Is hitting a weight loss plateau something to get worked up about?

plateauI’ve hit one, 17lbs from my ultimate goal of being in a normal weight for my height. This is the first time I have not seen a decrease in weight on the scale or a downward shift in inches since I started out on my journey just over a year ago as an over 300lb unhappy lady.

I’m amazed that I’ve got this far for this long without having hit a plateau before and I really think that has been down to changing my activity and my diet a lot throughout the past year or so, experimenting with this and that and never really letting my body settle into a comfort zone. I don’t know if that would work for everyone but it seems to have worked for me.

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Even cave men chilled out

I also have to tell myself that as I lost weight just moving about was going to be using up less and less calories and it was impossible to imagine increasing my activity to accommodate for this. I was on pretty intensive activity quite early on and I don’t think I can fit more activity into my days if I tried. Besides I don’t want to try because there was a point where I became obsessed with activity and I was in danger of blowing myself out. Whilst the human body was made to move it was also made to rest and to know its limits, we were never designed to spend all of our waking hours thrashing ourselves into a sweaty breathless mess. Yes we were built to be able to do that if we really had to for a short time… think walking or running long distances now and then for food/water/shelter/communication or throwing ourselves into a physical challenge like climbing a tree/a battle/protecting children from lions by launching into hand to hand combat with one… but really we were made to take it easy now and then too.

Besides all of that, flippancy aside, I recently posted about the impact of exercise on fat loss and ultimately scientists and other professionals concur that  diet is the key to losing the fat and should be the real focus. Exercise is great for so many many reasons and should be engaged in but it’s not going to make you skinny alone… if skinny is what you want to be of course.

But anyway, all that aside, I have to tell myself that reaching a plateau is not a bad thing. It’s not something after all of the progress I’ve made to beat myself up over or to need to find an answer to. I’ve been the same now for about three weeks, after the second week I got angry with myself for weighing myself each week. I’d promised to only weigh once a month but as the end grew closer I got addicted to the scales. That was a big mistake and I have now learned from that. This week was my weigh in with my trainer and so I couldn’t avoid it and was disappointed to see that same figure staring back at me.

Then I thought about it in the whole scheme of things and realised I’m an absolute imbecile and got angry with myself for undoing in a couple of weeks all of that work I’ve done over the past year of gaining perspective, learning to look at things in positive ways, not getting down on myself, not having feelings of failure in my repertoire of emotions. I’d let myself down not by reaching a plateau but by allowing all of those horrid, fat person on a diet, negative emotions back in. In a way it was good, it reminded me of what I’d always feared, those feelings will always lurk around me, I may have expelled them but they’ve not gone far, they’re just waiting around for moments when I become weak stupid and then they pounce. So to some extent I’ve lost that complacency I was maybe beginning to feel and that’s a good thing that plateauing has taught me.

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I can live with this

I also got to thinking, I remembered when I really believed my ideal weight for me was around 15 stones, I thought this because I always had trouble getting below it, when I made a determined effort to lose weight I mean, not when I was starved by the psycho I lived with. I had done it but it had never been in a healthy way. So for me to be way below that now and to have achieved it in the most healthy way I can imagine is a huge achievement and maybe this is my real ideal for me weight. What if I am 17lbs overweight? It’s better than 180lbs isn’t it? Why can’t I be happy to be 17lbs over weight? So I started thinking like that and it made me feel better, I gained perspective as well as having realised I was an imbecile for even feeling bad about it in the first place and as well as having learned that I really would always struggle with the emotional and mental issues of a fat person or of a compulsive over eater or of an emotional eater… whichever label sticks best.

Then I started to think about time. I thought, what if I carry on doing what I enjoy in terms of my movement and exercise and fitness, what if I carry on eating healthily with a treat now and then but making good choices for myself and eating foods I’ve come to love, cooked in ways I’ve come to really enjoy and find easy to fit into my day… those 17lbs might gradually vanish and if they do that will be fabulous but there is no time frame for them to do so, they go or they don’t either way I’m safe in the knowledge that I’m healthy and fit and doing the best by me. I’m giving myself the best shot of a longer life, a healthier life, a more active life and a happier life, how could 17lbs threaten that? If those 17lbs want to stick along for the ride then so be it, if they want to slowly slip away then so be it but I’m not going to stress about them. I’m stupid if I do.

