What. A. Week!!!

Hey guys

First, apologies in advance if the format of my post today isn’t great but I’m posting from my phone today rather than laptop as I wanted to share today’s post from which I’m buuuuuuzzing! You know, 18 months ago, I couldn’t walk 100m without being of breath. The thought of walking across a car park exhausted me. But I’ve done 3 amazing things over the past 3 days that I could’ve only dreamt of.

First, I flew a helicopter! Yes, now light enough, I took the controls on the most glorious day in the UK with the sun shining as we followed the coastline over the shimmering sea.

Second, I started tap dancing and ballet lessons after a 20 year gap and I was thrown into fast paced routines! In fact, I did 150 minutes of fat burning on Tuesday according to my Fitbit so even the ballet got my heart pumped!

And then third, I went horse riding!!! It’s been about 40 years since I last mounted a horse but here’s Fudge ♥️ It was nerve wracking at first but I ended up trotting in and out of the saddle. I’m off to buy a gillet tonight if I’m gonna look the part!

So, Erika will now ‘play’ every week. Helicopter lessons will be only if I win the lottery but dancing and horse riding are my chance to routinely have fun and celebrate having lost almost 180lbs

Back tomorrow but wishing you all a lovely day

Erika xx

Week 71 weigh-in: revisiting my weight loss bucket list

Hey guys

I’m a huge fan of bucket lists! I did a ’40 things before I turn 40′ one and I was doing a ’50’ one until Covid came along. I don’t know. I guess I like how it illustrates the willingness to push the comfort zone but also the creativity to come up with inspiring ideas. But with so many things I couldn’t do at 329 lbs back in February 2020, I’m now slowly ticking off various activities from the weight loss bucket list I shared a few weeks ago so I thought it’d be a good opportunity to revisit it, mark those I’ve accomplished and share some additions. But, first, let’s check out this week’s report card:

What’s happened this week?

  • I’ve lost another 1 lb
  • I’ve reached 150 lbs
  • I’m fitting into more size 6 / UK size 10 clothes
  • I’ve worked out nearly everyday
  • I bought a swimming costume!
  • I actually managed to get my legs into standard Wellington boots!!!!! The last time I could do that was when I was a child.

What could Erika improve on?

  • Although I’ve worked out nearly everyday, I think there’s scope to increase the activity levels a bit
  • Be more reliable about blogging! I had every intention of doing a mini photo shoot last week but I’ll definitely be back later this week to do that

Erika’s next target(s):

  • Lose 1 lb to get into the 140s

— ❤ —

Okay, let’s check out what I’ve ticked off my bucket list in the past few months:

  • I completed the Go Ape high trees challenge
  • I went on a Segway adventure
  • I went on a 1.5 km zip wire (the longest in Europe and the fastest in the world)
  • I abseiled off the UK’s tallest sculpture

Things to still complete from the existing weight loss bucket list:

  • Have a helicopter lesson
  • Drive a Ferrari around Silverstone
  • Fly on a plane (having not flown for 10 years due to not being able to fit in the seat)
  • Go on a RIB boat adventure
  • Go horse riding
  • Go Zorbing
  • Go indoor sky diving
  • Possibly consider a real sky dive!

But I’ve also got some other ideas about things to add to the list:

  • Go on a hot air balloon ride
  • Go swimming and not even try to care about the excess skin
  • Go wing walking!!!! Yes, this means standing ON a plane as it flies through the sky!!!
  • Climb the 02 arena in London
  • Climb Sydney Harbour Bridge
  • Climb a mountain
  • Ride the Mail Rail which is a compact driverless 2 foot narrow gauge train that goes under the London streets
  • Go to a trampolining park (mmm, something I should probably do with a friend rather than alone!!)
  • Go snorkelling

If you can think of other ideas, please do let me know! I’m usually pretty good about scouring the net for ideas but there’re bound to be things I haven’t yet come across.

