So, over on A mommy's life ... with a touch of yellow they have been talking about fitness and encouraging people to link up to stay motivated.

Let's tell the truth as it is shall we, I'm slim, I eat healthily (most of the time...don't dwell on the masses of chocolate I eat) but I am totally 100% UNFIT!

I do zero exercise. I have read lots of bits and pieces saying that if you fidget enough you can get slim and if you do the housework vigorously then it counts as exercise, but in the spirit of truthfulness, I am just totally 100% UNFIT.

In fact, the only sport I really do is jumping in between two fighting teenagers at youth group and getting a good pummelling. (side note - this is the only want to stop them fighting I've found seeing as child protection laws state you can't physically pull or drag them away from each other. It's a risky business, but you can't let them give each other black eyes right?)

So, here's my story diet and fitness wise.

When I was at high school I was cox for my year's rowing team. Yes, I was so small I got to sit in the back and shout lol. But, I had to do all of the training the rowers did just not the actual rowing on water part. I ran the cross country (and loved it), I trained on the rowing machines. I even did the swimming sessions that were part of the rowers training.

I know, I was a right looker at school! 

I wasn't what you'd think of as sporty or athletic. I used to come last in all of the training, but I enjoyed it and my lungs were an awful lot healthier than they have been!

So I stayed pretty slim and not too unhealthy right through to the summer after I finished my A levels and went to work as a counsellor at summer camp in Conneticut in the US.

Bedford river where our boathouse was

I did little exercise and was eating unreal amounts of processed foods. I don't think I've ever seen cheese that yellow before or since! Almost all of the food at camp was processed, going into the deep freeze was box upon box of 'fake' food as I've come to think of it. It was just incredibly difficult to eat healthily, and to be honest, I didn't try. It was all just too easy to eat what I was given and enjoy the taste of it.

I'm the girl sitting up

I went up from a UK8 (US10) to around a UK14 then (US16) in that one summer. When I came home I went back to the part time job I'd had during college and went full time. I got promoted to assistant manager and ended up working 60 hour weeks. I was only 18 and it took it's toll on me.

When I came down with glandular fever it hit me hard. I was in bed for close on 6 months. Most of the time I was too ill and weak to eat at all and I slept most of it. It's a time of my life that I really don't remember too well but my mum quite vividly remembers the fear that they'd lose me cos I was fading so fast to nothing. The glandular fever attacked my liver and my kidneys and I went a peculiar shade of yellow and couldn't stop throwing up. The hospital eventually admitted me and sorted me out.

My recovery was slow but I stayed a healthy 8st (112lbs) for most of my early 20's. I say healthy because at 5ft and 2 inches, that's perfect for my BMI.

Anyway, then I got together with a guy (some of you know him as 'the evil ex') and we had terrible eating habits. I really didn't care much about food so wouldn't delight in whipping up a delicious dish. We'd just get takeaways or quick and easy ready meals or processed junk.

I really couldn't care less if we didn't actually have to eat to survive (Except chocolate of course) so at the time, I didn't care what I ate really as long as I was eating something at meal times.

I was a heavy smoker as well during that 5 years and I got to my heaviest of 11stone (154pounds). Size UK18 (US20) on a 5ft tall girl wasn't my best look but it was too late, I was already that size, it was too hard to diet and I just couldn't be bothered.

I'd moan about my size and my general unwellness but not actually change my eating habits. Fridge fulls of fruit and veg went mouldy where I'd made an effort to buy the healthy stuff but didn't get around to eating it before it went off.

Source via Roxanne on Pinterest

We would come out of the supermarket with a car full of groceries and pull into McDonalds to get something for dinner that night. Crazy. We would only drink fizzy drinks or occasionally squash, never water and rarely juice. It wasn't just my size and health that was suffering, it was my purse too! 40 a day + a week of junk = super expensive! I can't even really work out where the money came from considering my ex gambled approximately £1k a month away. (That's a whole other story).

