me in the RTE guide just a couple of months after I reached goal. It was always something I wanted to do and I was over the moon to be asked. The day was so much fun and the other girls who were featured were lovely too. We were well looked after by the fantastic Hilary and John from WW head office and it was really nice to be fussed over by a make up artist, hair stylist and a stylist from Debenhams. It gave me a great confidence boost to see on the pages of a magazine my story and just how far I have come.
When I started this blog I never realised how much of a rock it would be to my journey! I had kept a blog before when I travelled but I only wrote a few posts and it petered out. I wasn't interested or passionate in sharing that with the world. My weight watchers journey is something that I am passionate about. I enjoy trying and sharing new healthy recipes. I find it therapeutic to share the highs and lows of this journey. It keeps me in line with my maintenance knowing that I have to share how I am doing. I feel very grateful that other people find my words interesting and motivational and my recipes helpful and it means the world to me seeing this little blog of mine grow!
I really didn't think 2014 could come anywhere close to 2013 for me but there was a little more to come. This months weight watchers magazine had an article on Social Media and how people use it to help their weight loss. I had sent them an email a couple of months ago and was delighted to hear I was chosen as the blogger for this article.
Us Irish weight watchers really flew the flag for social media as John of http://19st-10k.blogspot.ie/ was also featured as one to follow! I would absolutely second this recommendation, John's is most definitely one of my favourite blogs out there. His whole attitude, journey and honest writing is incredible inspirational and if you haven't already then check his blog out now!
I'm off celebrating this weekend with a weekend in Edinburgh (nor organised to celebrate this but just an excuse fora little break away) and I know I will be coming back a couple of pounds heavier. But that is the beauty of where I am now. I can have a weekend of abnormal eating and know I have the strength to be back on track next week! Even if it doesn't happen the day I come back I know I will get there!
I'm now looking forward to the next year of my new healthy life!!