Battling the anorexic mind…

Hey

I have an almighty battle going on in my head today….. the anorexic voice that’s been dominant recently and has taken me down to a maximum of 440 calories a day…. but also the ‘parent voice’ that’s bringing me some kindness.

I was thinking last night that the thing which helped me overcome eating disorders in the past was when something outweighed the need to hang onto the ED behaviours….. something that became more important than holding on a coping mechanism that was dangerous yet also brought a sense of feeling in control and on a high.

Today, I’ve had two amazing pieces of news (an incredible meeting that’s going to raise my professional profile nationally and even internationally) and I’ve been accepted onto a course that will enable me to train as a psychotherapist eventually. In fact, they say that good things come in 3s and I’ve bought some tickets for tonight’s Euromillions lottery!! So, there are lots of positive things happening and I really want to be well enough to enjoy all of this because despite struggling being a carer, there are some amazing developments coming. The future looks really positive …. and I don’t want to be ill. It’s late afternoon here and I’ve pushed myself to eat 410 calories so far which is about 300 more than I’d normally eat so far at this time of the day…. and I really want to eat dinner but then it’ll take me over the 440 calorie limit. Going over 440 is probably going to feel emotionally tough but I guess that’s to be expected. My comfort zone feels like a safe place to stay but, as one of two people in real life who know what’s happening, a guy said to me yesterday that there will come a point where the anorexia will cause me to collapse because it’s not sustainable. I might think I’m well, I might think there’s no reason to change what I’m doing but I’m heading towards a medical crisis where matters will be taken out of my hands. And, yes, part of me can see this because of the heart palpitations and dizziness. But it’s an all-consuming battle in my head, disguised by the smile that I’m rather adept to showing others…

So, I’m going to try to go over 440. I feel scared but I need to try. And I’ll report back here on Monday at my next weigh in

Hope you have a good weekend

Love Erika xx

Rooted to the couch? One top tip to get you moving!

Hello folks

So, this post isn’t about how to do a 5K, what to do at the gym or what to look for in a personal trainer. It’s really aimed at the very basic level of even getting off the couch when we find ourselves sitting there for hours. It may be to do with our mental health, such as depression. It may be to do with just not finding the motivation to move our bodies. It may be that we feel hopeless about the weight loss journey in front of us.

So, today’s blog is all about how to get started. I’ve had times when I’ve found myself rooted to my couch, binge watching something that didn’t really grab me but, somehow, time whizzed by. You know… one episode leads to another and all that! This is my number 1 tip:

Put on commercial TV that has regular breaks.

Get moving as soon as the commercials start.

On the days when I’m feeling especially tired, I use these 2-3 minutes here and there to get jobs done and it’s amazing what I can achieve in that time. When I sit back down, I think about what I’ll do during the next commercial break like empty the dishwasher, strip the bed. If you find this works, you could then reverse the process where you pace the room whilst watching whatever and use the commercial breaks to sit down. At the end of the day, it’s about mind games and strategies to push that comfort zone for the steps to add up but in a way that feels doable.

Talking of steps, I’ve found it helpful to work towards shiny medals which you can read about HERE. Now, I know from online communities that there are two camps about how to count your steps for these medals that get posted to you. One camp says that counting your everyday steps is cheating. You MUST count only those from walks, jogs or runs that are part of ‘official’ exercise. But I’m in the other camp and I say this as someone who couldn’t walk 100 metres a year ago without being in pain and being out of breath. If even moving off the couch is a huge achievement for you, count every step! Count anything that celebrates how you’re making a change in pursuit of your goals. Your medal; your way!

I’ll be back on Friday but there’s so much to share with you over the coming months. And I now have 11 days to go until I hit the first anniversary of the start of my weight loss journey so there might be some reflection about what a difference a year makes!

Love Erika xx

Week 40 weigh-in: planning ahead is key!

Hey folks

I can’t wait to share with you several goals I’ve managed to smash this week but I wanted to first share my discovery how planning ahead is absolutely the way to do this weight loss journey thing… and probably something I’ll continue doing once I get to my eventual weight loss goal.

I don’t know about you but I don’t always make the best choices when I’m standing in my kitchen, trying to work out what to eat. It’s like I’m looking in the cupboards and fridge not knowing what I really want and this unclear thinking can lead to making some kind of weird food choices. So, I’ve made one big change this week. The night before, I decide what I’m going to eat the next day. I go to sleep feeling in control as it takes away any anxiety and this has resulted in the pounds dropping. At some point, I’d like to do weekly plans which will help with making food buying much easier if I know what the week’s meals will be. So, without further ado, here’s this week’s report card:

What’s Erika done well this week?

  • I’ve lost 4 lbs this week
  • My BMI is now in the 31s
  • I’m now under 15 stone having lost more than 8.5 stone
  • I’ve lost exactly 100 lbs since my blog started (although I’d lost 21 lbs prior to this)
  • I have exactly 50 lbs left to go until I hit my target weight
  • I’ve been focusing on staying hydrated
  • I’m within 10 lbs of being under 200 lbs!

What could Erika improve on?

