Thursday 29 September 2016

#13weekstil30: 'This week I fit in to a dress that hasn’t gone near me in a long time,' says Vicki Notaro

Published 23/11/2015 | 14:52

Penneys jeans
Penneys jeans

This week, I’ve been thinking a lot about the reasons I wanted to lose weight.

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Now that I’ve started to noticeably slim down and tone up, I’m at the point of wondering why I was ever such a glutton, why I ever thought it was okay to eat takeaways four nights a week and never exercise. I know there’s nothing more irritating than an over-zealous convert but don’t worry – I would do just about anything for a guilt-free Spice Bag, and I’ve been craving seashell pralines non-stop for the past fortnight. I haven’t been brainwashed, but I have started to enjoy the process and I just don’t know why I was allowing myself to be so destructive up ‘til now.

There are myriad reasons I suggested this column to my editor. After a couple of little scares this year, I’ve become a lot more conscious of my general health and entering my thirties suddenly seemed a lot more serious than being a twenty-something. I want to be a healthier person, to conquer my greed when it comes to food and drink. I wanted to fuel my body correctly and stop those moments of extreme hunger and uncomfortable fullness. I wanted to be able to walk up a couple of flights of stairs without feeling like my lungs were going to explode. I also wanted to fit in my own clothes again, to be able to wear the items in my wardrobe that I’ve just been pretending don’t exist. I wanted to be able to walk in to a room without feeling self-conscious.

But more than all that, I wanted to look like myself again. I’m not ashamed to admit that vanity was a massive motivator, because the changes in my body were such a visible indicator of the change in my attitude. Quite simply, I’d let myself go, and it was bothering me. Then it bothered me that I cared so much about something so shallow – after all, what does weight matter in the grand scheme of things as long as you’re happy and healthy? But therein lies the rub – I was neither anymore.

Vicki's healthy bounty bar from Little Green Spoon
Vicki's healthy bounty bar from Little Green Spoon

As I’ve mentioned before, I was always slim growing up and naturally so. I didn’t exercise, but I didn’t have the voracious appetite I do now either. But I don’t think I even realised that I had a good body in my early to mid twenties – it’s only looking back now that it strikes me how lucky (and jammy!) I was. Facebook’s On This Day function and the app Timehop have become really popular this year, so I’m now regularly reminded of how I used to look, images of the old me littering my timeline – and that’s really what spurred me on.

Taking on this challenge was never about looking like a Victoria’s Secret Angel or having washboard abs. I just want to look like the girl in the photos that are popping up on my feed from four, five, six years ago. Obviously I’m older now, so I’m never going to have the arms I did at 23 again. But I don’t want to resign myself to getting gradually bigger over time and blaming it on my age. Over the last eighteen months, I haven’t recognised the woman I see in pictures taken at events or tagged by other people. It’s easy to control your own self-image with an artfully angled selfie, but when you get a fright at the sight of yourself from somebody else’s point of view, it can be a rude awakening.

This week, I fit in to a dress that hasn’t gone near me in a long time. A bra that used to cut off my circulation is suddenly comfortable, and my ankles feel roomier in my boots – who knew that your ankles could lose weight?! It’s a very good feeling, made even better my the fact that I’m not on a deprivation or elimination diet.

I’ve been continuing to train with Mairead at OneEscape. I enjoyed Spinning and went back for more this week, and also did a HIIT workout at home when I was too busy to hit the gym. I went out on Saturday night and drank Dublin dry of Prosecco, but instead of ordering Chizza (that’s Chinese and Pizza) yesterday, I made my own fakeaway. This week, Mairead is going to take my measurements again and I’m hoping for another drop. 

I’ve also been exploring healthy treats, because sometimes a girl just needs her chocolate. I love the website thelittlegreenspoon.com, so I whipped out the food processor and made Indy’s clean Bounty bars. While a lot healthier than their processed and sugary counterparts, they’re not calorie free and you don’t have carte blanche to eat the whole tray. But they go a long way to curing a craving, only have four ingredients and taste divine.

Thanks for all the kind words on social media – they help keep me on the straight and narrow! Follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat via @vickinotaro.

Vicki's healthy Carbonara
Vicki's healthy Carbonara

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