I thought about what I could do to make those 17lbs shift. I realised very quickly thankfully that I can’t do any more and remain healthy. Yes I could go on a liquid only ridiculously low calorie fad diet for a month and probably see those 17lbs off especially if I upped my PT sessions from 3 a week to 5 but would that be healthy? Would that be sustainable? Not in a million years. I’m doing the best for me now and that’s that. Those 17lbs are not significant to me and I’m not changing for them. I’ve spent a life time letting fat dictate who I am and what I do and don’t do and those days are gone, I’m free from being dictated to by invisible layers of gloop under my skin.

downloadThen I thought about goals and I spoke to Nick about it and he said to me “You’re at your goal honey” and I said “I’m not, my ultimate goal was to be a normal weight” and he said “No, your absolute ultimate goal was to be happy and healthy, you were there ages ago”.

17lbs? What 17lbs? He’s right, I’ve already done it, I have what I wanted and those 17lbs are not going to take it away from me, they are insignificant, just numbers and stay or go they are not going to take away my joy at having done this, at having made it to where I wanted to be.

I’ve transformed my life, everything about my life screams happy and new and free… my career, the way I dress, the colour of my  hair, the design of my home, the way I have fun, the way I love, the way I parent, the type of friend I am, my role in my community and so much more, it’s all better and it suits who I am, who I always was under that fat. It really has been a total and complete unwrapping process, not a transformation but an unveiling of who I was always supposed to be before fat took a hold, before I used food as my go to healer, food as my shield, food as my comfort. I’m never going back again and this plateau is pretty cool, I can see for miles from up here and it’s all looking bright.

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Just a spoonful of sugar…

… in almost everything we eat.

Or so it would seem. In my quest to reduce my sugar consumption I have discovered some very interesting and some startling facts about sugar. I’m working on putting together a post which compares the foods I did eat with the foods I now eat and looks at fat and sugar contents.

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Even carrots contain sugar! Image from www.sugarstacks.com

In the meantime I found this fab site which is an American one so some of the brands may be specific to the US but still many are not and many are not branded items, such as the fruits. What it does is list lots of products, processed and fresh, by category and shows how much sugar there is in a serving, not only by weight but it stacks up a little pile of sugar cubes to illustrate just how much that is. It kind of made me feel sick thinking of how I would feel eating all of those sugar cubes and that for years, before I began my latest crusade I have shovelled that stuff down my throat in total ignorance (my fault) or in the belief that low fat was the way to go and that a no-added sugar philosophy was healthiest. What’s more I’ve also put this stuff into my kids.

I’m not beating myself up, things have changed, I’m aware and fully conscious of how to go forward now and I’m seriously reaping the benefits of a super low sugar diet… not to mention enjoying not feeling guilty about consuming a bit of full fat dairy to brighten the day.

I have lost tons of weight with a low fat approach but a read back will show that I did include dairy in my diet, full fat cheese, the odd bit of cream and butter in moderation. I was also following a low carb eating plan just because carbs don’t go down well with me, I know many processed carbs such as bread and pasta and baked goods give me chronic heatburn, indigestion and trigger IBS so they were off the menu anyway. I’ve also never eaten a lot of sugar as an add on to my food, so I don’t include it in drinks or on cereal, I don’t add sugar to anything, I actually never used to buy sugar unless I was baking and then I’d use what I thought were ‘healthier sugars’ such as unrefined, brown, muscavado, demerrera, organic products. I always bought sugar free drinks and juices too. But my sugar was coming from somewhere else…it was in sauces and dressings and low fat yoghurts and cream cheeses and spreads and frozen yoghurts and fruit.

Due to dietary changes my sugar consumption was low or so I thought. I was eating an enormous amount of fruit a day either as whole pieces, chopped up into a salad, blended into a smoothie or passed through the juicer as a drink and zero fat yoghurt/cheese spread/fromage frais etc were a daily feature and these contained tons of sugar.

I looked at labels on foods but I only looked at the Fat content, never at calories and never at sugars. I’ve changed and since I’ve changed I feel like I’ve overcome an addiction I didn’t know I had… an addiction to sugar.

Anyway take a look at this website, if you missed the link above this first link is directly to the fruits section and this is to the home page of Sugar Stacks.

11156121_10202687009695507_8067538654673327754_nI came across this on Facebook and there was no credit for the source of the photo unfortunately but there was a description which said this was put in a school dining hall to help children choose water as their go to drink (I’d argue why they were selling the products anyway but that’s another matter, freedom of choice and all that) but I thought it was a good idea, I love visual aids and teaching has shown me that they are powerful when educating children. If those quantities are accurate then this is startling.

