Year 3 week 8

19th – 25th February 2018

Back in October I went to Serbia with 8 other ladies from our church. One thing we were going to run was a women’s retreat while we were there.

It was a few days away with a group of Serbian ladies. The idea was we would go and share our stories, take seminars, do workshops and generally connect with the women.

To do this retreat it entailed us doing a year of planning before we went. We all had our own particular jobs. One of mine was to organise a few of the workshops. Which was great for me because it meant I could get creative. Creativity, I feel, is one of my strong points.

While in Serbia we felt as a team that somethings we prepared weren’t going to work. It meant changing a whole afternoon. We found ourselves in the situation of trying to fill in 6 hours with something totally new.

We came up with this new programme and it was a huge success. It was a great laugh and highly entertaining – it ended up with so many people opening up. For me it was the best part of the whole retreat.

Through this experience I learnt something about myself. I learnt that I totally enjoyed this whole experience and I found I thrived off changing the plan and coming up with something new. I was totally in my element and I really jumped in feet first. I am not sure everyone else got as much out of it as me but I have learnt I can totally wing it if I have to.

This week I have had to wing it a lot. The kids have been off school for half term which always means a change of plan. It has also made it difficult to continue with my 50 mile challenge for this month.

I thought though that I could go on the treadmill a few times. We have had workmen in our house this week and they would constantly move the treadmill into a place where I couldn’t use it. It didn’t matter how often I tried to move it back it was always the case that when I came to use it I couldn’t.

I found this frustrating as I knew my time in February was running out and I still had 19 miles to go. It meant I had to totally rethink my plans and resort to plan B.

Changing plans can very often take you in a totally different direction and it did for me this week.

I managed to meet up with a friend and we took the kids bikes. We went to a place by a lake, the kids went off and we made our way around the lake a few times meeting the kids on a few occasions. We ended up going 5 miles which was more than my normal distance and it was so much more enjoyable too.

A couple of days later I went again doing 6 miles this time though. I managed to get out a couple of times by myself upping my total by 17 miles this week.

So plan B ended up being so much better than plan A and so much more enjoyable too. There are only 4 days left to this month and I only have 2 miles to go to complete this challenge. I feel I can do that no problem – if not I will be resorting to plan C!


Year 3 week 1

1st – 7th January 2018

My eating in December was so bad that now we have hit January it’s all systems go.

There is a saying that I hear every new year and that is ‘New Year, New You’ and I always go by it. I make new years resolutions to try to improve certain situations and I have to say that this year is no different.

The year always starts well and as the months roll by those resolutions have gradually slipped. That’s definitely how last year went anyway!

For now though I am going for it. I have decided to give myself a challenge every month.

I have decided that my challenge this month is swimming. I have been using a pool that is 15 meters in length and the challenge is to swim 2018 lengths this month.

I set it on the 1st and thought for me to achieve this goal I will need to swim 100 lengths a day with 2 days off a week.

My challenge has started well and the first few days it was good. But once I got to days 3 and 4 it was taking its toll. Towards the end of the week it was getting easier.

I am not really finding this challenge easy. When I set it I thought it would be a challenge but not a huge push. I am finding it quite a chore though.

I have however managed to make the effort every day this week and I have already knocked 600 lengths off that target.

My eating has improved this month but it’s not perfect with all this extra swimming. I’m finding I am getting extra hungry which isn’t always good when you are trying to cut down.

Maybe I can do better next week.

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 44

29th October- 4th November 2017

One thing I have really struggled this year with has been motivation.

I think it’s because I achieved one of my main goals this year. One of my goals was to have enough energy to keep up with my kids. My kids are typical kids and have heaps of energy. 

Before I started this journey I couldn’t even walk up the stairs without being out of breath. 16 months later I did a half marathon! 

For me doing that half marathon in Rwanda was so amazing. It was something that I never thought I could ever do. I was so overwhelmed at the time that I did it. That to me that was my ultimate goal. I felt that there was nothing I could do any better than that. I felt that I had climbed the highest mountain and actually reached the top. 

Since then it has been hard staying motivated. The trouble with reaching your goal is that there is nothing left to aim for. Once you reach that point and you get to the top of your mountain there is only one place left to go and that’s DOWN. 

Sometimes to go down can be fun. It means that there are no restrictions on your life. It’s like I can do anything and get away with it. However you do end up with a feeling of guilt that you have let things slip so bad. 

The getting away with it can only last so long. With falling there comes a point where you hit the ground. Hitting rock bottom can be very painful and usually at that point it’s very hard to see a way out of it. 

I feel that since Rwanda that is what I have been doing – FALLING. In my mind though I didn’t want to fall I feel I protected myself from the impact – it’s like I put on my parachute so when I hit the ground it wasn’t so painful. 

This month I have set myself new goals.  I have hit the ground now but I have decided to turn around and start climbing that mountain again. 

