Week 54 weigh-in: I’m back in my little red dress!!!!

Hey guys

AAGGHH!!!!!! I’m so amazed that I’ve got back into this dress but, before I show you, let’s take a look at this week’s report card:

What’s happened this week?

  • I lost 2 lbs
  • My weight’s now in the lower 170 lbs
  • My BMI is now in the lower 26s
  • I’ve acknowledged that I need help and I’ve reached out for support with my eating disorder. So, I’ve an online meeting later on today with a specialist.

What could Erika improve on?

  • Increase my calories…. yes, still finding this hard…
  • Drink more water and less diet soda

Erika’s next target(s):

  • 2 lbs until my BMI is in the 25s!!!!!
  • 3 lbs until I can go horse riding at a nearby stables (although I can ride elsewhere)
  • 3 lbs until I’m at my wedding weight from nearly 25 years ago
  • 8 lbs until my weight’s in the healthy range (just over half a stone!)
  • 8 lbs until I’ve lost half of my original weight!
  • 15 lbs until my ultimate goal so that I have a 7 lb buffer to stay in the healthy range!

I am BEYOND excited today! I bought a little red dress 25 years ago which I’ve worn in public once but I managed to try it on again 10 years ago when I lost a lot of weight. Clothes have come and gone in that time but this dress has remained in my wardrobe as the ‘When I can get back into this, I know I’ve done well‘ piece of clothing. I was sorting out my clothes earlier and thought I’d try it on…. guessing that the zip wouldn’t go all the way up but, yes, it did! This is such a non-scale victory!

I’ll be back on Wednesday but, as ever, please feel free to share your diet / weight-related successes, frustrations or anything else on your mind.

Take care

Love Erika xx

Recordable weight loss since starting to blog:Still to lose:Current weight:BMI:
135 lbs15 lbs173 lbs26.2
Plus 21 lbs lost prior to blogging

Films and documentaries about eating disorders

Hey guys

I thought I’d tell you about 5 films and documentaries I’ve watched in recent weeks (some of them having watched many times before). Whether you may / do have an eating disorder, whether you know someone with an eating disorder or just want to gain some insight, these are definitely worth a watch.

1. Kate’s Secret (1986) – available on YouTube

This film depicts a 30-something year old mum and wife struggling with bulimia and, in my experience as someone who ended up in hospital due to bulimia, really shows this eating disorder in its true sense. Also, I find that most films focus on teenagers so seeing adults affected is really welcomed. The film stars Meredith Baxter (from Family Ties fame), Ben Masters and Ed Asner (who’s just an iconic actor!).

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2. The Karen Carpenter Story (1989) – available on YouTube

I was SO excited to meet Cynthia Gibb who plays Karen in this film a couple of years ago. In fact, she told us about the challenges of making the film and the extraordinarily tight control that the Carpenter family had over its production. But it tells the true story about the singer who found fame with her brother but died in 1983 due to complications linked to anorexia. One day, I’d love to go to a Carpenters convention in the US because I know the lyrics of virtually every song and I’d love to visit Downey, California where she lived.

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3. Thin (2006) – available on YouTube

This documentary follows the lives of 4 teenagers and women receiving treatment at the Renfrew Centre, Florida. Really complex individual stories (well, I guess eating disorders are complicated in themselves) and it’s rather sad when you google what happened to some of the participants but it’s an interesting watch.

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4. Dying to be Perfect : The Ellen Hart Pena Story (1996) – available on YouTube

This depicts the true story of US athlete Ellen Hart Pena who became anorexic and bulimic, sparked by a suggestion that her sporting performance might improve if she lost some weight but there also appeared to be other contributory factors. Why do I like this one? I guess I have this long held belief that I’m never good enough, that I’m never perfect enough (yes, I know there’s no such thing as perfect) so I can relate to Ellen. But accepting that I may be ‘okay’ is work in progress. In fact, my therapist said recently that he sees university students placing immense pressure on themselves to be perfect, failure not being an option, desperately to achieve 100%. But, in the UK, you can get a first class degree if you achieve around 70% overall. You don’t have to be 100% to be successful.

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5. Louis Theroux: Talking to Anorexia (2017)

I like Louis! He’s this quiet almost unassuming British documentary maker who doesn’t shy away from asking the difficult questions but I love his observations (he did a brilliant one about death based in the US). But in this documentary, he’s on the ward of a couple of eating disorder wards in London and he also visits a lady who’s struggled with anorexia for decades. Just a quiet watch but helpful at least for me.

