You won’t get me seeing a doctor … yet!!

Hey guys

Okay, so, my ‘adult’ head knows that doctors see people of all shapes and sizes! Everyday, they’ll be seeing people like me, people who are bigger, people who are smaller, blah, blah, blah. So, what is it that makes me stay well clear of the local GP surgery? I thought it’d be helpful to talk aloud as I sometimes wonder if anyone has a fear as great as mine.

I should preface this by saying that I’ve been very lucky not to have developed serious illnesses or any health conditions that need monitoring…as far as I know! But I’ve become increasingly aware that if I did suspect something serious (like a lump), I still wouldn’t go. Now I write this, doesn’t it sound daft that I’d prefer to ignore a very serious health warning due to sheer embarrassment. So, I haven’t gone along for smear tests (though I do home kits to send off), I’ve ignored the free health checks for over 40s and I’ve even ignored a GP calling me as I’ve staying clear of the surgery for some time. When I’ve had two accidents in the past few years (including a broken toe), I had to go to A&E which, whilst mortifyingly embarrassing, I guess it made it feel a bit easier as I’d be seeing a doctor as a one-off. So, what’s behind this?

I don’t think it’s because I’m scared of being asked to stand on the scales as I’m big and bold enough to rebel and politely decline. But the thought of revealing my body which I go to great lengths to cover up everyday terrifies me. What will they think? Will they judge? So, I need to remind myself of the first sentence above that they’d probably not even blink because I’ll be no different to anyone else.

I wonder if this stems from being very ill with anorexic behaviour 9 years ago when there was a lot of concern about how much weight I’d lost over the space of months and now I’m so much bigger. It wasn’t even a diet that I was following as a life-threatening eating disorder was controlling me so I don’t feel that it was a ‘diet that went wrong‘ but I guess it’s how I feel. When you’ve been small and then you’re not, what will people think? In fact, I think this shame goes beyond doctors as I’ve definitely withdrawn more generally since I put all the weight on and more.

Clearly, I’m losing weight and perhaps that will give me the confidence to go to the GP if I need to… but I’m going to make a pact here and now. If there’s anything that I feel I need to see a doctor about, even if I don’t lose any more weight than right now, I will see someone. Yes, it’ll push me out of my comfort zone but I want to embrace all that life has to offer and there’s no point loving this new lifestyle if I’m not fit and healthy to enjoy it.

Thank you! Just talking aloud has made things click in my mind so you’ve been great listening. I’m now on countdown for taking part in the London marathon on 4th October and my official racing bib turned up in the post yesterday so more about that at my next weigh-in on Monday.

Have a great weekend everyone

Love Erika xx

Week 21 weigh-in: the incentive of COVID

Hi everyone

You know, when COVID was spreading at an alarmingly quick speed in the UK earlier this year, it provided me with the biggest external incentive to keep going with my recently-started weight loss journey. Stats were coming out about the greater chance of hospital admissions, etc. when being overweight or obese and, yes, I was frightened. Being super morbidly obese with a BMI of 50, I knew that I could end up being seriously ill if I caught the virus. I know it can still affect anyone but, with numbers increasing again, I guess I’m taking some reassurance that I’m doing everything possible to be okay should I get it. And there are some other bonuses along the way! Smaller clothes sizes, having lots of spare space in the garden chairs that I used to struggle to fit into and ticking off all my mini goals along the way! For me, it’s not just about reaching destination Goal Weight but the journey too.

What’s Erika done well this week?

  • I’ve lost 2lbs
  • I’m under 17 stone
  • My BMI is now under 36
  • My belly and hips are now 48″ (after starting out at 58″ and 59″ respectively)
  • My waist is now 38″ after starting out at 45″

What could Erika improve on?

  • I can still do better on the fruit and veg front. I’m SO bad at this!

