What does the figure on the scale mean to you?

Hey folks

I was watching a hospital-based documentary last night when an elderly woman was talking about how her daughter ‘ballooned’ to 18 stone……and it was like a wave shame came over me because 18 stone (which is how weight is often talked about in the UK) is equivalent to 252 lbs. At my last weigh-in on Monday, my weight was 256 lbs……so I felt like a rather sad balloon. But then it struck me how we can think about weight very differently.

So, I just wanted to brainstorm the different ways that my current weight (256 lbs) could be thought of (with my view in bold):

  • Wow. I hope I’m never THAT big
  • Someone who’s 256 lbs clearly has no discipline and probably isn’t very reliable
  • I hope someone who’s 256 lbs is okay. I wonder if s/he eats to bring comfort
  • I remember when I was 256 lbs. I can’t believe that I’m now this lesser weight. That took hard work
  • When I was 256 lbs, I didn’t think about what I was eating and I felt free but I now find myself continuously thinking about food and rather obsessed about not gaining it back.
  • I’m 256 lbs and I hate where I am. I’m ashamed. I’m going to be here forever
  • I’m 256 lbs but it’s because nobody supports me. It’s other people’s fault
  • I’m 256 lbs but I don’t even think about my weight. I’m just ‘me’
  • I’m 256 lbs and I love my curvy body
  • I’m 256 lbs and I’m so proud of how I’ve got here
  • I’m 256 lbs but just passing by as my weight journey is continuing downwards
  • I’m 256 lbs. This is my starting point and I’ve a long way to go but I’ve got this
  • Wow! 256 lbs is my goal weight! I can’t imagine ever being that small. I’d be positively skinny!
  • I don’t think I’ll ever get down to 256 lbs. I’m stuck here at this weight

No doubt, there’s a whole myriad of other perspectives but I think this goes to show that our perception of the figure on the scales can vary hugely and it’s all about mental attitude…and where we are ourselves. I’ll admit that I wish my weight loss journey hadn’t started at such a high point because I’d be much further along by now but I’ve already gone through the 320s, 310s, 300s, 290s, 280s, 270s, 260s and I’ll be under 250 before I know it.

I’ll be back on Monday. Not sure if I’m going to lose weight this week but my body is changing right SO MUCH now! My back fat is disappearing, my legs are getting more toned, I’m moving quicker/more easily and clothes are getting loose….I’m loving it!

Have a great weekend

Love Erika xx

Week 14 weigh-in: August is fitness month!

Hey folks

How are you? Hope you’ve had a good week.

Before I tell you about this week’s weight loss and why this month is all about fitness, I need to confess that I’d forgotten to publish a post last week about my emotionally-painful weight-related experiences. I found it sitting in my draft folder (perhaps my subconscious mind was telling me not to share that post with you!) but I will publish that on Wednesday.

And the scales say…

Back to today and I’ve lost another 2 lbs! I’m really pleased as my BMI is now in the 38s and I can feel such a difference in my body. I’m working out a lot so I may well also be building muscle and my energy levels are through the roof! Do you know that yesterday, I walked uphill for almost 7K. There’s a walk near here through the English countryside that is very popular with walkers, cyclists and horse riders but I’ve never had the stamina to do it but I accomplished that in the afternoon. My Fitbit showed me that I really pushed myself and the vast majority of the time was spent in cardio plus 15 minutes in peak when my heartrate hit 149 beats per minute! I actually came over dizzy and nauseous afterwards as I’d pushed myself so much but, whilst I didn’t feel great, I was buzzing!

What’s happening this month, Erika?

Well, in the pursuit of another medal with Virtual Racing UK, I’m doing a challenge where I’m emailed a fitness challenge each day. We get the choice of doing high or low intensity. Saturday was funny because one of the things I had to do as part of the low intensity option was 20 jumping jacks. It’s been many years since I’ve jumped at all and I could almost feel parts of my body remain in the air as the rest of it landed….it wasn’t pretty!! Saturday was 20 jumping jacks, 20 mountain climbers and 20 squats. Yesterday was a walk, run or cycle (I chose the high intensity option which was to cover 3 miles) and today I’ll go back to the low intensity options of 20 star jumps, 20 high knees and 20 jumping twists. The way I’m doing these tasks probably isn’t textbook but I’m giving it a real go. The way I see it is the more I try these new exercises, the more I’m ready to try out an actual boot camp.

