Love Yourself As You Are Now: A Weight Loss Story

DianeRooney-WeightLoss2014

For quite a while now, I’ve been wanting to write about my weight loss journey.  To share it with you.  It’s not something I particularly like talking about.  However, it’s a huge part of who I am and my story.  I need to get honest about it with you as I hope it might encourage you in some way too.  I’m not saying you have to lose weight!  Ha!  No, indeed.  It’s about facing a truth about yourself that might be hard.  Accepting yourself as you are now in order to not be held back.  My weight problem has been holding me back.

Although I’ve been overweight for almost 30yrs now, it’s only recently that I really faced it head on.  It a strange and interesting experience and it started about 18mths ago.  A wonderful friend of mine, Sarah Hurley, had been invited to do some background crafting on Channel 4′s Kirstie’s Vintage Home programme and needed a couple more crafters to join her.  At first I was absolutely adamant.  No.  How could I?  I’m so fat and would look even fatter on TV.  Are you serious?  No.

But I felt my heart whispering to me.  You have to do it.  Now is the time.  After chatting with my hubby, I told Sarah, “yes”.  I realised it wasn’t about the crafting for me or being on a TV show that I love.  It was most definitely about facing a major fear.  People will now see that I’m fat.  Ha!  Like they didn’t know already.?!! Somehow, because I didn’t have full length mirrors in my house, I didn’t think people could “see” the “real me”.  Being overweight is such a complex issue.  If only it was just about overeating and not getting enough exercise.  That would be an easy fix.  It’s so intrinsically a part of who we are.

Agreeing to be filmed while I was that overweight was a way of me facing my issues head on but also learning to accept myself right there and then.  This is me.  I am overweight.  That’s the truth of it.  I had to love and accept myself as I was.  I knew from researching low self-esteem and self-acceptance that it was a vital key to getting my emotional and physical health back on track.  And it worked.

As I had mentioned in my previous post, Steve and I had already started to eat better and clean.  We were trying to get real balance in our lives.  Not become crazy obsessed health lunatics but work good healthy living into our lifestyle.   It was gradual and it was working.

So doing that filming worked for me on many levels as well as being an awesome experience.   As a side note; I love Kirstie Allsopp and found her enthusiasm for her work so contagious.  She works hard and really clearly loves what she does.

I was grateful for those heart whispers and going with my gut instinct.

A few months later I had another opportunity land in my lap.  A couple of years previously, I’d done Marie Forleo’s Business School (B-School) course.  It had been a life changer for me.  As well as learning so much about running my own business (a major dream & goal for me), I learned alot about myself and got clarity on my vision, hopes and dreams.  Sounds cliche, I know.  But it’s very true.

Anyway, Marie and her team were asking people to share their stories.  About why they did B-School etc..  And so I sent my email off and didn’t think anything of it.  In the back of my mind, I briefly thought that they wouldn’t be interested because my business was still in the very early stages.  However, I got an email from Marie wanting more info. and that they wanted to come over to the UK and interview me!  They loved my story.  It wasn’t all about business but about claiming your dream and really going for it especially after dealing with some of life’s hard knocks.

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What a wonderful opportunity.  It was a great experience for both me and Steve.  The film crew were amazing and we all became such great friends!

Fast forward to when I saw my interview video a couple of months later.  I didn’t want to look.  I felt sick to my stomach.  I was so nervous.  Steve was watching and tellin me he was so proud of me.  That it was good etc..  When I finally watched it, I cried.  I was horrified that I looked so “ugly” and so “fat”.  It was one of those reality check moments!  Seriously, I knew I had to do more to get a grip on my weight problem.

My anguish was short lived and I was suddenly humbled like I’ve never been humbled before when I started to get emails when the videos went live.

Emails of congratulations but also from people wanting to know more of my story and asking questions about Marie’s business course.  What a shock!  People saw through the “fat and ugliness” and saw me.  So I, yet again, knew this was me healing.  It was humbling for sure and I vowed that from that moment on, I would accept myself as I am moment to moment.

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I now realised through that experience that I had to fully embrace me.  To move forward and accept that I had a weight problem and it was ok.  I could still run my business, write in my blog, dream my big dreams and move forward.  And that’s what I’ve been trying to do almost daily.  It does take practice.  And that’s not to say I don’t have a mini-emotional breakdown once in a blue moon where my old “me” surfaces and fills my head with negative mean nonsense.

Being overweight is a serious health issue though and I had to address it.  I joined Weight Watchers online after doing a lot of research and talking to my GP.  It was really good and I started losing weight almost immediately but I found I needed more.  I wanted a bit more accountability and realised that I didn’t just want to lose weight and that was that.  It had to be about sustaining that weight loss.  I had to be able to get down to a healthy weight and maintain it otherwise, what’s the point?  And so I decided to join an actual Weight Watcher’s meeting.

