End of the 12 weeks, BMI down from 29 to 25.7 :)

I've completed the 12 week plan, and as with many on here, I will keep going with week 13, 14, 15 etc until I reach my goal. But I have to say my progress has exceeded my expectations, and I'm extremely confident about not only keeping the weight off but losing the last few lbs to reach my goal weight.

I started at 12st1, which at a height of 5'4" gave me a BMI of 29 (to go back a bit further, when I started the couch to 5k programme earlier in the year (approx Feb) I was 12st4, a BMI of 29.5). As a BMI of 30 is 'obese', I was definitely a long way from a healthy weight. I was also really unconfident in anything I was wearing and really wanted to get back into my jeans.

12 weeks later I am now at a BMI of 25.7. My weight is now 10st10, a total loss of 19lbs during the 12 week plan. This sounds even better if I compare it to my biggest weight: 22lbs lost overall.

My waist was 31.5 inches at the start, which may sound quite reasonable, but I am a 'pear' meaning my waist has always been slim - instead I carry my weight on my hips and legs. To have put this weight on around my waist was a really bad sign and I think it was contributing to stomach problems which I'm currently seeing a consultant about. My waist is now 27.5 inches, and my hips and legs (which I'm sorry but I can't bear to measure!) are almost slim enough to fit into size 12 jeans. My size 14 jeans (which I started to fit into about halfway through the 12 weeks) are starting to feel loose, so I will be going size 12 shopping soon. Yay!! :) Size 12 is my ultimate goal, so I'm really pleased about this.

My goal weight is 10st7, so I have 3lb to go, which I hope to lose in the next few weeks. A healthy BMI requires me to be 10st6 or under, but I know that for my build I wouldn't necessarily need to go much below that. I also don't want to lose my curves! So I will be looking at maintaining rather than losing by the time I reach 10st7. If I can get to 10st6 or less it would be a bonus and would simply be a way of ensuring I'm less likely to become overweight again in the future. I now have in mind a range of 10st0 to 10st7 that I want to stay between. I think 10st7 has to be my absolute maximum from now onwards.

I hope lots of people feel encouraged by my journey. 12 weeks is a surprisingly long time, meaning a lot can be achieved. I had weeks where I stayed the same or even gained. I went to family celebrations, a wedding, a music festival, had a glamping holiday, went to the pub with friends and to events with free wine and still managed to stay on plan. I followed the 12 week plan's requirements for exercise. I struggled to fulfil the strength exercises quota although I did manage to introduce 1 session a week. However, I eventually massively exceeded the aerobic exercise quota and am now running 3 times a week, and running well, and cycling all I can too. I watched my alcohol intake throughout the 12 weeks, a big weakness for me. I planned healthy snacks and small treats so I didn't feel deprived and also developed healthier recipes and cooking methods. Thank you everyone who has encouraged me and kept me going, and good luck to everyone else on their journey, whether starting out, still with a fair bit to lose, or struggling to lose the last few lbs :)

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  • What fabulous results. Well done! :) x

  • You should be SO stuffed with pride(zero calories all good!) at your accomplishment.

    I am so impressed at your tenacity.

    Your positivity and caring for people on this forum shines through and you are a true inspiration.

    I am so glad you are staying around - you would be missed.

  • Yup I'm staying around. Still got a bit more to do so will still be logging on mfp, maybe make my own log sheets to write it all down on, and will still be moaning on here when it gets tough. No easing off for me! Glad to be seen as an inspiration, never thought that would happen! I think there are so many amazing people on here, and you're def no exception. We're all working so hard :)

  • That's fantastic news Ruth! Well done, all your hard work has paid off, that is a lot to lose around your waist, so really that is great. 5'4" and size 12 you must look really fit now. Thanks for all the details, you are very inspirational.

  • Thanks - yes I am pleased with how I 'look', I basically recognise myself when I look in the mirror now. I'll never be a skinny jeans person, but I look like the person I know myself to be, and am really pleased to be very close to a size 12 now (not going to jinx it, so will wait until I get to 10st7 before I go shopping for them). I found it really useful to have goals such as to get into size 12 jeans and an end weight that was achievable and which I remember being within the last couple of years. Good luck for your journey and for reaching your goals :)

  • Congrats on completing the 12 weeks .. you were one of the first people to welcome me here & I thank you for that. A truly inspirational journey & I also am pleased you will be sticking around.