Erika’s next target(s):

  • Walk/run the virtual London marathon on 4th October! Yes, I have an official place on this race
  • 5 more lbs until I can have a helicopter lesson
  • 7 more lbs until I’ve lost 100 lbs in total and my BMI is under 35 – I’m so excited about this!

Later this week, I’m going to blog about the fear of GPs and anything medical. Yes, I think this links to my weight and size and I really don’t ‘do’ doctors but more about that on Thursday or Friday.

And, before I go, I just want to say ‘thank you’ for reading my blog. Truly, if feels as if I’m not on this journey alone and I can’t tell you how much it means to be able to share all my weird and crazy thoughts aloud 🙂

Love Erika xx

Recordable weight loss:Still to lose:Current weight:BMI:
72 lbs78 lbs236 lbs35.9
Plus 21 lbs lost before blogging

Week 20 weigh-in: I walked 40K steps yesterday!

Hey guys

This morning, every bone and muscle in my feet reminded me that I’d pushed my comfort zone yesterday, reaching more than 40, 000 steps and over 28 km but that pain was good! The pain has since subsided but I’m left with the excitement that I’m really prepping myself for the London marathon in 20 day’s time and that I’ll be able to walk/run the 26.2 miles (42.165 km) in order to get the shiny medal from this year’s virtual event.

What’s Erika done well this week?

  • I lost 4lbs
  • I’m now in the 230s
  • I’ve done shorter walks on top of yesterday’s
  • I drank more water
  • I resisted some chocolate brownies my children made!

What could Erika improve on?

  • I can sense some of my previous-anorexic behaviours creeping in like obsessive jumping on the scales and starting to panic a bit about calories. I need to keep an eye on this because, as I found out many years ago, you don’t need to be underweight to unfortunately experience the life-threatening risks of restrictive behaviour
  • Although I’ve cut out all snacking since I started this journey exactly 7 months ago and I’m making healthier choices, I could eat more fruit and veg

Erika’s next target(s):

  • 1 more lb until I’m under 17 stone
  • 7 more lbs until I can have a helicopter lesson
  • 9 more lbs until I’ve lost 100 lbs and my BMI is under 35 – I’m so excited about this!

Later on this week, I think I’d find it helpful to talk aloud on here about the restrictive behaviours coming through. I really don’t want to end up very ill again. So far, I’ve had a handful of days when my calorie intake has been low but I’m determined to keep this journey healthy and therefore more likely that I’m going to keep off the weight loss. Let’s get into a healthier mindset!

Have a good week, everyone

Love Erika xx

Total recordable weight loss:Still to lose:Current weight:BMI:
70 lbs80 lbs238 lbs36.2
Plus 21 lbs lost prior to blogging

Week 19 weigh-in: How often do the pounds drop?

Hey folks

Let’s get straight into this week’s report card!

What’s Erika done well this week?!

  • I lost 1 lb….more about that in a moment.  
  • My body fat is now under 50%
  • I walked 10km on Saturday with just 4 weeks left until I’m doing the virtual London Marathon of 26.2 miles (i.e. just over 40km)
  • I can now wear the smaller of the two wrist straps that came with my Fitbit.
  • All body measurements are under 50″. Yes, when I started this journey, my hips were 59″, my belly was 58″ and my bust was 52.5″.
  • My waist is under 39″. This started out at 45″

What could Erika improve on?

  • Drink more water. Yes, I STILL need to improve on this!

Erika’s next target(s):

  • Do a 20km walk this weekend coming
  • 11 more lbs until I can have a helicopter lesson
  • 13 more lbs until I’ve lost 100 lbs in total and my BMI is under 35

Like many women, the scales frustratingly don’t budge for a few days every 4 weeks. Yes, period weigh gain is very common but the important thing is to hold onto the fact that it’s temporary. It might be tempting to give into those cravings or skip the exercise but keep doing what you’re doing and the scales will suddenly drop. I thought I’d share the monthly view of my weight loss because yes, for w/c 3rd August and 31st August, the scales pretty much stayed the same. I’m sure that the only reason the scales didn’t go up with my period due is because I kept going with the eating and exercise and, if it wasn’t for my period, there would have been more of a loss.

