Year 3 week 3

15th – 21sth January 2018

I have been swimming now almost everyday for 3 weeks. It is going really well and I only have just over 400 lengths to go until it’s completed.

This challenge has taught me a few things. I have realised that I can commit myself to doing an hours exercise a day even though some days are really hard and some days I am really busy. I always thought that I could never cope with that much exercise.

One of the reasons I am doing it is because I am doing another half marathon in June and I thought swimming was a good way to strengthen my legs with low impact on my knees. I do feel it is working – I feel like I have more energy and more strength in my legs.

I also feel so much thinner. My clothes are looking so much better on me than at Christmas. Since doing this challenge however I haven’t lost any weight at all!

I have been seeing Jenny, my nutritionist, for 2 years now. I have always done what’s she has told me to. Somethings she has asked me to do have been extremely hard but I do them because she has never lead me wrong once.

One thing she has told me from day one is that you can’t exercise out a bad diet.

It is very easy to do exercises and then think you deserve a treat afterwards and go and eat cake or something just as bad.

Since Christmas I have really struggled to get my diet back on track. All that swimming has made me extra hungry too. I haven’t been horrendously bad but I haven’t exactly been good either.

At first doing all that exercise and not losing any weight was frustrating but what it does do is prove that Jenny has got it right again and I need to physically sort out my diet.

That is always easier said than done.


Year 2 week 45

5th- 11th October 2017

Every time I try to lose weight I always do really well at first. The first few stone has always been very easy – it’s probably because I always start a diet with about 7 stone or more to lose!

After the first few stone has come off the next few are slightly more hard work but they do come off gradually. 

Usually after 5 stone has come off I stop. The weight from then on in just doesn’t want to budge. It’s like I have hit a brick wall with absolutely no way of getting around it. 

I have hit that brick wall many times before. I have tried everything to get through but that wall always seems to stay intact. The longest I have ever been there is 6 months and then I give up and ended up turning around and going back again usually putting on more weight than I ever have before. 

This time though is different I have been standing at that wall now for over a year and however hard I try I still can’t break through. 

Since my half marathon and the holidays I have been on over the summer the weight has been gradually creeping back on again – not much but enough for me to notice. I have stayed healthy with my eating but I have had a slightly more relaxed attitude. I think my portion sizes have been getting bigger and some treats were creeping back in too. 

It has got me to a point where I am standing at that wall and wondering what now. 

I feel I can’t go down this journey and gradually put the weight back on again. I have come too far.  There is only one option and that is to try harder.  It means going to the beginning again. You may be thinking that I have done that before and you would be right. 

Last time though I was doing it out of desperation. I had to because I couldn’t continue down the road I was going on. I think my determination came from my desperation to change. 

This time though I have gone back to the beginning without that desperation to change. I feel I have achieved all my goals other than getting to my ideal weight. I have so much more energy, I can go into a regular shop and there would be lots of clothes that would fit, I am eating healthier and lots more. 

Without that desperation to change I wasn’t sure if I could do it. In someways I prefer to start with the desperation because it drives you. Starting again now has been so much harder. 

I am now 10 days in my current detox and I am actually surprised with how well I have done. I have managed to lose 8 pounds in that time. I have felt a little hungry but not as much as I thought. I just hope the weight continues to fall. 

Year 2 week 39

24th – 30th September 2017

This year we have had a lot of work done on our house. Some rooms we haven’t changed at all but some have been totally gutted and transformed. 

The work on our house has been going since January. We have had a whole new heating system including boilers, hot water tanks, thermostats the lot. We had the house re- wired for a new alarm system and electrics. We have had diggers inside the ground floor of the house getting rid of old pipe work. Basically the whole of this year I feel I have lived with mess and dust. 

The parts of the house we are living in are nice but do get dusty really quick. One of the rooms that is being done is our bedroom and ensuite. In March we moved out of it and went to the spare room. Our spare room is a decent size but it’s in desperate need of decoration. 

I have never really been a tidy person, however when it comes to my wardrobes and draws I like them to be neat.  I won’t put anything in it unless it’s neat, which is why my clothes don’t get put away very often because I can’t be bothered to tidy the wardrobe first!

