After losing 130 lbs, I’ve reached ONEderland!!!!!

Oh. My. Word! I’ve done it!!!!!!

— ❤ —

For anyone who’s only just now coming across my blog, a huge ‘hello” to you! I’m just a regular 40-something year old who’s on a huge weight loss journey and who, as of today, has lost 130 lbs since 14th February last year. 21 lbs were lost prior to blogging and then a further 109 lbs since posting 2 – 3 times a week sharing in my inner most thoughts.

Part of me thought I’d never see my weight go below 200 lbs but part of me did….. and it’s because I visualise success. Like when I wanted to fit into my jeans, I pictured myself wearing them, how I’d feel, etc. and that really helped spur me on. And I pictured seeing the scales show my weight beginning with a 1 and that’s exactly what I saw this morning. If I can picture where my journey’s heading, I’m more likely to stay on it…. at least, that works for me!

For major milestones, I treat myself and I’ve bought two things to celebrate this one:

  • Apple Air Pods Pro which I’m having delivered tonight (I love companies that can deliver the same day!)
  • A little charm to go on my keys which is a number ‘1’. Thing is, if people see this charm, they won’t know the significance of what it means to me but it’s my secret reminder of how today feels.

And do you know what? I’m just 2-3 lbs away from another HUGE milestone as I’m almost out of the obese category. My BMI started out at 50 so this feels like a massive accomplishment……

I’ll be back on Monday with my next official weekly weigh-in but spoiler alert… there’ll be lots of positive things to celebrate 🙂

Wishing you a great weekend

Love Erika xx

Can you build a career stemming from your own weight loss?

Hey folks

Although I usually plan my posts, I guess today’s is one of those where I truly don’t know how it might end but this is where my thinking’s at:

  • I like people 🙂
  • I like supporting people who are struggling with one thing or another
  • I’m on a huge weight loss journey right now where I’m putting in as much effort into my thought processes as I am into what I’m eating and how I’m working out
  • I’m pretty good at breaking huge goals into tiny ones that are achievable
  • I really hope that I’m inspiring even just one person because I ‘get it’ when it comes to being bigger than hoped and how being a certain size impacts daily life in so many ways
  • I have a business head which has served me very well

So, I could offer 1:1 online mentoring for those wishing to lose weight. I’d be clear that I’m not a therapist but I’m someone with ‘lived experience’ although I do have formal training in the use of counselling skills. This mentoring would be tailored to suit the individual but it’s likely to cover their history of eating and weight loss/gain, the reasons behind their eating, the chance to set tiny goals both scale and non-scale related that are frequently reviewed, resilience building, the psychology behind making weight loss sustainable, etc. In addition, I could offer one-off workshops to inspire others and bring in my personal story. But this is where it gets tricky! I’m this person who hides behind my screen with only one person following my blog who knows me in real life (hello you!) so ‘coming out’ in a more visible way feels a tad bit scary. If I market myself as someone who’s lost more than 170 lbs altogether, people may be able to take a rough guess how much I weighed at my heaviest… and we know that I don’t tell people my weight! So, I need to think this through…

— ❤ —

But before I go…… guess what?! The scales have dropped since Monday….. by TWO POUNDS!!! So, I’m one, yes ONE, pound away from Onederland and I’m going to be straight on here as soon as I see a sub-200 number appear on the scales. I’m apologising now in advance but that post is just going to be an incredibly emotional, excitable Erika blogging in disbelief! Onederland is almost here, whether it’s tomorrow or another day!!

Love Erika xx

Week 44 weigh-in: my scales are stubborn!

Hey folks

You know, I was hoping to come on today to tell you that I’ve finally reached Onederland but have the scales moved this week? No! In the past, I would’ve become frustrated but I have a choice about how to feel about this. I can either think “Well, I’ve failed then, haven’t I? What was the point of even trying this week? I’ll never get there” OR I can think “Well, that’s okay. Scale-related change doesn’t happen every week yet there can be changes in other areas such as my body slowly shrinking. And I know that when the scales have stagnated in the past, I then have a flurry of pounds coming off“. I remember when I was very close to no longer being in the morbidly obese range, that final stretch seemed to take forever and I was keen for it to happen far sooner but becoming frustrated isn’t going to speed up the process, is it?! So, I’m not going to do anything different this week as my approach to losing weight has worked really well for over a year and I’m going to look forward to celebrating this next milestone another day….

