Susan's Enlightening Take on Her 7 Stone Loss
|Start||18 stone 7 lb||22/24|
|Current||11 stone 4lb||12/14|
|Susan's Lost:||7 stone 3 lb||5 dress sizes|
|Time Taken||13 months|
"Joining WLR has been the best decision I have made in recent years. I am still adjusting to this new me and loving every minute of it!"
A bit about me and my lifestyle...
I have been overweight since my early twenties with various stints on diets over the years. The first diet was at age 23, and subsequently each weight loss attempt thereafter having a higher start weight and lower loss achievement before I jacked it in.
The last time I was a reasonable weight was in 2009, when I first joined WLR in the build up to my wedding... I lost three stone and got to 14st 4lb. Still overweight but better than I was.
Of course, as soon as the wedding was over, normal service resumed. Then I got a new job and moved to a new town...
"work has been, at times, all consuming, with the result that I have not been caring for myself or looking after my health."
My husband and I have a good social life which usually involves visiting pubs as well which doesn’t help matters. This, and general laziness, resulted in my weight steadily increasing over the last 10 years and I put on all the weight I had lost previously plus another stone for good measure.
How I've tried to lose weight in the past...
I have tried Slimming World on and off for about 20 years and had had some success previously but, in recent years, I struggled to adjust to the new ‘extra easy’ system and would lose a stone and then fall off the wagon again.
"I didn’t find a group I felt engaged with and didn’t enjoy the meetings any more."
Having done calorie counting on WLR in 2009, I felt that nothing was really ‘free’ since everything I eat/drink has calories and I was not properly exercising portion control. I was using the ‘it’s free’ mantra to kid myself I could eat as much as my husband.
I have always enjoyed the slimming world recipes though and the healthy eating it promotes, I just now put the recipes into WLR and ensure I stick to the correct portions.
"The simplicity of straightforward calorie counting seems to be the only long term way forward to me."
I also tried the 5:2 Fast diet at 500 calories per day and, whilst some of the principles suited me, I found it very difficult.
However, when this changed to a 5:2 based on 800 calories and, with the greater awareness of a Mediterranean diet together with lower carbs, I found a way of eating that does suit me so I have been using some of these principles together with WLR and counting calories.
How my weight affected me...
I wouldn’t say that my weight significantly affected my health but I was very aware that I was pushing my luck with being obese.
I used to get nervous before flights in case the seatbelt wasn’t long enough. I had started to notice that my knees were getting achy as well with carrying all the extra weight.
It was the small things that bothered me...
"huffing and puffing when cutting my toe nails and struggling to reach them"
...and not having much choice clothes wise.
Mentally, whilst I would have preferred to be slim, I have been accepting of my weight since, having lost weight before, I knew my weight was in my control and therefore it was my choice to be overweight.
I was not happy with my weight and how I looked but I accepted responsibility for it.
My motivation to lose weight...
There are so many reasons why I wanted to lose weight, I was so fed up with myself and unhappy about my weight and in October 2018, I went for a pre-op assessment for a minor op and the nurse queried if I had sleep apnoea since I had all the indicators for it.
I didn’t have it but the hospital ran a number of tests to be sure but it did ‘wake’ me up as to what the future may hold if I did not take control of my weight and the daily food/drink decisions I was making.
So the main motivation for losing weight was and still is my health.
How wlr helped me reach my goal...
I think once you accept that there are no quick fixes/magic solution for sustained weight loss, the simplicity of straightforward calorie counting seems to be the only long term way forward to me.
Since it is *just* maths, it also takes the emotion from my food choices, all I have to do is ensure less in, more out.
"I can have what I want, I just have to decide which food/drink is worth the calories to me."
I like doing WLR on line since I know I won’t stick to attending classes and I like that I can use as much, or as little of the WLR tools as I need at any time.
The wlr tools that helped me the most...
Initially, I used the food diary only ensuring I was in calorie deficit but as time has progressed, I have become more interested in nutrition, ensuring I have enough fibre, F&V etc.
I feel that my knowledge is increasing all the time without it being ‘gimmicky’ and when, as time went on or I felt a bit stagnated, I browse recipes, the food plans available, and the forums to get more ideas.
I also like the variety of forums since there is something for everyone. I have been inspired by other people’s achievements and learned a lot about different techniques that have helped me stay on course.
One of the big habits for me to break was with regard to my alcohol intake since I had got into a habit of daily ‘wine o’clock’ drinking which I knew was very unhealthy for my body and mind. I particularly followed the ‘Stay off the Booze’ thread which inspired me and kept me going as I incorporated more and more alcohol free days into my life.
