Year 2 week 49

3rd – 9th December 2017

I have been going down this journey a long time now that sometimes I forget what I used to be like. I forget how much I have changed. It’s like I have totally forgotten the past and I’m living for the now which is how it should be I suppose.

Every now and then though I get a little reminder of how far I have come. It’s usually something small and very insignificant. Insignificant to those around me but for me it was probably something I was hiding behind.

I got one of these reminders this week. It came when I went round someone’s house. I went in and they asked me to sit down. I made my way to the nearest sofa moved all the cushions to the floor and sat down.

That little act I know does seem really insignificant, it seems like a thing no one would ever remember but to me in that moment it meant a lot.

2 years ago before I even started this journey I would have sat on the sofa and put a cushion on my lap and basically hug it until I left.

I was always a little embarrassed about my size so I put the cushion there to stop people seeing my stomach. It was also my way of hiding. I think I used it to protect myself from any conflict or comments coming my way. I also used it as a security blanket – something to give me comfort in a place that I was self conscious, which was practically all the time then.

So you can see why this totally insignificant act of throwing the cushions on the floor meant so much to me. I use to be a person who hid behind everything.

Last year it was all about the weight loss, the emotional loss and regaining my self esteem. This year though it’s all about maintaining all the good I did last year. Maintaining for me has been a lot harder thing to do.

So when I get a little reminder like those cushions it makes me think I am doing ok still and giving me a whole new meaning when I look at my cushions.


Year 2 week 19

7th – 13th May 2017

So this week I have been very busy packing for my trip to Rwanda. 

The day I was to leave I had changed my mind and I decided I didn’t want to go. I am comfortable with my home, with Matt and my family around me. I was going to Rwanda alone, and it’s totally out of my comfort zone.

When I was a teenager I was very adventurous. I can remember catching a plane by myself at the age of 15 to go to Zimbabwe on mission for the summer. 

Over the years I seem to have lost that adventurous spirit. So that is why I found it so hard to go.

However this time I wasn’t alone – I was meeting 23 other people most of them I had never met. Speaking to them they felt exactly like me! 

So I stepped on that plane, and as it flew off into the sunset I actually started to feel excited, excited for the adventure I have ahead of me. 

We landed in Rwanda safely and I spent time getting to know my new friends. 

We went to the genocide museum. This is a place that really makes you think about what went on, and the pain and suffering that still continues today after 23 years. It has put my problems into perspective I can tell you!

While I am here I am happy to be helping people who were affected by that. It makes me glad that I can help them in my small way. 

If you feel you can help too click the link

Day 308

Thursday 3rd November 2016. 

My Dad and his wife, Tracie, are people who love to play golf. Matt has been known to play on the odd occasion. I however have only ever played one game of nine holes about 17 years ago and I wasn’t very good at that. 

Golf is something that has never really appealed to me. I can’t really see the attraction myself. 

Today though my Dad, Tracie and Matt went to play. I either had to stay behind or go and watch. If it was last year I would have stayed behind because the thought of doing it sounded tiring. Today though a went to watch. 

I wasn’t really looking forward to it, I thought I was going to be really bored. 

Before the game started there was some time for me to have a go at putting. The first one went in the right direction heading straight for the hole but I hit it way to hard. The next one was not as hard but totally missed the hole because a bump in ground made it go off into a different direction. 

The game then started and Matt played his first 9 holes really well – the ball generally went in the right direction. Tracie did okay, however my Dad seemed to end up in the bushes or the trees. Matt doesn’t hit the ball as far as my Dad but he reminded me that golf is a game of direction and not of distance. Because he hit the ball in the right direction he was keeping it on the fairway and scored better. 

It got me thinking that, before when I have been on a diet, I start off by going in the right direction but after a while I have found that I run out of steam and ended up giving up.  But this time I’ve just tried to maintain the right direction – I haven’t got bogged down with how far but have been more concerned about keeping my direction right. 

Today though I had a really nice day. I sat in the golf buggy and drew today’s picture, and I enjoyed watching them play golf. The scenery was also amazing, I also took lots of photos.

Day 261

Saturday 17th September 2016

I have been doing a lot of baking lately. The reason is because today I have had a few people round. I was hosting a nutrition party. 

Jenny came and did a talk on nutrition and I baked lots of cakes. I know what you are thinking – that cakes and nutrition don’t mix. Well you would be wrong. I made alternative cakes that contain vegetables, nuts, natural healthy ingredients and natural sugars. They were all gluten free. 

I made chocolate brownies out of beetroot, persian carrot cake with the new improved recipe and buckwheat scones. 

I can’t eat jam so I used a fruit compote with no added sugar and surprisingly I can eat cream because it’s a natural fat. 

