What would be on your weight loss visualisation board?

I got arty this week with an old noticeboard and a printer 🙂

For me, I need visual ways to celebrate how far I’ve come (to prevent myself from slipping back into old habits) and to focus on where I’m heading (to keep myself moving forward). Along with my scales, this is now in my living room so it’s rarely out of my sight. So, what have I got on my board?

How far I’ve come:

  • I’m now light enough to go zip wiring
  • I’m now light enough to have a helicopter lesson
  • I’m now light enough to go on a Segway
  • I’m small enough to no longer worry if I can fit in chairs with arms (I can’t tell you how much this one means to me!) Feel free to check out my recent post about this

Where I’m heading:

  • 12: Although I want to get into the healthy weight range, one of my most significant goals is getting into the 12 stone range as I remember how great I felt at this weight about 9 years ago. So, that’s me getting under 182 lbs.
  • 31. Medical experts say that waists should be no more than 31.5″ for women and 34″ for men. We’re at very high health risk if waists are more than 34″ for women and 36″ for men. My waist started out at 46″ but it’s currently just under 36 so reaching 31 will be a HUGE achievement!
  • I’d love to go to Venice and not worry about being too heavy to go on a gondola
  • The ‘my name is normal’ image? This is all about being in the ‘normal’ or ‘average’ weight range. Can I get my BMI lower than 25? You bet!
  • And it’s the word ‘focus’ that keeps jumping out at me. Each time I see it, I also mutter it just under my breath so that both my vision and hearing are reinforcing what I need to do.

Can you tell me what 3 things you’d have on your board? Might also be inspirational quotes / pictures… I’d love to hear.

I’ll be back on Monday with my next weigh-in but hope you have a good weekend

Love Erika xx

Week 37 weigh-in: another milestone :)

Hello folks

If I’d focused on the huge goal of losing so much weight when I started out, I would have felt overwhelmed. There’s so much inner dialogue that goes on in my head and no doubt I would have thought something along the lines of “No way am I ever going to achieve that! That’s just a pipe dream’. For some people, yes, eyes on the long term prize is what works for them but I need constant opportunities to celebrate success. And, this week, I’ve achieved another one.

Not only am I out of the super obese, morbid obese and upper obese ranges but I’ve hit the midway point of the lowest obesity category with my BMI hitting the 32.5 mark. Yay! So, I’m going to treat myself to something to celebrate and I’ll let you know what I decide on. On the days when I get frustrated with the scales, I remind myself that the figures I’m seeing now would have been my ‘no way will I get to that weight’ figures months ago! And yes, it’s hard to believe that I’ll get to 154 lbs but I will. One pound at a time!

No longer being super obese (BMI 50+)
No longer being morbidly obese (BMI 40-49.9)
No longer being in the upper obese range (BMI 35-39.9)
No longer being obese (BMI 30-34.9)
No longer being overweight (BMI 25-29.9) because I’m a HEALTHY WEIGHT! (BMI 19-24)

And, as for my weekly report card:

What’s Erika done well this week?

  • I’ve lost 2 lbs
  • My BMI is now in the lower 32s
  • I’ve had great fun selling clothes that are now too big for me on EBay
  • I’ve drunk more and now my body water levels are in the normal range

What could Erika improve on?

  • Nothing this week 🙂

Erika’s next target(s):

  • 3 lbs until my BMI is in the 31s
  • 4 lbs until I’m under 15 stone
  • 14 lbs until I’m in Onederland (yes, I’ll be less than 200 lbs)
  • 17 lbs until I’m no longer obese as I’ll be overweight

Anyway folks, I’ll be back later this week about what we can do when we feel the hunger pangs…but don’t want to give in!

Love Erika xx

Recordable weight loss since blogging:Still to lose:Current weight:BMI:
95 lbs55 lbs213 lbs32.4
Plus 21 lbs lost prior to blogging

My lockdown weight loss goal!

