Tag Archives: weight loss

Operation Chrysalis… is at an end…

I think it is now official.  Not only have I put away the old winter clothes and done a serious wardrobe clear out (3 large black bin liners are heading to a charity shop of my choosing!)  I have also revealed to people outside my family what my body looks like following my weight loss campaign.

tada

Please do not get me wrong.  I have not finished the weight loss attempt.  I have plenty of weight left to get rid of, but I think it might be time to start revealing the new me, which is what Operation Chrysalis was all about after all.

So what decided me to start to reveal my changing shape?  A few things really.  I have been struggling to stick to the eating plan I am on, and I thought it might keep me “honest” if I told myself that I would be wearing a new dress soon.  I think it has worked this week, but to be honest, I need to wait until Wednesday, which is slimming club weigh day!

summer clothes

I think summer clothes also encourage revealing the body more than winter shrouds to.  I do not mean wearing bikini tops to do the shopping (the natives are far too skittish for that, and quite frankly, I would be arrested if I attempted it!) but rather an ankle here or there and wearing T shirts instead of thick heavy jumpers and coats.   I know the prevailing wisdom in these parts is “Cast nary a clout till May is out” which means to keep the woollies to hand until the end of May, but I was getting really bored of wearing the same old stuff.  It was getting depressing.  So a couple of weeks ago, I got all of my clothes out, both summer and winter and did a HUGE purge of them.  Then I put the winter stuff into storage (the loft!) and hung up all the lovely summer stuff.  Of course, then the weather decided to put a nip in the air, but I always knew that could happen.  Which is why I kept some woollies back from storage!  I am not entirely insane!

dressmaking

Also, as part of my frugal living endeavours, I have been relearning how to make clothes.  I had been sewing a dress for some time.  I was a bit scared of making a terrible mistake, so I did one seam, then left it for a week or two, and then did another seam when I was brave enough.  This weekend, I decided I couldn’t make any more excuses and I finished it.  I actually finished it at 4pm on Saturday and wore it that evening to a concert my husband and I were attending.  I saw a lot of people I knew from when I was singing in the choir that was performing and I received a lot of compliments.  I think the fact that these people haven’t seen me day after day and a lot of them commented on my appearance (and the spanking new dress too!) really bought it home to me.  Yes.  This weight loss thing has worked.

weighing scales

Now, I am not going to give up on the weight loss.  The scales are oscillating at the moment, but I have lost the equivalent weight of a bag of cat litter.  Those things are HEAVY!  It must be making a difference, but to be honest, I can’t really feel any difference.  I need to lose another 3 of those bags of cat litter, and I will be and exceedingly happy person.  Even at that point, the doctors will say I am still overweight and probably still obese, but I am beyond caring what they all say.

Have I learnt anything from Operation Chrysalis?  Weighing yourself every day is a short cut to insanity; once a week is fine.  Weight loss is not linear; the weeks you think you have done really well tend to be the weeks that the weight goes up.  Bingeing behaviours are really hard to break; and I am still working on that one, though things are better now than they were.  Making clothes is really satisfying, as is seeing the look on people’s faces when you tell them “Oh yes.  I made this dress.”

Operation Chrysalis

Butterflies totally have the right idea.  Hide yourself away and then reveal.  It is a great feeling!  Here’s to the next transformation!

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Operation Chrysalis Update…

As many of my readers already know, I have embarked on a course of healthy eating and exercise over winter in an effort to emerge in spring time significantly thinner and more glamorous.  Today’s blog is an update on that process, which I christened Operation Chrysalis.

chrysalis

Wednesday was weigh in day at the slimming class I attend.  It was not good news.  It was like every week in January really.  I have either put weight on, or I have maintained the weight loss.  Okay, it was a pound that I put on, and in the grand scheme of things, it could have been much, much worse.  But, I have given myself a target to reach for my second stone coming off, and that date is fast approaching.  I can feel things slipping away from me, and I am DAMNED if it is going to happen to me this time.

