After losing 130 lbs, I’ve reached ONEderland!!!!!

Oh. My. Word! I’ve done it!!!!!!

— ❤ —

For anyone who’s only just now coming across my blog, a huge ‘hello” to you! I’m just a regular 40-something year old who’s on a huge weight loss journey and who, as of today, has lost 130 lbs since 14th February last year. 21 lbs were lost prior to blogging and then a further 109 lbs since posting 2 – 3 times a week sharing in my inner most thoughts.

Part of me thought I’d never see my weight go below 200 lbs but part of me did….. and it’s because I visualise success. Like when I wanted to fit into my jeans, I pictured myself wearing them, how I’d feel, etc. and that really helped spur me on. And I pictured seeing the scales show my weight beginning with a 1 and that’s exactly what I saw this morning. If I can picture where my journey’s heading, I’m more likely to stay on it…. at least, that works for me!

For major milestones, I treat myself and I’ve bought two things to celebrate this one:

  • Apple Air Pods Pro which I’m having delivered tonight (I love companies that can deliver the same day!)
  • A little charm to go on my keys which is a number ‘1’. Thing is, if people see this charm, they won’t know the significance of what it means to me but it’s my secret reminder of how today feels.

And do you know what? I’m just 2-3 lbs away from another HUGE milestone as I’m almost out of the obese category. My BMI started out at 50 so this feels like a massive accomplishment……

I’ll be back on Monday with my next official weekly weigh-in but spoiler alert… there’ll be lots of positive things to celebrate 🙂

Wishing you a great weekend

Love Erika xx

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

Week 44 weigh-in: my scales are stubborn!

Hey folks

You know, I was hoping to come on today to tell you that I’ve finally reached Onederland but have the scales moved this week? No! In the past, I would’ve become frustrated but I have a choice about how to feel about this. I can either think “Well, I’ve failed then, haven’t I? What was the point of even trying this week? I’ll never get there” OR I can think “Well, that’s okay. Scale-related change doesn’t happen every week yet there can be changes in other areas such as my body slowly shrinking. And I know that when the scales have stagnated in the past, I then have a flurry of pounds coming off“. I remember when I was very close to no longer being in the morbidly obese range, that final stretch seemed to take forever and I was keen for it to happen far sooner but becoming frustrated isn’t going to speed up the process, is it?! So, I’m not going to do anything different this week as my approach to losing weight has worked really well for over a year and I’m going to look forward to celebrating this next milestone another day….

What’s Erika done well this week?

  • I looked after myself this week. I dyed my hair the other night and felt so much better afterwards
  • I took out the wheelie bin during daylight (that’s a big achievement for me!)
  • I did 2 x 10km walks last week and the medals are on their way to me
  • I kept myself hydrated

What could Erika improve on?

  • Nothing this week 🙂

Erika’s next target(s):

  • 2 lbs until my BMI is under 30.5 and I will have lost 75% of my excess weight
  • 3 lbs until I’m in Onederland (yes, I’ll be less than 200 lbs)
  • 6 lbs until I’ve lost 9.5 stone
  • 6 lbs until my BMI is under 30 and I’ll be overweight… might even be 5 lbs and a few ounces

I’ll be to back on Wednesday to talk about possible career plans using my experience of losing weight. Until then, please feel free to share your own experiences including celebrations or frustrations and any questions you’d like to ask me!

Love Erika xx

Recordable weight loss since blogging:Still to lose:Current weight:BMI:
106 lbs44 lbs202 lbs30.7
Plus 21 lbs lost prior to blogging

Shhhh….. I’m a secret ‘recluse’

Hey guys

Many people I know will think that I’m pretty ‘normal’!! By that, I mean that they probably see me as someone who’s confident, who embraces life, who doesn’t let barriers stop her from gallivanting all over Europe in non-Covid times and who functions on a daily basis without any problems but I’ll let you into a secret… the way I’ve led my life over the past 8 years or so is like some version of a recluse but not in the way you might expect.

