Tag Archives: Weight loss

Too Fat to Fit in? Why size shouldn’t stop you socialising.

When it comes to Socialising, some us feel too fat to fit in. It need not be that way.

When it comes to Socialising, some us feel too fat to fit in. It need not be that way.

Slimming World has recently come under fire for suggesting you should drop your fat friends if you want to lose weight. Well Thanks. What if you ARE the fat friend?  Are we are too fat to fit in?    The reality is that those of us carrying excess weight  are already put off  socialising and exercising out of fear of judgement and ridicule.   Yet it need not be that way. 

Having dropped 5 dress sizes (60lbs) and kept it off, I can confidently say that size has no influence on my friendships or social life.  At all.

Even today, my fellow social circle members have said how they want to introduce close friends to our events, but their friends put joining us to meet new people as ‘they had put on a few pounds.’

Its not a surprise that if we are reluctant to socialise given the daily fat-shaming we get from the media.

I was the same.

I used to proudly show my before and after pictures until one of my friends stopped me in my tracks. She called me out for body shaming myself.   I remember her words clearly:

“That girl was and is a friend of mine. I thought she was funny, brilliant and beautiful.”

Damn.  That hit home.

My size did not matter to my friends at all.

Some of my best friends are overweight. It does not detract from how I feel about them as friends, or the relationship we have.  In fact, my fat friends are often the ones who have been cheerleading the fact I am making healthier life choices,  encourage me to get out and socialise or ask the hottie out on a date. (“what have you got to lose?!)

Our true friends are those that share similar values and support you in this journey called life.  

Size is f**king irrelevant to that principle.

Being fat  does not mean you are a bad person, or any less worthy of love and respect and a life you love.

You are still more than your body and are perfectly entitled to pursue the life, career and relationships that you dream of.  

Love does not happen exclusively to thin people.  People of all sizes are making their dreams happen. Go anywhere and you will see a mix of people enjoying themselves.  

 

 Its true you know, and not dependant on what the scales say.

Its true you know, and not dependant on what the scales say.

I found that as I took steps to enrich my life,  I lost weight naturally.

 Instead of gorging on takeaways when I had a tough week, I went out to a restaurant with friends. Eating food with friends means you take longer and can share dessert.  I made healthier choices when deciding what to eat too. 

My trigger was emotional eating and I felt the need to reward myself with food.  I replaced comfort food with treats such as theatre tickets or would take myself to a movie.  Of course, I made space to reach out to new friends for coffee, as well as taking time to pursue other hobbies such as writing and blogging. 

I started going on walks and to classes with friends so I could increase my physical activity without feeling like the only fat person at the gym. You are never the only one at the gym who has to lose weight but I appreciate its nerve wracking.

You know what happened when I tried those things as a size 20?  

I had fun.  I felt great.  I made friends.

No one laughed at me.  No one shamed me for my size.  

Of course they didn’t.

 Because to mock my body size would be an extraordinarily sh*tty thing to do.  

There is a sliver of truth in the slimming world research though.

To keep the weight off you have to keep away from toxic habits and people who keep you in the mindset that would let you believe you are not worthy of a happy healthy life.

When I realised that;  I slammed the door in a few peoples faces, and cancelled my slimming world membership.

So, don’t put off what you want to do because you are packing a few pounds.   

You can decide to be accepting of where you are at the moment and pursue your a life you love. Right now.

If  you don’t, you may be missing out on spending people who love you for exactly who you are.

 

 

5 Ways to Exercise for the Gym-Phobic.

Rather hide under the duvet, than head to the gym?

It’s that time of year again.  That dreaded time where we stand naked in a cold bathroom and stare at the scales in utter disbelief.    We all know the importance of keeping fit and healthy.  If your doctor has not recommended you lose a few pounds, then the endless stream of media telling you that weight loss will make you irresistible/an internet celebrity/immortal* will probably have burned itself to the inside of your eyelids.   

Admit it. You hate the gym. You would rather gnaw off your own arms off than lift weights, and you cannot see the appeal of pounding the hours away alone on a treadmill.

Fortunately, there are numerous gym-free ways of exercising in Manchester that are so fun you may actually enjoy yourself.

 

Get some Action on a Night Out.

 

Not that kind of action! We are talking about bringing a bit of sporting fun to your weekly social with friends.  You can burn 68 calories** playing a crazy golf for half an hour at places like Junkyard Golf.  Hit the bowling alley to lose 100 cals over a few rounds, and tone up those bingo wings at the same time. Just swap the usual beers and nachos for healthier alternatives m’kay.

Strictly Come Dancing.  

If you enjoy Strictly then you may secretly harbour ambitions to get on the dance floor yourself.  We do.  There are lots of dance classes popping up around Manchester where friendly teachers will show you a few smooth moves and let you work up a sweat and meet new people on the dance floor.(197 cals per half hour to be precise)  The good news is you can bring a friend and grab a (low calorie) drink at the same time.  Those of you who love salsa  should join us for a free class. 

Appeal to your Adventurous Side.

If you have always wanted to try more adventurous sports, there are some great places in Manchester to learn the basics.  You can try Kayaking (186 cals)  or Wakeboarding (223 cals) at the Helly Henson Watersports Centre in Salford.  There are indoor rock climbing facilities that can literally show you the ropes whilst you burn off 298 cals.  In Trafford Parks Chill Factore you can learn the basics of Skiing and Snowboarding (up to 298 cals) and go shopping (130 cals!) for your new clothes afterwards.  

Walk the Weight Off.

Walking is free, and you can already do it!  Even better is that it is recommended by medical professionals due its extensive benefits, from reducing the risk of heart disease and diabetes to improving mental health. Make time in your diary for a 20-30 minute brisk walk (83 cals for 30 mins) even if it is just around the block at lunch time.  If you fancy more of a challenge, and want take in some great scenery, why not join us on a hike?  You can burn a whopping 225 cals every 30 minutes which means you can enjoy Sunday lunch with new friends knowing you haven’t ruined your diet.

Pay-As-You Go Fitness

Ok. We admit it. This is slightly gym-like but group exercise can be a great way to work out and meet like-minded people. In Manchester, you can find everything from Ashtanga Yoga (176 cals)  to Zumba (350 cals) available on your doorstep where you can join in with zero commitment, so you could try something different each week until you find a class that suits you.

Psst, on a budget?  Did you know if you cut out a latte and a shop-bought sandwich per week you could not only save a whopping 500 cals per week, you would have enough spare change to go to a class.  If you want to try over 150 leisure activities including gym-free fitness for less than a fiver per week. Click here.

*Slight exaggeration, but it feels that way.

**Cals based on 150lb person for 30 minutes of exercise.  You may burn more or less than this, but it’s all good.