I told someone my weight… and I survived!

Hello guys

A quick post today but those who’ve been reading my blog for some time will know that I don’t share my weight with anyone, even doctors. Yes, it’s ‘just’ a figure but there’s something historical about even the idea of sharing my weight that’s brought a lot of shame. And I think there’s a lot of shame about my shape and size too but I’m working on that. You may want to check out these posts where I was trying to ‘logic’ my way through this fear…. scales part 1 and scales part 2

I have to say that I’m not having the best couple of days and so I realised that I needed to do something positive to get myself out of this hole… and I’ve booked my first ever helicopter flying lesson for the beginning of September. Why then? My daughter will be heading back to university a few days earlier and it’ll give me something to look forward to as I’ll miss her. And it didn’t even cross my mind when I phoned the airport to book but the lady at the other end of the phone line asked me my weight…. and I told her within a couple of seconds ….. and the earth around me didn’t quiver! She didn’t tell me that I couldn’t fly. She didn’t judge. To her, it was no doubt just a figure that she’s entered onto the IT system and she’s not even thinking about it now but I said my weight aloud. It’s a very weird feeling and there’s part of me that’s truly elated with feeling free and another part that’s slightly overwhelmed … but I did it!

Hope you have a great weekend and I’ll be back on Monday

Love Erika xx

Why do we turn to food in times of stress? It’s our brains!

Hey folks

On Monday, I talked about a 4 hour breakthrough session I had with an eating disorder specialist which has really helped me (you can read about it HERE). However, I held one thing back so that I could share it with you today. I don’t know but it just really clicked in my head and it’s all about stress.

One of the things possibly stopping me from giving up the anorexic behaviour is the fear if what if I put on all the weight. What if the weight just creeps on and I’m back to where I started 18 months ago? After all, we all have stress in our lives and I’ve been aware that, pre-weight loss, I could wander into the kitchen and unconsciously find myself eating. But the therapist explained something about why we can turn to food when under stress and it’s all to do with the pink part of the brain diagram: the basal ganglia.

This is what was explained to me. At any time, the basal ganglia will be thinking of about 8-10 things we could be doing. Perhaps check our emails, change the TV channel, grab a drink, tidy up the kitchen, etc . But when we’re under stress, eating often goes to the top of that list, obscuring any other option. So, we can find ourselves eating something which in turn increases the level of dopamine in our bodies which in turn reduces the stress we’re experiencing. Food can feel like it’s providing comfort for us; a culinary hug.

And this really helped me because whilst it’s to do with brain chemistry, I could see it as a linear process whereby changing my response to stress in the first place can make it less likely that I’ll turn to food. And this has given me huge comfort that once I’m back in that middle ground with my eating, I can make better choices so that I’m achieving balance in my life.

— ❤ —

But things are coming together in terms of getting support. Not only do I have an amazing therapist and a specialist eating disorder dietitian on board but I’m now in touch with a psychiatrist who seems brilliant and has already said about liaising with the other professionals. And sometimes it’s about getting the right people on board and, in my case, about creating Team Erika! I don’t know. Just feeling ‘held’ by others when things are hard feels like a good place to be so I’m really hoping that the next few weeks are going to see much progress.

And before I go, I thought I’d share my afternoon snack (snacks are new to me but I’m trying to eat little and often): blueberries with 50g of Fage 0% fat free Greek yoghurt. This isn’t easy but I’ll get there

As for my evening, England is through to the Euro 2020 semi finals so I’ll be glued to the TV tonight cheering on our lads (I’m so excited!!) and catching up on the Tour de France followed by a walk 🙂

I hope to be back here before next Monday

Take care

Love Erika

Week 61: another challenge ticked off my weight loss bucket list

Hey guys

Another weekend has passed and another challenge has been ticked off my list of things I can now do at my lower weight. More about that in a moment but let’s take a look at this week’s report card:

What’s happened this week?

  • I’ve now got my daily calories up from 385 a day to 645. I still have a way to go but it’s heading in the right direction and, having just spoken to my therapist, it was helpful to chat through my next calorie target before I meet with my eating disorder specialist dietitian next Monday.
  • I went on a Segway!!
  • I’ve booked my abseiling experience for August so that I have always something in the diary to look forward to
  • I’ve stayed off the scales for a few days
  • I took decisive action to control how much work I’m doing running my business as I need to build things into my week that make me smile and help me connect with others

What could Erika improve on / next targets?

  • My next calorie increase target is to get to over 900 a day by next Monday. Part of me feel it’s doable although it’s horribly close to 1,000 and, well, seeing 4 digits feels too much but I don’t need to worry about that right now. I need to focus on the current target.

