Can you build a career stemming from your own weight loss?

Hey folks

Although I usually plan my posts, I guess today’s is one of those where I truly don’t know how it might end but this is where my thinking’s at:

  • I like people 🙂
  • I like supporting people who are struggling with one thing or another
  • I’m on a huge weight loss journey right now where I’m putting in as much effort into my thought processes as I am into what I’m eating and how I’m working out
  • I’m pretty good at breaking huge goals into tiny ones that are achievable
  • I really hope that I’m inspiring even just one person because I ‘get it’ when it comes to being bigger than hoped and how being a certain size impacts daily life in so many ways
  • I have a business head which has served me very well

So, I could offer 1:1 online mentoring for those wishing to lose weight. I’d be clear that I’m not a therapist but I’m someone with ‘lived experience’ although I do have formal training in the use of counselling skills. This mentoring would be tailored to suit the individual but it’s likely to cover their history of eating and weight loss/gain, the reasons behind their eating, the chance to set tiny goals both scale and non-scale related that are frequently reviewed, resilience building, the psychology behind making weight loss sustainable, etc. In addition, I could offer one-off workshops to inspire others and bring in my personal story. But this is where it gets tricky! I’m this person who hides behind my screen with only one person following my blog who knows me in real life (hello you!) so ‘coming out’ in a more visible way feels a tad bit scary. If I market myself as someone who’s lost more than 170 lbs altogether, people may be able to take a rough guess how much I weighed at my heaviest… and we know that I don’t tell people my weight! So, I need to think this through…

— ❤ —

But before I go…… guess what?! The scales have dropped since Monday….. by TWO POUNDS!!! So, I’m one, yes ONE, pound away from Onederland and I’m going to be straight on here as soon as I see a sub-200 number appear on the scales. I’m apologising now in advance but that post is just going to be an incredibly emotional, excitable Erika blogging in disbelief! Onederland is almost here, whether it’s tomorrow or another day!!

Love Erika xx

2 weeks on a vibrating plate… my wobbly bits have wobbled!

Hi folks

When I think of images from the 1950s, I’m thinking: black and white cinematography, vintage clothing and Buddy Holly. But I also think of images of immaculately-dressed women with perfect hair and make-up holding an upright pose whilst a thick rubber belt wraps around their waists and buzzes away, supposedly helping them to keep their waists super trim.

Now, whilst these belts do still exist in some form, I got curious and thought I’d treat myself to a vibrating plate. The Reviber comes with a manual so I was thinking ‘Fantastic. Let’s check out some simple exercises I can do on this” only to find most of the images inside depicting Olympic-standard athletes somehow mastering superhuman activities like single-handed planking (well, that’s superhuman to me!!). But I guess I’ve figured out my own routine that works for me and I go on my vibrating plate for 10 minutes a day. And what’s great is that, according to my FitBit, the top speeds put my heart rate into fat burning mode whilst I feel as if my body has morphed into a pneumatic drill that will undoubtedly result in a huge crater evolving in my living room!

My main motivation is to lose inches. Two weeks probably isn’t long enough to do a proper comparison and who knows whether inch loss would have happened on food choices alone… (I don’t think this ‘scientific’ approach would pass an ethics committee) but here are my stats…. so far:

Day 1 (in inches)Day 14 (in inches)
Chest44.2544
Waist35.535
Abdomen4645
Hips4543.75
Thigh2625.5
Calf19.2519.25
C

So, small changes in this time but I’m pleased, especially considering how my hips and abdomen were almost 60″ early last year. Who knows where I might be in another 2, 4, 6 weeks.

And I just wanted to share 3 other images with you today. Permission to feel a little bit smug when my FitBit tells me that my cardio fitness is between the good and very good levels….. but also a screenshot from a BMI calculator where I can now see my weight reflected by the black arrow that’s slowly edging towards the middle. I can’t believe that my BMI / weight’s visible…. and I want to instinctively say “AND I’M VISIBLE”. Wow! Where did that come from?! I’m turning into my own psychotherapist ❤ Whilst I love travelling and I’ll get up to all manner of things well away from home like in other countries, I’ve hidden away in my own community for the past few years. Mmmm, I think I know what the subject of Friday’s post will be…

So, Friday’s blog will reflect on the extent I’ve gone into hiding over the past few years unless some eagerly anticipated miracle on the scales happens between now and then…

Love Erika xx

Rooted to the couch? One top tip to get you moving!