    I have no doubt you will be purchasing those size 12's very soon & what a wonderful reward that will be.

    Good to have goals in mind & knowing in yourself what you want your 'top' weight to be from now on. Much easier to maintain or nip any increase in the bud rather than have loads to lose again. It sounds like this plan has become your new 'normal' now anyway so as you say you won't feel deprived & can still enjoy socialising.

    And as I said before we have Glasto to look forward to :) x

  • Even if it takes some shopping around I will def be getting those size 12s. That's definitely the best reward I could have, as jeans are such an important part of how I see myself. We def have Glasto to look forward to, here's hoping we can get tickets though, it's always pretty nail-biting! We'll both be even more energised next year, dancing all night and feeling really excellent.

    Good luck for the rest of your 12 weeks, your encouragement is very much appreciated too and your progress is impressive - you will have an amazing loss to report by the end as you're at 12lb already and not even halfway through. Keep going! :)

  • Well done Ruth, you are inspirational indeed. All your hard work is paying off. Wishing you every success with your last few pounds and then maintaining.

    Don't be a stranger!

  • Thanks alex7ra, it's really good to see familiar names like yours keeping on encouraging me and also doing the same things to try and lose weight too. I wish you lots of success too. I def won't be a stranger, I've got lots to do still to lose the last few lbs and then maintain :)

  • Amazing work! super well done! you are an inspiration!

  • Hi Ruth, what a journey and what a fabulous way to finish the 12 week plan. Very well done Ruth. Your story will inspire many here and your continued posting will continue to inspire. Over all you have done an amazing job with your weight loss and measurements and getting into your goal size in clothes is also an added bonus. You sound so happy and proud and so you should be.

    I am very pleased for you and look forward to reading your future posts.

    Many congratulations on completing the plan and best of luck on your continued journey with us and again well done :-)

    Trafford1 x

  • Thanks trafford1! If I get my work done on time and the rain is gone/fairly light, then I will be starting to increase towards 6k today (by adding approx 0.2k), and will be thinking of your bombastic attitude of just going out there and doing it. It's really good knowing that everyone else is pushing hard too. Good luck for your continuing journey and I look forward to reading your posts too :)

  • Hi Ruth,

    Fab post as always, fantastic results, you must be feeling really pleased.

    The reality of this plan is we can live a life and yet be fit and eat most of the time healthy, and it's taken me many failed journeys to realise this,and I would not like to think about the money I have spent over the years at various slimming clubs/gyms/ mad/fad/bad miracles that have not worked !!

    Enjoy then next part of your journey and hope you mark your achievement doing something nice for you๐Ÿ’

    Have a great week


  • Thanks Flossie, I've also had my fair share of failed attempts. But it's not wasted money, because the important thing is we cared enough to keep trying different things until we found the one that worked. And now we've found the one that does work, it'll be all the easier to save money, simply buying less food as we're not subject to so many cravings etc, and being able to have all our clothes in one size that fits us, rather than (as I've been), having most of your clothes in a size that used to fit, and keeping having to buy new things as I got bigger or needed something for a particular occasion. So all in all it's win-win - hope it feels like you are winning overall too :)

  • That really is a lovely story and I shall keep re-reading it when I'm struggling !! One thing I keep meaning to ask - were you already cycling quite a bit anyway, or have you taken that up in the 12 weeks as well ?! Has the weight loss helped your stomach complaint ?

    Well done anyway - you are another inspiration to keep motivated :-) :-)

  • I've cycled all my life, and considered myself to be fit because of that, but I wasn't and was gaining weight despite cycling quite a lot. I used the 12 weeks as motivation to increase my cycling, as well as to really push the running which I started doing through couch to 5k. I've found that cycling long distances is what makes the difference for me and I was doing less of that as I got less fit, so it was good to reintroduce more of the longer bike rides again. Basically if I'm out for 20 minutes or longer it feels like a workout. Anything less doesn't feel like effort because I'm so used to it now.

