Finally seriously wanting to lose weight


I'm new on this blog although I use others on the website and find them really supportive so thought I would give this one a go.

I'm 64 and have been deeply depressed for some years which has meant I have not been very active. I also had a bad 7ft head first fall which was traumatic and left me immobile with fractured ribs and pain for some months during which time even more weight piled on. I have arthritis, fibromyalgia, bursitis, tendonitis and other joint and soft tissue problems which meant I couldn't do more than the minimal exercise program with the trainer at the gym so I felt demoralised and stopped going, resulting in more weight gain and now the gym has closed and the only other local one is really awful. Last week I had a look at my BMI and was shocked to find it was 42 which is way over the risk level for all sorts of health problems, so while I'm feeling in a more positive state of mind in anticipation of returning to work as a therapist I decided to go all out to lose weight. I'm hoping some of you will be able to support me during the process as I really HATE going to weight loss/exercise classes with all the endless chatter about tv programs I never watch, or receipes, or calories.

A friend regularly fasts and I remembered the Michael Moseley program about 5.2 dieting and fasting (very low calorie) 2 days a week, so I watched the program again online and have decided to go for 3 days a week of very low calorie eating and eat normally but much more carefully on the other 4 days. I tend to graze all evening - my husband is seriously ill so we seldom go out and because I naturally like to get out into the world a lot more than he does by the evening I'm bored. Before decided to concentrate on losing the weight I used to eat chocolate and biscuits every day, lots of them, and would think nothing of eating a whole packet of fig rolls or a whole large bar of Cadbury's milk choc. Luckily my cholesterol is fine and my cardio-vascular system is strong so I haven't had serious symptoms due to my eating habits or the extra weight - I now weigh 110kg and I thought I was very heavy when I weighed 100kg!

At the moment I'm taking a kind of ad hoc approach as I HATE sticking to any formula diet - so, I've substituted a large bowl of fruit for the evenings and usually fine I can't get through all of it which is great. On the days when I am eating normally I have porridge for breakfast, a piece of wholemeal bread with either veg soup or salad and a bit of protein for lunch, and a normal but much smaller and usually healthy evening meal, plus plenty of water. On the low calorie days I am having grapefruit, egg or oily fish with one piece of bread or toast, a diet shake for lunch and stir fry with prawns or similar early evening, then fruit if I need it. Any other suggestions would be great as I like variety although I don't want to start following some eating plan or cooking fiddly things as that will make it a bore and I will soon give up if I feel deprived! If we go out I will eat normally but try to pick the healthier options.

I'd welcome support from anyone trying to lose loads of weight - I need to go from 110kg which must be about 17stone down to about 12 stone in time, so there's a lot to lose. PLEASE don't tell me to exercise, because at the moment that isn't practical for all sorts of reasons although once the weight comes down a bit I do hope to join the Ramblers, at the moment the sciatica is too painful.

Good luck to you all in your weight loss efforts!


18 Replies

  • Hi Secondhandrose

    Sorry to hear about your health problems. Do you have any food triggers that make your arthritis or fibromyalgia worse? Various foods can be inflammatory for some people. I know that one of my symptoms of having a problem with gluten was joint pain. This meant that I ended up on a low carb diet which has worked well for me.

    Many people seem to get on well with the 5:2 diet, but I wonder if fasting for for 3 days a good idea? If your calorie intake goes too low your body is likely to burn muscle for energy and hang on to the fat.

    Sorry I don't think I'm being very helpful! Hopefully some of the 5:2 dieters will have some good ideas.

    Good luck with the weight loss.

  • Hi, thanks for replying. No I have been tested for allergies. I won't be fasting, just on low calories for the 3 days and they will be alternated with normal eating days in order to make sure my overall calorie intake isn't too low. I will see how it goes. Sue

  • If you want to do the 5:2 - I'd suggest you buy 'The 5:2 Diet Book' by Kate Harrison or 'The Fast Diet' by Michael Mosley which will explain the correct way to go about the diet.