And finally

I’d love to hear whether you work out. What can you do that you never thought you would? What’s the exercise or fitness program that leaves you buzzing afterwards knowing that you’ve really pushed yourself? If you don’t currently work out, what would you love to achieve one day? For me, it’s a half marathon……mmm, one day?!

Love Erika xx

Total recordable weight loss:Still to lose:Current weight:BMI:
52 lbs98 lbs:256 lbs38.9
Plus 21lbs lost prior to blogging

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

Week 10 weigh-in: 5lbs lost this week!

Yes, really!

I usually tell you the magic weight loss number some way into my posts but I just had to put it in today’s title! I’m SO pleased! I wouldn’t say that I’ve made any real changes to what I’m eating this week but I suspect it’s to do with ‘Couch to 5K’. Do you know what I did last night? I ran for 20 minutes. Yes, I ran! I was incredibly emotional afterwards as I was just shocked that someone just into the morbidly obese range could achieve such a feat. This weight loss means that I’m now 5lbs away from no longer being morbidly obese which I’d hoped to achieve by the end of July but I suspect it will be in the next 1-2 weeks. Trust me. When it happens, I’ll be straight on here announcing it but I think I can start to think of what I’m going to treat myself to with my first major milestone in sight.

How do you track your weight?

I wanted to mention how I’m tracking my weight loss. There are lots of apps out there, many of which allow you to track exactly what you’re eating, what you’re drinking, how much sleep you’re getting, etc. I didn’t want to put in my food intake as I was confident that I’d be sticking to healthy food and I guess I didn’t want to become fixated on documenting everything…..although, for some people, that’d be really helpful. I’m using the MY Weight app which is purely for putting in the results of each weigh-in. So I’ve taken a couple of screenshots.

Now, the first thing to say (which I’ve mentioned a couple of times on here before) is that I set it up from my likely weight back in February as I’d already lost some weight before starting to blog. This means that I’m actually planning to lose 171lbs in all (but 150lbs from from my first blog post). Back in February, my BMI was around 50.

And this is today’s screenshot…..

Can you see how close I am to getting my BMI under 40?!!! Also, the percentage of fat loss is big and it’s showing me that I’m losing just over 3lbs each week. The reference to calories is what I should be eating to lose 1lb a week based on being moderately active.

The other thing I like about the app is that the graph has a green line which shows me how my weight loss should look if I’m losing 1lb a week and the red line is my current trajectory……so I’m well ahead! But even sticking to the green line would be a result and very much headed towards the long term goal.

Next time?

Later this week, I’d thought I’d talk about scales in terms of how often ‘should’ we weigh ourselves? I’ll give you a spoiler that my answer is whatever suits YOU! However, I’ll discuss the pros and cons of doing it different ways

Have a good week everyone

Love Erika xx

Eating to lose weight

HOW much are you eating, Erika?

So, my weight is coming off, I’m on course to lose quite a few pounds this week and I thought I’d share with you what I’m eating. I’d like to tell you that I’m eating copious amounts of fruit, veg, fish and lean meat but I’m not. You see, the biggest change I’ve made it about quantity. It can be very easy to guess how many calories we’re taking in but the results can be quite shocking.

Take this cereal for instance. When I see the box, I think it oozes wholesomeness and it must be super healthy Beforehand, I’d eat a huge bowl food (but dry! Yes, I don’t like milk). However, when I looked up the calories and weighed MY typical portion, I was horrified! What I now do is actually have this as a treat if I’m peckish in the afternoons (which is about every 3 weeks). I use a tiny white bowl to make it feel like I’m eating more and just pour in enough to cover its base…..resulting in a 88 calorie snack. Far better than the 750 I was consuming before!

One tip to start being aware of what you’re eating is to photo everything. Yes, photograph everything that goes in your mouth because reflecting on it at the end of the day can help you see where changes can be made.

I keep to around 1,200 calories a day because the key thing is to go into calorie deficit. The only way to lose weight is to take in fewer calories that you’re burning. Although I exercise and could theoretically treat myself whilst remaining in calorie deficit, I see that every workout means burning even more calories overall. But I have to put up my hands and admit that I don’t always get to 1,200 calories. Sometimes, I eat a lot less which is where I have to be careful not to slip back into anorexic behaviour. I’m working on this! 1,200 is my goal.

