I’m currently setting up this blog, hiding away in our English office with Ofsted due to go on a school tour in 30 minutes. I have 15 minutes until I have to leave this comfy chair and wander into En3 to teach a bunch of Year 11 students, who have their exam in less than a week, that think the poem ‘Belfast Confetti’ is set in Brazil. This is my fifth year of teaching and I’ve just about had enough. I don’t know whether it’s all the new government changes, whether I’ve had enough of being a prison officer rather than a teacher, or just whether I’m sick of my brain cells streaming out of my ears as I go over the same novel for the 100th time, but it’s time to think of an alternative. I need an exit strategy.
After mulling over possible plans with family and friends, and coming to the conclusion that being the next Beyoncé isn’t going to happen, I’ve decided to follow the path that’s of most interest to me.
Now back in my youth I used to be a sprightly (never sporty) slim girl. I never really cared much about what I was eating and did so much dancing and was so active it didn’t matter anyway. Then I went to university. And I got fat. I don’t just mean I put on a little bit of weight; I got FAT! I was having whole tubs of ice-cream for pudding after dinners of chicken kievs and piles and piles of pasta. A whole box of Frosties for breakfast wasn’t uncommon. At home there’d always been someone policing what I was eating, but at university I was in charge! I didn’t know how to cook and I didn’t really understand what food was for. It tasted nice so I just shoved it in my mouth.
Since then I’ve had a bit of a difficult relationship with food and my weight has fluctuated significantly. I had a spell at Weight Watchers a few years ago and lost close to 3 stone, but it wasn’t maintainable. It got to the stage where I was eating an apple for breakfast, a dry salad for lunch and something minimal for dinner. I remember my mindset being: ‘if I can get down to goal weight by the summer I’ll treat myself with a Waitrose picnic’. Chronically unhealthy. After that I did teacher training and the binge eating that came with the stress of that caused those 3 stone to leap back on. It’s been up and down since then: I lost a stone after a miscarriage and gained some back after falling pregnant with my little boy. These ups and downs didn’t just come with food, exercise also played a part and I’ve run a fair few 5Ks and 10Ks now.
Now I’m at the stage where I’ve grown up a bit. I’m 30 and this unhealthy relationship I have with food and exercise can’t go on. To sort it out (and to hopefully combine it with an exit to teaching) I’ve enrolled in a personal training and nutrition course. I’m hoping I can sort myself out first and then inspire others to do the same. I want to use this platform as a way to monitor myself and to provide recipes, insight and little anecdotes that might inspire others to join me on this journey.
I don’t have much to go. 1 stone would be nice to lose. But this time, I’m going to do it properly.