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Sunday, January 05, 2020

How I'm Regaining Body Confidence in 2020 | Ad

Disclaimer : I am in no way promoting weight loss, or intentionally fuelling to the negative diet culture. I am sharing my honest views of a product that has helped me and is helping me regain confidence in my body after a pretty shit few years of constant MH issues caused by and contributing to my weight gain.

Okay, so it's already 5 days into the new year and everyone seems to have already announced that they're more determined than ever to make 2020 their year, lose weight, feel great about themselves and look their best. Now, the thing with me, is that I always say I'm going to lose weight each year, but then either cannot find any willpower to do actually it or just get too busy with work, life and other stuff to focus on myself and my goals. This year, however (fingers are well and truly un-crossed for this one!), I hope it's going to be different. I have huge plans this year and haven't really set myself a 'goal' or 'target' as such, as I've decided weight watching and obsessing over my weight is super unhealthy, but certainly have some changes in mind that I'd like to achieve. One of these changes is to finally feel good about my body and be healthy, not lose weight as such, but to just feel good in my own skin and be happy with how I look, as well as be healthy enough to go ahead with my biggest plans of 2020. For me, personally, that means toning up, going to the gym more and fitting into my old clothes, though going up the stairs without getting out of breath would be nice! I'm such a bad snacker and have the appetite of a horse so I always fail at any sort of healthy eating or lifestyle changes as I am WEAK AF, so I know I need help curbing my cravings somehow. I've sought the help of Holland and Barrett's new product SlimBiome to help me stop snacking... and already feel better about the year ahead. Here's my 10-day check-in on my 4-week journey...

My goal for 2020 is to feel good about my body. 2020 is going to be the year I stop giving a shit about what anyone thinks and start making positive changes to ensure my health, my happiness and that my future plans for babies can happen.

For the last 5 years or so, I've tried every diet and workout regime (Insanity with Shaun T is a bitch!) under the sun to lose the weight I piled on once I came home from uni. I've had real MH lows because of it and I'm sick of feeling down about how I look. I focus so much on numbers - both my weight and my measurements, and the pressure to get the results I want as fast as possible becomes too much and I usually just give up when I don't achieve that, or parties and events come up and my cheat day turns into a cheat year - I'm a bit of a commitmentphobe when it comes to food  - food is life. Hence me needing a little bit of help - I'm at my wit's end, why is this shit never easy?

The most mentally damaging thing for me is that according to my GP, I'm classed as 'obese'. I find this utterly ridiculous, and it really doesn't help how I view my body. I'm currently a size 12-14, so please Mr GP, tell me how that is 'obese' by anyone's standards?? I've always been top-heavy, have a large bum that I can't seem to get rid of, and a small waist. They say this because of my BMI (Body Mass Index, which is calculated by dividing your weight in KG by the square of your height in CMs). We all know BMI is utter bullshit, especially if you're short, large chested, have a lot of muscle or aren't a 'standard' body type. Everyone's bodies are different, hold weight differently and can still live perfectly healthy lives. The only time anyone needs to worry is when their weight is actually affecting their heart, lungs or other vital organs. Why is everyone so hung up on numbers?

In 2019 I got to my all-time heaviest - a whole 5 stone bigger than I wanted to be, I felt awful, nothing fit me and I saw it as a real low-point for me. I often look back at photos pre-uni, pre-marriage and pre-relationship and cry because I'm not a size 8 anymore, but I'm also not 18 anymore, so why was I focussing on this teenage weight? I'm almost 27! Since going back to the gym after a long break due to an injury, I've decided it's not the number on the scales that I care about, it's the confidence I feel, the way my clothes fit and my overall body positivity that matters.

At the gym, I mainly do weight training - squats, free weights, deadlifts etc, and if you do weights, you'll know your bodyweight won't likely change for a long time - if at all - as you're turning your fat into muscle. Muscle is denser than fat, so you can be a lot more toned and be 'thinner' whilst actually weighing the same.  It's bloody frustrating, especially when you've got a goal weight in mind. so that's pretty much why I've decided to concentrate on my body confidence and how I look and feel rather than a stupid number.

How will you do it?

SlimBiome + Thermo (Strawberry + Lime flavoured) is the product I've been testing (*Gifted by Holland and Barrett). It has a patented blend of glucomannan (a dietary fibre), inulin (fibre) and chromium (a mineral) which help you feel fuller for longer, turns food into energy, aids digestion and prevents your body from making certain fats. It provides a 3 pronged approach to holistic weight management and has won several awards including 'weight management ingredient of the year' and 'best functional ingredient for health and wellbeing', which drew me to the product. The +Thermo version of SlimBiome product also helps to oxidize fat and speed up your metabolism with its Green Tea, Guarana and Garcinia Cambogia ingredients.

It basically stopped me wanting to snack and made me feel fuller for longer, something which I never thought could happen. My mum's always described my appetite like a 'human dustbin'. I'm always hungry, always want food and reach for food at all times of day, even when I've literally just eaten a big meal. I'm actually amazed at how my attitude to food has changed after taking these. I don't see food as something to just consume blindly anymore, I see it as fuel. How you should see it, and I'm so grateful to SlimBiome for helping me change the way I view food and once this month is up, help me see myself and my body differently so I can continue these positive changes throughout the rest of the year.

