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Brenda’s Weight Loss Success

AKA "Bren" lost weight with Weight Loss Resources*

Brenda's Details
Age 54
Height 5' 10"
Start Weight 18st
Current Weight 12st
Goal Weight 12st
Weight Lost 6st
Working to Rate of Loss 2lbs per week
Time Taken 8 months 2 weeks
View Brenda's Vital Statistics

Brenda Now: August 2010, me in my old pink capris as before! I always wanted to do an ‘after photo’ wearing huge trousers!

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About Brenda

I am married with three adult children, and had got used to serving up meals for five.  It took a while to get used to cooking less as the children (two sons and a daughter) left home.

My husband often gets in from work quite late. When I returned home from work I was starving and couldn't wait till he got back so would make myself a sandwich 'to keep me going' till supper. 

My weakness has always been cheese and butter - not sweets or chocolate.  In some ways that made it harder to cut out as I find it relatively easy not to eat puddings, biscuits or 'treats', I'd sooner have some nice brie and crackers with lots of butter.  And when I say ‘lots’ I mean lots.  My mother actually used to put butter on my chips when I was a child!

I am the Learning Resources Manager at a local high school, a fairly sedentary job and it’s in the next town so too far to walk or cycle.  I have thought about cycling, but I don’t feel particularly safe on the roads as they are quite busy.

What diets (if any) have you tried in the past?

I tried a 'high fibre' diet, the South Beach Diet briefly, a Waterfall diet and Weightwatchers for a week, where I actually managed to gain 2lbs.

Please comment on your experiences of trying these diets

I didn't have the right mental attitude at all - it was almost defeatist before I started and I saw it as a miserable thing, very negative as in, 'I HAVE to go on a boring diet where I will deny myself things I like' rather than, ‘I am going to lose weight to look and feel better, regardless of effort or how long it takes me’.  I also didn’t like the restrictions, didn’t like the idea of different foods being ‘bad’ as no food is actually bad, it’s how much of it you eat that’s wrong!

Tell us how your weight has affected you

I didn't mind being a little overweight, but the little became a lot at which point it was affecting my health and I knew it would get worse.  I have ALWAYS been overweight except for a brief moment as a young student.  Going right back to childhood, my mother overfed me and was always on diets herself, and failing. My view of food was totally messed up, ie; either a comfort or a sin!  Being overweight and unfit stopped me going for walks and joining in with family activities on holiday, such as scrambling up hills or castle towers, I just couldn't manage it and was self conscious of looking awkward or even not fitting in small spaces.  The pinch came when I attended my middle son’s graduation and the guest seats were uncomfortably tight.

What has been your main motivation to lose weight?

To start with my health mostly, looking better secondary, though as I lost weight the sheer DELIGHT of buying new clothes and the steadily growing pile of diet casualties (as I called the fat-clothing discards) was hugely motivating!  As I have got older my knees have protested at carrying that extra weight and I knew that to keep holding onto it was madness.  After all, if I had to haul bags of shopping weighing 80 plus pounds up the hill, I wouldn't be able to do it, so carrying it all as extra pounds was not a good idea.  As I said my mother was very overweight and she died of a heart attack in her seventies and I was scared of repeating the same mistakes.

Which tools and resources on WLR do you find most valuable?

Calorie food diary, recipes, measuring the goals, exercise - I have used those religiously every day/week as appropriate.  I am online a lot of the time and so being able to add foods as I go along has been really easy to keep up.

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

It's allowed me TOTAL control of how, what and when I eat. It's enabled me to see daily how my calories break down and how a tiny bit of exercise has meant I can eat more of something.  It has meant I can fit my diet around my lifestyle, family meals, likes and dislikes, rather than having to follow a particular restrictive regime.

Try WLR's tools for yourself

Calorie counting for weight loss is easy with the tools in WLR. You can use the information on Weight Loss Resources to count how many calories you need to consume each day and how many you are actually eating. Try it free for 24 hours.

Have you struggled at points in your weight loss journey? Experienced a weight loss plateau? What has kept you motivated?

I actually haven't struggled much at all.  The time I was dreading was Christmas, but a work colleague said to me 'of course, you WILL gain over the holiday, it's to be expected' - it was like a challenge as I thought 'no I flipping well won't!' and didn't!  At Easter when all the choccie eggs were around, my husband and daughter got me different things instead; a nice china plate with a hen on it, a little stuffed bunny and a bouquet of lillies.  If I seemed to be levelling out with weight loss I added or increased the exercise just a little, or drank more water.  It never needed very much adjustment. I was surprised at how a little went a long way.

Since losing weight can you give examples of how your life has changed?

I can go to the shops and get 'normal' clothes for the first time ever!  And I have found bargains in the sales instead of there never being anything in my size.  I have more confidence in how I look which has made me more active and encouraged me to keep fit.  The exercises I did have made me much fitter - the sense of achievement in beating the family to the top of the local hills whereas in the past I've been the one trailing behind was enormously gratifying.

Exercise routines adopted

I must be one of the few people who bought a cheap exercise CD Rom and stuck to it!  I tried to do 15 minutes a day of general exercise, covering different areas of the body in turn, like core muscles, upper body, cardio etc.  I really am VERY lazy and the thought of going to a gym and all the hassle of changing and showering and so on really did not appeal.  Usually before I go to work I set out the fitness ball, some weights and a step so that when I get home I have to trip over them to avoid them!  Then it’s just a matter of changing from work clothes which I'd do anyway, doing 15 minutes of exercise and then I have the evening free.  Sometimes if I have time, or if I know I'm going to be going out for a meal or something like that I'll do half an hour's exercise, just to put in a bit more effort and give myself a few more calories 'in credit'. 

I spend a LOT of time online chatting to friends and so on, and so I trade off my laziness by doing some exercise!

What do you love about your body now?

I have core muscles and I have collar bones!  My arms look better too and I can wear sleeveless tops without looking fat.  And I'm surprised at how small my bum is and that I don't look bad in jeans!

Brenda's tips and hints for weight loss:

Portion Control

When I look back at the sizes of portions I ate in the past, I really couldn't manage that now.  I noticed it when I added in something I'd noted in the past as being 300g.  As I weighed it out I realised that I'd got used to eating probably half that and not noticing the lack at all.  I would say that without a doubt, checking the portion sizes has been a revelation to me. 

Exercise

Only 15 minutes a day has made SUCH a difference to me.  It's now got to the point that I actually miss it if I've not been able to fit it in, which coming from me is quite remarkable as I must be one of the laziest people around!  I've had more stamina, more energy and have felt healthier.  I used to have a bad back, but now even though I've had a few twinges from time to time, they haven't lasted. 

Brenda's Vital Statistics

  Before Now
Weight 18st 12st
BMI 36.2 24.1
Body Fat 45% 24%
Chest 45.7" 37"
Waist 45.7" 31.5"
Hips 54" 40"

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* Note: The success stories published on Weight Loss Resources are written by WLR members, past and present, telling their own stories in their own words. As you will see if you read more than one or two of them, everyone's story is different and they have reached their success from a variety of starting points and lost weight at varying rates. Individual results may vary.

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With the help of WLR you too can achieve weight loss success! Use your online Food Diary to log your intake and see how many calories you need to lose weight. Try it free for 24 hours!

Take our FREE trial »

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