— ❤ —

So, on Saturday, I was back at Go Ape and I had my first experience on a Segway. It was really fun although I assumed that turning the handlebars to navigate bends would be like a bike but it’s a different action. And I had to learn to start and stop the Segway by pushing my body forwards or tilting backwards. The other adults in the group were lovely and we went deep into the forest. And I could feel my confidence increase, my speed and increase and then BAM!!!!! I fell….. hard!! I truly thought I might have broken something as the pain in my arm and shoulder was immense and any touch was awful but I also thought I’d perhaps just need to rest it, apply ice and see how it goes. Lots of top layer skin is missing from near my left elbow and my upper back and neck are painful 48 hours on but I’m SO SO SO pleased I had a go. It’s something that I couldn’t have done before because of the weight limit but it’s doing things like this that’s slowly breaking down the physical and mental barriers I’d put up pre-weight loss.

My next bucket list challenge? Abseil off this!!!!! It’s the UK’s tallest sculpture at the Olympic Park in London.

As ever, please feel free to share your diet / weight-related successes, frustrations or anything else on your mind and I’ll be back later in the week

Take care

Love Erika xx

Recordable weight loss including 21 lbs lost before bloggingStill to lose:Current weight:BMI:
164 lbs (haven’t weighed for a short while)7 lbs165 lbs24.9

Introducing… my weight loss bucket list!

Hey folks

I wonder if anyone can relate but I found pre-weight loss that there were many things I wanted to do but couldn’t. Sometimes, it was because there was a weight limit attached to particular activities or it came down to a lack of confidence. Now that I’ve lost quite a lot, there’s a host of things that I want to do and, in fact, I ticked off my first one on Sunday. So, here’re the 10 things that my weight loss and growing confidence mean I now feel ready to get on with:

  1. Zip wire! Yes, last Sunday, I went on a Go Ape Tree Top Adventure where I had the most buzzing time. That first zip wire was a bit scary but, by the 5th, I was hurling myself off the platforms, ready to glide past the trees in the forest. You can read more about it HERE.

So, what else is on my list?

2. Abseil off the ArcelorMittal Orbit at the Olympic Park which is the tallest sculpture in the UK. Last night, I booked my ticket to do this in August. Once I go up in the lift and see panoramic views of London, I’ll then abseil 80 metres down… although another way to go down is the slide!! Worth checking out the photos online.

3. Helicopter lesson. I’m not too far from the coast here in the UK so flying over the English Channel will be amazing.

4. Go on an aeroplane. I used to fly loads when I was younger but I felt really self conscious about my weight so as soon as Covid is more under control, I’ve got my first trip away planned to Copenhagen in Denmark where I’ll pop over the bridge to Malmo in Sweden too.

5. RIB boat experience on the River Thames which is basically going on a speed boat.

6. Zorbing. This involves climbing inside a huge bubble-like structure, attaching myself to the harness and then hurling myself down a hill! What could go wrong?!

7. Horse riding. I’ve got a place in mind but the dietitian has advised having a DEXA scan first. More about that another day.

8. Indoor sky dive. Not many places in the UK do it but there’s somewhere within reasonable reach of here where you get kitted up with a jumpsuit, helmet and goggles, and step into a wind tunnel kinda thing where you then put your body into a star shape and fly! Oh…. all that loose skin on my body will have a field day!!!!!

9. Drive a racing car around Silverstone. Space in those cars looks tight but I think I could get in there now.

10. Possibly…. and I mean possibly (!!!!)… a real sky dive! This one might change…… I’d love to do it and, wow, what an amazing feeling I’d have but would I have the guts to leave the plane? Not sure!

My plan is to always have something booked and therefore something to always look forward to so by the time I abseil in August, I’ll have another activity from my list booked, perhaps for September.

Do you have things on your list that you’d like to do? They don’t have to be sports related. It could be having a personal shopper experience, having a massage, etc.

Love Erika xx

Week 57 weigh-in: 1 lb away from being in the healthy range!

Hello!

I have to admit that I really hoped to wake up this morning to announce “Ta daaah!!! My BMI’s under 25” and be able to squeeze this accomplishment into the very end of May. But is losing weight a race? Does it have to be today? Let’s check out this week’s report card:

What’s happened this week?

  • I lost 1 lb
  • My body fat is now under 30%
  • My body water is now consistently above 50% after often being dehydrated
  • I’ve signed up to do another fitness medal

What could Erika improve on?

