I hope you are all doing well and are having a wonderful weekend so far. I have had a super productive day - I woke up extremely early and went to the gym (shock horror haha) and I've been blogging, snap vlogging and taking photographs all afternoon. Last week I added a poll on Twitter to see what you would like to see next on my blog and the 'Something Personal' option won...which brings me on to today post. After much deliberation I thought today was the day I shared something a little more personal with you all. There are literally so many things going on in my life that I could write about but honestly the one major change in my life this year has got to be my fitness and weight loss journey. I never thought I'd feel comfortable talking about my journey on my blog but here I am typing away haha. As cliche as it sound's, I set myself a 'New Year, New Me' resolution around fitness and I have been working on it ever since I joined Slimming World on 4th January 2016. I have been daily vlogging over on snapchat and I take you along to weigh-in nights, the gym and much more, so if you'd like to take a peek you can find me at @SophiaMeola. *Disclaimer Alert* This post is me placing my cards on the table, being a little vulnerable and sharing my experiences with you. Dieting is not for everyone and honestly, I never thought I would become so consumed by it all but here I am today talking about my journey. It is not my intention to offend anyone with this post, it is all about sharing and creating stepping stones for my own personal journey. I have also had some messages and tweets come through asking for a post like this and I thought it would be a great avenue for the lifestyle portion of my blog. Always remember that we are all unique, beautiful and should never change for anyone other than ourselves.
I guess we'll start off with a little background. All my life I've never felt the need to diet because I genuinely didn't care for it. When I was younger I used to be so sporty, partaking in Karate, gymnastics, dance and swimming lessons. It must have been half way through middle school that I slowly started to fizzle out of these activities as school was getting more intense and I also wanted a social life in between it all. When I was younger I could literally eat anything and I wouldn't gain weight...but I guess that one of the joys of being young and super active. I think I never completely accepted the fact that I couldn't eat anything and everything now I'm 23 and expect to stay a certain weight haha...unfortunately I am not that lucky! I think my main drawback was the fact (and still is the fact) that I have a major sweet tooth and I could honestly eat cake and chocolate for breakfast, lunch and dinner...I mean you all know how obsessed I am with Red Velvet cake haha.
I guess I could ramble on but January of this year is when I finally decided to make a change. The first step was joining a slimming club and I decided on Slimming World. I had heard some great reviews, my Mum used Slimming World around 10 years ago and successfully lost weight, there is a great selection of recipes and my group is just around the corner from me which makes it super convenient. Christmas and New Year passed and it was time for my first Slimming World session. All the New Year starters were grouped together and we were fully briefed in about the program, the syn system, hex allowances (which was so much to take in haha) and then came the dreaded first weigh-in! Now, we haven't had weight scales in the house for years so the last time I had an idea about how much I weighed was when I last visited the doctors and I honestly couldn't even remember. After you get weighed you then decide on the target that you would like to achieve on the program...my target was 1st 9.5lbs away and I had no idea how I was going to manage to achieve it as I was so skeptical of how the diet would work for me. I always knew that going into something like this I never had a great deal to loose (and I am constantly reminded of this every week at group) but I think that all comes down to the fact that we all have our own insecurities and little things we want to change. I remember looking at a pictures of myself at my works Christmas party and the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards back in November and basically ripping into myself. I think for me it was all about making a few changes, toning my body and just feeling more confident in myself...actually feeling comfortable walking on the beach in a bikini and overall feeling more healthy.
So, the first week on the Slimming World plan was a definite wake-up call! I stuck to the plan religiously, on some days I wouldn't have any of my syn allowance and I strictly stuck to drinking water...until I realised you could have sugar-free Sprite haha. So, my first weigh-in fastly approached and I remember standing in the queue thinking there was no way I could have lost anything...I mean, I stuffed myself on meat, pasta, eggs, fruit and so on as there are no limits to your free food portions. There were a lot of carbs involved! Then I received the biggest shock, I had lost 2.5lbs! It restored faith in the plan and it definitely motivated me to work harder and see what else I could achieve. My weight loss has been slow and steady which is exactly what I wanted to do. At this time I was also taking part in a weekly personal training group boot camp, however, I had around 3 sessions left so I decided to join my local Fitness First. I have been religiously attending the gym for around 6 weeks now taking part in LBT and Spinning classes on Tuesday evenings and my own freestyle on Thursdays. Slimming World has been designed for you to lose weight without exercise but in order for me to tone my body, I knew I had to incorporate something else into my new lifestyle change.
My 10 Week Progress
Week 1: -2.5lbs
Week 2: -1lb
Week 3: -1lb
Week 4: -2.5lbs
Week 5: +0.5lbs
Week 6: -3lbs
Week 7: Maintained
Week 8: -2lbs
Week 9: -1lb
Week 10: -1.5lbs
I think overall this has been a complete lifestyle change for me. I mean, I went to the gym this morning...I never thought I would actually be able to say I went to the gym on a Saturday! That is a huge deal for me. I work long hours so my weekends are the two days where I can be lazy and not feel completely guilty about it...although, I have found I haven't been as productive lately so I have decided to make a change to that also! I still have my treats throughout the week and I have learnt to balance everything so I am maintaining this steady loss. However, the real work starts when I hit my target and making sure I stay put! It has been so easy incorporating Slimming World into my daily life and it is great to actually see the results. I have also enjoyed having my Mum there every step of the way on this journey also as we decided to join together. So it is great having someone around to motivate you and remind you of how well you are doing. However, it has also had it's difficulties. I have the biggest cravings for all of my favourite treats and sometimes the most random of foods that I never ate before...so random! However, it has definitely been a challenge making sure this whole journey doesn't consume me. Some days I am so consumed by it all that it ruins my day and this is something I need to work on because it is not a competition, this is my own personal journey and I am doing it for myself! I mean, losing 1 Stone in 10 weeks is a huge deal for me and I pinch myself all the time because I can't believe I have managed to achieve that! It is an emotional rollercoaster at times but I am glad I decided to take this leap! Always remember to strive for progression and not perfection...the best way to get things done is to simply begin!
A Few Top Tips
1. Drink plenty of water: Everything you read about water intake is true and upping your intake is going to help you shed the pounds, make you feel better in yourself and clear up your skin. I like having fancy and fun tumblers on my desk and around me so it reminds me to keep a flow of liquids in my diet.
2. Don't become consumed by the diet: Always remember you are on this journey for yourself, it is not a competition and you can treat yourself every now and again!
3. Let go of the guilt: Don't be afraid to treat yourself every now and again. Monday nights are usually my major cheat evening as it's straight after weigh-in but honestly, having a treat on a Friday evening is not going to ruin your progress that week...just remember to be moderate and learn how your body works.
4. Go to group: Attending the group sessions is a great way to keep on track and motivated. Everyone in group is there for the same reason as you and are a great support system. It is also a great place to share tips, tricks and advice.
If you have managed to stick around until the end then thank you so much for reading about my journey! I could have kept typing but I knew I had to stop at places to ensure I wasn't rambling on haha. I am thinking about adding a few more installments and creating a series so please let me know if this is something you would like to see on my blog. I also have a tonne of recipes that I can't wait to share with you all - one of which is a super deliciously overnight oats dish! Like always lovelies, if you have any questions, requests or if you just want a chat you can contact me on my social media or leave me a comment below. I love hearing from you all and I make sure to read every single comment…they really make my day!
Lots of Love