  • I feel like I’ve done well this week. As always, I feel rather pretentious saying there’s nothing to improve on but I guess I need to learn to perhaps feel a bit more comfortable with this. It’s okay to tell ourselves that, right now, we’re doing great.

Erika’s next target(s):

  • 2 lbs until my BMI is in the lower 31s
  • 5 lbs until I’ve lost 9 stone in all
  • 9 lbs until I’m in Onederland (yes, I’ll be less than 200 lbs)
  • 12 lbs until I’m no longer obese as I’ll be overweight

I’ll be back on Wednesday but, until then as ever, please feel free to share your own experiences including celebrations or frustrations and any questions you’d like to ask me!

Love Erika xx

Recordable weight loss since blogging:Still to lose:Current weight:BMI:
100 lbs50 lbs208 lbs31.6
Plus 21 lbs lost prior to blogging

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

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

Week 34 weigh-in: questions to ask yourself if you have a few ‘bad’ days

Hey guys

Well, this is just the 2nd time since starting to blog when I’ve had a week that hasn’t been great food-wise. However, I guess the focus of today’s blog is to hopefully give hope that just because we have a week like this, it doesn’t mean that we can’t refocus and get back on our journey. So, instead of my usual Monday report card, I’ll talk you through how my mind’s working today.

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What happened this week?

Three things. First, I injured myself doing jumping jacks so I’ve had to keep my feet up (not an excuse to eat more though!). Second, I just relaxed too much. Getting into the 210s after starting out at 329 felt like a huge achievement and I almost had the sense of reaching the end of a long, arduous race but no! I’m still 59 lbs away from my goal. Third, I ate more carbs than normal…which seemed to make me crave them even more.

But…I’ve still stayed away from chocolate, cookies and sweets….and I can still do up the button on my jeans.

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How has this left you feeling?

I’m mainly disappointed with myself and I guess kinda embarrassed too. I knew I’d be blogging today and I couldn’t bring myself to get on the scales this morning. I’ve always promised to be honest with you because I want my weight loss account to be real, whatever happens. However, with my usual positive outlook on things, I guess I’m feeling determined to turn this around for myself and I’m hoping that this helps at least one other person out there.

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What are the reasons to get back on track?

Because I’ve come SO SO far! 112 lbs lost including 21 lbs prior to blogging. And I’m just 18 lbs away from being under the 200 mark and just 21 lbs from no longer being obese. Plus I’ve been buying a new wardrobe with clothes that I can’t wait to wear. Erika in shorts by summer 2021? Oh yes!!!!

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So, where do you go from here?

Today, I’ll visualise those scales showing 199 lbs and how that’s going to leave me feeling.

Today, I’ll question whether I want that slice of bread or want to see 199 lbs.

Today, I’ll exercise as much as I can and I’ll focus on what I can do…and not what I can’t.

Today, I’ll accept that further weight loss isn’t going to happen unless I make a change and step it up again.

And tomorrow, I’ll get back on the scales and face whatever the figure shows.

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So, I’ll be back on Christmas Eve / Christmas Day but, as ever, please feel free to share your own successes, your own frustrations or whatever’s on your mind in the comments. And to everyone who follows me, thank you! Truly. I don’t feel like I’m alone on this journey and it really means so much.

Love Erika xx

Recordable weight loss since blogging:Still to lose:Current weight:BMI:
91 lbs59 lbs217 lbs33
Plus 21 lbs lost prior to blogging

Week 33 weigh-in: I’ve lost more than 1/3 of my body weight!

Hey guys

I can’t wait to update you so let’s get straight into this week’s report card:

What’s Erika done well this week?

  • I’ve lost 3 lbs
  • I’ve now lost more than 1/3 of my original body weight (takes into account the 21 lbs I lost prior to blogging). So, my weight has gone from 329 to 217 lbs
  • I’ve now lost exactly 8 stone (i.e. 8 x 14 lbs)
  • I’ve now fewer than 60 lbs to go until I hit my target weight
  • I’ve been eating more in the past few days to make sure that I’m not undereating. Carbs are still down but protein is up 🙂

What could Erika improve on?

  • Drink more water!

Erika’s next target(s):

  • 1 lb until my BMI is in the 32s
  • 8 lbs until I’m under 15 stone
  • 18 lbs until I’m in Onederland (yes, I’ll be less than 200 lbs)
  • 21 lbs until I’m no longer obese as I’ll be overweight
  • To start wearing my jeans every day after finally being able to do up the button the other day. Another 7 lbs or so and I think I’ll feel much better in them.

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I was thinking earlier that there are so many things that I’d love to be doing now that I’ve lost weight, such as going away on weekend trips and not have to worry about fitting in a plane seat. The only thing stopping me right now is Covid although it doesn’t stop me planning. But I guess what I’ve also reflected on is how I’ve still ‘lived’ during the past few years even when I was around 329 lbs. I still did an off-road driving experience, joined the police for a night shift, went to Disneyland, wandered around Paris on a day trip and so much more. You see, we can think “When I’m smaller….” or “When I’m lighter….” but we never know what’s around the corner and so, yes, whilst there are things we can still dream to do, live for today! You might need to go a bit slower or adapt your plans a bit if you’re not yet your ‘ideal’ size but, more than ever, embrace today!