    Following the 5:2 or even 4:3 is a good way to lose weight if done correctly but the food you have listed for your 'fast' days (grapefruit, egg or oily fish with one piece of bread or toast, a diet shake for lunch and stir fry with prawns or similar early evening, then fruit if I need it.) is more than 50% above the 500 cal level for those days


    Grapefruit = 55 cals

    Egg = 72 cals

    Salmon (typical oily fish) 100g =150 cals

    Slice of bread = 70 cals

    prawns 100g = 90 cals

    stir fry veg = 75 cals

    grapes (1 cup) = 110 cals

    Typical diet shake =250 cals

    Total 800 cals and that's not allowing for any stir fry sauce or additional fruit

    It's worth buying one of these books as this plan does work but do speak to your GP before embarking on the plan as it isn't suitable for everyone.

  • Hi, I do already have both books but thanks for your reply.

  • Hi Sue,

    Well done for starting 5:2 - I'll be 64 in a few weeks and 5:2 is the first diet that's ever worked for me and, more importantly, I've kept the weight off since by just fasting one day a week. I lost three stone - 20 kilos - that was all I had to lose but it works for everyone.

    Fasting three days a week is fine - as long as they're non-consecutive your body won't go into 'starvation mode'. I also noticed you're still eating too much on your fasting days. Get yourself the app and online program called MyFitnessPal and log everything that goes into your mouth on those fasting days - I think you'll be surprised. One of the first things I took from the Horizon programme was to eat from smaller plates and not to eat anything after my evening meal - so no snacking. Rather than eating fruit, if you must eat anything try some cherry tomatoes or carrot sticks - vegetables won't affect your insulin levels as much as fruit does.

    Do read Kate or Michael's books - Michael's is far more scientific so I found Kate's an easier read.

    You will find when you're lighter that your body is under far less strain. My knees used to be very painful but now they're not and I now run three times a week - and I loathed running at school! I had 20 kilos of bird seed delivered earlier in the week and I could hardly lift it - I used to carry that around all the time on my body - ouch, no wonder my knees protested!

    If you're on Facebook there are some very supportive groups on there for 5:2 and Intermittent Fasting.

    Do let us know how you get on - we'll be rooting for you!

    Linda xx

  • Hi, thanks for replying and well done for your weight loss. No, I definitely will not log everything that goes into my mouth because doing that is what led me to give up on other diets!! Michael Moseley sais it is fine not to adjust eating patterns on the normal days and my normal pattern is to graze all evening and always has been that even when I didn't gain weight, but I have substituted healthy snacks for the sweet things I used to eat. I really don't want to start studying dieting as I find doing that takes all motivation away, I would rather find my own way and just be supported with that, but thanks because I do appreciate your thoughts. Suex

  • I won't tell you to exercise. However, your post suggests that for you exercise = gym and classes and it really doesn't have to be like that. Most beginner exercisers (who start sensibly rather than overdoing it so they get injured or give up) are not going to be able to burn all that many calories towards weight loss, but it has a beneficial effect in other ways that then supports the weight loss efforts. I started with the idea of Random Acts of Fitness and the NHS has some good programmes - NHS C25K (you would be surprised who achieves that with what health problems and personal circumstances), Strength and Flexibility, or you could try some of the exercise/relaxation stuff on YouTube which you could do at home (something to do in the evening instead of eating)

    Diet shakes don't really seem good for the soul somehow and I feel you deserve better than that. I suspect, as others have implied, that you may need to check the portion size/calorie count of what you are eating. I have been dismayed to find that whilst undoubtedly better than chocolate or crisps, fruit can add quite a lot to your calorie intake if you are trying to lose weight. I sometimes find it helps to drink a glass of water before deciding whether to eat outside mealtimes. The NHS plan may suit you very well as it isn't a prescribed eating plan.

