Success Story: Amanda
|Start Weight||11st 10lbs|
|Current Weight||9st 8lbs|
|Goal Weight||9st 5lbs|
|Weight Lost||2st 2lbs|
|Working to Rate of Loss||½lb per week|
|Time Taken||9 months|
Weight Loss History
In my teens and early 20s I tried meal replacement biscuits (Limits), shakes (Cambridge Diet), and a few starvation diets followed from ‘Vogue Complete Beauty’ and generally missed as many meals as I could manage.
In my late 20s I tried low fat almost fat free dieting but didn’t follow any specific plan.
I followed this with a month or so of Rosemary Conley and joined my first club.
Then I tried to stick with what I would term healthy eating coupled with copious amounts of exercise thereafter and followed any diet advocated in the numerous fitness and diet magazines that I would buy.
I found WLR in 2004 and dieted successfully using calorie counting coupled with support and then got pregnant.
Have you lost weight before and regained the weight?
I’ve lost weight and regained weight since my teens and have hovered between 7st 7 and 11st.
I initially started dieting around the age of 15.
At the age of 17 I was accepted on a Beauty Therapy course and moved away from home.
I was surrounded by girls with issues about food and most were either anorexic or bulimic and we were all open about it and were always on diets.
It was during this time that I started dabbling with laxatives and for me it was also the beginning of binge eating where I would binge on food and alcohol daily then spend the remaining few days living off laxatives and skipping meals.
Luckily after speaking with a sympathetic doctor I managed to get treatment for Binge Eating Disorder in 2002.
My weight stabilised in the high 10s as I ate and exercised in moderation and enjoyed life more.
How being overweight has affected you…
At my worst I suffered horrendous mood swings and low self-esteem.
After the birth of Luke, I lived in baggy combat trousers, cardigans and I even resorted to wearing my partners oversized t-shirts around the house for comfort – what a stunner!
"I also refused to throw out my maternity clothes and when shopping I would continue to pick up tops that I would have worn when pregnant."
It was as though I’d forgotten what suited me.
We went on holiday to Barbados when I was at my heaviest and I spent most of my time feeling self conscious on the beach in my black swimming costume using Luke as an excuse for not joining in and taking a dip in the sea.
"Basically I was always covering up."
I would always avoid the camera and would be over critical if I ever saw a photo of myself.
I hated swimming, communal changing rooms and anything that would involve me bearing a bit of flesh.
"I was so self conscious and highly sensitive if people commented about the way I looked. I also started to avoid going out using ‘nothing to wear’ as an excuse"
In terms of people’s reactions I guess my mum was most critical about my weight although this could have been me being sensitive to innocent comments.
My friends would tell me that I’ve just had a baby and that the weight would go in time and my partner was supportive all the way through and I still got hugs, affection and flattering comments whatever my size.
Sadly I never believed him.
Motivation to Lose Weight
After Luke’s birth I was motivated to lose weight because I was determined to get back into my previous clothes.
"I had successfully lost a few pounds with WLR prior to getting pregnant so knew I could do it."
I also wanted to fight my illness as I suffered from a rare form of postnatal illness (puerpal psychosis) and was on medication for some time.
I did find the first few months very hard as the medication that I was on slowed my metabolism, increased my appetite, made me sluggish and the tiredness and feeling that everything was out of my control meant I comfort ate on stodge.
So at most I would lose ½ a pound here or there so it was difficult to keep up the momentum.
As it was so hard to tackle my increased appetite I concentrated on eating well and exercising regularly keeping my calorie quota at the 2000 mark just so that I could satisfy my hunger.
Not surprisingly the weight loss was slow but the healthy eating and regular exercise meant that I looked better almost immediately even though I hadn’t lost loads of weight and as the compliments came in I became more and more confident and this motivated me to continue.
Plus every 2 months my medication would get reduced and things would get easier as I’d be less sluggish and hungry.
"Gradually I started to throw out my baggy clothes and replace these with ones that looked better and would fit."
And a few items of slimmer clothes would come out of hiding. This also gave me more confidence and drab colours got replaced by brighter ones.
As my weight loss has been so slow I would use the boards as motivation and check my goals/results to see how far I’ve come.
This became obsessive to a point but I was on maternity leave and had 2 doting grandparents so had plenty of time on my hands.
My partner proposed in November 2006 and my new motivation is our September wedding and honeymoon in Antigua. It would be nice to lose a few pounds for this and tone up ready for bearing all in my bikini.
I also hit 40 this year and I’d like to put all the food and weight issues behind me and enjoy the future healthy and content and over the last few years I’ve gradually felt that I’ve been getting there.
Discovering Weight Loss Resources
I discovered WLR back in 2005.
I’d been calorie counting on my own for a while relatively successfully and had managed to keep my weight steady or at least near steady.
But the constant trawling through calorie counting books, calculating figures and manual logging was getting to me and I was keen to find a tool that would take out all the hard work and make things more enjoyable.