I’ll be back later this week to talk about my 5 top tips for starting a weight loss journey. Very much from the perspective of someone whose BMI was 50 earlier this year since which I’ve adjusted my headspace. You see, I’ve lost 87 lbs in all and I’m not getting bored. It feels sustainable so I’ll share with you what’s making a true difference.

Love Erika xx

Total recordable weight loss:Still to lose:Current weight:BMI:
66 lbs84 lbs242 lbs 36.8
Plus 21 lbs lost prior to blogging

Week 18 weigh-in: I’ve the biggest news ever!

Hey everyone

Oh, I’m so happy! I’m hitting lots of targets and my body’s feeling incredibly different…but I’ve also signed up for something almost inconceivable a few months ago…more about that shortly! Like last week’s blog, here’s my report card:

What’s Erika done well this week?!

  • I lost 5 lbs! 
  • My BMI is now under 37 which means I’m nicely on my way towards the lowest obesity category
  • I’m now more than half way on this weight loss journey
  • I’m now under 17 and a half stone in British weight-talk (where 1 stone equals 14 lbs)
  • I’ve now lost more than 6 stone in British weight-talk (i.e. 6 stone 2 lbs)
  • I’m now light enough to go on a Segway (manufacturers say 245 lbs)
  • I exercised daily. I’m now on my 3rd walking medal with My Virtual Mission and will complete the Hadrian’s Wall walk (144.8 km distance) later on today. I started this 2 weeks ago.

What could Erika improve on?

  • Drink more water. I’ve been drinking more than last week but lots of room for improvement!

Erika’s next target(s):

  • 1 more lb until my body fat is under 50%
  • 12 more lbs until I can have a helicopter lesson
  • 14 more lbs until I’ve lost 100 lbs in total and my BMI is under 35

You see, it’s these tiny goals that keep me focused and motivated.

Drum roll…

Right, I have a HUGE thing to admit! You know back in February at 329 lbs that I couldn’t walk more than 100 metres without being out of puff? And I’ve since completed Couch to 5K? Well, er, I’m doing the 2020 Virtual London Marathon on 4th October!!!!! Yes, there were 45,000 places as you get the finisher’s medal if you complete the 26.2 miles but you actually get the whole 24 hours to do and I signed up just in time before the spaces went. WHAT HAVE I DONE?!!!!!

So, I’ll share my pre-marathon news over the next few weeks as well as blog about discovering the world of fitness medals, overcoming weight loss plateaus, motivational tips, changing the inner voice, how to set tiny targets and so much more

Love Erika xx

Total recordable weight loss:Still to lose:Current weight:BMI:
65 lbs85 lbs243 lbs36.9
Plus 21 lbs lost prior to blogging

So that means I’ve lost 86 lbs in all and I’ve 85 to go!

Week 17 weigh-in: I’m under 250 lbs!

Hey everyone

Do you know? It almost likes a huge relief to get under 250 lbs as I’m now nearer to 200 than 300 (having started this journey at 329). I thought I’d do myself a report card for this week:

What’s Erika done well this week?!

  • I lost 3 lbs! According to the MY Weight app, I lose 2.95 lbs each week on average.
  • I exercised daily. As well as miles and miles of walking, I’ve been doing daily workouts which I’ve loved. In fact, I’m discovering that exercising helps me to clear my head.
  • I had a Chinese takeaway but made sensible choices. Oh, no, a takeaway???!!! Yes, we can still have a takeaway and lose weight! I chose chicken with mushrooms with two spoonfuls of my husband’s boiled rice and I was full.
  • I had a pizza takeaway! Yes, two takeaways in one week! But I chose a small one with an Italian base (which is thin), reduced fat mozzarella, tandoori chicken and mushrooms. According to the Dominoes app, this came out at around 900 calories but I don’t eat the crusts so it would have been slightly less. I usually have rocket in my fridge that I throw on top which is a great way to bulk up food without piling on the calories.