What’s Erika done well this week?

  • I looked after myself this week. I dyed my hair the other night and felt so much better afterwards
  • I took out the wheelie bin during daylight (that’s a big achievement for me!)
  • I did 2 x 10km walks last week and the medals are on their way to me
  • I kept myself hydrated

What could Erika improve on?

  • Nothing this week 🙂

Erika’s next target(s):

  • 2 lbs until my BMI is under 30.5 and I will have lost 75% of my excess weight
  • 3 lbs until I’m in Onederland (yes, I’ll be less than 200 lbs)
  • 6 lbs until I’ve lost 9.5 stone
  • 6 lbs until my BMI is under 30 and I’ll be overweight… might even be 5 lbs and a few ounces

I’ll be to back on Wednesday to talk about possible career plans using my experience of losing weight. Until then, 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:
106 lbs44 lbs202 lbs30.7
Plus 21 lbs lost prior to blogging

Week 43 weigh-in: the excitement of being overweight!

Hey folks

Yes, you DID read the title of this post correctly and I’m going to credit fellow blogger Matt for this title. Last week, I shared my excitement that I’m soon going to officially be overweight and, through the comments, Matt and I could laugh at how rare it must be to hear someone say this. But, you see, I can’t wait. My BMI was 50 and therefore anything below 30 would have been inconceivable this time last year but this week’s report card will show you that it’s soon going to be a reality ❤ and I’ll reach another amazing milestone even sooner!

What’s Erika done well this week?

  • I lost 3 lbs
  • My BMI is now under 31
  • I’ve now lost more than 9 stone (i.e. that’s UK-speak for 9 x 14 lbs)
  • I’ve been walking at least 5K each day
  • I did a Chloe Tring high intensity workout… and this was amazing as there’s no way that I could’ve got up if I’d sat on the floor a year ago. Now, I bounce straight back up.

What could Erika improve on?

  • I’ll always be honest with you (I’ve promised that from day 1) but I do need to watch those anorexic thought patterns creeping in
  • Not jumping on the scales quite so often

Erika’s next target(s):

  • 2 lbs until my BMI is under 30.5 and I will have lost 75% of my excess weight
  • 3 lbs until I’m in Onederland (yes, I’ll be less than 200 lbs)
  • 6 lbs until I’ve lost 9.5 stone
  • 6 lbs until my BMI is under 30 and I’ll be overweight… might even be 5 lbs and a few ounces

Bearing in mind how much weight I’ve lost, I’ve been looking into a place near me that offers non-surgical treatment for sagging skin, fat removal, etc. I’m a realist and I know there’ll be limitations about what I can achieve body-wise without going under the knife. But the two parts of my body that will impact me even more than my sagging belly are my upper arms (i.e. bingo wings) and my inner thighs that are stopping me from wearing my jeans despite easily getting into them. So, I’m contemplating getting in touch with the clinic now although I guess I’ll wait until my BMI is much lower before starting treatment. It’s not cheap but if it gives me the confidence to not cover up, it may be worth every penny. I’ll keep you posted.

AND I’m contemplating using my weight loss journey to launch a new career….. more about that another time!

I’ll be back on Wednesday to review how my first two weeks using a vibrating plate have gone and I’ll hopefully be back on Friday too (apologies for not posting last Friday – time just whizzed by here). Until then, 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:
106 lbs44 lbs202 lbs30.7
Plus 21 lbs lost prior to blogging

Can I eat ‘bad’ food on a diet?

Hey folks

I’m guessing that I’m probably not alone here but I’m very quick to label food as good or bad.