Hello folks

So, this post isn’t about how to do a 5K, what to do at the gym or what to look for in a personal trainer. It’s really aimed at the very basic level of even getting off the couch when we find ourselves sitting there for hours. It may be to do with our mental health, such as depression. It may be to do with just not finding the motivation to move our bodies. It may be that we feel hopeless about the weight loss journey in front of us.

So, today’s blog is all about how to get started. I’ve had times when I’ve found myself rooted to my couch, binge watching something that didn’t really grab me but, somehow, time whizzed by. You know… one episode leads to another and all that! This is my number 1 tip:

Put on commercial TV that has regular breaks.

Get moving as soon as the commercials start.

On the days when I’m feeling especially tired, I use these 2-3 minutes here and there to get jobs done and it’s amazing what I can achieve in that time. When I sit back down, I think about what I’ll do during the next commercial break like empty the dishwasher, strip the bed. If you find this works, you could then reverse the process where you pace the room whilst watching whatever and use the commercial breaks to sit down. At the end of the day, it’s about mind games and strategies to push that comfort zone for the steps to add up but in a way that feels doable.

Talking of steps, I’ve found it helpful to work towards shiny medals which you can read about HERE. Now, I know from online communities that there are two camps about how to count your steps for these medals that get posted to you. One camp says that counting your everyday steps is cheating. You MUST count only those from walks, jogs or runs that are part of ‘official’ exercise. But I’m in the other camp and I say this as someone who couldn’t walk 100 metres a year ago without being in pain and being out of breath. If even moving off the couch is a huge achievement for you, count every step! Count anything that celebrates how you’re making a change in pursuit of your goals. Your medal; your way!

I’ll be back on Friday but there’s so much to share with you over the coming months. And I now have 11 days to go until I hit the first anniversary of the start of my weight loss journey so there might be some reflection about what a difference a year makes!

Love Erika xx

Weight loss, sagging skin and photos!

Hey folks

I guess I’m probably ticking all the boxes for why I’m getting sagging skin:

  • I’ve lost well over 100 lbs
  • I’ve lost this in just under a year
  • I’ve spent much of my life being overweight or obese with a top BMI of 50 so my skin’s been stretched for a long time
  • I’m in my late 40s so any elasticity in my skin has upped and left!

Where’s this sagging skin appearing? It’s mainly over my upper and lower abdomen, the tops of my thighs and my arms where my bingo wings seem to have developed their own bingo wings. My hope is to control this as much as possible through diet and exercise but I’ve been thinking whether I’d want skin removal surgery. It’s pretty big surgery with recovery time of 4-6 weeks and, as I write blog, I’m watching an episode of My Extreme Excess Skin featuring Dr Nowzaradan from My 600lb Life fame (I’d love to meet him!!). Whilst other episodes feature people who’ve lost 200-500 lbs, this one’s about someone who’s lost 170 lbs which pretty much reflects the total journey I’m on but she had bariatric surgery. Do people lose weight at a quicker speed after bariatric surgery? Am I likely to have a similar appearance to this pre-op lady? You see, I really don’t think I’ll ever be someone who wants to hang around the pool in a bikini but I’d just love to wear clothes with confidence. So, I think I’ll continue on my journey and re-evaluate as I get nearer to my goal weight. Perhaps I’ll buy super strong underwear to hold my body together instead! The thought of having my belly button repositioned is enough to turn my stomach!!!

Before I go, I thought I’d share some photos to show you my bingo wings and how I can fold up the skin! And rather brave photos of my belly where you can see how the skin can easily be moved around. Goodness, despite hiding behind my laptop anonymously, sharing these photos feels scary so please be kind! This is me….with more than 117lbs lost and around 50 lbs left to go!

Hope you have a great weekend. I’ll be back on Monday with my next weigh-in and will then be aiming to blog 3 times a week as I head towards my target weight 🙂

Love Erika xx

Week 32 weigh-in: an advent calendar with a difference!


