Thursday, January 8, 2015

New new new!

Hi guys and gals!

So, I have decided to set up a little facebook page for people to follow to receive tips, recipes and in general some motivation whilst following the Weight Watchers plan. I'm still going to post here, but the facebook page will have daily updates. If you're interested in following my page the link is :) I really hope you enjoy! 

Amy xx


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

So what if I jiggle.

This week I attempted to go clothes shopping with my bestie and I felt completely overwhelmed. When I was a size 22/24 I hated shopping because nothing fitted, but in a way it was easier as I didn't have to "like" the clothes, I didn't have to make choices..I just grabbed what fitted & left. I walked around the shops and felt lost. I felt like I was looking at a sea of clothes and I didn't have a clue what way to dress my new body shape. I picked up a few basics, but came home feeling defeated.

Why was it so hard to just pick up some nice new clothes? I sat down afterwards, and I had a good think. I have lost 96 lbs and have dropped 6 - 7 dress sizes. I am a completely different shape, and as a result, I am having to retrain myself and not just pick up what will hide my weight. I realised that instead of embracing the new me, I was still focusing on my wobbly bits. I was thinking I needed to buy clothes to hide parts of me rather than showing off my new shape. I was forgetting that I was a beautiful person before I lost weight and that hasn't changed since loosing weight.

I decided to do what I always advise others to do. I looked through old photos and reminded myself of how far I have come. Yes I still have a jiggle when I walk, I still get "rubby thigh syndrome" when it's hot, I have stretch marks and I have cellulite on my ass but you know what? Non of that matters as I AM HEALTHY. I no longer have achy joints, high blood pressure, a higher risk of diabetes, heart disease and other obesity related illnesses. I can climb mountains, I can walk without getting out of breath, I can run around after my nieces and nephews and I feel my age, not twice my age.

So I woke up with a better attitude the next day and was ready to face a second attempt of shopping. Two years ago I never expected to fit into a size 12 - 14 again. I never thought I'd feel confident or healthy again. I never thought I would wear a bikini or wear shorts again. I decided to try on clothes that tested my comfort zones a little to see what I felt comfortable in. I realised that it doesn't matter what ANYONE else thinks of what I'm wearing, as long as I love it. I ceased the moment, embraced my new body and got over the areas I'm not 100% happy with. As a result, I came away with lots of lovely new clothes and a big smile on my face.

I'm slowly learning that it will take a while for me to accept my new body, battle scars and all. I braved a bikini for the first time in years recently, I have a pair of short shorts, and I am wearing colours again! It is a learning curve and one that doesn't end when you reach goal. The main thing is to celebrate where you are at now, encourage and build up others also on the journey and embrace life, instead of waiting until tomorrow to live it! 

I have included a link to a video my hubby and I recently took together on a trip away. I wanted to share it as I felt SO happy and alive. No more hiding behind the camera, I am ready to make memories and live my life! Who's with me?!

Friday, June 6, 2014


As some of you may know, this week has been a pretty big week for me. After two years, I reached my goal with Weight Watchers! I have been trying to come up with a fantastic blog post that sums up exactly how I am feeling now I have reached this big milestone in my journey. I decided that as some of you are new to my blog, I would repost some of my first blog post explaining why I was joining Weight Watchers. I hope this will give you an insight into why I started my journey in the first place. 

"In 2011, in my first year of blissful marriage my handsome, healthy, witty, strong husband became very ill. My rock, my love, my best friend. He was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma which was at a borderline stage 4. My world could have crumbled, but together, with the strength given to us by our faithful Lord, we muddled our way through a blur of scans, biopsies, chemotherapy, surgery, drips, morphine and lots of other medical words that still make my skin crawl. I watched my amazing husband make it onto the dreaded critical list in November 2011 and then slowly regain his strength in the months to follow. After a testing, tear filled few warrior reached complete remission and was told he was cancer free. He has, since then gone from strength to strength and is the picture of health. 

HEALTH being the key word. Everything that happened to my beloved made me realise our life really is so precious. We don't know what is right around the corner or what battles we might face. So why waste time with excuses..."I'll join Weight Watchers tomorrow, I don't feel like it today."...."I'll go for that walk tomorrow, I'm too tired today." In the year of caring for my love, I gained a lot of the weight I had originally lost in Weight Watchers. I beat myself up for months, but did nothing about it...other than continue to comfort eat. And then it clicked. Please God, one day we will have a family. I want to be here to watch them grow up. I want to be able to go for walks and not get out of breath. I want to feel like I am living each day with my miracle husband to the fullest and not look back and regret a thing." 

I can honestly say my husband was the inspiration for me joining Weight Watchers. I joined for MY health, but I joined because my incredible husband inspired me to do so. And every step of the way, he has supported me. He's listened to me moan, he has celebrated with me and he has put up with my experimenting with food.

Now I am at goal,
I'm learning to love myself. I've got stretch marks & a bit of excess skin on my arms, thighs and tummy but you know what? That's ok. I've lost almost 7 stone, I have battle scars & I am proud of myself for getting this far. I'm learning to be kinder to myself.