Hey folks

A few days into 2021 and, bam, we’re into another lockdown for at least the next 6 weeks. On the one hand, all my work has suddenly stopped and there’s an abrupt pause to the things I like to do. Anyone who’s followed me for a little while will hopefully know that I generally see things positively and, after a couple of days of feeling a bit meh, I’m now fully embracing that whilst I can’t control the pandemic, I CAN take control of other things. I can decide to exercise with my kettle bell each day. I can aim to walk 5K a day (even if it’s all indoors). I can still make good food choices. I can still work towards being a US size 8 / UK size 12. So, I’ve set myself the goal of getting under 200 lbs by February 18th. Is that a challenging goal? Yes, it is because that’s 15 lbs away and I find that weight loss slows down when you’ve already lost but let’s see how that goes.

But I thought I’d also share with you the topics of my next few blogs which run alongside my weekly (Monday) weigh-ins. So, over the next few weeks, please feel free to keep an eye out for:

  • Creating a visual board for success
  • What to do when those hunger pangs are loud!
  • Exploring a time line for yo-yo dieters
  • How to find the motivation to get off the couch

So, hope you have a super weekend everyone and I’ll be back on Monday with my next weigh-in

Love Erika xx

Week 36 weigh-in: I’m gonna feel great THIS summer!

Hello and happy new year to you all!

You know, it actually did me the power of good taking off last week from blogging. I needed to sort out my head but I’m back and SO focused on 2021. One of the things that helps me most? Visualisation. I’m picturing what I’ll be wearing this summer, how I’ll be feeling in my body because I’m more likely to stay focused if I can visualise success. And I’m back here with my weekly report card so here goes:

What’s Erika done well this week?

  • I’ve lost 2 lbs. In fact, after not weighing myself for a couple of weeks, I discovered that I’d somehow put on 4 lbs when I weighed myself on Boxing Day. Perhaps it was at least partly water weight because I’ve managed to lose this quickly plus a further 2 lbs, taking me to my lowest weight for about 10 years.
  • My BMI is now in the 32s.
  • I’m now under 15 1/2 stone.
  • I’m halfway through the 210s.
  • Despite clearly exceeding the weight limit for years, I’m now officially light enough to use my step ladder! Yes, my top weight of 329 lbs may have exceeded the 220 lbs weight limit but I’m now well under this 🙂

What could Erika improve on?

  • Drink more water! Yep, I STILL need to work on this!

Erika’s next target(s):

  • 5 lbs until my BMI is in the 31s
  • 6 lbs until I’m under 15 stone
  • 16 lbs until I’m in Onederland (yes, I’ll be less than 200 lbs)
  • 19 lbs until I’m no longer obese as I’ll be overweight

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I’ve also been thinking more about my wardrobe. My aim is to feel super comfy in my jeans so that I can wear them everyday from the mid January. I’ve also bought a stunning maxi dress for the summer but, as I mentioned here fairly recently, I’ve loved buying second hand on EBay. Yes, I could treat myself to a brand new wardrobe by buying directly from shops but, when losing a lot of weight, it’s not cheap! One of my favourite bargains so far is this Jaeger coatigan that I won on EBay for a tiny fraction of what it would have cost new. Another 30lbs or so and this will fit nicely perhaps with skinny jeans?

Anyway guys, I’ll be back later this week to give you an overview of some of the topics I’ll be blogging about over the coming weeks. For now, take care and, as ever, please feel free to share my posts or comment if you’d like to share your own weight successes or frustrations.

Love Erika xx

Recordable weight loss since blogging:Still to lose:Current weight:BMI:
93 lbs57 lbs215 lbs32.7
Plus 21 lbs lost prior to blogging

Christmas Day… this year versus last year :)

Hey folks

How do we measure non-scale progress? For me, one way is to look back on where I was this time last year and so, back on Christmas Day 2019, what was it like living in my body? Yes, I was 112 lbs heavier than now but what else was happening?

