Today has been a really emotional day for me, for one simple reason: I have finally reached a healthy weight of 8 stone 4. It might sound tiny (it's only 116 pounds for those who don't use stones and pounds) but for me, it's absolutely amazing. Let me take you back to my 14-year-old self.
7 years ago, I weighed in at a tiny 6 stone 12. You could see ribs, collarbones, hip bones ... every bone you could think of. At the time I thought it was all right because people didn't bully me for it. Skinny meant that people liked me, and it meant that people had one less thing to bully me for. I never thought that it was something that could potentially lead to infertility, osteoporosis and goodness knows what else. This continued for 4 years until I left my school and went on to another school to do A Levels.
At 17, I realised that my weight was unhealthy. I'd started taking the Pill for my hormones and periods, and my doctor told me that my weight was severely underweight for my age and height. She told me that I would have to gain weight and that whilst the Pill could help with that, I should try and gain weight via food rather than relying on the pill. So, 4 long years ago, my battle to gain weight began. It was hard at first because I was still experiencing bullying, isolation and didn't feel like I had the strength to make a go of it.
My weight eventually went up to 7 stone 2, and I looked a lot better than I had done. My ribs disappeared under a thin layer of fat, my hip bones started to disappear, but my collarbones were still very prominent so I knew I had a long way to go. I left school weighing 7 stone 2, and went to university thinking that my weight was OK. When I met Jonathan, he was shocked at how thin I was, but I had a mental block and refused to admit that I was unhealthy.
Aged 19 I finally decided to take a long, hard look at myself and realised that my weight was really unhealthy. After Jonathan proposed in February 2011, I made a conscious decision: I was going to reach 8 stone 5 by the time I got married. However, until we set the date for our wedding (21st August 2013), which we did April 2012, I didn't have a set goal. After the date was set, I had a goal and I was more determined than ever to meet it and get to that weight.
Now, 7 years after that fateful weigh-in, I am so so proud of myself. I have shown myself that I have the determination to meet my goal and the ability to get there. I have proved that I can be healthy and stay healthy despite all the stress and drama that has gone on in my life. I have finally shown the people who bullied me that I am stronger than them, that I can get through the crap they threw my way and that they are the weaker than me.
I want to say a massive thank you to my amazing fiancé Jonathan for supporting me throughout everything, to everyone on My Fitness Pal (www.myfitnesspal.com) for keeping me afloat and championing me, to my parents for loving me, and to my bullies for making me stronger. I couldn't have done it without you!