Week 30 weigh-in: letting go of old clothes…

Hey guys

YES!! As shown in my ‘report card’ below, I’ve lost a lot more than one pound this week so I’m truly buzzing today! Perhaps it’s because I’d plateaued for about three weeks and the scales are now reacting again to me controlling my portions and exercising. I don’t know. There could be 101 reasons why but I’m hoping it won’t be too long until I’m out of the 220s.

Okay, let’s have a look at this week’s report card:

What’s Erika done well this week?

  • I’ve lost 4 lbs
  • I’ve ditched most of the clothes that are too big for me… more about that in a moment.

What could Erika improve on?

  • I’ve always said that I’ll be honest with you and I do need to watch that being ‘eager’ about a new lifestyle doesn’t slip into being some form of eating disorder. A friend has shown concern about how quickly I’ve lost this weight over the past few months, especially when my heart was put at risk many years ago when I lost a lot of weight through anorexic behaviour (although the weight loss was quicker). Do I have an eating disorder? I don’t think so but I will be reflecting on that.

Erika’s next target(s):

  • 1 lb until my BMI is in the 33s….so close!
  • 4 lbs until I’m weighing less than 100 kg
  • 25 lbs until I’m in Onederland (yes, I’ll be less than 200 lbs)
  • 27 lbs until I’m no longer obese as I’ll be overweight
This is the MY Weight app

Before this weight loss, I was wearing approximately US size 18-20 / UK size 22-24 clothes although trousers would have been slightly bigger. And, you know, I’ve still been wearing some of these clothes… just very loosely! But I had a big sort out on Saturday night, dumped all my clothes on my bed including those I’d kept from my previous ‘slim days’ that I’ve wanted to get back into and tried on EVERYTHING! I’ve been buying a few bits over the past few months but hadn’t wanted to buy too much knowing that I’d likely be ‘passing by’ certain sizes. The result? I have a huge bag of clothes going to charity and I’m now wearing clothes to reflect my current size. Tops? I’m a US size 10 / UK size 14. Bottoms? I’m a US size 12-14 / UK size 16-18. (I don’t think I’ve ever shared my height with you but I’m 173 cm / 5 foot 8). And I’m thinking more about how I want to style myself. I could buy completely new clothes but I’m actually really loving searching on EBay where there’s a huge range ….some pre-loved clothes that reportedly have been worn just the once but also lots that are new and still have their tags so I’ve a few bits on their way 🙂

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So, upcoming posts include:

  • coping with and breaking plateaus
  • what I’m eating (I’ve been taking photos!)
  • choosing how the ‘new me’ will dress
  • the fine line between very focused dieting and anorexic thinking

Please feel free to share your own weight loss successes, frustrations or whatever’s on your mind ❤

Love Erika xx

Recordable weight loss since blogging:Still to lose:Current weight:BMI:
84 lbs66 lbs224 lbs34.1
Plus 21 lbs lost prior to blogging

Walking and running for shiny medals!

I might be in my mid 40s but I’m certainly not too old to get excited when a shiny medal pops through my letterbox!

I’ve discovered an international community of people who love to jog, walk, run, swim, row or do whatever to claim their well-earned medals. Whether it’s medals to celebrate doing your first 5K, running a marathon, jogging the distance of the English Channel or even walking Route 66, there’s a medal out there for everyone.

So, here’s my collection… so far! It all started when I did the Couch to 5K program earlier this year when I was still morbidly obese. I wondered if there might be a medal to reward myself and, wow, I came across so many websites including those I’ve listed at the end of today’s post. I’m now filling my 2nd medal hangar. You know, I could just exercise for the sake of it but working towards these MAKES me want to get out there and get fit!

This last one turned up this week! I LOVE it and it even came with a stunning T-shirt.

Many of these medal companies will ship internationally so you want to check out the ones I’ve come cross so far:

Conqueror Medals https://www.theconqueror.events/ These are STUNNING!!!! Brilliant quality and you’ll find thousands of people doing these challenges on the Facebook group My Virtual Mission (super friendly and supportive group!)

Virtual Racing UK. A really great mix of medals with new ones coming out all the time https://www.virtualracinguk.co.uk/ Helpful staff.