I love ready meals because they tell me how many calories I’m eating plus how much fat, etc.

This is one of my favourite ready meals right now as it’s under 400 calories. There’s no point eating healthily if it’s not tasty and I love food that smacks the taste buds and makes you feel full. The other thing I do is to eat food when it’s super hot. It takes me longer to eat and tricks my mind into thinking I’ve just had a huge meal.

And we had a takeaway tonight from our local Indian restaurant. I ordered half a portion of boiled rice and chicken tikka which comes without a heavy sauce but a yoghurt (which I poured half onto the chicken). So takeaways are allowed. It’s about making smart choices.

No sweet food

Some people can lose weight whilst merely cutting back on snacks like chocolate, biscuits and cakes. But I know myself well enough to know that this approach won’t work for me. I used to have a very sweet tooth and a packet of biscuits would soon disappear. But since cutting out all sweet food, I’m so much happier with savoury food and I can easily pass on biscuits when my family’s eating it. It’s a while until any family birthdays so let’s see if I can resist the temptation of cake then!

Intermittent fasting

When I started this journey, I made a concerted effort to eat breakfast despite never having really been a breakfast person. This was when I was eating the above cereal. However, I’ve restricted my eating hours from midday to 8pm. I can’t tell you how much this has helped me! You see, before I’d snack away all evening, often oblivious to what was going in my mouth. My pattern of eating is officially known as 16:8 intermittent fasting (IF) but there are different ways of doing such as having 2 very low calorie days a week. However, you still have to be in calorie deficit overall.

So, in a typical day, I’ll eat:

  • noon: lunch which is either a one-round sandwich on granary bread or an open sandwich (such as mackerel) on an open sandwich with one slice of bread.
  • afternoon: if I’m peckish, I’ll have the cereal treat, a cereal bar or piece of fruit
  • dinner around 6/7pm: usually meat with lots of veg. However, I may have other things like a personalised pizza with low fat cheese and topped with a bucket of rocket lettuce or mushrooms. I might have a ready meal. I might have a jacket potato with tuna and sweetcorn plus salad on the side.

And I don’t feel hungry. I’ve really upped how much water I’m drinking despite never being a water person. And the diet coke is now more of a treat…..I’m not getting rid of that completely!

At the end of the day, I think it’s about finding a way of eating that’s sustainable.

Anyway folks, I’ll be back on Monday with my next weigh-in. Before then, I’ll have run for 20 minutes non-stop as part of Couch to 5K and I’ve really got my fingers crossed that Monday’s going to be a huge result. I’m SO SO close to no longer being morbidly obese!

Love Erika xx

Week 9 weigh-in: 10lbs to go until no longer morbidly obese!

Little goals. Day at a time!

Yes, I’m SO excited that the point of no longer falling into the morbidly obese range is within reach! You see, it can be very easy to focus on those long term goals such as fitting into those skinny jeans or being light enough to wingwalk on a plane but a long weight loss journey is about celebrating the short term goals too. Now that I’m 19 stone 6 (272 lbs), that 20 stone mark feels far enough way to change my mindset as I slowly but surely continue until I’m considered a healthy weight..

So, I’ve lost 3lbs this week through a combination of healthy eating and working out! Yay! I’ve got ‘Week 4, Run 3’ of Couch to 5K tonight. I was tempted to do it last night and not give myself a rest days as advised but rest is important! The body has to repair itself in between runs and I do have to be particularly careful knowing that I’m doing this fitness programme whilst carrying extra weight.

Inches are being lost

You may find sometimes that the scales aren’t budging but you can feel as if some change in your body is happening. When I started changing my eating habits back in February (prior to starting my blog and 2 months before I was brave enough to weigh myself), I measured my bust, waist, belly, hips and left calf. I have no idea why I measured just one calf!! Since then, I’ve added some more measurements as shown in the table below. I have to admit that I’m a bit embarrassed about sharing these stats with you as they’re like my personal secret that I hide under clothing which drapes to the floor but I promised when I started this blog that I’d be very open. So, here goes!

