How to Lose Weight in Real Life
How to Lose Weight

Kathy's story demonstrates how to lose weight in a way that fits your own lifestyle. Read her real life experience and tips for how you can lose weight using the same tools.

How to Lose Weight in Real Life

Kathy's story demonstrates how to lose weight in a way that fits your own lifestyle. Read her real life experience and tips for how you can lose weight using the same tools.

WLR Member KATHYAJ, Age 27, Height 5ft 5in
  Start Current
Weight 11st 7lbs 10st

About Kathy

I’m an engineer. I have a fairly active job which was the only reason I didn’t get any bigger.

A more sedentary job would definitely have meant having at least another stone to lose.

I'm also a single parent with 6-year-old son. Like many mothers I had a terrible habit of munching on leftovers.

Only when I started recording the mouthfuls here and there did I realise what damage these leftover calories were doing.

I asked myself honestly ‘Was it worth it? for mashed up cold bits of food and of course, it wasn’t.

Previous Attempts to Lose Weight

I’ve never used the slimming clubs. My stepmother has and I picked up bits of their literature and followed some of the advice – never to any effect though!

Slimming World in particular just wouldn’t work for me as I have serious issues with portion control - being given carte blanche to eat as many potatoes as much pasta as I like would spell disaster!

Weight Watchers seemed a bit more sensible. I found the points system complicated (for a non-member without much access to their info) and exercise didn’t seem to be encouraged much or rewarded properly.

I once lost weight successfully with a diet I found in a newspaper supplement.

The diet itself wasn’t meant to be followed for more than ten days and was very restrictive.

I did it for about three months and got so bored with eating the same meals every day I just stopped in the end.

Exercise had not featured so I took no lasting benefit from it.

The Monday Diet

Other than that I’ve followed the ‘Monday diet’ for years!

This consists of basically every Monday saying ‘right I’m on a diet now’ and eating ok for that day.

Then starting to slip downhill steadily but surely through the week until you think ‘right ok blown it this week.

I’ll eat what I like over the weekend and start again on Monday’. Unsurprisingly it never worked!

The never ending cycle of starting every week with good intentions which lasted no more than a day or two was draining.

I only ever got bigger and I thought about food all the time and thought about everything I ate and had the mindset of I MUSTN’T eat this or I SHOULDN’T eat that.

I longed for the days when I didn’t care what I ate, I just had what I wanted and enjoyed food.

That was back in university when I walked for miles every day and had a nice figure because of it. I knew the missing link was exercise but just couldn’t motivate myself to do anything. I kept finding excuses.

Motivation to Lose Weight

I saw a photo of myself at a reunion and I was really shocked. I hadn’t set foot on a set of scales for ages and I had no idea I’d gotten so big.

I thought at the time I looked great when I went out but I looked awful in the picture with a really tubby belly and extra chins.

It didn’t help that I was standing next to a beautiful former classmate who’s a natural size 8 and looks fabulous for it – not bony or unhealthy.

That was a kick up the backside for me to lose weight but it didn’t really take effect for a while!

I went into ‘panic diet’ mode where I would have a slice of toast for breakfast, a small bowl of soup for lunch and piles of vegetables in the evening.

This was obviously unhealthy and not sustainable but I did lose a couple of pounds which didn’t go back on straight away.

I was hovering around 10st 7lb when I went back to normal eating but started being a little more cautious so didn’t gain any weight for a while.

Just before Christmas my weight started creeping up again with most of my evenings spent sitting on the couch after a huge supper, drinking cider and watching telly.

My father in law commented on my gain and made me get on the scales as I was adamant I was around 10½st .

I was 11 stone 3 and that was my starting point where I knew I had to sort myself out once and for all.

I went it alone at first just calorie counting with a notebook but after getting to 10st 10lb I stuck.

While trying to find an online calorie counter I found WLR and I have never looked back!

How WLR Helps You Lose Weight

The food and exercise diaries have been a revelation for me!

As soon as I started weighing my food for the diary I realised just how many calories I was eating – usually double recommended portion sizes.

I was a bit worried at first that I would be hungry all the time but I found in all honesty I was no more hungry eating the smaller portions than the larger ones.

I’d eat until I was fit to burst normally but now I was eating to be full not uncomfortable.

When I started entering the little exercise I did I realised how much more it meant I could eat – expend calories through exercise so they can be consumed!

I found it a real motivation to do some exercise most days. I stopped making excuses like not having the time.

After I put my son to bed I’d spend all night on my couch – what better time?

I already had a couple of exercise DVDs and videos I’d built up since starting my calorie counting – I just wasn’t using them regularly. I started doing one every night and before long I’d built up a rather large collection

I used to slow my running partner down – now he complains he has to keep up!