Over the past year, I haven’t eaten any chocolate, cookies or desserts (except sugar free jelly) whatsoever. You see, I LOVE chocolate!! I can’t picture myself eating one square and think “Well, wasn’t that lovely Erika. Let’s leave the rest for another time“. And I’ve always been perplexed when chocolate manufacturers name some of their products as ‘family sized’. Really?!! That bar has to be divided up by a few people?! And don’t get me started on how ‘regular’ chocolate bars have shrunk in size making them almost what would have previously been termed ‘snack-size’!! So, when I started this journey, I cut out everything that I would call ‘bad’ and, you know, I’ve completely lost my sweet tooth. I have no yearnings to eat anything chocolately so perhaps it might seem a bit odd that I’m asking myself now abut whether it’s okay to eat such food again.

Why is this? I’ll blog in the next few weeks about environmental and social pressures around eating but I’m sure I’ll have times when I just fancy eating something sweet. Having had bulimia many years ago, I don’t want to find myself in the throes of a binge where I consume 1000s of calories. I want to feel in control and eat without feeling guilty, and it all comes down to moderation. No food types need to come off our menus, even when we’re losing weight, but it really is about how much we consume. We can still have that square of chocolate…. but it’s a treat…. and part of an overall balanced intake for the day. We can have that slice of cake….but it’s a treat…. and something not to have everyday. We can have that takeaway….. but it’s a treat….. and we can slightly less tomorrow.

Whilst I’ve cut out sweet food very easily without feeling deprived, I appreciate there’ll be people who feel that this is a step too far for them and cutting out such food may result in eating okay for a few days followed by eating far more than planned. So, I guess what I’m saying is… we have to work out what works best for us individually. Go cold turkey to avoid all temptation? Still eat what we want but with much more focus on portion control? It might be a question of trial and error until we find a way that still helps us towards our next weight loss goal.

Where do I go from here? I’m going to continue avoiding sweet food for now as it’s working, certainly until my BMI gets much nearer to the healthy range, but I’m then going to reintroduce food in a very managed way which, of course, I’ll share on here 🙂 Perhaps I will be able to stop after one square!

I’ll be back on Friday with some top tips but hope you’re doing well.

Love Erika xx

Week 42 weigh-in: 9 lbs away from no longer being obese!

Hey guys

YES!! Moving down into the ‘overweight’ category really is just around the corner, something I could’ve only dreamt of a year ago. I’ve got several small goals coming up and therefore opportunities to celebrate. And celebrating is important! Whether we’re at the beginning of our weight loss journey or some way in, I feel it’s so important to acknowledge these moments and be kind to ourselves in what we say. Rather than think “I’ve lost only 1 lb“, say “That’s great. Another pound towards the next goal“. Rather than think “I’ll never get there. I’m resigned to be this weight forever”, say “It may take time but I have to start somewhere. Let’s set some short and long term goals“.

Okay, it’s time for this week’s report card:

What’s Erika done well this week?

  • I lost 3 lbs.
  • My BMI is now in the lower 31s.
  • I’ve been working out lots. As well as the vibrating plate (more about that next week), I’ve been walking at least 5K each day…. from just around the house due to the snow here.
  • I’ve been staying hydrated… something I can find hard to do.
  • I reframed a difficult moment. The other day, I looked down at my thighs whilst standing and I was taken aback to see the amount of sagging skin. You know when a puppy is yet to grow into its skin and its skin is very wrinkly? Well, that’s how my upper thighs are looking. But after a moment feeling pretty sorry for myself, I gave myself a good talking to and reminded myself that it’s okay! This is the evidence of my hard work over the last year so be proud, girl!

What could Erika improve on?

  • I’ve had some days when it’s been quite a struggle to eat enough and I guess some of those previous anorexic thoughts have crept in. Perhaps this should be listed above as I’ve done well to recognise these familiar thinking patterns but I think I’ll leave this here as a reminder to not let myself slip.