We wanted to show that you don’t have to give up things to be healthy and that you can still eat cakes as an occasional treat without ruining the diet. 

I think people really enjoyed themselves. I think I will have to do it again. The only draw back is that there is cake left over that I might feel the need to eat. 

Start weight 21st 5lbs

16st 5.5lbs.    0.7lbs⬇️.      69.5lbs⬇️total

Start weight 136.5kg

104.1kg.           0.3kg⬇️.       32.4kg⬇️total

Day 246

Friday 2nd September 2016

When I was young all I wanted to be was a hairdresser when I left school. I got myself an apprenticeship and got myself qualified. 

I eventually got my own salon and I ran it for many years. I have always been able to do my own hair – it is about the only thing I have ever valued about myself. 

I have been seeing Jenny for about 8 months now. I have since then been sorting out my health. She told me a while back that I might have a few side effects. It could make my skin worse, though it has made mine better, or it could make my hair fall out. 

Some people don’t get any side effects at all. I just didn’t want my hair to fall out. 

However for the last few months that is what has been happening. 

This is what Jenny says about Hair loss: 

“When the body losses a large amount of weight, especially if you have been over weight during your 40s, our endocrine system needs to adjust to the size change.

As you can image the amount of hormones that are required to maintain a 20 stone body compared to a 16 stone body is quite different. Take into account that when the sugar consumption reduces too, the need for insulin, cortisol and estrogens to metabolise the sugars and balance body functions are suddenly reduced. 

Therefore our thyroid and adrenal organs can go into shock, and this often results in a sudden hair loss, which is quite worrying, however it’s a real positive sign the body is adjusting to the new levels of hormones required to maintain the body mass. 

I have a mind map that shows common symptoms and issues related to our adrenal and thyroid functions.” 

With the fact that I was expecting this  I have been doing my own little experiment.  I have been putting my hairdressing skills to the test. 

Your hair goes through a 7 year cycle. In that 7 years your hair has a resting stage, a growing stage and a falling out stage. Each individual hair goes through the stages at different times – if it didn’t your hair would all be falling out at once. It can however have more of the hair on one stage at one time. 

It just means that most of my hair is on the falling out stage at the minute. After the falling out stage is the growing stage. This hair grows back at an accelerated rate so it can catch up with the rest. 

I have noticed that my hair, after it has fallen out, is growing back a lot quicker. 

I have my hair coloured every month but I missed last month because I was worried it would all fall out. I have recently had it done though and I am happy to say it didn’t all fall out. 

My hair normally is really thick and it takes a lot of work. Now, though, it is thinner but it is so much better. It is growing back healthier than I have ever seen it before. 

So the side effects are not really side effects at all – they are improvements.

I am happy to say though that the hair loss is now slowing down. I hope this doesn’t mean it is going to get thicker again. 

Start weight 21st 5lbs

16st 7.8lbs.    ⬅️➡️.     67.2lbs⬇️total

Start weight 136.5kg

105.1kg.        ⬅️➡️.          31.6kg⬇️total

Day 234

Sunday 21st August 2016

For the last few years I’ve only had one watch. I figured that because I only have one wrist that I wear it on means that I only need one. 

Matt, however, back in April treated me to a new watch. Eventhough I love the new watch I also still have the old one. Since getting the new one I have found that I have worn it all the time and I haven’t even looked at the old one. 

My old watch has always been a little tight. 

I have had it a long time and as I put weight on I failed to adjust the strap. 

Today I fancied a change and I put my old watch back on. However this time it wasn’t tight, in fact it is now really loose. I could do with taking at least 3 links out of it.

I get people giving me compliments all the time. Saying how much I have changed, how slim I am looking, how well I am doing. Eventhough I hear the compliments I don’t always believe them. 

Sometime the realisation comes in something as simple as a loose fitting watch. 

So this morning I was very happy I chose the old watch because it made me see that it’s all been worth it. 

Start weight 21st 5lbs

16st 7.3lbs.    0.7lbs⬇️.     67.7lbs⬇️total

Start weight 136.5kg

104.9kg.        0.3kg⬇️.     31.4kg⬇️total

Day 229

Tuesday 16th August 2016

For years I have not really looked after myself. I never really took pride in my appearance. I have had health problems and I learnt to live with them. It’s all been because I have always eaten what I wanted – I ignored the consequences. 

It’s amazing the things you learn to live with when you are in denial. Like I have learnt to live with the fact I am overweight for years and said that is how I was made and there is nothing I can do about it. However that is wrong – it is only me who can do something about it. 

