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Eat your way to weight loss success

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The 12th of January 2012 changed my life for the better. I was 24 years old and on my way to a pre-op consultation at my local hospital. I had always had problems with my teeth since I was a kid thanks to a calcium deficiency being handed down from my grandmother.

Entering the hospital I was called into a room to go through my details and to be told what would be happening. I was asked lots of questions before the measuring started. The nurse measured everything from my feet to my chest before being asked to step on the scales. I knew I was chunky but at almost 6ft tall I thought I carried it well. “19 stone 10 lbs” the nurse read out, she clearly stated that I was morbidly obese. I felt so ashamed and wanted to cry. I never used to weigh myself as I didn’t think I was too bad. After the pre-op consultation I knew I needed to do something.

Cutting down portions and snacking

My dad was very supportive and told me to just cut down a little to start with or if I cut everything out straight away I would fall off the wagon and put even more weight on, so this is what I did. If I ate 4 chocolate bars a day I cut it down to 3 and did the same with the crisps. I noticed after a week I had lost 5lbs just by cutting back a little on the chocolate and crisps. I told myself I would weigh once a week.

I then swapped sugar for sweetener and stopped having milk in my coffee, again the weight was dropping off me. Next on my swap list was oil for the lighter spray oil, and fatty processed meals for healthy home cooked meals. I was experimenting with healthy foods and loving the results.

By August 2012 I had lost 3 stone. My sisters and parents were so impressed and supportive throughout. It was costing me a fortune every time I needed to update my wardrobe, but I kept a pair of jeans as my trophy. A few years prior to me starting my weight loss journey, 2 of my sisters started Slimming World just to shift the baby weight (which was only a few pounds). They handed me their books that they used for recipe ideas and inspiration to carry on further. By now I was feeling more energetic. Before the diet I would park my car as close to the shops as possible so I wouldn’t have far to walk, now I was doing 10 minutes of jogging on my Wii board every day. I had never been on holiday before as I had been so embarrassed of my body and how I looked; now I was getting on a plane to Vienna!

weight loss scales

By December I had lost 4 stone, I was enjoying my own cooked meals but noticed my weight loss had stopped. I had to step it up a bit. Now it was portion control time, although I was eating healthily it was the amount I was eating that was stretching the neck of my stomach and making me bloat. From December onwards I focused on the amount I was eating, I went to Lanzarote and managed not to gain weight with my new approach to eating. At first it was hard, I won’t lie, if I had a bad day I would just tell myself it’s over and tomorrow is a new day. I was dreading my first Christmas of dieting, I ate what I wanted in moderation and managed to only gain a few pounds of Christmas and New Year. This weight came off easily with a bit more exercise.

6 stone down!

It has taken 15 months to lose 6 stone. I am now at my target weight and have gone from a size 26 to a size 14/16, and 19stone 10lbs to 13stone 10lbs. I still eat chocolate daily, I have my normal meals and then treats before bed. My day just wouldn’t be complete without them. Recently I have started a 4 mile cycle every day in the glorious countryside where I am lucky to live to keep me fit and active.

Throughout my journey I have eaten out regularly, sometimes twice a week. I would eat pub food with a naughty pudding and knew I would put weight on, I just told myself I would have to step up the exercise to shift it.

Weight loss isn’t going to happen overnight and there certainly are no quick fixes. You need to be mentally strong and dedicated to reach your goals. Having supportive family or friends around you is a must, I don’t think I would have done it without my family around me to spur me on and pick me up when I was down. Far too often I have witnessed people crash dieting then putting far more weight on. My way was eating my way to weight loss and being patient about it.

My top tips would be:

1) Take photos of yourself when you start then every month so you can see the changes.

2) Weigh yourself once a week, don’t be tempted to weigh in more often than this as your weight can increase daily due to changes in your body and water. Stress is a big factor in weight gain so try not to stress.

3) Write a food menu for the week ahead and stick to it.

4) Keep a pair of trousers when you start – I have a size 26 jeans as my trophy.

5) Get plenty of sleep, 8 hours or more is optimal. If you don’t sleep enough your body will crave sugar.

 

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