Out with the old, in with the new

I seem to give one thing up and pick up another when it comes to adjusting my eating habits these days.

Chocolate has gone from my diet altogether now. I managed a choc free Easter with no eggs received and none gifted. Instead I made some cute little upcycled gifts for people I would normally give eggs to and asked for daffodils instead of chocolate and I filled my house with the little beauties. I love them and they brighten up my day, unlike chocolate which gives me a horrendous sugar rush and makes me feel like crap.

In has come Coconut Oil. Now I have long since been a fan of the coconut. I remember years ago when on my travels in Africa that I was told and had it demonstrated how the Coconut Palm is 100% useful. There is not a single part of the plant which goes unused, from its bark to its sap from its fronds to its fruit/seeds. It is used either as food, drink, medicine, tools, utensils, material for shelter, clothing… it’s crazy how much that one plant gives to us. I believe that the presence of the coconut palm in the very parts of the Earth where humans originated and its usefulness to us is testament to the fact that we should be taking in as much of what it gives out as we can.

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Image from here http://coconutoil.com/

So are you trying it? Eating it, bathing in it, medicating with it, cleaning with it? It seems to be the new bicarbonate of soda, or vinegar it is all things to all people. OK so that may be exaggerating but have you read about this stuff? Try starting with this info from Wellness Mama with links to even more info or check out the link beneath the image I used to go to dedicated website Coconutoil.com

I’ve been consuming it for sometime but stopped when I started the low carb thing because for some reason I thought it must have lots of sugar in it and my research so far has turned up conflicting stories on how much sugar, if it’s fructose or glucose and so the jury’s out but in small amounts it’s doing me more good than harm and to be honest I am so sensitive to sugar now that I positively explode if I ingest the stuff and I don’t when I eat coconut or the oil, milk or water and so my body tells me I’m doing OK.

I must admit that it’s used more on the outside of my body than the inside. I’ve used coco oil based body moisturisers for a long time now but have combined them with other concoctions but I’m gradually phasing out other things and trying to get really simple with these other elements of our lives. Our diet is so simple now it’s crazy, it takes little thought yet our meals are fabulously satisfying and delicious. I figured it’s time to rid the bathroom and my dressing table of a load of pointless junk too. We’re using up last bits of gels and oils and sprays and going as natural as possible with as few products as possible.

I kind of figured that we’re refining what we put into our bodies and what we ask of our bodies yet we’re still spraying and rubbing on who knows what harmful rubbish. So over the next few weeks the old stuff is going and we’re seeking out more natural, less harmful products to use on the outside of us.

I’m turning into a health freak but to be honest I’ve heard some bad news about a couple of family members this last few weeks and I’m counting my lucky stars not to be in their shoes and to still be so healthy in spite of the abuse I’ve given my body over recent years. I don’t think at approaching 50 I can take my  health for granted even though I’ve lost a lot of weight and changed so much, my continued health, weight loss and subsequent maintenance of a healthy me into the future will depend on the changes I have made and continue to make.

Besides, a slim healthy person has to be thinking around now of their mortality and of fending off illness, disease and immobility for as long as possible so in some respects I’m just doing what any normal close to 50 person should be doing and evaluating the way I treat my body and thinking of what I want out of the next phase of my life. I don’t want to crack and creak every time I move just yet, I don’t want to have stiff joints and water retention and bloating. I can’t do much about the wrinkles that will come and the grey hair that’s under the dye already but I can try to keep the rest in check for as long as possible.  For now coconut oil is my miracle… it might be something else next month but whatever it is, it will be better than chocolate.

One Year Anniversary

My first post on this blog was made on 5th April 2014 and it kind of dealt with how I was sick of being so fat, sick of not having a life, sick of going to bed thinking I was not going to survive the night and sick of worrying about leaving my kids alone too soon. It stated how I was determined to change my life for the better. Subsequent posts revealed how I didn’t want to just lose weight, I wanted to get fitter, engage more with life, be a better person, be happier, get healthy and make changes forever which would help me to beat what I called my ‘fat demon’ and break a lifetime yo-yo cycle of gaining and losing weight once and for all. I wanted to get to the root causes of my issues with food and weight and deal with them. It was now or never.