— ❤ —

I’ll definitely be back later this week sharing some photos of what I can now wear and also to share about my adventures tomorrow morning. As ever, please feel free to share your diet / weight-related successes, frustrations or anything else on your mind.

Take care

Love Erika xx

Total recordable weight loss:Current weight:BMI:
179 lbs150 lbs22.5
Original ultimate weight loss goal was to get to 158 lbs

Week 70 weigh-in: I abseiled 80 metres!!!

Hey guys

What a weekend! Let’s get straight onto this week’s report card:

What’s happened this week?

  • I’ve lost another 2 lbs since Friday when I last blogged
  • I’m close to going under 150 lbs
  • My BMI’s now in the 22s
  • My body fat percentage is under 27 %
  • I bought (and I can fit into!!) a US size 6 / UK size 10 jumper
  • I’m jogging again 🙂 in addition to my daily dance aerobics
  • I ticked off another challenge from my weight loss bucket list (more about that in a mo)

What could Erika improve on?

  • Nothing…. I feel like it’s been a good week

Erika’s next target(s):

  • Lose 2 lbs to get into the 140 lbs

— ❤ —

Oh… my….goodness!!!! I had the most amazing time on Saturday when I finally got to tick off another challenge from my weight loss bucket list (click HERE to check out what else is on there). I abseiled 80 metres off the UK’s tallest sculpture which is the ArcelorMittal Orbit situated in the Olympic park in London. It looks like some spirally child’s toy, stretching out into the sky wrapped round by a slide for those brave enough to venture down it. But abseiling has a 19 stone weight limit (266 lbs) so to be able to do this was a real milestone, a real ‘yes, I’ve worked for this‘ achievement. Once my feet left the platform, I descended pretty quickly whilst taking in the views over London. If you find yourself anywhere near there, well worth booking.

The ArcelorMittal Orbit
If you Zoom in, you’ll see two people abseiling there on the left!
The slide? NO!!!! Abseiling felt far safer for me!

And I’m ticking off yet another challenge next week though this one feels a bit more scary….

As ever, please feel free to share your diet / weight-related successes, frustrations or anything else on your mind. I’ll be back later in the week with a bit of a photo shoot!

Take care

Love Erika xx

Total recordable weight loss:Current weight:BMI:
178 lbs151 lbs22.8
Original ultimate weight loss goal was to get to 158 lbs

Week 69 weigh-in: These scale numbers are NEW!

Hey guys

First, I’m soooo sorry. This weigh-in comes a whopping 4 days past my usual Monday weigh-ins as I had something that I got caught up with but, hey, better late than never! I’m just bursting to crack on with this week’s report card so let’s take a look:

What’s happened this week?

  • I’m now under 11 stone
  • I’ve lost more than 12.5 stone in all
  • My weight’s in the low 150 lbs having started at 329
  • My weight, in terms of kilograms, is now in the 60s
  • My BMI’s very close to going under 23
  • My body fat percentage is very close to going under 27 %
  • I’ve seen numbers on the scales today that I cannot recall EVER seeing!
  • I’m wearing smaller jeans despite the excess skin (US size 8, UK size 12)
  • I’m drinking so much more fluid than before
  • I’m working out daily but in a fun way
  • I’m eating a wider variety of food than in previous few months

What could Erika improve on?

  • I’m aware that I’ve already gone past my ultimate weight loss goal and I need to not keep thinking “a bit more, a bit more” with the atypical anorexic voice…

Erika’s next target(s):

  • ….. but saying that, I’d just like to get into the 140 lbs so that leaves 4 lbs to go…. after which I think that’s my settling point to then maintain

— ❤ —

So, I was exactly 7 lbs when I was born but the lightest I can ever recall seeing on the scales is 11 stone 2 (i.e. 156 lbs) when I was 18 and I never thought I’d ever see 10 stone-anything crop up on my scales…. but I have today! Having now lost 176 lbs in all, I can’t tell you how more easily my body moves. Yes, I have significant excess skin, yes it’s uncomfortable when I sit on a hard surface because my body is lacking definition but I feel free. I’ve started doing dance aerobics each day and that puts a huge smile on my face! Honestly, putting on my favourite music tracks and just moving is really making a difference to the scales again. When I started out on this journey 18 months ago, I dared to visualise how things would be if I were lighter and smaller but my reality right now is so much better than anything I could picture.

