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 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 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

Excess skin from weight loss. What are my options?

Hey folks

Losing weight is amazing. Goodness, the high you can get from seeing the number on the scales go down and the feeling of the clothes starting to hang off your body… they’re just priceless. I’ll be doing a weight update for you on Monday as it’s been a while since I’ve weighed myself but the last time I did jump on the scales showed me that I’d lost more than 160 lbs.

But a huge weight loss can come with excess skin, especially bearing in mind that I’m in my late 40s and I’ve spent much of my adult like bigger than I would have liked to be. At the end of the day, I’d prefer to be carrying this excess skin than be carrying the excess weight but I’m lucky that it’s not causing me any health problems because excess skin can cause all manner of difficulties including infections and sores. The only two problems it is causing are a) sitting down on a reasonably hard surface which isn’t very comfortable and b) the psychological impact of not feeling comfortable in my skin – though that can be worked on.

So, what are my options?

a. Creams, lotions and all manner of things to put on my skin

You’ve only got to look at the beauty aisles in pharmacies to see products promising to tighten up your skin. I want to say that no amount of product is going to make a difference for me but perhaps I’ll give something a go… even if it’s for just one part of my body that would make a bit of a difference. But even if it does, I need to look into other options too!

— ❤ —

b. Eat more protein, lift weights and build up muscle mass

So, I’ve read that building up muscle mass can at least help make the body appear more defined and try to flatten some of the corrugated-card-type appearance to my upper legs… and perhaps reduce the effect of my bingo wings. My specialist dietitian said that as we get older, it’s important to eat more protein which is something I’m focusing on right now. This seems doable – perhaps booking a few sessions with a personal trainer first to get me on track.

— ❤ —

c. Non-surgical treatments

There are a few things out there but, goodness, it’s so important to choose someone who’s qualified! I saw a programme recently about how some people offering a variety of cosmetic treatments (like fillers, etc.) may have attended just a weekend course with barely any input about health and safety! But the main thing I’m currently looking into is radio frequency skin tightening as there’s a hospital near me offering this, a hospital with a good reputation, My plan is to contact them next week, book an appointment and take it from there.

— ❤ —

d. Surgery

Now, I am a realist and I feel that a body lift is the only way to get my body 100% toned. But from what I’ve read, it would involve at least two separate surgeries, each taking 4-6 weeks of recovery time. Whilst that sounds like a long time, I guess it’s a mere fraction of time bearing in mind how I could then have my toned body for some time to come. But I’m scared! The thought of going under the knife in any circumstance just terrifies me so whilst I could look at this, nah! I’d prefer to do one of the above options.

— ❤ —

I’ll be back on Monday to update you about my weight but also tell you about the most amazing adventure I’m about to go on this weekend. I’m ticking off another thing from my weight loss bucket list and this is a BIG one!!!

Have a great weekend, everyone

Love Erika xx

Introducing… my weight loss bucket list!

Hey folks

I wonder if anyone can relate but I found pre-weight loss that there were many things I wanted to do but couldn’t. Sometimes, it was because there was a weight limit attached to particular activities or it came down to a lack of confidence. Now that I’ve lost quite a lot, there’s a host of things that I want to do and, in fact, I ticked off my first one on Sunday. So, here’re the 10 things that my weight loss and growing confidence mean I now feel ready to get on with:

  1. Zip wire! Yes, last Sunday, I went on a Go Ape Tree Top Adventure where I had the most buzzing time. That first zip wire was a bit scary but, by the 5th, I was hurling myself off the platforms, ready to glide past the trees in the forest. You can read more about it HERE.

So, what else is on my list?

2. Abseil off the ArcelorMittal Orbit at the Olympic Park which is the tallest sculpture in the UK. Last night, I booked my ticket to do this in August. Once I go up in the lift and see panoramic views of London, I’ll then abseil 80 metres down… although another way to go down is the slide!! Worth checking out the photos online.

3. Helicopter lesson. I’m not too far from the coast here in the UK so flying over the English Channel will be amazing.

4. Go on an aeroplane. I used to fly loads when I was younger but I felt really self conscious about my weight so as soon as Covid is more under control, I’ve got my first trip away planned to Copenhagen in Denmark where I’ll pop over the bridge to Malmo in Sweden too.

5. RIB boat experience on the River Thames which is basically going on a speed boat.

6. Zorbing. This involves climbing inside a huge bubble-like structure, attaching myself to the harness and then hurling myself down a hill! What could go wrong?!

7. Horse riding. I’ve got a place in mind but the dietitian has advised having a DEXA scan first. More about that another day.

8. Indoor sky dive. Not many places in the UK do it but there’s somewhere within reasonable reach of here where you get kitted up with a jumpsuit, helmet and goggles, and step into a wind tunnel kinda thing where you then put your body into a star shape and fly! Oh…. all that loose skin on my body will have a field day!!!!!

9. Drive a racing car around Silverstone. Space in those cars looks tight but I think I could get in there now.

10. Possibly…. and I mean possibly (!!!!)… a real sky dive! This one might change…… I’d love to do it and, wow, what an amazing feeling I’d have but would I have the guts to leave the plane? Not sure!

My plan is to always have something booked and therefore something to always look forward to so by the time I abseil in August, I’ll have another activity from my list booked, perhaps for September.

Do you have things on your list that you’d like to do? They don’t have to be sports related. It could be having a personal shopper experience, having a massage, etc.

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 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