I could fit in the seats at the funfair!

Hi everyone

So, apologies that it’s been nearly a week since I’ve blogged. I just needed to give myself a break from the weekly weigh-in but I wanted to share with you that I let my inner child play last night. I went to a funfair on Brighton Pier which is on the south coast of England jutting out into the English Channel towards France. Brighton is a very popular and wonderfully vibrant city where people can truly be individuals and it’s a city that’s just a short train ride from London. In fact, it’s where I got engaged!

Yesterday, on a gloriously warm evening, I headed down to Brighton. I didn’t plan to go on any funfair rides and I assumed that the pier itself would be closed but, as I drove past, I found it was very much open, much later than usual as many people were soaking up the sun. I have to say that I hesitated for a moment when I reached the end of the pier wondering how daft it’d be for a 40-something year old going on rides but sometimes you just have to not worry what others will think and play. Before I knew it, I was going down the helter skelter on a coil mat, sitting on a horse on the carousel, being strapped into a rollercoaster and then being tossed about on another ride that made me very glad I hadn’t just eaten! But the best feeling was that I could fit into the seats! My head hasn’t caught up with the fact that I’ve lost 164 lbs so far but once I managed to fit on the first ride, that worry soon disappeared.

So, I’ll be back on Monday with a bit of an update with the professional support regarding atypical anorexia as I’ve finally found somewhere there’s been brilliant so far but more about that in a few days.

Hope you have a great weekend, everyone

Love Erika xx

BMI from 50 to 24.9!!!!!

Hey guys

Yes, my weight is finally in the ‘healthy’ range with my weight down from 329 lbs to 167 lbs since February 2020 and I’m now just 1 lb away from losing more than half my body weight. That actually feels quite significant to me now that I write that and I never thought I’d get here. It seemed like a very long way off when I started this journey but it’s always been about focusing on the next tiny goal. However, being really open with you, it’s such a really mixed, surreal feeling.

On the one hand, yay!!!!!!! I’m SO excited! The last time my weight was in the healthy range was about 30 years ago. I’m wearing the clothes that I want to wear, I’m no longer easily getting out of breath and I’ve far more energy. There are lots of other happy stats like my waist and body fat now being in the recommended range so there’s no denying that I’m completely chuffed to bits.

But on the other hand, I don’t feel that I can truly celebrate this moment which is really disheartening. As others who’ve been following my blog will know, I’ve fallen into the traps of a serious eating disorder. I’ve lots going on at the moment with waiting to hear back from a specialist eating disorder dietitian and from the local eating disorder service.

Now that my BMI is in the healthy range, I guess it’s understandable that I’m desperate to stay here! But I wonder if increasing my calories (even a little bit) will then lead to some weight going on with my body desperately holding onto any extra food in fear of how little food it’s had in recent months. And that scares me. But, at the same time, whilst my BMI is healthy, I need to get my body and brain into a healthy place too and perhaps increasing my calories will lead some fluctuation as my body adapts. I guess what’s important is that I look at the wider picture and as long as I don’t eat more than my body needs, there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be able to stay here in the healthy range in the long term. But, yes, now tackling my eating disorder is really the next goal.

I really hope you all have a great weekend everyone and I’ll be back on Monday to see if that extra pound has come off… and, if it hasn’t, well, is there really any rush? No, not really. Safety first, Erika. Safety first 🙂

Take care

Love Erika xx

Making time to stay well…

Hey folks

A short post today but this image popped up on my social media this morning and, goodness, I needed to see this…

As a businesswoman, my diary is packed over the next few months. And whilst part of me knows that I need to take out some time for myself to get professional help with cracking the restrictive eating of atypical anorexia, there’s that part of me that can’t possibly let other people down. Yet if I was an employee, I’d be talking to my line manager right now about needing to go on sick leave. I need to look beyond today and see the bigger picture of the future on many different levels.

I had a meeting with a specialist psychologist last night about some very individualised support and she shared her significant concern about how many calories I’m eating, And I think it’s finally dawning on me that I’m perhaps more unwell than I previously thought. That’s hard to admit but perhaps it’s a necessary step before I fully realise that the next step has to be recovery….

Much to think about today….

Love Erika xx

Week 57 weigh-in: 1 lb away from being in the healthy range!

Hello!

