I need to change, but I don't know where to begin

Hello, this is my first post in Weight Loss NHS community and I'm looking for a little bit of advice.

I've always been slightly overweight and for the most part of my life I've been okay with that and only ever strived to be healthy rather than to lose weight. Obviously, I understand being healthy and losing weight go tend to go hand in hand, however the weight loss was never really my main focus.

Since the beginning of the year the weight has slowly been piling on and now I'm at the biggest I've ever been. Since 2013 I have taken a note of my measurements a couple of times a year, I'm not sure why but a number on a scale has never really meant much to me. I have always preferred viewing my body as a shape of sorts rather than a mass. This time last year I was probably at my slimmest measuring (in inches) 38 bust, 29 waist, 40 hips. Today I took the plunge and brought out the tape and got measuring: 43 bust, 36 waist, 45 hips. Safe to say I was left in tears.

My self esteem is so low, I avoid looking at myself in mirrors and don't feel attractive in anything I wear. Shopping trips over the past six months have disappeared after too many failed attempts of trying to squeeze into the Zara size L. I imagine the rock bottom self esteem has something to do with my mental health state at the minute, (suspecting a diagnosis of depression but yet to pick up the courage to visit a doctor).

My motivation is none existent for almost all aspects of my life, my health, studies, and friendships have all suffered due to this. As I'm writing this I'm beginning to realise how much of an impact the current state of my mental health is having on my life, but I feel this is going off topic. Although, if anyone has any advice on how to keep motivation up I'd really, really appreciate it.

I just want a healthy, happy lifestyle.

The advice I'm here for is what sort of little changes can I make to my day-to-day routine to kick start some weight loss. I've so far decided to try my best to ease myself into low carb for a while because Lord knows that is my weakness and I genuinely love veggies! Seriously, carbs are my one true love. Any suggestions as to how I can step away from the pasta, rice and bread? I don't plan on cutting carbs out completely but I'm aware my intake is way too much. I once had good results from going low carb for a few weeks that it became a healthy habit rather than fad diet; I actually learnt to not rely on carbs and instead my diet became more balanced.

Also, I'd love to have the motivation to join a gym but I don't want to start this journey all guns blazing as I feel I'll give up quicker that way. I'd like a steady progression into this.

I'll take all the advice I can get as I really don't know where to begin.

Thank you!

12 Replies

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  • Hi Phoebe, I'm glad you have made up your mind to change and that you have found us :-) This is such a friendly and supportive community of people who know what it is like to be overweight, how to lose weight and who are willing to share their experiences and good advice.

    It sounds to me like you need to schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. If you actually have a depression, it must be taken just as seriously as if it had been a somatic condition.

    Now, you want to go for a sustainable weight-loss and I personally think the NHS 12 week plan provides just that. Have you looked at it? nhs.uk/Livewell/weight-loss... That approach does not rule out any food groups, but allows you to adapt the diet to your preferences as long as you stay within your calorie range. But it will teach you to make healthy swaps.

    This is one of my swaps: I love pasta too and the way I have dealt with it is only buying wholemeal pasta and reducing my portion sizes drastically. I then use a spiralizer (I have a small, cheap hand-held version) to make courgette "spaghetti" and I mix that up with the wholemeal pasta and - voila - my portion is as big as ever but much more healthy and with half the calories. The best thing is - I don't feel that I am missing out. It tastes really good and I am full after eating it. I don't actually think I prefer ordinary pasta anymore...

    I hope you will join us for our Monday group weigh-in and involve us in your journey. Keep posting. Read the newbie post on the right - it contains all the information you need to get started.

  • Hello!

    The community here seems great! As I've not really got anyone in my life that's going through a health kick at the minute it's really nice knowing the people here will do their best to guide and support me through this, thank you!

    I'm taking the bull by the horns and marching down to my GP tomorrow and demanding an appointment to get my head sorted out!

    Thanks for suggesting the NHS 12 week plan, I've just taken a look and it seems achievable. I'm impressed!