  • Increase my calories…. yes, still finding this hard

Erika’s next target(s):

  • 1 lb until my weight’s in the healthy range! A single, solitary, standalone 1 lb left!
  • 2 lbs until I’ve lost over half of my original weight!
  • 8 lbs until my ultimate goal so that I have a 7 lb buffer to stay in the healthy range

— ❤ —

Last year as the pandemic broke and my weight loss journey began, I discovered an international community of people who walk, run, jog, etc. so that shiny new medals drop through their letter boxes. There are SO many websites doing these medals such as Virtual Runner UK, Race at Your Pace and The Conqueror (if you’re on Facebook, do check out The Conqueror Community page for the loveliest and most supportive group of people). Whether you want to cover a marathon distance in one go or set yourself the challenge of walking 5 km over the course of a whole month, there’s a medal out there for everyone and for every level of fitness. On Saturday, I did a 7km walk with a friend across fields and past lakes. Right now, I do need to strike a balance between pushing myself and being kind as, whilst my legs were absolutely fine afterwards, I felt dizzy for hours once I actually stopped walking. But it was very warm and I just need to listen to my body more.

When was my BMI last in the healthy range? Probably about 28 years ago so once I see my BMI go under 25, I’ll be straight on here! I never thought with my BMI starting out at 50 that I could halve it but I’m on the verge of doing that. I’m right on the cusp ❤

As ever, please feel free to share your diet / weight-related successes, frustrations or anything else on your mind.

Take care

Love Erika xx

Recordable weight loss since starting to blog:Still to lose:Current weight:BMI:
142 lbs8 lbs166 lbs25.1
Plus 21 lbs lost prior to blogging

A non-scale victory! I didn’t search for the nearest car park space!

Hey folks

I don’t know about you but I’ve been staying away from the shops since the pandemic began. We’ve been able to get home delivery really easily and I’ve just wanted to stay safely away from others as much as possible.

Well, sensing that I’ve become a bit of a recluse, I’ve started to venture into some shops over the past couple of weeks but late into the evenings. Last night, I drove down to the coast because being anywhere with water (whether it’s the English Channel, a lake or even a duck pond!) does me the world of good mentally. I popped into a clothes shop (and was really excited to be buying US size 8 / UK size 12 clothes) but I then popped into a supermarket. This particular supermarket is one that I haven’t visited since I was 162 lbs heavier and I remember desperately trying to get the nearest space to the front of the shop… and needing to keep pausing to catch my breath. But I found myself last night deliberately parking slightly further away and purposefully walking towards the store with a huge spring in my step and not the slightest bit puffed out. THAT is progress! And it’s when we can compare the old and new that we get to see how far we’ve come.

Have a great weekend everyone. I was hoping that my weight may finally be in the ‘healthy’ range but the scales haven’t budged now for 7 days but let’s see if anything happens before Monday. 2 lbs, yes 2 lbs, will get me to that goal but I’ll celebrate whether it happens this week or next. I just need to think of a reward to treat myself to!

Take care

Erika xx

Being a ‘healthy’ weight is finally just around the corner!

Hi guys

You know, there’s a page on my blog that I sometimes forget to update as my weight loss journey continues. Yesterday, I realised that I needed to tick off a few more goals I’d achieved and, wow, the visuals illustrate how my BMI and other stats are getting so much nearer to the ‘healthy’ category… something I couldn’t have dreamt of. So, today’s blog is basically showing you what’s given me a lift today as I start on the homeward straight…..

– – – ❤ – – –

Ticking off every 5lbs of weight loss (starting at 329 lbs…goal is 158…. though 165 puts me in the healthy range)

329√325√320√315√
310√305√300√295√
290√285√280√275√
270√265√260√255√
250√245√240√235√
230√225√220√215√
210√205√200√195√
190√185√180√175
170165160158

Ticking off half BMI points (starting at a BMI of 50…goal is under 25)

50√49.5√49√48.5√
48√47.5√47√46.5√
46√45.5√45√44.5√
44√43.5√43√42.5√
42√41.5√41√40.5√
40√39.5√39√38.5√

38√37.5√37√36.5√
36√35.5√35√34.5√
34√33.5√33√32.5√
32√31.5√31√30.5√
30√29.5√29√28.5√
28√27.5√2726.5
2625.525<25

Getting under each (UK) stone/half stone (1 stone = 14 lbs) Started at 23 stone 7…goal is 11 stone 4 though 11 stone 11 puts me in the healthy range (I’m 5 foot 8)

23.5√23√22.5√22√
21.5√21√20.5√20√
19.5√19√18.5√18√
17.5√17√16.5√16√
15.5√15√14.5√14√
13.5√13 √ 12.512
11.5 11 4lbs

Weight classifications

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)

You see, my journey is all about focusing on the next tiny goal as I could have easily felt disillusioned at the beginning of this journey thinking that I’d never get to where I’m at.

I’ll be back on Monday with my weigh-in. To be honest, I’m dreading next week as I have my ECG and I heard a couple of days ago that my blood test has shown something that my doctor wants to talk about…. so a potentially challenging week next week but that’s not now! I’ve a weekend to enjoy first and I hope you enjoy your weekend too ❤

Love Erika xx

Week 47 weigh-in: Let’s smash those goals!

