*Starshine*'s Journal, 17 April 2014

Today is the one-year anniversary of the start of my weight-loss journey, so this is quite a special day. I began losing weight in earnest on April 17th 2013 at 283 lbs. On May 20th, I started with FatSecret and set a goal of 100 lbs. Last week, I reached 173 lbs, which is a loss so far of 110 lbs, almost 8 stone. I’d like to lose about another stone (14 pounds) over the next couple of months.

Today is like the best kind of birthday. I genuinely feel “re-born”. Increasingly, I feel like I’ve found myself again and the Real Me has been re-born. While I was gaining weight, there were so many other losses and gains that I never really confronted how much my obesity was holding me back. I gained four degrees (undergraduate, teaching, masters and doctorate) and three houses. I lost five pregnancies, and both my father and father-in-law. Losing so much weight over the last year and getting my health back, as well as my shape, has boosted my confidence like nothing else. It’s made me realise what I’m truly capable of and everything seems possible again. It’s changed me back to who I was fifteen years ago, in being up for anything, but with the added value of being older and wiser. Having been so much bigger, for so long, makes me appreciate life much more, who I am and, funnily enough, the people around me. As a result, I’m genuinely more comfortable in my own skin, not just in being able to move about more easily, but also in being more optimistic and more understanding of other people’s difficulties. I’ve also learned enough to see this as a whole-life change, where I owe it to myself not to let myself disappear like that ever again.

Ironically in view of all this, this week, I saw the most significant weight gain I’ve had all year, of 8 lbs! However, the way I’m responding to that today reflects, very much, my changed attitude to weight management. One of the many things I’ve learned is not to judge weight-loss by just one number and, rather than heading straight for the cookie cupboard for comfort as I might have previously, I’m looking at the further information from my body-composition scales. What’s there isn’t such bad news after all. What I “gained” was muscle, bone mass and fluid, all of which has increased my metabolic rate and led to a further (and very pleasing) 1.7% drop in my total body fat. Even if one doesn’t trust the figures from these types of scales, the way I log them in a weekly table shows me the longer-term trends and that’s what’s important. So, although I’m technically “heavier” this week, I’m also healthier and stronger. You can’t rush some things and a higher number on the scales isn’t always a reason to feel down. Lean muscle takes time to burn fat, and there’s often a time-lag of a week or two before healthy eating and exercise actually pays off in overall fat loss. Another thing I’ve learned about successful weight-loss is that it takes *patience*!

My new “smallness” hit home in an apparently trivial but actually very big way yesterday. Clearing out the loft at our renovation, I came across a load of clothes I stored 15 years ago, when I first started gaining weight. At that time, I was heart-broken at not being able to wear them anymore and I saw no real hope of ever fitting into them again; however, I just couldn’t bear to part with them. For years, I thought I’d given them away to charity; in fact, I even commented to someone the other day that it was a shame I didn’t keep them, as they might fit me now. Well, as you can imagine, re-discovering them yesterday resulted in a major clothes-fest! Ten bin-bags full of classic, timeless clothes, all US sizes 8/10/12, all in great condition – and, to my sheer glee, everything fitted! Some of the shorter, snugger skirts will act as new incentives to keep shedding pounds but most things zipped up without a struggle. One of the best finds was a figure-hugging, velvet evening dress that I wore just once, a strappy ankle-length number in a deep emerald green that my husband loved before and was totally blown-away to see me in again. Now, clothes might seem a trivial concern but they’re bound up with all sorts of memories for me. It’s also been incredibly expensive replacing clothes several times over in the last year from size 24 to size 12, but these clothes are so timeless that I’ve also regained a whole load of further stuff for work and casual. The lesson here is *never thrown away clothes you love* even if they take up space and you don’t think you’ll ever get into them again. You never know when you might!

To finish up here, I would say that when I began this journey, I didn’t genuinely believe it was possible for me to lose 100 lbs. I was prepared to give it a go but, like many other people, I believed it was too late and that I was probably pretty much stuck with the figure I had. While I knew I was supposed to be positive and motivated to lose weight, in truth, I didn’t really think I could, let alone that I could get back to a proper healthy BMI weight. Effectively, I thought I’d “lost” the good figure I once had and that it was just setting myself up for more pain to think I could have it again. The only way I could approach it was by aiming, each time, for the next stone. So at 20 stone, I felt that to reach 19 would be great. At 19, just to get to 18 would be brilliant, and so on. It was only when I got to about 14/15 stone that I realised I might actually be able to get down to 12. I’m still on my way there. It’s still a daily negotiation with my body, where I try – respectfully and kindly – to do what it needs and learn to make that part of what I want too. What that means is getting a daily 40% protein (125 g for me), 40% carbs, 20% good fats; 3 litres water; 8 hours sleep every night; and at least an hour’s exercise in every twenty-four.

The main thing I've done is make my weight management a priority and, in doing so, I've made myself a priority. And that’s something that, actually, we should all do more.
182.2 lb Lost so far: 86.8 lb.    Still to go: 0 lb.    Diet followed reasonably well.

Diet Calendar Entries for 17 April 2014:
2137 kcal Fat: 85.83g | Prot: 131.96g | Carb: 199.66g.   Breakfast: Skinless Chicken Breast, Philadelphia 1/3 Less Fat Cream Cheese, Ryvita Dark Rye Crackers, Whole Milk, Coffee (Brewed From Grounds). Lunch: Skinless Chicken Breast, Hummus, Lettuce, Bell Peppers, Feta Cheese, Colavita Balsamic Vinegar. Dinner: Pizza with Meat. Snacks/Other: Coffee (Brewed From Grounds), Whole Milk, Multigrain Bread, Sliced Ham (Extra Lean), Cooked Egg White, Lurpak Lighter Spreadable Butter, KOT Milk Chocolate Biscuit, 2% Fat Milk, Decaffeinated Tea Unsweetened. more...
3749 kcal Activities & Exercise: Yard Work (gardening) - 6 hours, Desk Work - 4 hours, Resting - 6 hours, Sleeping - 8 hours. more...
on diet Startrekker's Own Diet   gaining 7.4 lb a week

3 Supporters    Support   

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!! And with a loss of 110 pounds you really have something to celebrate! You CAN do anything, so just keep up the positive attitude and the excellent new dietary skills you've learned over the past year and there will be NO holding you down! you GO! 
17 Apr 14 by member: Char Gets Thin
This journal needs fireworks and a marching band!! Wonderful you! Yep - the uptick can be a downer but good on you for recognizing it for what it is .. muscle!! I'm in that same conversion period so I've put the scale off my radar to stop letting a 'number' weigh me down while everything else is doing it's thing. HEALTH - yep, that's the priority - but that dress sounds fab; hope you post a pic for us. 
17 Apr 14 by member: FullaBella
Amazing story. It feels so good to get into smaller clothes. Nice that you found those hidden away and they were ones you love. I had to buy some yesterday as my jeans and my work clothes are falling off of me. Still need some tops.  
18 Apr 14 by member: wholefoodnut
Belated thanks to you all for your lovely support. It's partly your responses that keep me going! 
22 Apr 14 by member: *Starshine*
What a wonderful achievement. You should be very, very proud of yourself. x 
12 May 14 by member: JillyJargon


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