I know, I know, we've been here before. Many, many times in fact! I'm fat. I know I'm fat, and I'm miserable being fat. However, (and I know I've said is before too) I finally feel like I've hit Rock Bottom (so far down it has to be capitalized! Crikey! It must be bad!)
Last week, probably as a major come-down from my fantastic weekend away with my best friend (and there will be more on that!) I was truly and utterly miserable. To compound things, my normally solo PT session (with my lovely trainer Rachel) had been double-booked with another lady. I'm sure this lady is a wonderful person and, to be fair, was nothing less than perfectly friendly towards me. But she was thin(ner). And when faced with wall to wall mirrors where you are, ultimately, forced to look at and compare yourself to others when in a squat position... Well, it's never good, is it? I'm ashamed to say that my usually buoyant post-gym self left that night feeling demoralized, frumpy and, well, fat.
So, fast forward three days later and I felt braver and confident enough to return to the gym. Sunday morning, I thought. It'll be quiet, I thought. Quick treadmill workout, a few weights. I can do this, I thought.
Sweating away on the treadmill, but quietly proud of my ability to complete the continuous interval jogs, I noticed a blur of pink to my left. And there she was... Ok, I'll finish up and move onto weights, I thought. Thirty seconds later, here she was... Chest press, there. Lat pull, there. In the end, I gave up. My morale couldn't take another beating. I'd completed a good half an hour. I could go home.
The evening before this I had been out for dinner with some friends. Both my friend and her partner
were extolling the virtues of Slimming World. Between them they'd lost two stones in a month following the plan. I've been to SW before. Many, many times. It does work, I know that, but in the past, I'd hated the classes, I hadn't stuck to it religiously and, after a few weeks of losses, I had convinced myself I knew best and then the weight began to creep back on. Following that, came denial: I don't need the classes; I can do this alone; I'm just wasting my money. And six months down the line I'm no further forward. So, I'll be honest, following the demoralizing gym debacle, something struck a chord.
Ailsa suggested I join her class on Saturday mornings. I was sorely tempted: I think going it alone can be quite daunting and the classes I'd been to in the past had seemed to have little cliques that a lone dieter could never be admitted to without some kind of painful yet secret initiation ceremony. The thought of being pre-approved to one such clique was appealing. However, like he majority of dieters, I'm impatient, to say the least. I thrive on instant gratification. I couldn't wait another week. I needed to be doing this, and now! (I'm guessing my need to see instant results is what has led to failure on so many diets in the past - the 'I've eaten nothing but lettuce and green tea all day so why am I not skeletal already' curse...)
I spent a couple of days reading mumsnet forums (desperation, I admit) and googling success rates at going it alone, before deciding that the only way I could actually prove anything to myself was to bite the bullet (but not eat it - too many calories, surely?) and join.
When I've attended SW classes before, one of he things that has most definitely deterred me from returning are the classes. I think it is easy to judge SW as the poor man's WeightWatchers. The displays never seem quite as polished, the material not quite as professional. However, SW has undergone a bit of a transformation in recent years. They've gone digital - chip and pin registration, card machines, a fairly decent app. Gone are the badly photocopied SW Quiche recipe sheets (base made with cottage cheese - never, EVER do that to yourself...)
The main thing, however, has been the structure of the class in the main. Once everyone has been weighed, the leader speaks to everyone individually about losses and gains. Hours have been lost discussing how Donna gained three pounds even thought she counted all her Syns and ate loads of free food and only had one night out. Yeah love, face down in a kebab after three liters of Lambrini... No clue!! This has always frustrated me massively in the past, and the idea of spending upwards on 60 minutes in this way was enough, almost, to make me accept my fatness for ever more. I was pleasantly, surprised, therefore, to find that s particular leader simply seemed to focus on the positive. Of course, it could be that no one had gained weight his week, but I'm a doubting Thomas at heart. Really?
One other complaint I've had about staying to 'Image Therapy' (yes, borksville...) is that the small losses (half a pound, a pound) are never celebrated. Of course, this in itself can be hugely demotivating, to think that no one cares unless you're a super ember can be enough to to make you consider hacking off chunks of your own flesh just to get a positive glance from the hallowed class leader! A couple of the anti-attendance blogs did flag this up and I have to admit, this has always been my experience in the past. It has been easy to feel like you're not part of the 'gang' when you haven't pulled off those giant infamous SW losses. Again, though, I was pleasantly surprised. The leader was lovely, and celebrated every loss, no matter how big or small. Of course, with upwards of fifty people in the class, this did take some time. However, the class was, all in all, quite positive. I left with a few hints and tips and ready to start my week.
As a 'new' member, I had to wait until the end to get weighed. I did try, of course, to insist that I'd only been a new member a few months ago and so knew the plan but the leader saw through that straight away. She must have known that, once I'd stepped of the Scales of Shame, I'd be running for the hills, my shiny new handbooks tucked under my sweaty chubby arm. However... I was asked to choose a target weight. Now this, I can do. I have visualised it many times. Ten stone. Ten measly stone. The leader was quite taken aback. I mean, come on! I'm a pro! There isn't a diet on the planet I haven't tried and failed at. I've spent many years fantasising about my ideal weight. Bring it on, love. Bring. It. On.
So, that's where I am. 3 stones 9lbs to lose. I'm going to do this. I can do this.
Now, where's that carving knife???