This weekend, I’m finally ticking off another experience from my weight loss bucket list after it being postponed before but I’ll tell you more on Monday. And I guess this links to what I’ve just said above about feeling free. I had felt so trapped at the beginning of 2020, very aware how my weight and size were stopping me from doing things, not only in terms of confidence but there were things I couldn’t physically do. And I’m now in a place where I have more freedom about what to wear, about doing these experiences that come with a weight limit, etc. If you’re feeling stuck where you are with weight loss, please know that I ‘get it’. I’ve been there. I’ve been in that place thinking that things weren’t going to change. But it really can change by starting with tiny goals and just daring to visualise how things can be. And if dancing around the house to cheesy 1980s pop gets you moving more, well, why not! Let’s crank up the volume and dance like no one’s watching!

As ever, please feel free to share your diet / weight-related successes, frustrations or anything else on your mind. Have a good weekend, everyone

Take care

Love Erika xx

Total recordable weight loss:Current weight:BMI:
176 lbs153 lbs23.1
Original ultimate weight loss goal was to get to 158 lbs

Week 68 weigh-in: I DID IT!!!!

Hello guys

Oh….my…..goodness!!!!! I started this journey almost 18 months ago at a weight of 329 lbs and my BMI at 50. My goal? To lose 150 lbs in addition to the 21 lbs I’d already lost. The thought of getting out of the obese or overweight categories seemed like a pipe dream but I knew that I had to just focus on each tiny goal at a time and not see it as a diet. As time went on, I dared to wonder if I could get down to my 1996 wedding weight of 170 lbs before our silver anniversary later this month with the aim to lose the rest by the end of 2021. But I passed this milestone early and therefore I wondered if I really could reach that ultimate goal of 158 before the anniversary. Well, I’ve done it! Today, I’ve hit 157 lbs which takes me more securely into the healthy range with my BMI now 23.6…. and that’s including significant excess skin. In fact, I cannot recall EVER EVER EVER being lower than 156 so I do plan to lose another 2 lbs to see 155 magically appear!

— ❤ —

From 329 to 157 lbs!!

329325320315
310305300295
290285280275
270265260255
250245240235
230225220215
210205200195
190185180175
170165160158

— ❤ —

BMI from 50 to under 25 (but actually now under 24!)

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

— ❤ —

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)

— ❤ —

However, I’m still going to blog at least once a week for two reasons. First, as those who’ve been following my blog will know, I’m currently in treatment for atypical anorexia and I hope that being open about this struggle will help at least one person out there. Second, the next stage is about maintenance and that’s why I set myself the target of getting to 158 lbs. This is 7 lbs into the healthy range and I don’t expect to remain this exact weight. However, by keeping an eye on my weight and giving myself a 7 lb buffer, I can allow my weight to slightly fluctuate (which is normal!!) but have a point at which I’d want to take action again if I go into the overweight category. I’m hoping this is a healthy approach to maintenance.

I’ll be back later this week to talk through things non-scale related. You see, when I started out on this journey, I used visualisation to imagine how things could be if I was anywhere near my weight loss goal in terms of how I’d feel. So, I’ll be back to share how life has totally changed, not just the scales, and I’ll also tell you about a weekly class I’ve just signed up to start next month which will keep me fit. As ever, please feel free to share your own weight loss journey, your achievements, your frustrations, whatever’s on your mind.

Take care

Love Erika xx

Recordable weight lossStill to lose:Current weight:BMI:
172 lbs 0 lb157 lbs23.6
Including 21 lbs lost prior to blogging

Atypical anorexia: the dietitian is pushing me….

