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.

*******

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

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 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

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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

How to stay positive when weight loss slows down…or plateaus

So, you know you’re eating healthily, you’re moving your body much more than before, you’ve been seeing the scales drop every week without fail for months on end and, then, BAM!! The numbers don’t drop so quickly or you may find that they don’t budge at all. What do you do?!

This where I’ve been for the past few weeks after dropping an average of 3lbs a week since mid February. My last recorded weight losses are:

  • 3rd October (6 days ago) 1lb
  • 25th September (14 days ago) 2lbs
  • 15th September (24 days ago) 2lbs

Now, of course, this is STILL weight loss but it’s just very different to the past few months. And I won’t lie when I say that I really hoped to be under the 230 lb mark by now. So, if you can relate, here are some things to check or try out:

  • Check that you’re slowly reducing your overall calorie intake as you need fewer calories the lighter you are….just make sure you’re not consuming the same calories as when you started out
  • Are you eating enough or too much? It can be easy to under or overestimate so some careful calorie checking can be a good idea.
  • Are you being honest with yourself? Those extra bites of whatever can soon add up.
  • Is your metabolism slowing down a bit? Perhaps you body is getting too used to this new way of eating. You can try eating more calories for a few days (often called ‘cheat days’) to wake up your metabolism and then drop back to what you’ve been doing.
  • Try out new exercise! Rather than walk, try out jogging or high intensity workouts. Shock your body into wondering what’s happening to it!

But don’t give up! There’s no point thinking “Well, what’s the point of sticking to this healthy lifestyle if I’m not seeing BIG results?” You see, if you mix it up a bit as described above or stick to your healthy way of eating, you WILL see the figure on the scales budge. Think about how far you’ve come. Look back at old photos. Grab the tape measure to compare the new you with the old measurements. Think about all those mini goals you’ve achieved so far. You’ve got this and you’re still on track for achieving all those other goals too.

Have a great weekend everyone

Love Erika xx