My body is doing what it always does.  I lose a stone and then it decides it is going to creep back up again.  And yes, I am still following the diet and no, I haven’t gone back to bad eating habits.  But something isn’t going right.  Now, the old me would have decided to say “to hell with it” and go and eat junk food – not entirely sure why, because I don’t like it and it makes me feel decidedly icky.  But not this time.  No, this time, the new me, has decided to arrest the downward slide and get back on the path of righteousness… or at least the path of losing weight.

always

My group leader has given me a pep talk, and suggested I go back to basics.  On this diet plan I am on that means writing EVERYTHING down.  If it passes my lips it goes on the sheet.  I have just done the food I have eaten so far today, and I know I am on the right lines today.  The thing is, I need to do this for all my food over the next week.  It takes commitment, but it will be worth it, I know it will, so I just need to keep it up.  I am trying to jazz up the process by using a funky coloured pen.  It is bright pink ink.  So far, its working!  I am willing to try anything!

If the weight gain has been because of food choices, the food diary will show it.  If however, my body is doing its thing of holding on to weight because I am stressed… well, I need to find some way of reducing the cortisol flying about my body.  My track record of finding positive ways of reducing stress is not great – my previous favourite way of letting off steam was to go out on the tiles and get drunk.  No… not a good way of doing things.  Alcohol has a HEAP of calories in it anyway.  No, there has to be a better way.

Exercise DVD

I have therefore decided to use some of those old exercise DVDs which have been lying around the place gathering dust.  I actually mean this literally and not figuratively… some have never even seen the light of day!!  So… I am going to put them to one side, set up the DVD player and when I feel like I am going to pop with the stress, then I am going to burn through some workouts.  Hopefully it will help both the cortisol levels AND the weight loss.

Stay tuned, to see if it works!

An update on Operation Chrysalis…

“Operation what?” cry my new readers.

chrysalis

Let me fill you in.  Basically, back in September, I began to feel like a big fat caterpillar.  I had put the weight on that I had fought to take off in the previous 6 months and I decided to start again and to lose all the weight that I want to lose.  Initially I tried to do it on my own, using my own knowledge of nutrition and what worked and what didn’t for my own body.  The plan was to use the winter as my form of cocoon (they are also called Chrysalises, hence the title!).  The idea is that come the spring, when the summer wardrobe is back out from the loft and everyone want to looks awesome in shorts, I shall take off the winter layers and reveal my new butterfly me.  Or if not the entire transformation, certainly a good way towards it.

Operation Chrysalis

The first two months of Operation Chrysalis did not go well.  I discovered, week after week, the weight was going back on again.  So, I decided to take the bit between my teeth and head for a local slimming class.

It so happened that I got a text message from one of the leaders I used to go to slimming class with, and as I do not believe in co-incidences, I decided to go along.  So… I did.  In the 8 weeks since I have been going (even with Christmas and New Year festivities in the way) I have lost 15 and half pounds.  This is really, really good for me, because with my PCOS and Insulin resistance, losing weight is incredibly difficult for me.  I have great support at home, which is crucial, and I must say, it is rather pleasant to have people from Church come up to me and tell me how good I am looking, and have I lost weight.  It is massive boost to the morale, and makes you want to keep going.

tape measure

I have also taken my measurements.  Those inches are really beginning to show.  I have to wear a belt with all my jeans now.  Some of my skirts are too loose on me.  I am actually looking to take some of them in.  This is, let me tell you, a FABULOUS feeling.

Seeing as it is a New Year I have committed to a new start on the diet front as well.  I lost 1.5 pounds this week, but I am going back to basics on the eating plan.  I am going to write down everything I eat (“write as you bite” is the phrase I am taking away from today’s class!) and hopefully I shall come away with a good weight loss next week too.

If any of you are undertaking your own “Operation Chrysalis”, how are you getting on?

A rant about tipping the scales…

For the long time readers of this blog, you will know that I struggle with my weight.  I have always struggled with my weight and I suspect it is something I will ALWAYS have to have an eye on, for the rest of my days.  However, in the last 3 weeks, I have decided that I am back on the dietary wagon, and I am bound and determined to get the excess weight off this time.  I have given myself targets, I have decided on the treats I am going to give myself when I reach those targets, I have even given myself time scales in which to do it (though I am going to be flexible on those!).

There is nothing that irritates me more though, then people telling me that “losing weight is simple.  Just eat less and move more.”  What a pile of horse hocky.  If it were that simple, don’t you think that we all would be stick thin and no one would be overweight at all?  For some people, maybe it is that easy, but for others?  No, it is more complicated than that.

And who decides who is overweight anyway?  Well, in most western countries, the medical profession relies on an Index called the Body Mass Index.  It is a conjunction of your weight and your height.  Depending on where you come on the matrix you are classified as being overweight, clinically obese or morbidly obese.  What they fail to tell you though, is how that Index was dreamed up.  You might think it was the greatest medical minds of their generation putting their heads together and coming up with something that truly reflects the health of the citizenry and that it is a number and a score with a lot of research behind it.  Ummm… no actually.

