Tuesday, 25 October 2016

My First Weigh In

I'm Sharon, 26 year old mother of 2
I'm 5 foot 10 inches tall and weigh 231 lbs
My BMI is 33
I am obese 

It's been 7 days since I joined Slimming World, on referral by my Health Visitor, and I'm just back from my first weigh in. 2 lbs lighter. It's a fraction of what I had hopped for walking out of my first meeting last week, but it's a baby step in the right direction.

I am my own worst enemy when it comes to food. Food is so entwined with my emotions that even thinking about it gives me serious anxiety. I have struggled with body confidence and self image for as long as I can remember. I have always over compensated with hair and heals and make-up, so most acquaintances would probably describe me as quite confident, but this is far from true.

I feel like a fraud and that I'm letting down the curvy team because I've always represented plus size girls. I've always put my 'I don't give a shit what you think' hat on and put myself out there. I've modelled, done TV work, even got to the final of Simply Be's model search a few years back.
But that was all a way for me to validate myself. If people thought I looked good the way I was maybe I could start to agree.

But my level of body dis-morphia goes much deeper than that. I was first diagnosed with Bulimia at 14 (I think It was so bloody long ago), and have been trying to control it ever since. There was no Eating Disorder services for children in Ireland at the time so I went to an adult councilor, who was great, but not exactly equipped to deal with a hormonal teenage girl. It helped, but it definitely didn't fix things. Not at day has gone by in the last 13 years when I haven't thought about starving myself or making myself sick. I have managed some days but not others.

Pregnancy was the worst. I lost my only sense of control. The feeling of involuntarily getting sick fucked with my head, added to an already huge body getting even bigger and all the crazy pregnancy hormones, there were days I made myself sick. But again, could not find the services for crazy women who carried bulimia through pregnancy, nor could I bring myself to admit it to anyone. I was a typical case of PND waiting to happen. I took the antidepressants, I told myself I was better, I had another baby. And that cycle is starting all over again.

I've lost weight before, with Weight Watchers. -30 lbs before I got married. -52 lbs after Fionn was born. But as soon as I take my head out of the game, it piles back on again. I sabotage myself. I tell myself I don't deserve it. I'll never by happy with my body, so why bother. I plan and cook and eat and exercise well all day, then eat an entire box of chocolates on my way to bed. It's disgusting, and I hate myself even more for doing it. I'm happy for, but also jealous of people who do well, dieting and working out. I feel I'm too far gone for that to ever be me.

But something's got to give.

So that brings me to where I am now. I'm talking about it. To you, to anyone, maybe to no one, but it's getting it off my chest. I'm starting this journey for my own health, but for my families as well. One of my biggest fears growing up was that I'd pass my eating disorder on to my children. Like it was hair or eye colour. But it's not. It's all in my head, and if I'm going to be the best mother I can be I need to deal with that shit now. I want my sons to grow up happy and confident, and never having to battle the negative thoughts I deal with every day.

I don't have any answers yet. I'm not even sure I know where to even start, but I'm going to try. I'm setting goals, building a support network and blogging. I don't even care if anyone reads it, but by putting it out there in writing, I'm accountable to more than just me. I want to be comfortable in my own skin. I want to be confident in my body. I want to be fit, and healthy and happy.

My goal for next week in to be down another 2 lbs.
My goal for the 12 week referral period, that will bring us to Christmas is to be down 21 lbs
I don't know what my long term goal is, but I'll come to that later.

I have no advice to share, I'm not in a position to right now, but hopefully by this time next year I might.


Monday, 10 October 2016

Our first family holiday as four

This weekend, I agreed to something Sharon from 5 years ago would never have even considered!! A surf trip to Devon, with babies welcome. Some friends of friends were organising it, and were nice enough to invite us.
I didn't even run it past Shane before booking, I knew it would be right up his ally. It's me who is normally too anxious and uptight to jump out of my comfort zone like that. But this time, I just said Fuck it and went for it.

I packed the car up while Shane was in work, and as soon as he got home we hit the road. Destination Europa Park, Woolacombe. It was a good 4 hour drive, but took us 6 by the time we stopped and fed the kids.

We booked a budget 4 bed, and rocked up expecting the worst. What we got was a cute little log cabin, basic enough but with a TV, fridge and heater. The group also booked a super lodge, more expensive but totally worth it. Proper bathroom, living room and kitchen, and to top it all off, a hot tub on the deck.

Saturday was spent surfing. The beech was about a mile away, and probably could have walked it, but with two kids I didn't fancy the back, so we drove. We were able to rent wet suits and boards from a shop in the town, and despite it being fucking freezing, there was a good two hours spent in the water. Fionn had an absolute ball 'surfing' with Shane. He kind of just clung to the board, but even after a total wipe out he wanted to jump up and go again. The child has no fear. It terrifies me.

The beech itself was clean and well kept. It was split in two, with one side reserved for dogs. It was also well manned by life guards, something reassuring when you're there with children. Parking was reasonable enough too.

The park also had a little swimming pool we were able to take Fionn and Daithí into on Sunday. It was thankfully a much warmer swim than the previous day.

There was bar with a surprisingly varied offering and a restaurant serving an all you can eat breakfast and reasonably priced food all day. The staff were friendly, the park was so well maintained, the loos and showers were spotless. Everything about the place was actually great! They're welcoming to children and pets, what more can I say, we're already planning out next trip back.

4 person cabin - £101
Surfboard and wet-suit hire - £10
4 x Breakfasts - £30

Capturing a picture like this of my husband and son . . . Priceless!