When I lose weight, I will……

Mmm, what would you say if you’re on a weight loss journey? What does your weight or size currently stop you from doing? I think that starting to think about these things is helpful as it acts likes a carrot for me. Yes, the weight is coming down and, yes, the body measurements are getting smaller but when there’s still so much weight to lose (132lbs), visualising the ‘new me’ keeps me positive and focused.

So, here’s my list of targets and milestones that I can hopefully tick off on this ‘new me’ journey:

  • be able to put my feet together when I stand up (currently there’s a 1.5″ gap due to my large legs)
  • get into a dress that I wore on a cruise 2 years ago (UK size 22) – I’m almost there
  • wear ankle boots that don’t cut into my large calves
  • be able to wear 3/4 trousers once my legs are slimmer
  • be able to kneel down without experiencing excruciating pain in my legs
  • wear Wellington boots (haven’t worn for years)
  • be able to run 5K, first alone but then at a park run
  • be able to run a half marathon of 13.1 miles
  • get back into my 10 year old jeans (UK size 14)
  • not even think about whether I can comfortably fit in a chair with arms including at the cinema and on a plane
  • be able to resume smear tests (pap tests) without utter embarrassment (I currently privately pay for a test I administer myself at home and then send off)
  • ditch the maxi skirts that I wear every single day!
  • ride a horse (local riding school quotes 196lb maximum weight)
  • have a helicopter flying lesson (231lb maximum weight)
  • be able to go on a hot air balloon (roughly 252lb maximum weight)
  • go down Zip Wire Velocity 2 in North Wales which is over 1,500 metres long and involves going over 100 miles an hour (264lb maximum weight).

Wow! Reading through this list (which obviously isn’t in order of likelihood of being achieved), there really are some seriously big goals but smaller ones too. No doubt, this list will get added to over time and I can celebrate the small and large successes with you!

I’d love to hear about your goals and aspirations… or what you finally did after losing weight

Love Erika xx

Week 3 weigh-in: I was brave!

Well, it’s Monday and that means it’s time to share with you the results of standing on the scales this morning: I’ve lost 5lbs this week! Yay! Now that I’m 290lbs, I’m just 3lbs away from my previously known heaviest weight of 287lbs and I guess I feel as if I’m heading back into familiar territory, if that makes sense. There’s something wonderfully comforting about that.

But my even bigger news to tell you is that I got on the scales ON MY OWN! As you know, I’ve been hauling a chair onto the scales with me as I’d been too scared to see my ‘real weight’ and, suspecting the chair was about 28lbs, it gave me a rough idea of how much I actually weighed. However, on Saturday night, I was almost tying myself in knots researching the chair online, desperate to find a website that would give me its exact weight. I mean, what if the chair weighed 21lbs and therefore I was 7lbs heavier than I thought I was? It was like I couldn’t switch off and so, recognising that I needed to stop the obsessive thoughts, I knew I had to be brave, get on the scales alone and ‘just’ deal with it. So, I got on to find that the chair really is 28lbs! Yes, it was a relief that I’d estimated the chair correctly but you know, it was more of a relief that I could now deal with my new lifestyle in a less complicated way.

Hopefully I can lose 3lbs soon and reach that first big goal but I’ve also been thinking about the activities I’d love to do that have a weight limit, such as going on a zip wire or having a helicopter flying lesson. Just knowing that I CAN do these activities will be amazing but more about that next time!

Have a good week, everyone

Love Erika xx

Total weight lost:Still to lose:Current weight:
18 lbs132 lbs290 lbs

Losing weight during lockdown

I don’t know whether anyone can relate but being on lockdown is actually helping me to lose weight, get fit and basically start investing in myself. Life can be really busy and whilst I’m certainly missing the income from not being able to work (I’m self-employed), it’s actually given me an opportunity to create some good habits that I’m determined will continue once I’m back working. To be honest with you, I should have taken stock of my health a long time ago but, whilst I knew I was big, it’s only recently that I’ve started to see the true extent of my size.

The COVID-19 stats show that people who are obese, morbidly obese or even overweight are at greater risk of complications and death if they catch the virus and I have to say that this fact alone has spurred me on. I know my morbidly obese BMI has already reduced having lost 13 lbs in the past 3 weeks and, having introduced a daily fitness routine in this short time, I’m hoping to be under than 40 mark reasonably soon. Of course, my eventual aim is to get my BMI in the ‘normal’ range. But it does scare me about what would happen if I caught the virus, not that I have any underlying health difficulties.

The other motivation is that I’d love my weight loss to be recognisable when I see people again. I’m not usually someone who seeks attention (far from it!) but it’d be great if I move down clothes size-wise and find myself holding myself differently when I see family and friends. Wow….I’d love just one person (beyond hubby) to notice! I love TV shows where people go away for a makeover and then come back for the big reveal! And I guess this is my own makeover opportunity.

