Cliché “an expression, idea, or element of an artistic work which has been overused to the point of losing its original meaning or effect.”, taken from the great font of knowledge wikipedia. Life is full of clichés, my shoulder is now my achilles heel, my accident has shown me that time heals all wounds.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here is my big cliché. Why is this image a cliché? You often find these images selling weight-loss drugs or the latest celebrity exercise DVD and, to a large extent, they have become meaningless. What stops them from being meaningless is when you know the person, when they are meaningful to the viewer. These pictures aren’t a cliché to me, as these are pictures are me.
I didn’t feel that I could progress with this blog without sharing these big facts about my life. These facts have a rather large influence on my outlook on life. When I was 18 I have no idea how much I weighed and wore size 30 clothes, I would guess at 23-25 stone. I was always overweight. I have a family history of diabetes and felt it was a case of when and not if I got diabetes as I thought that it was inevitable that I would be overweight all my life. At 19 I was diagnosed with PCOS which can cause weight gain. At 26 I was over 20 stone (127kg) with a BMI of 42.
With hindsight being 20/20 I realise how bad the situation was. The fat was limiting my choices on what I could do, it influenced all my decisions and I feel that I did miss out on many experiences. I once literally broke a chair at a friend’s house. It wasn’t exactly a decision that I needed to do something about it, it was a slow realistation. I knew I needed to take responsibility for my weight, after all I do choose what goes in my mouth, yes I have PCOS but I also ate too much and didn’t do that much exercise. I didn’t want gimmicks, quick fixes, drugs or bariatric surgery, I wanted a sustainable lifestyle change. I decided that WeightWatchers fitted with the approach that was right for me. When I joined in September 2009 and stepped on the scales for the first time I was shocked that I weighed 20st 7lb. They don’t shout out your weight or any of those cliches.
In December 2009, through diet and exercise, I attained my goal weight of 12st 6lb, this meant my BMI was 25 ie in the healthy range. I didn’t lose every week, I sometimes put on huge amounts, up to half a stone. As long as I tackled these gains early they didn’t escalate, a stitch in time saves nine.
That was a year ago and the last year hasn’t been easy, if you look at the graph I bet you a million bucks that you can guess where my accident happened. My accident meant that I was in a sling and couldn’t do any form of exercise for 2 months. I could have easily have gone back to my old habits of food as comfort. Losing weight hasn’t been easy and it has been a roller-coaster. Ironically I learnt more in the weeks that I gained weight than the weeks that I lost weight. It has changed me, going through this experience can’t not.
I didn’t want to end up becoming a burden to friends, family or the NHS due to (in my case) a preventable disease. I didn’t want to have surgery due to a co-mobidity of obesity, such as heart disease. The big irony of the last year being that trying to be fit and health almost have cost my life and I did end up costing the NHS, through an emergency operation thanks to my little stumble.
Life is full of clichés, you just have to embrace them and laugh at the ironies of life.