Hey guys

I can’t wait to show you my advent calendar. The rest of my family have chocolate ones but my one is, er, a little bit different! More about that in a moment but, first, let’s take a look at this week’s report card.

*******

What’s Erika done well this week?

  • I’ve lost another 3 lbs 🙂
  • I’m now under 100 kg! (99.97 kg to be precise)
  • I’m light enough to take a helicopter flying lesson with a local company
  • I’ve been focusing on upping my protein (mainly cooked chicken) and cutting back on carbs

What could Erika improve on?

  • Mmm, this is going to be the subject of my blog later this week but I’m at the point of thinking “Am I just super focused on losing weight or am I beginning to develop the symptoms of atypical anorexia?” There can be such a fine line between the two and I’m not saying that I have an eating disorder again but, if it’s okay with you, I’ll think aloud on here probably Thursday or Friday. As ever, I’ll be very open and honest about where I’m at.

Erika’s next target(s):

  • 1 lb until I’ve lost a third of my original body weight and I’m out of the 220s
  • 3 lbs until I’ve lost 8 stone in total
  • 4 lbs until my BMI is in the 32s
  • 21 lbs until I’m in Onederland (yes, I’ll be less than 200 lbs)
  • 24 lbs until I’m no longer obese as I’ll be overweight

*******

Right, back to my advent calendar… this is a fitness one! Virtual Racing UK organise this every year but post these calendars abroad too. The idea is that behind every door, you may find part of a medal which you build as you head towards Christmas and you also have a fitness challenge. Today’s challenge? 30 x crunches, 30 x cross crunches, 20 x leg raisers and 60 second plank….. and repeat all of this TWICE!!! It’s actually really exciting to see what the daily challenge is. If you fancy this, perhaps follow them on Facebook so you can see when the 2021 advent calendar is launched. But once my whole medal has been built, I’ll share a photo with you.

*******

Right, I’m off to do my daily challenge workout but I’ll be back Thursday / Friday. In the meantime, please feel free to share your own weight loss successes, frustrations or whatever’s on your mind ❤

Love Erika xx

Recordable weight loss since blogging:Still to lose:Current weight:BMI:
88 lbs62 lbs220 lbs33.5
Plus 21 lbs lost prior to blogging

Walking and running for shiny medals!

I might be in my mid 40s but I’m certainly not too old to get excited when a shiny medal pops through my letterbox!

I’ve discovered an international community of people who love to jog, walk, run, swim, row or do whatever to claim their well-earned medals. Whether it’s medals to celebrate doing your first 5K, running a marathon, jogging the distance of the English Channel or even walking Route 66, there’s a medal out there for everyone.

So, here’s my collection… so far! It all started when I did the Couch to 5K program earlier this year when I was still morbidly obese. I wondered if there might be a medal to reward myself and, wow, I came across so many websites including those I’ve listed at the end of today’s post. I’m now filling my 2nd medal hangar. You know, I could just exercise for the sake of it but working towards these MAKES me want to get out there and get fit!

This last one turned up this week! I LOVE it and it even came with a stunning T-shirt.

Many of these medal companies will ship internationally so you want to check out the ones I’ve come cross so far:

Conqueror Medals https://www.theconqueror.events/ These are STUNNING!!!! Brilliant quality and you’ll find thousands of people doing these challenges on the Facebook group My Virtual Mission (super friendly and supportive group!)

Virtual Racing UK. A really great mix of medals with new ones coming out all the time https://www.virtualracinguk.co.uk/ Helpful staff.

These are pretty cool as you can set how far you want to aim for each month and, each month, the medal design changes to make it seasonal https://www.raceatyourpace.co.uk/

Ace Races …. a new discovery for me but lots of short term challenges here https://ace-races.co.uk/

Virtual Runner https://www.virtualrunneruk.com/race-length/fun-run-races/ This is also a new discovery but I’ve signed up for 3 medals for 2021 so far.

*******

Does 5K sound to far? You know, back in February, I couldn’t walk 100 metres without having to stop and I was in pain. Honestly, I struggled to get up the stairs without being breathless. But Race at Your Pace do medals from covering 5 miles over a whole month so even if mobility isn’t great right now, I hope you can find one that’s doable but perhaps push that comfort zone a little bit!

