Tempted to give up on the diet? This is what’s helped me :)

Hey folks

I wonder if you can relate to this. You’ve made healthy food choices, the pounds have been coming off quickly, you’ve sensed your clothes feeling loser, you’ve felt like you were conquering this ‘losing weight’ thing and then…..PLATEAU!! Whatever you do, the scales don’t budge or, if they do, you might lose half a pound. So, should you just give up? No!!

Next week, I’m going to talk about plateaus (how to cope with them and how to break them) but as I was starting to lose motivation recently, I thought I’d share with you what’s saved me from giving up and seeing the pounds creep back on. You see, I can visualise how things will be when I hit my target weight but it’s so important to reflect on these 10 reasons NOT to go back to where this journey began:

  • I’m not going back to my starting weight of 329 lbs
  • I’m not going back to my starting BMI of 50
  • I’m not going back when I couldn’t walk up the stairs without being out of breath
  • I’m not going back to the sofa squeaking as I sat on it
  • I’m not going back to wondering if I’d fit in that chair with arms
  • I’m not going back to feeling the fat on the back of my neck
  • I’m not going back to feeling uncomfortable even if I sat upright
  • I’m not going back to being clinically vulnerable re Covid and a BMI of 40+
  • I’m not going back to being unable to walk 100 metres without being in pain
  • I’m not going back to wondering how long I’d live

Yes, we should think about our long term goal although ideally split it into lots of tiny manageable targets but let’s not forget where we’ve come from. And let’s use that to keep us on this journey. Although I’ve used the word ‘diet’ above, I’m slowly appreciating that it’s really more of a lifestyle change really… which means having to make much longer changes rather than seek a quick fix.

Have a great weekend, everyone

Love Erika xx

Week 29 weigh-in: it’s never ‘just’ another pound!

Hey folks

Well, before I launch into this week’s report card and tell you what I’m going to blog about this week, may I say a huuuuuge welcome!!!!! I’m such a small time blogger with a fabulous group of followers but, since Friday, the number of followers has suddenly jumped by 50%! Just… thank you!

Okay, let’s carry on with this week’s report card

What’s Erika done well this week?

  • I lost 1 lb. More about that in a moment…..
  • I’ve stuck to the intermittent fasting between noon – 8pm
  • My postman commented on my weight loss (check this extra post if you missed this as I’m still buzzing!)

What could Erika improve on?

  • Whilst I’ve really got back into healthier eating, I do need to up my exercise again. Work has been busy which means sitting down for long periods of time writing loads of reports so I need to carve out time in my day to make this happen.

Erika’s next target(s):

  • 5 lbs until my BMI is in the 33s
  • 8 lbs until I’m weighing less than 100 kg
  • 29 lbs until I’m in Onederland (yes, I’ll be less than 200 lbs)
  • 31 lbs until I’m no longer obese as I’ll be overweight

*******

So, for this week’s achievements, I was going to write how I’d lost ‘just’ one pound… but I stopped myself because is it ‘just’? Okay, I may wish for higher numbers but every pound is meant to the equivalent of 3,500 calories that I’ve cut out/burned, it’s another pound towards my healthy weight goal and it’s another pound that’s making my clothes feel lose. So, every pound should be celebrated!! Just think about how weight gain can slowly creep up on us with a pound here and a pound there. Well, it’s the same with weight loss really. Those single pounds will soon also add up… so each one counts!

On Thursday or Friday, I’m going to blog about when you’ve lost a stack of weight, you’ve more to go but you feel stuck with your resolve diminishing. I was starting to get into this groove a couple of weeks ago but I’m going to share with you what mind games I’m playing with myself to spur me on! I hope this will resonate with others.

*******

Are you on a weight loss journey? Whether you’ve put on, lost or maintained, you’re always welcome to share your story here.

Love Erika xx

Recordable weight loss since blogging:Still to lose:Current weight:BMI:
80 lbs70 lbs228 lbs34.7
Plus 21 lbs lost prior to blogging

When the postman notices your weight loss!!!!!!

Hey guys

This happened 10 minutes ago and I just had to jump onto my blog and share this with you!! Bearing in mind that the only people I’ve seen since March are the people I live with, clients (who I rarely see more than once) and a couple of friends, there’s little opportunity to know if my weight loss is noticeable. I’d certainly hope so by now by now 🙂

Well, our lovely postie (who, can I just point out I’ve always liked anyway before today!) knocked on our door with a couple of parcels and commented how he’s noticed I’m looking really good! Apparently, he said to his wife last night that there’s a lady on his rounds who’s clearly lost a lot of weight and did she think it’d be rude if he told me so. She clearly encouraged him to and, voila, the result is me just buzzing! Yes, matey, 100 lbs to be exact ❤

Anyway, I’ll be back tomorrow blogging about my fitness medals but hope you can see why you’re the first people I wanted to tell. And to those who’ve started following my blog in the past few days, a genuinely warm welcome and thank you from me!