Hello guys,

You know, the specialist eating disorder dietitian I’m working with has a wonderful ability to really listen to me, bring humour to our sessions, really involve me in the treatment around my preferences, etc. …. whilst also giving me ‘The Look’ and being direct with me which is just what I need.

I have to say that I’m finding it hard to keep pushing up the calories and I’m starting to hit a brick wall having got the calories up from a daily limit of 375 to 950. I mean, that’s a huge jump and she said that we need to do it in a way that feels doable but stops me from losing weight, especially as some of my weight will be due to excess skin after losing 170 lbs. What is exciting in many ways is that I’m actually learning about food, going for unprocessed foods (or at least those with minimal processing) and making smart choices. When I overcame atypical anorexia 10 years ago, I was under threat of being hospitalised under the Mental Health Act and it shocked me into suddenly eating more… but I had no idea about what I should be eating. This time is different. This time, I’m eating new foods, I’m not bingeing, I’m feeling some overall sense of balance. I’ve also signed up today to do a course about nutrition and health that should take me about 2 months to do via distance learning as I want to embrace a much healthier approach going forward.

— ❤ —

This is what my current food plan from her is, knowing that I’m not a breakfast person:

Lunch: chicken, watercress, spinach and rocket in a salad or sandwich on wholemeal followed by 0% fat Greek yogurt and blueberries

Afternoon snack: a Graze or Nak’d snack bar (which are made from wholefoods)

Dinner: a ready meal (which I always go low-cal anyway) followed by an apple and a 20g portion of cheese (but I’m not to go for the ‘diet’ or lighter version as she wants me to up the calories)

— ❤ —

This is EVERY day and it feels like so much to eat but she has also asked me to start building in 100 ml of Kefir every day which I bought last night and will try later on today. It’s the 1,000 calorie hurdle that feels daunting but, between her and my therapist, I know I’m in safe hands.

Just waiting for blood test results so it’ll help to see if my kidneys are still being impacted by the restricting. But despite the anorexia there, I’m really trying to focus on looking after me a bit more. I’m picking up new glasses next week, ears are being syringed in 2 weeks, hair is being dyed tomorrow, home-administered smear/pap test has been ordered and I’m considering speaking to a GP about the suspected small hernia. Self-care is something I’ve always struggled with to be honest…. perhaps linking to whether I feel worthy of self-kindness. Body confidence is wavering and so the thought of people ‘seeing me’ or needing to prod me feels really scary but perhaps if I can get my calories to more than double what they were, I can do this too! But I thought these were rather enlightening photos to show how my body has really changed from June 2020 (having already lost about 50 lbs) to January 2021 and then to 2 photos taken very recently:

Hope you have a lovely weekend everyone and I’ll be back on Monday. No extreme adventures planned for this weekend but I’ll be out with the paintbrush overhauling a bedroom which is equally fun!

Love Erika xx

After extreme weight loss, excess skin photos and a plan!

Hey guys

Well, after talking last week about the various ways that I can deal with excess skin, I’ve been thinking SO much about where to go from here. Whilst there’s a place near to me that offers skin tightening through radio frequency and I’ve been on the verge of arranging a consultation there, I’ve come to a conclusion having looked at the before and after photos on the website. They really don’t appear to show a massive difference, even though the ‘before’ photos seem to be of people with less excess skin than me.

Before I share my plan, here’re some photos of just some of my excess skin….. this feels a bit scary but, hey, this is me after losing more than half my body weight!

letting it hang

Literally holding it all in… well, as much as possible with one hand!
I could feel low about this…..
… but this shows me how far I’ve come

Realistically, I think surgery would be the way forward to get as close to a dream body and whilst we could afford it, I guess I don’t want it badly enough to brave going under the knife! I’m lucky in that it doesn’t really cause me too many physical problems… certainly nothing I can’t deal with.

