How I lost weight sustainably

January 18, 2011 at 7:07 PM 4 comments

I just weighed myself this morning, before breakfast of course. I am now 10st 4!!! Not exactly supermodel thin, but I wouldn’t want that anyway, just as unhealthy as being overweight.

The main thing though is the achievement. 2 years ago I was shocked to find I was 12 and a half stone.

But having arthritis makes it really hard to lose weight, as exercise is difficult, to say the least.

As one of the worst of my symptoms is low energy levels, that is also a big problem, as I get even worse if I don’t eat.

So how did I do it, you must be wondering (if you’re still reading that is).

Well, since getting married and thus not needing to remain able to squeeze into a wedding dress, I had noticed my size increasing.

Kind of hard to miss when you don’t fit your clothes any more, have to buy clothes an embarrassing amount larger than the size you used to be and feel bloated all the time.

It was because of how I felt, not how I looked, that made me decide to make a concerted effort to change.

That and the strain on my arthritic knees when I climbed stairs.

So I started swimming, as that is a low impact exercise and thus suitable for arthritics. I also stopped overindulging in cakes etc (as a student I have a serious weakness for free food). I got a stepper, which I can only use when my knees are in a good mood, but is useful if we can’t get out for a walk. And I tried to make sure I had a walk more often. Not that I can walk far or fast, but every little helps, and I like the fresh air.

After a year I had lost half a stone.

I was very pleased to be heading in the right direction, but not totally impressed, as it had been jolly hard work for such slow progress!

And I had not done brilliantly with the exercise. I did keep it up for a while, but I stopped going swimming when they changed the pool and never managed to start up again. I only occasionally use the stepper. I still like going for walks, but I doubt I burn many calories at my pace.

The following year I lost 3 times as much and it was much easier.

What was the difference?

The simple equation of calories in < calories out.

I had thought I was doing fine with that. I ate sensible healthy food and I didn’t snack. I brutally cut treats so I very rarely had even a bit of chocolate, like once or twice a month type brutal, and then only one or two squares as you don’t need more than that to get the ‘chocolate hit’ apparently.

I couldn’t see where I could lose any calories from. I had cereal with semi-skimmed milk, 3 coffees, 4 glasses of water, a ridiculously frugal lunch, often just a yoghurt and a couple of slices of cold meat, 150 calories if that, a healthy dinner and a banana.

Then I actually worked out how many calories my breakfast was. I was shocked. OK so it was a big bowl (perhaps 10x how much they think you’re having on the side of the pack) and I had a fair bit of sugar (maybe 2 heaped dessert spoons), but it was around 850 calories!!!

So that was the culprit.

I now have home made muesli in the summer and porridge in the winter. 30g dried fruit, like apricots or dates, 40g of oats, skimmed milk (yes I made that switch too and I actually prefer it!) and at most one teaspoon of sugar, when it’s porridge.

If it’s muesli I need less sugar, dunno why. I don’t have any sugar in the muesli if it’s date! And if it’s porridge I add ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon. Yum!

And I find I like my breakfast even more than the cereal. So it’s a sustainable change, which is the main thing.

What about you? Successes, failures, tips?


Entry filed under: Health. Tags: , , , , , , .

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Caroline  |  January 18, 2011 at 9:57 PM

    you would never have eaten museli when we were kids! and just so you know, to make you feel even better, you’re not far off my weight!!!!!!! mind you i am embarking on a new weight loss programme.

    • 2. knotrune  |  January 18, 2011 at 10:46 PM

      That’s mostly because most ready made muesli has nuts in, bleuch! But you’re right, it would have been Frostie Pie any day!! 😉

  • 3. corisel  |  January 19, 2011 at 4:57 AM

    Oh, wow – this is something I struggle with too. Calories in vs Calories out has definitely been the most effective way for me as well. I’d keep a food diary and work it all out. Calorie counting motivated me to exercise more as well, because that way I could eat more food.

    Unfortunately, eventuallty I always get sick of the rigour and rebel, gaining more weight than I lost..

    Now I’m trying something new. I’m ensuring that my food intake is healthy, mainly fresh, unprocessed and preferably home made foods. I’m trying to listen to my body’s signals as often I eat when I’m not really hungry, but because the food is there. I also eat when I’m stressed, and I eat when I’m thirsty.

    What I’m trying to do is just take moment before eating to decide if I’m actually hungry, and to think about whether or not I really want to eat what ever it is. It’s taking longer, but I am slowly shedding some weight. I figure my body knows what I need, so if I start listening to it more I will get back down to a healthy weight. By ensuring I eat a balanced and healthy range of foods, I’m hoping I will be giving my body what it needs, therefore no more food cravings.

    I’ve only been doing this for a short time though, so I’m not sure how it will work out.

    • 4. knotrune  |  January 20, 2011 at 4:37 PM

      Good luck with it! Small, sustainable changes are good, and it’s always a good idea to eat more healthily, quite apart from weight. I ought to listen to my body more; sometimes it says it’s hungry and I ignore it and then wonder why I feel tired and sick! This year I need to sort out lunch, it’s my most challenging meal.


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