Erika’s next target(s):

  • 2 lbs until my BMI is under 31
  • 2 lbs until I will have lost 9 stone in all
  • 5 lbs until my BMI is under 30.5
  • 6 lbs until I’m in Onederland (yes, I’ll be less than 200 lbs)
  • 9 lbs until I’ve lost 9.5 stone
  • 9 lbs until my BMI is under 30 and I’ll be overweight

And here’s the dress I mentioned last week that’s way beyond what I’d normally wear. It’s not a maxi dress and it’ll mean showing my lower legs to others!

So, posts later on this week will look at whether to reintroduce some sweet food into my diet and another ‘top 10’ list of tips and tricks to stay on track with the eating because I’m still learning all the time! If I can pass on what I’m learning to help others, then that’s pretty cool. Until then, 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:
103 lbs47 lbs205 lbs31.2
Plus 21 lbs lost prior to blogging

Would you tell someone if they’d lost weight?

Hey guys

I’m SO curious to find out how readers of my blog would answer this question. You see, not that long ago, I would have answered this with a resounding “YES” without any hesitation. Doesn’t everyone like a compliment? Doesn’t everyone like their hard work being noticed? However, I’ve been reading around online and, having seen other people’s perspectives, it’s making me question not only how I may feel about being asked the above question as I go forth on my own journey but what I would say to others who’ve lost weight. After all, it’s perhaps not a straightforward question.

Being told how my weight loss is visible has brought an extra spring to my step and me telling myself “YEEESSSSSSS. Go Erika! You’re rocking this!” It can be a positive reinforcement that what I’m doing is working and it encourages me to keep going. Perhaps compliments stroke my ego!!! But I know that people can find a comment like “Wow. You’ve lost so much weight. You look amazing” hard to take. From their perspectives, they can question how they looked pre-weight loss and even feel low or ashamed. And what if people don’t say anything at all. Is the weight loss not yet visible? Is there another reason behind this? Are they debating whether it’s okay with you if they comment?

I know from personal experience that being asked “You’re not going to lose more weight, are you?” isn’t an easy one. When I had atypical anorexia 9 years ago, friends were really concerned about me as the weight fell off and I looked very gaunt. I easily fitted into US size 8 / UK size 12 clothes but what they didn’t know (and nor did the professionals as I refused to get on the scales) was that my BMI was 27. I was overweight. I’ll reach that same point again when I get to 175 lbs so, if asked, do I need to justify my reason to keep going and have to admit that I’m actually still overweight so that they stop worrying? What I hope is that losing even more weight than before but far more slowly will actually result in me looking healthier. Because of Covid and seeing very few people since February 2020, hardly anyone knows that I’m on this weight-loss journey and I guess it’s human nature to be curious about whether people will say anything.

My conclusion? I think the way we take comments from others is a very individual thing. Some people will lap them up and be spurred on. Others may see comments as saying more about how they were prior to their transformation than how they look now and feel pretty low. For me, yes, I love a compliment but I feel that I’ve gained the ability to self-love and celebrate my own successes without replying on what others say. But I guess I can also understand that people who know about my life-threatening history of eating disorders could be reluctant to say anything in case I ‘take it too far’. And as for what I’d say to others? Perhaps I’ll be a bit more cautious and rather than go straight in with something weight-related, I might start with “Hey, how’re you doing?” to see what they say and gauge how a compliment would go down.

I’d love to know your thoughts on this.

Well, guys, hope you have a good weekend and I’ll be back on Monday with my next weigh-in.

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

Weight loss, sagging skin and photos!

Hey folks

I guess I’m probably ticking all the boxes for why I’m getting sagging skin:

  • I’ve lost well over 100 lbs
  • I’ve lost this in just under a year
  • I’ve spent much of my life being overweight or obese with a top BMI of 50 so my skin’s been stretched for a long time
  • I’m in my late 40s so any elasticity in my skin has upped and left!

