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

Trying to avoid the anorexic thinking…

Hey folks

Mmm, so you may see that my BMI is in the obese range and then be puzzling about why I’m talking about anorexic behaviour. After all, I’m not underweight. However, I’ve posted before that about 9 years ago, I became trapped in the anorexic behaviour where my daily intake was capped at a mere 250 calories a day, I ended up with heart problems after losing about 8 stone very quickly and I was very close to being sectioned under the Mental Health Act. Yes, it’s possible to adopt anorexic behaviour whatever your weight….and become so poorly.

So, I’m just a bit aware that some of those past thoughts are creeping in again and I’m getting panicky about certain things like:

  • being so rigid about eating only between midday and 8pm. I’ve had a couple of days where I’ve almost gone without dinner as eating past 8pm would be ‘wrong’
  • starting to count calories very strictly. I’ve deliberately stayed away from calorie counting up to now as, 9 years ago, I’d count every half a calorie. Yes! Every half calorie!
  • seeing some foods as ‘bad’
  • jumping on the scales again…again…and again
  • starting to think about how I can avoid meals

But I think it’s good that I’m recognising these thoughts as I can take action and tell myself:

  • Erika, you’re allowed to eat outside that 8 hour window. Just do it when you need to.
  • Erika, you know what’s a sensible portion. You don’t need to count calories as the weight is coming off so you’re doing great. You’re doing something right.
  • Erika, food isn’t bad. You’re allowed to eat anything but you just to need to learn about moderation so that one piece of chocolate doesn’t mean the family size bar! When you’re ready, you can start to reintroduce more foods so that you know when to stop and don’t feel bad about having treats.
  • Erika, you need to be eating enough. Be kind to yourself! Missing out meals will affect your energy levels, especially when gearing up for London Marathon day.

When I started to blog, I promised that I’d be very open with you and, you know, I think writing this is really cathartic. Hopefully it’ll help others who have a history of eating disorder thoughts and just see those behaviours creeping in.

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

Love Erika xx

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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

5 top tips to get into the dieting mindset

Hey folks

Now, if you’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ll notice that I rarely call what I’m doing a ‘diet’. For me, it’s a lifestyle change as I tend to think that a diet has short-term connotations but it’s just semantics.

For years, I sensed that I was bigger than I should be. I didn’t dare get on the scales or catch myself in a full size mirror but I knew that I was bigger than I’d ever been. So, when I finally discovered that my weight loss journey was starting at 329 lbs and a BMI of 50, it was scary. But let me share with you my 5 top tips that have so far led me to lose almost 90 lbs since mid-February. Hopefully sharing this will inspire at least one person.

  1. How is your weight or size affecting you NOW?

I guess I’d encourage people to think about what’s the reason for even starting the weight loss journey. For me, I started feeling the fat on the back of my neck when sitting down, I was becoming aware of COVID mortality rates and obesity, and I knew that I was basically missing out on so much. I hadn’t flown on a plane for years, I hid away from people. I was avoiding seeing doctors. Also, as a carer, I had a big wake up call that I needed to be healthy to look after my son.

2. What will change if you lose weight or get fitter?

Can you visualise this new ‘you’ when you’re smaller? For me, I could visualise it although much of my adult life has been spent on the large size but I pictured being able to wear skinny jeans, jumping on planes to go away for weekend trips all over Europe, being able to walk for hours with little exhaustion, I could visualise not worrying if I’d fit in a chair, etc. I may have a long way to go but I feel so different. I’ve even discovered a love for exercise having done Couch to 5K whilst still morbidly obese and I’m doing the London marathon next month! My confidence is rocketing.

3. Take stock of now.

The biggest advice is to know your starting weight. I feared the scales as it meant staring at reality in the face but you need that starting point. Measure your chest, waist, hips, belly and any other body part you’re not happy with. Take ‘honest’ photos of yourself. As you start to lose weight and take photos, measure, etc. having those comparisons can be mind blowing. It may be that the scales don’t shift much but your body IS changing. On the 26th of each month, I now try on my skinny jeans and they’re slowly working their way up my legs!

4. Embrace the mini goals.

If I was focusing only on how I’m going to lose 150 lbs (plus 21 lbs before I started blogging), I might have given up ages ago! There’s no way I’d keep focused. I have some many mini goals that I find easy to track using the MY Weight app. I’m always aiming for the next 1/2 BMI point, the next 1/2 percent of fat, the next group of 5lbs, the next half stone, etc. Almost every time I lose a pound, I’m ticking off another mini goal.

5. Make it sustainable.

I won’t even attempt to think about how many diets are out there and of course we’ll all have different views about works well for us. For me, I’m keeping it simple. For me, no meal replacement drinks or keto as I don’t think I’d sustain that. I get into a calorie deficit and consume around 1200 a day without tracking macros. I aim to burn 2,800 – 3,300 a day through workouts. I eat only between noon and 8pm. Because I’m eating what I want to eat and I just keep an eye on portion sizes, it means that I still have the stamina to keep going until the button on those jeans does up easily.