Love Erika xx

Week 28: And I’m back on this journey :)

Hey folks

After struggling a bit for just over a week, I’m back in the game so let’s get straight onto this week’s report card

What’s Erika done well this week?

  • After putting on 2 lbs in 10 days, I’ve now lost this and I’m back to 229 lbs and that 100 lb weight loss
  • I’m back to doing intermittent fasting between noon – 8pm
  • I’ve started doing exercises to tone my legs, stomach, hips. Yes, I’m working towards a Harry Potter themed medal where you can claim it for doing something 9 3/4 related so this month, I’m aiming to do all of this as specific exercises to tone up on top of cardio
  • My head is back in gear. I’d like to think that this is actually my biggest achievement because I was starting to slip. I’ll tell you how I did this in just a moment

What could Erika improve on?

  • Nothing for this week 🙂

Erika’s next target(s):

  • 6 lbs until my BMI is in the 33s
  • 9 lbs until I’m weighing less than 100 kg
  • 30 lbs until I’m in Onederland (yes, I’ll be less than 200 lbs)
  • 32 lbs until I’m no longer obese as I’ll be overweight

*******

So guys, as I said last week, I hit a wall two weeks ago. I don’t actually quite know what happened when I hit the 100 lb weight loss goal. It was so huge for me and I instantly relaxed but I need to use this experience going forward. Why? Well, my next big goal is to get out of the obese range (32 lbs to go until I get there) and what I need to be careful of is not just stopping! Not just thinking “Oh, you can eat anything now!”…. because I still want to get into the normal weight range.

I could have just eaten and eaten but I sensed that I was getting out of control…. not in a bingeing way but snacking here and there. So I did one simple thing. I restricted my eating window. I got back into doing intermittent fasting and this one act instantly cut out the evening snacking that was starting to creep in. Once I did this, my mentally just got back to where it was before. And hey, after braving the scales last Thursday and seeing I’d put on 2 lbs, I’ve lost that already. I wonder what I can achieve this week!

Are you on a weight loss journey? Do you want to be but not know where to start? Please feel free to comment about your progress or what you think the barriers are for you.

Love Erika xx

Recordable weight loss since blogging:Still to lose:Current weight:BMI:
79 lbs71 lbs229 lbs34.8
Plus 21 lbs lost prior to blogging

Week 27 weigh-in: mmm, no weigh-in :/

Hello folks

A post of woe and positivity today! Yes, this follows my post last Tuesday about how I smashed 100 lbs of weight loss in little over 8 months:

So, let’s start with an analogy. You’re an athlete and you’ve pounded the athletic track to get to that 100 metre finishing line. You’ve gritted your teeth, the finishing line is in sight and, suddenly, you’re there! Woop! You celebrate, you start to slow down whilst thinking of claiming that elusive trophy and then, BAM, you realise that you’ve got another 71 metres to go. SIGH!!!!!

Well, that’s how I’ve been feeling over the past few days with the realisation that my weight loss journey isn’t over yet. I’ve been eating more although I doubt if I’ve gone significantly over 2000 calories. But, yesterday, for the first time for years, I wanted to binge and take laxatives. Yesterday was a stressful day because of COVID and the second lockdown for England which starts this Thursday. It’s unclear right now whether I’ll be able to still run my business. But I need to find healthier ways of dealing with stress as I’m not going back to 329 lbs and, last night, I turned to exercise where I instantly felt better for it afterwards. So, this is what I’m going to do. I’m going to be kind to myself for a few days and then, on Thursday when lockdown begins, I’m really going to up the exercise and get those endorphins pumping. Let’s get toning my body and see if I can get under 220 lbs by the time we come out of lockdown on 2nd December. Next week, I’ll brave the scales but I’m just not feeling it today.

Take care

Love Erika xx

I did it! I’ve lost 100 lbs!

You know I blogged yesterday telling you that I was sooo close to reaching that next big milestone of losing 100 lbs? Well, today, my scales are my best friend as I’m now down to 229 lbs having started out at 329 lbs on February 14th this year. So, not only have I lost exactly 100 lbs but I’m finally out of the 230s after my weight loss slowing down for the past month. To say I’m ecstatic is an understatement and I can now reward myself with a shiny new phone that I’d promised myself when I got to this point.