HappyAnniversary.175114211_largeA year on, reading through those early posts for the first time since they were written I hear my old self in my writing but she is someone I don’t really recognise anymore, someone I’ve moved so far from that I even had trouble relating to her. That shocked me. It shocked me how much we can change as people in just one year, just by altering our lifestyle. How we can forget so quickly how we felt and transition into our new way of life. I think it’s a good thing that we can change and move on, I really wouldn’t want to carry the doom and gloom of my 2014 self around constantly, it would be as restrictive as carrying the weight I’ve shed around. But I really don’t want to forget how miserable I was and how hard I’d made my life. I thought that I could recall how bad I’d felt but reading back makes me realise I don’t come close to remembering at all. For that reason alone it has been worth charting my progress through this blog because I know now that I will never be able to forget how it felt because I can go back and read how it felt, at the time, for me. I can remind myself of myself and nothing will be more powerful than that.

This blog will make sure I never forget that person because if I forget her I have a chance of becoming her again and I do not want to become her again. I don’t have to relate to her, in fact the less I relate to her the less I’m likely to become her again. I’ve never been under any false illusion that this transition is a one off, short lived, time limited thing, I know it will be ongoing for the rest of my life and I know that there ill be times when sinking back to her may be tempting. I’m strong now but I’m not stupid, I know that something could send me spiraling back out of control and just being mindful of that, having things to remind me how that felt should I feel myself falling will help me to win over the compulsion that still exists inside me somewhere to use food to self destruct.

But positives…I can’t even list the amazing things that have happened in my life since I first wrote on this blog. I couldn’t begin to share the knowledge I’ve acquired about food, exercise, physical health, mental health, holistic well being in general and about how all of those things make me who I am and change who I am every day. I’ve experimented with food groups, cooking methods, recipes, home growing and fermenting and now we have chickens and fresh eggs.

I’ve experimented with exercise starting with walking and stepping from one foot to another I’ve tried out so many new things including swimming (which I only learned to do properly this last year and has now become one of my favourite pass times), tai chi, cross fit, climbing, pilates and I’ve even managed a little run or two and am now getting to grips with yoga. All of the experimenting pays off for me because it gives me a wide varied repetoire of activity which I can slot into a day no matter where I am or how busy I am or even if I’m not well or injured, I can do some activity, some form of movement which enhances my general state of well being and makes me feel good about myself and keeps my body moving. That’s all exercise is, I’ve learned that… it’s just moving however you can and however you want to and however you enjoy doing it. I do have a routine when it comes to seriously working out and keeping in shape because I need that in my life and I enjoy it and I get so much that I need mentally from it besides needing the discipline of a routine. However beside that I also have this huge bag of activities i can dip into when I feel like it for fun, pleasure and even just to enhance my mental state, to take away stress or give me thinking time or just to give me an energy boost.

The same with food, all of the trial and error and experimenting has kept my body on its toes, I’ve tried a few approaches and each new one has taken me a step towards finding an eating plan which suits me perfectly which makes me feel energised, satisfied and well. But it all came about through trial and error, this has been a year of experimentation for sure. It also came about from advice and links and reading blogs so again blogging has really had an impact on my success.

I’ve also delved deep into my past. My upbringing and my relationships with people throughout my life and found how those relationships have influenced my relationship with food and I’ve looked in to myself and found a way to love me and accept me and to stop self destructing with food and to stop thinking food is my friend when it’s actually not. I’m more open with my feelings more expressive and demonstrative a better mother friend and lover and I’ve learned that it’s OK to take from those relationships now and then to lean on people who love me at times just as I love them to lean on me when they need a hand.

Besides all of this I’ve changed how I work and what I do for a living and had the courage to do something I wanted to do for a long time. I’ve learned new skills and developed a professional confidence that other people always thought I had but I never really did. I’ve started a fabulous relationship and my kids are positively thriving and definitely benefiting from all of the changes either directly or indirectly. Their habits have changed and they’re healthier, sleeping better, doing better generally and they are benefiting from having a much happier, healthier mum who is engaging with life now instead of hiding and waiting to die. I think I’m far more fun to be around and they don’t say it but I’m sure they are relieved that they don’t have to worry about my health now.

I guess more than anything since this blog began I’ve learned to just relax, enjoy life, be me and let myself go with relationships (including those with food and things as well as people), not to question myself, not to doubt myself or to be so hung up on what other people think of me. I feel like losing the weight has just freed me from the hell I’d allowed myself to sink into, or even purposefully put myself into. I think I’ve become more conscious of myself whilst becoming less self conscious. That may sound weird but I think there is a definite difference between the two.

