That’s the question several people have asked me. How did I go about losing all that weight?
And here’s my secret. I made the choice to do it for me, to take control and stop letting my appetite for food and my inclination to comfort eat control me. That’s it, something that is both very simple and very difficult to do. I made a decision to take control and I was determined to stick to it.
I’d made a couple of attempts at losing a bit of weight in the past and had been reasonable successful at the time but hadn’t really taken control or kept things going longer term. Neither had I ever tried to lose as much as I wanted to lose this time. I’d even set myself targets and rewards on a previous occasion but never really got going on it. Then in late autumn 2009 I took a look at myself and accepted I was not just overweight, I was clinially obese and I needed to take control and sort this out for my sake and for my children’s sake.
I had already decided a long time ago that I simply don’t do fad diets. I won’t give up anything completly. What’s the point in giving something you like up? You only make yourself miserable and start craving it even more. What I needed to do was simply eat less and more healthily too.
It’s pretty well known that the average female should have about 2000 calories a day to maintain a healthy weight. Medical advice on weight loss is clear that in order to loose weight at a safe and steady level you need to have about a 500-600 calorie deficit so I set myself a daily target of 1500 calories at most and preferably a little less than that (1200 – 1400 calories is what I usually aimed for) and I started learning more about calories in food in order to stick to it. So bascially I calorie count. That is the method I chose based on medical guidelines on obesity and safe weight loss.
I also gradually added in more exercise to help increase my metabolism and firm up muscles as my weight reduced. I was under no illusions that exercise was going to be the key to further weight loss, it can help yes, but it is not the key to weight loss, what you eat is the key. What exercise does do is get those feel good endorphins flowing round your system which improves your mood. Even GPs will prescribe exercise for those suffering from depression for that very reason. And if you feel better about yourself it’s that bit easier to stick to reduced portions and strict calorie allowances when it’s getting tougher. And make no mistake there were plenty of days that I felt hungry and miserable and ate more than I should have done but I was determined to do this for my future health.
The other thing I used was a touch of self hypnosis or self affirmations if you like. Particularly in the early stages of the weight loss I would settle down to sleep repeating to myself that “I will and can lose weight” and “I can and will control my diet”.
I set myself a series of rewards for reaching certain weight targets as added incentives. The blue streak was for reaching 85kg, the tattoo was reaching 80kg AND staying at that weight or better for three months or more. The final target I set myself was 75kg which puts me into the overweight catagory in terms of BMI and I had trouble coming up with a reward for that but in the end I decided that having to replenish your wardrobe almost completely was reward enough. Yes, I’d got a few new clothes along the way but this was a major clothes shop including going to a decent lingerie shop to be measures and fitted for nice new bras and they don’t come cheap!
The bits of boasting I’ve done here in the past and the supportive comments I have received here and from colleagues at work have also been a great help in keeping me going.
As it happens I am now a little bit under 75 kg and staying pretty steadily at my current weight which is a size 14 clothing wise and that’s plenty good enough for me. I still calorie count but I allow myself a few more indulgencies. I have not increased my daily calorie allowance to 2000 as for me I think that would result in weight increase again but I am a bit more relaxed about daily totals. On average though I’m eating about 1600 calories on most days now with some days being a touch more and some a touch less. That seems to be a pretty good maintenance level for me at the moment.
I still get the urge to comfort eat and indeed have succumbed to that urge sometimes. I don’t think that will change but I now know that I can control things long term and if I have a bad day or even a bad week I can and will take control again.
So there you have it, the secret and methods of how I did it. And the key to it all was that I made the decision to lose weight for my own sake, to be healthier and fitter for myself and for my children. I decided to take control and once I made that decision it was simply a matter of doing it.