I told someone my weight… and I survived!

Hello guys

A quick post today but those who’ve been reading my blog for some time will know that I don’t share my weight with anyone, even doctors. Yes, it’s ‘just’ a figure but there’s something historical about even the idea of sharing my weight that’s brought a lot of shame. And I think there’s a lot of shame about my shape and size too but I’m working on that. You may want to check out these posts where I was trying to ‘logic’ my way through this fear…. scales part 1 and scales part 2

I have to say that I’m not having the best couple of days and so I realised that I needed to do something positive to get myself out of this hole… and I’ve booked my first ever helicopter flying lesson for the beginning of September. Why then? My daughter will be heading back to university a few days earlier and it’ll give me something to look forward to as I’ll miss her. And it didn’t even cross my mind when I phoned the airport to book but the lady at the other end of the phone line asked me my weight…. and I told her within a couple of seconds ….. and the earth around me didn’t quiver! She didn’t tell me that I couldn’t fly. She didn’t judge. To her, it was no doubt just a figure that she’s entered onto the IT system and she’s not even thinking about it now but I said my weight aloud. It’s a very weird feeling and there’s part of me that’s truly elated with feeling free and another part that’s slightly overwhelmed … but I did it!

Hope you have a great weekend and I’ll be back on Monday

Love Erika xx

Why do we turn to food in times of stress? It’s our brains!

Hey folks

On Monday, I talked about a 4 hour breakthrough session I had with an eating disorder specialist which has really helped me (you can read about it HERE). However, I held one thing back so that I could share it with you today. I don’t know but it just really clicked in my head and it’s all about stress.

One of the things possibly stopping me from giving up the anorexic behaviour is the fear if what if I put on all the weight. What if the weight just creeps on and I’m back to where I started 18 months ago? After all, we all have stress in our lives and I’ve been aware that, pre-weight loss, I could wander into the kitchen and unconsciously find myself eating. But the therapist explained something about why we can turn to food when under stress and it’s all to do with the pink part of the brain diagram: the basal ganglia.

This is what was explained to me. At any time, the basal ganglia will be thinking of about 8-10 things we could be doing. Perhaps check our emails, change the TV channel, grab a drink, tidy up the kitchen, etc . But when we’re under stress, eating often goes to the top of that list, obscuring any other option. So, we can find ourselves eating something which in turn increases the level of dopamine in our bodies which in turn reduces the stress we’re experiencing. Food can feel like it’s providing comfort for us; a culinary hug.

And this really helped me because whilst it’s to do with brain chemistry, I could see it as a linear process whereby changing my response to stress in the first place can make it less likely that I’ll turn to food. And this has given me huge comfort that once I’m back in that middle ground with my eating, I can make better choices so that I’m achieving balance in my life.

— ❤ —

But things are coming together in terms of getting support. Not only do I have an amazing therapist and a specialist eating disorder dietitian on board but I’m now in touch with a psychiatrist who seems brilliant and has already said about liaising with the other professionals. And sometimes it’s about getting the right people on board and, in my case, about creating Team Erika! I don’t know. Just feeling ‘held’ by others when things are hard feels like a good place to be so I’m really hoping that the next few weeks are going to see much progress.

And before I go, I thought I’d share my afternoon snack (snacks are new to me but I’m trying to eat little and often): blueberries with 50g of Fage 0% fat free Greek yoghurt. This isn’t easy but I’ll get there

As for my evening, England is through to the Euro 2020 semi finals so I’ll be glued to the TV tonight cheering on our lads (I’m so excited!!) and catching up on the Tour de France followed by a walk 🙂

I hope to be back here before next Monday

Take care

Love Erika

Panicked… paused… and then faced a fear!

Hello guys

Let’s just say that my shoes are still on because I wanted to quickly come on here and tell you that I’ve smashed a HUGE fear! Whilst I’m confident in nearly every situation and I’ve got no problem whatsoever talking to anyone far from home, I have some elements of social anxiety in my own village and it’s been 6 years since I’ve even stepped into my village shop. What’s behind this? I think probably the weight loss from 10 years ago and then putting it all back on and more. I would hide away from anywhere I might bump into someone I know. Shame, I guess.

But hubby is cooking dinner for him and the adult kids…. and realised we’re out of a key ingredient. I panicked, thinking “I should offer to go to the shop. But he needs it urgently and I can’t resort to my usual strategy of heading to the nearest town. I’ll have to face the village shop. What if. What if. What if“. Then I paused with the offer to help on the tip of my tongue, not sure if I was strong enough to face my fear and then, next thing I knew, I was getting into the car to race to the shop (walking would have taken too long). Yes, wearing a mask helped me to feel safe and I even walked past a restaurant with outdoor seating where people were gathering on this sunny Friday evening but I went into the shop and survived! I did it! In fact, I had the song ‘Face your Fears‘ playing in my head from the TV show Crazy Ex-Girlfriend ( I simply LOVE that show) and I could hear Paula’s voice (played by Donna Lynne Chaplin). Gosh, the adrenalin is kinda still there but I did it. And I need to do it again before the anxiety creeps in again so, by this time next week, I will have gone back into the shop.