I have to admit that I really hoped to wake up this morning to announce “Ta daaah!!! My BMI’s under 25” and be able to squeeze this accomplishment into the very end of May. But is losing weight a race? Does it have to be today? Let’s check out this week’s report card:

What’s happened this week?

  • I lost 1 lb
  • My body fat is now under 30%
  • My body water is now consistently above 50% after often being dehydrated
  • I’ve signed up to do another fitness medal

What could Erika improve on?

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

Erika’s next target(s):

  • 1 lb until my weight’s in the healthy range! A single, solitary, standalone 1 lb left!
  • 2 lbs until I’ve lost over half of my original weight!
  • 8 lbs until my ultimate goal so that I have a 7 lb buffer to stay in the healthy range

— ❤ —

Last year as the pandemic broke and my weight loss journey began, I discovered an international community of people who walk, run, jog, etc. so that shiny new medals drop through their letter boxes. There are SO many websites doing these medals such as Virtual Runner UK, Race at Your Pace and The Conqueror (if you’re on Facebook, do check out The Conqueror Community page for the loveliest and most supportive group of people). Whether you want to cover a marathon distance in one go or set yourself the challenge of walking 5 km over the course of a whole month, there’s a medal out there for everyone and for every level of fitness. On Saturday, I did a 7km walk with a friend across fields and past lakes. Right now, I do need to strike a balance between pushing myself and being kind as, whilst my legs were absolutely fine afterwards, I felt dizzy for hours once I actually stopped walking. But it was very warm and I just need to listen to my body more.

When was my BMI last in the healthy range? Probably about 28 years ago so once I see my BMI go under 25, I’ll be straight on here! I never thought with my BMI starting out at 50 that I could halve it but I’m on the verge of doing that. I’m right on the cusp ❤

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:
142 lbs8 lbs166 lbs25.1
Plus 21 lbs lost prior to blogging

A non-scale victory! I didn’t search for the nearest car park space!

Hey folks

I don’t know about you but I’ve been staying away from the shops since the pandemic began. We’ve been able to get home delivery really easily and I’ve just wanted to stay safely away from others as much as possible.

Well, sensing that I’ve become a bit of a recluse, I’ve started to venture into some shops over the past couple of weeks but late into the evenings. Last night, I drove down to the coast because being anywhere with water (whether it’s the English Channel, a lake or even a duck pond!) does me the world of good mentally. I popped into a clothes shop (and was really excited to be buying US size 8 / UK size 12 clothes) but I then popped into a supermarket. This particular supermarket is one that I haven’t visited since I was 162 lbs heavier and I remember desperately trying to get the nearest space to the front of the shop… and needing to keep pausing to catch my breath. But I found myself last night deliberately parking slightly further away and purposefully walking towards the store with a huge spring in my step and not the slightest bit puffed out. THAT is progress! And it’s when we can compare the old and new that we get to see how far we’ve come.

Have a great weekend everyone. I was hoping that my weight may finally be in the ‘healthy’ range but the scales haven’t budged now for 7 days but let’s see if anything happens before Monday. 2 lbs, yes 2 lbs, will get me to that goal but I’ll celebrate whether it happens this week or next. I just need to think of a reward to treat myself to!

Take care

Erika xx

Atypical anorexia. Are you ready to recover?

Hey guys

I guess today’s post is to help me think through the concept of recovery from atypical anorexia although it can probably be applied to many other situations, not just eating disorders.

The thing is…. my current situation isn’t really about the food. Sure, the thought of food, how to avoid it, how I’m going to knock off another pound consumes almost every waking moment but things like eating disorders, alcoholism, self-harm and OCD are just the outward behavioural signs of inner turmoil.

As I’ve eluded before, I ‘get’ the logic about my situation as it links to being a carer. Focusing intently on my weight loss takes up a lot of mental space and helps me avoid focusing on the harder things. So, it serves a purpose. What I’m going to do is to look at the pros and cons of recovery. Even as I write that, I’m thinking “Erika, why wouldn’t you want to recover?!!!!” but let’s see how I get on with these lists.