Anyway, so then the ex left me. I was devastated. This man who had abused me, belittled me, controlled my finances and my entire life had such power over me that I thought my life was over. I'd be on my own forever and the world was a scary place.

I gave up smoking as I couldn't afford it any more. I also gave up eating. Looking back I can see that it was my body's way of putting control back into my life. Without ever consciously deciding not to eat I began an anorexic lifestyle that would see me eating barely one full meal a week.

My sisters rallied around me and where they'd kept their distance when the ex was around after they discovered that there wasn't anything they could do for me, I had to decide to leave him of my own accord. But the insults, the distance, the way I'd treated them was all swept away by the love they had for me and the relief they had that I was free from that relationship.

Via Michele@The Scrap shoppe on Pinterest

All the time they'd been there in the background ready to swoop in and support me, to pick me up from the pieces and I hadn't known the safety net was there. I was oblivious to it, I didn't want to know, I didn't want to think there was anything wrong with my relationship at all. After all, he said he loved me, that must be love right?

Anyway, so I lost weight and went back to what I now think of as my natural state of 8st. It seemed to be what I reverted to everytime I lost weight. Still I didn't exercise.

Then I moved to Wales. Partly to get away from my ex ever being able to find me and partly because it was the cheapest house I could find within an hour of my younger sister. I had a job working from home doing customer service and call centre stuff but I was getting down. I was getting depressed and couldn't take being stuck inside all day. So I got into the habit of taking a walk for my entire lunch hour then eating at my desk when I got back.

Via Lisa on Pinterest

It was fantastic, I'd go to the country park and have a really quite vigorous walk, listen to my music and breathe deeply. It wasn't quite running, cycling or weights but over time I found I was getting toned and I wasn't ashamed to walk around in shorts anymore. My lungs didn't struggle so much with my walking up the hills and I could go further for longer (within an hour of course!).

And then I met my husband and stopped exercising as I'd moved back to Luton with mum. I didn't really feel much immediate effect but my eating still wasn't right and I was feeling more and more tired. Dusband's sister was studying to be a nutritional therapist in London and gave me a consultation and advice as part of her course and that's when my life turned around.

Via PJ on Pinterest

Finally I had a plan to follow, I knew what I personally needed to get my energy back and to be healthy. The knowledge she had was immense and it was real tangible good advice. Emma gave me a list of the foods that contained the vitamins I was lacking and helped me to come up with ways to incorporate some seeds and nuts into my diet encouraging me to aim for my five a day. I would recommend her to anyone. In fact, I am recommending her! She qualified with flying colours and is an independent consultant now. If you want to contact her you can email her (emma(at) dot uk). When her website's up and running I'll let you know.

That's off topic. So, now I eat healthily encouraged by my fruit freak of a husband and his super brainy sister who really does have a miracle cure for my lethargy and low energy. Who knew that it was so simple?

But, I still don't exercise. I should, I really do want to. I tried running again a few times but my lungs felt like they were going to burst. My hips felt like I'd swapped them for an old lady's hips (that'll be my lazy gluteus muscles that I do my exercises for remember?) and my achilles felt like someone had slit it with a knife.

Then I looked at my trainers again a couple of weeks ago. They're a size too big. They also have no arch support. I, dear readers, have severe overpronation. Ah, there we go, that's the issue. So I've been looking for some new trainers and today I've finally purchased some.

Via Reg on Pinterest

You're joining me on my journey to finally get fit. For the first time since high school I want to be able to say I'm fit and healthy.

I'm still struggling with my 8 glasses of water a day but I'm trying and boy, it makes a huge difference to how I feel. You wouldn't think it does...funny huh?

Anyway, that's it, the whole kit and caboodle (mostly) of my fitness story. If you want to join in, pop over to the motivate me monday post via the button below on A mommy's life....with a touch of yellow and have a look through some of the other posts.


Love you all lots, much more than jelly tots!

Samantha x

At home with Mrs H

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  1. I love that high school photo of you, I remember you being a cox when Scott lived with your family in 1996 ! Your story is really inspirational Sam love from Anjanette x


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