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Sunday 3 February 2013

Erin Jaye Williams - 'My Fat Soul': Weight Loss Blog and Real-Life Story - Part Two

Erin Jaye Williams wrote an incredible piece for this blog, and it really resonated with readers, especially as it accompanied this breathtaking before and after pic:

You can read this unmissable post here. Here is part two for 'Josie's Juice', in Erin's own words:

I want to start with my lazy demons. I mentioned earlier that I hated exercise. Well, that is an understatement. I despised it. They very idea of "working out" to lose weight actually made me nearly cry. Of course, I went through stages where I would try my best. I'd join a gym or commit to a nightly jogging regime. But my personality is such that if I don't get results in whatever I'm doing - I walk away. I lose interest very quickly. And exercise, to me, was torturous at the best of times.

Oh how I hated it - the sweating, the boredom, the constant checking of my watch to find I'd only been going at it for 15 minutes and had SO MUCH MORE yet to do. Watching television at the gym didn't alleviate the misery I felt at being on a treadmill. I actually feel upset now even typing this - feeling so exhausted as I ran on the treadmill or used an elliptical bike, my muscles shaking and quivering and the clock was practically ticking backwards for me.

Then would come time to weigh in... I'd lose about a bee's dick worth of weight and could never fathom how any of it was worth it.

Carrying 127 kilos and trying to run was a miserable experience. It was hell on my knees, I'd get stitches and could barely breathe. If I was running outside, for some bizarre reason I'd also get an ear ache along the way just to make me super uncomfortable, and the entire time I did it, all I could think about was how much I f*cking HATED it.

So... subconsciously I resorted to making excuses.

"I never have time."
"I can't afford the gym anymore."
"I have an injury."

The list went on. And it is the EXACT same list of reasons I am getting from women across the country who so desperately want to lose weight.

Initially it was very hard for me to help these people. Why? Because I KNOW how they feel.

But then I realised the problem.... they, like me, were focusing on the "HOW" of losing weight - instead of the "WHY".

I got to my goal weight with minimal exercise - I freely admit that. I did it by cutting out all rubbish food and eating much more cleanly - something that in itself is exceptionally difficult to do. However, for me, that worked better on a mental level than the exercise. Exercise was a LOT of immediate effort for very little immediate results. Severely reducing my calorie intake had what I considered to be immediate results, and was therefore much easier to stick to... however... that is still the "HOW" isn't it?

What actually kept me focused was the "WHY". Whenever I struggled with my diet and the sometimes enormous challenges of the lap band, I would remember my "WHY" and it kept me on track.

What this means is "WHY DO YOU WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT?"

People are initially shocked when I ask this question. How silly... doesn't everyone have the same answer? I want to lose weight because I'm fat!

Wrongo, baby. I want to know what it is about being overweight that you HATE. What it is about being at your goal weight that excites you. Because by getting a very clear idea in your heart and mind, it is MUCH harder to forget your focus and stray off path again.

So here are some of the answers I've seen:

"So I can be fit and healthy enough to play with my children."

"Because I'm tired of never being able to wear nice clothes."

"Because I don't want to die prematurely."

"I want to feel sexy." And so on.

Some of mine were:

I wanted to know what it was like to be able to wear anything I wanted. I wanted to know what it was like to see my reflection and love it instead of hate it. I wanted to know what it was like to feel healthy and happy. And most of all....

I was petrified of looking back on my whole life, knowing I had only half lived. Spending such a big portion of my life hiding away, refraining from going out in public because I was so afraid of someone from my past seeing me so big, avoiding doing anything adventurous or fun because my weight would have prevented me from being able to...

I wanted to LIVE. And I wanted to be HAPPY. Those were my "WHYs" and keeping those reasons firmly in my mind is what pushed me to where I am today. Here is where I am today. Someone who would do anything to avoid a camera, to someone who is paid to be in front of one!

But now... I feel I have even more to share with you. A small secret which helped me conquer my lazy demons. For even at this weight, whilst my lifestyle is exceptionally active compared to what it was, I still rejected the idea of exercising.

I found a solution by sheer accident, really. Through my beautiful husband and soul mate, Shawn. One day, six months ago, a mutual friend of ours mentioned that he enjoyed playing squash. I saw Shawn's eyes light up as he let our mate know that he also loved it. Played professionally many years ago, in fact. I asked Shawn why he had stopped, and he said that basically life just seemed to get in the road. His ex-wife wasn't interested at all and had even turfed all of his squash trophies in the bin. He was working constantly and also did the majority of the housework and cooking on top of that, as well as raising the kids which meant that he genuinely didn't have the time to devote to his passion.

And squash WAS his passion. He was a Premier League player and he played because he loved it. What a foreign concept to me... Shawn played sport for fun... not to lose weight?

Next thing I knew, Shawn was playing squash a couple of nights a week with our mate. I went along now and then to watch but I admit, I spent most of my time playing Bejewelled on my phone, or playing Scrabble. It all looked too hard to understand and absolutely exhausting.

Shawn, within a month, was back to competition standard to my surprise and joined fixtures playing A Grade. I was impressed and would watch him play.

Shawn and I spent almost 100% of our time side by side, so him playing our mate ended up with me sitting court side, watching, and BORED.

One day, our mate was running outrageously late and Shawn was just bouncing the ball against the wall alone. I felt bad for him so I took my high heels off and grabbed his spare racquet and crept onto the court.

Well that was the beginning of something I didn't know existed - PLAYING SPORT FOR FUN?!

Because I LOVED it! LOVED IT, LOVED IT, LOVED IT, LOVED IT! It didn't hurt that I found it came quite naturally to me and had a very patient and excellent coach.

Now we sometimes play fives days a week, for hours at a time. And I am more fit and healthy than I ever in my life could have anticipated. I get cranky on the days we can't play - it literally depresses me.

Shawn feels that I will be at competition standard in three months and I can't wait!

But that's the secret - all you have to do is find something you love! It doesn't have to be the gym or running or aerobics or anything specifically weight loss oriented.

The mental side of things is so easily addressed by playing a team sport - it becomes *wait for it* - FUN!
So my advice now to women who give me those lists of excuses about why they can't or won't exercise - I say this:

Join a team sport you enjoy. Netball? Soccer? Anything with some decent cardio (join a darts team and I'll give you hell!) which has practices as well as games. You are NOT going to make excuses not to go if you would be letting your team down. And the social aspect of it will be amazing for your confidence and to help you enjoy it.

I feel so incredible for having beaten my lazy demons - even though it happened by accident. Now if you'll excuse me... Shawn has packed our squash bags for the day and is waiting for me in the car!

To follow Erin's incredible journey, 'like' her Facebook page here. And share this link if it inspired you! Oh, and feel free to comment below.

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