My weight loss journey series: vol 6 – Doesn’t anyone notice I’ve lost a lot of weight?

So far I’ve lost 11kg (24lbs) since starting in September.

A while ago I was getting baffled by almost no one saying anything about the weight I’d lost. I started doubting whether it was actually showing.

Even though the scale was showing from -7kg (15lbs) to -10kg (22lbs) over a period of time, I thought the weight loss was noticeable, and clothes were fitting better, the dilemma I was facing was that no one was commenting on it.

I can understand that my husband wouldn’t really see it so well, as we see each other every day, but I thought it was strange no one else was mentioning it.

When I brought my weight loss up in conversations, then everyone always said they had noticed I had lost a lot of weight. I wasn’t sure whether they had or hadn’t, and were just trying to be polite when I mentioned it.

It wasn’t until I had a discussion with couple of separate people about it. They said they didn’t want to say anything, because ‘if you say to someone they’ve lost weight you’re saying they were fat’! Apparently it’s a no go area to say to a woman they have lost weight.

I would never have guessed this, nor would I understand anyone getting offended when they get told they’ve lost weight, am I alone thinking this way?

So, if no one is saying anything to you, don’t worry about it. Most likely they don’t want to say anything because they think they might offend you if they commented on it. Just keep going, and trust your own feelings.

Below are couple of example recipes of foods I’m eating a lot of. I tend to leave out potatoes and rice from my weekday meals, and save eating them to when I’m eating out, or cook a roast etc., special occasions. You should also be aware that avocado (which I have on the salmon recipe) has quite a lot of calories.

Simple steamed salmon

Easy oven grilled sea bass and vegetables

My weight loss journey series: vol 5 – What about festive periods / holidays?

Holidays and festive periods are a challenge to any dieter. The last thing you want to do is watch what you eat, when everyone else is gorging around you. I believe that if you deny being able to eat normal during special times from yourself, you will be more likely to give up altogether.

My weight loss was going very well when Christmas was approaching. I decided that I wanted to eat whatever I wanted during the festive period, so it was a conscious decision to take a break from my diet. I was completely expecting for the weight to momentarily go up, and I thought it was ok. As long as you know to expect it, it’s fine. The plan was to go back on the diet afterwards. The bigger challenge for me was to reach my pre-Christmas weight before my holiday, only two-and-a half weeks after the Christmas period.

As expected, the weight went up, but it also came down pretty easily. The main thing is to get back on the diet. The risk is that once you’ve given yourself some freedom, you carry on, rather than go back on the diet. I managed to get back to my pre-Christmas weight before my holiday, and in fact even a little bit lower.

Again, on holiday I completely eased off the diet, and once back, and back on the diet, I’ve gone back to the weight I was before the holiday, and now even lower than that, so everything is back on track.

Like I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, sometimes it’s actually good to give your body a ‘shock to the system’, so that it doesn’t get used to the low calorie intake and slow your metabolism down trying to adjust to it.

I would probably say don’t sweat and stress too much about sometimes having a break, and even your weight going up because of it. As long as you expect it, and have a plan how to carry on (and get back on it), you’re all good.

My weight loss currently stands at about 10kg (22lbs) since starting in September 2018, even with Christmas and another holiday during this period. My plan is to lose the weight the way and speed that works for me, and will more likely stay away once target is reached too. I’m planning for the whole journey to probably take over a year.

 

My weight loss journey series: vol 3 – The first hurdle

As I’m on a pretty low calorie diet, I knew that at some point by metabolism would shut down, so I was prepared for it when it happened. It’s a funny thing with our bodies. Those who do weights training at the gym for example, know that you need to change your exercise programme after a while, because the body has gotten used to the old programme. We have to break that routine to kick start things again. Now, this actually suits me very well. I like having the break weeks, where I can be on a normal diet and eat more, and things I don’t eat during my dieting weeks. Don’t get too discouraged when the weight loss stagnates. As my target per week is to lose 0.5kg (1.1lbs), and I lost more than double that within the first weeks, I tend to calculate where I should be at that stage, if I had lost only my target amount. Sometimes you lose more, sometimes less.

My metabolism shut down came after 5 weeks of dieting. For the next two weeks, I was off my strict diet. For breakfast I might’ve been having either the usual porridge, or perhaps some bread, omelette etc, more varied than during the diet. For lunch I still had my usual salad, and for dinner rice and potatoes were added. Here are a  couple of recipe ideas you could try: Squid and chorizo saladChicken paella

I think the key is firstly not to go completely crazy and overboard when you are on the break weeks, not counting calories, but still keep some sense to it. Secondly, the more difficult thing is to start the diet again after the couple-of-week-break. At this stage, you have now gotten comfortable with not counting calories, and the taste of your favourite foods. You really have to be disciplined to get back on the diet. I think this part is where some might fail and drop out.