The pros of recovery

  • I can become physically healthy again. I hope this is possible as I know that my organs are starting to be affected but I could possibly prevent them from at least deteriorating further
  • I can reclaim the mental space this is taking up
  • I can then refocus on adopting healthy eating patterns and fully embrace how I’ve lost over 160 lbs
  • I can stop panicking at the thought of meeting up with friends over meals as I love being with people!
  • I can take on the physical demands of things I’ve been looking forward to (which I don’t feel I can right now) like abseiling, adrenalin-filled rib boat experiences, etc.
  • I can get on with the therapeutic work that I’m mentally partly trying to avoid

The cons of recovery

  • It’s scary! If I don’t have this intent focus on all things food-related, I’m more likely to think about the painful stuff
  • I’m worried about increasing my calories in case I then can’t stop eating
  • If I can’t stop eating, I could put on all the weight
  • I don’t know how to recover

So, let’s challenge those cons:

It’s scary! If I don’t have this intent focus on all things food-related, I’m more likely to think about the painful stuff

Yes, it is scary and that’s understandable Erika. Thing is that those feelings about being a carer need to be processed and masking them isn’t going to make them go away. Talking about this stuff might be really hard but you’ve an amazing psychotherapist in place who you know you can tell anything to. Just think back to what it’s like when your mind feels free and you don’t feel trapped. You can do it, girl!

I’m worried about increasing my calories in case I then can’t stop eating

Isn’t that understandable?! You’ve lost all this weight, you’ve got a new body (including the excess skin but, meh, a small niggle). But you’ve also been doing the Noom program for 4 months and actually, despite the anorexia, you’ve been learning lots about healthy eating even if you’ve not been able to put it into practice. You’ve actually got a mental tool kit of strategies to now use. Yes, when you recovered from atypical anorexia 10 years ago, you did then put on a lot of weight but this time feels different. Apart from the carer issues, you’re in a good space overall.

If I can’t stop eating, I could put on all the weight

Check out what you wrote above, Erika. You can choose a healthy range to stay between which allows for normal fluctuations. You’ve already set this up as your body weight is 2 lbs away from being in the healthy range but you’d like to lose another 9 lbs overall so that you have some wriggle room.

I don’t know how to recover

And you don’t have to know. ‘Just eat more’ might sound SO simple but you don’t have to do this alone. You know that things have been escalated by your therapist and GP because of their concerns over physical risk so you need to pass over the control. You can’t do this any more. Keep an open mind. Listen to the eating disorder service people who have their area of expertise and work ‘with’ them. Don’t see support as something being done ‘to’ you but work with them like you’ve done with other professionals in the past. They’re just part of Team Erika and will want you to rediscover your true self.

— ❤ —

Gosh, that felt quite intense to write but I hope the above helps at least one person reading this, whatever their situation. In fact, the structure of pros, cons and how to challenge cons is perhaps a format for a range of ‘What shall I do?’ situations. I’m going to record myself reading the above in the next couple of days and then play it back… because I’ll then be able to hear an external voice talking to me which can feel very different to the inner one. Well, let’s see how that goes.

I’ll be back on Friday or Saturday but, until then, take care

Love Erika xx

Week 56 weigh-in: lost almost half my body weight!

Hey guys

Well, I’ve TWO very exciting things to tell you this week. First, I’ve smashed several goals so let’s take a look at this week’s report card straightaway:

What’s happened this week?

  • I lost 4 lbs
  • My weight’s now in the 160s
  • I’ve lost more than 11.5 stone in all
  • I’m now in the 11 stone range
  • My BMI is now in the lower 25s!
  • I drank far more water than normal
  • I can now go horse riding at a nearby stables
  • I’m lighter than my wedding weight from 25 years ago

What could Erika improve on?

  • Increase my calories…. yes, still finding this hard but more about that below

Erika’s next target(s):

  • 2 lbs until my weight’s in the healthy range! Yes, 2 lbs to go!
  • 3 lbs until I’ve lost over half of my original weight! Slightly revised from last week but nonetheless tantilisingly close.
  • 9 lbs until my ultimate goal so that I have a 7 lb buffer to stay in the healthy range

— ❤ —

The other thing is that I now have two pieces of clothing with a ‘SMALL’ tag AND I can wear them! The other one is a belt as I ran out of holes in the medium size one.