Body part20.02.2007.05.20TodayLoss
Bust52.5″-50.5″– 2″
Waist45″40.5″– 4.5″
Belly (spare tyre!)58″52″– 6″
Hips59″53″– 6″
Left arm16.5″14.5″– 2″
Right arm18″15.75″– 2.25″
Left calf24″22.5– 1.5″
Right calf22.5″22.25″– 0.25

And whilst the numbers are going down (look at the belly and hips stats!!), body mass is definitely being lost elsewhere too like around my shoulders, my thighs, my lower arms, my ankles, etc. ’tis all good. Won’t be long until none of my measurements is over 50″!

Next time

Later on this week, I’m going to tell you about what I’m eating just to give you some insight. I meant to say, please feel free to share my blog if you think it could inspire others. I’m just a regular 40-something year old who’s making changes and really getting there. I don’t have a magic wand but I’ve bags and bags of positivity!

Have a great week everyone and catch up next time.

Love Erika xx

Get me! Exercising at 2am!!

Hey folks

Couch to 5K

I can’t stress enough that just 4 months ago, I was the person who’d choose to catch the next bus rather than run to catch the one about to leave! I’d be the person circling the car park to get the nearest space to the shop and would come back another day if need be! I’d be the person who thought Couch to 5K (C25K) was for the ultra fit…..well, I was out exercising last night!

Yes, I did ‘Week 4, run 1’ of C25K in the middle of the night and this particular run (which I’ve got to repeat twice more before progressing to week 5) meant I spent more time running than I did walking. My running is more of a jog but I’m actually getting fitter and my runs this week involve 2 x 3 minutes and 2 x 5 minutes along with some brief walking episodes in between. And it felt really doable! Plus it was way cooler after the intense heat during the day. I also feel like the inches are falling off more quickly and I’ll talk about this more on Monday where I’ll share my ‘then’ stats and my current stats of my waist, hips, belly, etc.

So desperate to no longer be morbidly obese

I can’t tell you how driven I am to get out of the morbidly obese category and I really feel that I’m going to achieve this in the next 3-4 weeks. I think the more I connect with my body, the more aware I am of the need to get fitter because of all the linked risks. Of course, I still have some way to go until I’m in the healthy range but I’ll get there! I can visualise how much easier things will be in terms of how I move, what I’ll wear, what I’ll do, etc.

What’s coming in my next few blog posts?

As well as my weekly weigh-in on Mondays, I’ll share with you more about what and when I’m eating, I’ll show you the ‘inspiration clothes’ I’ve bought which I hope to wear by the end of the year and lots of other things about how my mind works! You see, I’ve tried to do this new lifestyle change before and it hasn’t worked but something feels very different this time.

Have a super weekend everyone

Love Erika xx

Week 8 weigh-in: a non-scale victory!

Hello feet!

Well, my non-scale victory might be something that nearly everyone can do but…..I can now stand with my feet together! For quite some times, there’s been a 1-2 inch gap but I suddenly looked down the other day and woah!!! My feet touch!!!

The scales say…

I’ve lost 2lbs this week. I know that I can be very open here but, with this being my lowest weekly weight loss so far, I’m a tad bit disappointed BUT I know that these 2lbs add up and it’s much better that not losing weight or putting on weight! I guess I hoped for more as I haven’t once gone over my calorie limit in all this time and I’ve been exercising so much this week. Could it be that I’m gaining muscle? 1lb of fat is the same weight at 1lb of muscle but muscle is far more dense and therefore takes up a much smaller space. That could explain why I’m losing inches and moving so much better but not seeing greater numbers come off the scale today. But let’s not overthink it, Erika. Celebrate 2lbs!

Couch to 5K

I’m continuing week 3 of this running programme tonight and I thought I’d share with you what I’ll be doing. 9 minutes of running in all including 2 x 3 minutes. I mean, I couldn’t even run the length of my body when I started this!

And finally…

Whilst every pound lost or even 1/2 point on my BMI is an achievement, I have a few big milestones to reach too. And my next one is something I hope to achieve by the end of July. My BMI is currently 41.8 which puts me in the morbidly obese category. This is down from an estimated BMI of 50 back in February before I started this blog and down from about 46 when I started this blogging journey 2 months ago. So, my next major milestone is to get my BMI to under 39 and no longer be morbidly obese. That means I have 11 lbs to lose. You can do this girl!

Love Erika xx

Week 7 weigh-in: claiming two scale victories today!

Hey folks

I love my scalesright now!

