Tips for weightloss success

I have been asked many times recently about my success and how I have achieved my loss (now almost 5 stone – 31kg), so I thought I would share!

I’ve used 5:2 fasting as just ONE of the tools to assist me during my journey. Basically for two days a week, I limit my calorie intake to 500 calories. I go from the night before a fast day to dinner time the following day (around 5pm) just drinking fruit tea and water, and then eat one meal that is around 400 calories. This usually involves lots of vegetables and some protein like chicken or fish.

I do ensure that I stick to my allocated weight loss calories for the whole week though, so… 2 x 500 calories on two days and the remaining 6,700 calories distributed amongst the other 5 days. The allocated calories are low as I am close to my goal weight and because I am so short (4ft 9 inches – 145cm).

I also exercise really hard on as many days as I am able to, usually 1.5 to 2.5 hours , and earning between 700 – 1400 calories each time (measured using a heart rate monitor).

I don’t eat meat often, have more or less cut out pasta, bread, rice and replaced with low calorie alternatives (courgette spaghetticauliflower rice, crisp breads). When I do eat those things, I only have a small portion (50g dry weight of pasta and rice, 50g of homemade ciabatta bread).

I don’t really eat many sweet treats (but do occasionally!), even after two and a half years of weight loss, I log what I eat every single day and still weigh all my food to enable me to work out how many calories I am consuming. I cook most of my meals from scratch using fresh ingredients and lots of vegetables and search out low calorie recipes which I adapt.

I have more or less given up alcohol…. which as well as being full of calories (half a bottle of red wine = 330 calories), have made eating out a special treat that we enjoy once in a while rather than planning to include indulging in food every time we leave the house.

We rarely have a take-away meal.  I now just see these as far too calorific and usually full of fat or MSGs.

I have devoted a LOT of time to this, more or less made it a part-time job, and spend the best part of most days exercising, planning meals and cooking meals.

Finally, I have just carried on going even when things get tough!  I have been following this way of life for over 130 weeks so my weight loss averages less than half a pound – 225g,

I do hope this helps anyone who struggles! If you look at my weight loss graph, there have been blips along the way, but I just keep on going!!!


Weight maintenance (Part 1)

So a big part of all this weight loss has to be maintaining, right?  In some ways, losing the weight will probably turn out to be the easy part.

Becoming overweight isn’t something that happens overnight.  It happens over weeks, months, years of bad eating habits.  Now that I have successfully lost 4.5 stone, I can look back and understand why I got to the situation I found myself in almost three years ago.

I am disabled – but that in itself doesn’t give me a reason to be overweight.  It meant that because my mobility is restricted, my walking, my ability to exercise – then I needed to eat less calories (many less calories!) than my two younger, taller, physically fit sisters.  They are both a foot taller than me.  I’m only short because my femurs are shortened.  If I hadn’t been damaged by Thalidomide, there is a good chance I would have been a 5ft 9, long legged fit bird!  By “fit” I mean athletic, rather than attractive…  they are both!

My sisters both lead very “physical” existences, to the point of being a bit excessive.  Not that I knock that, and they’ve even considered if perhaps their wish to participate so fully in everything physical is because of my disability.  We’ll never know.  Anyhow, both aged 48 and 50, they enjoy visiting the gym, cycling a 9 mile round trip to work, water based activities, running, walking, mountain climbing, trekking, etc, etc.  They both enjoy a real physical challenge – there is no doubt about this!

Me and my two “bigger” little sisters, aged in our late twenties.

It may just be the company I keep, but I don’t think many of my friends of similar ages are quite as “sporty”!

Back to me.  At school, I was encouraged to join in all the various sporting activities on offer.  Tennis, rounders, badminton, gymnastics, athletics….  The school I attended cannot be faulted for ensuring that I got to have a go at all of these things and more!  Sadly, my involvement alongside my pals served to make me feel a bit of a physical failure.  I mean, having the high jump bar lowered to about 50cm and being tasked with virtually stepping over the damned thing did little for my self-esteem.  

I was spared having to endure some of the longer distances when it came to running, but I was forced to run the 100m and 200m.  How demeaning.  I’d only just left the starting line whilst my classmates were being cheered over the finishing post!

I did manage to hit the ball once in rounders.  I was so shocked by this event that I forgot what I was supposed to do next!

The poor girl who partnered me for tennis and badminton spent the whole of the hour picking up stray balls and shuttlecocks!

So, I have learned I either have to (1) move a lot more and a lot more regularly and (2) eat less.  Ideally finding a good balance of the two.

Exercise is a bit of an issue for me.  Until two years ago, I believed I really didn’t like exercise!  Now I’ve discovered that I do enjoy exercise, as long as I can do what I want to do and fit it around my life.  A good “workout” leaves me feeling virtuous, alive, in less pain, able to move much more easily – and – best of all, it earns me some calories so that I can enjoy occasional treats and meals out.

I haven’t exercised during the recent hot weather spell we’ve enjoyed, but that ended about two weeks ago.  I now am using the excuse that I have an extremely heavy 11ft long 5 barred wooden gate leaning up against my treadmill and across the centre of my “gym”.  But the guy is coming to instal the gate on Saturday at 8am….

I know it’s just a question of getting back into it again, and I am absolutely sure that I will do.  Far from hating getting out of my bed on dark Winter mornings and spending an hour or two in the cold air of the garage, I enjoy being able to get my day going early and working up a bit of a sweat ahead of my shower.  I especially enjoy my weekend workouts, when my showered is closely followed by a calorific and enjoyable cooked “brunch”.

Reaching my goal weight….

August 2011 (around 14 stone and size 24) and goal weight.   September 2014 9st 7lb and a size 14/16.

Well today, I did it! After 2 years and 5 months (130 weeks) I have reached and exceeded
my goal weight of 9 st 7 lbs!

I’ve lost a total of 4 and a half stone (63lbs).

My start weight at the end of February 2012 was 14 stone and I was a size 24.

I am now 9 st 6.6lb and size 16.

I am only 4ft 9!

It’s been hard work, but well worth everything!

To celebrate, I put on a bikini I had bought a couple of months ago, and had some shots taken.  Looking at the picture of me in my bikini, I found I was self-critical of what I saw.  In my head I saw a sleek, slim body.  The picture showed loose skin and wobbly bits.  However, I stuck the picture on FaceBook and shared it with the world, and the more I looked at it (alongside the “before” picture, which was REALLY unflattering) the more I realised just what a remarkable feat I have achieved!  I have shifted the equivalent of 9 newborn babies!!!

I was in Southsea today collecting my Mum from a weeks holiday.  I saw many, many obese people – like myself – enjoying a portion of fish and chips.  However, my fish and chips was a reward for my years of hard work, and was also the first take away fish and chips I’d eaten during my weight loss journey.

They tasted WONDERFUL……

And now the really hard work begins.  Maintaining my new weight.

I plan to try and get to 9 stone and then to maintain my weight between 9 and 9 and a half stone.  It sounds easy, but I am sure it will be a challenge!