Firstly, can I just say that from having a look around the forum, what an amazing, supportive and kind bunch you all are! Some forums can get kind of nasty or patronising, but every post I’ve read so far on here is just so warm and encouraging.
Now, I’m newish to this weight loss thing. I’ve tried in the past to shift a few pounds here and there but it never really stuck, and looking back, I wish I was now the weight I thought was “too big” back then!
Anyway, a few years ago, I stopped drinking alcohol for a couple of years. Even made it through lockdown without a drop! (And that was alongside homeschooling 3 children, one with additional needs. How I managed that, I don’t know.) But for some reason last July, I popped open the bottle of champagne my husband’s colleague got him Christmas 2019. And then I couldn’t stop again. I drank a couple of glasses of wine or beer most nights from then on. Sometimes none, sometimes 4 or 5…
I became unhappy with myself for this bad habit, so I gave it up again a few weeks ago and I wholeheartedly know I’m over it again. But I noticed that, along with alcohol, my dietary habits have worsened too. A lot of chocolate, the odd takeaway and much less fruit and proper veg. (Always chuck some salad leaves on every meal, made me feel less guilty I suppose.) And I knew I’d put on weight, but there was this moment last week when I realised it was more than I thought. My daughter had her prom at school, and photos were being taken. I was happily looking at them on the school website when I was shocked to see the back view of me and I didn’t recognise myself! (Well, clearly I did - but only from my hair and dress.) It really upset me and I vowed that I was going to put a stop to it and reverse it.
I purchased the year subscription to Nutracheck, which is brilliant - so insightful. But then I did what I do best (hmm…) and started researching, and worrying, and overthinking. I had originally intended to go on a 1200 calorie diet, so I could get rid of weight fast, but found I could only fit in about 1000-1100 over those days. And I read that restricting too much means it’s harder to maintain afterwards. So I upped my calories to 1400 a day, feeling like this might make slower progress, but hopefully I should be able to sustain that. I still find it hard to clock that number, I always come under by at least 100, but I’m trying. I’m finding it hard to eat so much!
I’m eating the right things: lots of veg, fruit, protein, no junk, some good carbs (brown rice, wholemeal small slices of bread.) but according to the app, the calories never quite get there.
And this is where my problem is: apparently, as the internet would have me believe, 1400 calories isn’t enough for a day in women and if I were to eat this many a day forever, I would be slowly starving myself to death. But on the flip side, I’ve read that once you’ve lost weight, you have to keep your calories near enough what they were when you were in a deficit forever more or the weight will come back on and fast! So which is it? I initially thought, well stuff it, I feel full and happy and not lacking - surely my nutritional needs are being met? Other than eating junk food, I’ve never been much of a big eater. I’ve never thought about getting enough calories before! I just assumed I was always way over. But cut the junk food, and I suppose there’s not a lot. And that’s eating what I would class as enough food - there’s only so many vegetables you can fit in in a day! I know when I’m smaller, I won’t need as many calories anyway, because my resting metabolism/set point/other fancy name all the diet and fitness people on the net seem to call it, will be lower. But can 1400 calories be enough forever? If I force myself (after weight loss) to 1600, will input weight on? I can only imagine managing it by bringing back chocolate, which I’m happy to leave out right now. I don’t want to muck this up. I want to do it the first time and stick to it forever. But I don’t want to hurt my health the other way either, by not eating enough.
Surely other people, the slim people who find it easy to stay slim, must not eat that much? Not to starve themselves, but because they feel full and stop and don’t eat many snacks etc. They probably don’t even think about it.
But that’s always been my problem; overthinking.
I’m lucky in that I only have about a stone to lose, but I am 36 now and notice that the weight has come on from not all that much “bad habits” in general. My husband is lucky to eat and drink whatever he wants and not really put on much, so maybe there’s a hormonal aspect to mine.
Please can someone reassure me that this will all be ok? And I’m not going to starve myself without knowing or force myself to eat more and put all the weight back on once I’ve lost it? What do you eat per day that has successfully helped you lose weight and more importantly maintain it? Is there much difference? Do you feel healthier for it? Not deprived or tired etc? Does it rule your life now?
I hope to be at my target by November, I’m happy not to rush (too much) but I’m also quite impatient!
I hope this all makes sense, I’ve got so many questions but I can’t seem to form them properly.
Thank you so much if you’ve read this far, I do waffle. Sorry about that. I’ll try to keep it to a minimum next time xx