People also tend to start slacking when they have achieved such a weight loss already, so it’s important that even if you’re feeling really great because of your achievements so far, there is still a way to go.

During your break week, do expect to gain some weight. My weight only went up by 0.7kg (1.5lbs) which I consider to be quite good. After going back on the diet, my weight went down to less than what it had been before the break within the first week.

Now, sometimes your weight may momentarily go up regardless of your efforts. This happened to me four weeks after being back on the diet after the break. I just kept at it, and the following week the weight came crashing down, far lower than it had ever been since starting originally. Firstly, view it over a couple of weeks. If still not budging, do another break to kick start the metabolism again, or a booster with some exercise.

I haven’t included much exercise to my weight loss yet. I’m at the moment using it as a booster if things get stuck. I might do a brisk 30-60 minute walk once or twice a week when required or a jog around the block (this hasn’t been many times). This seems to have helped a few times.

Regardless of the hurdles my weight still keeps going down. Just keep going and don’t give up.

My weight loss journey series: vol 1 – The introduction

In my weight loss journey series I’ll be writing about my progress with my attempt to lose a lot of weight. I will also still be posting my usual food posts, this is just an additional series. I will be sharing what is working for me, and if anyone else finds inspiration from how I’m doing it, I’m glad. The two pictures are about two and half months apart, and the weight difference is about 7kg / 15lbs.

Like probably for most, my weight over the years has quietly crept up. There have been a few attempts to get it down, but after a while I’ve found myself back to where I started from. I’m not exactly sure what has been my ‘wake-up’ call, but I feel I’m on a very good, successful path at the moment. It might have been because I bought clothes that were a size bigger than ever before, who knows. My initial target is to lose 30kg / 66lbs, with another 10kg / 22lbs depending on how I feel once at that stage. So far I’ve lost around 9kg / 19.8lbs in the last few months. I’m not looking for a quick fix, which has far greater danger of everything bouncing back really quickly too. I’m expecting it to take over a year to reach my target. My weekly target is 0.5 kg / 1.1lbs, which is a very healthy amount. During my diet weeks, I sometimes may lose a lot more, but during break weeks I won’t lose anything, still keeping the total weight loss to target.

Personally, I don’t like diets. I find various diet programmes too restricting to my lifestyle. I like cooking and eating nice food, and my husband and I also do a lot of fine dining as a hobby. Throw in occasional dinners with customers, and you’re in a hamster’s wheel that’s difficult to get out of.

This is why my past weight loss attempts focused on exercise rather than diet. Don’t get me wrong, I’m one of those who would actually like to go and do some exercise, however due to busy and long working hours I’ve finally admitted to myself that this is not a sustainable option, and the reason I have failed in the past.

When I finally made my very determined decision to finally lose my extra weight, one of the first things I did was to actually cancel my gym membership! Having the membership, with very little time to go, has for a long time been ‘an excuse’ for not being able to lose weight.

Second step for me was some soul searching. I considered what I wanted to achieve, and my relationship to food. Once I’d had an honest look at myself, I was ready to start. I feel this is very important. At the beginning of my diet I was constantly feeling hungry, and had I not done the soul searching I think this could’ve been a first stumbling block that makes people quit. I accepted the fact I was hungry, with a realisation that it’s actually not going to kill me! I also couldn’t remember when the last time had been when I had properly been hungry. I’m first to put my hands up and admit that my eating habits have been luxurious and decadent, and it has been a very comfortable place to be in. Now, this is something I will never give up completely, and so far I’ve been able to lose weight and still eat nice things occasionally too.

I’ve completely created my own diet. I still go out to eat with my husband, or with work, and yet have still had a great start. This first post is an introduction to my journey, and as it’s already turning to be long enough, I won’t be adding samples of foods / recipes I eat on this particular post. I will, however, be including these in my future posts.

What works for me, might not work for someone else, or it could indeed be a great option, because it does give the freedom to occasionally forget that you’re on a diet. I count calories, and do a very strict 1000-1200 kcal on most days. I do restrict bread, potato, rice and pasta on most days, however if eating out, or I have lost so much weight in a week that I want to slow it down I might add some.