  • I remember sitting uncomfortably on the sofa, aware that I was perhaps taking up more than half of the sofa designed for two people
  • I remember washing up, struggling with back ache after just a few minutes and therefore needing to do it in stages
  • I remember struggling to pick up something off the floor whilst sitting on the sofa
  • I remember having coming back from the beautiful Belgian city of Brussels 3 days earlier, loving the city in its festive spirit but aware how physically exhausting it was walking around
  • I remember being aware that I needed to lose weight but completely lacking motivation

This year, I’m wearing clothes 5 sizes smaller, I’m feeling much more comfortable in my body and the washing up? Easy! One of my Christmas presents is a fabulous book called ‘101 Weekends in Europe‘ which I’d asked for as I’m now far more likely to be able to fit in a plane seat and, once Covid allows, I’m going to be jet setting probably once or twice a month for weekends away. There’ll be no stopping me! Prague, Budapest, Copenhagen, Tallinn, Rome and SO many places!

But, guys, I’ve also made a decision this afternoon. I need to do a bit of self care and so I’m going to take off the next week or so from blogging. I guess I need a very short break during which I want to focus on making good food choices and see if I can maintain when I’m at. But once we hit New Year’s Day, my weight loss journey will continue and I’ll be blogging about the remaining 59 lbs left to go. So, I hope that’s okay but, goodness, I’ll be back very soon and I hope you’ll still be around to join me on this journey.

So, my lovelies, here’s to a happy Christmas to everyone who celebrates it and let’s make 2021 a fabulous year. Whilst there are many things we can’t control, there are certain things we can and that’s what I’ll be focusing on

Love Erika xx

Christmas, food and diets: it’ll be okay!

Hello guys

So, with Christmas just days away, I thought I’d share my views about how to handle food, etc. during what can be a testing time for many. Yes, things might be a bit different this year but I still think there can be different types of pressure when it comes to Christmas and other holidays around food. I wonder whether you can relate to any of the following:

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I know I’m going to blow my diet

How am I going to avoid all those tasty temptations that I can normally say “no” to?

If I eat one mince pie, I’ll end up eating the whole pack

My family will expect me to eat loads and they won’t let me say “no

I’m scared to eat and holidays are all about food. I’m dreading this

I’m going to put on so much weight

*******

So, let’s take a look at where pressure comes from:

EXTERNAL PRESSURE

So, you’re visiting someone who’s served dinner and tells you that you must eat up. They say that they’ll be disappointed if you don’t. They comment about you not eating as much as they think you should. They tell you that they’ve gone to all this trouble and they don’t want to be left with leftovers. My view? I would say that they’re projecting their hopes and expectations on you and perhaps some guilt too but it’s okay to say “no”. Yes, they may make comments but I can’t urge you enough to stick to your guns. At the end of the day, it’s your body and you can still be in control. There are plenty of recipes out there about what to do with leftovers!

What can you say to others?

“That’s really kind of you but eating any more will make me feel uncomfortable“.

“That’s kind of you but no thank you“. (It’s okay to say this over and over until they give up).

And then change the subject. Ask them an open-ended question to take away the focus from you. Saying no can be incredibly hard and, goodness, I used to struggle with this but the more you practise, the easier it does get. Don’t let their issues about you not eating more become yours. It’s YOUR body. You’re in control.

*******

INTERNAL PRESSURE

Even if you’re not on a weight loss journey, food and eating can still provoke fear or worry.

What can you say to yourself…which will depend on what’s hard for you?

It’s okay to eat more today. One day isn’t going to undo all the work I’ve done.

To even put on a single pound, I’d need to consume an extra 3,500 calorie which is so unlikely.

If I do put on weight, I’ll get it off again in the next couple of weeks.

I deserve to eat what I want to eat today!

I’m in control of what I’m eating today. Just because there’s more food around, it doesn’t mean I have to eat it.

I will stop when I’m physically comfortable and being honest with myself will help me know when I’ve got to that point.

I know myself best and how today’s eating regime needs to be like any other day.

I can still make good choices today.