These are pretty cool as you can set how far you want to aim for each month and, each month, the medal design changes to make it seasonal https://www.raceatyourpace.co.uk/

Ace Races …. a new discovery for me but lots of short term challenges here https://ace-races.co.uk/

Virtual Runner https://www.virtualrunneruk.com/race-length/fun-run-races/ This is also a new discovery but I’ve signed up for 3 medals for 2021 so far.

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Does 5K sound to far? You know, back in February, I couldn’t walk 100 metres without having to stop and I was in pain. Honestly, I struggled to get up the stairs without being breathless. But Race at Your Pace do medals from covering 5 miles over a whole month so even if mobility isn’t great right now, I hope you can find one that’s doable but perhaps push that comfort zone a little bit!

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Do you have any medals? Any you’d like to do? Perhaps you’ve got a place in mind that you’d love to see turned into a virtual medal challenge. I’d love to know

Have a great weekend everyone

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

Week 23 weigh-in: Can you do a marathon whilst obese?!

YES!!!!! Yes, you can because that’s exactly what I did yesterday. Me and around 45,000 others around the world took part in the Virtual London Marathon, each with our own 26.2 mile routes set out – whether we were walking or running it. Some people even climbed mountains to get in the distance. My legs feel extraordinarily heavy today but I’m buzzing and I’ll share the medal with you as soon as it arrives.

What’s Erika done well this week?

  • I’ve lost 1lb. Weight loss has slowed down but I don’t care as…….
  • I did a 26.2 mile marathon!
  • My BMI is now in the lower 35s…..so close to getting out of the obese class II category
  • I’m now halfway through my official weight loss journey as in I’ve lost 75 lbs with 75 lbs still to go. But, as the tables at the bottom of my posts say each Monday, this is in addition to the 21 lbs I’ve lost before I started blogging.

What could Erika improve on?

  • Nothing for this week coming really. I didn’t get much sleep last week as the marathon was on my mind throughout and work was busy but I slept for a whopping 10 hours last night and know that this week being quieter will definitely help me rest more. I’ll keep an eye on my fluid intake too and make sure I’m continuing to drink water.

Erika’s next target(s):

  • 2 more lbs until I can have a helicopter lesson
  • 4 more lbs until I’ve lost 100 lbs in total and my BMI is under 35

I’m going to add something to my list of what I’d like to do when I’m smaller/lighter: https://biggirlsmall.com/when-i-lose-weight-i-will/ I’d love to climb a mountain. We have some stunning ones in northern England, Wales and Scotland. I don’t know. Just the sense of standing on its summit, looking at the panoramic views and realising that sheer determination has brought you up to this point. Do I need to wait until I’m smaller/lighter? No, not really but by the time I can travel due to COVID cases in the UK rising, any further weight loss by then will hopefully really help me along the way.

And sorry for no 2nd post last week. Last week was just manic But I will be back later this week to chat about staying motivated when you’ve got a lot of weight to lose.

Have a great week, everyone

Love Erika xx (P.S. Did I tell you that I achieved 26.2 miles yesterday?!!!)

Recordable weight loss:Still to lose:Current weight:BMI:
75 lbs75 lbs233 lbs35.4
Plus 21 lbs lost prior to blogging

Week 19 weigh-in: How often do the pounds drop?

Hey folks

Let’s get straight into this week’s report card!

What’s Erika done well this week?!

  • I lost 1 lb….more about that in a moment.  
  • My body fat is now under 50%
  • I walked 10km on Saturday with just 4 weeks left until I’m doing the virtual London Marathon of 26.2 miles (i.e. just over 40km)
  • I can now wear the smaller of the two wrist straps that came with my Fitbit.
  • All body measurements are under 50″. Yes, when I started this journey, my hips were 59″, my belly was 58″ and my bust was 52.5″.
  • My waist is under 39″. This started out at 45″

What could Erika improve on?

  • Drink more water. Yes, I STILL need to improve on this!

