Taking the first step

Hi, I am finally thinking about putting my mind to the challenge of losing some weight. Last time I dared to weigh myself I was 19st, so a hell of a lot to lose. The trouble is day to day I don't worry about my weight, I've learned to like myself as I am, and allowed myself to enjoy all the good food I love to cook. I think I eat pretty healthy food overall, but I rarely exercise and the portions are too large.

I have a problem with degenerative arthritis in both knees which I know will improve if I lose weight, but that alone has not motivated me so far.

We are travelling as a family with my husband and three teenage daughters, in August to NYC to visit family. I would love to be fitter and more mobile for walking the city. I'd also love to spare the embarrassment of having to ask for an extender seat belt on the plane!

Still, finding the motivation to get started is very hard, this is my first step, just openly thinking about the idea. I know from past experience that I can do it, I lost 3.5st 7 yrs ago, which has since all returned... and more. I think the only motivation that seems to work for me is telling myself how awful I look, that I should be ashamed, that I should do something about it. Obviously this makes me feel awful, coupled with the fact that I have to eat tasteless low fat food, means that I end up feeling very low and miserable on a diet very quickly.

I need a new way of thinking about a diet, find a positive aspect to concentrate on, rather than resorting to self loathing motivation! Please help.


25 Replies

  • Hello Melissa and welcome to this forum 😊🙋

    Please don't start thinking negatively about yourself to get motivation.

    Firstly, you have found this amazing place. You will find lots of motivation, inspiration and people of all sizes on a journey to be healthier. Some have done it, many are on their way and many are just starting out.

    You have mentioned health problems and an aim to be able to walk more - focus on these.

    You have the strength. - you already showed that previously!!!

    You love cooking, take this as a challenge too. Find healthier versions of your favourite meals, my favourite cookbooks at the moment are the 3 'Hairy Dieters ' books, normal meals, taste fantastic, easy to prepare, and low on calories.

    Work on your portion control, add extra veg or salad to your plate.

    Start a little walking challenge, and increase it slowly - you have 8 months as a target, by then the changes you can make will hopefully have turned into 'new habits'.

    Download the 12 week plan to get you started, but please ignore the 1400 calorie allowance for women. - use the NHS bmi calculator to work out your personal calorie allowance.

    I have never really stuck with a diet for long. Finding this place has taught me to make lifestyle changes instead, and everyone here will help you along the way.

    Go for it, you CAN do it 😊

  • Thank you. I suppose I have always thought of a 'diet' as a way to lose weight the quickest way I can for a holiday or special occasion. A big part of the motivation for me has always been that at the end of the diet I can eat my favourite foods again. It's like a reward at the end of the tunnel, you can have pancakes for breakfast every day on holiday if you stick to the diet now! It's madness, I see that, but a whole lifetime of denial? I cannot contemplate that at all. This is my problem, my feminist head tells me that I should be what ever size or shape I like and be happy with it. The down side - my sensible brain tells me - is getting out of breath just walking up the stairs, painful knees after walking to work, probably a shorter life, trouble finding nice clothes, having to buy clothes in the 'fat shop' (my name for Evans).

    I am 42 now and still my mind is in turmoil every time I think about a diet. Maybe I'm just too good at giving my self excuses 'not too'.


  • I know what you mean. But have a look at some nice healthier books

    You can have nice food, I don't live of salad,I have a family to cook for,but small changes to start with will add up.

    Go to the library and borrow or reserve the hairy dieters books - honestly they are great to get you going.

    And yes,you can be any size you want to. But deep down,do you really want to? You have noticed it affects your health and ability to do things. Have a "treat" day every now and then,it will make it easier.

  • Hi and welcome Melissa,

    Well done for deciding to do something about your excess weight, especially as it doesn't bother you overly much.

    What I will say to you, is that you are still very young and able to overcome the physical difficulties that are brought on with obesity. In another 10 - 20 years, that could all change.