I’ll be back later this week but, in the meantime, please feel free to share your weight loss successes, frustrations or whatever’s on your mind ❤

Love Erika xx

Recordable weight loss since blogging:Still to lose:Current weight:BMI:
91 lbs59 lbs217 lbs33
Plus 21 lbs lost prior to blogging

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Some more photos! Here’s what I’m eating…

Hey folks

Having lost over 100 lbs, I’d love to tell you that my dinner plates are filled with colourful veg, that I’ve a fruit bowl overflowing with exotic specimens from all over the world and that I’m eating huge volumes of oily fish. But, I’m such a fussy eater! The only food I’m staying away from 100% are chocolate, biscuits, cakes, etc. but, apart from that, it’s all about portion control. Saying that, I do want to reduce my intake of carbs which I’ve started doing today and chicken salad is on my lunch menu 🙂

So, here are some dinners from recent weeks. You know, before February, I would have filled up my plate and not thought about quantity but my stomach (and, very importantly, my head) have adjusted to knowing when to stop.

Yes, for the first time ever, I had a double burger as shown in the photo above but these were turkey burgers. I’d never had these before but I’d read that turkey is super healthy. And the pizza that was delivered to my home? Low fat mozzarella, thin base, etc. all of which makes it as healthy as possible at around 750 calories.

I do love a quiche and, in my quest to reduce my carbs, I was so excited to find this low fat crustless one at 270 calories.

But here’s my latest discovery. No-added sugar jelly! This is 8 calories per pot and, eating it with a teaspoon, I probably burn more calories eating it! I currently have about 20 of these pots in my fridge and they’re the only sweet things I have. It’s been about 35 years since I’d eaten jelly and it was a bit weird eating it again initially but having this ‘go to’ if I’m getting peckish is really helping.

So, let’s see if I can reduce my carbs and perhaps check out some new veg! But the main thing for me is portion control and making this journey sustainable. Yes, it can be hard initially to adjust but, on the occasional time when I wonder about having an extra slice of bread, all I have to ask myself is:

Do I want that slice of bread or do I want to do up the button on my skinny jeans?”

I know the answer every time!

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

Love Erika xx

Weight loss plateaus: how to cope with them and how to break them

Hey folks

Today is all about that dreaded ‘P word‘ in this world of weight loss… plateaus. Our pounds are coming off, we’re celebrating change and then bam! Weight loss slows down or just stops. Your weight might even fluctuate over a range of figures on the scales and you may feel like you’ll never get out of it. Last week, I blogged about all the reasons not to give up but today I’m focusing on my approach to not getting frustrated when weight loss slows down and my thoughts about how to break them.

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What is a plateau?

According to Weight Watchers, it’s when metabolism slows down or halts your weight loss so that despite eating the same number of calories as you were, the scales aren’t really budging over a few weeks. This can be as a result of losing lean muscle tissue or physiological changes. But a plateau can also happen if you’re perhaps not quite focusing on your intake and exercise as much as before.

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So, how do I break a plateau?

First advice from me is to check whether you’re counting all those calories. It’s so easy for a biscuit or an extra spoonful of sugar in your tea to add up here and there. Portions might be getting bigger again or perhaps emotional eating is creeping in. So, take stock. One thing I’ve done before is to take photos of everything I’m eating because I’ve had days (this is pre-weight loss) when I realised at night how much I’d consumed. There were times when I couldn’t remember eating something! At that point, I didn’t have the motivation to do anything about it but it made me ‘food aware’. Other options are to write everything down or use a calorie app to track your food.

Second, if you really are sticking to good food choices, beware that you may be taking in the right number of calories for your starting weight but perhaps you need fewer now. So, use an online calorie calculator to check how many calories you need for your current weight.

Third, you’ll find a host of advice online about things you can do to raise your metabolism, from eating spicy food to calorie cycling (when you alternate between high and low numbers). From having a cheat meal to covering yourself in cling film so that you sweat away! Two consistent pieces of advice I’ve come across though are drinking lots of water and increasing your activity levels so that you’re burning calories and therefore increasing your lean muscle again. This might include high intensity workouts, going for long walks or parking at the space furthest away from the store…anything to get you moving more than you were!

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But I need a break from losing weight

And that’s okay. You see, we all need a break sometimes and it may be that you need to take out some time where maintaining is the right thing for your body and your mind. Celebrate your journey so far! Think of how far you’ve come and, when you’re ready to refocus, you can carry on from where you got to. Weight loss isn’t a race. There’s rarely a set time by which you need to have reached a certain figure. Be kind to yourself ❤

And you know, those pounds will shift at some point. Perhaps not this week, perhaps not next week, but they’ll come off. Hold onto the hope. And if you do lose a pound, remember my recent post, it’s never ‘just’ a pound!

Have a lovely weekend, everyone, and I’ll be back on Monday with my next weigh-in

Love Erika xx