My ultimate goal when I started was never be be a size zero, or weigh a certain tinie tiny was to be healthy. I was obese and incredibly unhealthy & something had to change. After seeing my hubby fight for his life, I realised I was abusing my health & I needed to fix it. Along the journey I have learnt to love myself more, not be so hard on myself and accept nobody is perfect but that's what makes us unique. It has been a learning curve & one I know will help me stay at goal this time. Previously I didn't change my lifestyle at was all about being skinny, where as this time I am hungry for living! I want to climb mountains & go walking, I want to experiment with foods & encourage others too. I want to live my life, not just exist in it!

As I was struggling with what to write for this blog post, the idea of a caterpillar and a butterfly came to mind. A caterpillar in it's own right is a beautiful creature. But it thinks all it's life, it will be a caterpillar. It will spend it's life doing caterpillar things, going from leaf to leaf...munching it's way through the day..until one day being a caterpillar is no longer enough.

The caterpillar longs for more.
I was the caterpillar...and after two years of fighting for more.
I feel like a beautiful butterfly ready to spread her wings and fly!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

One year...

One year ago I sat in my car, trying to decide if I was going to cancel or not. I was nervous, embarresed and not sure if I was ready. I sat in my car for at least 15 minutes fighting with myself and then texted me friend to try and cancel. Sarah had joined weight watchers a few months previous, and when I texted her to cancel her little responce gave me the push I needed. I told her I was running late and that I didn't think i'd make weigh in. Sarah responded saying she "would save me a seat, and I could weigh in after the class." I remember thinking, oh no...I have to go now, I have no excuse. I relucatantly started my car, drove to Garryduff in Rochestown and walked through the door.


I joined the que after a friendly smile from my friend. I had butterflies in my stomach and contemplated walking out before I stepped on the scales. I had been on this journey before and had reached gold membership after loosing just shy of 4 stone. That weight, plus more quickly crept back on when my husband was diagnosed with an advanced form of Non Hodgkins Lymphoma. His care became my priority and I stopped keeping track of my weight. This added to my reluctance to weigh in as I was utterly ashamed. I had managed to loose 26lbs at home but I knew deep down I needed the discipline and encouragement of a weekly class to loose the weight I so desperately wanted to.


I stepped up to the scales and was greeted by a warm smile from Sue, the weight watchers leader. I explained I was a gold member from a former life and that I knew I had a long way to go. Sue put me at ease, and despite my starting weight being over 17 stone, there was no judgement or tutting...simply encouragement that I could do it. I was given my little blue book, a small goal to work towards and lots of advice from the other members in the class. 

I can honestly say I haven't looked back. I set myself small, achievable targets and worked towards them. I had weeks that were fantastic, others that were tough. Some days I exercised, others I didn't. There were tears and laughter, and times I felt like giving up. But I plodded on, and hoped for a loss each week. Some weeks I was down, some weeks I stayed the same and others I gained.
But I never gave up!


One year on, I have lost 4 stone 10lbs and I am back within my 5lb range for my gold card. I feel like a different person and have a zest for life that a year ago I wouldn't have dreamt was possible. I have gone from feeling exhausted and self conscious, to feeling in control of my life and ready for anything I face. I have energy, I want to enjoy each day and I am focused on being healthy. I am able to go hiking with my husband, I have just started running the c25k and above all, I feel healthy.


So, for any of you just starting, rejoining or considering taking that first step...take it from me, you won't regret it. I am 4lbs from goal and I honestly feel like I have reclaimed my life. I didn't realise how much my weight was impacting on my life, but now almost 7 stone lighter in total, I feel like ME again.

It's been an adventure so far, but worth every single step! 

Saturday, April 5, 2014


I am sincerely sorry for not posting in so long. Let me explain why! Life has been a bit of an adventure for me of late. Sometimes life is an adrenaline pumping, hair raising, butterflies in your tummy sort of adventure. Other times it's a scary, unpredictable, cover your eyes kind of adventure. Whichever type of adventure, it's certainly not boring! Life over the last few weeks has been a little bit of both for me.
I am a qualified Art, Craft and Design teacher but due to my husbands illness I haven't been in a position to work for a number of years. The idea of stepping back into a classroom setting worried me hugely, especially when I was carrying so much extra weight. The thought of stepping into a classroom weighing just shy of 19 stone terrified me. The idea of standing in front of a classroom of pupils...all eyes on me...made me want to run away and hide! For a while I even tried to convince myself "I don't really even want to teach"...I was allowing my weight influence my passions...rob me of my dreams and cause me to settle for less because I didn't believe I was worth more. I would dread an interview, I'd feel physically ill at the thought of having to try and find something that would fit & look some what professional. Over the last few months I have started to hunger for something new...a new adventure. Something to get my heart racing and awaken my passion again.

A few weeks ago something crossed my path that both terrified me and excited me. A volunteer role in a local learning centre for pupils who have left school early due to a number of reasons. The aim of the centre is to provide a formal education for pupils who have not been successful in a mainstream setting. I swallowed my concerns and sent in my application. I reminded myself I am a new person now, I have lost over 6 stone and I have every reason to feel confident.

