Kat: Weight Loss Success Story
|Working to Rate of Loss||1lb per week|
My life was completely sedate when I wasn't in work. After years of working in hospitality and being on my feet all day and pretty much being able to eat what I wanted without gaining weight, I found myself out of work, doing nothing with my time, and just carried on eating!
I live with my fiancé, who has always been very slim and athletic and can eat like a horse!
"It became second nature, unfortunately, to give myself the same size portions as I’d give him and as a student working a full time job as well, takeaway became our best friend."
I just didn't have time or inclination to cook. Unfortunately this carried on even when I wasn't working anymore, hence the weight problem!
I work in admin (ie, desk job, sat down for most of the day). Most of my weight gain was during the transition from a student to the world of work. It unfortunately took a long time for me to find work, so I was comfort eating a lot in that time.
My main struggle now with work affecting my weight loss efforts is that the office is right next to a chip shop! Other than that it’s only the fact that I’m sat down most of the day that affects me, as all my previous jobs had involved being on my feet all day (hospitality, bar work, etc)
Tesco diets was a disaster from the start as I objected to being told what to eat (I don’t cope well with meal plans) and being a very fussy eater at the time found I was always substituting things without knowing whether they’d be any good for me or not.
This lasted for about a month before I gave in.
Weight Watchers was a desperate attempt to get the scales moving again when I hit a plateau last autumn (mainly through boredom I think) but I only lasted 7 weeks.
"Counting points made no sense to me, they’re not even real."
How on earth do they teach you to make the right decisions! I also found I was eating a lot of 0 point foods to allow myself to pretty much binge in the evenings, meaning I was starving all day. Just not good for me.
I think people are obsessed with these diets because then when it goes 'wrong' or they don't lose, they can blame the plan instead of accepting they made mistakes themselves, if that makes sense. Personally I don't think we all fit into neat little boxes like clubs need us to points and syns and whatever just don't reflect our individual needs enough in my opinion. They also cost a fortune and encourage faddy foods that make them money without giving you a decent education about nutrition to be honest!
How Being Overweight Has Affected You
"I hated my weight, hated the way I looked, and lost all confidence in myself."
I didn't have the self belief to push for jobs I was applying for, to wear a nice outfit, to go out in the evening. I just wanted to stay in and hide alot of the time. I felt like people were talking about me behind my back about how 'I'd let myself go'. They probably weren't, but it didn't matter, I felt like that.
It was becoming more and more common for me to burst into tears because I had no clothes left that fit me, and would then end up crying again as I went out and bought size 18's when I'd spent all of my adult life as a 12-14. It was trying to find an outfit for a friends wedding and just feeling fat and frumpy on the day that made me realise I really had to do something about it.
What Was Your Main Motivation To Lose Weight?
At the end of January 2008, I discovered I weighed in at 14 stone 9.5 pounds, and had a BMI of 32.2 which made me medically obese!
"I was in shock, I've never been so heavy in my life and I had no idea my love of staying in with a tub of ice cream had caused such a massive difference in my weight over the last 5 years."
This weight loss effort was also spurred on by the fact that my other half was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the beginning of January 2008, something we were never expecting to have to deal with as Type 1 diabetes usually develops in adolescence. He is now on insulin injections twice daily and watching his diet very carefully to avoid any unnecessary sugar consumption to keep his sugars level.
This got me thinking though. Type 1 Diabetes can’t be avoided, your pancreas either chooses to work or not. There is a family history on my dad's side though of Type 2 Diabetes, something entirely different and avoidable by living a healthy active lifestyle. And at my weight I was looking more and more likely to become a Type 2 Diabetic in my later years if I didn’t do something about my weight, diet and lifestyle now, before it was too late. I don't want my partner’s struggles with food and blood sugar to be a practice run for my own future battle with my pancreas.
Him regaining control of his body through a low GI diet and exercise meant me doing the same and it means we’ve both tackled his diabetes and my weight together, as a team.
Now, my motivation to stick at it and stay at goal is our wedding day, it’s now only three months away!
The Best Of WLR
"The food diary is absolutely part of my life now. I feel odd if I don’t log my meals!"
Being able to plan your day in advance, work out what you need to eat to balance against your exercise routines, being able to see the nutritional breakdown of your diet, is just an amazing resource, and has been so useful in helping me learn about the right way to eat. It’s also been a godsend with the recipes section, meaning I can tell my other half exactly what the carb content of his evening meal is so he can take the right amount of insulin, no guess work is great!
The forums are a great source of support and inspiration too, whenever I’m having a bad day I can be sure I’ll feel much better after reading about others going through the same things and their suggestions to help stay on the straight and narrow.
Why Do You Think WLR Has Helped You Lose Weight Where Other Diets Have Failed?
Because I’ve actually learnt about what I’m putting in my mouth. There is no denying that a calorie is a calorie, and they all add up. If I eat too much, I’ll gain weight, and that’s the end of that. It’s re-educated me about the need to exercise if I want to relax the diet a little at the weekend, and the relationship between eating healthily and feeling better, both mentally and physically, is impossible to ignore.