*******

Do you have any medals? Any you’d like to do? Perhaps you’ve got a place in mind that you’d love to see turned into a virtual medal challenge. I’d love to know

Have a great weekend everyone

Love Erika xx

Week 27 weigh-in: mmm, no weigh-in :/

Hello folks

A post of woe and positivity today! Yes, this follows my post last Tuesday about how I smashed 100 lbs of weight loss in little over 8 months:

So, let’s start with an analogy. You’re an athlete and you’ve pounded the athletic track to get to that 100 metre finishing line. You’ve gritted your teeth, the finishing line is in sight and, suddenly, you’re there! Woop! You celebrate, you start to slow down whilst thinking of claiming that elusive trophy and then, BAM, you realise that you’ve got another 71 metres to go. SIGH!!!!!

Well, that’s how I’ve been feeling over the past few days with the realisation that my weight loss journey isn’t over yet. I’ve been eating more although I doubt if I’ve gone significantly over 2000 calories. But, yesterday, for the first time for years, I wanted to binge and take laxatives. Yesterday was a stressful day because of COVID and the second lockdown for England which starts this Thursday. It’s unclear right now whether I’ll be able to still run my business. But I need to find healthier ways of dealing with stress as I’m not going back to 329 lbs and, last night, I turned to exercise where I instantly felt better for it afterwards. So, this is what I’m going to do. I’m going to be kind to myself for a few days and then, on Thursday when lockdown begins, I’m really going to up the exercise and get those endorphins pumping. Let’s get toning my body and see if I can get under 220 lbs by the time we come out of lockdown on 2nd December. Next week, I’ll brave the scales but I’m just not feeling it today.

Take care

Love Erika xx

Week 25: I’ve lost 7 stone!

Hey folks

Okay, let’s get straight into this week’s report card:

What’s Erika done well this week?

  • I’ve now lost exactly 7 stone which is the same as 98lbs!
  • I’m now light enough to have a helicopter lesson
  • I’ve lost 1lb. Another week in the ‘1lb club’ but these add up
  • I’ve stayed pretty calm about how my weight loss has slowed down. It’s weird but in the past few weeks when the loss has slowed down, my body shape has really been changing so I’m appreciating that there are non-scale victories to be celebrated too

What could Erika improve on?

  • Last week, I said that I needed to exercise more and, shamefully, I’ve had another week where I’ve barely moved. I really don’t know why this is apart from it possibly being a post-marathon slump. So, my personal challenge is to walk at least 5km everyday from now until the end of the month.

Erika’s next target(s):

  • celebrate holding the London Marathon medal that should be here in the next 12 days
  • lose 2 more lbs until I’ve lost 100 lbs in total and my BMI is under 35

*******

My new shiny scales are amazing and they highlighted two things that are good for me to know. As I said in Friday’s blog, my body water percentage is very low but I’m slowly bringing this figure up by being mindful about my fluid intake. But the other thing is that the app I use to record my weight loss estimated my body to be more than 47%. However, my analyser scales tell me that it’s actually 39%. Yes, still too high but I’ll take the lower figure!

So, I’m going to head off now for a walk and get some distance under my belt. Hope you have a super week

Love Erika xx

Recordable weight loss since blogging:Still to lose:Current weight:BMI:
77 lbs73 lbs231 lbs35.1
Plus 21 lbs lost prior to blogging

Week 23 weigh-in: Can you do a marathon whilst obese?!

YES!!!!! Yes, you can because that’s exactly what I did yesterday. Me and around 45,000 others around the world took part in the Virtual London Marathon, each with our own 26.2 mile routes set out – whether we were walking or running it. Some people even climbed mountains to get in the distance. My legs feel extraordinarily heavy today but I’m buzzing and I’ll share the medal with you as soon as it arrives.

What’s Erika done well this week?