Life is good and I’m so glad that I documented this past year and so glad that I went through everything I went through to get me to here. I’m feeling strong and ready for my challenges in the coming year and can’t help but get excited about whatever is in store for all of us.

Getting the fat off and the freak on

I laughed when reading Tracy’s blog and her account of her increased interest in pleasures of the flesh since she lost weight. I was also proud of her and was nodding away as I read how she felt embarrassed to blog about it as I’ve wanted to mention the same thing myself and worried it could be TMI for my readers, so if you are of a delicate disposition you can stop reading now before I shock your pants off with my revelations… really it’s all sensitively handled and nothing is going to be smouldering away and melting your screen so don’t worry.

0b57de178cd984f2e0322f986a47645dI thought how we who are on this transitional path from obese to ‘normal’ (whatever that is) are going through so many changes and experiencing so many new things or re-experiencing things we’ve not felt or done for years and how we are excited to blog about many of them yet we rarely brave the topic of how we change as sexual beings. I know some people never lose their sexual being but I think it safe to say that many of us after weight loss or even when we are just feeling healthier and happier through lifestyle changes do notice an upswing in interest in carnal satisfaction.

I thought about it and decided to write about it as for some knowing that life after obesity can revive a flagging libido even in middle age could be something they’d like to happen which could spur them on to do something about their weight and health and I’m all about spurring people on to make that change.

I know for myself I was always a very sexual being and more so when I felt confident in my body and that could be because I was thinner or because I was with a guy who made me feel confident no matter my size but this last time I just felt my sexual self slip away, month by month and year by year until it became so long since I’d even thought about sex let alone had any action that I honestly don’t know how long it was, but it was a very long time. In my last relationship I could only have sex if I had had a few drinks and I knew that wasn’t right and so it ended.

I thought my disinterest over recent years was a satisfaction in being on my own (I’ve never really been bothered by singledom and feel it has its definite benefits), or that it was my age and my libido had gone when the grey hairs started to move in, or I had no body confidence (which was true in part) but Tracey’s post told me something I didn’t know, that when you are obese (as a woman) you produce and store more oestrogen (I knew that bit and the associated cancer risks) but that makes you produce less testosterone (male hormone) which is felt to be linked to libido, yes even in women. So as your weight goes down your hormones stabilise nearer normal and your libido would or should increase (of course there can be other factors at play so it’s not as simple as that but that will suffice for this post).

Nick and I had been young lovers and we’d had a very pleasant physical relationship which we both remembered well but years lay in between the last time we were intimate and our coming together as a couple again in mid-life. Lots of pounds in my case had also attached themselves to my body and I know that when I was with Nick as a young thing I was perhaps at my prime and it bothered me that I was far from it ‘now’. Even though Nick had seen the various transitions through the years as a dear friend it was still rather different when things stepped up from friends to lovers again. I was very unsure, I think the weight had dropped and the feelings were there sufficient enough for me to have the pangs but the confidence in my body was not there. I recall feeling very sad about it and at one point rejecting him as more than a friend because I just felt I couldn’t sleep with him and I knew that would have to happen sooner or later.

Eventually we talked, he realised there was something stopping us from moving on with our relationship and in the moment he created to make me feel safe and confident enough to admit my fears we agreed that we could have a relationship without that kind of intimacy, I didn’t need to rip my clothes off and jump on a pole for him… not right then anyway haha. Seriously we agreed that would happen in time if the time was ever right but he wouldn’t push the time. I guess I was already hooked into the relationship idea and I trusted him implicitly because I never felt that there was a rush or a hurry or he was waiting or getting frustrated. We slept in the same bed and kissed but nothing beyond and it wasn’t difficult or awkward at all.

Eventually things happened naturally and although I was perhaps more confident given that by then I’d lost a lot more weight I do believe that Nick’s attitude helped, he helped to make me feel beautiful and confident about myself no matter what size I was. He also confided in me that he worried that he wasn’t exactly the young guy I’d known all of those years ago either and he’d worried if he would be expected to or be able to live up to my memory of him as a hormone raging, fit young guy. So we all have our insecurities and he helped me see that with his confession although it did come later down the line.

