Fab at 50! Losing Weight and Feeling Great
Lorraine realized she needed to make a change after a series of realizations. She was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, shocked by her appearance in a party video, and will be turning 50 very soon. With all of that in mind, she chose a sensible eating and exercise plan over short-term solutions. By controlling her portions and increasing exercise, Lorraine lost 4 stone (56 lbs.) over the course of a year.
1. What prompted you to begin this weight loss journey? Did you have an “Aha!” moment?
I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in October 2012, which was quite a shock! I was not given any medication, but advised to watch my diet. Maybe I was in denial, but I didn’t do anything straight away.
I then organised a Christmas party for work in December 2012 and wore a beautiful dress. I was pretty pleased with how I looked until I saw some video footage of the evening. I was shocked! I knew I had gained a few pounds, but the video didn’t lie. I knew then that something had to be done!
My “Aha!” moment was then realising that I have a big birthday on April 3rd of this year. After the diabetes diagnosis coupled with the unflattering video evidence, I decided I wanted to be FAB at 50 – not FLAB at 50! I gave myself a year to reach my goal: January 2013 to January 2014.
2. What other “diets” (programs, products, plans, or services) had you tried in the past?
I have tried Slim Fast. I even took some Chinese herbal slimming tablets some years back, and had a very bad reaction to them. These just don’t work!
3. Please describe how you reached your weight loss goal. What changes did you make to your usual diet, activity, lifestyle, and attitude? Did you implement any other strategies besides Calorie Count? What was the most important change?
Having read of various diet plans on the market, including Weight Watchers, Slim Fast, Atkins, etc., I had heard that these types of diets only produce short term results. So, I decided that a sensible eating and exercise plan was the way forward. I didn’t want to deprive myself, especially when cooking for my hubby and three children. There is no way I want to sit at the dining table with a milkshake while they tuck into a home-cooked dinner. Therefore, I decided smaller portions padded out with extra veg or salad would work for me. I already exercised, but I increased the amount and I started running, which I LOVE! I also joined the spinning class at my gym, which is great fun!
4. Please describe how Calorie Count was instrumental to your weight loss.
I found Calorie Count so useful in keeping a check on what I am eating. Everything goes into my planner on a daily basis, and it’s surprising at how the calories clock up! I also weigh my evening meal. I set myself a limit of 1,500 calories per day and make sure my activity log exceeds my calorie intake. Even though I am now at my ideal weight, I still continue to use Calorie Count on a daily basis.
5. What difficulties did you experience losing weight?
At the start, I guess there were difficulties in educating myself with the smaller portions. When you’re extra hungry, and you’re serving the family meal yourself, it is very tempting to add an extra potato or a little more pasta. That was quite tough, but I didn’t cheat. Now however, there is no way I could eat the portions I used to.
6. How long did it take you to see results? When did you realize that you were a success?
I started at the beginning of January 2013, and by March someone at work commented that I looked like I had lost some weight. After that, the comments and compliments started to flow as my weight came off slowly, but surely, on a weekly basis. Gradually, I needed to buy smaller clothes. I had previously been a size 14 which, if I’m honest, was starting to fit snugly on me. I then dropped to a size 12, so, feeling pleased with myself, I bought a whole new wardrobe of dresses, jeans, and tops. I then started to find that these were too big, and so I went shopping for new size 10’s. A few months down the line, and it was back to the shops for size 8’s and some size 6 tops and cardigans. What a great feeling!
7. How do you prevent relapse?
I won’t relapse. I have come too far and worked too hard to allow myself a relapse. This has taken me a year and there is no way I will jeopardize what I have achieved. Looking at my previous photos and video of that Christmas event is motivation enough! This is me now, a change for life. There is no going back!
8. How has your life changed now that you’ve lost weight?
I feel amazing. I have so much energy, and there is not a day that goes by when someone doesn’t compliment my new look. I have lost four stone [56 lbs.] in total, and have gone from a dress size 14-16 to a dress size 6-8. My hubby loves the new me and is proud of my achievement.
I feel much more confident in myself and pleased that at my party in April, I will be FAB at 50 and not FLAB at 50!
9. How long have you maintained your current weight?
I have been at 8 stone 13 lbs. [125 lbs.] for the past couple of weeks, but before that my weight stayed at 9 stone 1 lbs. [127 lbs.] since the beginning of November 2013.
10. What five tips do you have for other dieters?
1. Don’t bother with faddy diets. Sensible eating & exercise is absolutely key.
2. Don’t beat yourself up if some weeks you gain the odd pound – this happened to me, and yes, I did get down about it sometimes, but then I picked myself up and carried on! The body does fluctuate with water retention, etc., so don’t be disheartened.
3. Don’t deprive yourself. I do eat the odd piece of cheesecake, but will only eat half of it. We do have takeaways now and again, and I will simply have a smaller portion. This way I’m not missing out on life, and can still share meals out and treats with my family and friends. Then you don’t feel like you’re dieting.
4. Set a realistic goal. The weight didn’t go on overnight and it definitely won’t come off overnight. I gave myself a year to lose 3 and a half stone and I ended up losing 4 stone.
5. Exercise. Exercise. Exercise! Don’t make excuses. There is always time in the day to do something. I am a mum of three and work full-time. I go to the gym from 6-7am, two to three times a week or run during my lunch break at least three miles, and a longer run on the weekend. I also have an exercise bike in my lounge, so if the weather is bad and not conducive to a run, or I fancy a day off from the gym, I can watch my favorite soap while clocking up a few miles on the exercise bike. Resistance bands are also handy to have at home for a little training. Where there is a will there is a way!
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