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

Love Erika xx

Week 60 weigh-in: I went on FIVE zip wires!

Hey folks

Okay… more about that in a moment. Let’s take a look at this week’s report card:

What’s happened this week?

  • The session with the specialist eating disorder dietitian last Monday has resulted in me managing to take in an extra 200 calories a day. I’ve still a long way to go but I’m getting there even though it’s hard. You know, that session has been instrumental and I’m getting some more specialist support at the end of next week.
  • I’ve discovered blue berries! Well, I’ve eaten them before but only in muffins!
  • I got out there and pushed my comfort zone at Go Ape.

What could Erika improve on / next targets?

  • I need to increase my calories by another 200 calories a day but I’m worried. I know that I need to keep pushing this comfort zone.
  • Stay off the scales. I managed to stay off the scales for a few days but that habit is creeping back in.

— ❤ —

So, Go Ape! Wow! Yesterday, I went on a two hour tree top adventure which has venues all over the UK. The course was split into 5 sites that each began climbing a rope ladder, navigating my way over bridges whilst attached to a harness, doing swings into nets and 5 zip wires. It’s really odd because I thought I’d be panicky about whether the equipment would take my weight but I felt so confident and, yes, I discovered that I love zip wiring!

As ever, please feel free to share your diet / weight-related successes, frustrations or anything else on your mind and I’ll be back later in the week to talk about living in my new body and having fun 🙂

Take care

Love Erika xx

Recordable weight loss including 21 lbs lost before bloggingStill to lose:Current weight:BMI:
164 lbs (haven’t weighed for a short while)7 lbs165 lbs24.9
Plus 21 lbs lostPlprior to blogging

I’ll be swinging like Tarzan on Sunday!

Hey everyone

I’m asking myself today what on earth I’ve signed up for! Last night, I found myself on the website of a local place that offers a range of physical adventures and I’ve now got 2 things in my diary…. both are things that I couldn’t have done 16 months ago due to the weight restrictions:

  • This Sunday, I’m doing the Tree Top Challenge which is a 2-3 hour experience of wearing a harness, going up 25 metres amongst the trees in the forest, swinging into nets, climbing through things, stepping along suspended rings, going down a zip wire and so much more. The one bit that scares me is the Tarzan swing as I don’t mind heights whatsoever but, after booking it, I saw a video of someone swinging on the rope and …. oh…. my ….. goodness! Am I really going to be doing that?!!!
  • And then the following weekend, I’m doing a 1 hour Segway experience through the forest which won’t be so exhausting but will still be something very new for me.

Both adventures are with Go Ape in the UK and wow I’m excited. I’ll tell you more about it when I check in on Monday but this desire to book things comes from a place of wanting to enjoy my new body, wanting to have fun, wanting to have things to look forward to…. and I’m all up for the comfort zone being pushed 🙂 Not sure about the chance to take photos but I’ll see what I can do!

Hope you have a great weekend

Love Erika xx

Week 59: a conscious decision to break away from the scales

Hey folks

After taking most of last week off from blogging, I made a decision this morning. You see, I usually do a weigh-in on a Monday, keen to see if another pound has come off. However, I’m also aware that I’ve become a slave to the scales, often jumping on 15-20 times a day, and I’ve concluded that I need to stop this. Yes, today is the first day for over a year that I haven’t jumped on the scales…

And it feels uneasy! It feels wrong right now but I guess that’s to be expected when I’ve formed this obsessive habit. Whilst I’ll take it a day at a time, my target is see if I can go a week without getting on them and, instead, listen intuitively to my body.

What’s happened this week?

  • I finally found somewhere that can offer me some genuine and reliable support with my atypical anorexia
  • I went on funfair rides! Feel free to check out my post from the other day here but it was just brilliant to not have to worry about whether I could fit.

What could Erika improve on?

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

Erika’s next target(s):

  • Stay off the scales until next Monday at the earliest

— ❤ —

I’m feeling pretty nervous right now as I’ve got a 90 minute consultation with a specialist dietitian later on today. I don’t know about other countries but, here in the UK, there’s an important difference between a dietitian (which is a protected occupational title where people need to have gone through the right training) and a nutritionist (which anyone can refer to themselves as). I’ll tell you later in the week how it goes but the aim is to see how I can try to increase my calorie intake into the healthy range in a safe way. She did ask me about my weight which I just couldn’t bring myself to say but thankfully she said in our quick call the other day that we can still work together. I’ve then got a 4 hour breakthrough session with the centre’s top director in just over 2 weeks’ time to work on the psychological aspect of what’s keeping me in this headspace. So, whilst the concept of recovery is scary, I’m hopeful again that things will shift.

As ever, please feel free to share your diet / weight-related successes, frustrations or anything else on your mind and I’ll be back later in the week. As for today, I’m rocking my ripped jeans 🙂

Take care

Love Erika xx

Recordable weight loss including 21 lbs lost before bloggingStill to lose:Current weight:BMI:
164 lbs7 lbs165 lbs24.9
Plus 21 lbs lostPlprior to blogging

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

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

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