Lynne Dropped 5 Dress Sizes!
|Start||15 stone 1.6 lb||22|
|Current||10 stone 5lb||12|
|Lynne's Lost||4 stone 10.6 lb||5 dress sizes|
|Time Taken||1 yr 4 months|
A bit about me and my lifestyle...
I’m happily married to a man who is active and trim...
"I on the other hand, am an inherent couch potato."
I have been office based most of my life, jack of all trades, master of none. A couple of years ago I semi-retired and now work from home, alongside my husband for his small software business answering support calls. It gives me the freedom and flexibility to fit other hobbies and activities into my life.
Being home-based has meant I’ve had more time to plan and cook meals, but it also means I have easy access to the fridge, which can be hard to resist when I get a bout of the ‘munchies’.
As there are only the two of us, it’s been pretty simple to follow a food plan. My husband eats what I eat, but he may have a larger portion, or I add pasta/rice to his plate, whereas I’d have cauli-rice or more vegetables to fill me up.
We’re not social animals so being asked out for a ‘celebratory event’ rarely happens, which avoids the pitfalls of feeling pressured to eat something not on my food plan.
However, we do enjoy the odd pub lunch, or café stop when out cycling and I then make a conscious decision to eat on or off plan.
How I've tried to lose weight in the past...
The question should be,” what diets haven’t I tried?’ Since my early twenties, I’ve probably jumped on the bandwagon of most diets that have come and gone (and some that are still with us) – with little or no success.
"The mere mention of the word ‘diet’ would conjure up images of soggy lettuce leaves and food restrictions, which then led to food cravings so intense I would have crawled over hot coals for a bar (actually just a square) of chocolate."
I would lose weight in the first couple of weeks, but it never lasted, inevitably giving into temptation and piling the weight back on – and more besides.
How my weight affected me...
It’s been torturous at times. Several years ago, I remember breaking down in my GP’s office, exhausted by the mental stress of it all and asking if there was some where she could send me for counselling as I felt controlled by food.
Even though there is an obesity epidemic, she had little she could offer me. The only clinics dealing with weight issues were for those suffering with anorexia and bulimia.
However, my BMI was just high enough that she did manage to get me a place on the SWMS Education Sessions (Specialised Weight Management Services), which was primarily available to people wanting bariatric surgery; this is the education process they need to go through to be able to receive this surgery.
I’m afraid the sessions weren’t that beneficial to me as they didn’t reveal anything that I didn’t already know through my own experience and research but being surrounded by people who believed that bariatric surgery was their only option, made me realise that’s not the route I wanted to take.
I decided WLR was the way forward for me.
My motivation to lose weight...
My husband and I were holidaying in Austria and we’d been out hiking up a mountain and planned to walk down, something we’d done numerous times.
However, on this occasion I really struggled, I had pain in both my knees and hobbled down very gingerly (it took us hours). The following day they were swollen, and I could barely walk – the holiday was as good as over!
On our return I sought medical advice and the upshot is I no longer have cartilage in either knee. The consultant advised that it would help the pain and swelling if I lost weight.
How wlr helped me reach my goal...
I believe WLR has been successful for me as it’s allowed me to take responsibility for my own decisions; I create my own food plans based on the foods I enjoy and are healthy for me.
"I don’t consider WLR to be a ‘diet’ – if it was, I’d probably have given up already."
WLR has also allowed me to track my macros, which is important to me as I try to follow a low-carb, Mediterranean, wholefood plan.
The wlr tools that helped me the most...
The ‘Nutrition Report’ has also been very useful as it allows me to set my own custom profile – useful when you’re tracking macros.
I frequently use the ‘My Recipes’ page as I cook a lot from scratch and like to have a selection of recipes I can add to my food diary quickly and easily and follow the instructions without trying to remember which book it came from and what page.
My Food Diary is without question invaluable to me. I can see at a glance what I’m eating for the day, how many calories I have left (or need to cut back on) and my macros are clearly presented so I know whether I’ve reached my targets for the day.
