Hannah's Weight Loss Success!
|Start||15 stone 6 lb||24|
|Current||10 stone 12lb||10|
|Hannah's Lost||4 stone 8.6 lb||7 dress sizes|
|Time Taken||21 months|
A bit about me and my lifestyle...
I’m a busy stay at home mum of two I’ve always felt that I was overweight for as far back as I can remember.
Looking back at photos I would say that it was going to Secondary school that was the real point of increase in my weight. My school had a tuck shop and in the morning break most days I would use my lunch money to buy crisps & chocolate (4 Mars bars and a bag of Wheat Crunchies or Scampi nik naks) instead of a proper meal at lunch break.
"I’ve always had a sweet tooth, chocolate, sweets desserts etc just weren’t safe around me."
I would eat when happy, sad and every mood in between. I'm not sure why opening the kitchen cupboards was always my first response to feeling low but I still do that even today….
Once I was working and earning my own money, I’d continue in the same way. On the way home I would pop to the shop for a bar of chocolate and buy 5 or I’d call in at a drive through for a burger.
I would eat on the way home from work and get rid of the evidence before I arrived home. I Would then eat with the rest of my family as normal.
How I've tried to lose weight in the past...
I’ve tried lots of different plans in the past with little success, including shakes and soups.
Back in about 2003/4 I did try WLR but didn’t exercise. I found sticking to my calorie allowance very difficult and resorted to just eating microwave ready meals.
I didn’t feel like I had time, or confidence, at that point to be cooking meals from scratch so didn’t think it was sustainable and didn’t persevere.
I tried the Rosemary Conley diet & exercise classes in 2007 which did meet with success. I lost quite a bit of weight but then was knocked off track - my husband Paul, was made redundant and with two very young demanding children - I felt very low and my binge eating was out of control.
I made an appointment with our GP and asked what help was available. I was prescribed antidepressants and recommended a book called Overcoming OverEating. Whilst also continuing to attend some Rosemary Conley classes, I followed their advice.
Unfortunately the medication didn’t help - I felt like a zombie with no energy finding everything difficult. I stopped taking care of myself, stopped going to the classes, withdrew from my friends and used what little energy/motivation I did have to look after my family.
The GP just kept telling me to persevere with the meds, which I did for about 6 months until my husband was back at work... but by this time all the weight, and more, had gone back on.
After this I tried to stop focusing on the food part and get back into exercising. I started doing Couch to 5k but found that I was using it as an excuse to eat more.
"At meal times my portions were man sized, I would eat the same as my husband [who is 6ft 4” and slim] which was not sustainable."
I realised that action was needed, so in March 2014 I decided to join a local gym. As it was conveniently just a little distance from my kid’s school I thought I would commit to going to the gym 5 mornings a week. When I joined I weighed in at 15 1/2st and swore that was the last time I’d see such a high number on the scales.
For the next few years I did go to the gym 4 or 5 times a week most weeks and although I became fitter my weight wasn’t really moving.
- March 2015 I was 16st
- March 2016. 15st 4lb
- March 2017 15st 11lb
- March 2018 14st 13lb
- March 2019 15st 8lb
On New Year's day 2020 I weighed 15st 9lb and decided that enough was enough.
"This was the year I was going to change (I’d said the same thing every year!)."
I did lose a little bit of weight in that first month carrying on as usual when I remembered WLR. I decided to sign up for the free trial as I remembered the goal tools were helpful to tell me what range I should be heading for and how long it could take.
I hadn’t intended to sign up for a paid membership, just use the free trial to give me a kickstart.
Once I had logged on and filled in my diary I realised that you could now earn the exercise calories automatically from the Fitbit link - OH MY…. what a game changer for me!
I decided to talk to my Paul about signing up and he saw the way I was feeling about the improved WLR site and add-ons and suggested to me that I should sign up for the year not just a month as I had intended. He’s always been really supportive and so we did!
How my weight affected me...
I hated going out when so overweight. Any time Paul had a works do, I’d be anxious and would find myself coming up with reasons not to go as I felt that I didn’t want to embarrass him.
"My weight caused me anxiety and I hated going anywhere new and meeting new people."
My motivation to lose weight...
I wanted to be fit and healthy to be around for my family.
I’m not at goal yet but I’m well on my way. I do feel that wlr will continue to help me get there.
In March last year, when the first covid lockdown came into force, I was looking at the info for who was the most vulnerable and remember seeing those with BMI of over 40 were included. That really hit me as when I’d joined WLR a couple of months earlier with my BMI at 39.5.
