Inese's Weight Loss Success Story
|Start Weight||82kg (12st 12lbs)|
|Current Weight||65kg (10st 3lbs)|
|Goal Weight||65kg (10st 3lbs)|
|Weight Lost||17kg (2st 9lbs)|
|Working to Rate of Loss||750g (1½lb) per week|
|Time Taken||5½ months|
I grew up in Latvia (where I am from originally) and was a pretty healthy, happy and skinny child.
My diet wasn't particularly good but most of the food I ate was fresh and organic from my Grandma's farm.
"I always had a terrible sweet tooth but there was never enough money to indulge too much, so it wasn't a problem."
I went to study in the US when I was 16 and gained 8kg in a couple of months, and I think that's where it started.
I didn't see it as a problem back then but as I got older I always felt a bit chubby.
Combined with a bit of emotional eating and a lot of self-indulgence, it could really go just one way.
So, as I piled on pounds, I kept convincing myself that there was nothing I could do about it, that I just couldn't do diets – full stop.
"Why? Probably just because I just didn't want to limit myself. I just believed I didn't have enough will power."
I told myself that looks did not matter that much; I was in denial about how fat I really was. In the mean time my self-confidence suffered quite a lot.
More than four years ago I moved to Belgium for work. Big increase in salary meant I could indulge in the best treats and sweets available and, oh dear, I did.
"I didn't have to choose to have a chocolate or an ice cream. I got them both and ate them in an hour or so."
A couple of months after my move, my fabulous boyfriend – an amazing chef – moved in with me and seduced me with food every single day.
Beautiful and sweet but it did mean that I ended up being more overweight, and finally realised that I had to do something about it.
I have never been particularly sporty or active. In my teens and early twenties I was not a fan of any kind of sport and I terribly hated any kind of running/jogging.
"Up untill a year and a half ago my most active exercise was shopping and/or cooking. Unless I was on holiday that is."
I love hiking, hill walking and trekking when I have an opportunity but unfortunately there are not many hills in Brussels.
So basically my "before" lifestyle was quite sedentary, very self-indulgent and careless when it came to health and nutrition.
Obviously "after" lifestyle is completely different. Good nutrition and exercise are a core to my everyday life, and I try to find more and better ways to balance it with all the other parts of my life.
It may be unbelievable but it turns out that from the slimming perspective having a chef as a boyfriend has more advantages than disadvantages!
"On the one hand, when he had a day job, he cooked beautiful food just about every night and we went out quite a lot. Great fun, not so great for the figure, so the result of BMI 26 was not a surprise."
On the other hand, my OH has taught me to appreciate good food and enjoy food much more.
He inspired me to look into the great diversity of food and it has made me believe that food that's good for my body can also be the tastiest food around.
These days he works 6 nights a week, I am the one doing all the cooking.
I am lucky in this respect – I have enough time for proper cooking and my OH is not at all fussy and is very open to trying new and healthier things.
"Dinner is the biggest meal of the day for us and although we eat very late (around midnight), it has never stopped me from losing weight."
I am a translator; it means an office job of "being glued-to-computer-and-chair" from 9 to 5. It is very sedentary but not completely hopeless.
We have quite a good canteen and I often bring my own lunch from home and enjoy it in the canteen with my colleagues.
"Another plus – I am alone in my office on the 11th floor. So if I want, I can do a little exercise, like stretching or squats in my office or climb stairs a couple of times a day."
What diets have you tried in the past?
I have tried very few but, because usually they did not last more than a day or two, I don't even consider any of them as real attempt.
I tried to join Weight Watchers once but found the whole meeting and weighing thing ridiculous. So I didn't even go back to the second meeting.
I also tried a few "cabbage-soup-only", "buckwheat-only" types of fad diets but they never lasted more than a day.
I would start out in the morning, convinced that I am able to go on for a week or more, and eat a big chocolate or two by the end of the day.
"I have concluded that external rules and limitations don't work for me. The more I limit myself, the bigger is the binge after that. Pointless."
The rules have to come from within me and I have to believe in them to follow them.
Tell us how your weight has affected you
I think my previous lifestyle almost led me to real depression. I wasn't quite there but very close to it.
"I believe very high levels of sugar consumption probably were key to my depressive moods. I also had crazy mood swings from time to time."
In addition, I did feel self conscious about my looks, so occasionally it did interfere with my social decisions and willingness to be active.
I preferred not to be in the spotlight and often believed I was not good enough for my OH etc.
What has been your main motivation to lose weight?
I am not sure about the main one, it was a mix of:
- better looks and higher self confidence,
- more active lifestyle,
- better health (I had crazy level of triglycerides, no energy, I also have a risk of getting PCOS when I stop taking birth control pills),
- finally - I did not want to feel like a blob any longer.
I was also on a verge of not being able to shop in any "normal" shops. Over here size 16 or even 14 is often a limit.
"I just could not stand the idea of going into + sizes."
I must say it took me a couple of years (including a few months on Weight Loss Resources) before I really started doing something, not just fooling around.
But once it "clicked", the journey was quite smooth. Smoother than I would have ever expected.
Which tools and resources on WLR do you find most valuable?