I have decided that for the month of November I am going to concentrate on my eating again. I have already had a carb free 4 days and lost a few pounds too. I would like to continue my healthy eating throughout this month and hopefully it will give me the boost I need to continue after. 

I have also signed up for another half marathon – this time in Kenya. It’s in June of next year. I will be raising money again for the charity Compassion UK.

I think for me the fact I am doing it again isn’t quite as significant as before. What it does do though is help me to keep active, gives me something to focus on and I get to help some needy children in Africa in the process. 

I came back from doing my last half marathon thinking I would never do one again. My fitness levels have depleted so much that I feel I have signed up without the ability to succeed. Knowing this is coming hopefully will get me motivated to train.

After June next year, when I’ve completed my second half marathon, I’m hoping that I won’t fall like I did this year. Well that’s what I’m aiming for.

Year 2 week 2

8th – 14th January 2017

This week has been a really bad week for me. I have had a bad cold and the first few days I was in bed. Then the cold seemed to clear and I felt a lot better except my ears were really blocked. 

I find when your ears are blocked it can send your balance out and it really did with me. I would try and walk down the corridor but I was going completely in the wrong direction. I couldn’t seem to correct it and go the right way. 

All week I have been hitting walls and cabinets and the room has done nothing but spin. It has taken me a lot longer to get to where I wanted to go. It’s like something is pulling me back. 

I feel that is how my motivation has gone too. I am struggling to stay on track. I want to head one way but there’s this voice in my head that says “your year is up you don’t have to do this anymore” and this is trying to make me go backwards. I am fighting against it – but to no avail sometimes. 

I am hoping it’s only because I have a cold and my motivation will come back when it’s gone. The cold has made me feel extremely hungry as well this week. 

I have managed to not eat between my meals and wait 5 hours till I can eat again.  But I think that my portion sizes have been a little larger than they should be. 

I have not been able to exercise all week either which has been very frustrating. I have wanted to exercise but didn’t feel I could. 

One thing this cold has taught me is that I need to start measuring my food again, to get my portion sizes back on track. I have stopped weighing my food for about 6 months. 

I think my portion size has generally been ok but I think to measure again would not hurt. It would be like starting from the beginning again. All I remember is being very motivated at the very beginning so hopefully by me weighing my food and being back in control of what I eat I will boost my motivation. 

I am also planning to up the exercise again. I am going to try and do at least 30 minutes everyday. Some days I already do an hour but exercising all the others days for at least 30 mins will hopefully get me back on track. 

Last year when I was writing my thoughts down everyday and sharing it on this blog helped me keep my goals at the forefront of my mind. I found it really helpful and I managed to focus on where I was heading better. 

This year, without me writing my thoughts down everyday, has seemed to make it harder for some reason. To write and draw a picture everyday for a year really did take a lot out of me. It did however stop me from thinking about food and made me think how I was to achieve my goals instead. 

To keep up that pace everyday is not sustainable for long – I am surprised how I managed it for a year!  I do need to find something else to keep me focused though. Maybe it will come in time. 

Day 366

Saturday 31st December 2016

New Years Eve

I DID IT !!!!

I wrote my diary everyday for a year. I never really thought that this day would ever come at times. And what a year it has been!

I have had so many emotional ups and downs. I have put in some hard work and I feel like I have achieved so much this year.

At the start of the year when I started to write this blog my post for day one said:

“It’s New Year’s Day and with true New Years tradition I decided to make a New Years resolution. I AM going to lose weight this year.

So today is day 1 and I did absolutely nothing towards dieting.

Oh well, there is always tomorrow.”

In my experience when you are dieting,  tomorrow never comes.  Well it looks like on this occasion it did and kept coming for 365 days after.

I have always been a person to set New Years resolutions and I have always tried my best to stick to them as well. To lose weight is always near the top of the list and it’s one resolution that always got broken.

This year I did set a few resolutions and I can honestly say that I did stick to them too.

Some of the resolutions for this year did get added throughout the year but they were still goals I was aiming to achieve during the year.

One was to lose 100lbs before the end of the year. Unless I miraculously lose 25lbs before midnight I failed this task. I have always hated failing things especially when it comes to personal goals.

However, I don’t really look at it as a failure. I just look at all the things I have achieved and the reason I didn’t get to 100lbs wasn’t for the lack of trying!

Some of those goals I have achieved only last week, like running 5 miles before the end of the year. And right now I am achieving another goal by posting my final daily blog of the year and drawing yet another picture.  The joy I get when I have achieved one of my goals far out weighs the fact that I didn’t lose 100lbs.

This journey this year has taught me so much:

1) A lot can happen in a year and it’s up to you to make it change for the better.

2) Being honest with yourself and how you really feel is the first step to making a change.

3) Listening to the things that are going on around you and getting something positive from it.

4) Confessing how you feel about situations especially about how you feel about yourself. I have found confession is the cure.

5) Make a plan and stick to it no matter how hard it gets. When you can push on through the hard times is when you get a greater reward.

6) Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength.

7) You need support so get some people around you can trust.

8) Don’t rely on the scales, especially when the weight isn’t coming off. It will come off eventually.

So for me a lot really has happened in a year. It doesn’t mean though that this journey is over. It just means that I have written one book and now I am about to start the next volume

My health is now my number one priority and this will be the journey that will continue from now on. So to say that this is the end is untrue because I am sure that a lot of those issues I have faced this year will try to come back out again. But I think I am now a bit more aware of how to deal with them.

The difference a year makes:

20th Jan 16 / 31st Dec 16
11th Feb 16 / 31st Dec 16

Hopefully next year I can carry on this weight loss journey with the same amount of success and achievement. I also have plenty of new goals which I want to pursue in the new year.  These goals I would never have been able to think about if I hadn’t lost the weight I have this year.

If I could put this year into one word that word would be ‘overcoming’.  That is what I think I have done this year – I’ve overcome so much.

I have definitely enjoyed you being on this journey with me everyday. I have found it a challenge to keep up this pace of daily posts. It doesn’t mean I am gone for good. I will be back from time to time to give you updates and let you know how my New Years resolutions for 2017 are going.

Have a really great new year and I hope your 2017 is even more rewarding than my 2016 has been.

Start weight 21st 5lbs

16st lbs. ⬅️➡️. 75lbs⬇️total

Start weight 136.5kg

101.6kg. ⬅️➡️. . 34.8kg⬇️total

Day 262

Sunday 18th September 2016

When I first started at the beginning of the year my goal was to lose 70lbs (5 stone) by October. It seemed impossible – I thought I wasn’t going to do it. It just seemed so far for me to see that far ahead.

At first the weight came off really quickly. I lost the first 4 stone in 4 and a half months. It has taken 4 months for the last stone. It has been a struggle at every step. But today I did it – I actually got to the 70lbs down mark.

In recent weeks I have been so close but I have often thought that I was never going to get there. I couldn’t believe it when I got on the scales this morning  and I had reached my goal. 

I actually got quite emotional and the tears were filling my eyes. I found myself crying at random times – I just couldn’t contain my emotions. 

This had been something I had worked all year for and today I actually succeeded. I think when you try so hard for something and eventually you get it I think I couldn’t help but be emotional. 

I have been taking comparison photos at every stone I lose. It has been 4 months since the last one. 

20th January / 18th September

It was very hard taking the first photo. Now though I am glad I did because it shows me where I have come from and the improvements I have made. 

Eventhough my overall goal was to lose 70lbs by October it quickly changed to 100lbs by the end of the year. So I still have a long way to go and a lot more hard work ahead. 

Start weight 21st 5lbs

16st 5lbs.        0.5lbs⬇️.     70lbs⬇️total

Start weight 136.5kg

103.9kg.         0.2kg⬇️.     32.6kg⬇️total

Day 197

Friday 15th July 2016

Today we went on a day trip to Annecy. It’s one of my favourite places in France. It has a lake, the mountains, lots of shops and nice restaurants, there are lots of activities for the kids it is also very quaint.

We have been to Annecy many times before and we love it. In the past the only draw back is the amount of walking we do. We usually park a little way from the town and then walk in. Today the walking didn’t bother me at all. 

We looked round the shops, had lunch and then we walked to the lake side so the kids could kick at football around. This is the point of the day I relax. Not today though I spent my time kicking a football around too. 

Excuse the pun but this was one of my goals and today I achieved it. We had so much fun in the process . We spent most of the time laughing mainly at me because I am rubbish at football. 

It has only taken me 6 short months to make these minor changes but to me it had been so worth it.

No weigh in

Day 104

Wednesday 13th April 2016

I went to see Jenny the nutritionist today.  It was the first visit after the holiday. Always when I go there is a weigh in and today was no different except that I can really see how much weight I lost on holiday. It said that I lost 7lbs which I am really happy about.

We also talked about goals  

Back in January when I saw Jenny for the first time, she asked me about my goals and what I wanted to achieve. I remember saying that I would love to have the energy to spend more time with the kids, not to feel so tired all the time. I wanted to improve my health and I wanted to lose 70lbs for my Dads 70th birthday in October. These were my long term goals all of which I have achieved except the 70lbs. However that goal has now changed and I have increased it to 100lbs.  I have also added climbing Mount Snowden by the end of the year.

The long term goals seem so overwhelming and out of reach sometimes that I have to set myself a lot of short term goals – the next one being to get under 18st (and under every stone as I come to it) then to lose 50lbs (or every 10lbs) then to lose 4 stone (or every stone that follows). These are nicely spaced so I can usually accomplish at least one of these every week. It is these short term goals that keep me motivated and without them the long term goals seem too far away. 

18st 1.1lbs.    1.1lbs⬇️.     45.9lbs⬇️total

114.8kg.         0.5kg⬇️.      21.7kg⬇️total