Weight vs wellness

I’ve got something deeply uncool to admit.

As a fitness blogger, we’re not supposed to openly care about weight, are we?

‘Wellness’ is what we’re supposed to care about; that vague word that conjures up images of (conveniently) willowy-thin girls with long, shiny hair in Lululemon leggings, who like to drink green juices and do headstands all the time. Openly talking about weight, even if it’s what ‘wellness’ often boils down to, is uncool, and admitting you care about your own is even less cool- we’re supposed to live off spiralised emptiness to make us moreΒ well not more thin, right?

The thing is, I do care and I do want to lose weight.

Like most other FY1 doctors that I work with, I’ve accumulated the ‘FY1 fourteen’ since I started work last August; the stone or so of extra weight that creeps on when you’re always busy, always tired, usually comfort eating because you’re stressed, and sometimes, when you’ve lost your grasp on proper portion sizes because you live with a perpetually ravenous cyclist.


I was never more aware of this weight than training for the London Marathon through this winter. Compared to when I trained for the Yorkshire Marathon in 2013, the extra pounds weighed heavy; my legs would be niggly, and I’d feel slow and sluggish- just not myself. I’ve wanted to do something about it for a while, but always made just one more excuse about how I ‘need’ cake because James is having it, or that I’m on nights so I deserve a massive pile of carbs to keep me going. My race photos came back and confirmed what I already knew; I’m not fat, but I’m big for me.


Admitting I care about my weight might be deeply uncool, but it’s helping me to do something about it, by taking a big step. I’ve briefly followed a nutrition plan from fitnaturally before, and really enjoyed it but for one reason or another went back to doing my own thing. I’ve since re-enrolled and am using their plans to help structure what I eat, with great results so far.

And the best bit? No cutting out massive food groups. No fads or the need for everything to be gluten free. Just proper food, how it should be (full fat dairy ftw!), but in the right sort of proportions for me and what I’m doing at the moment, helping me re-align my appetite with what I actually need to eat. It’s thinking that maybe just because I’m on a social bike ride, maybe I don’t need a giant scone at the cafe stop, maybe a coffee and a banana would actually make me ride better. If I’m willing to spend money on my new baby below (say hi to Lizzie) to help me go faster, it makes sense to make myself more aero as well as the bike πŸ˜‰


8 thoughts on “Weight vs wellness

  1. Maddie

    thanks for writing this πŸ™‚ I feel I can relate as I too want to lose weight, but mainly to make running easier. I know I’m a healthy weight and don’t want to give up any food group or treats, but occasionally do slip into “treats” being everyday and portion sizes getting out of control (no cyclist for me! but an other half with a naturally low appetite, whose leftovers I often polish off as I hate throwing it away..). Would love more posts on how you get on, as I find this 100% more motivating than dieting/wellness guru hell.

    1. Sarah Marsden Post author

      Thank you for reading! I think what you said about treats slipping into being every day is so so true- I got to a point where ‘treats’ were so often I was just eating them for the sake of them! What you said about this being more motivating than wellness hell is so kind- I’ll definitely try to blog a bit more about the changes I’m making and how they’re going.

  2. Beki @MissWheezy

    Love the honesty! I think that sometimes if people aren’t “overweight” as such, talking about the fact that you’re still not comfortable with how you look can be a bit taboo. I have no doubt you will be back to feeling strong in no time but I’m definitely interested in how you go about it πŸ™‚ Cooking for 1 is my problem as I end up eating way more than I should!

    1. Sarah Marsden Post author

      Thanks Beki! I think you’re right that it can be hard to talk about when it’s not the done thing to say you want to be lighter. I’ll try and blog some of the ways I’ve been changing how I eat and the progress I’m making if people seem to be interested πŸ™‚ interesting what you say about cooking for 1! I found it easier to control what I ate when it was just for me at uni, but it can be hard not to end up eating more so it’s not wasted, can’t it? I find cooking for 2 brings its own challenges too!

  3. Lauren (@poweredbypb)

    I’m totally in the same place as this right now, I’m over a comfortable weight for me, and I’m actively trying to change that. For one reason or another I always gain at least half a stone when training for long distance stuff, think my body just holds on to everything- that and difficult to control runger!! I’ve taken some time off running, and my appetite has managed to go back to that of a normal person haha. I’ve now gone back to the gym for the first time in months, and actually tracked my intake for a few days just to see where I might be going wrong, and I was properly shocked at the amount of “healthy” fats I was eating daily, like it was really really adding up. I guess morale is that anything in excess isn’t a good thing even nut butter!! I’ve been making a few little tweaks here or there as well as getting back to some strength training and hoping it pays off over the next few months.

  4. Andy Bruce

    Hi Sarah,

    I really like this post. Would you mind me blogging about this and linking to this post? I see a lot of the issues you raise in some of the clients and athletes I work with. As you allude to, our relationship with food and our body often gets mixed up in many aspects of our lifestyle and the cultures within which we operate.



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