Over 160 lbs lost: my bravest photos yet!

Hey guys

I’m currently not weighing myself because I was forever getting on and off the scales, probably about 10-15 times a day. But I’ve decided that today’s a good day to be brave and share some photos with you. Part of me feels really nervous, especially as one of them shows just some of my excess skin (oh, there’s a lot more, trust me!) but a bigger part of me is celebrating! I’ve had so many clothes in my ‘can’t get into that yet‘ pile but I can now get into everything I own – all US size 8 (size 12 UK). Right, Erika…. deep breath, girl! Here we go…..

Okay, I’m still here! I survived after sharing these! My next step is to look into how to deal with the excess skin because it’s stopping me from getting into the next size down but I just want to feel comfortable in my own skin. The main areas are all round my thighs (including saddle bags), my upper arms, my knees, my butt (woah, TMI there!!!!!) and my upper and lower abdomen. I found somewhere last night that does non-surgical treatment that I’ll be booking an appointment with. But I’m a realist and I know there’s only so much skin that can be dealt with but it’s about balance, I guess. Let’s see what I can change and what I can’t, and take it from there 🙂

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

Love Erika xx

Week 63: the search for hobbies and connections!

Hey guys

A bit of a difficult week with feeling physically poorly but part of me wants to focus on positive things for the future, both fairly soon but really thinking about life balance in the longer term. Let’s check out this week’s news first:

What’s happened this week?

  • I booked myself some things for the diary to look forward to with a helicopter flying lesson in September and a Ferrari driving experience around the Silverstone circuit in October
  • I’ve started to think about hobbies (more about that in a moment)
  • I’ve continued to stay off the scales for the past week
  • I won’t go into details but the effect of trying to eat more has had quite a profound physical impact on me for the past 6 days resulting in very little sleep and being in constant pain every day. It’s only today that I’m starting to see the signs of potentially getting better so hopefully I’ll finally sleep well tonight!

What could Erika improve on / next targets?

  • I’m really trying to get above 900 calories but I’ll no doubt feel more focused once I feel better

— ❤ —

We can have times when we take stock of our lives, perhaps initiated by a significant event or change like losing weight or recovering from an illness. There may be things in our lives we have to do. There may be things we enjoy having in our week. But we may also think about further things to build into our lives to address an unmet need. As a wife, mum, businesswoman, student and carer to my son, life is busy and I’ve been recognising that I need to have some time for me, especially with Covid restricting my usual coping strategy of travelling. When I did the recent 4 hours eating disorder breakthrough session, the therapist used the word balance several times and that word rings true for me…. whether it’s about balancing my calorie intake so it’s healthy, whether it’s about balancing my weight so that I’m not obsessed but I can give myself see leeway. I also need to apply the word balance to my week which means finding hobbies which introduce some fun. I’m about to finish a course where I’ve met up with the same people for 3 hours a week since September and I’ve come to realise that seeing familiar faces on a regular basis has been good for me. So, here are some thing I’m considering at the moment to start after the summer:

  • horse riding
  • martial art lessons
  • joining a gym
  • finding an adult education course, perhaps something like photography or furniture restoration
  • becoming a first aider for public events – though Covid would make me feel very nervous
  • finding an outdoors community project, perhaps something around gardening. Now, that would be ironic as we actually have gardeners who come here every fortnight to make our gardens really lovely but getting involved in a practical community project does appeal
  • or (and this might come as a surprise)…. something food-related like baking!

I’d really love to hear what hobbies you have. Yes, there are things I could do at home and I’m a real sucker for jigsaws but the ‘people person’ within me knows that connecting with others does me the power of good. And having done voluntary work for most of my adult life, I guess I’m not feeling compelled to look for another voluntary job unless it really ticks the box for me. So, I’d love to know what you like doing or perhaps would consider in the future if you wanted to meet people too.

Once I feel better, I’ll share some photos with you about my journey but I’ll be back later on in the week as I’m starting to research how to handle significant excess skin. Yes, there are supposed treatments out there but it’d be great to find something evidence-based …. without going under the knife!

Take care

Love Erika xx

Recordable weight loss including 21 lbs lost before bloggingStill to lose:Current weight:BMI:
164 lbs (last recordable weight)7 lbs165 lbs24.9
Not currently doing weekly weigh-ins as I’m trying to not be a slave to the scales!

Week 61: another challenge ticked off my weight loss bucket list

Hey guys

Another weekend has passed and another challenge has been ticked off my list of things I can now do at my lower weight. More about that in a moment but let’s take a look at this week’s report card:

What’s happened this week?

  • I’ve now got my daily calories up from 385 a day to 645. I still have a way to go but it’s heading in the right direction and, having just spoken to my therapist, it was helpful to chat through my next calorie target before I meet with my eating disorder specialist dietitian next Monday.
  • I went on a Segway!!
  • I’ve booked my abseiling experience for August so that I have always something in the diary to look forward to
  • I’ve stayed off the scales for a few days
  • I took decisive action to control how much work I’m doing running my business as I need to build things into my week that make me smile and help me connect with others

What could Erika improve on / next targets?