The BMI was dreamt up by some doctor who had been given the job of proving that the Soliders in WW1 trenches were being given enough food and weren’t poorly nourished.  Patently, they were poorly nourished, and patently it caused all sorts of health problems, but the index was put together as “proof” that Private Joe Bloggs, this tall and this weight, was actually the right weight for his height, even though he really, really wasn’t.

So, the tool which I have been judged against for most of my life is actually a tool of 100 year old war propaganda?  Great.  Just great.

Please do not mistake me.  I am fully aware that I carry too much weight.  This is partly because of appallingly bad choices I have made in the past, and partly due to genetics,and even partly due to a desire to squash feelings down by using poor food choices (and no, that really doesn’t work and is not a very positive way of doing things.)  But I am done with feeling guilty about this.  I know what needs to be changed, and I am doing something about it.

Recently, I rejoined a slimming class.  In two weeks I have dropped 8 pounds, and altogether, I have lost 12 since I started on my health kick, way back in May.  I feel a lot better for it, and I know what to do in order to eat healthy meals, feel full and happy and have the energy to do what I need to do.  And that is what I am going to do.

So, if you feel like you want to be healthier, or carry less weight, then the best thing to do?  Go and see a Nutritionist.  Take their advice and do what you know is healthy in order to get to your healthy weight.  And do not let some stupid position on an outdated and scientifically dubious index tell you whether you are healthy and happy.  Let your own body do the talking.

WARNING: Rant about the “War on Obesity”

Great.  More pressure from the Medic’s on obesity. Don’t get me wrong, I know that obesity is a crisis and costs the National Health Service a fortune in treatment.  I also know that being obese is not something to be aimed for.  But I do not think that the latest news is the way forward.

As someone who is classified as morbidly obese from a random calculation using my height and weight (which bears no relation to how healthy I am, and instead just tells the doctor where on a chart I belong), I was horrified to hear this morning on the news that gastric surgeons are now claiming that up to 2 million people might be eligible to have a gastric band fitted in order to lose weight.  (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-25766253)

www.bbc.co.uk

http://www.bbc.co.uk

You might have picked up that I don’t like the BMI calculation and all the use that has been put to.  I like the idea of major stomach surgery and gastric bands being fitted even less.

I have already mentioned in passing how I am treated at the doctor.  If I go for antibiotics for a chest infection, then I would bet my house that the doctor will ask if I have thought of losing weight.  I have, on occasion, replied with “Why yes.  I have thought of very little else for the last 34 years.  It hasn’t worked out well, has it?!”  I think you can probably tell that there is sarcasm dripping from that statement.  What drives me wild is that if they had cast a glance over my medical records, then they would see the referral to the metabolic expert when I was 18, and the eating disorder diagnosed then, the dietician appointments, and what not.  It is all there.  Written in black and white, or pixelated on the computer screen.

www.jacksongeneral.com

http://www.jacksongeneral.com

One doctor asked if I wanted to be considered for bariatric surgery.  I left him in no doubt that I would NEVER have a gastric band fitted.  If my weight was all about how much I ate and how I eat the wrong things, then I would do it.  But it isn’t.  I can prove what I eat; I can prove that I do not eat a high fat, high calorie diet.  I can prove that I am active.  But the medical profession doesn’t believe me.  In fact, one doctor actually said, to my face “Well you are still fat, so you must be lying”.

EXCUSE ME?  Who the HELL are you to tell me that I am lying to you and to myself about how much I eat?  Who are YOU to impugn my good name and call me a liar?  I don’t care how many qualifications anyone has, but NO ONE calls me a liar.  I once provided them with a detailed food diary, and exercise diary and they still didn’t believe me.

So needless to say, I will NOT be accepting any offer of bariatric surgery, even if I will be the last fat person in the UK.  I would even decline a hypnotherapy gastric band.

www.hernebayhypnotherapy.com

http://www.hernebayhypnotherapy.com

I am going to lose this weight the old fashioned way.  One pound at a time.  Exercising to tighten up my wobbly bits and to make myself feel better.  Eating healthy, home cooked food with the occasional indulgence has got to be better than undergoing major surgery.  That smacks of a quick fix to a slow problem.