I'm writing this after hearing the shocking and saddening news this week of the young girl, Eloise Parry, who died after buying diet pills that she bought online. It's tragic that a beautiful girl, just 21years of age, felt such pressure to lose weight that she resorted to buying pills that tragically killed her.
I myself, and I'm sure many women reading this, can empathise with what seems like relentless societal pressure to be slim, and losing weight can often seem like an insurmountable task.
The desire to lose weight can be all consuming, and I myself made increasingly desperate efforts to lose my unwanted pounds.
I've recklessly gambled with my own health, over the last ten years I've had a epic battle with my weight after becoming a mother.
I was size 10 before having children (photo above), and I felt healthy and comfortable. I was ill-prepared for the shock of finding myself a size 14 after my first pregnancy - I have a small frame and I felt enormous. During my pregnancy I was so large that people thought I was carrying triplets.
I battled endlessly to shift the weight post birth, but I felt like my body was never the same, debilitating sciatica didn't help.
My skin was stretched, my abdominal area was unrecognisable, there was no tone, just flab. It depressed me. I lurched from one short-term fix to another, losing and regaining weight.
Here's a list of what I have tried over the years:
Personal trainer - being a new mum meant that I lacked motivation because of endless late nights and the inevitable focus on my baby meant I couldn't properly commit, Who on earth can keep svelte, when all you want is sleep?
Dieting - the tiredness that is the bane of the life of any new parent rendered me unable to stick to a healthy eating regime that was sustainable. I developed awful food habits; I lurched from being obsessed with healthy eating, to out of control sugar binges.
Laxatives - This was a particularly ridiculous and dangerous course of action. Taking laxatives worked in the short term - I did achieve weight loss. until I learned, the hard way, that the weight loss is only water loss in reality. The stomach cramps were horrifying.
Liposuction - this painful procedure only removes stubborn fat in specific areas. Cosmetic surgery doesn't teach you fitness and long term solutions to weight problems, therefore, for me, it was only minimally beneficial. Fat will not stay off unless you eat and workout. simple.
Diet pills - stay away! these pills can be dangerous and even fatal. It is often not known what is actually in these pills, but they can be - and frequently are - toxic. They can have side effects such as dehydration, restlessness, vomiting, dizziness, rapid heartbeat and even death.
Suffice to say, I bitterly regret resorting to these and would strongly advise anyone against ever purchasing such dangerous pills.. Within 6 weeks I had lost such a drastic amount of weight that people were shocked when they saw me.
Diet pills (I now call them Devil's Candy) rendered me incredibly frightened, there were moments when I could not breathe, my heart raced like a formula one car on a track, my mouth was constantly dry, and my mood swings were terrifying.
It was just 8 weeks into taking diet pills that I stopped. I had become a stranger to myself.
I remember worrying what would become of my beautiful children if something were to happen to me, they needed a healthy mother, I owed it to them.
I had fast shrunk to a size 6/8, You can see in the photo below, but I was bordering on manic depression.
One Spring morning I reached a psychological crossroads, I debated whether to tip the pills down the toilet, or keep going.
I was on the verge of being gripped by an addiction, and so I flushed the pills down the toilet. That decision certainly saved my life, I too could have been a fatality, just like poor Eloise.
I am now fit and healthy with adored, happy children. Ultimately, it was the thought of my kids that gave me the courage to flush away the Devil's Candy.
I eat well, I workout 4 times a week, I have shaped and sculpted my body to a place I am now comfortable with, my tools? a simple skipping rope and a treadmill.
I have emerged from a decade of diet disasters older and wiser, I could not do my job without being brutally honest, firstly with myself.
I am so grateful and privileged to have made it, because unlike Eloise, god rest her soul, I am here to tell you.