  • Thanks for replying. I do know exercising does not mean the gym but I live in a town where I find it depressing to walk around and don't know anyone to walk with. I investigated the healthy walking groups but they meet at places it is difficult for me to get to and Ramblers start with 5 mile walks. I am doing one thing at a time and changing my eating habits is the first thing, my weight has gone down 2lbs so far this week so that is obviously helping and once I have lost some of the really excess weight and at the same time lowered my BMI and health risks then I will find walking a lot easier and build up to the Ramblers which I would enjoy. I LOVE diet shakes although the ones I have bought are not as nice as the Lighter Life ones which I tried for a short time some years ago - I didn't find it difficult to live on them but I disliked the classes so can't get those. Yes, fruit can be high in calories but much healthier than sweet things and its a case of one step at a time for me. Thanks, Sue

  • Shame somebody sent me such a rude e-mail, not something I have experienced on the other parts of the website. I wonder why they sent it to me privately and didn't just blog!

  • Sorry to hear that. Hope you have reported it.

  • Hi Secondhandrose,

    I am shocked to hear that somebody has sent you a rude E-mail. You should definitely report it.

    I hope it hasn't spoiled your day too much, and that you are having a good week despite it!

    Wishing you all the best with your goals.

    Lowcal :-)

  • Hi, thanks both of you, probably the person did not realise they were being rude, it was jut rather patronizing and negative. Thanks again for your support, Sue

  • I think sometimes we all have to remind ourselves, the fact that when supporting each other electronically like this it's very hard if not impossible to communicate emotion, something might be meant to be said with some bravado for encouragement for example, but it could be read and taken as an insult or attack.

    Good luck with your weight loss :)

  • Hi, thanks for replying. Yes. I agree that it's hard to read emotion online. Sue

  • Sue,

    If you live near by Leeds ( West Yorkshire ), I don't mind coming around you on some weekends and go for walks.

    PS.. igonore the people who are creating a negetiveness around you. Haters gonna hate no matter what you do. Just have faith in what you doing..

  • You're right about 110 kg. 110 x 2.2 / 14 comes out at over 17 stone. If I could suggest one form of exercise which you might find helpful, it would be aqua-aerobics. I do this at my local LA Fitness pool, but ask at the local authority pool if they have these. The water actually supports your joints but, at the same time, provides resistance. This is the only form of fitness I can do, and I've tried most of the others. I agree with you about the 'weight loss groups/classes' etc. If you knock off the fig rolls and the chocolate, that in itself will be a help! Sugar is addictive, so anything containing sugar is a baddie. You 'graze' all evening, just out of boredom. This is a habit which can be broken, but it does take time. It's more or less a matter of 're-programming' your brain. Although you can't get out in the evenings, is there anything you could do at home, any hobby which would absorb you and divert your attention from 'I'm bored - need a snack'? The other thing about exercise, there are exercise you can do which are chair-based. Even lifting 1 kg weights from a sitting position would help. A young woman named Leanne Grose produced a DVD of chair-based exercise - she lost a leg, but does exercise from her wheelchair. Good luck!

  • Hi Secondhandrose, it's a month on and I hope you're seeing some positive results. I'm 52, hate gyms and being told what to eat, and found part of my solution with the 5:2 (Michael Mosley version), which I also follow for the health benefits, my 88 year old mother having been diagnosed with Alzheimer's 18 months ago.

    Following a serious motorcycle accident 4 years ago, I have nerve damage in one leg (not to mention a load of ironwork!) which means I can't run - my surgeon actively discouraged me as it may accelerate post-trauma arthritis - but I walk for 30 minutes about 4 or 5 days of the week, and I'm looking forward to losing about another 9 pounds (that will mean I weigh 8st 7lbs, I'm only 5' 2") which I will then maintain by doing the 500 cals one day a week.

    Good luck with your journey, I've never felt better in my life!

  • Oh, and I don't HAVE a television any more!

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