For the first time in years, I felt comfortable in my own skin going for the interview and knew immediately it was some where I wanted to volunteer. I am now a month into teaching Art to 5th and 6th years and I am absolutely loving it. I feel confident, driven and like I have a focus again. I didn't realise until I started teaching again how much I had missed it. I love not feeling like I need to cross my arms over my tummy to try and hide my tummy and I am aware that I can now hold eye contact where as in the past I have kept my eyes lowered, trying to hide. I can happily engage in conversations with fellow volunteers and not fear that they are waiting until I leave to pass comment on my size. I fit in, I am normal and I love it.

I think sometimes we don't realise how much we are allowing our weight to hold us back until we choose to say no more, enough...I am worth more. Until we choose to move past the fear and step into the unknown. It can be scary but if we continue to live in the shadow of our former selves, we will never shine. I have worked hard to get to where I am now and it's my chance to shine...because I AM worth it (excuse the corny line but it's true! We are all worth it!)

I am challenging myself to try something new, to take a chance and have faith in myself that I can do it. I think it's something we all can do...taking up a new exercise class that we wouldn't have had the confidence to do a few months ago...sign up for a night class to learn something new...anything that is slightly outside of our comfort zones, but just within reach.
Life is too short to hide away...I'm ready for adventures! I can honestly say, that without Weight Watchers I fear I would still be hiding away and not even realising I was doing it. I feel happier, healthier and ready for whatever life throws at me. When my husband asks at the last minute if I want to go hiking, I don't try to make an excuse because I think I'll pass out after a few minutes...I seize the opportunity and get my boots! I feel like I'm living my life now, not just existing and I honestly have WW to thank for that.

Who's with me to step out of their shadow & shine??!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Facing my food demons.

This week has been particularly difficult week for me. It was a week that was due to be full of excitement as I was heading home to my parents for a few days, followed by a good friends wedding at the weekend. I had planned to stick with Filling and Healthy as it has been working for me and I have been consistently loosing since changing over from pointing. I was going to enjoy myself but try to stay on track as I didn't want to self sabotage when goal is creeping closer! I headed away to my parents on Wednesday and the week got off to a brilliant start. Lots of lovely chats with my folks, precious time with my niece and nephew and power walks with my big sister. I don't get home as often as I'd like, so time at home is treasured. I'm the baby of the family and I love spending time with my two big sisters and of course my Mum & Dad.  

I was really looking forward to the wedding, I had my little black dress all ready to go. I had planned out my travel arrangements and I was really looking forward to seeing my friend walk down the aisle. Life took a bit of an unexpected turn for me on Friday morning, and although I don't want to share the details, it knocked me for six. I went from feeling healthy, energetic and ready to dance the night away to laid up on the sofa, exhausted and just wanting comfort. I was relieved to be at my folks house when I feeling so unwell and my family did what they do best...offer TLC and cups of tea. 

My problem is, I am an incredible comfort eater. I have always been raised on healthy food. Good breakfasts, healthy lunches and filling dinners. But when I'm unwell, upset or dealing with something instinct is to turn to food. I ate my way through my husband's ordeal with cancer and hence I ended up at weight watchers, again, after gaining a lot of weight. I have often fallen completely off the wagon when needing comfort, and then I have been too ashamed to climb back on. Of course, the result is then a massive weight gain when I finally break the vicious circle of eating to comfort...then eating because I'm upset that I've gained weight..

When I had this "health hiccup" my first instinct was to go and buy a load of goodies. Normally it would have been complete carnage. Anything and everything would have gone into my basket, and I would have mindlessly eaten my way through the lot. My gut was wanting to comfort myself through food, but my mind was telling me to tread carefully as it was a slippery slope into complete binge eating. I knew I should allow myself something, but I needed to be wise to I stay in control. So I went into the shop, and carefully selected some treats that I knew the PP value of, I bought a big bottle of diet coke and some nice gluten free bread too. 

I opted to do the Flex plan over the following days. This is where you can swap and change F&H days and PP days...all the while using your weekly bank of 49 PP. It worked a treat (excuse the pun). I was able to have my goodies without the guilt. I had some jellies, some chocolate and even a take away Gluten Free pizza. I gobbled up my weekly 49 points, but I stayed in control. I enjoyed my treats rather than mindlessly eating everything in sight and I felt better for it. I didn't have the overwhelming guilt I used to have after munching my way towards comfort. I enjoyed my chocolate and savoured my pizza, and didn't feel like I had let myself down on the food front. I felt I had faced my food demons and won. I weighed in last night and was delighted with my .5lb loss. I would have been content with a STS but a little loss gave me the boost I needed.

This is just one of the many hiccups I will face in my lifetime, and what this week proved to me is that I am making a life long commitment to my health. Weight Watchers isn't a diet, it's not a fad or a quick fix. It's a life long commitment to being healthy. It is about learning to deal with your food demons, and figuring how to concur them. It is a program that has the flexibility that allows you to work it into any situation...good or bad. It arms you with the tools to deal with whatever life throws at you. 

We can all do it! 
Gold cards for everyone!!