How have I not discovered egg whites before now?!

Hey guys

Whilst I may be in the UK, I watch a lot of US TV around food, diet and obesity. From watching every season of The Biggest Loser to My 600 lb Life (I love Dr Nowzaradan!), these shows really inspire me. But I’m also aware that certain foods appear to be more prominent in the US compared to here. For example, I often see low-cal turkey bacon mentioned on US-based social media groups and egg whites too. I mean, we have eggs here! But buying egg whites on their own isn’t a thing in the UK…. so I thought.

For tonight’s dinner, I cooked 200g mushrooms, 80g spinach and 3 egg whites along with 3 calories of oil, and yum indeed. There’s a reason why I’m sharing the before photo and not the after one as the final product wasn’t pretty! But I’ve discovered today that the supermarket we usually buy from stocks cartons of egg white. Game changer!!! One egg white is only 17 calories compared to around 74 calories for an egg and I have to say that the omelette-kinda-thing I ate really didn’t miss the yolks at all. It was just as filling though I might add a teaspoon of herbs next time. I guess you can add some Parmesan too. For someone who strongly dislikes cooking and can think of many things more exciting than standing at the hob, this took no more than 10 minutes to cook up 🙂

I’d love to know what your top low-cal foods are and/or if there are foods you hear about but can’t get hold of.

Hope to be back on Friday although my next two days for work are super busy including a meeting where I’ve been asked to meet a firm of psychiatrists to work alongside them which is super exciting! So, I’ll do my best to blog on Friday but, if not, definitely at the weekend

Love Erika xx

Week 49 weigh-in: skinny fingers… loose rings!

Hello folks

Before I tell you about the rings, let’s check out this week’s report card:

What’s happened this week?

  • I lost 3 lbs
  • My weight’s now in the lower 180s
  • My BMI’s in the 27s
  • My BMI and waist size are now smaller than the average for women where I live
  • My in-laws saw me yesterday wearing jeans for the first time in about 10 years
  • I bought spinach!! Yep, I’m not really a fan of veg so I just need to come up with a plan now
  • I had the blood test that my GP ordered last Monday so hoping that no news is good news

What could Erika improve on?

  • Increase my calories…. finding this hard

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

  • 1 lb until I’ve lost 85% of my excess weight
  • 2 lbs until I’m halfway through the overweight category (with a BMI of 27.5)
  • 2 lbs until I’ve lost 10.5 stone in all
  • 3 lbs until I’m under 13 stone
  • 5 lbs until my weight’s in the 170s
  • 19 lbs until my weight’s in the healthy range (that’s under 1.5 stone to go)
  • 26 lbs until my ultimate goal so that I have a 7 lb buffer to stay in the healthy range!

So, yes, my engagement ring is loose and I can now slide it to the end of my finger. My wedding ring is also loose and so you can probably my next ring-related goal! Not that I’ll actually take off my rings though as I’ve worn them continuously since our wedding coming up 25 years ago but, you know, I thought my fingers looked slimmer yesterday so I’m super excited 🙂

I also realised an incredible coincidence yesterday…. when I get into the ‘healthy’ BMI range, I will have lost just over half my original body weight! Yes, I’ll be down from 329 to 165…

I’ll be back on Wednesday but, in the meantime, hope you have a good couple of days. 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 blogging:Still to lose:Current weight:BMI:
124 lbs26 lbs184 lbs27.8
Plus 21 lbs lost prior to blogging

Dare to dress! 2 items on their way I never thought I’d buy!

Hey folks

When I hit the ‘buy’ button on the UK clothing website New Look last night, there was a tiny part of me saying to myself “Really, Erika? You buying those?” But there was a much louder internal voice going “You go, girl!” You see, I’ve bought a couple of items that I’ve never worn as an adult.

First is a pj set with SHORTS!!!! The last time I wore any shorts was part of my school games kit and, before that, I might have worn them around the age of 8 or 9? You know, I’ve got so much sagging skin at the tops of my thighs (front and back) from the weight loss but I don’t care. I genuinely cannot wait to wear these, even if I don’t step out of my bedroom in them. So, US size 8 / UK size 12 are on their way to me and I’m really excited that I’ll be able to get into them straightaway.