Where’s this sagging skin appearing? It’s mainly over my upper and lower abdomen, the tops of my thighs and my arms where my bingo wings seem to have developed their own bingo wings. My hope is to control this as much as possible through diet and exercise but I’ve been thinking whether I’d want skin removal surgery. It’s pretty big surgery with recovery time of 4-6 weeks and, as I write blog, I’m watching an episode of My Extreme Excess Skin featuring Dr Nowzaradan from My 600lb Life fame (I’d love to meet him!!). Whilst other episodes feature people who’ve lost 200-500 lbs, this one’s about someone who’s lost 170 lbs which pretty much reflects the total journey I’m on but she had bariatric surgery. Do people lose weight at a quicker speed after bariatric surgery? Am I likely to have a similar appearance to this pre-op lady? You see, I really don’t think I’ll ever be someone who wants to hang around the pool in a bikini but I’d just love to wear clothes with confidence. So, I think I’ll continue on my journey and re-evaluate as I get nearer to my goal weight. Perhaps I’ll buy super strong underwear to hold my body together instead! The thought of having my belly button repositioned is enough to turn my stomach!!!

Before I go, I thought I’d share some photos to show you my bingo wings and how I can fold up the skin! And rather brave photos of my belly where you can see how the skin can easily be moved around. Goodness, despite hiding behind my laptop anonymously, sharing these photos feels scary so please be kind! This is me….with more than 117lbs lost and around 50 lbs left to go!

Hope you have a great weekend. I’ll be back on Monday with my next weigh-in and will then be aiming to blog 3 times a week as I head towards my target weight 🙂

Love Erika xx

5 things to manage those hunger pangs

Hey folks

I’m sure that food talks sometimes! I might be sitting in my living room but I can hear the entire contents of the fridge shouting out my name! “Erika, eat me. Go on. You know you want to”!!

So, I thought I’d share my top 5 tips if you’re feeling hungry .

  1. Check whether you’re thirsty instead. Thirst is super clever at disguising itself as hunger so a drink may be what you really need after all. If you don’t think you’re thirsty, drink anyway. Apparently, we’ve already hit the point of being dehydrated when we feel thirsty so having a drink isn’t a bad idea and it may fill you up.
  2. Distract yourself. Get walking or anything to get you moving. I now throw myself into a workout or focus on getting a job done around the house because at least moving will do my body some good. But, alternatively, put on some telly and get absorbed in a movie. By the time it finishes, it might be a regular meal time.
  3. If you’ve nothing at all to distract you, delay eating. Wait for 30 minutes before again checking with yourself about whether food is what you want or whether it’d been a fleeting thought. And then ask yourself “Do I want that slice of bread or do I want to see those scales move?” If it’s late, would it be best just going to bed?
  4. If you’re at the point of deciding that your body needs food, make good choices. What can you have that will fill you up which is the least calorific / least sugar-ladden / least fatty? What will leave you feeling the least guilty afterwards?
  5. And if you’ve found that something a bit unhealthy is the answer, be mindful about access and speed. Rather than bring a pack of cookies into the living room, take one from the kitchen. Then, you’ll have to walk to get another one rather than subconsciously work your way through the packet and wonder who’s eaten them! And slow down your speed. Put down the cookie after each mouthful (yes, eating a cookie in one go is most unlady like!) and taste the food. Think about how the food is tasting, what parts of your mouth it’s touching, etc.

For me, the above is really working well. Beforehand, food would disappear in no time at all and I wouldn’t have any recollection of what I’d eaten. I would just know that food had disappeared and it was trying to solve some unmet need. Especially in the late afternoons, I now find that if I keep myself busy doing something, I don’t think about food and I can hang on until dinner time. And if I do slip, I review what happened and what I can learn from it. I’m no weight-loss genius and I don’t always get it right but doing the above certainly helps me along my way. I’m going to blog in the next few weeks about emotional eating.

Before I sign off, I said that I’d tell you what I treated myself to when I hit the 32.5 BMI mark. I ordered a bouquet of flowers! They’re just gorgeous! If you’d like to read my post about weight loss rewards, please feel free to check it out here

Hope you all have a good weekend and I’ll be back on Monday with my next weigh-in

Love Erika xx