Week 38: My BMI might be high but…

Hello guys

Well, I discovered two things in this past week:

  • At 111 / 74, my blood pressure is in the normal range. I’m so chuffed as it was really high the last time I had it taken a few years ago.
  • My ‘waist hip ratio’ is in the lower cardiovascular risk category and very much links to me being a pear-shaped person. You can work out your WHR with a tape measure and a calculator or you can find an online calculator to work it out for you. With my waist at 36″ and my hips at 48″, it puts my ratio at 0.75. And this is a HUGE achievement because last summer (i.e. a few months after starting this journey), my ratio would have come into the high risk category.
MenWomenClassification
0.95 or lower0.80 or lowerLow health risk
0.96 to 1.00.81 to 0.84Moderate risk
1.0 or higher0.85 or higherHigh risk

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And, as for my weekly report card:

How’s Erika done this week?

  • I’ve PUT ON 5 lbs. Now, I’m absolutely not panicking because I last weighed myself on Friday when I’d maintained at 213 and, unless I’ve consumed an additional 17,500 calories over the weekend on top of what I should have been eating, there’s no way that I’ve truly gained 5 lbs!! So, I’m remaining calm as I suspect this is temporary.
  • I wore my jeans on Friday. It was SO brilliant to wear these (check out these photos to see me slowly getting into them over the months)
  • I discovered that my thighs no longer rub when I walk. I’m not sure how long this has been the case but I was just aware the other day about my legs moving freely!
  • I’m discovering bones! My collarbone is visible, my ribs and vertebrae are easy to feel, and my shoulders are getting bonier.

What could Erika improve on?

  • I’m drinking enough although lots of diet soda rather than water but, well, let’s just say that I haven’t been going to the bathroom much. I’ve read that drinking lots of water can help deal with any water retention so I’ll give this a go. And I really should cut back on the diet soda…. I just like it SO much!

Erika’s next target(s):

  • 19 lbs until I’m in Onederland (yes, I’ll be less than 200 lbs)
  • 22 lbs until I’m no longer obese as I’ll be overweight

Okay guys, I’m going to get on with my day but I’ll be back later this week to share with you something I’ve made to help me on my journey.

Love Erika xx

Recordable weight loss since blogging:Still to lose:Current weight:BMI:
90 lbs60 lbs218 lbs33.1
Plus 21 lbs lost prior to blogging

5 things to manage those hunger pangs

Hey folks

I’m sure that food talks sometimes! I might be sitting in my living room but I can hear the entire contents of the fridge shouting out my name! “Erika, eat me. Go on. You know you want to”!!

So, I thought I’d share my top 5 tips if you’re feeling hungry .

  1. Check whether you’re thirsty instead. Thirst is super clever at disguising itself as hunger so a drink may be what you really need after all. If you don’t think you’re thirsty, drink anyway. Apparently, we’ve already hit the point of being dehydrated when we feel thirsty so having a drink isn’t a bad idea and it may fill you up.
  2. Distract yourself. Get walking or anything to get you moving. I now throw myself into a workout or focus on getting a job done around the house because at least moving will do my body some good. But, alternatively, put on some telly and get absorbed in a movie. By the time it finishes, it might be a regular meal time.
  3. If you’ve nothing at all to distract you, delay eating. Wait for 30 minutes before again checking with yourself about whether food is what you want or whether it’d been a fleeting thought. And then ask yourself “Do I want that slice of bread or do I want to see those scales move?” If it’s late, would it be best just going to bed?
  4. If you’re at the point of deciding that your body needs food, make good choices. What can you have that will fill you up which is the least calorific / least sugar-ladden / least fatty? What will leave you feeling the least guilty afterwards?
  5. And if you’ve found that something a bit unhealthy is the answer, be mindful about access and speed. Rather than bring a pack of cookies into the living room, take one from the kitchen. Then, you’ll have to walk to get another one rather than subconsciously work your way through the packet and wonder who’s eaten them! And slow down your speed. Put down the cookie after each mouthful (yes, eating a cookie in one go is most unlady like!) and taste the food. Think about how the food is tasting, what parts of your mouth it’s touching, etc.