I told him that those things had never crossed my mind,  I just saw in him the same guy I’d seen then, interesting, funny, sweet, loving, caring, intelligent, slightly quirky and beautiful and he said that’s what he saw in me yet I wouldn’t believe it even when I thought the same. I don’t think all overweight people it easy to believe though, that someone can love you and find you attractive just as you are, I think it takes a very special someone to help you really believe that because we often don’t believe it ourselves and I envy those people who can just believe it and don’t need reassurance and I’m slowly becoming one of them but it takes a lot of unravelling of strangling ties of history, but I’m working on it and I am there when it comes to feeling super body confident and sexy with Nick.

You know, I should say here that we’ve talked about it and it’s kind of strange but when we were both married to other people and were friends for all those years it’s like a switch flicked and we didn’t harbour feelings for one another, we kind of turned off the intimate memories and we were just two people who were in a group of friends who hung out and had fun as couples and with the kids. Even when we were both single it took a while for us to reach a point where that switch flicked back again and a conversation which led us to finally understand what had gone wrong between us (we were kids, third party involvement, gossip, rumours and stubborness.. on his part which he’d never given me a chance to explain and I’d grown tired of trying) it was only after that conversation about why we had not stayed together that we both started to wonder what if we could try again now, it was like only then that we allowed ourselves to remember how much we’d enjoyed our time together until the misunderstanding burst our bubble. I guess we’d both kind of accepted that we were not meant to be but we still got along as friends eventually. I guess sometimes for some people being out of bounds kind of closes your mind and heart… thankfully.

The rest is history with us anyway and things are going well in that area of our lives and I am in the first flushes of my newly sexually liberated self to the point that Nick (who is half West African) jokes about using ancient African tribal foods meant to sustain a chief to keep him fit enough to service 6 wives and he wouldn’t thank me for this but he has been known to do a tribal virility dance and perform incantations to see him through one of our weekends away haha. I think it’s just a joke but who knows? He also reads up a lot on men’s blogs about health and fitness and spiritual well being to keep him … shall we say lively. So he has his own insecurities about these things that he really doesn’t need to have but in a strange way knowing I’m not the only one really does help me, seeing that sometimes we all worry that we’re not up to scratch just keeps things real for me and makes me see that none of us think we are perfect and I wouldn’t want someone who thought he was either. We all have things to learn and improvements to make and at our age the odd scar or two mental or physical.

I know some people who have lost a lot of weight who have had wonderfully supportive partners who have positively ravaged the life out of them as they’ve become more confident and sexy with it (I do think sexy has a lot more to do with confidence than size and I do think that just feeling healthier even without weight loss can help that confidence) but I also know people who have had partners who fear the changes, who liked having little demand on their own fitness and libido so they didn’t have to perform, who feel it threatening to suddenly have a confident sexy lady or man on their hands. I’ve seen people get jealous to the point that a relationship has broken down when one of the partners has made a lifestyle change which should have been for the better for everyone but instead was too threatening. Of course if you’ve slaved away losing tons of weight and getting in shape and feel amazing and you have a partner sitting in a recliner in front of the TV with a bucket of KFC who hasn’t even complimented you or encouraged you and who doesn’t even notice you still then you do notice when you turn other heads and attention can be difficult to ignore for the most loyal of people.

Losing weight and the way it makes you feel about yourself can impact hugely on your intimate relationships for better or worse. It’s an important subject when we share our weight loss journeys because we need to be aware of those shifts and changes and none of us want to emerge at the end of it, slim, healthy and with a divorce and custody battle on our hands. We’ve all heard stories about the lady who slimmed down then left her husband and ran off with a newer version and likewise men who have done the same, I’ve heard people who think that was the intent, that’s what made the person lose weight and for some that may be true but in the main I don’t think so, I think unforeseen changes occur within the dynamic of the relationship because of the weight loss or lifestyle change and often they can be related to sex, sexiness and intimacy.

It’s something we do need to consider, weight loss does change us in more ways than we realise and it changes those around us too and how they perceive us and not everyone will be happy to see us becoming thinner, healthier, sexier and more confident.

I’ve been there before, this time was different as I started my journey and was already building confidence when Nick and I got together and we were honest and open about our feelings on this almost from the beginning. Nick knew that he had to be supportive of this and embrace the change to help me but also to ensure our relationship developed and I don’t think he did that in a contrived way, he did it because he was in love with me and he wanted to be with me and that meant he wanted me to be happier and more confident and he knew he had a role to play in that. It was all fresh and exciting, we didn’t have a stale relationship to revive but we did have a new one to begin and I guess with honesty and communication stumbling blocks and divorce courts can be avoided as can rejection of a new chance at love because you don’t feel worthy.