Rather than stay only in my home and fear stepping out beyond the front door, I’ve spent the last 8 years either in my home or going right out of my area… far enough where I’m unlikely to bump into anyone I know. I’ve come up with excuses for years to avoid face-to-face contact with family / friends if I can help it. If I need a loaf of bread or a pint of milk, I won’t go to our village shop. Goodness no! I travel to the nearest town and the quietest shop I can find. My wheelie bins go out after dark. I missed some of my children’s parents’ evenings as I couldn’t face bumping into others. I haven’t gone to a fairly local shopping mall for about 10 years. I haven’t seen the optician for about 4 years and, even then, I asked the optician to do a home visit. And followers will know that I don’t do doctors!

Why is this? After recovering from atypical anorexia around 8 years ago, I put on all the weight and more, and I guess I worried that others might have seen me as a ‘failed dieter’, not realising that the weight had dropped off due to an illness that very nearly cost me my life. I guess I’ve lived with shame over the past few years whilst completely believing that no one should hide away! It shouldn’t take for me to lose weight now to feel that I’m ‘allowed’ to re-emerge into this world – absolutely not!!! So, I’m making a pledge today:

— ❤ —

I’m going to take more care of myself. I’m not talking food, diet and size here. I’m talking about looking after my hair, booking an optician’s appointment when it feels safer Covid-wise – might go back to contact lens. I’m going to get myself to the dentist – might get my teeth whitened. I’m going to get the very overdue pap test. I’m going to wear the clothes I want to wear rather than feel as if I have to hide. Let’s make these things happen when confidence is high to break that pattern of hiding and shame.

I’m going to get out there. As well as the above, I’m going to go to the shopping mall. I’m going to go to the village shop. I’m going to go to the next fancy ball at my husband’s workplace and flaunt the most fabulous ballgown I can find!

I’m going to continue getting the right life balance. I’m pretty good about this as I have clear boundaries between work and personal life despite running my own business. But I’m going to prioritise fitness and health so that it doesn’t get pushed out by work. I need to capitalise on the fact that I work for myself and that affords me flexibility. So, there’s no excuse!

And if I should put on weight again, I will keep going out. I will not let myself became fearful again….. not that I plan to put on lots of weight of course! Changing my approach to health and food hopefully means that I’m creating lifelong habits but I need to make this commitment now IF I were to become bigger.

— ❤ —

I’ll be back on Monday with my next weigh-in but wishing you all a great weekend

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

Week 43 weigh-in: the excitement of being overweight!

Hey folks

Yes, you DID read the title of this post correctly and I’m going to credit fellow blogger Matt for this title. Last week, I shared my excitement that I’m soon going to officially be overweight and, through the comments, Matt and I could laugh at how rare it must be to hear someone say this. But, you see, I can’t wait. My BMI was 50 and therefore anything below 30 would have been inconceivable this time last year but this week’s report card will show you that it’s soon going to be a reality ❤ and I’ll reach another amazing milestone even sooner!

What’s Erika done well this week?

  • I lost 3 lbs
  • My BMI is now under 31
  • I’ve now lost more than 9 stone (i.e. that’s UK-speak for 9 x 14 lbs)
  • I’ve been walking at least 5K each day
  • I did a Chloe Tring high intensity workout… and this was amazing as there’s no way that I could’ve got up if I’d sat on the floor a year ago. Now, I bounce straight back up.

What could Erika improve on?

  • I’ll always be honest with you (I’ve promised that from day 1) but I do need to watch those anorexic thought patterns creeping in
  • Not jumping on the scales quite so often

Erika’s next target(s):

  • 2 lbs until my BMI is under 30.5 and I will have lost 75% of my excess weight
  • 3 lbs until I’m in Onederland (yes, I’ll be less than 200 lbs)
  • 6 lbs until I’ve lost 9.5 stone
  • 6 lbs until my BMI is under 30 and I’ll be overweight… might even be 5 lbs and a few ounces

Bearing in mind how much weight I’ve lost, I’ve been looking into a place near me that offers non-surgical treatment for sagging skin, fat removal, etc. I’m a realist and I know there’ll be limitations about what I can achieve body-wise without going under the knife. But the two parts of my body that will impact me even more than my sagging belly are my upper arms (i.e. bingo wings) and my inner thighs that are stopping me from wearing my jeans despite easily getting into them. So, I’m contemplating getting in touch with the clinic now although I guess I’ll wait until my BMI is much lower before starting treatment. It’s not cheap but if it gives me the confidence to not cover up, it may be worth every penny. I’ll keep you posted.