Since joining it had already got it down 33 in a few short months, that realisation really spurred me on.
How wlr helped me reach my goal...
I use the food diary, in the past I would have eaten “diet” food. Now, we have smaller portions of food that we really enjoy and I record it all.
Before Wlr we would often have a whole pizza each on a Friday night as our “treat” for the start of the weekend, now knowing just how many calories that is (1000+) and just how many hours of walking we’d need to do to earn that has been such an important part of this weight loss journey.
Knowledge is power. Our usual Friday night “treat” these days is a homemade turkey chilli and oven chips (less then 600 calories) and I enjoy that far more!
I loved the Walking Challenge and the Move More to Lose More challenges
The wlr tools that helped me the most...
The link between fitbit and the food diary has been a game changer for me. Also, the Lose a Stone challenge thread - the support and friendship on there has been amazing
How I stayed motivated to keep losing weight...
There have been lots of little plateaus (and some not so little) but I know I’m doing what I should be doing.
I now know that I just have to keep on going and the scales will catch up with the effort eventually!
My husband and parents can’t believe how I have managed to continue with this weight loss journey (albeit very slowly)...
For me though, a routine has helped, I continue to log my food and do my exercise as I have usually done and this helps me to cope/manage my own emotions and mental health.
"I think if it wasn’t for being on WLR I’d have been back up to 17plus st and taking antidepressants."
How my life has changed since losing weight...
Because of the lockdowns I resisted buying any new clothes other than some leggings online after I’d dropped around 3st.
I kept telling myself that I’d go looking for clothes when changing rooms reopened after the restrictions were lifted as I had changed shape so much I didn’t have any idea of what size to be even looking at!
This summer was so very hot and my wardrobe options were limited. I had nothing to wear that wasn’t black leggings and really baggy tshirts so I bit the bullet and went to the local Matalan.
I wandered around with my mask on and eventually bought a few tops size 14 and 12 and some linen trousers size 14 and took them home to try on.
"To my amazement I had to take most of them back to get smaller sizes!!"
The trousers I changed for a 12 and had to take them back again to get them in a 10!!! I still can’t get my head around that!
A few weeks ago a Matalan sales brochure came through the door which advertised a dress I liked the look of. It was something I’d not have even looked at before but I popped to the shop to have a look.
They only had a size 12 and a size 10 left and as the changing rooms had reopened I took them to try on and again the size 10 fit. I must admit to letting out a little squeal of joy which prompted a staff member to ask if I was ok!!
My new little goal clothes wise will be to buy some nicely fitting jeans and get out of elasticated waists.
How exercise has helped my weight loss...
I exercise every day and LOVE it! During the week I do all sorts… Boxing using the kids games console, old RC dvds and Joe Wicks is a favorite.
We bought a treadmill in lockdown, which I love, and do a 30-40 min run/walk several times a week.
I no longer meet up with friends for a 3 hr coffee and catch up, we are much more liketly to meet up for a long walk instead.
On a weekend I’m up much earlier than the rest of my household and since our meeting up restrictions changed I now meet up with my dad for a 10 [ish] mile walk both days.
It’s so nice to get 900+ exercise calories in the bank by 10:30 am!
My personal weight loss benefits...
I can physically do so much more which has really brought enjoyment to life.
"I have far more confidence in myself."
I still have a way to go to achieve my goal [BMI 25, currently 27.4] but I know I’m heading in the right direction.
My 'Top Tips' for losing weight
Top Tip #1
Give your own health and well being priority. It is so easy to forget but do what you need to do.
Top Tip #2
Remember to log all your food no matter what it may be, and exercise little and often.
Top Tip #3
Keep an eye out for Non scales victories too, my happiest ones include being able to put my engagement ring on & fitting into a jumper of my sons which was age 13-14.
My advice for getting the most out of wlr...
- When you first start on WLR it takes a bit of time to prepare recipes and record your diet but do stick with it because once you’ve got them in place it makes it so much easier to concentrate on the job in hand.
- Don’t be disheartened if the scales aren’t going the way you want. There are many reasons - it's often just food in transit; a salty meal; or possibly time of the month. Try weighing/logging weight daily - and remember it is just information. Weighing daily has removed the once a week all or nothing number which would affect my mood and behaviour.
- Also just because you've planned on something to eat... if you start it and its not hitting the spot.... STOP! I recently bought my son a very expensive birthday cake, I'd earnt the calories from exercise so no problem there but I'd eaten about half the piece I'd weighed out and decided it just wasn't nice enough to continue... and I left it! :)
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