Moving more spurred Emma on to lose 3st
Magazine cover star, Emma Green, turned her RAF husband’s long absences into the perfect opportunity to get in shape and find herself again.
‘The one constant in my life was food and I used it as an anchor when everything around me felt chaotic. I started going to military fitness and couldn’t believe how it transformed my body.’
12 st 11 lb
2 st l3 lb
9 st 12 lb
|Size 10 and full of energy
When Dan told me he was in the RAF, it gave us an instant bond, as my dad is in the RAF too. We weren’t the kind of couple to lounge around the house at weekends; instead, we’d go for long runs or bike rides. I was a size 10 at this point and full of energy. Exercising felt like ‘our time’ together. It still came as a shock when, after dating for just two months, Dan was posted to Fife, Scotland, for two years.
In 2007 Dan was posted closer to home in Lincolnshire and we moved in together. We also got engaged during a walk in St Andrews in Scotland! Just six months after moving in together, I discovered I was pregnant with my son, Dylan, now four. When Dylan was just a few months old, Dan had to leave again – this time for two months, to complete training exercises in Las Vegas, California and Canada.
The one constant in my life at this time was food, and I used it as an anchor when everything else around me felt chaotic. Somehow, during this hectic period, Dan and I also managed to plan our wedding! We held the reception in a converted stable and it was a lovely day, but while I was a size 10 when I met him, my wedding dress was a size 16.
Preoccupied with two kids
The following year, in 2010, I fell pregnant again with my daughter, Ellie-Grace, now nineteen months old. By this time, I’d started my first job teaching geography to 11- to 18-year-olds at a local school, and was busy with lesson plans, marking and staff meetings. Again, Dan was sent abroad for several weeks at a time throughout my pregnancy.
I was so preoccupied with work and the two kids that I barely thought about my weight, until one day I realised my clothes no longer fitted nicely. Looking back, it’s easy to see where I went wrong. As a busy mum, my eating habits were all over the place. I’d have whatever was quickest and easiest; often eating nothing all day, then grabbing crisps or chocolate in the evening. Even when I tried to be healthy, I ate the wrong things. For example, I’d think I was being good by having a yogurt for breakfast but it would be a creamy Müller Rice.
I’d started holding a cushion in front of my tummy, and living in cardigans to cover up my wobbly arms, even if I was just at home with the kids. I felt drained and tired, a world away from the carefree girl who used to hop on a bike for hours at a time!
Learning new routines
My mum had previously been successful with Weight Watchers, so I thought I’d join my local meeting and see if it could work for me too. To my complete astonishment I lost 5lb in my first week and that initial loss spurred me on to lose around 2lb every week from then onwards. I wanted to earn my meals and deserve them, so I’d make little compromises with myself. For example, I’d forgo having chocolate digestives with my cup of tea, so I could save some ProPoints values for a tastier dinner later, such as hunter’s chicken. I discovered a new appreciation for food, as I was thinking much more about what went into my mouth.
A powerful incentive
When Dan came home after having been away for a few weeks, he couldn’t believe the difference in my body shape. And his amazement marked the start of a powerful new incentive for me. I started using his trips away to really focus on losing weight so that the next time he walked through the door I’d be even smaller!
Military fitness transformed my body
I also felt brave enough to join a military fitness training group that a friend had recommended to me. I was terrified that everyone there would be super-skinny and fit, but there are different levels – green, amber or red – depending on your fitness level, so I was relieved to see people of all shapes, sizes and ability. I started going three times a week for one hour and couldn’t believe how it transformed my body! The activities are different every time, so I never get bored. In January 2012 I graduated into the highest fitness level group (green), which reaffirmed how far I’d come. Now, I hate missing a session, as it gives me such a buzz.
Setting small goals helped me reach goal
When I first started Weight Watchers, my goal weight of 10st 7lb seemed a long way
off. Each week I’d look down at my loss on the scales and be convinced it was a fluke. But it kept coming off until I hit my goal just four months later! Soon my weight had dropped to 9st 12lb and I was back to the size 10 I was when I first met Dan. By far the best thing about losing weight has been the change to my self-belief.
Try setting yourself this small goal and see if you can build it into a regular routine - Try standing up for your usual sit-down activities.