Here I am, 48 weeks from the start of my journey, 2 stone six pounds lighter, that 34 lbs down and just one pound left to go to my target weight – so I thought it an opportune time to catch up on how the Method, that my boys and I have worked out, has been going.
When I started my Fat Woman Thinning? part of this blog, I put a question mark on the end. After all I was not sure if this would work.
A brief history of what came before, Nineteen seventy three I weighed nine-stone and set off to America to work for the summer in one of their summer camps. just eleven weeks later, having been quite active each day and having eaten the types of foods provided and available locally, I returned to the UK weighing eleven and a half stone!
From then on I followed a reduced carbohydrate way of eating ( as suggested by professor John Yudkin – not a diet book as such) and slowly but surely I lost that extra weight over two years… and by and large kept off that weight (though managed to gain a bit with each child born that I didn’t quite shed – so have spent, since my fourth son was born, weighing about a stone to a stone and a half over my optimum weight.)
No problem – really, I felt ok, was able to be as active as I wanted – clothes still looked good and on the whole I was a UK size 14. Until menopause
Well, menopause hit me with a number of whammies. You know – it’s just not talked about enough and when it is it seems it is in tones reserved for talking about your ‘period’. Anyway – hot flushes (flashes if you’re USA reader) befuddled thinking – the works …. AND weight gain. Weight gain that ‘they’ seem to say is inevitable and that settles itself around the midriff – again – symptomatically – this is just what happens!
Having tried being really strict with myself on the carbohydrate front ( my tried and tested method ) and found it no longer worked (3 strict months in 2011 I lost just 2 lbs – this was when the photo below left was taken) I was three years into menopause and now topping twelve stone – and feeling it – in my knees, in the effort taken when out walking or dancing, in my breathing. But what on earth to do? (Having read Yudkin I have never believed in calorie counting diets – or faddy diets – or dieting as such and wasn’t about to do it now knowing what I did about the bad effects diets have on you.)
After an ‘excuses kicking’ session with one of my boys and a resistance weight chart tailored to meet my needs (to take less than half an hour and to do at home) I began my menopause weight loss journey on January 1st 2012 and began blogging it as Fat Woman Thinning ?
And it has worked?? No question about it!! The Fat Woman HAS Thinned!
I tried to re-create the same photo which was originally taken to display my Nero slate cheeseboard – left summer 2011 (a photo that shocked me) and right – yesterday Dec 2012.
And what I have learnt along the way? How menopause weight gain isn’t ‘inevitable’, how certain type of exercises, done daily, can build lean muscle, how this doesn’t have to involve expensive equipment or going to gyms or even leaving home, how lean muscle burns energy, that the eating methods Yudkin proposed are still the best basis for what to eat (though a little complicated), that this way of eating is sensible, easy to do (using my rough guide) within the context of feeding the family, sustainable and better for you. Moreover there are some important types of food you need to eat more of if in menopause – rather than less, and that simply cutting calories, as such, at menopause (the way recommended ) is a bad idea. That many of the messages we have been fed by food businesses and even the government have been seriously wrong – and are being proved wrong.
All in all I have drawn from so much useful information, some of it from very new research papers and reviews, and from experience and wisdom down the ages to create a method of weight loss specifically for the women at menopause. Yet – it is something all women need to know about – long before they reach that stage – as prevention of muscle loss is even better – prevention of weight gain better still – really it’s what every woman needs to know about menopause and weight loss.
Friends have been asking me what I’ve been doing to lose weight – telling me how good it looks. One said ‘You’ve lost the mumsy look!’ and that is so true ! In fact, being a grandmother, I was on the way to a grandmumsy look. They’ve even asked for it to be written down, so they can work on it to shift that weight and regain their shape – and that is what I am doing!
So, watch this space – sometime soon I’ll be launching a book – sharing all I have learned on this journey to lose weight!
So what do you think? Do let me know!