I know people who have given up with their weight loss programme because it was causing too much friction at home, too many accusations when more care was taken with appearance, hair, make up, clothes and a new interest in fashion or a new hobby crept in. Some partners can see that as a sign that you are playing away or looking to be attractive to others when really all it is is a manifestation of your general sense of increased happiness and well being, your optimism and confidence and all of the knock on effects of your lifestyle changes, nothing more and nothing less. Often the person you want to look at you and notice and find you attractive and tell you you’re beautiful and sexy is the one who thinks you are looking for it somewhere else but they are too blinkered to see it.

We all deserve to be happy and we all deserve to have a healthy loving fun sex life if we are able and if we want one, it’s all part of living a normal life no matter how old you are or what stage of a relationship you’re in. Nick and I are both at a period in our lives where we have freedom, our children are all but grown up, we have financial freedom, we are both living healthy, we exercise together and if ever you were looking for an aphrodisiac exercising together is it. We feel that our love and contentment with life now is making us feel rejuvenated and alive inside, even more young and alive than we were when we were young because we don’t have the angst we had then. We’ve done it all, we’ve raised kids, developed businesses bought houses, grown and learned and now it’s our time to enjoy and a big part of that enjoyment is enjoying just honestly loving each other and being able to express that in every way we can.

It doesn’t matter that he has to eat the Kola nut and do a bit of a virility dance and offer up liquor and incantations to his ancestors for confidence and durability and I sometimes dash to the bathroom to haul myself out of a pair of spanx and throw on some sexy lingerie, dimming the lights so he can’t see the seam marks on my skin and sucking in my tummy and raiseg my hands above my head sexily so my boobs don’t end up in my arm pits. It’s all part of life and love and everything. Enjoy the changes losing weight brings they help keep you going. Be ready for them and keep communicating with your partner, don’t let such an amazing thing as getting healthy, slimmer and more confident destroy your marriage if you can help it.

I only went and did it!

I really want to find time to blog about this properly as there is so much to say and my inability to keep a secret is going to reveal other things which I want to blog separately about but I just can’t keep it in.

I’m finally OVERWEIGHT!!! Just overweight not obese or morbidly obese or super morbidly obese as I was this time last year but just pure and simple overweight. Just overweight. Isn’t that wonderful?

Before anyone tells me it is not good to be overweight, I know I know but it is a whole lot better than being super morbidly obese so cut me slack and keep your opinion to yourself, I’m trying here. I’m not settling for overweight, normal is my goal but right now I am feeling positively skinny, I swear I have protruding bones (if I lie down and suck in).

This also lets a couple of cats out of the bag in that I’ve clearly passed another huge miles stone and shrunk below 200 pounds for the first time in a long time and I’ve lost so many pounds over a hundred now that I’ve stopped counting and Tracey my ten stone initial target is done although I’ve yet to update her.

This also shows that I’ve experienced a huge weight loss in a month following a zero carb diet and a huge weigbtloss after I’d already lost over a hundred pounds was something I wasn’t expecting at all and I have been loving my meals beyond expression.

A proper update or two will come as soon as I have time but my life is hectic right now putting the house back in order family and with work and prep for Easter that I don’t have time to give it what it deserves but it needed a tiny shout out from the roof tops. All that and my teen son has really got into girls so I’ve had reiterative sensitive talks aplenty going on too. My motherhood duties are far from over although we do find we are ushered out of the house more and more these days, encouraged to go to the cinema and to eat and for walks. I must blog about all that as it’s all new to me and to Nick as we’ve both had teen daughters but the sons are lagging behind. So we’re probably getting it so wrong.

We’ve taken up yoga too so anyone with tips or advice please comment And please DO link me to your blog posts in comments I am not averse to that I find it really helpful. I’ll blog about yoga too but we’re loving it so far. We are looking to find a couples yoga retreat somewhere nice and hot and sunny if anyone has any recommendations I’d be grateful. I’m sure these places exist in reality and not just in Meet the Fockers.

Happy days and after a very late night where we dined out on delicious lobster and frolicked in the rain on the beach like teenagers and came home to find ourselves positioning and repositioning lovely things in our new kitchen and dining room like newly weds in our first home it is definitely time for some sleep if Nick can tear himself away from restocking cupboards with tableware and polishing glasses.