The other thing I’ve bought are these ripped jeans!!! Am I too old in my late 40s to be wearing ripped jeans?! No! If I’m not going to wear them now, when will I?

At the end of the day, the rules, boundaries, etc that I impose on myself about what I ‘should’ wear are very much in my head. I lived in maxi skirts day in, day out until very recently but I could have worn jeans or trousers. I guess I felt that wearing maxi skirts would hide my size from others. Wearing something new for the first time might feel awkward or wrong but there has to be that first time when we step out of our comfort zones and play. Yes, I’m now playing as I discover my new style and I’m not going to always get it right. But I’ve now bought several items that are items I wouldn’t normally wear and, in fact, these jeans are going to go fab with the most gorgeous second hand Jaeger coatigan I won on EBay. Perhaps one day, I might put a few photos on here of me wearing these clothes…. well, not the pjs! I’m not that brave!!!!

Hope you all have a lovely weekend and I’ll be back on Monday with my next weigh-in

Take care

Erika xx

Weight up? Weight down? Let’s draw a time line!

Hey guys

I thought I’d share something I did near the beginning of my 13 month journey because I was aware that there’ve been times in my life when I’ve been smaller and others when I’ve been bigger.

Now, there are different reasons why we can put on weight and, to be perfectly open, I usually love cake! I love candy, I love lots of other things that are going to move the scales in a rather undesirable direction. But I’m also aware that stress, emotions, mood, life events, etc. can also really impact.

So, this is what I did:

  • I drew a time line from when I was born to now in my late 40s
  • I got highlighter pens to note times of weight gain, weight loss and stability
  • I then used this to create another time line but with peaks and troughs which helped illustrate the changes in my weight
  • I then thought about what was happening when changes in my weight happened and added notes

— ❤ —

So, I was a 7 lb baby and I didn’t have a problem with my weight as a young child

Primary school, I went through some trauma (all dealt with now ❤ ) and my weight started to go on a little bit as a result.

I started secondary school (aged 12) where I lost some weight and was back in the average range.

My weight started to go on during my secondary years because of some difficulties at home

Bulimia started and the bingeing and purging sent my weight in all directions

In my early 20s, I got married so weight came off – I had a dress to get into!

Months after getting married, I was pregnant so lots of weight gain but I then lost it extremely quickly afterwards… restricting for a while rather unhealthily. Motherhood was a blessing but a bit of a shock at the same time.

My weight was pretty stable during rest of my 20s and for most of my 30s although I was a bit heavier than I wanted to be. Too much socialising!

Late 30s, I developed anorexia due to a significant trauma (all resolved now) and became ill. Started trauma therapy and weight went right up.

I became a carer in my early 40s to one of my children and my weight had remained high until last year. Stress. No binge eating but just found myself turning to snacking.

Last February, the pressure of being a carer started to impact me along with a couple of other things but also Covid presented me with an opportunity to focus on myself. Hearing more and more about Covid and obesity, it spurred me on. But, as I shared on Monday, I’ve now been diagnosed with atypical anorexia due to some pressures.

— ❤ —

So, I found it helpful to do this exercise as it showed that stress and trauma impact me. Now I know this, I can find healthier ways of coping with stress including talking it out with others. Life is full of events and who knows what I may face in the future so I’m determined to stop this yoyoing.

I hope this helps at least one other person out there. Reflecting on our past isn’t always easy but I guess facing up to events, etc. can help free us from this constant cycle of weight changes

So, I’ll be back later this week but, in the meantime, take care

Love Erika xx

Week 47 weigh-in: Let’s smash those goals!

Hey guys

When I started out with 171 lbs to lose (including the 150 lbs since I started to blog), I knew that if I focused on only my long term targets, they’d feel insurmountable. Perhaps I wouldn’t have even started! So, I’ve been including my short term goals on my weekly report card, those within my reach. However, today marks the day when my two ultimate scale-related targets are added! Yes, I genuinely feel that I’m getting closer and closer to my target weight so I’m going to let myself imagine how it’s going to feel and, you know, I’m beyond excited!