I also wanted to think aloud here about recovering from an eating disorder. Things took a bit of a turn last week when my therapist (very much with my best interests at heart) took the decision to contact my GP surgery about me being at physical risk. I know this comes from a place of care and safety as he cited safeguarding but it’s hard not to find the whole thing very surreal with matters are being taken out of my hands. So, I guess there’ll be a phone call, etc. at some point about that. Independent of this, I may have found some private specialist support that could make a difference that would work around my current life and hopefully I’ll soon know more to share with you. If this private support is put in place, I don’t know whether professionals within the NHS would still need/want to be involved… I guess it could depend if they think I’m at risk. But this is where I’m sharing some initial, extraordinarily tentative thoughts with you. As you’ll know from my weekly weigh-ins over the past 15 months, I’m always focusing on the next targets in terms of losing X lbs or getting into the next 1/2 BMI range. I’m terrified at the prospect of relinquishing control and increasing the calories but perhaps I need to start adding weekly challenges to my report card such as adding a further 50 calories each day. I’ve really mixed feelings about this which no doubt sounds ludicrous when I do want to get back to socialising with friends over meals and I do want my next ECG on Friday to be healthy. I might explore the concept of being ready to recover (or perhaps just having to get on with it even if I’m not ready) later this week in my blog.

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:
141 lbs9 lbs167 lbs25.2
Plus 21 lbs lost prior to blogging

Where am I right now with atypical anorexia?

Hey folks

So, I thought I’d give an update about where I’m at with an eating disorder that I’ve been really trying to avoid over the past 15 months whilst on this significant weight loss journey.

— ❤ —

For those who haven’t come across my blog before, firstly welcome! I’ve lost about 160lbs since February last year and I’m now just a matter of a few pounds away from my BMI being in the healthy range. In fact, if my excess skin was removed (and I have a LOT!), my ‘real’ weight is probably already securely well within in the healthy range. However, finding myself within the anorexic grip is impacting my heart and kidneys so things aren’t great.

Although I’m having twice-weekly psychotherapy which is just incredible for dealing with some issues around being a carer to my son (and wow do I have the best therapist!), we know that I need some intensive support to avoid ending up in an eating disorder unit or medical unit. I don’t ‘do’ hospitals at the best of times and certainly not right now with Covid. I found a place in London but they said my eating and the weight loss aren’t stable enough to access their evening programme of meal support and therapy. They feel that I need their day support to get this under control…. but I couldn’t do that until late August / early September. Referrals to eating disorder services on the NHS are an all-time high so whilst I sent an email to my GP surgery last week about being referred, I would think that support will very likely be limited unless they wanted to admit me (which I don’t want!). .. but we’ll see. I was thinking this morning that another private option would be finding a dietician with expertise around eating disorders and there’s someone not too far from me who sounds experienced and personable. But when I see my therapist later on today, he may have some news about support from another professional he works alongside.

— ❤ —

I’ll be really honest here. I’m really scared about where I’m at and it feels like the eating disorder has a very tight grip on me as my calories have lowered from before (it’s gone under 400 calories in the past few days). It’s not that I don’t want to eat more. I do! I look at restaurant menus and think ‘yum” whilst simultaneously mentally calculating how many calories are in the photos and how it’d be so ‘wrong’ to eat it. And it’s not the case that I won’t try to eat more. The anorexic voice is loud, making it that I can’t eat more. Eating disorders are complex, very complex, but I know that whilst I went through this 10 years ago, I had many years enjoying food, enjoying socialising so I have to hold onto the hope that I’ll beat this… but I’m struggling to hold onto the hope right now.

You know guys, let’s see what support can be put in place and perhaps maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to blog one day with excitement that I managed to go over X number of calories in the same way that I’ve celebrated moments over the past year like no longer being morbidly obese or getting into those jeans. I’m sure there’ll be many positive posts ahead as life is good and I need to get things back on track.

I’ll be back either tomorrow or Saturday but hope you all have a good day

Love Erika xx

Coming out of lockdown… coming out to comments about weight loss – HELP!

Hey folks

My mid-week post coming a day early as it’d just be good to ‘chat’!

You know, I guess there are parts of this post that could also relate to those who’ve perhaps put on weight during the last year. Much of my life has gone remote with seeing clients online where just my shoulders and head are on show. I feel SO protected like this! I like the fact that others can’t see what lies beneath and I guess I could get very comfortable with being here…. perhaps a bit too comfortable. Virtually everyone I have seen face-to-face are either clients who see me as a one-off anyway or just random strangers if I’m out walking.

