Thanks for joining me. I have been getting requests lately of a more personal nature. Lifestyle, wellbeing etc. Ideally the main focus of my blog has always been beauty and makeup. That being said, the more personal posts prove extremely popular and I guess provides a little more insight into my life as Donna-Marie and not simply, The Beauty Holder!
I will endeavour to share some more of my world with you and broaden my blog into more than just makeup. Thank you for wanting to know more. So here is one of those more personal posts. Let me start by saying that this is a ‘personal’ journey. It is unique to me. Whilst I am not the first (nor will I be the last ) person to embark on a lifestyle change it is important to note that this is how I am doing it. It is not to pass judgement and I can only hope that if nothing else, anyone who needs it is encouraged.
On the 10th November 2014, I took the first steps to changing my lifestyle specifically related to food, health and emotional wellbeing. I talk of a journey and that is how I see it. I was finally ready to stop making excuses and to change things I was unhappy about.
Well here is the back story. The short version. A couple days before it was one of my closest friend’s birthday. In fact it was the same person who has been working with me on my fitness and eating. You’ll find out more about Aaron in a bit and the pivotal role he has played as a friend and Personal Trainer. I was trying to find something to wear to his party. Nothing in my closet fit. Nothing in the store fit. Considering I had returned from the US a couple months before with clothes in tow, I was shocked to look in the mirror and really look at myself. When I looked at myself, I didn’t recognise who was staring back at me. My first thought was food and wanting to eat the frustration away. The amount of times I tried to find an excuse to not go the party. I didn’t wanna go and embarrass my friend by looking a mess. That’s how I felt. It was not just the physical it was the emotional side.
Many of you do not know me at all. I can’t sit here and tell you that I have always have an issue with food or my weight as that would be untrue. I had been a slim girl for the majority of my life, all through school and beyond. Yep, even living Stateside and eating everything in sight did nothing to affect my shape. As with many women, it changed after I had my son. Thing is he is 12 years old now, so there is no throwing that up in the mix anymore.
Why was I overweight? Honest sucks right so here is the ‘sucky’ (got that from LC in The Hills) part.
- Bad/ poor eating habits
- No exercise
- Emotional frustration/ unhappiness/ depression
- Purposely gaining weight
I honestly did not realise how quickly it crept up on me. The last point above was how I felt when I was really unhappy at things in my life and so I made a conscious effort to gain weight so as to become unattractive to people. Silly Rabbit, tricks really are for kids, as that DID NOT work.
Most of this extra weight has been with me for about 6-7 years. I have fluctuated due to what I thought were quick fixes such as living on shakes and less than 400 calories a day. True to form though the weight crept back on. There were times when I was ok with being a fuller figured chick. Most of the time I was not. For those who want stats, at my biggest (October 2014, I was a size 20\22). I am currently a 14 (some stores a 16). That is in UK size.
I knew I was emotionally attached to food earlier on last year, around June. I started to switch out some of my poor food choices and it was working. I then had a really bad experience at a hair salon (more on that in another post) and I lost it. Food was my comfort and I was back to old habits.
So what changed?
I was tired of the excuses. I was tired of the control food had on me and not the other way round. I was tired of cancelling on friends because I was embarrassed. One of the biggest catalysts was changing to be a better role model for my son. My son is a young person with Autism and diet is a huge part of affecting his behaviour. I not only needed to change for me but for him. This time I had to make it for real.
My amazing friend Aaron deserves every accolade I could award him for truly being there for me. I met him at my old workplace and we have become close friends. He became really passionate about Nutrition and Personal Training and we would talk about it and he would give me tips and hints. At the time I wasn’t ready. He never shoved it in my face but instead remained supportive. After his party we spoke and I told him I was ready to really change my lifestyle and I have not looked back since. Aaron is supportive but firm. He is honest and always at the end of the phone with all my ‘can I do this’ type queries and there are always loads. What for me means the most is that he has not changed how he is with me as a friend because of my size.
What does that mean though?
It means that I am a lot more aware of what I put into my body. I have cut out processed foods and sugar (apart from natural sugar such as fruit). I don’t drink sodas (I was knocking back at least 3 a day). I eat loads more vegetables and balance them with protein and the right carbs. I drink 3L of water a day and love it- apart from the many toilet breaks! I do not take any pills, or supplements, no dietary aids- nothing. This is all done the clean eating and exercise way. The one that people call old fashioned. I guess I am old fashioned then. As a Vegetarian I thought this would never work but it has in so many ways. I have to make this clear. I EAT! I EAT LOTS! I simply eat better! I started working out with A (Aaron) in December 2014 one day a week. We are still at one day a week but as of this week I am going on my own a couple of days. That was a major change as I am not the biggest fan of the ‘gym culture’. I was petrified going it alone today but to be fair no one even noticed me. Yay! It is tough and there are times I want to give up. There are no quick fixes, this is no joke.
The biggest obstacle I faced was myself. My confidence, my ability to believe that I was worth more than what I was doing to myself. That my Son is worth more. You see it is not simply about size but what is inside. Knowing my worth, which is something I happily preach about to my clients but not believing it when it came to me and my life. I want to be healthy. Thick- Healthy cause this girl got some curves and they ain’t going nowhere! It is that simple. This is not just be skinny Donna-Marie and life will be good, it is understanding and educating myself and my family. Knowing that food does not solve my problems and that exercise (not matter how small) can release those chemicals in the body to make you happy. When I feel emotionally drained or happy I don’t reach for food like I did before. As I understand and appreciate more of how to deal with those feelings.
One day at a time. I am a lot older now so my body doesn’t bounce back like before. Every step is an achievement and I celebrate the big with the small. This very precious thing called life is extremely fragile and I for one have taken it for granted for far too long. This is me today- as in literally today…still on my journey posing in the posh bathrooms at Brent Cross!
I want to say a really BIG THANK YOU to Aaron for everything you have done. I would never have been able to get this far without you. I am not there yet but this journey has been made easier having you by my side. I hope everyone at the old workplace will see what I have always seen… someone who has the biggest heart and is all-round pretty AMAZEBALLS!
My fantastic family and friends who do not see size when they see me, you are EVERYTHING!
No matter what journey you are on, you are not alone. Sometimes we need a little support or word of encouragement. This is not about knocking what anyone else does. This works for me. Whatever you do, just do your research (if you’re on a fitness, eating journey). Your journey is YOUR JOURNEY. No-one can start that journey for you but you. You will know when you’re ready. Good Luck!
Hope you enjoyed this little bit of DM. If there is anything else you would like to know then please get in touch.
If you want to get in touch with Aaron, you can find him on Twitter @ManLikeAaron_ or Instagram @aaron_gram
Thank you for reading!
Have a happy and healthy week!