    I think portion size and snacking is where I struggle most. The meals myself and my boyfriend make are not particularly unhealthy, we really love cooking actually but I know our portions are definitely over the recommended amount. Lets just say I've always taken the 70g of pasta serving with a pinch of salt. Thank you for the swap suggestion! I've bought wholewheat pasta today but I must invest in a spiralizer, 'courgetti' sounds delicious.

    Monday weigh-in sounds like a great idea. If I'm really going to do this I feel I need to document it, and everyone sharing their experiences together is a massive bonus that will definitely help me keep this up!

  • Great to hear. See you around!

  • Hi Phoebe

    Sometimes writing a reflective journel writing our feelings down helps us get things in proportion or perspective.

    On the 12 week NHS eating plan you will discover no food is bared.

    If you look at previous posts today Caz28 has put a copy of a Healthy Eating plate 10 hours ago which you may find useful in relation to the questions you have posted rather than repeating it.

    I believe a big part of this journey is healthy eating and portion size.😡

    Please don't let this overwhelm you - you are in control of this.Your weight gain has crept up on you and all of us and has happened probably over many years in most cases therefore it won't disappear in 2-3 weeks.

    I have a long way to go. My measurements are greater than yours nevertheless together we will all get there.

    Make your goals small therfore they are achievable placing you back in the drivers seat.

    For me walking has proven to be effective along with resistance bands both I can do throughout the day when I have five minutes and relatively cheap in comparison to gym membership.

    This forum is very supportive no question is a silly question and there is always someone willing to give you a response or make a suggestion.

    Please keep in touch with us. ☺

  • Hello!

    Yes the 12 week NHS plan sounds great, I'm going to really try and put it into practise.

    I'm going to try and find the Healthy Eating plate post, thank you for the suggestion.

    Resistance bands sound interesting. The gym is a little daunting (and expensive) and I don't really having proper exercise gear or the will power to take up running (yet!), I might look into the resistance bands more!

    Thank you for the advice, I'll definitely take it forward with me.

  • Oh that's good news.☺ If it makes you feel any better I don't run either. I am learning to walk more than 5 minutes at a time. I need to build up my stamina.This is when you start you realise the convenience of jumping in the car isn't always a good thing.

    😢

  • I just wanted to wish you all the best and to also endorse the nhs 12 week plan as it really works well for me. It has helped to create healthy food patterns by being more conscious of the calories I consume.

    Also the free ap myfitnesspal works brilliantly for logging food, exercise and calculating calories.

    I have re-booted and am now doing the 12 week plan again and have added the couch to 5k running plan to it which is making me feel good about myself as I never thought I would ever enjoy running.

    I would recommend starting with the 12 week plan first and then bit by bit increasing your exercise. It gets easier after the first couple of weeks...

    Have a lovely day! x

  • Oh yes! I remember using my fitness pal for a short while a few years back, I found it really helped when I was eating bog standard packaged items but when doing my home cooking it was hard to track the calories in all the ingredients. I don't know if you have this problem too but any idea on how to tackle it? I'm not all that familiar with the app anymore.

    I would really like to start to Couch to 5k program at some point, I'm hoping with the change of diet I'll have more energy and motivation to do so.

    Thank you for the great advice!

    You too x

  • You have got some great advice there 😊 Nothing to add, but just to wish you very best of luck

  • Thank you! x

  • All brilliant advice from everyone, love this forum. I find even a brisk walk can make me feel more energised and happier and it gets you away from the temptations of food cupboards and the fridge for a while. It's important to shop for healthier food, educate yourself about calories. I wrote a food/ drink diary in a notebook with calories which helped a lot at first, I know counting calories sounds dull but if it works its worth it. I do have some lower carb meals, but I haven't cut them out completely, not healthy to do that.

    Wishing you the best if luck with your weight loss journey.

  • A brisk walk sounds enjoyable really and a sensible way to start bringing in more exercise, although the area I live in isn't really one where I can go around the neighbourhood and enjoy a walk.

    I think I'll try the calorie counting with the app myfitness pal as Seuzan suggested. Thanks for the advice, I'm definitely going to try and take it forward and put it into practice.

    Thank you!

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