So, I’ve decided that my plan going forwards is going to consist of two things. First, weights! Yes, I’m going to lift weights to minimise my bingo wings and perhaps get some definition in my body. I’ll start with weights at home but might find a personal trainer too. Second, I’m going to wear clothes creatively. I shared this photo recently revealing the skin on my arms but also the corrugated-card effect on my legs. Whilst I was a bit proud that I could share this photo, I also had an overwhelming feeling that I’d need to live in jeans and maxi dresses……

…but I’ve bought a tea dress and, with dark tights and boots, it’s really given me a lift that I could perhaps get creative with clothes. Yes, I guess I’m still covering up but in a way that wearing something like a tea dress is actually liberating. So far, as you can probably guess from some recent posts, I’ve worn it only in my bedroom so my family hasn’t seen this but I’m going to set myself a challenge to wear this in front of my family by the end of next weekend… before aiming to wear it out of the house…. possibly?? At least in the dark first!!!

I’ve suspected for some time that I may have lipoedema or something similar as my legs became large when I hit puberty. My mum delightfully referred to them as ‘tree trunk’ legs….. mmmmm!! And I guess it’s no wonder why I feel conscious about them. It’s been interesting to see if my lower legs have reduced in size as I’ve lost weight but they still feel disproportionate….. but dark tights and a smile on my face will hopefully not lead to people glancing twice!

I’ll be back on Monday with my latest weigh-in after a VERY exciting day planned for this Sunday when I tick off something else from my weight loss bucket list.

Have a good weekend everyone

love Erika xx

Week 66: I ‘flew’ on the world’s fastest zip wire!

Hey folks

So, first of all, no weigh in this week after all as I was away yesterday morning and I don’t know….. Monday morning has always been the time when I’ve taken the figure on the scales as my official figure. But I will update you next week.

However, why was I not here dutifully standing on the scales? Because I went away this weekend and had a blast! I spent a couple of days in beautiful Wales and, with it being my first trip away in 18 months due to Covid, I can’t tell you how much fitter I felt now that I’m more than 160 lbs down. I was climbing over walls, strolling along mountain streams and almost running up stairs! But I also got to tick off something on my weight loss bucket list. I went on the world’s fastest zip wire which, at over 1.5 km, is also Europe’s longest. This is something that I could haven’t done 18 months ago due to being over the weight limit.

I did have a moment of absolute panic. I didn’t realise that I had jumped onto some scales, revealing my weight to a young guy behind the counter. As part of the check in process, I was asked to stand on an X which I did without questioning, assuming it was some type of ID thing. It wasn’t until I got off that I realised what I’d done. But as I say, it was a moment of absolute panic. That moment came to an end and it would have been merely a figure to him before moving onto the next. The other moment that I found hard was when I was kitted up and had staff working there tugging at the harness that I’d been strapped into. Some parts of me are bony but I also have an incredible amount of excess skin which I’m struggling with and I felt horrible but I could put those thoughts aside (until I had therapy later in the day) and get on to have one of the most thrilling, exhilarating, liberating experiences of my life.

The dreaded scales… but I survived!

There are two zip lines at Zip World in north Wales (about a 20 minute drive from Bangor) and, on both, you lie horizontally, flying through the air whilst attached to the overhead cable. Flying over the quarry and the turquoise water below was thrilling enough on the first one and then, after a 15 minute ascent to the second launch station, it was a mere 55 second drop but wow wow wow!!!!!!! I LOVED it!!!! It’s actually really exciting to be discovering that I’m someone who loves outdoor pursuits and who knows what more I’ll be doing as I start to accept and perhaps love me and my body.

About to launch from the lower of the two zip lines
After the first zip line, it’s a 15 minute ascent by army truck to the top launch station
Time to launch!
See ya!