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But other films and documentaries include Perfect Body, Sharing the Secret, Dying to Dance, Hunger Point, To Be Fat Like Me, Emma Wants to Live (this is tragically sad), Feed, My Skinny Sister, When Friendship Kills, For the Love of Nancy, Starving in Suburbia and The Best Little Girl in the World. All these films have girls and women as their central characters and, of course, we know that boys and men struggle too and I think it would be helpful to see a guy as a central character. Saying that, the BBC recently showed a documentary by English cricket Freddie Flintoff about his battle with bulimia and he also featured other men. And in fact, reflecting on the characters in these films, nearly every person is white. Let’s have more diversity please!

But on a different serious note, something has just jumped out at me and you may say “duh” when I tell you what it is. Several of these film titles contain the words perfect and dying. Thing is, I know that eating disorders are dangerous (whilst feeling so good and control at the same time) but seeing the above words in black and white has just hit me a bit today. Can only be a good thing?

So, I’ll be back on Monday with my next weigh-in. In fact, on Monday afternoon just after when I usually blog, I’ve an online meeting scheduled with an eating disorder clinic about potentially accessing support so I’ll update you about how it goes later on in the week.

Well, hope you all have a good weekend and if you know of any other eating disorder films or documentaries, please do let me know

Love Erika xx

When the weight loss thing went wrong

Hey guys

Well, I say it ‘went wrong’ but I need to hold onto the hope that I can get back on track.

For anyone stumbling across my blog for the first time, hello 🙂 So, I’ve lost more than 150 lbs so far and, for the vast majority of the past year, I’ve brought a really healthy mind, focusing on just the next tiny goal . And that can be tricky to do with a history of anorexia and bulimia but, for the most part, I was doing okay.

I was recently diagnosed with atypical anorexia because I meet all the anorexia criteria except I’m not underweight and things have got a bit serious. So, as I mentioned on Monday, I thought I’d reflect on what happened. What was the point where my healthy attitude changed and I started getting obsessive about every calorie I was eating?

Back in December, I started to get some vague idea about restricting my calories and I was desperate not to go back to this mental place from 10 years ago when I ended up on no more than 250 calories a day. From February until December ’20, I had a very rough idea about how many calories I was eating but I didn’t want to count every single one. I was losing weight eating sensible portions and working out. But I think it’s the moment when I found myself drawn into a mindset of weighing and calculating absolutely everything. At that point, it became all about the calories and a desperation to see the figure on the scales change. And I guess this coincided with some pressures here at home. There’s some serious stuff that I can’t control but eating is something that I can…..well, you know.

Since then, I’ve just started feeling uncomfortable about what I’m eating, feeling as if I’m eating too much. As I mentioned on Friday’s post, the little I’m eating is starting to hugely impact my body and my doctor is very concerned. She’s mentioned about referring me to the eating disorder service although she needs my consent but I have spent the past couple of days looking into some private options too that could more easily fit around my life. Goodness, as a business owner, taking time out is hard and, yes, I know I have to prioritise my own health but doing it in reality is hard. Anyway, one place got back to me today and we’re currently scheduling a conversation to chat things through, such as what they offer, if they feel they can help me. Yes, I’m recognising that I do need help but giving up control feels scary.

If anyone’s losing weight and signs of eating disorders are creeping in, I’d really encourage you to seek help straightaway. In no time at all, we can end up in this place where we feel stuck and the earlier that help is sought, the easier it may be to unstick ourselves. To be honest, I wish all this stuff with the anorexia would just go away as I want to pretend it’s not happening. I think the next few weeks and months are going to be a rollercoaster but, as ever, I’ll be open with you and perhaps I can get back on track and enjoy all that life has to offer. ‘cos life is good! And, especially post-Covid, I want to be jetting off for weekends away!

Take care

Erika xx

Week 53 weigh-in: 10 lbs until my weight’s in the ‘healthy’ range

Hey guys

How was your weekend? On Saturday, I decided to head to a stunning town about 1.5 hours away that’s truly steeped in history, with timber-beam and stone buildings originating from the 12th and 13th centuries, and the most unusual houses and shops lining the cobblestone streets. Rye is just gorgeous and absolutely beautiful to walk around. Photography is very much something I love, trying to capture unusual shots, and my steps soon clocked up on my FitBit.

