Since losing my Mum in 2006 I almost doubled my weight. I had never been much of a comfort eater before and I always managed to keep my weight below nine stone (I'm 5ft 2"). Then when Mum was diagnosed with cancer I suddenly wanted to eat everything I laid my eyes on. It was a different stress reaction for me, as usually I would lose my appetite when faced with a stressful situation and lose weight instead of gain. I also decided to pack in the fags around the same time which I guess contributed to my weight gain. A lot of stressful scenarios later and I found myself uncomfortably big.
Last year the doctor told me that stress and grief were likely to be at the root of my weight problem. I was surprised that he mentioned grief because my Mum had been gone for eight years, and as much as I miss her like crazy, surely I must be out of the 'grief zone' by now? The doctor told me that everyone is different so grief affects people in very different ways and for varying lengths of time. It just so happened that I had turned to food as a crutch. He asked if I felt depressed and I told him that I do, but only when I think about my Mum. The yearning to speak to her sends my anxiety into over-drive and then I will cry, finding it impossible to stop the tears, which frustrates me. He suggested walking for therapy and even though I know walking is marvelous for lifting my spirits I sort of felt he was fobbing me off.
Anyway I decided to really try and make the effort to walk every single day, without fail and I did. I made sure I wore my Fitbug pedometer and aimed for 10,000 steps everyday. At first I struggled even to make 5,000 especially as it was the middle of winter and freezing cold winds lashed at my face, but I was determined to make that 10,000. Every walk got easier and easier until I was walking 15,000 steps most days with no trouble at all. That is over seven miles a day and sometimes I would walk that in one go across miles of farm fields.
I feel really proud of myself for sticking it out because three months in I have lost two stone and feel amazing. In fact it has spurned me on to get fitter and stronger with weight lifting. I still have four stone to lose and my goal is to have that all gone by Christmas. I initially dropped a dress size with walking and then a couple of weeks after lifting weights I dropped another dress size, so I'm thrilled and it has given me the motivation to finish this weight problem once and for all.
Have you had success with walking?