While I was writing today's post I was thinking about my weight loss journey and I've decided to summarise it here. I've been reading so many blogs where people have been reflecting on 2007 and I guess that's inspired me to take the time to write this down. I've also found myself wanting to offer help to people who are struggling with losing weight but then hesitating in case they think I'm offering platitudes rather than real understanding.
One thing I have known for the past six months is that I have been really happy with my weight loss achievements and that I just wasn't interested in losing more weight during that time. I wanted to work on my fitness, which I have done, and I wanted to give my body some time to adjust to the new me. For example, my skin has tightened up, which is great. Not as much as I would like, but it's definitely less expensive than plastic surgery. I did realise that I was getting too relaxed about my eating, but I just couldn't get the momentum up to get started on the weight loss trail again. I kept hoping that the time would come when I'd be in the right frame of mind to lose weight again and it looks like my hopes have been answered.
I am absolutely completely confident that I'll lose weight this year.
When you're reading this it's important to realise that this is a summary. There was a lot more to it than this. If you're interested in knowing more, please feel free to contact me via hotmail. I think I'll blog about my new weight loss journey, but I'll probably do that on Calorie King. I'm not sure yet.
My journey so far (2004 - 2007)
I was seriously thinking about gastric banding in 2004 as a friend of mine found it incredibly successful. Mind you, he was seriously ill and needed to lose weight to save his life. I had been told that the doctor he'd recommended would want to know that I'd given dieting a serious try, and so I signed up for Lite'N'Easy in August 2004. I had to tell them my weight when I signed up. I was horrified to discover that I weighed 118 kgs. I had been working from home for the past 12 months and I hadn't realised that I'd gained so much weight.
Now I'm not a tall person. At 118 kg I was a size 24 and a half. I was starting to need to buy size 26 clothes, but I wouldn't admit to myself that I had moved into that size category.
I'd decided to give Lite'N'Easy a serious try and I managed to lose 12 kgs. I got a new job in Canberra in late October but none of my old business clothes fitted me. I needed a complete new wardrobe. I was travelling from Melbourne weekly and I didn't have a car in Canberra so I became a public transport user. I was really unfit and dreaded the thought of walking any distance in the summer heat. Over the Christmas period I managed to regain 7 of the 12 kgs I'd lost and I was bursting out of my new clothes. I found myself puffing and panting on the walk from the bus stop to my office. I was afraid I was going to die but I didn't know what to do about it. Obviously I was a complete failure at losing weight. The situation came to a head in February, when I realised that I was starting to buy Macca's on the way home from work.
I have no idea what I weighed when I walked into the gym in February 2005. I was so convinced that I couldn't lose weight that I decided that I was just there to get fitter. I didn't even bother to weigh myself as I knew I wouldn't like the answer. (I regret that now, just as I regret that there are hardly any photos of me from 2004 - 2006.) Over the next nine months I managed to lose two and a half dress sizes. I don't know for sure how much weight I lost during that time but I was 107 kg when I decided that it was time for me to give weight loss another try. I did so badly that I weighed 110 kg after Christmas.
Even though I was feeling fitter and healthier than I had done in years I was still miserable about my weight. I was looking everywhere for an answer. In January 2006 I found one. A whole lot of things seemed to come together for me and I started losing weight steadily. It kept coming off. As 118 kg was my highest known weight I used it as my starting point. By October 2006 I'd lost 38 kgs. I managed to avoid putting on any weight over Christmas, which was great, however I was disappointed that I wasn't able to get to the 40 kg mark.
I'd done a lot of walking in 2006, but it was getting harder and harder to get my heart rate up. I realised that I was going to have to up the ante. With the encouragement of my personal trainer I began running in September 2006. I was doing well until I went home to Melbourne for a holiday. It was a bad bushfire season and there was smoke everywhere. I didn't run because of the smoke and quickly got out of the habit. I had to start my running all over again when I got back to Canberra. Fortunately I had told people that I was going to run my laps of the Relay for Life in March, so I had to work hard to be able to make good on my promise.
I signed up for the Biggest Loser Challenge at Fernwood and started blogging. I found that really helped to motivate me. I also managed to lose another 5 kgs, bringing my total weight loss to 43 kg. In April 2006 I was lighter than I'd been in 10 years.
Since then I've been really relaxed about weight loss. I was so happy with how I looked and felt that it didn't seem important to lose any more weight. I focussed on my fitness and enjoyed being able to run. I was aware that my weight was starting to creep back up and I occasionally had a bit of a panic about it, but I think my body needed the break. I've toned up and still fit into the clothes I bought when I was at my lowest weight, although they are starting to get a bit tight now. It's definitely time to get back onto the straight and narrow.
As at today, I'm 33 kg lighter than my original starting weight of 118 kg. I've got a definite goal weight in mind. I'd really like to be half my size. I've checked, and 59 kg is near the top end of my healthy BMI range. In fact, I'm going to aim for 58 kg as saying "I lost 60 kg" sounds more impressive than "I lost 59 kg". Of course, I won't know until I get there if it's a healthy weight for me, but it's a line in the sand for me.
I know how to consistently lose half a kilo to a kilo a week, so I should be able to get there before the end of the year. They say that a goal isn't a real goal unless it has a timeframe, so my timeframe is to be at my goal weight by 1 January, 2009.
I'm going to enlist help from people this time. I did it pretty much on my own the last time, although I did receive encouragement and support from family, friends and work colleagues.