So roll back to the end of July 2009 and my best friend Michelle announced the date for her wedding. I was going to be chief bridesmaid and knowing that the date was set gave me the kick up the bum I needed to finally get round to making some changes.
I've never been skinny. I was always a chubby kid who preferred sitting around reading to running around outside and climbing trees. I seem to remember thinking I was massive when I was in my mid teens but as I was quite happy to go clubbing in satin trousers and a crop top (good old 90s fashion eh?) so I can't have been that bad! I suppose it was just a gradual case of weight gain. I wasn't the lucky type that loses weight at uni. It went on and it went on going on. Big can certainly be beautiful but for me it never was. I didn't suit it and I was miserable.
I think ostrich syndrome just developed at some point. I hated how I looked but it seemed too overwhelming to do anything about so I just buried my head in the sand and ignored it. Not so difficult to do really - you just don't look in mirrors, ignore people who shout "fat bitch" at you as you walk down the street and don't care too much about clothes because nothing fits or looks nice.
And I didn't get in front of a camera for about 6 years. It's been virtually impossible trying to find any photos because hardly any of me exist from 2004 onwards. Plus I don't have a scanner so I've had to take photos of some photos - sorry if the quality is awful!
Aged 18, all dressed up for the Leavers Ball (with the Fringe Of Doom)
Uni - in the stripy top, hiding behind Little Nic.
On the right, getting bloatier by the day.
And then near my biggest and bearing a striking resemblence to someone wearing a comedy fat suit. Uck, I genuinely have difficulty looking at this.
So, once the diet was underway...
So that's one year gone and I'm 6 stones 11 pounds lighter (or 95 pounds if you prefer that measurement). If you believe the Wii Fit calculations, I've only just passed from the obese category to merely being overweight. Bah to that! I think I look fine as I am right now. It wants me to lose about another 2 1/2 stones but I don't want to be that flipping thin! A little lighter would be nice but I'm taking things at a steadier pace now and moving away from calorie counting quite so much, so we'll see how things go.
People keeping asking if it's difficult and my answer is always no, it's just boring. I don't think I have anything outstanding in the way of willpower but my mind was made up when I started and I was not going to give up. I didn't do anything faddy or stupid, just kept a limit on the calories and made sure it was all good, healthy, home cooked food, then started to exercise.
The results are fun. Not so fun for my bank balance as I've had to buy an entire new wardrobe over the course of the past year but even for a girl that doesn't really enjoy shopping that much, I've found it really enjoyable. The sensation of fitting into something that I never thought in my wildest dreams would ever fit is something that will always bring a big grin to my face. The choice of shops is utterly liberating too. Plus size fashion may be getting better but the choice is still very limited so I'm a little bit like a kid in a sweetshop when faced with all the choice available to me nowadays. To think that I used to basically live in jeans, vest tops and long cardigans.
Sorry if this all seems a bit stilted. I usually rattle a blog post off really quickly but I find this really difficult to write about. I want to write about it, I just don't really know how to explain it all. Let's end with some amusing photos of me wearing jeans that were too tight this time last year. They were amusing to take anyway - I nearly fell over whilst hopping between the camera and my posing spot. But most importantly, I fit into one leg of them now!