I’m the fittest I’ve ever been in my life. I have so much more energy.

I’ve been this weight once or twice before but I feel I look so much better this time as I am more toned. I miss exercising when I don’t do it and I will never go back to being a couch potato.

The horror of finding out how many calories were in cider meant me quickly switching to wine.

Instead of drinking my calories all evening I was just having a glass or two with my supper.

Soon I’d cut that down to just weekends. I feel so much better in the mornings now and my tummy is less bloated and my skin is much clearer.

How do you think WLR has helped you lose weight where other diets have failed?

I use the food and exercise diaries religiously. I usually plan a week ahead then add and tweak as I go through the week to fit with my daily calorie quota.

I use the recipe database quite a bit for ideas and inspiration. I’ll often browse the articles and I love the message boards.

Everyone here is friendly and helpful. The first time I used the boards was when I started getting some negative comments about my weight loss from work colleagues and family and I asked for some advice.

I had a lot of replies and I realised that I wasn’t alone – here were a whole group of people in the same boat working towards the same goal.

I realised we all faced similar challenges and even though we are only human and slip up sometimes there are a host of friendly hands to pull you back up and make you realise why you are here and what you have achieved and what you will achieve.

WLR is just so much good common sense.

With the database and calculators everything is right in front of you so as long as you are honest you’ll see exactly what you need to do.

Introducing exercise has changed my life and is something I will keep forever.

Kathy's Tips on How to Lose Weight

Move more – Burn Calories!

Even if you find you are tired when you get home, exercise will give you so much energy as well as burning fat and shaping your body.

Try something new every week and find something you love otherwise you won’t stick to it.

I personally hate the gym – lots of people love it but I just find it boring.

Therefore I haven’t forced myself to go to the gym as I know I’ll just rebel and do nothing!

Of all the exercise DVDs I’ve bought I have a few I love and do over and over.

I love running as well. I’ve tried various routes and now use different ones depending on how I feel.

Be totally honest with your food diary. It’s only yourself you’re cheating if you’re not.

Even if you think you can’t face what you’ve done, writing it all down will usually help you see its not nearly as bad as you thought!

Use the history function in the food diary to gain perspective. Whatever you go over by today you can often make up for tomorrow and the day after.

Get decent kitchen scales and weigh everything!

You’ll be amazed how little of some foods you get for your calories (and how much of others!).

Allow yourself spares for treats or you’ll end up feeling deprived and give up easily.

It can be hard to see your body changing as you see it every day.

People will comment so be prepared! If someone compliments you thank them but fight the urge to explain yourself in detail! If they want to know, they’ll ask.

Some people will make negative or unhelpful comments like ‘you’re looking ill’ or ‘haven’t you lost enough’.

Have the confidence in yourself and what you are doing for your health and happiness.

If your targets are healthy then don’t listen to the critics.

How Losing Weight Has Changed Lifestyle

WLR IS a lifestyle change.

It provides the tools to change your attitude to food and the way you eat.

I make informed choices about food now based on their calorie count – there is no right and wrong.

I can eat a Chinese at the weekend because I have banked the calories to do so.

I can have a slice of the cake in the office because I will have a run and burn the same number of calories off.

I know if I have the chips for dinner it means less for supper and I can then decide if I want them that much (usually not) or if I can do the exercise to make the numbers add up.

I feel happy in my own skin for the first time in a long time.

My body isn’t perfect and it never will be but I’m far more accepting now because I am in control of it now.

I love clothes shopping. I love pulling a pair of trousers out of the wardrobe and not struggling to do them up and getting painful stomach cramps because they are too tight.

Every time I go running I think WOW I never would have pictured myself doing this.

Lifestyle Changes - Diet and Food

I’ve rediscovered my love for food. I love cooking and I enjoy what I eat now.

I don’t see the point of wasting calories on something that is not nice.

I recently threw away a box of vegetable burgers because I had one and it was awful.

I would never have done that before! I hate wasting food but I’d rather see it in the bin and have a burger I like for my calories!

I avoided cheese for a while because it’s a food I would binge on. Recently I introduced it again in controlled amounts and I’m really enjoying it!

I don’t drink cider anymore – really not worth it!

I don’t have chip shop chips. I hardly ever ate them anyway but since discovering just how many calories they contain and knowing I don’t even like them very much means I just don’t bother!

I eat more chocolate now than ever which I wouldn’t have expected from a weight loss programme. Not huge amounts though as I still find it sickly.

I now have fresh fruit and vegetables in the house all the time which my son loves.

I also spend less money now as I’m not popping down the shop every night to pick up a bottle of wine or cider.


And of course - learning to like myself again.

More Information

Like Kathy you can use the tools of Weight Loss Resources to change your attitude to food and the way you eat.

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