What could Erika improve on?

  • Drink water. I really need to drink much more. After getting into the pattern of doing this a few weeks back, I shamefully almost lived on Diet Coke this week but watch out for next Monday’s blog to see if I’ve addressed the balance.
  • Possible eat more. You see, after having anorexia many years and getting caught up in the obsessive counting, I’m not counting every calorie I eat although I’m aiming for roughly 1200-1400 calories. But I think I’ve had days where I may have gone quite a bit less than this which could impact on my metabolism, etc.

As you’ll see in the table below, my BMI is almost down to 37.5 (after starting at 50) and to get under this is my next mini target as I’ll be halfway through the obese class II category (which goes from 35-39.9).

Later this week, I’m going to blog about emotional eating because I’ve been there, especially in the past. As I mentioned the other day, last week was the first time I’d nearly lost the grip on this new lifestyle but I didn’t give in. I’m still here with no cheat days or cheat meals….but more about that on Thursday/Friday.

Hope you have a lovely week

Love Erika xx

Total recordable weight loss:Still to lose:Current weight:BMI:
60 lbs90 lbs248 lbs37.7
Plus 21 lbs lost prior to blogging

What to wear when losing weight?

Hey

Sorry that this post comes a little bit later in the week than normal. A bit of a trying week here to be honest and I could have so easily fallen off the wagon with my new lifestyle but no! I’m stronger than that and I’m going to talk in the next couple of weeks about emotional eating….and how to stop it.

Last Monday at my weekly weigh-in, I said that I’d talk about fashion. You see, during my adult life, I’ve fluctuated between a UK size 12-24 (that’s 8-20 US size) with most of the time at the upper end. For many years now, I’ve hidden behind maxi skirts, maxi dresses and long flowing cardigans…even in the middle of summer. I couldn’t possibly let anyone know that I have these things called legs hidden away!!!

Now that my weight loss is almost halfway, I’m starting to envisage what I’d love to wear. I’ve never worn shorts as an adult or 3/4 trousers. I don’t wear sleeveless tops. I’ve never worn ripped jeans! But this is going to change. Yes, I guess I need to think about what looks okay for my age but trust me….when I can wear jeans again, I’m buying some ripped ones!!!

On the 26th of each month, I’m trying on a pain of jeans that reach only just above my knees right now but once I can get in them, I’ll share a montage of photos of these jeans magically-fitting! I’d love to be in them by Christmas…..2020.

For now and with over 80lbs lost so far, I’m wearing smaller clothes and even jumping over sizes, such as my cardigan going from a size 20 to the size 16 I put on for the first time today. But there’s no point buying a whole wardrobe for each size on my way down. I just need a few bits but once I’m a size 12, I’ll be hitting the high street and really think about my style which I’d love to be cool but trendy too. I might even ditch the glasses and get contacts. I might change my hair colour. I can’t wait!

And should I keep clothes that are too big for me? I don’t want to tempt fate so I think I need to let go of my past and donate them to a charity shop. Let’s keep life (and my wardrobe) simple.

I’ll be back on Monday with my next weigh-in but hope you’re having a good weekend

Take care

Love Erika xx

6 months in….. and what a difference!

Hey guys

I can’t believe that today marks 6 months since I’ve eaten chocolate, since something has clicked in my brain about getting healthier, since I discovered this unfamiliar drive to move my body! You see, when I’ve attempted to lose weight in the past, I’ve rarely got beyond 3 weeks before packing it all in. So, what’s different this time?