It’s also there whenever I need it, rather than once a week like a club meeting.
What Has Kept You Motivated
I think everybody struggles at some point if they’re in it for the long haul. It can get very de-motivating that there is no ‘quick fix’. But if it takes time to go on, then of course it takes time to come off too. Reminding myself of that regularly has been very important in keeping me going. It’s always hard around celebrations like Christmas or my birthday, but I will loosen the reins and let myself relax a bit for special occasions, as I know I’ll be back to it the next day, and I don’t actually have to lose control just because it’s a special occasion.
"Everything in moderation is my mantra these days!"
I think the turning point for me (and it took a while) was the point where I realised I wasn't on a diet anymore. I just had to eat healthily and eat what my body wants for proper fuel, to keep it healthy and happy. Once I got my head round that, it's been pretty simple. I don't want a full tub of ice cream anymore, I actually want (and I mean crave type want) a big bowl of lentil casserole or vegetable soup, things that I wouldn't have dreamed of having unless under protest a couple of years ago. The human body is weird! The main thing is that you know you're doing it for you this time, that's the only right reason and that's what keeps you motivated.
Well, I can walk up flights of stairs without getting out of breath now! My lifestyle has changed completely. A quiet night used to be TV and ice cream, now it’s going for a two mile walk with my other half.
I’ve found I don’t drink anymore, only rarely, where I used to have a drink every weekend and often a glass of wine in the week.
I'm not scared of going clothes shopping! I've started to buy clothes that I like rather than just clothes that I don't think will make me look fat. I even bought a dress (totally unheard of for me) to wear for my birthday, it was a size 10!
My daily diet has improved immensely and I don’t find it a chore to get my 5 a day anymore. I've made sure I eat a huge amount of veg every day by cooking from scratch making soups, chilies, curries, etc. So much so that I'm vegetarian now, funny how tastes change, as I hated veg as a child!
My mood has definitely improved. I had a very negative attitude towards a lot of things in my life as I had no self confidence in my looks or my ability to do things. Now I’m much more likely to rise to the challenge than shy away from it.
As my weight loss has been slow and gradual it’s only really now I’m at the end and seeing people I haven’t seen in the last year that I’m getting the most compliments, however they’re rolling in thick and fast! Others have told me I come across much more confidently, which is great news. The people I see every day have always been there to support me and keep me motivated, and it’s great to be able to join in with things now that I’d previously have passed up on (such as playing out with our friends kids or going out for cross country walks)
"I have more confidence both in myself and in the way I look. I’m happier, healthier and fitter than I’ve ever been and I have no intentions of ever going back to the way I used to be."
I’ve even been thinking about going back to study and retraining as a dietitian, I’ve become so interested in it all through mine and my fiancé’s experiences over the last 17 months!
I’ve started to get into running, which is amazing considering I’d do anything to get out of PE lessons at school. I’ve just completed the Race for Life 5k in May, and hope to do a 10k race very soon. I’m running 3 times a week, and really getting into it.
I also go to the gym a couple of times a week for some variety and to do some resistance work to help me tone up the last little bits that need tweaking.
What do you love about your body now?
It’s capable of doing all the things I want and need it to. I’m rarely ill any more, I’m full of energy.
I’ve just bought a bikini for my holidays, which I’d never have dreamed of doing previously! And I keep being told I have a tiny waist which is lovely. I don't feel embarrassed of myself anymore.
|BMI Before||BMI After|
Tips wise? Hmm, let me think. I think there's a few things I've learnt over the last year that made a difference to this time round as opposed to all the others.
The first one was that I had to do this purely and solely for ME. Not a dress, a holiday, my other half, because my friends are smaller than me, blah blah blah. Just for me.
The second was that it WILL take time. In the past it's always been a case of cutting everything I enjoy out, exercising like mad, seeing progress for about a month and then nothing. It just stops. Realising that the body just doesn't want to do things that way made a huge difference.
"If you take it slow, you don't cut everything out but just limit it instead, you exercise a couple of times a week and you treat yourself so you don't feel deprived then slowly the weight starts to fall off and you feel better about yourself and have more energy because you're eating enough."
Accepting that I should only lose a pound a week and that it would take me 18 months was hard work but I'm so glad I did it. And only ever look at the next half stone, not the total you've got left to go, or you'll drive yourself mad.
Always reward yourself for your losses, however big or small, Even if it’s just a nice bath or a magazine you've worked hard for it so enjoy it. I tended to buy a new outfit each stone too; only a cheapy as I never wanted it to fit me for too long, but seeing the size go down one really helped.
Don't be afraid of the forums. There are so many people out there going through exactly the same situations and emotions as you. They will be more than happy to help you out or just listen if you need to vent.
I've also found keeping a blog online very therapeutic and helpful; being able to look back over my progress, see that I've had bad days before and got over them, and see how far I've come mentally and physically over the months.
Like Kat you too can achieve weight loss success with WLR Food Diary and the tools and support provided by WLR and its members. Try it for 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.