So, let’s crack on with this week’s report card:

What’s happened this week?

  • I lost 3 lbs
  • My weight’s now halfway through the 170 lbs
  • I’ve now lost 11 stone
  • I’ve lost 90% of my excess weight
  • I’m now lighter than when I lost a lot of weight 10 years ago, making me the lightest I’ve been for almost 25 years

What could Erika improve on?

  • Increase my calories…. yes, still finding this hard…

Erika’s next target(s) along with the big ones!

  • 1 lb until my BMI is in the lower 26s
  • 1 lb until my weight’s in the lower 170s
  • 5 lbs until I can go horse riding at a nearby stables (although I can ride elsewhere)
  • 5 lbs until I’m at my wedding weight from nearly 25 years ago
  • 10 lbs until my weight’s in the healthy range
  • 10 lbs until I’ve lost half of my original weight!
  • 17 lbs until my ultimate goal so that I have a 7 lb buffer to stay in the healthy range!

As you’ll see from the tag line of my blog, my story is meant to be about a huge weight loss journey without falling into the traps of previous eating disorders and, for those who’ve read my blog over the past few weeks, you’ll know that I’m now very much struggling with atypical anorexia. So, I need to think about the direction of this blog in a way that helps me process my thoughts, especially over the next few weeks, whilst avoiding any promotion of unhealthy behaviour. So, on Wednesday, I’m going to reflect on the point of this journey where things started to get unhealthily obsessive…. in the hope that anyone reading this who’s also trying to toe that fine line between dieting and EDs can avoid going down this very murky route which I’m on.

I’ll be back on Wednesday but, as ever, please feel free to share your diet / weight-related successes, frustrations or anything else on your mind.

Take care

Love Erika xx

Recordable weight loss since starting to blog:Still to lose:Current weight:BMI:
133 lbs17 lbs175 lbs26.5
Plus 21 lbs lost prior to blogging

Atypical anorexia… the medical results are in…

Hello guys

I think I need to take a bit of deep breath before I blog today as I’m trying to process a conversation I had with my doctor yesterday.

So, the upshot of the conversation is that I may have a problem with my heart, my kidney function is reduced, my vitamin D levels are extremely low and my folic acid levels are also extremely low. She said about prescribing tablets to increase my vitamin D and folic acid levels and the first thing that came to my mind (and which just feel out of my mouth) was “How many calories would be in those?” She said it would be next to nothing but I don’t know if I can ingest something without knowing the calories involved. My doctor seemed really concerned that I’d even have this thought and said that it’s the first time she’s come across this with anyone with anorexia or bulimia. In fact, she seemed commented about my comment a couple of times and said that this alone raised significant concern from her perspective.

So, she said that perhaps I need to be referred to the eating disorder service and the local mental health team…. but I don’t know what to do. Do I need support? What would be achieved when I’m already seeing a psychotherapist privately as I come to terms with being a carer. I’m feeling extraordinarily stuck about what help would look like. She did ask about what I felt I needed but the one thing that could potentially help me get out of this situation is something that’s not easily obtained through the health service or even privately…. meal support. Someone to help me break out of the trap of staying within so many calories… but, simultaneously, I feel really in control and I don’t want that control to be taken away. I don’t know, guys. I’ve never had physical health issues before so I’m trying to process all of this. I’m seeing my therapist on Monday so it’ll be good to talk it through.

But I’m focusing right now on drinking lots of water for the sake of my kidneys. I drink way too much Diet Coke but I’m really cutting this back to one can a day with the aim to stopping altogether. So, I suspected the results wouldn’t be okay and, unfortunately, I was right….

We’ll see what happens over the next few weeks when I undergo some more tests and try to decide if I am willing to accept help.

I’ll be back on Monday but wishing you a lovely weekend

Love Erika xx

Losing weight with popcorn!

Hey folks

I was going to call this post ‘Popcorn without the guilt‘ but actually no food is necessarily a bad food! It comes down to portion control and in fact I know there are people who will only crave food more if they feel they’re being deprived.