What’s Erika done well this week?

  • I lost 4 lbs
  • I’ve now lost more than 80% of my excess weight
  • My weight’s now in the lower 190s
  • My BMI’s in the 28s

What could Erika improve on?

  • Nothing… 🙂

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

  • 2 lbs until my weight’s in the 180s
  • 2 lbs until I’ve lost 10 stone in total (that’s 10 x 14 lbs)
  • 4 lbs until my BMI’s in the lower 28s
  • 26 lbs until my weight is in the healthy range (that’s under 2 stone to go)
  • 33 lbs until my ultimate goal so that I have a 7 lb buffer to stay in the healthy range!

To anyone who’s reading this who’s perhaps at the start of their journey or finding it hard to stay on course, I really want to instil some confidence to say that you CAN do it! Honestly, I’m just a regular 40-something year old who’s not following any particular diet, not spending money on gym membership (but instead working out for free), not devouring many vegetables, etc. One of my biggest tips is to blog! This is very much a headspace journey as much as it is about changing my body and thinking aloud here helps me to ‘sort out’ my head! I guess I feel accountable to give a weekly update with my weigh-ins and there’s no denying that I love it when I get comments from wonderful people like Matt and Ang ❤

So, upcoming posts over the next few weeks include:

  • plotting the dieting history on a time line
  • keeping healthy when life gets busy
  • tips to not give up on your weight loss journey
  • identifying non-scale victories

I’ll be back later this week but, in the meantime, take care

Love Erika xx

Recordable weight loss since blogging:Still to lose:Current weight:BMI:
117 lbs33 lbs191 lbs28.9
Plus 21 lbs lost prior to blogging

Will my eating habits change after Covid?

Hey folks

It’s really been quite a year, hasn’t it? I’m SO aware that whilst I’ve spent much of the last year not working due to Covid lockdowns, I’ve been lucky in many ways in that it’s given me the space and time to focus on me. Gosh, that sounds very indulgent doesn’t it but, pre-Covid, I was just ticking along in life and focusing on everything else other than my mind and my body. Needed to go into a shop for some milk? Chocolate would quickly be in my basket! Needed to grab lunch at a drive-thru motorway service station? Couldn’t beat a chocolate milkshake and something with cheese in it. Needed to chill after a long day where all I wanted to do was to slouch on the sofa to watch TV? I could sit there for hours without thinking about how I could combine watching TV with some indoor walking or working out. But Covid has genuinely made me take stock of myself.

When we’ve come out of each lockdown, work has been busy even though I’m working only from home and I was worried whether my good intentions to keep up the fitness would abruptly stop… but I’ve carved out the time to get my body moving and, in fact, I’m loving my evening walks in particular.

But what happens post-Covid when friends ask to meet up for lunch and dinner again? What happens when there’re family events involving food? In many ways, I’ve been cocooned for the past 12 months and I haven’t faced these pressures. So, whilst I want to keep coming back to this topic over my next few posts, my thoughts today are about how I’ll cope with going to restaurants:

  • I can look online to check out the menu. By looking in advance, I can make healthy choices rather than suddenly decide when I’m there and hopefully work out calories too.
  • I can ask for substitutions to the meal. It’s okay for ask for a smaller portion of fries or swap entirely for a salad. I can ask that the sauce is on the side so that I can choose how much to add.
  • I can try to be the first to order. How many times do you think you know what you want and then, hearing a friend order something different, you think “Ooh, that sounds even better. I think I’ll change my mind“! If I go first, I won’t be influenced by others’ choices.
  • I can say “no” to a dessert! Just because others are eating dessert, I don’t have to.
  • It’s okay to rehearse my responses. If I know I’m meeting someone who’ll be quick to question why I’m not having a dessert, I can decide in advance how I’ll respond. “Mmm, that main course was lovely and I’m actually quite full“.
  • But I can choose to have a dessert because treats are okay. At the end of the day, it’s all about balance so I can always cut back on calories the next day. And there’s the option of sharing a dessert too (although I personally think that something like New York cheesecake is way too nice to share!)
  • I can leave food on my plate. Yes, although we’re sometimes conditioned as kids to make sure we’ve eaten everything, it’s okay not to – even if everyone else finishes their food.