I use the diary quite religiously. Even now, after a year of maintenance I don't log only when I am away from home (which happens quite often).
"It is an amazing tool! I don't live in the UK but it's not a problem."
Sure, a lot of the products are different but if you eat fresh and cook everything from scratch, the location of the database doesn't really matter – a carrot is a carrot in the UK as well as in Belgium.
Goals and results page is great, it was especially motivating to see the graph go down steadily. It helped me a few times when I was at a low point in my weight loss journey.
"I have never seen a forum where everyone is so nice to each other, so helpful on any matter. It feels like a real community rather than just a message board."
I don't post very often but I read it all the time and I have found countless sources of inspiration there.
First of all, great people, but also information sources, ideas, etc.
I am very individualistic, so encouragement from outside is not the main thing for my motivation but I can see how much it helps people who ask for help on the forum.
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Have you purchased or used any products/fitness equipment that have helped to reach your goals?
Single most valuable piece of equipment I bought is a heart rate meter. It is a great gadget to measure exercise calorie expense.
Following a recommendation on the forum I also bought a few books on weight lifting, a set of free weights (a little barbell plus adjustable dumbbells), a step, a Swiss ball, few resistance bands and a foam roller.
It constituted my gym all throughout my weight loss. In fact, I joined a gym only after I reached my target weight and when home weights were already too little for me to progress.
Why do you think WLR has helped you lose weight where other diets have failed?
I have never really been on a diet before, so I think I found Weight Loss Resources in the right time and it happened to be the right tool.
"When it comes to eating and lifestyle I can't stand any limits that are enforced on me from outside."
I just have to find my own way and do it. WLR provides enough tools for that but not too many limitations.
Have you struggled at points in your weight loss journey? Experienced a weight loss plateau? What has kept you motivated?
I must say that it was easier than I thought it would be.
The maintenance is more difficult but there always is the main motivation – being healthy and feeling lean.
I read in some tabloid that research has proven that being slim makes a woman happier than any man could.
I think it is true (even if the research isn't real). At least it is true for me at this point in time.
Being slim and being with a great man is even better, of course :)
Since losing weight can you give examples of how your life has changed?
Main thing – I am energetic all the time. It affects everything – both work and play.
I feel much more self confident and positive, I have no mood swings (unless I go on a holiday and binge on sugar – I turn into a fury or go into sugar lethargy) and no signs of depression.
In terms of vanity – I love to be able to shop anywhere for my current size 10-12 and not cringe when seeing myself in the fitting room mirror.
"I am not scared of a camera even on the beach."
I know I can never go back to the way I ate before and I would never want to. I had no idea it was possible to feel so good just because of the nutrition I put into my body.
I mostly eat what can be called "clean food" – always fresh, preferably organic ingredients as close to their natural state as possible, meals cooked from scratch, healthier treats.
I still haven't gotten rid of my addiction to sweets but these days most of the sugar comes from home made chocolates and sweets and fresh and dried fruit.
Sometimes I do indulge crazily, like having a 9 course meal in a restaurant or a huge pizza followed by a Haagen Dazs, but I know I can only do it once in a while.
It matters what I do and eat 90% of the time, not the remaining 10%.
The most staggering difference was the triglyceride level - turns out it is a very important measurement along with cholesterol.
Belgium probably has a different method of evaluation than Britain, but here are the results:
|Cholesterol||under 190||209||170 (with high good
Exercise routines adopted
Following invaluable advice from lovely ladies on the forum I took up weight lifting and it has been my single most important decision in the whole weight loss process.
"It fires my metabolism to an extent where now I can eat well over WLR maintenance calories and not see any gain."
For me exercise was also the key to losing weight – I wouldn't be able limit myself to just 1100 calories a day.
When I reached my goal I calculated that during my 5-6 months of weight loss I was eating just above 2000 calories/day and still had around 750 calories deficit/ day which resulted in steady 1½ pounds/week loss.
During those months I would often earn 600-900 calories a day.
"Most calories came from walking – I stopped using the metro and walked to work every single day in any weather."
Over an hour both ways meant around 300-400 calories a day. I did some more walking, cardio intervals (like running up and down the stairs) and biking but my only proper exercise routine was fairly heavy weights 3 times a week.
And I believe it is the weight training, not cardio, that allowed me to go over the calorie allowance quite a bit and never see it on the scales.
These days I do 3-4 weight sessions a week, no cardio at all (apart from walking and other activities that I don't consider as workout, like biking etc.).
I have completely changed my attitude to exercise – I perceive my gym sessions like work – there is no excuse to miss one session.
They are all planned like meetings – with myself (or occasionally – with my trainer).
What do you love about your body now?
Just about everything but most – how firm, toned and strong it is.
I still would like to lose some body fat, just to see the muscles a bit more.
It is all in the process – self-improvement does not stop once you reach your goal weight.
Inese's hints and tips
It has been said thousand times over – you need a lifestyle change, not a diet to lose weight and keep it off.
What worked for me is not following someone's advice but doing a lot of research into different methods and choosing bits of many approaches to create my own way that I believed in.
"And once I believed in it, everything happened – with the great help of Weight Loss Resources' tools."
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
* 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.