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26 to 12 – another weight loss blog

One woman's journey to lose half her body weight

Month

May 2017

Weight Management Week 2

I have another post half done that I just haven’t had time to finish, but since I had my third appointment yesterday I thought I should probably do a quick update first!

The main focus of week 2 was increasing exercise.  Last week I had a gym induction (there is a gym at my local hospital which is great) with a second one on Thursday and yesterday I was let loose in there on my own!  Because of my weight some exercises have had to be adapted – did you know there is such a thing as a seated cross-trainer?  I didn’t but it’s awesome!  My routine is a nice mix of cardio and resistance, and the trainers both told me that my technique for resistance work is really good and that I am surprisingly strong, so I was pretty happy with that.  I actually love resistance training and no, it doesn’t make you “bulky” in case anyone out there is worried about that.  I actually asked for another resistance exercise to be put in as I was missing my leg press.  Sad but true.  The aim resistance-wise is to get back to the kinds of weights I used to manage and cardio-wise I just want to improve.  So I now do three sessions a week at the gym and a nice swim on a Friday night (this girl knows how to party!) I’m considering adding a few yoga stretches in daily just to improve my flexibility and strength, but I don’t want to go too mad too soon.

I also got weighed yesterday.  Last week I weighed in at (deep breath) 149.6kg, this week I got on the scales to see 148.8kg.  Unfortunately I read it wrong and sulked my way round the gym thinking I’d had a gain until one of the staff pointed out that that’s a 0.8kg (approx 2lb) loss.  Doh!  But also hurrah!

Garfield Scales

I’m feeling quite confident about this week so far, I struggled over last weekend but I think this week I’m better prepared.  Also, things have calmed down a bit so I actually might write a bit more this week.  It really helps me to write this stuff down, even if it comes out as total gibberish.

 

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Weight Management Week 1

Good morning lovely readers!

If you saw my last post you’ll know that I recently (after months of waiting) was accepted onto a specialist programme run by my local hospital to help me lose weight and become more healthy.

Last week I saw a dietitian, who gave me a meal plan based on the NHS Eat Well plate, which I like as a balanced and healthy approach.  The Eat Well plate looks like this:

Eat Well Plate NHS

We talked through what I would eat in a normal day (“good” and “bad” days) and how we could adapt my usual food to better fit with these guidelines.  The main changes were:

  • more veg compared to fruit
  • wholegrain/brown pasta and rice
  • weighing starchy foods for portion control
  • more protein and especially more fish
  • more dairy (I don’t like milk and I don’t drink tea and coffee so I was having basically none)

She also included a daily free choice of food outside the plate of up to 200cal, which I mostly use for chocolate!  And finally I was advised to drink one glass of plain water for each glass of squash/pop that I have.

Next I had a brief meeting with a trainer, who asked me to try for two 10 minute walks a day.  At the moment I get back pain if I walk a lot so we split it down so it wasn’t too much.  It doesn’t sound like much, but over a week that’s over 2 hours of exercise that I wasn’t doing before.  I’m lucky that I work in a beautiful area, so I can walk through the woods at lunchtime or before work.

So I’ve done a week of this (except Saturday when I went to the Good Food Show Harrogate and had lots of tasters) and I had my second appointment yesterday.  First up was the weigh-in – I had lost 1.5kg (3.3lb).  Then I had my first full appointment with the trainer which was a gym induction.  We talked about what I had done in the gym before and tried different machines, including a seated cross-trainer (which I didn’t even know was a thing).  I will go again tomorrow to have another supported session and get my finished programme which will include cardio and resistance.  I’m happy about that as I’ve missed doing weights; the trainer told me I had excellent technique when I did resistance training yesterday and I was stronger than she expected, so maybe I have a bit of fitness left.

The last part of my appointment was to see a counsellor to talk about potential problems I might face and the voice in my head, which is apparently normal, and how to disagree with it.  This is a really big deal for me; my head-voice, which because I’m a nerd I’ve decided comes from a wraith, can be really really mean.  I also told him that I felt disappointed with my 1.5kg loss, which I know is entirely illogical, and we talked through why I feel like that and applied some logic to it, and I’m much happier about it now.

So all in all a good appointment.  I know I’ve rabbited on a lot in this post but I had a lot to say for a change!  Well done if you made it this far 🙂  I’m looking forward to my gym appointment tomorrow and getting my programme and seeing how well I can improve my health.

It’s OK To Ask For Help

When I first started my journey I did it all alone.  I didn’t tell anyone I was trying to lose weight in case I failed (again), I didn’t go to a group and I didn’t even blog.  It was great for a while, I lost around 4 stone and eventually people started to notice the difference.  Then I hit a plateau, which was when I joined Slimming World.  I lost another 2 stone there and then hit another plateau and gave up.  Since then, my weight has gradually piled back on, which left me almost 2 stone heavier than when I started, feeling depressed and ashamed.

Not that this was for lack of trying.  I’ve been to three other groups (two Slimming World, one Weight Watchers) and while some weeks I saw great results, others left me despondent.  There is nothing wrong with the plans themselves, but with me.  For whatever reason, I was unable to keep my motivation going for more than a couple of weeks.  And, because I am a naturally shy person, I would rarely speak up in the groups; this meant that my specific problems with motivation were never addressed.  After a lot of thought, I decided to ask for help from medical professionals.

Way back in November I started to research what was on offer in my area.  My local NHS offers a huge range of options for overweight and obese people to lose weight, but the one that really stood out to me was the Specialist Weight Management programme.  So I made an appointment and went along to see my local nurse, who ran through some other options with me.  Unfortunately when I told her I’d already picked the SWM programme, she had never heard of it, which seems like a bit of an issue.  However she filled it in on the “other” section of the form and sent in the application.  After a couple of false starts (appointments which turned out to just be further referrals) I finally joined the programme last week.  Yes, that was a 5 month waiting list to get in, but apparently it might be scrapped after this intake due to lack of funding, so I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have made it, it’s a chance a lot of people may not get.

The way the programme works is this.  It is initially a 12 week course (13 appointments) with weekly appointments.  My boss is incredibly supportive of me in this and is happy for me to work from home to cover what I miss on these afternoons, for which I am really grateful.  Each week I will be weighed and have up to 2 appointments with a choice of 3 areas – a dietitian, a fitness expert and a psychologist.  Monthly (I think) I will go on the special fancy scales (this is the technical term) which measures my fat mass, skeletal muscle mass in various parts of my body, water retention etc and will have my waist measurement taken.  Whilst I do have a target weight loss for these 12 weeks, the aim is to ensure that I lose weight in a healthy way and lose fat mass rather than muscle mass.

I can also be referred to other services in the area including a 12 week gym programme (definitely), cookery classes, walking groups and many many other things.  After the 12 weeks are up, if I have lost a minimum 5% of my starting weight, I can continue the programme.  At this point the appointments become monthly and will continue for another 21 months, making it 2 years in total.  This is a huge commitment for me, but it is too good an opportunity to miss.  Tomorrow is my second appointment, and I will discover how my first week has impacted me.  The help I will be getting along the way is truly invaluable, and I’m kind of proud of myself for taking that step.

Body Positivity

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