All those years of denial are now coming back to haunt me. When I decided that I was going to do something things changed in me. My attitude to food, what it does to my body. I have even taken a bit more pride in my appearance. 

While losing weight I have noticed that I am getting thinner but my stomach is taking a lot longer than the rest of me. I think it’s because of all the years of neglect and when you eat food it settles in the stomach which makes it grow. It’s used to being large and stretched so much that it now won’t go back in a hurry. 

There is one consolation – I could make a good belly dancer. If only I could dance! 

I know my belly is a lot thinner than it used to be. I think I am only noticing the size of it now because everywhere else is looking so much better. I can see my bones through my skin now and Matt says I am looking normal from the back.  It’s only when I turn and you can see my stomach you can see how big I am.

No weigh in

Day 223

Wednesday 10th August 2016

When the kids were little a question they always asked was WHY? They wanted to know why over everything – it used to drive me mad.

If you think about it though there are a whole load of situations you could ask why to. Why is there so much suffering in the world, why is there so much injustice, why when you drop toast it always lands butter side down. The list is endless.

The thing is if we sat down and seriously tried to find answers to all our whys I think we would go mad trying and never get all the answers. 

This year I have been doing this lifestyle change and I have had so many WHY? questions. 

The latest is why do the scales go up when I have still eaten really healthily?

I have always found when I am on a diet that the scales don’t constantly go down every week. I find that even when I have done well the scales can sometimes go up.

At first, when you are on a diet, the weight comes off really easy. After a while it starts to slow down and then it gets a lot harder. That’s when the real work begins. 

I wouldn’t say I have been on a diet this year – I am calling it a lifestyle change. It still means I am losing weight but I am getting healthier and making choices that are forever and not just for a season. 

My health has improved so much this year.  I have gone from taking 10 pills a day to almost nothing. I only have one issue and that is I get frequent stomach aches. When I have them my weight goes up. 

I decided to do a little test. I noticed that the days I got the stomach aches I wasn’t drinking enough water. So yesterday I wanted to see what happens when I drink more. 

I have always found it a struggle to consume the correct amount of water daily. Drinking lots of water means that I need to go to the toilet regularly and I think that is the most common reason of why people don’t drink enough water. However we need that amount of water to clear out our system and make us healthier.

After my little test I realised it was the lack of water that was giving me my stomach aches as they are now starting to ease and this morning my weight went down again. 

It sounds stupid that you have to consume more water to lose weight but it works. I am just happy that I have the answer to my question . 

Start weight 21st 5lbs

16st 7.2lbs.       0.5lbs⬇️. 67.8lbs⬇️total

Start weight 136.5kg

104.9kg.         0.2kg⬇️. 31.4kg⬇️total

Day 195

Wednesday 13th July 2016

I find packing very stressful. I love holidays but really hate the packing. 

I usually start to prepare a few weeks before by getting clothes washed, ironed and ready to go. This time I have been very disorganised. So I have been trying to get things done last minute. 

Always when I go away I pack far too much.

This holiday we are driving so it a case of cram it all in the car. 

I find when I am busy and tired I forget to think on what I am going to eat. Today I have had to make a conscious effort to think before I eat. 

I feel I have done ok, I have even managed to prepare myself a chicken salad for tomorrow just in case, so I won’t have to eat in a service station and get tempted. 

I am just looking forward to the holiday to start now. 

Start weight 21st 5lbs

16st 11.2lbs.   0.4lbs⬇️.   63.8lbs⬇️total

Start weight 136.5kg

106.7kg.     0.2kg⬇️.     29.8kg⬇️total

Day 190

Friday 8th July 2016

Over the last 6 months I have lost 4 and a half stone and gone down 5 dress sizes. I have a waist that actually is starting to go in. My double chin is almost gone. My arms however are still large. 

If you want to know the truth about anything always ask a child. Jake, my 8 year old has always called the top of my arms “my jelly bits” because they have always been wobbly and hang underneath 

I always reply with “it’s because my muscles are so heavy that they hang underneath my arms”. He doesn’t believe me and still calls them my jelly bits!

Matt said today that my arms are looking a lot thinner. They are, but not so much at the top – my jelly bits now look like bat wings. 

As I have been losing weight my skin has done really well, considering, to tighten up but my arms seem to be the only place that isn’t shrinking with me. 

It hasn’t be too bad so far but now it is really getting noticeable and my skin is really starting to sag. I have been expecting it to happen. In some ways I am happy to see them sag because it shows that what I am doing is working. But it does make me a little self-conscious.

Start weight 21st 5lbs

16st 11.8lbs.      ⬅️➡️.      63.2lbs⬇️total

Start weight 135.6 kg

107.0kg.           ⬅️➡️.         29.8kg⬇️total