For me, the above is really working well. Beforehand, food would disappear in no time at all and I wouldn’t have any recollection of what I’d eaten. I would just know that food had disappeared and it was trying to solve some unmet need. Especially in the late afternoons, I now find that if I keep myself busy doing something, I don’t think about food and I can hang on until dinner time. And if I do slip, I review what happened and what I can learn from it. I’m no weight-loss genius and I don’t always get it right but doing the above certainly helps me along my way. I’m going to blog in the next few weeks about emotional eating.

Before I sign off, I said that I’d tell you what I treated myself to when I hit the 32.5 BMI mark. I ordered a bouquet of flowers! They’re just gorgeous! If you’d like to read my post about weight loss rewards, please feel free to check it out here

Hope you all have a good weekend and I’ll be back on Monday with my next weigh-in

Love Erika xx

Rewards to celebrate weight loss

I wasn’t going to blog until the end of the week but I’ve been thinking about how I’m rewarding myself after this week’s weigh-in. Of course, our choice of well-earned rewards will depend on budget, perhaps how significant these particular milestone are to us, etc. but hopefully this give you some ideas too.

Have a massageNew outfit or the whole wardrobe!Ornament for house/gardenNew necklace/ bracelet/cufflinks
Cinema/download a filmSubscribe to blog about your journeyDay trip to somewhere newNew bike
Charms for a braceletFitness trackerNew pair of scalesBouquet of flowers
A week’s worth of cooking kitsPersonal trainer sessionBoot camp sessionTree/shrub
Weekend breakMagazine subscriptionFood prep gadgetNew pjs or dressing gown
Manicure/pedicureDownload a gameDownload an album/trackBeauty products
Hair makeoverPersonal shopper experienceUpgrade phoneArt work/wall hanging
Photo shoot of the new youNew water bottleNew bag/purse/walletHave your car valeted
Personal chef for the eveningLuxury bath/shower productsRevamp makeup including new bagBird feeder/bath
New shoes/bootsBucket list experience Jigsaw or craft kitDIY gadget
Pay-to-view music or sports eventMotivational fridge magnetWrite a letter to yourself about how you’re now feelingTest drive your dream car
Eat at your dream restaurantNew beltNew candleNew poster for your room
Rent a musical instrument for a week/monthTrial horse riding lessonNew fragranceBe treated to breakfast in bed
‘Me’ day with the children looked after elsewhereNew journalNew beddingBottle of your best tipple

What have I chosen? You’ll have to wait to find out. Photos coming later this week ❤

Love Erika xx

P.S. Please feel free to share this post if you think it’d inspire others (plus, of course, any of my other posts!)

Week 37 weigh-in: another milestone :)

Hello folks

If I’d focused on the huge goal of losing so much weight when I started out, I would have felt overwhelmed. There’s so much inner dialogue that goes on in my head and no doubt I would have thought something along the lines of “No way am I ever going to achieve that! That’s just a pipe dream’. For some people, yes, eyes on the long term prize is what works for them but I need constant opportunities to celebrate success. And, this week, I’ve achieved another one.

Not only am I out of the super obese, morbid obese and upper obese ranges but I’ve hit the midway point of the lowest obesity category with my BMI hitting the 32.5 mark. Yay! So, I’m going to treat myself to something to celebrate and I’ll let you know what I decide on. On the days when I get frustrated with the scales, I remind myself that the figures I’m seeing now would have been my ‘no way will I get to that weight’ figures months ago! And yes, it’s hard to believe that I’ll get to 154 lbs but I will. One pound at a time!

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)

And, as for my weekly report card:

What’s Erika done well this week?

  • I’ve lost 2 lbs
  • My BMI is now in the lower 32s
  • I’ve had great fun selling clothes that are now too big for me on EBay
  • I’ve drunk more and now my body water levels are in the normal range

What could Erika improve on?

  • Nothing this week 🙂

Erika’s next target(s):

  • 3 lbs until my BMI is in the 31s
  • 4 lbs until I’m under 15 stone
  • 14 lbs until I’m in Onederland (yes, I’ll be less than 200 lbs)
  • 17 lbs until I’m no longer obese as I’ll be overweight

Anyway folks, I’ll be back later this week about what we can do when we feel the hunger pangs…but don’t want to give in!

Love Erika xx

Recordable weight loss since blogging:Still to lose:Current weight:BMI:
95 lbs55 lbs213 lbs32.4
Plus 21 lbs lost prior to blogging

My lockdown weight loss goal!