How I stayed motivated to keep losing weight...
I have definitely struggled at times, it’s not been easy, and I won’t sugar coat it, (that’s probably what got me into this situation in the first place), there are times when I still struggle.
I do have days when the cravings are crazy - thank goodness we don’t have a donkey, it’s hind legs would be missing!!
I’ve plateaued on numerous occasions, thrown my toys out of the pram, stomped around the house telling my husband how unfair it is as I’ve tried so hard and suffered horribly (nobody’s suffered like I have!)
When I look back, I can laugh at myself now for being such a stroppy, petulant child.
I didn’t put the weight on in a couple of weeks, what on earth made me think I could lose it in a couple of weeks!
The reality was (is) that I am ‘of a certain age’ and if I didn’t do it now, I probably never would. Life is short and potentially even shorter if I hadn’t changed my habits.
How exercise has helped my weight loss...
I haven’t let lockdown stop me from exercising. I have an indoor cycling trainer and use that attached to a software programme that allows me to cycle (virtually) with people from all over the world. It’s very engaging and keeps me motivated to continue, so I try to do this at least 4-5 times a week.
My husband bought me an e-bike recently, so (weather permitting) we cycle together on local bridleways.
My husband is a true supporter of my exercise regime (as I said earlier, I am inherently a couch potato), so when I lack motivation, he’ll be there to encourage me.
My personal weight loss benefits...
The obvious of course is how I look physically; I have a waist! I love that I can buy size 12 jeans and look curvy in them – the good kind of curvy.
I feel so much lighter on my feet and now have a spring in my step. Lifting my leg up to climb over a stile when out walking is so much easier than it used to be.
"I find it easier to walk and cycle further without having to stop every 5 minutes for a breather."
I haven’t suffered pain or swelling in my knees and don’t take any medication for them.
I no longer have a fatty liver and my blood results are all good.
I'm healthier and more active, and I feel positive about my future.
My top tips for losing weight...
- Be mindful. When you eat enjoy and savour your food, don’t just shovel it in mindlessly.
- Plan ahead. Planning your food for the day or week helps keep you on track, you’re less likely to go ‘off-piste’ if you know what you’re going to eat throughout the day. Use the WLR resources and track your calories and/or macros.
- Get creative. I know it’s not easy to cook from scratch and sometimes you can’t be bothered but think outside the box and add some creativity to your food – it’s amazing what a few strawberries, blueberries and nuts can do to make a boring salad into one you look forward to eating – and so much tastier.
- Realise weight isn’t linear. As much as we wish it were, weight doesn’t go down consistently every day. There will be days/weeks when the scale doesn’t budge or even goes up, this is life! It’s not just a case of calories in, calories out. There are so many other factors that play a part - hormones, water weight, undigested food, medication.
- Have patience. You didn’t put the weight on overnight, I’m afraid you won’t lose it overnight.
- Don’t let the scales dictate your progress. Use a piece of string to measure your waist/hips etc (a bit like using the notches on a belt) and compare the difference every month. Dig out that dress you’ve had hidden away in the back of your cupboard, that was too small for you and try it on.
- Stop comparing your weight loss journey to others. We are all individuals, and our bodies all respond differently. Comparison is the thief of joy.
- Look for healthy alternatives. I’ve not given up chocolate, I just make my own recipe using cacao butter, 90% dark chocolate and natural sweetener, throw in some nuts and hey presto. A few tweaks to most recipes and you can make them much healthier.
- Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that one ‘mistake’ will ruin all your hard effort so therefore you might as well quit. At your next meal (not the next day or week), just pick up where you left off. I choose to have the occasional ‘off plan’ food, (most recently, a large chocolate muffin and latte) at our mid ride café stop. This didn’t throw me off track, it was a conscious decision, so I enjoyed it and carried on with my plan straight afterwards.
The Weight Loss Resources tools can help you break the yo-yo diet cycle. Keeping an online food diary and learning about eating healthily really puts you in control. You can try it free for 24 hours