Well, I know what’s next. I’m abseiling from the UK’s highest sculpture next Sunday, I’ve a helicopter lesson in September, I’m horse riding in September (plus hopefully some other activities I’m looking into for my trip to Cornwall) and then I’m driving a Ferrari in October. These are all things that I was previously too heavy or large to do at 329 lbs. If you’re on a weight loss journey and you find yourself feeling stuck, my advice is to imagine what you’d like to be able to do at your target weight – whether it’s imagining yourself wearing size ‘X’ or doing some incredible activity. If we can visualise our future success, perhaps it makes it more likely we’ll get there and not feel stuck where we are at the moment.

I’ll be back later this week as I’m making the call tomorrow to a place about treatment for excess skin. I might even share a photo of me wearing a tea dress – something I’ve wanted to wear for a while ❤ and then next Monday I’ll be sharing my new weight and chatting through all things abseiling-related!

Love Erika xx

P.S. Just throwing in a couple of photos of my walks around Snowdonia

The lonely Tree of Llanberis – yes, that really is what it’s known as!
Blessed with beautiful weather on my 24 hour trip in Wales

Week 64: Weird yet great to wear something new!

Hello guys

A slightly different-to-usual post for a Monday because I wanted to share something with you that happened on Saturday.

On Friday, I got brave and posted some photos on here with me wearing various clothes that had long been in my ‘mmm, might get into that one day’ pile. I really wasn’t sure about sharing but I was left feeling proud that I’d posted the photos because it was way out of my comfort zone and that’s where change can happen, isn’t it. If we do the same things within our comfort zone, are we really making progress when progress is something we’re ultimately aiming for? But the photos were taken in my bedroom and, goodness, I daren’t show people that I actually have legs!!!!!

But here in the UK, the weather has been beautiful and so I took my progress to the next level on Saturday. First of all, I wore what I wanted to wear rather than what I thought I should wear and that meant stepping out of my bedroom in the outfit below. My hubby and adult children were the first to see and it felt awkward wearing something very different to my usual ‘I must cover myself up’ approach! But they were great and so I knew I needed to push it further. I wore the outfit all day which was perfect for the heat and despite not going out anywhere as such, I wore these clothes when answering the door for a few deliveries we were expecting and to our wheelie bins outside a few times. Just stepping over the threshold of our front door was scary but I did it! Yes, I really did it. Once I have my car back in a couple of days, my next target is to wear the outfit to a shop. I guess this is all about incrementally pushing that comfort zone where one day I might be thinking “Meh…. what comfort zone?”!!

I’ve a clearer idea about coping with and/or addressing my excess skin so I’ll be back later this week to talk you though my thought process and see what I next put in place.

Take care

Love Erika xx

Recordable weight loss Still to lose:Current weight:BMI:
164 lbs (last recordable weight)7 lbs165 lbs24.9
Not currently doing weekly weigh-ins as I’m trying to not be a slave to the scales! But recordable weight loss includes 21 lbs lost just prior to blogging

Over 160 lbs lost: my bravest photos yet!

Hey guys

I’m currently not weighing myself because I was forever getting on and off the scales, probably about 10-15 times a day. But I’ve decided that today’s a good day to be brave and share some photos with you. Part of me feels really nervous, especially as one of them shows just some of my excess skin (oh, there’s a lot more, trust me!) but a bigger part of me is celebrating! I’ve had so many clothes in my ‘can’t get into that yet‘ pile but I can now get into everything I own – all US size 8 (size 12 UK). Right, Erika…. deep breath, girl! Here we go…..

Okay, I’m still here! I survived after sharing these! My next step is to look into how to deal with the excess skin because it’s stopping me from getting into the next size down but I just want to feel comfortable in my own skin. The main areas are all round my thighs (including saddle bags), my upper arms, my knees, my butt (woah, TMI there!!!!!) and my upper and lower abdomen. I found somewhere last night that does non-surgical treatment that I’ll be booking an appointment with. But I’m a realist and I know there’s only so much skin that can be dealt with but it’s about balance, I guess. Let’s see what I can change and what I can’t, and take it from there 🙂

Wishing you a lovely weekend everyone and I’ll be back on Monday

Love Erika xx