Can you think of anything else that’d help you if you were going to a restaurant? As I’ve said before, planning ahead is key to controlling what I’m eating…. but, that said, it’s okay to still have times when I’m completely spontaneous!! Dans Le Noir (in London) and Blackout (in Las Vegas) are just two of the restaurants around the world where you actually eat in the dark, finding out only afterwards what you’ve eaten. Sounds kinda fun and perhaps I’ll give that a go one day!

I’ll be back either Friday or Saturday but, until then, take care

Love Erika xx

Week 46 weigh-in: Revealing my timescale to hit a ‘healthy’ weight

Hey guys

Although I’ve recently hit some huge milestones, it’s important to remember that the other victories matter too. As I blogged a while back, it’s never ‘just’ another pound and I’m still punching the air when I see the scales shift for each pound. So, let’s crack on with this week’s report card:

What’s Erika done well this week?

  • I lost 2 lbs
  • I’m now light enough to go horse riding on the beach
  • I’ve now lost more than 9.5 stone
  • I now weigh less than 14 stone
  • My body fat percentage is no longer in the highest category
  • For the second week in a row, I finished a whole iceberg lettuce before it went off!

What could Erika improve on?

  • Nothing… 🙂

Erika’s next target(s):

  • 1 lb until my BMI is under 29.5
  • 3 lbs until I’ve lost 80% of my excess weight
  • 6 lbs until I’m in the 180s and I’ve lost 10 stone

This August, I’m celebrating my 25th wedding anniversary – 25 years of being married to the most amazing husband ❤ On my wedding day, I weighed 170 lbs (BMI 25.7) and, although this upcoming date hadn’t been part of my weight loss journey per se, the timing couldn’t be more perfect for a double celebration. My initial thought was about getting down to my wedding day weight but, of course, I’ll go the extra few pounds to get my BMI right into the healthy range. I’m all about mind games and anything to make goals feel very achievable and I’m so excited that this target date feels within my reach. In UK-weight-speak, I’m now 13 stone 13 lbs and my wedding day weight was 12 stone 2 lbs so I just need to work my way through the 13s and then the 12s to first reach my wedding weight… one pound at a time.

Love Erika xx

Recordable weight loss since blogging:Still to lose:Current weight:BMI:
113 lbs37 lbs195 lbs29.5
Plus 21 lbs lost prior to blogging

Being brave and going out during daylight!

Hey guys

I don’t usually blog at the weekend but I’m currently on a walk and, unlike the walks I’ve gone on so far this week, it’s daylight! In the past hour, there’s been sunshine, rain and even hailstones but after feeling a bit meh today, I thought I would get out there and dust off any negative thoughts 😀 So, these photos won’t mean much to anyone else but, to me, here’s me saying that I don’t need to hide away! It’s okay to be seen. I’ve even discovered a monastery hidden deep in the woods. Despite living in the village for 18 years, there’s so much more still to discover…

Time to head home as my ears are frozen but I’ll see you on Monday for my next weigh-in

Love Erika xx

A relaxing non-scale victory!

A quick post today to tell you that I did something a couple of nights ago which I haven’t done for about 10 years. I had a bubble bath!!!!! Yes, for many years, my weight and size have made a shower the only option to stay clean. Why? Well, I wasn’t sure if I could manoeuvre my body so that I could sit down in the bath and fit comfortably…. but my biggest concern was whether I could get up again.

A bath wasn’t planned but I went for a 2K walk around our hilly village and, at one degree above freezing, I was almost frozen by the time I got home. I thought a bath might be a great way to warm up so, without thinking, I ran the bath, grabbed my Apple AirPods Pro (my treat for getting into Onederland) and really celebrated the fact that I was in a bath listening to music! However, next time, I’m going to think about how to make it more luxurious… perhaps some candles, a glass of Diet Coke (though this sounds like a good time to get to like wine!) and listen to a podcast or two 🙂 Might even do that this weekend!