If you’re on this weight loss journey, what’s helping you? If you wish you could be, what do think are your barriers? I’d love to hear .

Have a great weekend, everyone

Love Erika xx

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!

Overcoming emotional eating

I wonder if you can relate to any of the following:

  • turning to the snack cupboard when feeling upset
  • eating to deal with stress
  • eating because you’re feeling bored

Emotional eating relates to when food is eaten to manage emotions and if you can relate to this, you’re truly not alone. When I was bulimic and even ended up in an eating disorder unit for 6 weeks because of it, I would consume 1,000s of calories in a very short amount of time. It would usually be food that was high in fat and easy to swallow, and just seemed to fill a hole. I mean, filling that emotional space inside me with food provided that immediate ‘fix’ and felt easier than talking.

So, I guess I thought I’d share my advice purely as someone who’s truly been there:

First, learn to recognise if you are an emotional eater. Once you know, you can then start to move away from it but accepting this can be a hard step in itself, can’t it?

Second, explore what’s leading to it. As I alluded to above, there’s something going on beneath. It may be that you’re unhappy with relationships, your past, the way you see yourself, how life is panning out for you, depression and a host of other reasons. But perhaps grab a journal and write ‘from your heart’ to explore what’s at the crux of how you’re feeling.

Third, find ways of responding to the underlying reason. Yes, you can turn to food if you’re unhappy about what’s happening between you and your friends or turn to food if you’re stressed about work. But food is almost like something you can paper over the cracks with as a temporary fix….but the crack is still there. There may be huge issues at work or with relationships but it’s about dealing with those head on if possible rather than turn to food. Sometimes, we can’t change things…but keep reading! You’ll see why ❤

Fourth, develop a better relationship with food. For decades, I developed a numbness when I ate. I wasn’t aware of what I was eating. The food just kept going in without touching the sides. But I’m now mindful about eating and if I get peckish when I don’t think I should be, I drink water in case I’m actually thirsty or tell myself to wait 30 minutes to see if I’m still hungry. I now take my time eating a meal and really consider every forkful. I’ve heard of some people finding it helps to put the fork down between mouthfuls.

Last week was the first time in 6 months where I almost slipped in my new lifestyle because I’ve a lot of stress here at home being a carer. I don’t know how long our son will be alive for so, yes, I can’t tell you how much I’m hurting right now. But I gave myself a good talking to. You see, I can’t control what’s happening here at home but I can control how I’m looking after myself. There’s no point me feeling rubbish about our situation here AND feeling rubbish that I ate food I didn’t really want. It’s okay to not always be smiley but talk. Talk about how you’re feeling. Find kinder ways of dealing with emotions. I’m discovering that walking for miles really clears my head but more about that another time…

I’ll be back Monday with my next weigh-in, guys, as well as news of some upcoming blogs. Hope you have a lovely weekend.

Love Erika xx

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

Week 16 weigh-in: I crossed the English Channel!

Hello everyone

How’re you? Hope you had a good weekend.

The English Channel?

Yes, last week, I shared my excitement at finding a new set of virtual walking/running challenges that lead to a shiny medal popping through my letter box. I thought I’d start with the shortest, a ‘mere’ 21 mile (33.8 km) walk that’s equivalent to walking across the English Channel, and I reached this a couple of days ago. Connecting my FitBit to the My Virtual Mission app, it couldn’t have been easier to do. The medals come from the US so it’ll be a couple of weeks or so but I’ll pop a photo of it on here once it arrives. What’s next? Yesterday, I started the 26 mile (42.2 km) Inca Trail virtual walk and I plan to do about 5 or 6 km of walking each day. This may not seem very far for lots of people but it’s way beyond what I could have imagined 6 months ago! Back then, I couldn’t climb the stairs without being very out of breath.

So, Erika, what did the scales say?

This week, I’ve lost 4 lbs 🙂 In terms of how we talk about weight in the UK, it means that I’m now less than 18 stone but I’m also so close to getting under the 250 lb mark. I don’t know, I’ve found that there’ve been certain milestones that I’m almost been desperate to get past, such as when my BMI was close to going under 40, when I was so close to getting under 20 stone, etc. There’s just something that makes me REALLY want to see 249 show up on the scales to take me into the lower 200s. Mmmm, perhaps by this time next week hopefully.

Later this week, I’ll blog about fashion. If I’m going to achieve my goal of losing all this weight, how do I dress for a figure that I haven’t had for a very long time? I’ve a few ideas!

But in the meantime, feel free to share how your own weight loss journeys are going (if you’re on one). Good or bad, you’re welcome to share on here

Love Erika xx

Total recordable weight loss:Still to lose:Current weight:BMI:
57 lbs93 lbs251 lbs38.2
Plus 21 lbs lost prior to blogging