Erika’s next target(s):

  • Do a 20km walk this weekend coming
  • 11 more lbs until I can have a helicopter lesson
  • 13 more lbs until I’ve lost 100 lbs in total and my BMI is under 35

Like many women, the scales frustratingly don’t budge for a few days every 4 weeks. Yes, period weigh gain is very common but the important thing is to hold onto the fact that it’s temporary. It might be tempting to give into those cravings or skip the exercise but keep doing what you’re doing and the scales will suddenly drop. I thought I’d share the monthly view of my weight loss because yes, for w/c 3rd August and 31st August, the scales pretty much stayed the same. I’m sure that the only reason the scales didn’t go up with my period due is because I kept going with the eating and exercise and, if it wasn’t for my period, there would have been more of a loss.

I’ll be back later this week to talk about my 5 top tips for starting a weight loss journey. Very much from the perspective of someone whose BMI was 50 earlier this year since which I’ve adjusted my headspace. You see, I’ve lost 87 lbs in all and I’m not getting bored. It feels sustainable so I’ll share with you what’s making a true difference.

Love Erika xx

Total recordable weight loss:Still to lose:Current weight:BMI:
66 lbs84 lbs242 lbs 36.8
Plus 21 lbs lost prior to blogging

Week 18 weigh-in: I’ve the biggest news ever!

Hey everyone

Oh, I’m so happy! I’m hitting lots of targets and my body’s feeling incredibly different…but I’ve also signed up for something almost inconceivable a few months ago…more about that shortly! Like last week’s blog, here’s my report card:

What’s Erika done well this week?!

  • I lost 5 lbs! 
  • My BMI is now under 37 which means I’m nicely on my way towards the lowest obesity category
  • I’m now more than half way on this weight loss journey
  • I’m now under 17 and a half stone in British weight-talk (where 1 stone equals 14 lbs)
  • I’ve now lost more than 6 stone in British weight-talk (i.e. 6 stone 2 lbs)
  • I’m now light enough to go on a Segway (manufacturers say 245 lbs)
  • I exercised daily. I’m now on my 3rd walking medal with My Virtual Mission and will complete the Hadrian’s Wall walk (144.8 km distance) later on today. I started this 2 weeks ago.

What could Erika improve on?

  • Drink more water. I’ve been drinking more than last week but lots of room for improvement!

Erika’s next target(s):

  • 1 more lb until my body fat is under 50%
  • 12 more lbs until I can have a helicopter lesson
  • 14 more lbs until I’ve lost 100 lbs in total and my BMI is under 35

You see, it’s these tiny goals that keep me focused and motivated.

Drum roll…

Right, I have a HUGE thing to admit! You know back in February at 329 lbs that I couldn’t walk more than 100 metres without being out of puff? And I’ve since completed Couch to 5K? Well, er, I’m doing the 2020 Virtual London Marathon on 4th October!!!!! Yes, there were 45,000 places as you get the finisher’s medal if you complete the 26.2 miles but you actually get the whole 24 hours to do and I signed up just in time before the spaces went. WHAT HAVE I DONE?!!!!!

So, I’ll share my pre-marathon news over the next few weeks as well as blog about discovering the world of fitness medals, overcoming weight loss plateaus, motivational tips, changing the inner voice, how to set tiny targets and so much more

Love Erika xx

Total recordable weight loss:Still to lose:Current weight:BMI:
65 lbs85 lbs243 lbs36.9
Plus 21 lbs lost prior to blogging

So that means I’ve lost 86 lbs in all and I’ve 85 to go!

Week 17 weigh-in: I’m under 250 lbs!

Hey everyone

Do you know? It almost likes a huge relief to get under 250 lbs as I’m now nearer to 200 than 300 (having started this journey at 329). I thought I’d do myself a report card for this week:

What’s Erika done well this week?!

  • I lost 3 lbs! According to the MY Weight app, I lose 2.95 lbs each week on average.
  • I exercised daily. As well as miles and miles of walking, I’ve been doing daily workouts which I’ve loved. In fact, I’m discovering that exercising helps me to clear my head.
  • I had a Chinese takeaway but made sensible choices. Oh, no, a takeaway???!!! Yes, we can still have a takeaway and lose weight! I chose chicken with mushrooms with two spoonfuls of my husband’s boiled rice and I was full.
  • I had a pizza takeaway! Yes, two takeaways in one week! But I chose a small one with an Italian base (which is thin), reduced fat mozzarella, tandoori chicken and mushrooms. According to the Dominoes app, this came out at around 900 calories but I don’t eat the crusts so it would have been slightly less. I usually have rocket in my fridge that I throw on top which is a great way to bulk up food without piling on the calories.