    Thanks for asking about my stomach complaint, as I'm really hopeful that it has all made a difference. I think it has helped to a certain extent, mainly because I simply eat less now - I aim to feel a minimal amount of 'full', and to not put unnecessary strain on my system. Counting calories was a great way to cut down alcohol which was causing problems too and I get cramps/pains etc when I drink too much, e.g. having an extra glass of wine, so it's good to have developed extra willpower to prevent that happening. I guess diet is pretty tied up with health for a lot of people though :)

  • It's really good that the weight loss seems to be helping a bit with the stomach. We put up with things like indigestion, IBS etc and all the time losing a bit weight would help all these things tremendously. I hope that it goes on improving for you.

    I'm hoping to start the C25K once the summer holidays are over and I have a bit more time to myself. I have embarked on a (slow!) jogging regime from time to time in the past, so I'm looking forward to getting a bit of structure from the plan and support from the forum to get me back into it. There is a Parkrun near me, so I might even aim for that at some point :-) I wish I could cycle a bit more as well, but I live in a very hilly place, so unless we take the bikes in the car to the various local cycle paths, day to day cycling is a bit impractical, which is a shame !

    Good luck with those last few lbs anyway, and I know you'll make that size 12 pair of jeans :-)

  • That's what my thinking was when it was suggested I might need an investigative operation. I decided if my stomach problems could be fixed by losing weight and excluding trigger foods and improving my fitness, overall health etc, just by myself, then I'd better get on with it before they did an unnecessary operation and found nothing wrong. Hoping my next appointment (Nov) will be a happy affair with me saying my symptoms are reduced, and doc saying it might take a while for them to go but this is encouraging and keep going. If only niggling stomach probs, IBS etc, could be fixed overnight of course! But yes best thing is to try and help yourself where you can.

    Good luck starting couch to 5k. When you eventually get the exercise bug proper, you'll start to be thankful for those hills. I go in search of hills to try and build more stamina, but it's all flat round here :)

  • Would you look at this woman? No stopping her. Example to us all. Well done, RC - onwards and downwards! :D

  • Ruth you are one of the stars of this forum and your posts are one of the reasons why the 12 week program was such a positive experience for me. You are a great sharer ๐ŸŒžand your posts about exercise in particular have been really helpful. ๐Ÿšต๐Ÿพ I am so glad you have come through covered in glory and with such great results. You have really worked wonders. Glad you are not leaving the forum. ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’

  • Thanks Gonti. You're a star too, I see you popping up all over. I think sharing helps both ways. Keeping the people on here in mind keeps me going. Thanks for the positive reply, wishing you lots of luck in your journey too :)

  • Well done Ruth - what a fantastic result and achievement! Your hard work has clearly paid off :)

  • Fabulous post Ruth and a fabulous result after 12 weeks ,you deserve to be feeling really proud and pleased with your brilliant weight loss , not to mention your phenomenal shrinking waist measurement !

    Your posts have been inspirational and what I really love is that you have fitted in this steady weight loss alongside normal everyday stuff , ie. you haven't let life get in the way and deter you from losing,instead you've successfully negotiated around the holidays ,social engagements ,Glasto etc. all the things that could end up just being excuses to cave in to the temptations...you've proved that it can be done and still be enjoyable ,as long as you work hard at it ...and oh boy ,have you worked hard ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Glad you will be continuing to post on here and I will look forward to reading them .

    Enjoy those size 12 jeans .... they're almost within your grasp !

  • Well the thing is normal is different for everyone. I live a very chaotic and unstructured freelance and part-time studying sort of existence at the moment, fitting everything around everything else and jumping at jobs as and when they come, and luckily socialising and having days out quite a lot in between. Others are looking after small children, or even big children, some feeling more stuck at home, or stuck at work working long hours, or even on the road all day. I think making the changes gradually makes it more likely they'll fit into your life however it is you live. Good luck making things work for you CaroleCal. I can't believe my end waist measurement too, I think that's down to the running. Good luck keeping your journey enjoyable and sustainable too :)

  • Well done, you have achieved so much. I agree with you when you say 12 weeks is quite a long time; life has to continue as normally as possible during that time so it's a question of learning to live your life and eat healthy all at the same time and it is very doable. Have a great week.

