Hi I'm Emma, a 32 year old red-head from Southampton UK and like most girls, I have struggled with my weight and relationship with food for my entire teenage and adult life. For years I have obsessed about my weight and my looks and allowed it to define my own self worth, constantly comparing myself to others, allowing my weight to affect my confidence in all aspects of my life. Above all I felt that unless I was thin and beautiful, I didn't deserve happiness. Unfortunately I love food and from a young age I had learned to use it as a coping mechanism to make myself feel better whenever I was sad. As I got older and was earning my own money, I was able to buy food and alcohol easily, increasing my portion size and intake of junk food.
I have tried many diets in my lifetime... Calorie control, Weight Watchers, Slimming World, Atkins, Slim Fast and Total Meal Replacement (TMR). My weight has yo-yo'd over the years as I tried each diet and failed miserably, losing the motivation and strength to follow the 'rules' of each plan after a couple of weeks. The only diet that was successful for me was the TMR, three shakes/soups a day (totalling 400 calories a day) and gym 4-5 times a week with a personal trainer during one of these sessions. This was the hardest diet I had ever done as I had to give up food and alcohol for long periods of time (I usually had 1 cheat weekend once a month) but it gave me results and fast, I was losing on average around a stone a month. I went from 15 stone to 9 stone 12 in 5 months, the lowest weight I had ever been and a size 10. But I wasn't happy, I was aiming for the magic number of 9 stone 7 to appear on the scales, but it never did.
Several things happened within 6 months of losing the weight, nothing major but a few things that knocked my confidence which triggered bouts of binging and purging, starving myself for days using the shakes so I could pig out on junk food when I'd had a bad day. It wasn't healthy and before long, I had given up the diet completely and gone back to my old unhealthy eating habits of junk food and large portions and regained the weight ... And more!
In 2014 I tried again to lose weight by eating healthy and going to the gym. I lost about half a stone but nothing stuck, I wasn't motivated enough or 'in the zone' as I like to call it. If you want to lose weight you have to be in the right mindset for it otherwise, you'll give up within days, gorging on the food you have denied yourself because you had told yourself that you're 'not allowed this or that'. Just before my birthday in July last year, I weighed myself. 16 stone and 2lbs. I have NEVER seen a 16 on the scales before in my life and that number scared me. My mothers partner had also recently been diagnosed with diabetes and I was concerned that with my eating habits of junk food, high carbs and lots of chocolate and diet coke, that I was headed in the same direction. I knew I had to do something long term, not just for my looks and confidence, but for my health too. I have a niece now (and baby #2 is on its way!) and I wanted to be fitter to keep up with her.
I stumbled across Clean Eating on Pintrest (download it now, it seriously has changed my life and I will mention this fantastic app/website alot in my Blog!) and before long I was getting hints, tips, recipes and motivational quotes just from this one place. Soon I was building up my recipe board and mentally getting into 'the zone' and on 7th October 2014 I started my new healthy Eat Clean lifestyle.
Clean Eating is not a fad diet for me, I know that in order for me to have the body and health that I desire, I have to be in this for the long haul - the rest of my life. This is a LifeStyle change for me, not just a quick fix to get skinny. And that's the difference with Clean Eating, you do it for life. Sure there are going to be meals where I slip up (either planned 'cheat' meals or unplanned from not knowing what is in a dish) but the idea is to carry on with your lifestyle, not to let one meal or one day cause you to carry on making unhealthy choices for the rest of the week/month/year because you'll only get further away from your goals. I want to be thinner, healthier, have more confidence, be fitter and be a kinder, happier person. Who doesn't?
There are several reasons as to why I want to lose weight and why I created Just Ems:
*Become stronger and fitter so I can take up pilates and kick boxing and run after my niece and nephew
*Be healthier and reduce the risk of heart disease and other weight related diseases
*Have more confidence in myself in all aspects of my life
*To look good in clothes and be able to wear whatever I want without worrying about looking fat
*To fit into all my size 10 clothes again
*Be able to walk into any high street store and be able to fit into anything
*To no longer be the 'fat friend'
*To like myself and what I see in the mirror and be happier in my own skin
*To not run away from having my photo taken
*To not hide away from my friends/say no to invitations to social events because I had gained weight, again!
*To stay motivated on my weight loss journey and keep going when I have reached my goal weight
*To share my weight loss tips and motivational quotes
*To share the recipes that I try each week
*To help and support friends and followers on their own journeys into becoming a healthier person
I aim to post twice a week and to keep you updated on my progress, post pics of my meals and inspirational quotes that get me through when life throws me a curveball or a food temptation! Eventually I want to move onto exercise and fitness as right now, my gym workout is currently based on losing the bulk of my weight. I can not wait to get back into running and sculpting and toning my body in 2015!
I'm also looking forward to meeting new online friends and to helping people start their own journeys. Losing weight can sometimes seem a little lonely if you live alone or you're following a different lifestyle than your family. I would love make new weight loss friends and support others on their own weight loss journeys too.