  • I’m not seeing it as a diet. That’s been huge because a diet can feel like a short term fix.
  • Beyond cutting out snacks, it’s sustainable. Yesterday, I had scampi, potato wedges, garden peas and tartare sauce for dinner….just not as much as before!
  • I eat only between noon and 8pm (known as intermittent fasting)…..which instantly cuts out evening snacking plus I’ve never been a breakfast person.
  • I’m eating roughly 1200-1400 calories a day but I’m stopping myself from getting obsessed about calorie counting. That’s been a bit tricky at times but I don’t want to to slip back into the anorexic thinking from the past.
  • I’m pretty chilled about the speed of weight loss. Some weeks I lose lots; some weeks I lose less. But as long as I continue to be in calorie deficit each day, I know that this lifestyle change is working.
  • I love exercise! I completed Couch to 5K whilst still morbidly obese and I’ve got 3 fitness challenges happening right now. I’m actually doing star jumps, crunches and semi-planks!

I’ll be back on Monday with my latest weigh-in but let’s just say that I’m now light enough to go in a hot balloon in the UK…..naked!!!! Yes, I don’t know how much clothes would add to my weight but if they’re happy that I’m starkers, I can now climb aboard!

Hope you all have a good weekend

Love Erika

What does the figure on the scale mean to you?

Hey folks

I was watching a hospital-based documentary last night when an elderly woman was talking about how her daughter ‘ballooned’ to 18 stone……and it was like a wave shame came over me because 18 stone (which is how weight is often talked about in the UK) is equivalent to 252 lbs. At my last weigh-in on Monday, my weight was 256 lbs……so I felt like a rather sad balloon. But then it struck me how we can think about weight very differently.

So, I just wanted to brainstorm the different ways that my current weight (256 lbs) could be thought of (with my view in bold):

  • Wow. I hope I’m never THAT big
  • Someone who’s 256 lbs clearly has no discipline and probably isn’t very reliable
  • I hope someone who’s 256 lbs is okay. I wonder if s/he eats to bring comfort
  • I remember when I was 256 lbs. I can’t believe that I’m now this lesser weight. That took hard work
  • When I was 256 lbs, I didn’t think about what I was eating and I felt free but I now find myself continuously thinking about food and rather obsessed about not gaining it back.
  • I’m 256 lbs and I hate where I am. I’m ashamed. I’m going to be here forever
  • I’m 256 lbs but it’s because nobody supports me. It’s other people’s fault
  • I’m 256 lbs but I don’t even think about my weight. I’m just ‘me’
  • I’m 256 lbs and I love my curvy body
  • I’m 256 lbs and I’m so proud of how I’ve got here
  • I’m 256 lbs but just passing by as my weight journey is continuing downwards
  • I’m 256 lbs. This is my starting point and I’ve a long way to go but I’ve got this
  • Wow! 256 lbs is my goal weight! I can’t imagine ever being that small. I’d be positively skinny!
  • I don’t think I’ll ever get down to 256 lbs. I’m stuck here at this weight

No doubt, there’s a whole myriad of other perspectives but I think this goes to show that our perception of the figure on the scales can vary hugely and it’s all about mental attitude…and where we are ourselves. I’ll admit that I wish my weight loss journey hadn’t started at such a high point because I’d be much further along by now but I’ve already gone through the 320s, 310s, 300s, 290s, 280s, 270s, 260s and I’ll be under 250 before I know it.

I’ll be back on Monday. Not sure if I’m going to lose weight this week but my body is changing right SO MUCH now! My back fat is disappearing, my legs are getting more toned, I’m moving quicker/more easily and clothes are getting loose….I’m loving it!