Hey folks

A few days into 2021 and, bam, we’re into another lockdown for at least the next 6 weeks. On the one hand, all my work has suddenly stopped and there’s an abrupt pause to the things I like to do. Anyone who’s followed me for a little while will hopefully know that I generally see things positively and, after a couple of days of feeling a bit meh, I’m now fully embracing that whilst I can’t control the pandemic, I CAN take control of other things. I can decide to exercise with my kettle bell each day. I can aim to walk 5K a day (even if it’s all indoors). I can still make good food choices. I can still work towards being a US size 8 / UK size 12. So, I’ve set myself the goal of getting under 200 lbs by February 18th. Is that a challenging goal? Yes, it is because that’s 15 lbs away and I find that weight loss slows down when you’ve already lost but let’s see how that goes.

But I thought I’d also share with you the topics of my next few blogs which run alongside my weekly (Monday) weigh-ins. So, over the next few weeks, please feel free to keep an eye out for:

  • Creating a visual board for success
  • What to do when those hunger pangs are loud!
  • Exploring a time line for yo-yo dieters
  • How to find the motivation to get off the couch

So, hope you have a super weekend everyone and I’ll be back on Monday with my next weigh-in

Love Erika xx

Week 36 weigh-in: I’m gonna feel great THIS summer!

Hello and happy new year to you all!

You know, it actually did me the power of good taking off last week from blogging. I needed to sort out my head but I’m back and SO focused on 2021. One of the things that helps me most? Visualisation. I’m picturing what I’ll be wearing this summer, how I’ll be feeling in my body because I’m more likely to stay focused if I can visualise success. And I’m back here with my weekly report card so here goes:

What’s Erika done well this week?

  • I’ve lost 2 lbs. In fact, after not weighing myself for a couple of weeks, I discovered that I’d somehow put on 4 lbs when I weighed myself on Boxing Day. Perhaps it was at least partly water weight because I’ve managed to lose this quickly plus a further 2 lbs, taking me to my lowest weight for about 10 years.
  • My BMI is now in the 32s.
  • I’m now under 15 1/2 stone.
  • I’m halfway through the 210s.
  • Despite clearly exceeding the weight limit for years, I’m now officially light enough to use my step ladder! Yes, my top weight of 329 lbs may have exceeded the 220 lbs weight limit but I’m now well under this 🙂

What could Erika improve on?

  • Drink more water! Yep, I STILL need to work on this!

Erika’s next target(s):

  • 5 lbs until my BMI is in the 31s
  • 6 lbs until I’m under 15 stone
  • 16 lbs until I’m in Onederland (yes, I’ll be less than 200 lbs)
  • 19 lbs until I’m no longer obese as I’ll be overweight

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I’ve also been thinking more about my wardrobe. My aim is to feel super comfy in my jeans so that I can wear them everyday from the mid January. I’ve also bought a stunning maxi dress for the summer but, as I mentioned here fairly recently, I’ve loved buying second hand on EBay. Yes, I could treat myself to a brand new wardrobe by buying directly from shops but, when losing a lot of weight, it’s not cheap! One of my favourite bargains so far is this Jaeger coatigan that I won on EBay for a tiny fraction of what it would have cost new. Another 30lbs or so and this will fit nicely perhaps with skinny jeans?

Anyway guys, I’ll be back later this week to give you an overview of some of the topics I’ll be blogging about over the coming weeks. For now, take care and, as ever, please feel free to share my posts or comment if you’d like to share your own weight successes or frustrations.

Love Erika xx

Recordable weight loss since blogging:Still to lose:Current weight:BMI:
93 lbs57 lbs215 lbs32.7
Plus 21 lbs lost prior to blogging

Christmas Day… this year versus last year :)

Hey folks

How do we measure non-scale progress? For me, one way is to look back on where I was this time last year and so, back on Christmas Day 2019, what was it like living in my body? Yes, I was 112 lbs heavier than now but what else was happening?