Hey guys

When I started out with 171 lbs to lose (including the 150 lbs since I started to blog), I knew that if I focused on only my long term targets, they’d feel insurmountable. Perhaps I wouldn’t have even started! So, I’ve been including my short term goals on my weekly report card, those within my reach. However, today marks the day when my two ultimate scale-related targets are added! Yes, I genuinely feel that I’m getting closer and closer to my target weight so I’m going to let myself imagine how it’s going to feel and, you know, I’m beyond excited!

What’s Erika done well this week?

  • I lost 4 lbs
  • I’ve now lost more than 80% of my excess weight
  • My weight’s now in the lower 190s
  • My BMI’s in the 28s

What could Erika improve on?

  • Nothing… 🙂

Erika’s next target(s) along with the big ones!

  • 2 lbs until my weight’s in the 180s
  • 2 lbs until I’ve lost 10 stone in total (that’s 10 x 14 lbs)
  • 4 lbs until my BMI’s in the lower 28s
  • 26 lbs until my weight is in the healthy range (that’s under 2 stone to go)
  • 33 lbs until my ultimate goal so that I have a 7 lb buffer to stay in the healthy range!

To anyone who’s reading this who’s perhaps at the start of their journey or finding it hard to stay on course, I really want to instil some confidence to say that you CAN do it! Honestly, I’m just a regular 40-something year old who’s not following any particular diet, not spending money on gym membership (but instead working out for free), not devouring many vegetables, etc. One of my biggest tips is to blog! This is very much a headspace journey as much as it is about changing my body and thinking aloud here helps me to ‘sort out’ my head! I guess I feel accountable to give a weekly update with my weigh-ins and there’s no denying that I love it when I get comments from wonderful people like Matt and Ang ❤

So, upcoming posts over the next few weeks include:

  • plotting the dieting history on a time line
  • keeping healthy when life gets busy
  • tips to not give up on your weight loss journey
  • identifying non-scale victories

I’ll be back later this week but, in the meantime, take care

Love Erika xx

Recordable weight loss since blogging:Still to lose:Current weight:BMI:
117 lbs33 lbs191 lbs28.9
Plus 21 lbs lost prior to blogging

Week 46 weigh-in: Revealing my timescale to hit a ‘healthy’ weight

Hey guys

Although I’ve recently hit some huge milestones, it’s important to remember that the other victories matter too. As I blogged a while back, it’s never ‘just’ another pound and I’m still punching the air when I see the scales shift for each pound. So, let’s crack on with this week’s report card:

What’s Erika done well this week?

  • I lost 2 lbs
  • I’m now light enough to go horse riding on the beach
  • I’ve now lost more than 9.5 stone
  • I now weigh less than 14 stone
  • My body fat percentage is no longer in the highest category
  • For the second week in a row, I finished a whole iceberg lettuce before it went off!

What could Erika improve on?

  • Nothing… 🙂

Erika’s next target(s):

  • 1 lb until my BMI is under 29.5
  • 3 lbs until I’ve lost 80% of my excess weight
  • 6 lbs until I’m in the 180s and I’ve lost 10 stone

This August, I’m celebrating my 25th wedding anniversary – 25 years of being married to the most amazing husband ❤ On my wedding day, I weighed 170 lbs (BMI 25.7) and, although this upcoming date hadn’t been part of my weight loss journey per se, the timing couldn’t be more perfect for a double celebration. My initial thought was about getting down to my wedding day weight but, of course, I’ll go the extra few pounds to get my BMI right into the healthy range. I’m all about mind games and anything to make goals feel very achievable and I’m so excited that this target date feels within my reach. In UK-weight-speak, I’m now 13 stone 13 lbs and my wedding day weight was 12 stone 2 lbs so I just need to work my way through the 13s and then the 12s to first reach my wedding weight… one pound at a time.

Love Erika xx

Recordable weight loss since blogging:Still to lose:Current weight:BMI:
113 lbs37 lbs195 lbs29.5
Plus 21 lbs lost prior to blogging

Being brave and going out during daylight!

Hey guys

I don’t usually blog at the weekend but I’m currently on a walk and, unlike the walks I’ve gone on so far this week, it’s daylight! In the past hour, there’s been sunshine, rain and even hailstones but after feeling a bit meh today, I thought I would get out there and dust off any negative thoughts 😀 So, these photos won’t mean much to anyone else but, to me, here’s me saying that I don’t need to hide away! It’s okay to be seen. I’ve even discovered a monastery hidden deep in the woods. Despite living in the village for 18 years, there’s so much more still to discover…

Time to head home as my ears are frozen but I’ll see you on Monday for my next weigh-in

Love Erika xx