I’m winning…

Having been prompted to mention my earlier I’m a loser post on twitter the other day, I had completely forgotten that it was written way back at the end of March when I’d ‘only’ lost three-and-a-half stone. Many of you seemed to find my journey inspiring, so I thought it was only fair to share a wee update.

I think I made it clear how I lost weight in my previous post, but I’m not sure I covered adequately what was going on inside my head, and why I actually succeeded. I mentioned willpower only very briefly, but being in the right frame of mind to lose weight was one of, if not the most important factors in my journey.

Consume more calories than you burn and you’ll put on weight – it’s hardly rocket science.

That’s it in a nutshell folks, lifted straight from my earlier post – but being able to reverse that and burn more calories than you consume (and consequently lose weight) takes a strong mindset, particularly at the outset. The physical changes I made to my lifestyle were in truth very small, but they took a big old lump of courage and mental strength to see through at the beginning. Stop drinking coffee? You’re mad! Eat breakfast? I don’t have time. Walk to the shops? That’s what the car’s for….

Another key point is that I never set myself any fixed goals. Some weight-loss experts and fitness gurus might tell you that’s crazy, but when I tipped the scales at 17st 12lbs I simply said I would be happy to weigh “16-something”. Not only that, but I also told myself that I didn’t mind how long it took to get there. That’s critical, because if you set a target and miss it, you’re not going to feel very good are you? I took advice and stuck to weighing myself only once a week on Saturday mornings – no more, no less. When I stepped on the scales, I was given positive reinforcement seeing a lower number each week, and it wasn’t long before I actually did weigh “16-something”.

Of course there were nice milestones to aim for – under 200lbs (2nd April) and -4st (30th April), but crucially I never told myself that I had to reach them. Granted, there were a few secret Saturday morning dances round the bathroom, as I was really rather pleased with myself when I did. Amazed in fact.

So where does it all end? Well, on Saturday 25th June I reached a huge milestone – 12st 12lbs, fully 5 stone lighter than I was when I set out back in October. That loss was put into perspective when I realised that my 10 year old daughter weighs five stone, and it’s scary to think I was carrying around that much excess weight for so long. I never in a month of Sundays thought for one minute that I’d lose as much – I set out only wanting to weigh less and feel healthier, and truthfully would have been happy buying waist 38″ jeans (down from 42″) and maybe weighing around 15 stone.

Today I’m still technically overweight but that doesn’t bother me, and at the instruction of close family I’m “maintaining” my new weight by balancing out more activity – cycling further and more often – with eating more puddings!

I don’t think I’ve weighed less than 13 stone since I was thirteen years old, and likewise 34″ jeans were only a dream this time last year. Clearly though, it would seem that dreams can come true :-)

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