  • My next calorie increase target is to get to over 900 a day by next Monday. Part of me feel it’s doable although it’s horribly close to 1,000 and, well, seeing 4 digits feels too much but I don’t need to worry about that right now. I need to focus on the current target.

— ❤ —

So, on Saturday, I was back at Go Ape and I had my first experience on a Segway. It was really fun although I assumed that turning the handlebars to navigate bends would be like a bike but it’s a different action. And I had to learn to start and stop the Segway by pushing my body forwards or tilting backwards. The other adults in the group were lovely and we went deep into the forest. And I could feel my confidence increase, my speed and increase and then BAM!!!!! I fell….. hard!! I truly thought I might have broken something as the pain in my arm and shoulder was immense and any touch was awful but I also thought I’d perhaps just need to rest it, apply ice and see how it goes. Lots of top layer skin is missing from near my left elbow and my upper back and neck are painful 48 hours on but I’m SO SO SO pleased I had a go. It’s something that I couldn’t have done before because of the weight limit but it’s doing things like this that’s slowly breaking down the physical and mental barriers I’d put up pre-weight loss.

My next bucket list challenge? Abseil off this!!!!! It’s the UK’s tallest sculpture at the Olympic Park in London.

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

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

Panicked… paused… and then faced a fear!

Hello guys

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

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

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

Love Erika xx

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

I could fit in the seats at the funfair!

Hi everyone

So, apologies that it’s been nearly a week since I’ve blogged. I just needed to give myself a break from the weekly weigh-in but I wanted to share with you that I let my inner child play last night. I went to a funfair on Brighton Pier which is on the south coast of England jutting out into the English Channel towards France. Brighton is a very popular and wonderfully vibrant city where people can truly be individuals and it’s a city that’s just a short train ride from London. In fact, it’s where I got engaged!

Yesterday, on a gloriously warm evening, I headed down to Brighton. I didn’t plan to go on any funfair rides and I assumed that the pier itself would be closed but, as I drove past, I found it was very much open, much later than usual as many people were soaking up the sun. I have to say that I hesitated for a moment when I reached the end of the pier wondering how daft it’d be for a 40-something year old going on rides but sometimes you just have to not worry what others will think and play. Before I knew it, I was going down the helter skelter on a coil mat, sitting on a horse on the carousel, being strapped into a rollercoaster and then being tossed about on another ride that made me very glad I hadn’t just eaten! But the best feeling was that I could fit into the seats! My head hasn’t caught up with the fact that I’ve lost 164 lbs so far but once I managed to fit on the first ride, that worry soon disappeared.

So, I’ll be back on Monday with a bit of an update with the professional support regarding atypical anorexia as I’ve finally found somewhere there’s been brilliant so far but more about that in a few days.

Hope you have a great weekend, everyone

Love Erika xx

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

Week 52 weigh-in: One year of blogging!

Hey guys

Today’s blog comes from a rather bleary-eyed Erika who, based in the UK, stayed up until the early hours watching the Oscars! But, yes, I’ve now blogged for a whole year and I can’t thank you enough for joining me on my journey. Honestly, I truly appreciate it. I know things are getting a bit serious at the moment with the atypical anorexia and I’ll find out this week about how the eating disorder is affecting my body but, right now, let’s crack on with this week’s report card:

What’s happened this week?

  • I lost 2 lbs
  • My weight’s now in the 170 lbs!
  • My BMI is in the 26s

What could Erika improve on?

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

Erika’s next target(s) along with the big ones!

  • 2 lbs until I’m the same weight as 10 years ago
  • 3 lbs until I’ve lost 11 stone in all
  • 3 lbs until I’ve lost 90% of my excess weight
  • 4 lbs until my BMI is in the lower 26s
  • 8 lbs until I’m at my wedding weight from nearly 25 years ago
  • 13 lbs until my weight’s in the healthy range (under 1 stone to go!)
  • 20 lbs until my ultimate goal so that I have a 7 lb buffer to stay in the healthy range!

A very close friend came round to my home at the weekend but, because of Covid, I hadn’t seen her for months. As she walked into my garden, her first words were “You’re so tiny!” Although I have lots of loose skin, the thing I found when I was this weight 10 years ago is that I get to the point where I’m heavier than I may look. 10 years ago, I had people telling me not to lose any more, despite me actually being overweight. So it makes me wonder how I’ll look when my BMI does get into the healthy range… but I’m not looking too far ahead. I’m just focusing on that next pound. That’s how I’ve got this far… one step, one pound at a time.

I’ll be back on Wednesday but, 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:
130 lbs20 lbs178 lbs26.9
Plus 21 lbs lost prior to blogging