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I can clearly remember the evening 'I did it!' ... and here's the thing, I wasn't overwhelmed with emotion, there were no tears on my part, in fact I was trying to dodge the attention... My best pal was in tears on the phone but I just couldn't see the success I had achieved. My face says it all, do we really need to do this? (I'm so grateful we did BTW!) Could we wait until I reach goal? All I could think was 'I still had so much more to lose...' Don't get me wrong I was happy that I was 10 stone lighter than when I started, but it really was just a number to me. 

Three weeks after this photo I was on a flight to Gatwick and as was my usual habit, I asked the air hostess for a belt extension as I boarded the plane. She asked for my seat number and said she'd drop it down to me. I slid into the window seat, a seat I always chose because then I was only inconveniencing one fellow passenger and I could lean into the window if they were annoyed with my size (the mind games I play with myself are VERY real!) Fortunately I was with a friend that day and as we sat in our seats, the pilot announced we were on the inaugural flight for this plane, a brand spanking new plane and the only noise in my head was 'UGH and I'll be the first to wear a belt extension on it!' As my pal got ready to belt up, she had mixed up the buckles from the aisle seat with her and when she clasped it together, it was as extended as far as it could go. She leaned in to me and whispered 'I think this will close on you!'... I pretty much growled at her with a daggers look and said 'seriously?!...' but in preparation for the extension belt coming, I had pulled my belt out to its maximum and the two ends met, and closed... what followed was what can only be described as floodgates... The airhostess was so kind, leaning over to say she hadn't forgotten me to which my pal told her 'I've got this...' and she did bless her... I sobbed all the way to London. 

That feeling, that feeling of being "normal" whatever the definition of that is, was unreal. The anxiety of asking for the belt extension starts hours before I even leave the house but now I'd never have to ask for an extension belt again. I've never have to wonder if the crew would be kind (I have many stories where they haven't been...), I'd never have to endure dirty looks from passengers 'stuck' beside me (again SO many tales to tell!) but this was what mattered so much more to me.. the number on the scales was just one thing to help me get there but that feeling, the feeling that millions of people know nothing about, of just fitting into a space was unbelievable. Just think of the millions of people getting on a flight today and the seat belt has never ever crossed their mind, like ever! That's what I want. 

But without the scales I wouldn't have achieved that loss. I have gained back 3 of the 10 stone I've lost. Pandemic, isolation and the full realisation that I cannot do this alone has had me thinking so much about what was different back then, why can't I do what I did back then? What's missing? I realised it's who I surrounded myself with, it's the online community who really get it. It's that class in Harolds Cross and the amazing people in it, and I needed to find that again. Life moves on and things change but we all have the power to surround ourselves with people who really care and understand. They might just be one person in a class but they've got your back, not just when they need you, but all the time.

I'm not back at the start line. This is something to celebrate. I'm not happy about the weight gain but didn't we all just survive a global pandemic?!?! I've been poorly since the end of last October and I've been putting together the pieces of what has been missing for me. What was SO different back then, I was losing every week. I was so focussed! What did I have then that I don't have now? 

A weekly class - I need accountability, I need to face the scales and have someone be a cheerleader for me. Not someone who is going to be stunned at the number on the scales and let me walk away in tears! Not someone who doesn't understand what it means to be so unhappy in their body. I need a cheerleader. Someone on my side. And it doesn't matter what plan it is, if you're in a group of people who motivate and inspire you and get you, then it's for you... bites, syns, points, calories it really doesn't matter, as long as it works for you.

I need to believe in myself. The self doubt it very real right now. Yes I've gained some back but I'm human and it's hard. This is one I'm gonna have to fake it until I make it! 

I need to find a group of like minded people who want to talk about the 'WHY' ... People who chat about mindset and where our headspace is at and the reasons why we think about food in certain ways and maybe solutions to fixing them or at least managing them better without all the mental exhaustion. My relationship with food and unwanted weight has been decades long and whilst I won't solve anything overnight, talking to people about why we think that way and breaking old habits is a game changer!

I need to track and meal plan. I do that for the whole week, that suits me. It doesn't always go to plan when there's leftovers or something is about to go off in the fridge and it won't suit everyone but it's right for me. I need to stay away from people who make me feel bad about my journey. It's not wrong for me if it's working for me! Same with the blog, this is my little space on the internet, I'm proud of it. It's not my job, it's somewhere people can come and share. Share good and bad things, put up recipes they love, tips they've heard and it doesn't matter what plan they are doing. It's respectful. I only started it as a space to put up the points of things so I'd remember what they were because WW Ireland didn't have the app most of us could get through changing the location of out iphone location... ugh! But here it is, somewhere people are happy to share their journeys with me and I love that so much. 

So this 'Throwback Thursday' is remembering what's successful for you, what works for you. This is your body and your path in life. If Slimming World works - do it, if it's Unislim - go for it, if you're doing ProPoints or counting calories or just being mindful - YOU DO YOU! 

The journey continues... and if the word journey bothers you, you're in the wrong part of the internet!

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