But yes, I thought I’d share my dinner with you. This is so low-cal with a portion of plain noodles, green beans, aubergine (eggplant), mushrooms and soy sauce. Cooked within 10 minutes and actually something that feels doable as a non-cook. Trust me, I don’t enjoy cooking although I’m starting to get very slowly adventurous. Hubby and I used to do lots of stir-fries but we just got out of the habit. Anyway, I’ve a stack of veg to use up so I’ll be doing a stir fry for the next few evenings.

And then popcorn for dessert! Actually, I’m not normally a fan of popcorn but I saw these were just 53 calories and they’re actually fairly tasty (can be bought from Sainsbury’s in the UK). But no wonder why they’re very low-cal. The bag is about a quarter full! But psychologically, I feel like I’ve had a bag of popcorn and I just took my time devouring each one. In truth, I could have downed the pack in one!!! Usually, if I have a dessert, I’m more likely to go for a 6 calorie sugar-free jelly but I had room in my calorie limit to check out these today.

I’ll be back either Friday or Saturday but, in the meantime, I’d love to know what are your go-to low-cal meals and snacks. Bonus points for anything that can be cooked in next to no time!

Love Erika xx

Week 52 weigh-in: One year of blogging!

Hey guys

Today’s blog comes from a rather bleary-eyed Erika who, based in the UK, stayed up until the early hours watching the Oscars! But, yes, I’ve now blogged for a whole year and I can’t thank you enough for joining me on my journey. Honestly, I truly appreciate it. I know things are getting a bit serious at the moment with the atypical anorexia and I’ll find out this week about how the eating disorder is affecting my body but, right now, let’s crack on with this week’s report card:

What’s happened this week?

  • I lost 2 lbs
  • My weight’s now in the 170 lbs!
  • My BMI is in the 26s

What could Erika improve on?

  • Increase my calories…. yes, still finding this hard …

Erika’s next target(s) along with the big ones!

  • 2 lbs until I’m the same weight as 10 years ago
  • 3 lbs until I’ve lost 11 stone in all
  • 3 lbs until I’ve lost 90% of my excess weight
  • 4 lbs until my BMI is in the lower 26s
  • 8 lbs until I’m at my wedding weight from nearly 25 years ago
  • 13 lbs until my weight’s in the healthy range (under 1 stone to go!)
  • 20 lbs until my ultimate goal so that I have a 7 lb buffer to stay in the healthy range!

A very close friend came round to my home at the weekend but, because of Covid, I hadn’t seen her for months. As she walked into my garden, her first words were “You’re so tiny!” Although I have lots of loose skin, the thing I found when I was this weight 10 years ago is that I get to the point where I’m heavier than I may look. 10 years ago, I had people telling me not to lose any more, despite me actually being overweight. So it makes me wonder how I’ll look when my BMI does get into the healthy range… but I’m not looking too far ahead. I’m just focusing on that next pound. That’s how I’ve got this far… one step, one pound at a time.

I’ll be back on Wednesday but, as ever, please feel free to share your diet / weight-related successes, frustrations or anything else on your mind.

Take care

Love Erika xx

Recordable weight loss since starting to blog:Still to lose:Current weight:BMI:
130 lbs20 lbs178 lbs26.9
Plus 21 lbs lost prior to blogging

Being a ‘healthy’ weight is finally just around the corner!

Hi guys

You know, there’s a page on my blog that I sometimes forget to update as my weight loss journey continues. Yesterday, I realised that I needed to tick off a few more goals I’d achieved and, wow, the visuals illustrate how my BMI and other stats are getting so much nearer to the ‘healthy’ category… something I couldn’t have dreamt of. So, today’s blog is basically showing you what’s given me a lift today as I start on the homeward straight…..

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Ticking off every 5lbs of weight loss (starting at 329 lbs…goal is 158…. though 165 puts me in the healthy range)

329325320315
310305300295
290285280275
270265260255
250245240235
230225220215
210205200195
190185180175
170165160158

Ticking off half BMI points (starting at a BMI of 50…goal is under 25)

5049.54948.5
4847.54746.5
4645.54544.5
4443.54342.5
4241.54140.5
4039.53938.5

3837.53736.5
3635.53534.5
3433.53332.5
3231.53130.5
3029.52928.5
2827.52726.5
2625.525<25

Getting under each (UK) stone/half stone (1 stone = 14 lbs) Started at 23 stone 7…goal is 11 stone 4 though 11 stone 11 puts me in the healthy range (I’m 5 foot 8)