How do I take it?

Taking 3 sachets a day, morning, afternoon and dinner (an hour before food) - or immediately following a meal - breakfast, lunch and dinner. You just empty the sachet into a cup, add 200ml water, stir and down it!

It actually tastes quite nice with the Strawberry and Lime flavour, though making sure you don't leave any of the powder in the cup can be a challenge! It often takes me a few extra bits of water to swish it around and knock it all back... every drop counts!

The fibre expands like a gel (if you've ever had Fybogel you'll know the consistency I'm talking about) in your stomach so you don't feel as hungry and don't eat as much.

Will it really work?

When I try a new 'weight loss' product, whether its a supplement or whatever, I like to give the first week a rigorous test. In the sense that, I don't change my eating habits AT ALL for the first week, and then try to eat healthier the rest of the time, to see if its actually the supplement causing the weight loss, or the fact that I'm eating healthier - or a combination of the two. With that in mind, here's a quick look at the shit I've been eating this past week or so (it was Christmas so no judging!), just to show how amazed I am at this first 10 day's results...

an example of the breakfasts I've been eating

Boxing Day - Eggs, Bacon & Croissant and Orange Juice for Breakfast, Roast Lamb with all the trimmings for Late Lunch, Chocolate Cake for Dinner, plus snacking on chocolate throughout the day, did not have dinner.
27th Dec - Woke up late so skipped breakfast, Lunch consisted of a sausage roll wheel (3 pieces) and some chocolate Tarte. Leftover roast from Xmas Day for Dinner, Yule log for pudding.
28th Dec - Woke up at midday so no breakfast, Sandwich for lunch, Dinner was again, leftover roast beef.
29th Dec - Buttermilk Pancakes with butter and maple syrup, no lunch as went to the gym instead, dinner was a spinach and ricotta pizza.
30th Dec - Chocolate for breakfast, Mcdonald's small chips for lunch, went gym, ate leftover Christmas party food (jackfruit rostis and pigs in blankets) for dinner.
31st Dec - Eggs, Bacon and Croissant for breakfast, Stir fry for lunch, party food for dinner (carrots and hummus, pakoras, doughnuts, spring rolls etc) + LOTS of alcohol.
1st Jan - McDonald's wrap for breakfast, 3 slices of dominos pizza for lunch, slept rest of day.
2nd Jan - Snacking on chocolate throughout the day, went to the gym, Pasta meatballs for dinner.
3rd Jan - Eggs, Bacon and Croissant for breakfast, chocolate for lunch, went shopping so dinner was meatballs and cheesy chips at Ask Italian.
4th Jan - Coco Pops for breakfast, Ham and cucumber roll and crackers with cream cheese for lunch, Jamaican takeaway - Curried Goat, rice and peas with plantain for dinner.
5th Jan - woke up late so skipped breakfast, lunch was rest of Jamaican curry, snacked on chocolate throughout the day, went to the gym, Dinner was Steak, rice and mixed veg.

an example of the dinners I've been eating
As you can see, I haven't eaten healthy at all, not even one day. I've still got loads of chocolate left from Christmas that need eating and don't want it to go to waste. Yes, I skipped a few meals because I genuinely wasn't hungry, but I 100% put that down to the SlimBiome sachets!

Did it actually work?

I think it actually did! Though it may not really look it, I've certainly lost weight around my stomach and legs. I need to get a measuring tape out to triple check, but I'm confident there's at least a CM loss all round! What's important is that I FEEL better. Both about how I look, but also my energy levels, confidence and overall MH. For those who do care about numbers and seeing such results, I've actually lost 4lbs in this short time, something which I've been struggling to do for the past 5 months going to the gym 3-5 times per week and eating healthy before Christmas. The weight just wasn't shifting.. but then I realised I was in the wrong mindset.

I was sceptical at first, as you'd understand, but looking at the utter shite I've been eating, I still have managed to lose 4lbs!!!? I'm not as hungry all the time and I've found myself snacking/eating less. Now that Christmas is over, I'm back to work and have a proper food shop in the fridge with proper meals, I'm hoping to see a huge difference next week, particularly in my energy levels and reduction in snacking throughout the day as days in the office tend to be filled with chocolate and other unhealthy snacks. My chocolate consumption over the past week has been out of 'i need to eat it all so there's none left' necessity rather than my usual 'oo that looks tasty' or 'i'm hungry for something sweet' excuses... or so I'm telling myself...

I'm less stressed, less tired, am getting better sleep, feel a bit better about my body (still a long way to go on that one though), my hunger levels have dropped massively and after having Tonsilitis and a Cold back to back before Christmas, my immune system is finally on the mend and am feeling much better. My energy levels are also getting better as I've gone to the gym 4 times in the past 10 days and done mostly heavy cardio, which I never usually have the energy to do!

I actually am amazed at the results already and can't wait to see what an impact eating a bit healthier will do to my confidence levels and size, and hopefully I'm able to get a handle on my MH once again... stay tuned!

SlimBiome + Thermo is £19.99 for a 7 day supply and also comes in SlimBiome + Digest which aids digestion and the original SlimBiome. All will be available from Holland and Barrett - Sign Up to get notifications when they're available.

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