Hope you have a great weekend everyone and I’ll be back on Monday with my next weigh-in

Love Erika xx

Losing weight…. it’s okay to feel a bit low

Hey guys

I hope that anyone following my blog will quickly pick up that I’m very much a ‘half full’ kinda person and, wow, I’ve had much to celebrate over the past 13 months:

  • more than 130 lbs lost so far
  • going from ‘super morbidly obese’ to ‘overweight’
  • now light enough to do many things once Covid allows such as zip wiring, a helicopter lesson and abseiling
  • my waist going from 48″ to 34.5″
  • getting into my jeans and wearing US size 8 – 10 (UK size 12-14) for most clothes

So, how can I feel a bit ‘meh’?!! I guess today’s post is about sharing my honest thoughts with you… but also, with the aim to put a positive spin on it, what I’d say to a friend who was concerned about these areas…

  • Sagging skin. I am a realist and I knew that losing so much weight wouldn’t take me back to my pre-pregnancy body of 25 years ago. But when I lost a lot of weight 10 years ago (that took me down to 175 lbs and was lost more quickly than this time round), my legs were so much more toned… without needing to work at it. Of course, I’m 10 years older! But I’m starting to wonder how confident I’ll feel wearing any clothing revealing my lower legs if my calves remain larger than I’d like. What would I say to a friend? “I can understand it’s disheartening but the sagging skin shows how far you’ve come. There are always options to deal with it if you’re not happy and perhaps your calves and other areas will shrink further as you continue to lose weight”.

— ❤ —

  • Losing weight is a full time job! From when I wake up to when I go to sleep, a lot of mental energy is being given to my journey. I sometimes read about people who get very close their goal weight but then say how they’ve sabotaging their progress for various reasons. I wonder if one reason is the fear of no longer having this constant weight-related thinking to do and targets to aim towards. It could leave a huge gap in a person’s thinking space… but I guess that maintaining could take up as much effort! What would I say to a friend? “It’s great you’re aware of what could happen when you get near your target weight but try to focus on the ‘now’! You’re putting so much time and effort into all of this but perhaps, over time, we can have a think about making eating and exercising more instinctive so that you intuitively learn to maintain without it consuming so much of your time and energy’.

— ❤ —

  • Fixated on my imperfections. When I look back to 130 lbs ago, I’m now aware that I was dissociating and I wasn’t connecting with my body. Yes, of course, I knew I had a body (!) but I had no real sense of its actual size. I’m now aware that some parts of my body are actually get bony but I’m obsessing more about my wobbly bits and I can have days where I look in the mirror and question whether I look any different when I was 329 lbs. What would I say to a friend? “Girl!!!! Your body is so different to before. There’s no logical way you can lose that much and have the same body. But it makes sense that you’re focusing on yourself now and you’re more aware of your body shape. Over time, hopefully you’ll fully embrace your success and who knows what your body will be like at goal weight”‘

— ❤ —

  • If only I’d started a lower weight. This is a relatively minor point but I wish I wasn’t so heavy when I started out… as I’d be much further along my journey or even at target weight! What would I say to a friend? “Yeah, I get that. But rather that think about where your journey began, keep focused on moving forward”.

— ❤ —

  • Scared about calories and scales. I’m starting to panic about calories a bit more than I was before. I love Hartley’s No Added Sugar Jelly and I swapped from my favourite blackcurrant (7 calories per pot) to strawberry (5 calories) all so that I can save 2 calories! Why?! Why not eat the one I fancy more?! Being really open, it’s a very fine line between making careful choices and actually noticing past eating disorder behaviours show their heads. What would I say to a friend? “Keep an eye on that as there’s a balance to be had. Yes, I get why you want to watch what you’re eating but there comes a point where I’m picking up on some things where I’m a bit concerned about you. Keep challenging your thoughts on this one. I’m by your side”.

— ❤ —

In true Erika style, I’ll bounce back…. because that’s what I do! But I think it’s important to acknowledge that going on a journey like this is as much about the head as it is about the body.

Anyway, I’ll be back later this week. Until then, take care

Erika xx