I’ll be back on Thursday or Friday to show you the fitness medals that have undoubtedly helped me to get my body moving but I’m thinking that I may also create a photo diary for a week to show what food I eat. You see, I’m not great when it comes to fruit and veg. I’m not eating lots of oily fish. I still eat the food I’d like to each – but just less of it and with some sensible choices. Photographing everything we eat can also help us be more conscious about what goes in our mouths because a snack here and a snack there can soon add up. Do you let me know if you think a food photo diary would be useful to see or whether you’ve thought of photographing what you eat.

Love Erika xx

Lose weight for YOU!

Hey folks

You know, I saw a family member recently. She’s always openly said how she is the slimmest of us and once said to me, whilst I was fighting anorexia, that she thought I’d never be smaller than her. Mmm….we can choose our friends but not our family! Anyway, I last saw her at Christmas when I was at my heaviest (around 329 lbs) and then saw her a couple of weeks ago. In that time, I’ve lost 98lbs which, as you can probably imagine, is completely noticeable. She looked me up and down, uttered “mmmm” under her breath and didn’t say a word. In my head, I was thinking “Really, not going to say anything?” But that was a huge learning curve.

Hopefully, we’ll have people in our lives who are genuinely pleased for us that we’re working towards our goals. I’ve only seen a couple of people except family since the beginning of lockdown and they’ve been amazing. I think it’s human nature to like a ‘congrats’. But we can all have people who aren’t pleased or will be focusing on themselves. And it got me thinking about the relative…do I really need her recognition? Do I need her adulation? At the end of the day, I HAVE to do it for me! For my future. My body. My happiness. My health.

And I need to like myself enough so that I can recognise my own achievements and be satisfied with that alone. With 8″ lost from my waist, 12″ lost from my hips and 11″ from my thighs, I know that each mini goal along the way is something to be proud of what I’ve done so far. I’m 1.25 lbs away from hitting 100lbs loss and, at the end of the day, there’s no point only wanting approval from others if we can’t give that to ourselves. Oh, trust me. Until a few years ago, I would have only craved other people’s approval but perhaps I can start to like me. Does that make sense? I hope so!

So, next weigh-in on Monday. Will I hit that 100lb mark? Oh, I hope so! Before then though, I’m taking part in the London Vitality 10K this weekend… 🙂

Hope you have a lovely weekend

Love Erika xx

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

What does the figure on the scale mean to you?

Hey folks

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

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

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

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

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

Have a great weekend

Love Erika xx

Week 9 weigh-in: 10lbs to go until no longer morbidly obese!

Little goals. Day at a time!

Yes, I’m SO excited that the point of no longer falling into the morbidly obese range is within reach! You see, it can be very easy to focus on those long term goals such as fitting into those skinny jeans or being light enough to wingwalk on a plane but a long weight loss journey is about celebrating the short term goals too. Now that I’m 19 stone 6 (272 lbs), that 20 stone mark feels far enough way to change my mindset as I slowly but surely continue until I’m considered a healthy weight..

So, I’ve lost 3lbs this week through a combination of healthy eating and working out! Yay! I’ve got ‘Week 4, Run 3’ of Couch to 5K tonight. I was tempted to do it last night and not give myself a rest days as advised but rest is important! The body has to repair itself in between runs and I do have to be particularly careful knowing that I’m doing this fitness programme whilst carrying extra weight.

Inches are being lost

You may find sometimes that the scales aren’t budging but you can feel as if some change in your body is happening. When I started changing my eating habits back in February (prior to starting my blog and 2 months before I was brave enough to weigh myself), I measured my bust, waist, belly, hips and left calf. I have no idea why I measured just one calf!! Since then, I’ve added some more measurements as shown in the table below. I have to admit that I’m a bit embarrassed about sharing these stats with you as they’re like my personal secret that I hide under clothing which drapes to the floor but I promised when I started this blog that I’d be very open. So, here goes!

Body part20.02.2007.05.20TodayLoss
Bust52.5″-50.5″– 2″
Waist45″40.5″– 4.5″
Belly (spare tyre!)58″52″– 6″
Hips59″53″– 6″
Left arm16.5″14.5″– 2″
Right arm18″15.75″– 2.25″
Left calf24″22.5– 1.5″
Right calf22.5″22.25″– 0.25

And whilst the numbers are going down (look at the belly and hips stats!!), body mass is definitely being lost elsewhere too like around my shoulders, my thighs, my lower arms, my ankles, etc. ’tis all good. Won’t be long until none of my measurements is over 50″!

Next time

Later on this week, I’m going to tell you about what I’m eating just to give you some insight. I meant to say, please feel free to share my blog if you think it could inspire others. I’m just a regular 40-something year old who’s making changes and really getting there. I don’t have a magic wand but I’ve bags and bags of positivity!

Have a great week everyone and catch up next time.

Love Erika xx