  • I remember sitting uncomfortably on the sofa, aware that I was perhaps taking up more than half of the sofa designed for two people
  • I remember washing up, struggling with back ache after just a few minutes and therefore needing to do it in stages
  • I remember struggling to pick up something off the floor whilst sitting on the sofa
  • I remember having coming back from the beautiful Belgian city of Brussels 3 days earlier, loving the city in its festive spirit but aware how physically exhausting it was walking around
  • I remember being aware that I needed to lose weight but completely lacking motivation

This year, I’m wearing clothes 5 sizes smaller, I’m feeling much more comfortable in my body and the washing up? Easy! One of my Christmas presents is a fabulous book called ‘101 Weekends in Europe‘ which I’d asked for as I’m now far more likely to be able to fit in a plane seat and, once Covid allows, I’m going to be jet setting probably once or twice a month for weekends away. There’ll be no stopping me! Prague, Budapest, Copenhagen, Tallinn, Rome and SO many places!

But, guys, I’ve also made a decision this afternoon. I need to do a bit of self care and so I’m going to take off the next week or so from blogging. I guess I need a very short break during which I want to focus on making good food choices and see if I can maintain when I’m at. But once we hit New Year’s Day, my weight loss journey will continue and I’ll be blogging about the remaining 59 lbs left to go. So, I hope that’s okay but, goodness, I’ll be back very soon and I hope you’ll still be around to join me on this journey.

So, my lovelies, here’s to a happy Christmas to everyone who celebrates it and let’s make 2021 a fabulous year. Whilst there are many things we can’t control, there are certain things we can and that’s what I’ll be focusing on

Love Erika xx

When your mind tells you to sit in the big chair

Hello folks

I had a HUGE revelation this week! With being in some pain yesterday with my feet, I popped along to a medical walk-in centre which was eerily quiet due to Covid. Once I got through the initial questions to make sure I was Covid-safe, I was asked to take a seat and this tiny act is what this extra post is about today.

You see, in the waiting room, there were regular-sized chairs dotted about and also some that were clearly wider than others. And where did I sit? Yes, I instinctively went for one of these wider chairs because that’s what I’ve done for years. I’ve feared chairs with arms because I’ve not always been able to fit. And I sat there for a moment sensing lots of space either side of me before daring to ask myself “I wonder! I wonder if I’ll fit in that standard-sized chair over there. Do I take that risk?” The other thing to ask myself was how it’d look to the receptionists and nurses behind the screened off desk. It might look a bit silly for someone to get out of a chair in an otherwise empty room and move to another one for no apparent reason but this was my opportunity to take a chance…and so I did. And, yes!!! I could sit there without my body touching either arm! Gosh, I wanted to cry with happiness but I just sang a victory song in my head and gave myself permission to feel a tiny bit smug!

It’s these non-scale victories that are there to be celebrated, these victories that others may not ‘get’ but, boy, help us walk along with a spring in our step. And I can’t wait to one day check out other seats like planes, theatres and rollercoasters. Perhaps I can start to imagine life without continually thinking “Will I fit?”

Love Erika xx

Week 34 weigh-in: questions to ask yourself if you have a few ‘bad’ days

Hey guys

Well, this is just the 2nd time since starting to blog when I’ve had a week that hasn’t been great food-wise. However, I guess the focus of today’s blog is to hopefully give hope that just because we have a week like this, it doesn’t mean that we can’t refocus and get back on our journey. So, instead of my usual Monday report card, I’ll talk you through how my mind’s working today.

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What happened this week?

Three things. First, I injured myself doing jumping jacks so I’ve had to keep my feet up (not an excuse to eat more though!). Second, I just relaxed too much. Getting into the 210s after starting out at 329 felt like a huge achievement and I almost had the sense of reaching the end of a long, arduous race but no! I’m still 59 lbs away from my goal. Third, I ate more carbs than normal…which seemed to make me crave them even more.

But…I’ve still stayed away from chocolate, cookies and sweets….and I can still do up the button on my jeans.

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How has this left you feeling?

I’m mainly disappointed with myself and I guess kinda embarrassed too. I knew I’d be blogging today and I couldn’t bring myself to get on the scales this morning. I’ve always promised to be honest with you because I want my weight loss account to be real, whatever happens. However, with my usual positive outlook on things, I guess I’m feeling determined to turn this around for myself and I’m hoping that this helps at least one other person out there.

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What are the reasons to get back on track?

Because I’ve come SO SO far! 112 lbs lost including 21 lbs prior to blogging. And I’m just 18 lbs away from being under the 200 mark and just 21 lbs from no longer being obese. Plus I’ve been buying a new wardrobe with clothes that I can’t wait to wear. Erika in shorts by summer 2021? Oh yes!!!!

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So, where do you go from here?

