The Yo Yo Years!

Have you struggled with your weight year after year, going on diet after diet and seeing your weight go up and down like a Yo Yo? Well so did I and unfortunately the Yo Yo always seemed to go back to the beginning where I was big. You get in that mind set where you start thinking no matter what you do you will always be big. I used to say things like “I’ve tried diet after diet and none of them ever work”. If you too have been through years of yo yo weight loss and gains where you ultimately end up right back where you started, you may be feeling the same as I did. Never allow yourself to believe that just because previous attempts to lose weight permanently have ultimately failed, it means you will never be able to do it and are resigned to a life of being fat. You should take inspiration from the fact that I went through it too and struggled as you have done before finally finding that moment and that change that made the difference.

I was always a chubby child and even in my early school days my weight was up and down. As I moved on to my teenage years I naturally became more aware of my weight, how I looked and suffered the usual taunts and name calling at school that most big children do and of course however much you try these things do get to you. Even back when I was a teenager I would embark on health kicks or diets and start to lose the weight but eventually it would all just pile back on again. That would set the pattern for my early adulthood and right through my early twenties. Up and down, up and down like a ship on rough seas never being able to find a perfect balance of eating healthily and exercising that ultimately led to sustainable weight loss and a healthier lifestyle.

Of course life events can have a big impact too. I started to lose weight towards the end of my school life and then at the age of 16 my parents decided to move 150 miles away to Norwich, England and I had to go with. This was an unsettling time in life during which I had to adapt to my new home, surroundings and people which was daunting at hard at times. It was natural for me to seek comfort in food and this triggered me to gain the weight I had lost before moving. Another 9 subsequent yo yo years followed before I finally found something that spurred me on to lose weight permanently and also a way of sustaining it for the long term.

It was a number of different things which all came together at once which finally triggered a change. I came out of a very turbulent and unhappy time in my life, took control of everything and focused on the most important thing – me! I remember seeing a photograph of myself at a fancy dress party and I honestly couldn’t believe I was looking at myself. I had always been big as I say but I was bigger than ever and I hadn’t even realized it! At the time I was still living in Norwich and a shop called Hollister had just opened. I remember everyone being unbelievably excited about it and me thinking I have no idea what it is, so I asked a friend. The response I got was “It’s a clothes shop but you don’t need to worry because you would never fit in to anything in there”. The response shocked me and combined with the photographic reality of my then obese state it sprung me in to action. I thought ‘I will show you. I will get in to Hollister clothes and not only that but I will get in to a medium size’. I actually now wear either small or medium so although no longer my friend, thanks to them for the cruel but effective motivation.

True to say these things just happened to coincide with a time where I was in the right frame of mind and the right place in my life to embark on a permanent and sustainable weight loss journey and it is on that theme that next week’s blog post will be based.

Until next week, thank you for reading and I hope you have a fantastic week!

Jason

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Can’t hold me back!

Hi and thanks for joining me at the most exciting point in my life yet! Today I am a very different person to the one I was 10 years ago. These blogs have been a long time coming and the journey here has been full of ups and downs, as well as surviving a few head on collisions along the road! I’m a great believer in ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ and the experiences I have had to date have made me a strong, ambitious and determined person with the confidence to share all with the world.

Walt Disney once said “If you can dream it, you can do it” and it has taken me a long time to realize how right he was, but he was right. The journey here has been long and hard with plenty of moments that left me doubting myself, my dreams and even why I bother. The journey ahead is longer still but the difference now is how I feel about it, my perception of the road ahead and the fact that I am armed with the lessons of the past. For many reasons I am happier now than I have ever been and that of course helps in life but as cliche as it sounds, the important thing is to learn to love yourself. I have, in the past, allowed people to put me down, to control me and to hold me back and I include myself in that list of people. Now nobody, including myself, is allowed to hold me back. I am moving forwards and upwards in my life and only those who support my dreams and want to move with me find themselves a part of it. Some may say that is selfish but I disagree. If you cannot be happy in life, believe in your own dreams, be confident and love yourself how on earth can you love others, make them happy and encourage them to follow their dreams? A happier, driven, more confident me isn’t just what’s best for me but the people around me too.

So the journey has led me here, blogging for anyone and everyone to read about my challenges, ambitions, dreams and inspirations in the hope that at least one person may find some inspiration of their own from it. So welcome to ‘A State of Jason’, thanks for joining me for the ride and I hope you have a magical day!

Jason G

The Time Has To Be Right!

Hi everyone, hope you have all had an amazing week. Last week’s post ended by me telling you how certain things in my life happened to come together at once in a fateful coincidence of events which meant it was the right time for me to begin my journey. A difficult period in my life had come to an end, I was feeling positive about the future, I was ready for a new me that could take on the World and the challenges that were to come and for once I was ready to be myself and be happy. This frame of mind, I believe, is what led to the realization of the state I had allowed my body and health to get to. My eyes were open to it even if subconsciously I had probably known for a while. Coupled with the harsh comments of others which I saw as a challenge to prove them wrong, this was my time to change.