What could Erika improve on?

  • Drink water. I really need to drink much more. After getting into the pattern of doing this a few weeks back, I shamefully almost lived on Diet Coke this week but watch out for next Monday’s blog to see if I’ve addressed the balance.
  • Possible eat more. You see, after having anorexia many years and getting caught up in the obsessive counting, I’m not counting every calorie I eat although I’m aiming for roughly 1200-1400 calories. But I think I’ve had days where I may have gone quite a bit less than this which could impact on my metabolism, etc.

As you’ll see in the table below, my BMI is almost down to 37.5 (after starting at 50) and to get under this is my next mini target as I’ll be halfway through the obese class II category (which goes from 35-39.9).

Later this week, I’m going to blog about emotional eating because I’ve been there, especially in the past. As I mentioned the other day, last week was the first time I’d nearly lost the grip on this new lifestyle but I didn’t give in. I’m still here with no cheat days or cheat meals….but more about that on Thursday/Friday.

Hope you have a lovely week

Love Erika xx

Total recordable weight loss:Still to lose:Current weight:BMI:
60 lbs90 lbs248 lbs37.7
Plus 21 lbs lost prior to blogging

6 months in….. and what a difference!

Hey guys

I can’t believe that today marks 6 months since I’ve eaten chocolate, since something has clicked in my brain about getting healthier, since I discovered this unfamiliar drive to move my body! You see, when I’ve attempted to lose weight in the past, I’ve rarely got beyond 3 weeks before packing it all in. So, what’s different this time?

  • I’m not seeing it as a diet. That’s been huge because a diet can feel like a short term fix.
  • Beyond cutting out snacks, it’s sustainable. Yesterday, I had scampi, potato wedges, garden peas and tartare sauce for dinner….just not as much as before!
  • I eat only between noon and 8pm (known as intermittent fasting)…..which instantly cuts out evening snacking plus I’ve never been a breakfast person.
  • I’m eating roughly 1200-1400 calories a day but I’m stopping myself from getting obsessed about calorie counting. That’s been a bit tricky at times but I don’t want to to slip back into the anorexic thinking from the past.
  • I’m pretty chilled about the speed of weight loss. Some weeks I lose lots; some weeks I lose less. But as long as I continue to be in calorie deficit each day, I know that this lifestyle change is working.
  • I love exercise! I completed Couch to 5K whilst still morbidly obese and I’ve got 3 fitness challenges happening right now. I’m actually doing star jumps, crunches and semi-planks!

I’ll be back on Monday with my latest weigh-in but let’s just say that I’m now light enough to go in a hot balloon in the UK…..naked!!!! Yes, I don’t know how much clothes would add to my weight but if they’re happy that I’m starkers, I can now climb aboard!

Hope you all have a good weekend

Love Erika

Yes! I did ‘Couch to 5K’ whilst morbidly obese!!

There are a few reasons behind today’s post. As well as telling you what Couch to 5K is and sharing my experience, I REALLY hope to inspire at least one person to give it a go. I wonder if that person might be YOU!

So, what is Couch to 5K?

In a nutshell, it’s a running program designed to take the complete beginner to being able to run 5K in around 9 weeks. Now, when I say ‘beginner’, you may think that people still need to be able to jog but it really is designed for those who haven’t put on a pair of trainers since their school days or get puffed out just walking around the shopping mall. When I started it, I couldn’t walk 150 metres without being in immense pain and needing to stop to catch my breath.

In each of the 9 weeks, there are 3 runs to do with a rest day in between. So, you could do set days (like Monday, Wednesday and Friday) or do literally every other day if you don’t have to run on certain days. All runs start with a 5 minute walk to warm up and then a walk for 5 minutes to cool down. The very first run involves alternating between running for 60 seconds and walking for 90 seconds. Over the course of the program, you start to run for longer until you’re actually running more than you’re walking and each work out session will last for 30-40 minutes including the warm up/cool down. But there are apps you can download so you don’t need to worry about whether to run or walk. You just follow the voice telling you what to do. The important thing to tell you though is that the aim is actually to be able to run for 5K OR run for 30 minutes….and most people can’t do 5K in 30 minutes at the end of week 9. That’s okay. Focus on your stamina to run for longer than your pace which can develop over time.