Christmas Day is one day. Even if I’m dreading the holidays, this will be over very quickly

I’m going to have that mince pie because I fancy it. But rather than bring the whole pack into the living room, I’ll take just the one and eat it really slowly. I’m going to think about how it tastes. And then I’ll distract myself with an activity….and if I really can’t avoid eating the rest, I’ll throw them into the freezer.

*******

Before the holidays, perhaps take a moment to think about where pressure for you might come from. Sometimes, we need to rehearse the above lines because they can sound different when we say them aloud to when we read them in our heads. Perhaps write down or take a screenshot of what’s the most helpful statement for you (of course, you’re likely to have others that speak to you more).

Please feel free to share this post with anyone who needs a bit of support right now and feel free to share in the comments about your thoughts re food during this coming holiday season.

If you really struggle during these holidays, you’re so welcome to comment below (I will respond) or reach out to other support whether it’s a supportive friend or, if you have an eating disorder, your state/country’s eating disorder charity.

I’ll be back on Monday with my next weigh-in but we’ve got this! We really have!

Love Erika xx

When does a strict diet tip over into being an eating disorder?

Hey folks

There really seems to be a fine line between the two. A close friend has expressed concern that I’m in the grip of an eating disorder having lost a lot of weight this year and knowing that I had what would now be called ‘atypical anorexia’ in 2011-12. You can read about this (here). So, am I just super focused…or is something else going on?

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In the UK, the acronym SCOFF is used by medical practitioners to screen for the presence of possible eating disorders. Answering ‘yes’ to at least two of these questions would suggest possible anorexia or bulimia so here’s me being honest in answering each one:

1. Do you make yourself Sick because you feel uncomfortably full? No.

2. Do you worry you have lost Control over how much you eat? No.

3. Have you recently lost more than One stone in a three month period? One stone is the equivalent of 14lbs so yes…but my starting weight was very high? At the same time, I’ve lost more than the recommended 1-2 lbs a week and I’m jumping on the scales probably far more than is recommended.

4. Do you believe yourself to be Fat when others say you are too thin? No…as I’m still in the obese range. I feel far bigger than my clothes size would suggest but can’t that be the case for many people going through a transformation? Does the mind need time to catch up with what’s going on with the body?

5. Would you say that Food dominates your life? Yes! All day, every day. I wake up thinking about food, I think about how to avoid situations where others, like my husband, will expect me to eat more that I want to, I take ages to go to sleep because I’m thinking about calories and, well, my Google history is full of food-related searches. So, this is a resounding yes.

So, okay, I can say ‘yes’ to two of these.

*******

When I was ill in 2011-12, the mental health team said that I had all the features of anorexia as I’d gone from a BMI of 43 to 27 very quickly….but I was still actually overweight. They could see that day-to-day life was consumed with all things food-related and almost this obsession about losing that next pound on the scales. They could also see how my heart QT’s interval was becoming prolonged with regular heart tracings. The term ‘atypical anorexia’, which was added when the DSM-5 was published in 2013, basically means that the criteria for anorexia is met except that the person can be ‘normal’ weight or even overweight. So, I think it’s safe to say that this would have been my diagnosis at the time if it existed.

As some of you know, I do have a lot of pressure at home as I’m carer to one of my adult children and so, whilst I’m always the one with a huge, beaming smile, I know there’s a lot of sadness going on right now. So, am I struggling to sometimes eat enough because I’m tired and perhaps struggling as a carer or have I turned to being rather strict because eating and losing weight is something that I can control in life? I’ve decided to pursue some therapy to explore this so I’m hoping that will start in the next few weeks. But returning to my original question ‘When does a strict diet tip over into being an eating disorder?’, I guess this can happen when thoughts about food and losing weight permeate into almost every aspect of life. I’m having days when I feel almost scared of eating so I know I need to challenge my thinking around food to stay well. So, in answering this question, I’m going to have to get back to you. I’ve always been (and I’ll continue to be) open with you.

I hope you have a super weekend. I’m seeing my parents this weekend which is the first time for about 7 months due to Covid so I can’t wait. And I’ll be back on Monday with my next weigh-in

Love Erika xx

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

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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.

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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