Have a great weekend

Love Erika xx

The gut-wrenching experiences of being big

Well guys, although I usually keep my posts hopefully oozing so much positivity as the weight falls off, I felt that it would be cathartic for me to actually reflect on things from the past. I’ve never actually talked about them before but, as I adopt a healthier way of being, I’m going to be brave and share with you some experiences. You see, although I feel like my mindset is so focused on losing weight (with 71lbs lost so far), I guess I wonder if anyone reading my blog thinks something along the lines of “But you make it look easy, Erika. You don’t really get what it’s like to be big. You don’t really understand what it’s like to not find the oomph to get started“. But you see, I do. Despite what’s happened in the past, it still didn’t make me think “Stop this! You need to take control

The cinema seat

Oh, this was a few years ago but I went to the cinema with a friend. I got in the seat okay but, you know, it was rather snug. Despite the cinema being pretty empty, a couple of ladies sat next to us….but for no more than about 15 seconds. Basically, I was aware that my super large thighs were spilling under the arm rest and they were making contact with one of the ladies. And after she whispered something to her friend, they moved away from us. I still remember my heart sinking.

The chair

Another chair – I haven’t liked many chairs over the years! I went to a family’s home and went up to the child’s bedroom to do an activity with him. The family had set up a desk and two collapsible chairs for us to sit on. Well, I don’t think it was designed to actually collapse under my weight but I did. Not only did I have the embarrassment of that but I then had to get myself off the floor. The family was lovely but I just wanted to cry.

The shop

I’ve never had any verbal abuse thrown at me per se but the one thing that did happen was that I was in a shop and someone made a pig sound right behind me. By the time I turned around, they were gone and actually thank goodness they had because I didn’t have to face anyone but it was nonetheless horrible.

Not sitting on the ground because I won’t get up again

I’ve had many situations when I’ve been in a large group (where they’ve done yoga or sat down to have a picnic) and, knowing that I’d struggle to stand up again, I’ve given excuses to remain standing. Many times, I’ve said about my “bad back” (which is perfectly fine) but it’s been hard when I’ve seen people 10-15 years older than me easily sit on the ground and get up so quickly.

The fall

A couple of years ago, I had a really bad fall. The pain was immense and it turned out that I’d done lots of tissue damage that left me on crutches for 6 weeks. But when I had the fall, people came over rushing to help which was lovely. And I could feel my leg bleeding but I couldn’t lift my maxi skirt to show my legs…..because I’ve been ashamed of them pretty much all my life. Until recently, they’ve been big, lumpy and the knees hidden somewhere in there. So I just smiled, thanked them so much for caring and just said that I’d stay seated on the ground until the pain had gone. When I did eventually stand up, I was in a pretty bad way but the thought of showing my legs was mortifyingly embarrassing. And this is partly why I don’t go to the GP. I cover my body. If I’d ever found a lump of something sinister, I probably would have just kept quiet rather than seek help. I don’t do smear tests with the GP for this reason.

“You’re fat”

I once had a child write “you’re fat”. Now, children can be honest and, yes, I was and still am. But it was just in black and white in front of me and I then had to spend another 3 hours with this child whilst pushing back the tears. When the mother saw what the girl had written, she just laughed. Both the mum and girl are on the autistic spectrum so I understand there are certain challenges but it still hurt.

“I never thought you’d be smaller than me”

Mmm, this one has been playing on my mind and it was my sister in law who said this to me. She’s probably a UK size 16-18 and I’ve been pretty much bigger than her since I’ve known her. But years ago, when I had anorexia, I was unintentionally much smaller than her and she said these words as were walking in a shopping centre. And they’ve stuck….I guess feeling as if my position is to remain the larger one out of us. I don’t know. This has been affecting me recently.

Despite these and other times, nothing has clicked in my head to make sensible decisions about losing weight without resorting to an eating disorder. I’ve missed out on so many things including going on a plane to see a terminally ill relative, going out with friends who are going on a long walk, going to a shopping mall because of the physical pain…..

BUT………that was then…. this is now and I’m slowly working my way through the obesity categories. My next major goal is 229 lbs to get my BMI under 35. I feel it’s actually been helpful to write about the above experiences so that I can mentally process them and file them away in the mental drawer called “Yes, it happened but look at you now, girl“! From here on in, it’s back to staying focused and POSITIVE ❤

Love Erika xx