AND I’m contemplating using my weight loss journey to launch a new career….. more about that another time!

I’ll be back on Wednesday to review how my first two weeks using a vibrating plate have gone and I’ll hopefully be back on Friday too (apologies for not posting last Friday – time just whizzed by here). Until then, please feel free to share your own experiences including celebrations or frustrations and any questions you’d like to ask me!

Love Erika xx

Recordable weight loss since blogging:Still to lose:Current weight:BMI:
106 lbs44 lbs202 lbs30.7
Plus 21 lbs lost prior to blogging

Can I eat ‘bad’ food on a diet?

Hey folks

I’m guessing that I’m probably not alone here but I’m very quick to label food as good or bad.

Over the past year, I haven’t eaten any chocolate, cookies or desserts (except sugar free jelly) whatsoever. You see, I LOVE chocolate!! I can’t picture myself eating one square and think “Well, wasn’t that lovely Erika. Let’s leave the rest for another time“. And I’ve always been perplexed when chocolate manufacturers name some of their products as ‘family sized’. Really?!! That bar has to be divided up by a few people?! And don’t get me started on how ‘regular’ chocolate bars have shrunk in size making them almost what would have previously been termed ‘snack-size’!! So, when I started this journey, I cut out everything that I would call ‘bad’ and, you know, I’ve completely lost my sweet tooth. I have no yearnings to eat anything chocolately so perhaps it might seem a bit odd that I’m asking myself now abut whether it’s okay to eat such food again.

Why is this? I’ll blog in the next few weeks about environmental and social pressures around eating but I’m sure I’ll have times when I just fancy eating something sweet. Having had bulimia many years ago, I don’t want to find myself in the throes of a binge where I consume 1000s of calories. I want to feel in control and eat without feeling guilty, and it all comes down to moderation. No food types need to come off our menus, even when we’re losing weight, but it really is about how much we consume. We can still have that square of chocolate…. but it’s a treat…. and part of an overall balanced intake for the day. We can have that slice of cake….but it’s a treat…. and something not to have everyday. We can have that takeaway….. but it’s a treat….. and we can slightly less tomorrow.

Whilst I’ve cut out sweet food very easily without feeling deprived, I appreciate there’ll be people who feel that this is a step too far for them and cutting out such food may result in eating okay for a few days followed by eating far more than planned. So, I guess what I’m saying is… we have to work out what works best for us individually. Go cold turkey to avoid all temptation? Still eat what we want but with much more focus on portion control? It might be a question of trial and error until we find a way that still helps us towards our next weight loss goal.

Where do I go from here? I’m going to continue avoiding sweet food for now as it’s working, certainly until my BMI gets much nearer to the healthy range, but I’m then going to reintroduce food in a very managed way which, of course, I’ll share on here 🙂 Perhaps I will be able to stop after one square!

I’ll be back on Friday with some top tips but hope you’re doing well.

Love Erika xx

Week 42 weigh-in: 9 lbs away from no longer being obese!

Hey guys

YES!! Moving down into the ‘overweight’ category really is just around the corner, something I could’ve only dreamt of a year ago. I’ve got several small goals coming up and therefore opportunities to celebrate. And celebrating is important! Whether we’re at the beginning of our weight loss journey or some way in, I feel it’s so important to acknowledge these moments and be kind to ourselves in what we say. Rather than think “I’ve lost only 1 lb“, say “That’s great. Another pound towards the next goal“. Rather than think “I’ll never get there. I’m resigned to be this weight forever”, say “It may take time but I have to start somewhere. Let’s set some short and long term goals“.

Okay, it’s time for this week’s report card:

What’s Erika done well this week?

  • I lost 3 lbs.
  • My BMI is now in the lower 31s.
  • I’ve been working out lots. As well as the vibrating plate (more about that next week), I’ve been walking at least 5K each day…. from just around the house due to the snow here.
  • I’ve been staying hydrated… something I can find hard to do.
  • I reframed a difficult moment. The other day, I looked down at my thighs whilst standing and I was taken aback to see the amount of sagging skin. You know when a puppy is yet to grow into its skin and its skin is very wrinkly? Well, that’s how my upper thighs are looking. But after a moment feeling pretty sorry for myself, I gave myself a good talking to and reminded myself that it’s okay! This is the evidence of my hard work over the last year so be proud, girl!

