Weight loss, wedding, and will power

Weight loss, wedding, and will power

Weight loss, well.. it's been something I've revisited a few times in the past 8 years. I reached my highest ever weight when I went to my sister's wedding in 2005: 13st 8lbs. I vowed to lose weight, I worked out, I counted calories, I went hungry often, and I lost a bit.. I got down to 12st 2lb before I lost my motivation and stopped trying. Ever since then I've gone back to calorie counting annually, but never managed to see it through and get results below that 12st mark.

I didn't really gain it back, though. I stayed within a couple lbs of that weight until I went to grad school in 2010/11, and I went back up to 13st 2lbs before reminding myself that I'd worked hard 6 years earlier to lose that small amount of weight and didn't appreciate undoing the work.

And then I got engaged, (!) and it just hit me that I needed to do something.

I started to work out 5-6 days a week, got a personal trainer, attended aerobics classes, etc. I managed to lose a grand total of only 11lbs in the entire YEAR. I stopped working out entirely, except for walking the dog, and I still have not gotten back into the swing of things. I've not been to the gym in well over 6 months now.

And so just over a month ago, at 12st 5lbs, I joined Weight Watchers. I'm now 11st 11lbs and feeling great. I'm bound and determined to finally be a healthy weight, something I've never been in my entire adult life. I still have 15lbs until I reach 'healthy' and 25lbs to a vague tentative 'goal,' and I need to maintain motivation. WW is great for tracking nutrition, but I find myself needing a bit more support, and so I've joined this community. I need the strength and willpower to push through obstacles and not give up like I did back in 2005. I know I'll be able to maintain once I reach goal, I have the strategies, and I understand that it's a lifestyle change, I just can't let myself get depressed about progress.

I hope you'll help me reach my goal, however undefined it is at the moment, and get me to feel beautiful on my wedding day (22 June!), and give me a swift kick up the @rse to get out there and get active again.

The photo was me at my biggest in grad school, May 2011. It also showcases my downfall: SWEETS.

5 Replies

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  • I have been trying for a long time to get into loosing weight. I would start by speed walking, put your iPod and walk to fast music. this has work for me and I feel like running at times. you burn lots of calories this way, you will then increase. the walking and music gives you the happy feeling and then it carries on from there, this has worked for me, the beginning is the difficult part. good luck and hope you keep going and look beautiful in your wedding dress.

  • Unfortunately my absolute hatred of the cold and of running in general means this doesn't usually work for me, and I just can't get motivated to put on the trainers. I'm going to attempt C25K, but a more likely scenario would be my partner and me taking up tennis.

    Thanks, though :)

  • Hi eechristmas,

    My guess is that you need to focus on your 'naughties'. You're clearly able to up the exercise / activity, but you need to reduce the calorie input and that isn't going to happen if you're putting in high calorie stuff.

    But there are ways of doing business that are a little less painful.

    So, with chocolate for example, stop eating it by the barfull and think about adding it as a topping on something healthy.. Raspberries with low fat yoghurt and then grate just a wee bit of a milk or dark chocolate bar on the top. That way you'll probably notice the chocolateyness a lot more but you'll only be taking in about 12 calories instead of ..... well, let's just say a lot more!

    Similarly, have the odd sweet, but only have a little one, or have one and share it with someone - a good trick when eating out.

    The other thing with sweet things is they give you a blood sugar spike which tends to put your body into fat storage mode, so you don't burn the fat.

    Finally, if you really stop eating sweet things, you'll find your tastes change quite quickly. I was brought up in a family where two sugars was the norm in tea. I stopped taking it completely (can't remember exactly why) and only a few days later, my sister forgot and put two spoons of sugar in my tea. I just couldn't believe how sickly sweet it was.

    But that was only a few days after stopping it and before that I'd taken two sugars for all my life!

  • Luckily WW has me sorted on the 'naughties' department. I've only indulged in the smallest bits of sweets and cake, which is wonderful. I think my issue before when trying to lose weight was to cut everything out altogether. This time, I do allow those little indulgences. I let myself have one nice pudding a week, but this week I didn't feel I needed one. Sometimes I'll allow myself one biscuit at work with my tea, but I'll always track it on weight watchers before I have to just to make sure I've got enough points for the good nutritious food I need that day. When I cut everything out, I go nuts and binge eventually. Now, I'm starting to train myself to only need a small amount. My tastes haven't changed, but I no longer have *cravings* for sweets.

    I've never been a sugar in tea or coffee kind of girl, it's more the textures and flavours of food that I craved instead of the sweetness. So it's the moist crumb of a carrot cake against the rich creaminess of the icing. And the icing I would make for it would be 90% cream cheese with only a small amount of icing sugar in it, interestingly enough. I've never been a chocolate bar person either - but give me a warm gooey brownie and contrast it with cold ice cream and again - heaven!

    But now I know these kinds of things should be treats on special occasions, indulged in only every once in a while. Not every other day, or even every weekend.

  • Hi eechristmas,

    One way of looking at all this is to think of us modern humans being being basically in cave-dwellers bodies.

    Our ancestors went through life dealing with famine and feast, which is kind of what our bodies are set up to do. If you eat very little your body thinks you've hit a famine and goes into fat storage mode to try to keep you going for as long as possible. If you eat lots, it says the good times are here, so it goes into fat storage mode to save something up for the bad times.

    However, with our modern - and to be honest pretty indulgent life styles food wise - and the high fat and sugar content of so much of our food, we're inclined to be in 'perma-feast' mode. Our poor cave-dwellers body can't cope with it and gets fatter and fatter and less and less active (because it's just such an effort to move around with all that weight) and on and on.

    And that seems to be because the 'natural' way of dealing with the excess body fat was to just wait for the next famine to come along!

    And ironically, as it gets fatter, it's harder to get it to go back into fat burn mode.

    So, sensible eating really isn't about deprivation or going hungry or anything like that, it's about intervening in and countering the damaging effects of what our bodies perceive as almost permanent feasting and which they're unable to deal with all that well.

    But the good news is that as you change your eating habits, your tastes often change too. So you will very probably lose your desire for the fattier /creamier stuff over time. It kind of works like: the more fatty/creamy stuff you eat, the more fatty/creamy stuff you'll want to eat!

    Good luck.

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