Getting back on track is how I’d describe how I’m going to try and repair the damage I’ve done to my body over the last 13 years or so but especially the last 2!

But first…

I don’t know about you but I really hate the term ‘journey’. To me it sounds tacky and cliche, but sometimes it’s the only way to describe when someone starts from somewhere and ends up somewhere else.  Other words I guess you could use could be transition, transformation or maybe even a jaunt – although jaunt sounds like a lovely day trip where you go back home again afterwards usually with chips – but I’m not going back!

Getting back on track – here’s how

Anyway, all that aside, I’m hoping that by documenting my transformation (preferred word) from an unhealthy, obese, miserable person with a messed up head and several health issues will help to inspire you if you’re in the same boat as me and need to do this for yourselves.

So where did it all go wrong?

Back in 2005 when I started to work full time again my life was hectic but structured. It had to be.  With two shops to manage, a home to run, school runs, after school clubs, child minders and the A12 to contend with most nights, I had to be really organised when it came to meals.

It was a long drive to my second shops so I had to leave for work at 7am and got home at 7.30pm so things had to be run with military precision.  My Sunday and half day off in the week were spent washing, ironing (yes I used to iron clothes back then), shopping, cooking and cleaning.

I was on my feet all day and walked about 7 miles a day, albeit round the shop and to/from the park & ride. This meant that I could eat pretty much what I liked as I did so much exercise.  For the first time in a long while I was as fit as a fiddle and a healthy weight.

2010 where it all went wrong

In 2010 I had an horrific car accident which changed my life. My whole body was one big bruise.  I experienced horrible flashbacks (I still get them now occasionally) and really struggled inwardly but kept up the pretence of being fine. When you have kids you don’t show your weaknesses, you just maintain an image of normality for their sake.

Where I live is right out in the sticks, not on a bus route, two miles from a shop and with no pavements you can’t really walk far.  It wasn’t an option to not drive or I couldn’t have got to work (and work was my life). So I just got on with it and got back behind the wheel of the courtesy car the next day.

On hindsight I should have taken it easier instead of going back to work 2 days later and maybe had some counselling but it didn’t occur to me at the time, and it was never offered as part of the insurance claim. I just got on with it as usual.

My back and knee have never been the same since.  It took over a year for the bruising to go on my body and  5 years for the swelling on my knee to go down although it’s still mis-shapen (I’m just so fat now it doesn’t notice). Being way less active meant I started to gain weight from that day forward – about half a stone a year.

From 2016 onwards I started to expericnce peri-menopausal symptoms – although I didn’t realise that’s what it was at the time, I just thought I was going mad! I found it harder and harder to lose weight.  I joined a slimming club and lost a bit of weight but it soon found me again and more besides.  And so it went on.

2020 onwards

When covid struck and we were in lockdown the weather was fabulous. Lots of people had to shield and only managed to get out once a day to exercise.  It must have been so isolating and difficult for them both physically and mentally.

Fortunately for me I was still able to go to work as I worked alone in my isolated studio. I was incredibly busy making thousands of bars of soap as there were none in the shops.  So my time was split between my studio and the garden.

I didn’t actually go out much, apart from shopping once a week. I could have gone out walking before or after work I just didn’t go.  I missed a perfect opportunity, story of my life!

Fast forward to the start of 2022

I was much heavier than I was at the beginning of 2020.  Lockdown, two cancer scares and the onset of the menopause meant I’d piled on two stone in 2 years.

However, 2022 looked like being a brilliant year, despite my size.  I had the most incredible summer and autumn of my life, despite suffering from a stomach ulcer, but then winter saw me feeling very low and depressed.  I misery ate my way through November and December which didn’t help my stomach.  I piled on a stone in just 7 weeks. I felt absolutely rubbish and the lowest I’ve ever been.

Getting back on track in 2023

When January came I decided that I needed to take action. I needed to stop wallowing in self pity, get the weight off and start eating properly again.  I’m a nutrition coach for goodness sake!  It was time to start taking my own advice around eating and start taking care of myself.

The nutrition advice the doctors give you, considering you have an ulcer, is so out of date. I decided I was definitely better off doing my own thing. In just 3 weeks I had lost the stone that I put on in November/December.

I joined the gym and had a PT session to learn how to use all the machines and to work out what weights and reps I needed to get the results I wanted. I absolutely loved it, especially getting back into swimming as the pool was warm, tiny and very quiet.  I’m not what you’d call a natural swimmer as such.  I can go along in the water and just about survive but if someone splashes me or I got water in my face I have to stop so it suited me perfectly.

I was soon lifting heavier weights than I’d ever done before and feeling much better for it. I ached a lot less too. I felt fitter than I had for ages.

My weight continued to drop as I followed my own eating plan and I lost another 2 stone.

A blip in the road

Getting back on track hit a blip at the beginning of July tho. I had a bit of an accident at the gym.  I misjudged how many weights were on the leg press and ended up pressing 130 kilos instead of 80 kilos and popped my achilles tendon. Ouch.

The exercise had to stop for a while apart from gentle swimming and very careful walking.

Then at the end of July I broke my finger whilst grabbing my dogs collar. It’s the middle finger of my right hand.  Have you any idea how much you use your fingers?  I couldn’t write, I couldn’t make products, I could only do certain things at work so sales dropped. It’s been a nightmare.

I had to cancel the gym membership as I couldn’t afford it anymore and couldn’t hold any weights in my right hand.  All I could do was bob around in the water or gently cycle so I couldn’t justify remaining a member of the gym any longer. Not being able to work I couldn’t afford it anyway.

All this meant that my healthy eating and exerise regime stalled a lot.  BUT I didn’t gain the weight back like I would have done if I’d been going to a slimming club and that’s a huge step for me and for everyone else who follows my healthy eating plan or is a member of Eat Better, Feel Great (lose weight).

So now I’m free wheeling into winter, doing my best to exercise as much as I can.  I do my weights at home and the dog ensures I get at least 10K steps a day.

I’ve now been granted the miracle of HRT which I’m starting today so I’ll keep you posted on how that goes!

Onwards and upwards for the next chapter of my life.

Lots of love
Sue xxx