  • It's good to bear in mind that we can take control of this time to make the changes we need to make. I was just letting time drift past before, gaining weight and becoming unfit and unhealthy. Much better use of my time doing this plan, as well as the odd 45mins here and there jogging around. Have a great week too Jenever. Good luck with your last few lbs as well :)

  • Wow brilliant you are amazing hope to follow suit ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜† I started at 13 St 7 lb and am now 12st 8 so am catching up lol keep it up honey xx

  • You will, just keep at it! One of the things that helps me is knowing I find it easier to run the lighter I get, everything gets tied togther in a big happy loop. Run to lose weight, lose weight to run better, run some more, and so on :)

  • wow Ruth that is a fantastic achievement, truly inspirational, well done!

  • Well done. Your commitment to health has really paid off and I am sure you will be at goal soon. With all your exercise I am sure your will be able to maintain your weight.

    On top of that, you have been such an encourager to me and others

  • Thanks 2bfabnfit. Your name still sounds so excellent. We're all becoming fab n fit :) I think I do need to keep up the exercise as I have a tendency to snack or get overexcited about portions when I'm cooking fancy new veggie recipes, exercise is another way of managing this. Also knowing I have a run the next morning is great motivation for stopping me having a drink (or drinks) the night before. You're a great encourager too. I think we're all like little cheerleaders for each other. Hope you're having a great week :)

  • Congratulations, Ruth. Good to see the whole of your journey - proves the NHS plan does work.


  • Hi Lizzy. Yep, it definitely does work, but it requires focus and it can be challenging when there's stuff going on that prevents you following it how you want to, such as finding time to exercise, making healthy meals when you're cooking for others too, eating out, social pressure etc. That's why this forum is so good too. Good luck for your journey :)

  • Hi Ruth,

    Such an inspiring post, and once again many Congratulations on your progress over the 12 week plan. You have shown that is possible to 'live life' and enjoy festivals and special occasions, whilst paying attention to healthy eating and exercise, and you've lost 19 pounds in 12 weeks, that is brilliant!

    Wow, your waist is 27.5 inches, that is slim! You'll soon be buying lots of size 12's - very soon! You're so close now to the healthy BMI - you've achieved such a lot in 12 weeks.

    More than that, you've been really encouraging to other members of the forum, and you've shared some amazing recipes and ideas for delicious food - I always enjoy reading your posts and replies to others.

    Wishing you continued success and glad you're going to continue your journey within the forum, beyond the first 12 weeks and beyond. :-)

    Hope you are having a great week so far.

    Lowcal :-)

  • Thanks Lowcal. I actually have a cupboard full of size 12s. The tops fit already, and many of the skirts. Jeans are my nemesis though. My last pair of size 12 jeans got worn out as I kept squeezing them on when I was clearly no longer small enough to wear them, then they split along seams, lost their shape etc. :( I put them in the scope bin as soon as I got back into my size 14s, as I want it to be a fresh start this time. In the meantime I also have a wardrobe full of other stuff that (mostly) fits me again :)

    Hope you get yourself an excellent new pair of jeans soon too, you said last week you were on the look out! My week is going well, feeling so positive. Hope yours is too :)

  • Aaaw Ruth, I am so pleased for you. Reading this post has made me smile, but has brought a lump to my throat, I've come over all emotional! I totally agree with you in that 12 weeks is quite a chunk, but sounds much less. Like you, I have had highs and lows, with many social events to try my willpower. You did it, I did it, and many more on this wonderful forum have managed to get through it. What may have started out as a frighteningly hard thing to achieve, now seems more attainable for the long term.

    Keep on running hun, with a few air punches and woops as you go. So deserved. ๐Ÿ‘Ÿ

    ๐Ÿ‘— size 12 here you come

  • You're right Shellie we've got rid of that fear now. I was so frightened of keeping on gaining weight and becoming someone I didn't want to be. It did all seem so frighteningly hard to achieve. But now we know it is achievable, and we managed it while carrying on living our lives with everything that comes with that, so we now don't even have any excuses left. Whatever happens from now onwards it's healthy eating, running, refreshing long walks, etc, all the way :)

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