I strongly believe that at least half of the battle if not more when it comes to weight loss and fitness is in the mind. If you are going through a difficult period in your life that is causing stress, anxiety or a state of general unhappiness it is probably not the right time to consider embarking on a weight loss journey which may add to those factors but that is ultimately up to you to decide. There is nothing wrong with recognizing you need to make a change and lose weight but also being honest in telling yourself ‘now is not the right time’. It can be tough and requires will power in order to succeed and it will be difficult to maintain a positive mental attitude towards weight loss if your mind is not in it. Ultimately, this can lead to just another failed attempt which may knock your confidence even further. If you find yourself in this situation don’t worry about it, you have unknowingly made the first step on your journey simply by recognizing you need to make a change and that is a positive thing. You will know when you are ready, when you are in the right frame of mind and have the mental strength to start so trust yourself.

It is also important not to be led by the media, advertising or the status quo when it comes to starting your weight loss journey. The right day of the week, time of the year, proximity to pay day, etc. are all things which will vary from person to person as to when it is right to start losing weight. How often do you hear people say “I’m going to start eating healthy on Monday”? For many people Monday is one of the most depressing days of the week, after the weekend and back at work lacking motivation in many areas so why would you choose that day to start? Because everyone else does but this is YOUR journey so choose the day that best suits you. The same kind of stigma is attached to the holiday season. “Once the holidays are over I’m going to start a diet in January”. Again, for many people January is a very depressing month where the festivities are over, people have less disposable income and if you live in the Northern Hemisphere the weather is normally terrible. So why would you start in January? Because the TV tells you to! The fitness at home DVDs all hit the shelves, the gym and fitness facilities all run promotions and everyone else says they are going to start. So what? Remember this is your journey and you have to start when it is best for you.

If you are wondering I started my weight loss journey around 3 weeks after my birthday on a Thursday in early March. I allowed myself to enjoy my birthday celebrations, waited for the winter months to end when the evenings were getting lighter and it was starting to get warmer and picked a Thursday because I didn’t like Monday much and hated Wednesday. It was also only a short time after I had been paid from work.

In order to be successful with your weight loss journey and be able to sustain it, you have to start at a time that is best and right for you in every sense. Whether that is physical time or the frame of mind you are in. What ever factors have effected your attempts in the past will effect any future attempts. So be honest with yourself, recognize the factors that have prevented previous attempts from being a success, write them down if you wish and think about when is right for you to begin. This is your journey and it’s a personal one. That leads nicely on to next week’s theme of ‘Keeping it Personal’.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to read and I hope you have enjoyed and found my blogs useful so far. Have an amazing week x

The before and after

Hi everyone and happy ‘Weight loss Wednesday’.

This is the first instalment of my weight loss journey blogs which I hope will inspire others who are facing the same challenges I did when I started my journey. It has taken me a while to decide I am ready to share, what for me is a very personal experience and story, with the rest of the world but if I can inspire just one other person then it will be a success. There will not be any false truths or telling you what you want to hear in these blogs. I would love to tell you the journey is easy, but it isn’t. I would also love to tell you there will never be any set backs or challenges, but there will. The aim of this first blog however, is to show and tell you that it can be done and you can do it!

When I decided to embark on my journey to achieve a slimmer, fitter, healthier and happier me I was 25 years of age, living in Norfolk, England and I had just come out of a very difficult period in my life. At that time I weighed 18 stone & 9 pounds (247 pounds), I wore a size XXL top and had a 40″ waistline. I had always been a chubby child and struggled with my weight during my teenage years and early 20s but I had now become seriously and dangerously obese and I was getting bigger. I knew I had to do something about it but had no idea where the journey would take me and what I would encounter along the way.

So here we are just over 6 and a half years after I embarked on what has been a life changing and remarkable journey which has led me here to share it with all of you. I want to make it clear now that although it has taken me some time to decide it is right to share my experience, I have always been and still am remarkably proud of my achievements. I do not weigh myself anymore but last time I did I weighed 10 stone & 12 pounds (152 pounds), wear a small top and have a 30″ waistline. For any of you who face the same challenges I did, are thinking of embarking on your own journey or have failed in previous attempts (I did too), that is the best inspiration I can give you as a starting point along with a before and after picture of me (at the top and bottom of the post). I truly hope as the weeks go by you find inspiration and support in my blogs that may see you embark on your own journey and I can honestly tell you it will change your life in so many ways.

Next week’s blog will focus on the reasons that triggered my weight loss journey, so until then thank you for reading and I hope you all have a fantastic week!

Jason

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