Our bedroom, which we’ve been out of for 7 months,has totally changed. We have knocked walls down, put new walls up in different places, we have had new furniture made especially to fit, everything is brand new. 

This week we have finally moved back in. I feel I have moved from a complete mess to a place that’s so nice that I don’t want to leave. We now have a walk in wardrobe. It took me 2 days to organise but now everything has a place and it looks so tidy. 

One thing I have noticed is that because my surroundings are so neat and tidy, and because I actually like my new room I seem to be taking a lot more pride in keeping it that way. Which also means I am having a lot more pride in my appearance. 

I seem to be happy to take time in choosing what to wear, I am taking time to look after my skin, I am even taking time in choosing what to eat. 

One thing it has shown me is that your surroundings can really affect your mood. I am sure that must relate to people and life too. It shows me that I’m to make sure I have good people in my life, to have things around me that lift me up and not drag me down. I feel that when it comes to people I am very fortunate – I have a great husband, kids, family and some amazing friends. 

I know that when certain situations arise in my life I don’t necessarily handle them very well. It’s like I am living in my old bedroom not enjoying my surroundings.  I feel to improve that situation the answer is to not get rid of it but make alterations to help improve it and then it’s amazing how quickly things change.

I just hope these new surroundings continue to lighten my mood and I continue to take a lot more pride in my life in general!

Year 2 week 27

2nd – 8th July 2017

This time is a busy time of year for me. At the end of the school year there is always so much to do with sports days and presentations and I am usually packing for holiday too. 

This year is no different except that instead of packing for 6 people this year it’s like 8. It’s because my kids are going to so many different places over the summer. One of my sons has left on a school hockey and cricket tour in Sri Lanka for 2 weeks and he goes from there to India doing some missionary work for a month. Two of my other sons have come with us on holiday but as soon as we get home they go off to Serbia on mission hence so much packing.

With so much to do means that I lose focus on my goal of losing weight. My eating habits are not as bad as they were 18 months ago but I feel that on occasions I do let things slip a little though. 

I still have that problem of looking in the mirror and seeing me the same way I always have. I sometimes struggle to think I have changed at all. These struggles are things that I face all the time and they can be very disheartening. It actually makes me feel a bit of a fraud – like I have been lying about my progress over the past 18 months. Then when I lose a little focus the feeling is worse. 

When I feel like that I just think of where I have come from. 18 months ago I didn’t have the energy to keep going all day. I was over 5 stone heavier and I definitely couldn’t have ever ran a half marathon. 

Sometimes though I get reminders in the little things like the fact that I can go shopping and buy clothes in a much smaller size than I use too, I try clothes on they are more likely to be too big than too tight, that I can get off the sofa in seconds and without pain rather than it taking me over 5 minutes. 

The latest thing that reminds me is the fact after I have a shower and I only need one towel to wrap around me rather than 2!

It is one thing that I have noticed lately. I get slightly overwhelmed every time I wrap a towel around me and I can tie it. I half expect that I still need 2! It also means I can use the second towel to dry my hair. 

These little things help to remind me that I am not a fraud. I have done better than what the mirror translates in my mind and even though I get set backs it helps me to move forward.

Year 2 week 12

19th – 25th march 2017

I have always been a person who loves colour.  When I left school I became a hair dresser and colour plays a big part in that profession.  One of the first things you learn is how to understand the colour wheel and I have enjoyed experimenting with it ever since. 

When I am making a quilt I mix all sorts of colours together.  When I paint I love mixing colours together to see what I get. I have a rule when painting of never using black.  If I want a dark colour like black I will always mix a few colours together to make it more interesting to look at because, in my view, black is boring. 

However, when it comes to the clothes I wear I tend to default to black. I have this theory that it makes you look thinner it’s also easy to mix colours with because everything goes with it. 

Before I lost the weight I always wore black.  I don’t think I had anything in another colour. When the weight started to come off and I was buying new clothes I started adding colours that I could wear with my black. 

One thing I have struggled with since losing the weight is knowing what suits me now. Because my body shape has changed so much I can’t seem to wear the same style of clothes that I did before. 

I have a friend who is a lifestyle consultant. She assesses what suits you, helps you with colours and goes through your wardrobe to see if they are any good. So I asked for her help. 