Sometimes, we can tell that we’ve lost a bit of weight by the way our clothes feel, the way we move more easily or because we just feel ‘different’. People might start to notice although this typically happens after we see the first signs. But, of course, the figures on those scary scales can tell us too. I have to admit that I’ve become a bit obsessed with the scales this week as I’ve been weighing myself more than once a day but more about that in a moment.

First, I can’t wait to share with you my two scale victories after losing 4lbs this week.

  • I’m under 20 stone! As I blogged about recently, us Brits often talk about our weight in terms of ‘stones’ where 1 stone is equivalent to 14lbs. So, at 19 stone 11, I’m now in the teens. I can’t tell you how good that feels!
  • I’ve lost more than 10% of my recordable weight loss. Now, although I’ve lost 31lbs so far, this is only in the past 7 weeks since I started blogging. However, I estimate I’d probably lost about 21lbs before I was brave enough to get on the scales judging by inch loss. When someone’s very overweight or obese, the initial guidance is usually aiming for 10% weight loss to help with blood pressure, etc. so I’m super pleased.

But I feel as if I need to scale back on the weighing (no pun intended!). The scales seem to have a power where they can almost dictate whether this is going to be a good or bad day so I’m making this commitment here and now that I won’t weigh myself again until next Monday. There are going to be weeks where I might lose a single pound, not lose weight or even gain temporarily due to water retention but my eyes must be on the long term goal to create a healthy relationship with my scales.

Next time

Later this week, I’m going to blog about my battle with anorexic behaviour 9 years ago. In fact, I was going to blog about it last week but the scales were teetering on that 20 stone precipice for a couple of days and I was holding off so that I could share that victory with you. But look out for my next blog on Thursday/Friday as I think it’s important that I don’t slip back into that obsessive way of thinking which, even being very overweight, can still be extremely dangerous.

And, yes, I’m still doing Couch to 5K. I’m doing week 2 run 2 tomorrow and I’m loving it. Get me….I’m running!!!!!!

Anyway, have a super week, everyone

Love Erika xx

Total weight lost:Still to lose:Current weight: BMI:
33 lbs117 lbs275 lbs41.8

lbs or kgs? No, us Brits talk about weight in stones!

What are stones?

At least historically, the people of the UK and Ireland have talked about their weight in stones and I’ve only just found out that very few countries to do this. In fact, when I started this blog a few weeks ago, my challenge was to lose 10 stone and you may be thinking, Erika, what on earth are stones? That’s a good question!

Well, 1 stone equals 14lbs so rather than say how we weigh 280lbs, we would usually say how we weigh 20 stone. However, I see on Facebook groups that the universal language of weight loss appears to be lbs so that’s why my blog name changed. I thought that losing 150lbs felt like a more round number than aiming to lose 140lbs!

Anyway, there’s a reason why I’m telling you about this. You see, at my weekly weigh-in on Monday, I was at 283lbs. And when I get to see 279lbs on the scales, this is going to be SUCH a momentous weigh-in as it’ll mean that I’m under 20 stone! I’ll be 19 stone 13lbs and well on my way to success.

What music gets you up dancing?

In Monday’s blog, I asked what music gets you up dancing and burning away those calories. As promised, here’s my list of the songs that get me up but these are 10 of many:

  • Wake Me Up Before You Go Go (Wham)
  • 1999 (Prince)
  • I’m Still Standing (Elton John)
  • I’m So Excited (The Pointer Sisters)…….I LOVE this!
  • Fame (Irena Cara)
  • Footloose theme tune
  • Shake It Off (Taylor Swift)
  • (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher (Jackie Wilson)
  • 9 to 5 (Dolly Parton)
  • Reach (S Club 7)

And finally, eating disorders

My blog tagline is about not falling into the traps of eating disorder behaviour which can be hard when embarking on a weight loss journey. Now that we’re getting to know each other a bit more, over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be telling you about my struggles with bulimia in my 20s (which ended up with 6 weeks spent in an eating disorder unit as an inpatient) and then being very ill with anorexic behaviour 9 years ago in my late 30s that lead to very serious heart problems. But it won’t be all doom and gloom. You see, I’m celebrating right now as I’m losing weight healthily for the first time free of my ED history which I hope helps at least one person out there. There is hope!

Okay guys, next blog will be my weigh-in on Monday…..although I might sneak in an extra one over the weekend!

Love Erika xx