  • I’ve lost 1lb. Weight loss has slowed down but I don’t care as…….
  • I did a 26.2 mile marathon!
  • My BMI is now in the lower 35s…..so close to getting out of the obese class II category
  • I’m now halfway through my official weight loss journey as in I’ve lost 75 lbs with 75 lbs still to go. But, as the tables at the bottom of my posts say each Monday, this is in addition to the 21 lbs I’ve lost before I started blogging.

What could Erika improve on?

  • Nothing for this week coming really. I didn’t get much sleep last week as the marathon was on my mind throughout and work was busy but I slept for a whopping 10 hours last night and know that this week being quieter will definitely help me rest more. I’ll keep an eye on my fluid intake too and make sure I’m continuing to drink water.

Erika’s next target(s):

  • 2 more lbs until I can have a helicopter lesson
  • 4 more lbs until I’ve lost 100 lbs in total and my BMI is under 35

I’m going to add something to my list of what I’d like to do when I’m smaller/lighter: https://biggirlsmall.com/when-i-lose-weight-i-will/ I’d love to climb a mountain. We have some stunning ones in northern England, Wales and Scotland. I don’t know. Just the sense of standing on its summit, looking at the panoramic views and realising that sheer determination has brought you up to this point. Do I need to wait until I’m smaller/lighter? No, not really but by the time I can travel due to COVID cases in the UK rising, any further weight loss by then will hopefully really help me along the way.

And sorry for no 2nd post last week. Last week was just manic But I will be back later this week to chat about staying motivated when you’ve got a lot of weight to lose.

Have a great week, everyone

Love Erika xx (P.S. Did I tell you that I achieved 26.2 miles yesterday?!!!)

Recordable weight loss:Still to lose:Current weight:BMI:
75 lbs75 lbs233 lbs35.4
Plus 21 lbs lost prior to blogging

Week 22 weigh-in: 5 lbs away from losing 100 lbs!

Hey guys

I really REALLY hope that I will be blogging next Monday not only to tell you my latest weigh-in but to tell you that I actually finished the London marathon. I’m just visualising being able to say the words ‘did it’ even though it’s feeling incredibly daunting right now. My runner’s bib arrived through the post, which I think adds to the sense of occasion. I don’t know. It all feels a bit surreal right now but I believe that I CAN do it…and, if I believe that I can do, I’m more likely to actually do it!

What’s Erika done well this week?

  • I’ve lost 2lbs
  • My weight is now in the lower 230s

What could Erika improve on?

  • I don’t know why but my fluid intake has been pretty low, as in any fluid intake. From today, I’m making a more concerted effort to drink more throughout the day rather than realise just before going to bed that I’ve barely drunk anything!
  • I also need to improve my sleep. I think that mere, ‘little’ issue of a marathon (!!!) is on my mind but I’ve read that poor sleep can be linked to weight difficulties. It’s not that I’m snacking in the evenings as I don’t eat after 8pm but let’s see what I can do.
  • For the past few days, I’ve eaten a bit more than normal. Yes, I need to make sure I’m eating enough when taking on such a huge physical feat but I need to make sure that my sensible eating is back on track. What’s good is that despite eating a bit more than normal (when compared to the past 7 months), I haven’t binged and I haven’t eaten anything sweet but I just need to get back on track with my food choices.

Erika’s next target(s):

  • Walk/run the virtual London marathon on Sunday
  • 3 more lbs until I can have a helicopter lesson
  • 5 more lbs until I’ve lost 100 lbs in total and my BMI is under 35 – I’m so excited about this!

You know, although I lost 2 lbs this week, I don’t feel as if I’ve really been on track. Whilst I can’t wait for Sunday, part of me is keen to just get it over and done with so that it’s not at the forefront of my mind. Does that make sense? I had hoped to get to the 100 lb weight loss milestone by marathon day which isn’t going to happen but I need to be kind to myself! Erika, you’re doing the London Marathon at least 95 lbs lighter than if you did this in February. Let’s celebrate that!

Hope you have a good week. I’ll be back on Thursday or Friday with my next blog. Actually, I don’t know what the topic will be so, if there’s anything particular you’d like me to write about, please do say!!

Love Erika xx

Recordable weight loss:Still to lose:Current weight:BMI:
74 lbs76 lbs234 lbs35.6
Plus 21 lbs lost prior to blogging