Today, I’ll visualise those scales showing 199 lbs and how that’s going to leave me feeling.

Today, I’ll question whether I want that slice of bread or want to see 199 lbs.

Today, I’ll exercise as much as I can and I’ll focus on what I can do…and not what I can’t.

Today, I’ll accept that further weight loss isn’t going to happen unless I make a change and step it up again.

And tomorrow, I’ll get back on the scales and face whatever the figure shows.

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So, I’ll be back on Christmas Eve / Christmas Day but, as ever, please feel free to share your own successes, your own frustrations or whatever’s on your mind in the comments. And to everyone who follows me, thank you! Truly. I don’t feel like I’m alone on this journey and it really means so much.

Love Erika xx

Recordable weight loss since blogging:Still to lose:Current weight:BMI:
91 lbs59 lbs217 lbs33
Plus 21 lbs lost prior to blogging

Christmas, food and diets: it’ll be okay!

Hello guys

So, with Christmas just days away, I thought I’d share my views about how to handle food, etc. during what can be a testing time for many. Yes, things might be a bit different this year but I still think there can be different types of pressure when it comes to Christmas and other holidays around food. I wonder whether you can relate to any of the following:

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I know I’m going to blow my diet

How am I going to avoid all those tasty temptations that I can normally say “no” to?

If I eat one mince pie, I’ll end up eating the whole pack

My family will expect me to eat loads and they won’t let me say “no

I’m scared to eat and holidays are all about food. I’m dreading this

I’m going to put on so much weight

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So, let’s take a look at where pressure comes from:

EXTERNAL PRESSURE

So, you’re visiting someone who’s served dinner and tells you that you must eat up. They say that they’ll be disappointed if you don’t. They comment about you not eating as much as they think you should. They tell you that they’ve gone to all this trouble and they don’t want to be left with leftovers. My view? I would say that they’re projecting their hopes and expectations on you and perhaps some guilt too but it’s okay to say “no”. Yes, they may make comments but I can’t urge you enough to stick to your guns. At the end of the day, it’s your body and you can still be in control. There are plenty of recipes out there about what to do with leftovers!

What can you say to others?

“That’s really kind of you but eating any more will make me feel uncomfortable“.

“That’s kind of you but no thank you“. (It’s okay to say this over and over until they give up).

And then change the subject. Ask them an open-ended question to take away the focus from you. Saying no can be incredibly hard and, goodness, I used to struggle with this but the more you practise, the easier it does get. Don’t let their issues about you not eating more become yours. It’s YOUR body. You’re in control.

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INTERNAL PRESSURE

Even if you’re not on a weight loss journey, food and eating can still provoke fear or worry.

What can you say to yourself…which will depend on what’s hard for you?

It’s okay to eat more today. One day isn’t going to undo all the work I’ve done.

To even put on a single pound, I’d need to consume an extra 3,500 calorie which is so unlikely.

If I do put on weight, I’ll get it off again in the next couple of weeks.

I deserve to eat what I want to eat today!

I’m in control of what I’m eating today. Just because there’s more food around, it doesn’t mean I have to eat it.

I will stop when I’m physically comfortable and being honest with myself will help me know when I’ve got to that point.

I know myself best and how today’s eating regime needs to be like any other day.

I can still make good choices today.

Christmas Day is one day. Even if I’m dreading the holidays, this will be over very quickly

I’m going to have that mince pie because I fancy it. But rather than bring the whole pack into the living room, I’ll take just the one and eat it really slowly. I’m going to think about how it tastes. And then I’ll distract myself with an activity….and if I really can’t avoid eating the rest, I’ll throw them into the freezer.

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Before the holidays, perhaps take a moment to think about where pressure for you might come from. Sometimes, we need to rehearse the above lines because they can sound different when we say them aloud to when we read them in our heads. Perhaps write down or take a screenshot of what’s the most helpful statement for you (of course, you’re likely to have others that speak to you more).

Please feel free to share this post with anyone who needs a bit of support right now and feel free to share in the comments about your thoughts re food during this coming holiday season.

If you really struggle during these holidays, you’re so welcome to comment below (I will respond) or reach out to other support whether it’s a supportive friend or, if you have an eating disorder, your state/country’s eating disorder charity.

I’ll be back on Monday with my next weigh-in but we’ve got this! We really have!

Love Erika xx