One thing she did was get a colour lady in.  I have always wanted my colours done. It basically starts by putting lots of coloured scarfs around my neck. 

She then looks at the colour and how it reflects on my face. As she was explaining it I started to look at my face rather than the colour it’s self and I could see that some colours were brightening my face and others were making me look more washed out. 

I found it very fascinating and I feel I learnt a lot. One colour that I am not supposed to wear is black. There was me thinking that black is a good colour and it goes with everything and apparently it’s not slimming if it’s not your colour. 

We then got to my wardrobe and we went through my clothes I must have had hundreds of items that were black! I sat there watching them getting thrown in the bin. I did keep my favourite black items though. 

It sounds harsh but in some ways it was quite liberating. I didn’t seem to care that I had a lifetime of bad habits been thrown in the bin. 

My friend then sorted out the clothes I had left in colour order and then put them back in my wardrobe. I now have one wardrobe that has only my black clothes. 

Now when I look in my wardrobe I can’t seem to go to the black cupboard. It’s like a part of my past that has gone but it means that I have a brighter more colourful future. 

One thing I have noticed is that I am taking a lot more pride in my appearance. If I was only going to the shop I would normally grab the first thing I could find and put it on. Now though I find I am taking more time and asking Matt what he thinks before I go to the shop. 

I am quite enjoying my colourful wardrobe. I am also enjoying experimenting with colours for myself for a change rather than putting it just in my paintings. I have now become the canvas!

If you want to know more about this then the lifestyle consultant I used was Emiko Ray – I highly recommend her!  Find her on twitter – @EmikoCRay

Day 329

Thursday 24th November 2016

It’s that time of year again when I need to start thinking about Christmas. Which means that I need to start doing my Christmas shopping.

I have always liked shopping but it’s so much easier shopping for yourself – at least I know I will like it!

But when it comes to shopping for other people, that’s a totally different ball game. It usually takes me 3 times as long and I get tired very quickly. 

There was one shop I noticed today and I made a comment to my Mum that I used to always shop in there. It was a plus size clothes shop. 

I then realised that not only did I always shop there, but earlier this year, as my weight started to come down, I struggled to stop shopping there. 

It was like my head was saying I still needed to be wearing plus size clothes, but my body didn’t fit them anymore. 

I have been a plus size most of my life. It was hard to change my thinking. I couldn’t believe that I could get into regular sized clothes. 

Today though, seeing that shop has made me think that I have stopped believing I need those clothes anymore. I have stopped thinking I am a plus size. 

I don’t know when the change came but I am glad because it has made me realise that I am becoming more ‘normal’ and I don’t see myself as being as large anymore.

Day 307

Wednesday 2nd November 2016

Last night Matt and I hoped on a plane and went to Portugal. We are going for a few days leaving the kids at home. 

My Dad now lives in Portugal and the last time a saw him was May. I have changed a lot since then and my Dad seemed to notice the difference which was encouraging. 

What was weird though was that before I left I had to get out all of my summer clothes. It was strange packing summer clothes when it is cold outside. 

I packed the clothes I liked and put them in my case. However this morning when getting dressed some of the clothes were too big. I put a t shirt on that is now a great big dress. 

A few other items are big too, even my swimming costume. It doesn’t seem that long ago since I was wearing them in the summer. 

Before I left home I was noticing that things were fitting better. So yesterday morning I got back on the scales. I am still heavier than I was before I went to Devon but for some reason it didn’t seem to bother me. 

I don’t know if it’s because I have got out of the habit of weighing myself and now I just don’t care anymore or because my clothes are feeling looser again. 

I hope it’s the latter because, if it is because I don’t care anymore, that could lead me back in the wrong direction and I can’t have that. 

Start weight 21st 5lbs

16st   07lbs.   0.9lbs⬆️.  . 74.1lbs⬇️total

Start weight 136.5kg

101.9kg.     0.4⬆️.      34.5kg⬇️total

Day 252

Thursday 8th September 2016

With the kids going back to school, I can get back into some kind of routine. That means seeing some people I haven’t seen since the beginning of summer. 

I felt over the summer I tried hard with very little results. I went on a few bike rides – one that was 23 miles – I climbed Snowdon and I went on many walks, some of them quite challenging. I have done more activities this summer than I have ever done before. 