My daily exercise regime is giving me routine in my day and, as we’re food shopping as infrequently as possible, food needs to be planned carefully. Hubby and I have said that we’ll continue with the pattern of food shopping post-lockdown but I’m going to build in my exercise around my work. even if I work slightly fewer hours. The other good thing that’s helping is stopping myself from eating after 8pm and this has instantly cut out the almost mindless snacking where food goes in without me realising it.

I’d also love to share 2 others things with you today:

  • First, I managed to jog on the spot for 1 minute (broken down into 4 x 15 seconds). Oh, I know this doesn’t sound long but I’ve heard that very large people can have heart problems if they suddenly start to jog. So, I want to build it up slowly, especially as I haven’t jogged since, er, back at school?!!
  • Second, as you may know from my blog, I’m scared to stand on my scales without hauling a 28 lb chair with me! Yes, I don’t want to see my chairless weight quite yet but when the scales say that me AND the chair weigh 300 lbs, I’m going to go for it! It should mean that my body alone will be around the 272lbs so, even if my calculation of the chair isn’t 100% spot on, I will certainly be under the 280 mark.

Have a great weekend everyone and I’ll let you know how Monday’s weigh-in goes

Love Erika xx

How do I know if I’m losing weight?

Well, I’m sure ‘using scales’ and ‘using a tape measure’ come to mind but I really wanted to blog today about the other ways that don’t rely on reading figures. Sometimes, it’s the small (or perhaps big) signs that show us that our new lifestyles are paying off and these signs in themselves can be SO motivating! When I started my journey, I wrote a list of all the things my weight and size were stopping me from doing and, oh, what a depressing list it was! But it was the reality check I needed and, I don’t know, putting it in writing just made it more real.

However, now, it’s time for a more positive list and this is what I’ve noticed so far:

  • My clothes are feeling loser. In fact, a T-shirt I couldn’t previously get over my belly is easily going over!
  • I’m walking more quickly
  • My back no longer hurts when I stand up for a while. Before, it could hurt after standing for 5 minutes whilst washing up but I stood the other day for 3 hours whilst chatting to neighbours on VE Day (whilst standing apart, of course!)
  • I’m getting up from the sofa very easily
  • The daily exercises and walking are getting easier and so I’m now holding onto a couple of tins of baked beans to add some weights!
  • My increased stamina makes me less panicky about walking. Just yesterday when I went to the pharmacy for my son, I couldn’t park outside and that’d usually result in trying on another day but, instead, I parked at a car park and walked there
  • I’m not bumping into furniture so easily when it’s a tight spot
  • I can bend over more easily
  • My fingers easily touch when I place them around each wrist
  • Turning over in bed is far easier
  • I don’t feel the fat pushing against my neck when lying on my side
  • I’m starting to feel more confident about going outside whereas I would shut myself away before
  • My husband says that my snoring has improved!

As I read through this list, the words ‘easier‘ and ‘easily’ keep jumping out at me. Yes, that really does sum up my experience so far as daily actions are feeling less effortful.

I also wanted to share a photo of something I had yesterday which was really yummy! It was a mushroom and spinach risotto that took just 3 minutes to microwave but I would love to get to the point where I’m cooking from scratch – but that’s another blog in itself!

Have a great day everyone and stay safe

Love Erika xx

Week 2 weigh-in: Two milestones met already

With my second weigh-in this morning, I really hoped that I’d lose a good amount. Of course, it’s important to lose weight at a sensible rate but I’ve also read that the more you have to lose in the first place, the quicker it can come off when starting the new lifestyle journey…..and the scales did not disappoint! 6lbs lost! I’m certain that this figure will slow down to perhaps 1 or 2 lbs a week but I hope it’s okay to say that, in the meantime, I’m really chuffed. However, as well as the weight loss, it also means that I’ve now reached two milestones. First, it means that I’m now under 300 lbs. Part of me is SO happy yet another part is thinking how on earth did I get to 300lbs over the past few years. I do feel ashamed but dwelling on it isn’t going to help. But the main thing is that I’m now making myself home in the 200 club which I hope will be a welcoming place to be as I pass by before moving onto the 100 club at some point. The other milestone is that my BMI is now 44.9 so I’ve got under the 45. mark

The other thing I did this morning was to take my official ‘before’ photos from the front and side. They’re not great viewing and they won’t show my weight loss so far (including some weight loss before I was brave to weigh myself a fortnight ago) but perhaps I can be brave and share these with you some time. I’m a bit nervous about that to be honest. Perhaps it’s about being judged and revealing my body when I go to lengths to hide it usually so I hope you’ll be kind! Hopefully when I get back into those skinny jeans and leather knee high boots that I last wore in 2012, I can look back at the photos to see how far I came.

