Ok, ok, ok… I have been putting this off since the first of July – that being the half way stage on my FWT journey.
What? You don’t have a clue what I am on about? Ah.. well.. at the beginning of this year – January the first to be precise, I embarked upon a quest to lose weight – steadily, sustainably and using a method I had not tried before, worked out between me and two of my sons.
I started, as do those who join AA, in stating that I had got FAT. I had been avoiding this, after all with my
rose-tinted specs clothes on I can disguise a lot, even though my clothing size had gone from comfortably loose at a 14 to tight 16 bordering an 18 for certain styles. (UK sizes) After all, I thought, there are those around me who are much larger. After all I ate a sensible, well balanced diet – and really, really not too much of it. And I do at least one exercise type class once a week in term time. And it used to be enough before the menopause… which seems to pause weight loss as well. So there are all my excuses and I still had to admit that I had allowed myself to get FAT before I could convince myself that drastic action must be taken – despite photographic evidence. I look back at photos like this and think ‘How could I have not seen it?’
And by drastic I don’t mean a starvation diet – dieting – silly cutting out of all fats.. or all carbs… is the CAUSE rather than the cure of many weight problems… all that happens is that your body learns it needs to be careful of those precious fat supplies as it might meet starvation again so when you reach your target weight and take your eye off the strict diet (you know you do, you know you will), the result is the weight piles on and it is much harder to lose weight in the future! At least I had managed to avoid that pitfall when I first had to lose a lot of weight.
I blame the Americans. 🙂 Ok, not All of you, but the first time I really put on weight it was in the USA. I had left these shores at nine stone, in fact a couple of pounds under, and had gone to America on a Buna-Camp scheme in 74.
Buna-Camp ran a scheme for students, particularly teacher training students, to go to America and teach in the Summer camps. You had your air-fare covered, plus you got paid a bit too. This meant that if you had the time left after the eight week summer camp teaching, you could travel around and see a bit of America before you had to go back to the UK and the next term.
Don’t get me wrong – it was a great experience! And I shall write a blog about it one day, but the food at the camp, plus the food when we went out, just piled on the pounds. I returned after eleven weeks 2 and a half stone heavier than I left. My parents didn’t recognise me and I’d had to buy clothes to wear. Had I pigged out? – it didn’t feel like it at the time – I didn’t seem to eat more than the rest, so , not really, but the high level of carbohydrate in the diet, plus the American beers (when out) certainly had their effect on me – and it wasn’t intoxication!
Luckily, I read up about sensible ways to lose weight slowly and steadily and this also taught me some good nutrition basics and started an interest in scientific developments in understanding nutrition, so I avoided the worst kind of diet trap the ‘lose it fast – put it back on faster type’.
So, back to post-menopause .. the weight had been creeping on – and on, so, in January 2011, I tried to recreate this sensible weight-loss pattern – but for the first time it didn’t work. By the time the photo above was taken I had been been keeping an eye on what I ate as I had done all those years ago, but no weight had come off at all. What was missing if I was by now back to eating a sensible and well balanced diet?
Well, what I didn’t do, and hadn’t done for a long, long time, was hard exercise. I’m not really a sporty type, I love dancing but get bored with class aerobics or jogging very quickly. I have also avoided doing gym sessions since taking out a year membership about ten years ago and, despite the boredom, using it regularly only to find I built up huge muscles (I build muscle easily) but that did not really help much with weight control, and it is only now I find I was doing the wrong sort of exercise – the type that is good for body-builders or weight-lifters but not for fat burning.
For this I needed to build lean muscle, and to do that I need to work it hard to get it to burn fat even when it is doing very little – so I was told – and so I have been doing. Basic portion control with an extra eye on the carbohydrates and specific resistance weights exercises. Not too many a day – taking less than fifteen minutes.
Has it worked?? My cheerleaders will have noticed the weight going down in numbers from 12 stone to 10 stone, and will have seen the evidence that what I have been eating is enough for anyone. They’ll also know that for the whole of the month of June I went on to a maintenance programme (to assess where I was and get used to my new weight), neither losing not gaining anything. As from the start of July, I returned to the weight-loss method and have lost a further 2.5 lbs to the photo taken on Aug 1. However, here, now … as I lift the veil on a Fat Woman Thinning … is the evidence in the raw —
Both photos taken with stomach muscles relaxed, by the way, and they are the same undies – ones I knew should fit again if I lost the weight, and both taken by me, at my arm’s length (What, you think I’d have someone else photographing me like that?). Whew, that was scary – posting these photos!
So, a big thank you to all my cheerleaders – and the quest goes on – aiming for the next half stone … now what can I reward myself with when I get there? First target was a beautiful wrap, second was a pair of strappy sandals with more heel than I usually go for….. Ideas welcome – I love to hear from you!
Finally – would DeborahKennedy2@**** please contact me before 10/9/12 .