Spring has sprung chez nous our new beginning has begun. I’m feeling twenty years younger than I did last year it’s amazing. If you’re wanting to lose some weight or beat an addiction or kick a habit or to just take back control of your life and make yourself happier, know you can do it, just take a tiny step today and another tomorrow and another the next day and you know what? Magic starts to happen. It does.

Update two a young lady perspective

My daughter’s a young lady now, a young exec no less and she has quite a blissful life. She lives in a beautiful city, she has a great circle of friends, she earns a decent wage, she has prospects in her career which she loves, she is surrounded by opportunities to get out and about climbing, rafting, kayaking, rambling, cycling, running and she does cross fit and dances too. She’s a very active, energetic young lady and is happiest when outdoors.

She is at that age where life is just beautiful, not too many responsibilities yet and weekends that can be spent in bed if she chooses. I’m making myself jealous now. Anyway she has also been joining in from afar with the low to zero carb plan, horrified by the amount of sugar she must have been consuming.

She, like my son from my last update,  also reports that she has noticed she sleeps better now and also that she is finding that in spite of her using lots of energy she never feels hungry. She described it as feeling like she is now being drip fed energy rather than having hits of it.

Although she is a healthy eater, part of that for her was copious amounts of fruit every day. And although she is very active and pushes herself with team sports and cross fit she still had a bit of wobble going on around the bum and thigh area. She had decided this was a genetic thing and she couldn’t change it and stopped trying.

When she started this eating plan last week she measured these parts as the only parts where she had fat (a typical female fat laying down zone) and she was amazed when she called me yesterday to tell me she has already shed two inches from her hip measurement in just one week. She has no desire to be super skinny but she is hugely health and fitness orientated and so that stubborn fat was more of a challenge than a problem.

Since we all started eating healthier last year she’s lost about 30lbs in weight and shed two dress sizes. She was happy as she was before but she does say that she feels healthier now for having lost that excess weight and she finds clothes fit better. Her primary motive for eating  healthy and being more active (althought she’s always been very active anyway) was for good health into later life. She figured that as her generation will find it commonplace to live into their 100’s she may as well try to be as fit and healthy for as long as she possibly can be.

So another happy ‘guinea pig’. She is convinced that it was her carb consumption in the form of sugars which was causing her to lay down that stubborn fat, as removing sugar from her diet has caused it to shift quite dramatically.

We are sold on this approach to healthier ‘us’ and going strong with it. Besides anything else it is super tasty after months of salads and fruits it comes as a nice alternative and sometimes I think you have to switch it up a bit to keep your diet interesting and fun. When we have done our sixty day stint we might start to throw in more nutritious carbs now and then but for now we’re going great. For me this is all about health but as I get closer to that goal I have to check myself and remember not to get fanatical about this whole thing and make it all about weight loss and the holy grail of the target figure. I have to find a healthy way to live forever and I think that trying different things and learning about food and what it does to our bodies is the best way to go with that, so that when the time for maintenance comes I can make the most informed choices and I can also ensure that there is variety in my diet and I know how to switch things around to make it more interesting should it ever become a bit predictable.

I don’t poo poo anyone’s methods of losing weight but I do think that by following quick fix food deprivation plans like the shake diets out there (I’ve done them and I thought they were amazing too) or by having surgery (again, I’ve not done this but I’ve contemplated it and I know how for some it is a miracle and for others a misery) where there isn’t this time spent trialing and erring and learning. This re-education about food, about our new selves, about our new bodies, this kind of rebirth that you get with a slow and steady learn and grow (or shrink) approach is priceless.  I really do believe this time is the time when I will keep this weight off forever. I’ve learned so much, I’ve opened myself up to so much and I have seen the impact of that on others as well as myself. It may all be conflicting at times, it may all feel like too much to cram onto one plate but that’s the beauty of it, finding what works for you and what makes you feel good. I do believe now that one of the most important factors in achieving long term maintenance of my goal weight will be my ability to hear my body talking to me now that the rubbish is all being cleared out. I’ll know when I eat something bad, my body will react and I’ll know not to eat it again. those bad feelings food gave me, the signs my body was sending out are no longer competing to be heard over each other. I’m getting the message loud and clear and that message will stop me from going back to where I was.

But… there’s still a way to go yet. Next time I’ll update on mine and Nick’s observations with this new zero/low carb approach. I love that we are all seeing different things happen to our bodies and that they are all positive… well as you may find out from my own update, they’re not all quite so positive, I’ll see how graphic I feel like being when I get to writing it.