I’ve been going now since May last year and so far have lost 46lbs.  I’ve gone down three dress sizes and just feel so much healthier.  My GP has been impressed and is happy with my health (apart from some minor female health issues that are being sorted out in the next few months!).  I had a lot of blood tests done recently due to severe anaemia and apart from that, all my results were great.  Showed that I’m doing really well.  I know it’s a combination of the weight loss plus the gradual change in lifestyle and eating better.

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It’s slow and steady.  That works for me.  Definitely a marathon and not a sprint kind of girl.  I do have a long way to go.  I find that I make little goals so moving towards my main goal doesn’t seem so hard.

So this is the journey I’m on.  I will share more on it as I progress along the road.  If you’re on a similar journey, please let me know.  We can encourage each other.  Please leave a comment, Tweet or share this blog post with your friends or anyone you think it might help.

 

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Comments

  1. Hi Diane. I was one of those people who emailed you. I loved your video and you made me see me in you. Read that back slowly. I could see we were alike physically as well as having similar life stories and it meant a great deal. You utterly inspired me. So much so that I made my own DVD application to B-School, but pulled out when I realised I could not raise the funds.

    Since then I have (as you know) been seriously ill and unable to craft for well over six months. I am now, just about, concentrating on my writing, and also card making for current clients.

    Weight? I lost a lot while ill, it fell off. Then it has returned a little (not all of it) during winter. For me, portion control is key and that means my chef (hubby) also has to get back into thinking Smaller for Shirl.

    I will never be thin or active (MS) but I know what feels good for me. And that, I think, is what you’ve just written about here.

    Another by-product of illness was losing my hair through chronic anaemia. I now have it cut short and adore it! Always did – only grew it to catch a chap! You may laugh. I laugh at me all the time!

    • Dearest Shirley, yes I do indeed remember your lovely email and our conversations last year. Always lovely to hear from you! I’m sorry to hear your health took a nose dive. I do relate to that too but am very happy that it’s slowly back on track and was just one of those “female related” problems! Ugh! Just keep doing what you love, when you can – even it’s just now and then. Writing is good as it can be quite carthartic. Look after yourself and listen to your body. I totally understand the Winter/Summer thing with weight gain and loss. I’ve read research to say that it’s actually really normal for that to happen. And eating “seasonally” is also healthy for us. Ha I loved what you said about growing your hair to catch a chap – so funny! I believe it. My hubby prefers my hair to be “longer” and my hairdresser was telling me recently that it’s really common for women to grow their hair to catch a man or please their man!!

  2. Diane, thank you for sharing your story I for one can relate. Keep up the good work you are a inspiration to all of us who share similar problems.

  3. Diane, I admire your honesty! While my weight is the opposite – I can’t gain any, I understand the problems being different bring. I have a disease that probably plays the biggest role in my low weight. So, while some folks tell me they would love to be small like me. I tell them no, no you don’t. It isn’t a healthy weight and it feels bad.

    Understand, I am neither anorexic or bulimic. A battery of tests, including eating an ionized egg and sitting under an ultrasound machine, being forced to guzzle down disgusting liquids for different tests, having strange-looking medical devices inserted into various orifices of my body, and having been put on a plethora of medications in which I suffered some awful side-effects, the only diagnosis they could come up with is ‘nervous stomach’. Coupled with my disease, my weight is a constant struggle.

    The only thing I have found that lets me be hungry is tranquilizers. They relax my tummy from the knots it is in and I feel hunger and can eat. But, then I get groggy. ‘Tranquil’-izers have a habit of doing that. I don’t want to live in ‘la-la-land’ the rest of my life just to gain weight.

    There are factors that prevent me from feeling good about me, both emotional and psychological. I need to learn to deal with them head on, lay them to rest, once and for all, and move on. I feel alot of these things are holding me back from enjoying what is left of my life. Reading your thoughts and realizations are inspirational to me.

    Keep up what it is you are doing. If it is making you feel better about you, then, by goodness, do it! I want to get to that point – without drugs – and celebrate with you! You are a beautiful lady!

    Blessings, dear one!

    Su

    • Hi Su, thank you for your honesty and sharing your story. I do actually relate to that side a bit too. I won’t go into all the details now but I guess one day I’ll do a blog post about it, I was bulimic for a little while in my middle/late teens. So I know a little bit about the other end of the spectrum and that’s why I’m striving for the middle ground of just being healthy. Of maintaining a balance so I can still enjoy my food and have the odd treat! And yes, I also know about not feeling about yourself. Please do something about that even if it takes some time. It’ll rob you of all the joy that is out there waiting for you. I know it’s not easy and believe me, ask my hubby(!!), I have days where my self-esteem hits rock bottom and I have to fight to get out of that slump – those days are few and far between now. Maybe I need to write some more about it. Keep in touch and I hope you’re able to find that peace within yourself to feel good and move on to grab the joy and passion waiting for you! xx

  4. So excited for you and honored to know you through this entire journey. And you are beautiful and luminous inside and out – the world can see that! Now you just get to strut your stuff even more.

    • Thank you so much, Louise. So happy and honoured that I got to meet you and call you friend through this journey!

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