    I'm 58 and started my journey at 19st 10lbs - life was not a barrel of laughs. Admittedly I was, and still am, but to a lesser degree, completely ashamed of my size. Aside from that though, life was difficult. Just getting out of bed reduced me to a wheezing wreck, standing even for a short time made my legs swell and ache, my back, hips and knees would scream out in arthritic agony, I could barely dress myself, especially socks and shoes, I was too fat to get out of the bath, showering was scary, because my balance was shot to pieces and I'd had 2 bad falls and it was even difficult to wipe my own backside! I'm one of the lucky ones too, because I didn't develop type 2 diabetes, or heart disease, or cancer, or any one of a myriad of diseases caused, or exacerbated by obesity.

    Obesity was not a minor inconvenience, it was ruining and shortening my life!

    I have a long history of yoyo dieting ie lose weight for a holiday, a special event etc and then regain it all and more as soon as I'd finished. It took a lot of years and a lot of diets, for the penny to drop and for me to realise that I had to change my whole attitude to food and my health in general. I needed to embark on a whole new way of life, not another "diet".

    I am now into my 17th week and life has never looked better. For the first time in my life, I'm not controlled by food and I am nearly 3st lighter. The majority of my "disabilities" have either vanished, or reduced to a degree that they're manageable.

    I'm happier and more confident than I ever thought possible and I'm even enjoying exercise! Wonders will never cease :)

    I'm sorry if this comes across as being harsh, or all about me, but I'd like this to act as a catalyst to spur you on to do something before you reach this state. Just think, in a few years time you could be a granny and will need to be fit and healthy to keep up with those grandchildren :)

    Don't think that you have to eat boring and tasteless food in order to lose weight, it's just not necessary. Elissy has given you some great ideas, but as someone who loves to cook, make it your passion to cook beautiful, tasty, wholesome and healthy food, BUT, watch out for your portion sizes.

    You should have a daily calorie allowance of between 1800 and 2000 to start with, so you will hardly have to deny yourself anything. I would advise cutting out processed foods and be wary of so-called low fat foods, because that invariably means, high sugar.

    I'm sorry to have gone on a bit, but I care deeply about everyone's health and if I can help you, or anyone else on their road to health and happiness, then that's absolutely fabulous :)

    All the very best to you Melissa, I know you can do this and be able to enjoy your journey too :)

  • Wow moreless, you are such an inspiration, and don't you ever forget it ❤ 😊💚

    It takes a lot of guts to be so honest and to turn your life around like that,

    I'm lost for words .... 😶

  • Thanks Elissy, if me being honest about my life can help just one other person, then it's all worthwhile :)

  • Thank you for taking the time to reply and sharing your experience. I am worried about what the future will bring if I don't do something about my weight. I know perfectly well what I should be doing, just need to make myself listen! I don't eat any processed foods, weetabix with sultanas for breakfast or porridge with lots of sugar! Lunch is always a sandwich at work with crisps and a banana and I cook dinner for my family every night. Pasta probably twice a week - bolognaise, or tomato sauces homemade, stir fry with chicken, sausages with mash and Yorkshire puddings, roast dinner at the weekend, take away once a week. I need to cut out the sugar, butter, change to brown rice & pasta, get sweeteners for my tea, use a cooking spray instead of olive oil and butter... add a few more low cal dinners and STICK TO IT! Then there's the biggest problem, my bone idle lazy bones which prefer to sit in a cafe, have dinner with friends, lay on the sofa rather than actually move and get any exercise.

    The more weight you carry round I suppose the harder any kind of exercise is at the start.

    I am going to try though, I love the fact I can pour out my thoughts on here. I think it will help. We'll see, no pressure!!

    I have to enjoy my 7 course meal on NYE first, then start next week. I need some good work snack ideas to stop me from getting too hungry and losing what little will power I start with.