WLR was mentioned in one of my fitness magazines and I tapped in the URL and joined on the free trial.
How Weight Loss Resources Helps
I’d been calorie counting, journaling and weighing out food for a while and the online resource has just made things a darn sight easier.
"As a lapsed binge eater I find this site brilliant as it advocates all that I learnt whilst in therapy – journal writing, moderation, monitoring and support."
I still have moments when I overeat but instead of getting low and eating more as comfort I log everything after I’ve gone for it so that I’m able to see the damage and if I’ve really gone overboard I stop in my tracks and carry on as normal.
Confessing on the boards always helps as the advice is always to ‘move on’.
I’m fascinated by nutrition and healthy living in general and if I read something in the media I always have a search on the boards to see whether the topic has been discussed before and see what’s been said and if not I post a message and see what responses I get. It can be quite enlightening.
From the boards I’ve found tips on:
- drinking water
- what heart rate monitor to buy
- what i-train is
- how to improve my running style
- how to roast soy beans
- what jeans are in fashion at the moment and which ones are most flattering
- how to find your dream home
- how to lighten up carbonara sauce
..and more importantly how to keep going when you feel like you want to give up.
The Best of Weight Loss Resources
When I first joined I stuck religiously to the food diary but now I tend to diarise in full in the week and part diarise over the weekend or when I eat out. If I’m on holiday I relax and pick up the pieces when I get back.
As I’ve been a member for a while now I have explored pretty much all of the site including all of the boards.
I now view and post on advice and support, bride and grooms, weigh ins, off topic and food ideas.
The boards search facility is also brilliant and I’ve used it many times particularly as a way of saving time and stopping me from trawling through all the messages.
I use the personal message (PM) service quite a lot as sometimes I come across messages that have been posted a while back that probably don’t get revisited so I PM a quick response which always goes down well.
I’ve even tried the chat section for a bit of light banter.
"I love reading success stories and am motivated by reading peoples profiles."
It’s great when people go into detail describing their weight loss journey and including before and after shots.
When I first joined I kept my profile short and sweet and excluded pictures but I get so much enjoyment reading others that I now try to keep mine up to date and as full as possible.
Amanda's Tips for Losing Weight
Move daily and log every bit of extra exercise into the diary including walking, housework, shopping and dancing round the living room as you’ll be surprised at how many calories you tot up.
The exercise database is chocker full of activities that you may not have even heard of.
Eat and drink what you like in moderation.
"If you fancy it, eat it just log, measure and weigh it."
A set of decent food scales is a must. If you go overboard for the day move on, get back on track and then check the history section as you may be surprised at how little damage you’ve actually done.
"Choose wisely when you can and think of this as a lifestyle change."
My partner loves pizzas but we’ve moved from deep pan pepperoni to Italian thin crust and have this with a large green salad and a couple of slices of quality garlic bread rather than coleslaw and wedges.
And if I fancy a curry now I choose a vegetable/lentil/tomato based one with accompanying ½ naan bread rather than creamy curry, naan and pilau rice.
For emotional eaters journaling helps. You can journal emotions alongside the food diary and or post messages on the board.
There are boards for eating disorders, habit breakers and comfort eaters as well as advice and support.
"Reading back through what you’ve written is a great healer. As you become more aware of your emotions think of alternatives to food".
Try to space out your meals and eat regularly never going longer than 5 hours without food. You can diarise under breakfast, lunch, dinner, supper, tea, junk, drinks, you name it.
It helps break your meals into chunks and it makes it easier to see where you are going wrong as your nutrition profile and summary will provide this information in picture format.
Try out new recipes and try to introduce a food that you wouldn’t normally eat into your diet weekly or monthly so that you get a wide range of nutrients.
The food ideas board is worth visiting if you are keen to try out new things and the recipe database has a selection of calorie counted recipes submitted by board members if you are stuck for ideas.
Go for quality produce and vegetables and fruits that are in season and check labels for dodgy unnecessary ingredients added as fillers and tasters and keep an eye on saturated/trans fats, salt and sugar.
Think about portion sizes. All because a serving size might say 50 grams on the packet it doesn’t mean that you have to eat it all. Play around with the servings in the food database and you’ll be amazed at how many calories you might save.
Monitor your weight and or measurements as they are great motivators and log these in goals and support.
"this is not a race."
It’s very tempting to set your calorie quota as low as possible so that you lose weight quickly. But some people aren’t programmed to function on drastic reductions.
Don’t feel that you are a failure if you fall into this category simply change your goal to 1 or ½ pound losses, it’ll make things a lot easier and will probably mean that you’ll lose weight more consistently rather than yo yoing up and down.
Lots of people like Amanda have achieved their weight loss success using the tools, information and support that WLR has to offer. But don't take our word for it – take a free trial and see for yourself.
* 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.