Losing weight…

Since June 2010 I’ve managed to reduce my weight from 135lbs to 129lbs. You’ll hate me when I say this but I haven’t been specifically ‘trying to lose weight’… it’s just come off.  Anyway, if you’ve got some extra lbs to lose – perhaps the info below may be of help?

I didn’t intend to lose weight, but in 2010 I burned on average 4,600 calories a week (which is about 1.3lbs a week, or 69lbs a year!) – so I guess it could have been inevitable!

I started recording my weight in lbs as opposed to stones as lbs to take it away from being the normal measure of stones and lbs. It meant I had a (lbs) target to get to and being closer to a stone or not, didn’t matter. I also noted my fat% and water% using a set of Salter scales.  And it’s been good to see fat reduction as well as weight loss.

So where did my weight loss start?
I started wanting to lose weight when I reached my heaviest. In June 2008, at 147lbs (10 and a half stone), my BMI was just about to tip 25, the overweight measure on the (rather out of date) BMI scale. Although the scale is out of date and wrong on many levels, it still gives you an idea of where your weight should be, based on your height.

I’d settled down with my partner and my Dad said to me that he thought I looked ‘comfortable’. 😉

So I started running and exercising more, and gave myself the goals of a 5k Santa Dash in December 2008, the women’s 10k in May 2008 and the Wick Sprint Traithlon in August 2008. I increased my training and began to run 2- 4 times a week. Running for the magical 20 minutes without stopping was the first hurdle, then I increased the distance as I went on. As I was training for the triathlon, I included swimming and cycling and also played basketball most weeks.

Exercise became a habit for me. Monday was this, Tuesday was that, Wednesday this, Thursday that. Friday and Sundays were rest days and Saturday mornings were set aside for up to three hours of running, swimming or gym work.

I toyed with weights and resistance work, mixing it about and seeing what worked best for me.

I took a look at my diet and tried to eat more healthily. I still had the odd mars bar, chip supper or chinese take out, but in general I ate a varied and healthy diet. I still eat chocolate, and all the bad stuff you’re not meant to occasionally, but I exercise so that I can eat all that without putting on weight.

Six months after starting, in January 2009, I had lost a stone and reached my ideal weight: 135lbs (21.75 BMI – in the middle of the BMI scale).

More improvements…
Since then I’ve continued my exercise levels, and in May 2009 after a rather heavy drinking session, I decided I’d give up the booze. A big step for me and one I am extremely proud of now. Nearly two years later and I don’t mind saying I wouldn’t mind if I didn’t touch the stuff again.

The thought of doing all this hard work to be as fit as I can be, then wrecking my body with a litre (or whatever) of vodka on one night?! It seems absurd to me. Nevermind the calories alcohol has!

I can’t remember when I stopped drinking diet coke (and fizzy juice)… but now I tend to only drink water or milk (soda water at a push) and I’m always drinking water throughout the day at my desk at work. Running long distances has made me realise how important being hydrated is and I’m sure it’s helped my metabolism.

Nearly 3 years after I started this journey, my weight has dropped below 135lbs to 129lbs. We went away to San Francisco in September, and didn’t do any exercise apart from touristy stuff (walking, cycling a bit). I strangely managed to lose about 4lbs getting my weight down to 130lbs.

With the exercise I’m doing, I’m still eating plenty but tend to eat 5-6 times a day with mid morning and mid afternoon snacks (bagel and cottage cheese/apple/cashew nuts).

I’ve never felt better. I measure my weight and my body fat and body water once a week on a Wednesday, as well as my blood pressure and resting heart rate. I don’t need to – it just interests me to have a track of it all. It’s great to see the line on the graph go down and see the progress I’ve made.

Not only has my weight decreased by 18lbs (8kg), my body fat has decreased from 29.5% to 21.7% (-8%) and my water has increased from 50.9% to 57.1% (+6%). Now I’m just interested to see what happens next – and have truly caught the exercise bug!!

I know it’s hard to start exercising.  You’ll be out of breath, be feeling in pain, and you’ll find it eextrememly hard…. but your hard work will be worth it in the long run.  You just need to change a few things in your lifestyle, the weight will fall off and you’ll feel much healthier (and perhaps happier!).

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