  • I don't think eating butter is that bad for you. My main 'treat' in an evening is buttered toast with a cup of tea, and I was able to lose weight on that (although have been derailed by Christmas). I'd go for tea with just skimmed milk and don't bother with the sweeteners, as you will find you adjust to the taste of unsweetened tea. Wheetabix and porridge are great breakfasts, just don't add any sugar to them. I think as a previous thread mentions, high levels of sugar rather than fat is the problem.

  • I agree with Edmund, stick with the butter and olive oil, but cut out the sugar. Cut out, or cut down on the crisps and as you've said yourself, switch to low GI carbs.

    As Sueper has said, by reducing your portions, you will significantly reduce your calorie intake without resorting to "diet" foods.

    Try eggs in any shape or form for a substantial and filling breakfast.

    Try crudités for snacks, but if you're hungry, then a piece of cheese is more satisfying than a carb based snack.

    Plan ahead so that you don't get hungry and eat whatever you can lay your hands on.

    Join us on our trip Around the World to get motivated to move from your couch :)

    All the best :)

  • Oh no crisps are so bad worse than butter. Help! What do you allow me to eat can't fill myself up with eggs no good for endo. No crisps now but no dairy what is my treat! :( Sorry for interrupting couldn't resist! Hopefully I am forgiven! :)

  • Butter's fine for us bd, but not for you, sorry.

    I really do feel for you, because your diet is very limited. For satiety, you need to eat fatty proteins, like salmon, mackerel, pork and lamb chops, avocados, nuts, olives etc.

    You interrupt any time you like :)

  • I can't believe this I just bought smoked mackerel and avocado and all the other fatty food proteins you can think off, nuts. I never knew olives is fattening but I will definitely carry on eating it! I just told my hubby it is so fattening and he answered me just like you!The men are always right! :)

    No wonder why my weight is shifting.

    You are really being nice to me as usual! :)

  • Bless you bd, you're just a delight :)

  • Thanks! :)

  • It is better this way that I am limited as now I am eating much healthier. The truth is I never ate butter before as I always thought it is high in calories. Only ate cheese but if I can't than I can't at least when I get my periods and I can now ran around instead of lying in bed from so much pain!

  • I'm absolutely delighted to hear that your new healthy eating is working and that a lot of the pain that you were suffering has now diminished :)

  • Thanks! :)

  • that is a remarkable post. Thank you

  • Thank you Frankie, I hope it's put you off ever wanting to be like me :D

  • Well, it certainly made me think I better stop finding reasons not to go to the gym/pool.

  • I'm delighted! :)

  • Hi,

    I enjoy my food and in the past have tried to replace nice food with cardboard food and it doesn't work long term. So now I pretty much eat the same but much less so try to reduce your portion sizes as this will really help and you will get used to it.

    Try to walk 20 mins a day and build up from there - will make your holiday in NYC so much easier.

    I am starting afresh in 2016 still way over 19 stone, so you won't be alone.

    Good luck :)

  • Thank you. I'm encouraged already by the positive and friendly supportive replies I have received. I think this is a good way to get support from realistic people rather than the horrendous weight watcher meetings I've endured in the past. The women I met there were more competitive than anything else and could make someone feel like they had committed a heinous crime for breaking their diet with a chocolate biscuit!

    Good luck to you too on your journey, I hope to read more about it.


  • I started my journey at over 19stone and I am now just over 16 stone and feel so much better.

    At the higher weight I was able to lose weight while consuming 1600 or so calories every day and my exercise as the beginning was very little (I can do a lot more now).

    It sounds like you are a good cook and your meals sound very healthy, maybe find a way to add in more veggies and, as you say, cut portions a little (but not too much, you want to feel satisfied). Go searching for healthier alternatives to your favourite foods, too, I find the challenge quite fun.

    I wish you the best of luck - you can do it and you will feel so much better, very quickly, I am certain!

  • Thank you, I'm feeling less terrified of taking the plunge and setting a start date with each message I receive. You've done so well already, looking forward to more advice :)

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