My experience of doing Couch to 5K

So, 25 of the 27 runs were done whilst still morbidly obese! Yes, you don’t have to super slim or fit to do this. I took it on as a personal challenge although I thought I may get half way through before my body gave up on me and I was shocked that I did the whole program. In week 8, I pushed myself beyond the official 28 minutes until reached 5K and I can’t tell you the incredible feeling of accomplishment when you graduate. I did some runs around my village but also some around my home and garden. I even wore leggings for the first time ever! I found that I could manage my breathing very easily but there were times when I could feel my shins hurting. Thankfully, I didn’t develop shin splints but this is why rest days are important. Your muscles will develop tiny tears when being pushed physically and the rest days are needed for them to repair. Of course, don’t run if you think you’re doing yourself serious injury but it’s quite normal for the body to ache so grit your teeth and push through it.

I even found a website called http://www.virtualracing.co.uk in the UK where you can sign up for the medal and then it’s sent to you when you submit your evidence. I’m now in the process of doing other fitness challenges: a 1,000 mile challenge between now and the end of the year; the August challenge when I’ll be emailed daily fitness activities to do and one that spans October to December. Yes, I’m a grown up but the thought of receiving medals is hugely motivating!

So, are YOU going to give it a go?

Couch to 5K has been on the news in the UK as record numbers of people downloaded the BBC app during lockdown, especially with the gyms closed. I found that there are amazing communities on Facebook where people really encourage you to complete the program, share tips (like apparently chewing gum can help breathing) and you feel like you’re on this personal journey. I can’t urge you enough to think about giving it a go. I struggled to run for 60 seconds in that first week but it’s designed to be followed to the letter and, if you do, you may find yourself say “I love running”. I now do!!

I’d love to hear if you’ve done Couch to 5K or you’re thinking about it ❤

Okay folks, I’ll be back on Monday with my weigh-in and telling you how the first couple of ‘August fitness challenge’ days have gone so have a great weekend everyone

Love Erika xx

Quick catch-up on my weight loss journey so far

Thank you so much for the likes and comments on my post the other day when I shared with you that my BMI had gone down from 50 to 39. It really meant a lot ❤

I’d found over the past 4-5 weeks that I was so desperate to get out of that ‘morbid’ category. Here in the UK, people can be considered for free bariatric surgery under the National Health Service (NHS) if their BMI is 40 or more and they’ve been unsuccessful with dietary advice, etc. It’s possible to have this surgery at a lower BMI if there are also health problems going on like diabetes. But I now no longer qualify. It feels SO good to say that!

I’m still a long way off my eventual goal but let’s look at what I’ve achieved so far because recognising these achievements along the way can be wonderfully motivating:

  • my BMI has gone from 50 to 39
  • I’ve lost 67 lbs (or 4 stone 11) in total
  • I’ve lost 4.6% of body fat
  • I’ve lost 6 inches from my belly, 4 inches from my chest, 5 inches from my waist, 7 inches from my hips and so much more.
  • I’m wearing smaller clothes
  • I’ve completed Couch to 5K (more about that next week!)
  • I can now put my feet together when I stand up
  • I can sit in my garden chair with room to spare
  • I’m now light enough to do Go Ape and go on the longest zip wire in the UK
  • I can fit in a dress I last wore 2 years ago
  • My confidence is rocking

The other thing I noticed is that the scales picture I use for my weekly weigh-ins goes up to 23.5 stone (329 lbs) and this was my actual start weight. And my hips and belly at the beginning of this journey were almost 60 inches each – the length of my tape measure. There’s almost a sense of ‘phew’ that I took charge of my size and weight before they increased even more. But you know, the hardest part for me is getting started and the reality is that whilst I’m now ticking off all these milestones, there were MANY mortifyingly embarrassing things that happened to me that still didn’t kickstart my weight loss journey. Whilst I think they’re going to be hard to write about, I guess I need to acknowledge them because I want my newfound attitude to food and exercise to be long term…..but more about that soon. Today, I choose to think only positively!

So, I’ll blog next on Monday with my weigh-in but have a great weekend

Love Erika xx