Carolyn's Diet Diary
"My name is Carolyn Rogers and I have just reached the "ripe" old age of 40. I joined WLR in January after having dieted on my own for 2½ months as I knew I had reached the point where I needed some help to keep on going.
"My weight problems are very familiar to a lot of other people I know. I have never been "skinny" but for the last 15 years or so have been quite happily drifting through life at around 13 stone and a size 16-18. It didn't really bother me, I had a busy job, ate whenever I remembered during the day and cooked for my family in the evening. I've been a vegetarian for over 20 years, which should indicate healthier (!) eating habits - but wasn't really the case, as I lived on convenience foods.
Two years ago, we were faced, as a family, with a real challenge when my youngest daughter (then aged 15) was diagnosed with an eating disorder which rapidly progressed into extreme restrictive anorexia. This led to hospitalisation for 6 months in an eating disorder residential unit and her illness was a trigger for my own slip into extreme overeating.
She was on a 3000 calorie a day eating programme spread over 6 meals and in my rather skewed logic, I thought that the best form of encouragement was to join her and eat what she was eating (and more). Scales were banned from our house and as our whole lives were so centred around food and eating, I "chose" not to notice that my own weight was ballooning (especially as I took no exercise).
"Last October, things were looking a lot brighter. My daughter was doing well and was a lot healthier and our lives began to get back to normal. I had a company ball and when I went to buy an outfit was surprised that the only thing I could fit into was size 24. When I weighed myself the scales stopped at 17 stone which was the heaviest I had ever been.
"So I decided to start to try to cut back. First of all it was just cutting down on the daytime and evening nibbles and trying to replace the convenience foods for home cooked foods (we couldn't have them when Kay my daughter was ill as she had to know the exact calorie value of each food and would only eat something that was calorie counted).
I upped my intake of fresh fruit and vegetables and cut back on drinking alcohol. But the biggest change was I started to exercise (again this was something we didn't do when Kay was ill as she would exercise obsessively). But it was all little steps. In the first month I would get up half an hour earlier and take the dog out for a walk - just 1/2 mile round the block at first (that would leave me sweating and out of breath). Every week, I would try to increase this a little bit - the poor dog didn't know what had hit her - and neither did I......... - my only consolation was at least there was no-one else around at that time in the morning.
"Then came Christmas and everything sort of began to go a bit awry. No-one had noticed that I'd lost any weight and the temptation of all of the Christmas goodies was too much. The 2 stone that I had lost was beginning to creep back on again and by mid-January, even though I had started to eat sensibly (ish) again, I really had lost the will power - just wave a glass of wine in front of me (and I have no "stop" button when it comes to wine - which has to be accompanied by crisps and other nibbles) and I would just say 'yes'.
"I knew that slimming clubs just weren't for me - the thought of having to be in a room full of people and being weighed publicly just filled me with stage fright. Silly really, but I knew it was not my scene. Also the having to confess all of my 'not so good days' and slip ups to other people - no thank you.
I looked round the Internet at various sites and Weight Loss Resources was the one that fitted me. The discipline of writing it all down and having it totted up for me was just my cup of tea. I did wonder though if it would be a one-week wonder (I haven't the greatest staying power in the world!) but the forum seemed great too - full of really supportive people (although I confess that I was a lurker for quite a while - reading the messages but not quite getting around to answering them).
"From January (weighing in at 15 stone 6) I really started to go for it. First target was 13 stone and wanted to hit that by my birthday in April. I increased the walks, and dragged the exercise cycle from under the pile of clothes and started to cycle while watching Eastenders. Ok I would cycle the opening credits and then roll off at first, but as the weeks went on it got easier.
"I hit my target in April - hit 40 and 12 stone 12. Celebrated with a weekend in Paris and still managed (just) to keep at 13 stone. At the end of April decided to up the exercise levels and started playing badminton once a week. And in May started training for the Race for Life at Kempton which is at the end of July (not the closest to me but the only one in a 30 minute drive radius, that was furthest away). And today am 11 stone 10."
You can keep your own diet diary, and exercise diary, using the tools in WLR. Set a weight loss goal and find out how many calories you need each day to get there. Try it free for 24 hours.