23.52322.522
21.52120.520
19.51918.518
17.51716.516
15.51514.514
13.51312.512
11.5 11 4lbs

Weight classifications

No longer being super obese (BMI 50+)
No longer being morbidly obese (BMI 40-49.9)
No longer being in the upper obese range (BMI 35-39.9)
No longer being obese (BMI 30-34.9)
No longer being overweight (BMI 25-29.9) because I’m a HEALTHY WEIGHT! (BMI 19-24)

You see, my journey is all about focusing on the next tiny goal as I could have easily felt disillusioned at the beginning of this journey thinking that I’d never get to where I’m at.

I’ll be back on Monday with my weigh-in. To be honest, I’m dreading next week as I have my ECG and I heard a couple of days ago that my blood test has shown something that my doctor wants to talk about…. so a potentially challenging week next week but that’s not now! I’ve a weekend to enjoy first and I hope you enjoy your weekend too ❤

Love Erika xx

Mouth hunger or stomach hunger? This is key!

Hello guys

Just a short post today but I read something the other day and, wow, it resonated with me so much that I wanted to share it with you.

How many times do you eat something but then afterwards feel that it wasn’t enough or it wasn’t what you really needed?

You see, it’s very easy to think that when we experience hunger, our stomachs are calling out for something filling. We might have had dinner but it doesn’t feel enough so we follow it up with some biscuits, some candy, etc. … basically, more calories.

It may be that your stomach is fine but it’s your taste buds that need something to hit the spot. In Monday’s post, I mentioned that Ryvita Thins have just 29 calories each and I find that the chilli in these completely do the job. Happy taste buds, happy Erika who’s kept in control of what she’s eaten.

But, as I’ve said before, remember that dehydration has that sneaky way to disguise itself as hunger so, first step, drink water!

And before you go…. I’ve hit another milestone. Where I live, we’re advised that women’s waists should be 31.5″ or less. I think you can guess where I’m heading with this but, yes, my waist is 31.5″!!! Last summer, it was 48″ so anything is possible 🙂

Hope you have a great day, everyone

Love Erika xx

Week 51 weigh-in: the UK food traffic light system!

Hello guys

Okay, before I tell you all about this, let’s take a look at this week’s report card:

What’s happened this week?

  • I lost 3 lbs
  • I’ve now lost more than 10.5 stone in all
  • I’m now under 13 stone
  • My BMI’s in the lower half of the overweight category
  • I’ve bought more veg! Yes, on tomorrow’s menu are homemade aubergine (eggplant) crisps and I’ve bought spinach and red peppers to make omelettes.

What could Erika improve on?

  • Increase my calories…. yes, still finding this hard and it’s now just 10 days until my ECG…

Erika’s next target(s) along with the big ones!

  • 1 lb until my weight’s in the 170s
  • 2 lbs until my BMI’s in the 26s
  • 4 lbs until I’m the same weight as 10 years ago
  • 5 lbs until I’ve lost 11 stone in all
  • 5 lbs until I’ve lost 90% of my excess weight
  • 10 lbs until I’m at my wedding weight from nearly 25 years ago
  • 15 lbs until my weight’s in the healthy range (just more than 1 stone to go!)
  • 22 lbs until my ultimate goal so that I have a 7 lb buffer to stay in the healthy range!

So, back to the traffic light system Many food producers in the UK display nutritional information on products using a traffic light system so that we can see at a glance whether it’s healthy or not. I have to say that this makes food choice reasonably easy because I make a point of staying away from anything colour-coded red. Here’re some examples:

So, okay, the Ryvita one isn’t colourful but I can instantly see if these flatbreads are okay to snack on and yes they are! These are unbelievably tasty and just 29 calories. And this jambalaya is something I could live on everyday! Virtually green across the board and just 319 calories. Do you have anything similar in your country to help people make healthy choices? Please do tell!

I’ll be back on Wednesday to talk about mouth hunger versus stomach hunger but, in the meantime, hope you have a good couple of days. As ever, please feel free to share your diet / weight-related successes, frustrations or anything else on your mind.

Take care

Love Erika xx

Recordable weight loss since starting to blog:Still to lose:Current weight:BMI:
128 lbs22 lbs180 lbs27.2
Plus 21 lbs lost prior to blogging