I have even eaten a lot healthier over the summer. I went away a few times and I still watched what I ate. I was very conscious that I didn’t want to ruin all my hard work up until that point. Putting all this into consideration I felt that I hadn’t lost any weight. 

So why all of a sudden are people shocked by how much weight I have lost? Some people say that they are hardly recognising me. 

I know deep down I am doing well but I just can’t see it. To me I am the same only I have more energy, my clothes are baggy and my health has improved. I just can’t see what everyone else sees. 

Today though I had a shock

One thing I was shocked about was that I decided to look back at what my weight was at the beginning of the summer. I thought I had not lost any weight but it turns out that I have actually lost 5lbs. Ok, so it’s not brilliant but it’s definitely better than nothing. 

I spend my time looking at what I was yesterday but when I actually looked a bit further back it turns out to be a lot better than I thought. 

Another thing that constantly shocks me  is when I go shopping for clothes. I would go for a 16 comfortably but I have been known to buy a 14. Yesterday I had to buy a 12!

Today I went shopping with my sister in law and niece, Kate, and I tried on a coat. I have always found that with coats I need to get bigger because of all the clothes on underneath. I got a 16 thinking I would need to go up a size but no, I had to go down a size. I couldn’t believe it. 

So there’s me thinking that I had made no progress whatsoever over the summer but really I think I achieved a lot!

Start weight 21st 5lbs

16st 7.4lbs. ⬅️➡️. 67.6lbs⬇️total

Start weight 136.5kg

105kg. ⬅️➡️. 31.5kg⬇️total

Day 218

Friday 5th August 2016

I said a few months back that I was finding it weird going in regular shops to buy clothes and how I still found myself going in the plus size shops instead.

Now though I realise that I haven’t been shopping in a plus size shop for a long time. I think that transition has happened naturally. 

I find now that I go in regular shops with regular sizes but I find I don’t know what size to choose I know that I don’t pick anything larger than a 16 or lower than a 14 but I can’t look and say that will fit and buy it. My mum shops that way and they always fit. I have to say I used to do that too. I find now that I physically have to go into the changing room and try it on. 

While in there I always seem to worry that it’s going to be to tight and I end up splitting a seam or something. 

In the past I have tried on clothes that are too tight and I end up getting stuck in a funny position and someone having to help me out of it. Fortunately every time it has happened my mum has been there and come to my rescue!

I have to admit that I have also ripped a seam before or I think I have as while taking off the garment I heard that dreaded noise as if I had ripped something but I’m usually too scared to look and check. I just hang it back on the hanger and leave the shop. You probably  think I am such a terrible person now!

While trying on clothes today I half expected it to happen again but no. I ended up buying a smaller size.

Trying on clothes has never really been an enjoyable experience for me. I have always bought clothes that fit but don’t have too much style or a nice shape to them. 

I find now that I can buy clothes that are a bit more stylish and have a nicer shape. Clothes that can actually go in a little at the waist. These new styles and shapes are making me enjoy the experience a lot more. However it will mean that Matt will start worrying more over our bank balance too. 

Start weight 21st 5lbs

16st 7lbs      1.2lbs⬇️.      68lbs⬇️total

Start weight 136.5kg

104.8kg.     0.5kg⬇️.        32.2kg⬇️total

Day 205

Saturday 23rd July 2016

When you lose weight I find that clothes seem to drop lower and hang longer. Tops I find end up being dresses. I like the fact they are longer but the neck line also gets lower. Which can cause a stir at times. 

I did learn really quick though when, a few weeks back, I flashed my bra at someone accidentally.  Fortunately his wife was there and they found it funny rather than her telling me off. I did leave slightly embarrassed though.

On holiday I tend to wear a lot of strappy tops. I bought a load for my last holiday in March so I didn’t want to buy new ones. 

They hang really long but they also drop too low at the front.  But I have come up with a solution.

I find when I tie a knot in each strap it works really well it lifts it enough at the front and It has eliminated any more embarrassing moments

Start weight 21st 5lbs

16st 11.8lbs.    0.4lbs⬆️     63.2lbs⬇️total

Start weight 136.5kg

107kg.     0.2kg⬆️.     29.5kg⬇️total