What could Erika improve on?

  • I’ve had some days when it’s been quite a struggle to eat enough and I guess some of those previous anorexic thoughts have crept in. Perhaps this should be listed above as I’ve done well to recognise these familiar thinking patterns but I think I’ll leave this here as a reminder to not let myself slip.

Erika’s next target(s):

  • 2 lbs until my BMI is under 31
  • 2 lbs until I will have lost 9 stone in all
  • 5 lbs until my BMI is under 30.5
  • 6 lbs until I’m in Onederland (yes, I’ll be less than 200 lbs)
  • 9 lbs until I’ve lost 9.5 stone
  • 9 lbs until my BMI is under 30 and I’ll be overweight

And here’s the dress I mentioned last week that’s way beyond what I’d normally wear. It’s not a maxi dress and it’ll mean showing my lower legs to others!

So, posts later on this week will look at whether to reintroduce some sweet food into my diet and another ‘top 10’ list of tips and tricks to stay on track with the eating because I’m still learning all the time! If I can pass on what I’m learning to help others, then that’s pretty cool. Until then, please feel free to share your own experiences including celebrations or frustrations and any questions you’d like to ask me!

Love Erika xx

Recordable weight loss since blogging:Still to lose:Current weight:BMI:
103 lbs47 lbs205 lbs31.2
Plus 21 lbs lost prior to blogging

The fear of the doctors’ scales… part 2

Hey

Stop reading!! If you haven’t yet read part 1 about how scared I am to reveal my weight to any medical professional, I’d encourage you check out this link first. For those who’ve read part 1 or perhaps don’t have the time / inclination to read it, I’m going to recap what happened at the end of Wednesday’s blog where I started a conversation with myself. In this imaginary (but pretty realistic) scenario, I’ve been asked to get on the scales. I’ve refused because, well, I’m terrified (along with a huge dose of stubbornness!). The doctor wants to explore this much to my annoyance but I don’t want to look too much like a rebel so I’m trying to cooperate. And I’ve started to share why it’s okay for me to know my weight (and share it on my blog) but why I’m terrified for making this figure official to a medical professional. So, let’s carry on with the conversation….

  • Hey Erika, so, what did you take away from our conversation on Wednesday?
  • Yeah, it was useful to explore my thoughts. I don’t know whether they made any sense whatsoever but I know how my irrational fear of scales, anything body or medical related is getting in the way of engaging with the practice. And this is going to sound really bad but if I suspected that I might be seriously ill, I don’t know how willing I’d be to even make an appointment… which isn’t good. So, yes, it’s made me think over the past couple of days.
  • That’s great. So, p’haps you can share a bit more about your thoughts?
  • So, I really get that knowing my weight is important in terms of monitoring my health and I also know that getting on scales is something that probably loads of people do without a second thought or making some huge song-and-dance about it. And, yes, I know this figure is about where I’m at today, it’s soon going to go down anyway, my weight is only one part of me, it doesn’t define me, blah, blah, blah. I get all of that.
  • Erika, I get where you’re coming from and people have fears about all kinds of things. Needles, flying, spiders, dogs….and your fear is about me knowing your weight. But you’re recognising there’re good reasons to jump on…
  • (Thinks to self: Is she about to ask me to get on?) Mmmm…..
  • So, let’s stop talking about it. Just get on. Just face the fear. Think of all the things you’ve overcome during the years, much bigger and more serious things than a pair of scales. It’s just an object. It’s just a figure. So, c’mon.
  • (Help. I want to, I don’t want to, I want to , I don’t want to,,,,) But what if…
  • (Doctor interrupts)….c’mon. Stop talking. Just get on.
  • (I just want to cry and run away but I know she’s right) Okay, here goes (Why am I crying? Seriously girl!!!!)
  • ….and you can get off. You did it. You got on. How’re you feeling?
  • (Takes a deep breath). Mixed. Ashamed. Proud. Embarrassed about turning this into a huge ordeal. But I got on. Nothing bad happened.
  • Exactly. And, yes, you know your weight and, yes, your BMI’s in the 31s but you mentioned on Wednesday that you’re putting things in place. You’re SO close to getting out of the obese range. How much weight have you lost since last year?
  • Yeah, more than 120 lbs.
  • That’s amazing!! I don’t need to give you advice or anything like that as you’ve got this. Do you know what your BMI was?
  • 50
  • Wow, Erika, you’ve done this without bariatric surgery. Many people think surgery is the easy option but it’s not… not when it comes to sustaining weight loss. But you would’ve qualified for that.
  • Yes, I did contemplate if surgery might have been the way to go and I’m really pleased I’ve done it without as I’m working on my head and my whole attitude. So, thank you. Yep, really pleased. Done it. Think I’ll tell my blogging pals now!