I shared last week that I’ve already had comments in the past 10 days from people who have seen me before (i.e. a pharmacy assistant and a builder) and have exclaimed “HOW much weight have you lost?” the moment they’ve laid eyes on me. The thing is that I know (or I guess) that such comments are very well intended and come from a really good place so I certainly don’t begrudge them. Even if I didn’t find myself currently battling an eating disorder, I think I’d feel some sense of awkwardness. Do I like compliments? Sometimes but not about my body. But when the two people have then gone on to ask how I’ve lost it, the last thing I want to say is “Well, you know, I’m battling atypical anorexia right now and I’m actually very poorly and my heart and kidneys aren’t doing great but, apart from that, yeah, just eating less and moving more“! People don’t need to know the truth and I don’t need to tell them. 3 friends, other than professionals, know what’s going on for me. But I feel that that once I crack the anorexic grip that’s dictating how many calories I’m eating, I will be in a better place. My understanding of eating and health have actually improved since the start of this journey. My mind has really changed in many good ways so I’m feeling positive that the weight isn’t going to go back on.

In the next few weeks, I’ll be back to a voluntary job I’ve done for 3 years (but they haven’t seen me since I was 158 lbs heavier last year), I’m bound to see family and I genuinely can’t wait to see friends. Yes, I want to reconnect with people but, you know, it would just be great if they could skate over the whole weight loss thing. But the reality is that I’m just pounds away from losing half my original body weight in 15 months and perhaps they think that I’d love a compliment! No!!!!! Please just ask how I am. Please just ask what I’ve been up to. Please just give me the choice about whether I even mention the whole body shape / weight thing… which I’m very unlikely to! But being able to blog about all of this and talking to my therapist (whom I’ve never met in the flesh since the world went remote last spring) over the next few weeks will be an enormous help. Just articulating how it leaves me feeling and processing that.

I’ll be back on Friday (I’ll try not to forget this week!) about where I am with my eating disorder. My therapist told me on Monday that there is a plan to offer me some additional support with another professional which will run alongside the work I’m doing with him. I have to say that even over the past few days, my calorie ‘limit’ has gone down further…. I won’t go into details right now and in fact I’m waiting to hear a bit more myself about this potential support but I’ll give you an honest update on Friday about where things are at.

Right, off shortly to watch the first semi-final of Eurovision 2021!

Take care all

Erika xx

Week 55 weigh-in: I fell over…but I got up again!

Hey guys

More about the blog title in just a moment but let’s start with this week’s report card…

What’s happened this week?

  • I lost 2 lbs
  • My BMI is now in the 25s!
  • I drank far more water than normal

What could Erika improve on?

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

Erika’s next target(s):

  • 1 lb until I can go horse riding at a nearby stables (although I can ride elsewhere)
  • 1 lb until I’m at my wedding weight from nearly 25 years ago
  • 2 lbs until my weight’s in the 160s
  • 6 lbs until my weight’s in the healthy range (that’s less than half a stone!). I do wonder how much my excess skin weighs though because it’s possible that this could account for the remaining 6 lbs but let’s not go there!
  • 6 lbs until I’ve lost half of my original weight!
  • 13 lbs until my ultimate goal so that I have a 7 lb buffer to stay in the healthy range

So, back to my blog title which isn’t about falling off the diet wagon and getting back on track! About 3 years ago, I had a really bad fall when I did a lot of tissue damage throughout my left leg and ended up on crutches for 6 weeks. In fact, I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t broken a bone as the pain was so immense and I couldn’t put weight on my leg for the first 3 weeks or so. But what was also really hard was that I fell over in a public place and I was immediately surrounded by lovely people keen to help me up. However, I knew that I couldn’t get up easily as I was 158 lbs heavier than I am now. Instead, I had to style it out and reassure them I was fine and I just needed to remain on the ground for a bit longer… and then somehow get myself off the ground when there weren’t so many people around.

Let’s fast forward to Saturday night just gone when I headed to a nearby park, around the lake, around the ornamental gardens for a long walk. I’d been sitting down all day working and I just wanted to stretch my legs. It’d been raining all day and I found myself in an area without a hard path and…. I fell over! I just started to slide in the mud and ended up falling in a rather graceful yet comical way right onto the ground! I didn’t hurt myself at all but what really struck me was that I just bounced back up! Just a push to the ground with my hand and I was soon back on my feet. THAT is a non-scale victory 🙂

And apologies before I go. Last Friday was a full-on day for me and I completely forgot to blog but I’ll be back on Wednesday. I’m going to talk about comments regarding weight loss which I started to touch on last week and then, on Friday, I’ll give you an update about where I am with the atypical anorexia. 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:
137 lbs13 lbs171 lbs25.9
Plus 21 lbs lost prior to blogging