My name is Fiona, I live in the West Coast of Scotland. This feels like a dating advert! I have had problems with food my whole life. I have always been overweight, since I was a little girl all the way up to now, I did have one period of “normal weight” when I was a teenager, and at that point a vegetarian. However, when I went back to eating meat, the weight came back on and I just ballooned. Not to blame my children, but I used my two pregnancies as an excuse to stuff my face to a truly horrible level. I’m not sure why I felt like I wanted to eat so much but pregnancy gave me the excuse.
I had a large gap between pregnancies but never lost all of the weight in between. I was always unhappy with my weight. Annoyed that I had let myself eat so much and get so big, that my weight had become a problem in my life. I couldn’t shop at normal places, I didn’t have the stamina for an energetic life. I slipped slowly into depression, perpetuated by my weight and giving me further go ahead to eat.
One thing I ate a lot of – meat. As an ex-vegetarian, I attempted to not think about where the meat was coming from, and most of the time I did manage to blot it out, but sometimes it would hit me and I just felt bad. But for some reason I had been conditioned into thinking that being vegetarian was too much hassle in my life, I was busy with studying, kids, my pets, I could never do that now, it’s just not realistic. Even my daughter said she wanted to go vegetarian and I very rationally talked her down, I feel ashamed thinking of that now.
I had two very traumatic life events, my mum died unexpectedly, then my father died slowly of cancer, both in the space of two years. I was a wreck when my mum died but when my dad was diagnosed almost exactly on her year anniversary I pulled myself together and steeled myself for what was coming. He lived for 8 months after the diagnosis and I continued stuffing my face, takeaways while staying at his, junk while travelling there, I was exhausted, for that period of my life I don’t blame me. But as the end was coming, I realised I had to make a choice, was I going to accept this? or was I going to change? Change it was.
He died in May 2015, I stopped smoking within a week, and lost a stone within a month. I lost weight at around a pound a week, slowly in part due to stopping smoking. In november, while in uni I saw someone suggest watching a youtube video called 101 reasons to go vegan. My life changed in that hour more than I ever thought possible.