When I finished part 1 on Wednesday, I truly didn’t know whether I’d get on these hypothetical scales. But, in my head, I’ve got on. I don’t know why but going through this process has unearthed that a lot of my fear is about getting told off for my weight. And I wonder if it links back to a comment someone made during my first pregnancy when I gained weight early on. Perhaps. I wasn’t expecting that revelation but it’s helpful to think about where fear originates from in order to make sense of it. So, yes, I did get on. And I survived to tell the tale. And if I really do get on the scales one day, I’ll be sure to share this with you!

Sunday marks exactly one year since I started this journey (though I’ve blogged since April) so I’ll be back on Monday with some reflection and my next weigh-in but wishing you all a great weekend

Love Erika xx

Week 41 weigh-in: I got brave and told someone my weight!

Hey guys

When on a weight loss journey, progress can be measured in many different ways – not just what the figure on the scales says – but I’ve spent the past 25 or so years terrified for anyone to know this figure as if it’s the most secretive thing in the world. Yes, throughout pregnancies, throughout a life-threatening eating disorder, I’ve refused to let anyone in real life know my weight and I’ve had this fear at the back of my mind about needing surgery one day and not even letting the anaesthetist in on my secret to keep me medically safe. “It’s only a figure” some might say but, I don’t know, it’s always seemed much more than that. I’m still beyond scared for anyone ‘official’ to know my weight which I’ll explore in a blog later on this week but, over the weekend, I told a friend during a Zoom chat…. and I survived! In fact, I’d built it up in my mind over the past couple of decades that saying my weight would be some traumatic, hold-it-right-there event when everything around me would freeze but it felt nothing like that. So, I’m counting this one as another non-scale victory because it may reflect the changes I’m seeing in myself and how I’m learning to accept myself for who I am

Okay, onto this week’s report card:

What’s Erika done well this week?

  • I haven’t lost anything this week but I’m okay with this. Why? I know that weight loss may not happen every week and it’s about building resilience to cope with times like these and not feel as if I should throw in the towel.
  • I bought a dress that doesn’t go to the floor! Yes, I’ve actually bought a dress that will reveal I do indeed have legs. It hasn’t arrived yet but hopefully will later on this week when I can share a photo with you.
  • Although the scales haven’t shifted this week, I’m acknowledging how my body continues to evolve, especially my upper body where back fat is disappearing fast, my collarbones now protrude and my waist is down to 35.5 inches. Also, I wore a US size 8 / UK size 12 jumper over the weekend which felt SO good!
  • I bought a ‘vibration plate’!!! I do like a gadget so I’m going to spend the next couple of weeks trying this out to see if it does what it says on the box before sharing my thoughts with you.

What could Erika improve on?

  • I need to build up my exercise. Last summer, I had fitness medal after fitness medal being delivered and they’ve really slowed down so, from today, I’m going to make sure that I get in at least 5K every day.

Erika’s next target(s):

  • 2 lbs until my BMI is in the lower 31s
  • 5 lbs until I’ve lost 9 stone in all
  • 9 lbs until I’m in Onederland (yes, I’ll be less than 200 lbs)
  • 12 lbs until I’m no longer obese as I’ll be overweight

I’ll be back on Wednesday to think through why I won’t tell a doctor my weight but, until then, please feel free to share your own experiences including celebrations or frustrations and any questions you’d like to ask me!

Love Erika xx

Recordable weight loss since blogging:Still to lose:Current weight:BMI:
100 lbs50 lbs208 lbs31.6
Plus 21 lbs lost prior to blogging