I started posting on the forums (particularly the Changing Habits threads) after a few months as I got more confident and this has helped me get more out of WLR since, by posting, I feel more engaged with the site and the other members.
How I stayed motivated to keep losing weight...
I have been very focused and methodical with my weight loss, going on maintenance for holidays and weekends away and getting back on it straight away. I always log even on holiday and I think that really helps to keep me focused on my long term aims.
I have had times when I gained weight but, because I always logged, I understood why and focused on the calorie maths. The negative part of me would try to monopolise on the gains to put myself down but I’m pleased to say the logic of the maths has consistently won the day.
Once I lost 6.5 stone, which was my original target, my loss has slowed down but I have been a bit more relaxed as well and have been treating this last phase of losing weight as an adjustment to maintenance as well.
I haven’t felt disheartened by this since I have felt from day one that there is no end point for me.
"I don’t want to be a yo-yo dieter anymore nor do I want to put weight back on again since I think I’ve ‘cracked’ it."
Calorie counting is what I need to do to lose weight and maintain it for the rest of my life and this keeps me motivated.
The benefits to my health and wellbeing far outweigh any joy that overeating gives me.
How my life has changed since losing weight
Since losing the weight, random aches and pains that I put down to getting older have gone, I have loads more energy and I don’t snore anymore!
I still can’t believe that I have nearly done it and I am still adjusting to not being overweight.
"I have rediscovered an interest in clothes and fashion."
I have been quite strict not to buy too many new clothes on my way since I am determined to get to goal and don’t want to discard clothes I love. Luckily, a good friend of mine lost weight and donated a lot of clothes to me which has seen me through, but I am now enjoying restocking my wardrobe with clothes I like as opposed to clothes that fit.
How exercise has helped my weight loss
I did not want to join a gym or start a significant exercise regime when I started since I was worried that if I failed at the exercise, I would also fail at losing weight too so I just steadily increased my walking and tried to incorporate more walking and movement in my day.
I got myself a fitbit for my 4.5 stone loss reward (7 months in) and it inspired me to increase my walking and ensure I got my steps in every day.
"I love the link the fitbit has with WLR and all the exercise calories I get."
I have a dog who is always happy for a walk even if it’s only 10 minutes!
I have recently started doing Leslie Sansone walking sessions at home as well which I enjoy.
I don’t like my exercise to be too vigorous and am happy I have found a combination that suits me.
My personal weight loss benefits...
"I love just feeling in control and caring for myself... Now I’ve lost most of the weight (with 4lb to go to my target of 11st)."
I am slowly changing in being more up for things whether it’s a walk, trip to a spa or different types of clothes etc. I even did Sober October for Macmillan which I would never have even contemplated before.
"Words can’t describe how good I felt in my size 14 red dress!"
I sometimes have to attend work events and previously I would dread dressing up and do nigh on anything to not go. This year, I have even attended an awards ceremony and words can’t describe how good I felt in my size 14 red dress!
In order to choose photos for this success story, I have been looking at loads of old photos and have realised that facially I look like me again, like I used to look when I was in my early twenties and as a kid. Obviously a lot older, but me.
I found that realisation quite striking. My confidence has also improved since I don’t have as many doubts that I am judged before I open my mouth. I probably still am, I’ve just removed one of the things I can be pre judged about!
My 'Top Tips' for losing weight
My top tips would be:
- Use the food diary, day in day out. The forums can be great and supportive but don’t think posting makes up for doing the logging!
- You are here to lose weight and/or keep it off so make that your priority. Don’t get distracted with quick fixes, stop looking for quick full stop – look for sustainable and achievable.
- There are fantastic maintainers on this site, listen to what they advise – they are continually readjusting their objectives and adapting to life’s challenges. They walk the walk!
- Set realistic goals and celebrate achievements - I set smaller goals along the way, first 10%, then stones and then half stones and I love the percentage loss awards icons I get. I have celebrated every one of them.
With the progress graph and the stats it gives, WLR gives me the information to make every success count whether it be a point down on my BMI, reducing body measurements or into a new stone bracket and all of that means that I am consciously engaged with every one of my achievements on whichever scale!
My 3 pieces of advice for getting the most out of wlr...
- My advice to all would be to log all the time, set up plans to make it easier but always log and weigh your food. It really is the only foundation of success.
- The advice articles are helpful as are the challenges (I love the Walk the Weight Off Challenge!) and there is lots of advice on the forums which can be really helpful.
- In conclusion, joining WLR has been the best decision I have made in recent years. I am still adjusting to this new me and loving every minute of 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