I’m still doing my 40 minutes of walking each day around my living room and I’ve started to increase the number of repetitions when doing my upper body exercises. You know, it was only a few months ago when I remember my back hurting from just standing up to do the washing up so my fitness is getting there. How I’d love to run a 5K one day! Never say never! Long term goals are just as important as the short term ones.

Finally, I’ve decided that I will start to weigh myself without the huge chair that I hold above my head as I get onto the scales! From what I’ve read online, I think the chair weighs 28lbs so, once the scales suggest that me and me alone may actually be under 20 stone, perhaps that’s the time to ditch the chair and get on ‘naked’!!!

If you’re on your own journey, please feel free to share your successes and challenges here

Stay safe everyone

Love Erika xx

Total weight lost:Still to lose:Current weight including the chair!
13 lbs137 lbs323 lbs

Why have I put on weight?

I don’t know whether anyone who struggles with weight has done this but I drew a timeline of my life the other day and marked the times when I have put on or lost weight to see if I could spot any reasons behind this. You see, I wouldn’t consider myself to be an emotional eater. Yes, I did have bulimia from the age of 18-23 which resulted in a 6 week inpatient stay in a London eating disorder unit but, apart from that, I’m not someone who eats when I feel sad and I don’t binge eat. The fact is that I like food! And I think that I’ve become someone who isn’t aware of how much I’m eating – you know, one biscuit leads to another and all that! I also feel that I don’t connect with my body and I do anything to avoid looking in a mirror so, although I could sense that I’ve put on my weight over the past few years, I haven’t really looked at myself and taken stock. The only times in my life when I have been over-connected with my body and when there were triggers were during two periods of anorexia, the last time being 9 years ago when my heart developed long QT syndrome. So, this is really the first time when I’ve consciously made changes in my life that feel sustainable and I’m losing weight in a healthy way.

What’s lead to this drive to be kinder to myself? I’ve come to realise that I’m missing out on so much. I worry about fitting into a plane seat yet I’d love to travel to so many new countries. I panic if I see a chair with arms thinking “Am I going to fit?” I’ve realised that I’d do anything to avoid going to the doctors’ in case they want me to jump on the scales and I worry that I could one day have a symptom of some serious illness but I’m to scared to check it out….all because of my weight. And chatting to family and friends on Zoom during lockdown has meant that I can’t help but see myself in the corner of the screen. I’m 47 and I really want to make changes now so that I go into my 50s feeling positive about how I look. So, that’s behind why I’m doing this.

If you’re on a weight loss journey, what was it that triggered it? I’d love to know.

Oh, and before I go, I mentioned in my last post that whilst I weigh myself every Monday morning (which I started almost 2 weeks ago), I first took measurements back in February and these are Thursday’s results of the 3 biggest inch losses:

FebruaryMay
Waist45″ (114cm)42″ (107cm)
Belly58″ (147cm)55″ (140cm)
Hips59″ (150cm)55″ (140cm)

So, that’s a loss of 10″ or 24cm! That means that everything is now 55″ or less so my next short term goal is to get my hips and belly 54″ (137cm) or less. What I’m particularly pleased about is that this has been done with no exercise regime until the beginning of last week so that should speed things up….safely, of course! Small goals. One day at a time

Have a super weekend everyone and I’ll post on Monday telling you how kind the scales were to me!

Love Erika xx

Adele’s weight loss – inspirational!

Hey

When I read a news article today about Adele thanking key workers here in the UK, I had to look twice! Her 7 stone weight loss makes her look unrecognisable and I had to read it twice to make sure that I was thinking of the same singer! But, as somebody with a LOT of weight to lose, looking at people’s before and after photos really inspires me to see how things could be if I stick to this new lifestyle of being kind to myself, sticking to 3 meals a day and some exercises right here in my living room. I’m unlikely to be someone who’s going to be eating 5 portions of fruit and veg. I’m really not very adventurous when it comes to trying new food but if I at least aim for 2 portions a day, that’s a massive improvement from before. And this is how I’m approaching this journey. Small, realistic changes that I can sustain going forward.

Whilst Monday morning is my weekly day to weigh in, I’m measuring myself every 6 weeks (bust, waist, belly, hips and calf) and tomorrow is my next measuring day. But it’s a bit nerve-wracking. What if I haven’t lose any inches? What if the feeling of my body getting a tiny bit smaller is completely in my head? Aagghh!! It’s the same before jumping on the scales and desperately hoping that the numbers have shifted. Even, if it’s a 1/4 of an inch lost anywhere compared to 6 weeks ago, at least it’s heading in the right direction!

In my next post, I’ll share with you what’s lead my new positive approach to me looking after me…. finally!

If you’re on a weight loss journey, do you take measurements? I’d love to know if you do and whether you find it helpful. Feel free to celebrate your successes here!

Love Erika xx