To be fixed you must be broken and I promise you that you are not broken.
I’m Tracey! I am a Slimming World Consultant in Tallaght but most importantly I am a Slimming World member. I have lost five stone following the plan and words cannot convey just how much it has changed my life in every single way.
I was a comfort eater, a secret eater and miserably unhappy for all of my teenage life. Since becoming a parent something clicked for me. I want to be around for my son for as long as I can be. I don’t want him to grow up seeing food as the enemy and as a reason to hide his emotions. Slimming World has changed everything for me and I want to help others do the same.
One of the misconceptions about weight loss is that by the time you’ve actually reached your target weight (because you WILL) you are “fixed” and it’s a term I really don’t like for a couple of different reasons. First of all, to be fixed you must be broken and I promise you that you are not broken. At the beginning of your weight loss journey, you might be feeling a little broken but you are not. You see – when the time comes to decide to try to lose some weight it tends to be a time that a lot of people have hit a low.
For a lot of people, it can take a lot of courage to join a Slimming World group for example. There are so many fears and anxieties when it comes to the unknown and to change. They soon realize that Slimming World is a super friendly positive place and that this is NOT the end of tasty food in their lives. In fact, for many people, it’s the very beginning of enjoying food in a much bigger way than ever before.
To have success at anything regarding your health and fitness you simply have to love yourself and that can honestly be the hardest thing for people to accept. It’s much easier to be unkind to ourselves and to somehow see ourselves as “less” than those who have already lost weight. But it has to start with respecting yourself. It has to start with being kind to yourself. When you stop looking at yourself as the negative “before” photo and start to look deep inside at the person, you’ll find a really meaningful way of caring for that very worthy person.
On the contrary before and after photos are actually really effective in my opinion. They massively inspired me when I was losing weight originally. Seeing a photo of someone who looked just like me and lost weight made it seem even more realistic for me. Normal people just like you or I – what did they have that I didn’t? I knew I could do it just like they did. It’s difficult to show a before and after photo without touching on some of the negatives associated with that time in your life where you looked like the “before” and that is OK too.
For example – when I was five stone heavier I really struggled with my confidence, hated going out and had zero interest in clothes. My self-esteem was on the floor and I never put myself forward for job opportunities or potential relationships because I felt so lacking in confidence. That is a very real thing and losing weight gave me so much confidence that it would be dishonest to leave that part out.
These days I love planning my outfits, meeting up with friends and I have heaps of confidence. I think it comes in two parts. First of all, I physically feel better which makes everyday life more comfortable and secondly I have a huge amount of pride and confidence in myself since doing the very thing that I told myself I couldn’t do for so many years. It’s a great feeling and makes me feel like I can do anything when I believe in myself.
But I am not fixed because I was never broken. I am just a person who gained weight, struggled to lose it and then found an amazing life-changing way of enjoying food and losing weight at the same time. But I am not fixed. I was worthy of love then and I am worthy of love now. I was worthy of friendship and opportunities back then just like I am now – I just struggled to access them.
The minute I take my eye off the prize and “go back” to eating the way I used to, I’ll gain weight. It’s really as simple as that. For that reason, I honestly feel so grateful for Slimming World because the very nature of the plan is so transforming. It’s difficult to imagine a time where I would eat much differently to this because I eat so many delicious meals, snacks and treats. I don’t need anything else.
I don’t have that feeling of being in a cage dying to break free and get out. Sure I have days off, holidays and wobbles but the plan is always there for me. The maintenance plan is even more realistic and really leaves room for life’s “extras”. It means so much because having lost the weight it really feels important to keep it off too. I want to enjoy this forever.
So remember if you are at the beginning of your journey, you are not broken. Weight loss will bring so many positives to your life but it has to start from deep within you. It has to start with loving and respecting yourself. When that clicks – the magic happens, the pounds fade away and the confidence grows and grows.
Tracey is a happy mammy to four-year-old Billy. She is a breastfeeder, gentle parent and has recently lost five stone so healthy family eating is her passion! You can find her at www.loveofliving.ie.