Sunday, 17 February 2013

Third Time Lucky

I thought I would make a post to show you a bit about my stats this time around. I have taken some hideous as they may be and as hard as they may be to post. I thought they might help show my progress and it might not be so bad once I've lost some weight. I started dieting on 7th feb. I like to weigh in on a Saturday so that was a 5 day week. I lost 2lbs on the dot that week and for the following two weeks. I then lost 1.8 lbs and then 0.6lbs last week. That means a loss of 8.4lbs and my first silver 7 if I was at meetings. Here are some visuals for you:

Monday, 11 February 2013

10 Reasons I love Weight Watchers

From the blog title and some of the things I've written it may sound like I work for Weight Watchers, but I assure you that I'm not getting commission! The truth is that I have never been successful with any other diet. When I started WW I couldn't believe it was true; it took me several weeks of consistent losses to stop being sceptical about it. I got to a point where I was even quite excited about the diet because I had started to believe, for the first time, that it was possible to make a difference to my body. I started to feel in control of my food and the fact that I was doing something about my weight made me feel less depressed about it when looking in the mirror or looking at clothes. I could think 'I love those clothes, I'll get some when I have reached goal' instead of 'I'm never going to be able to wear something like that'. I knew it would take a long, long time but the fact that it was no longer impossible was very encouraging. So, here are my top reasons why I love Weight Watchers...
  1. Nothing is off limits. The biggest thing for me is that as soon as I can't have something that is exactly when I want it and obsess about it. If I want to have it I can or if it's too high I can wait until the weekend when I have my weekly points. If I can have it, I'm often not that bothered. 
  2. It's gradual. Unlike other diets where you cut straight to 1200 calories or whatever, you start off at an amount that is equal to your size. If you're very overweight the likelihood is you're used to eating more food and if you're going to just drop to a certain amount you'll be hungry and give up. With WW however, you're on an amount that will sustain you and you slowly go down so that you almost don't notice the decrease. 
  3. Plateaus are less likely. Your points decrease as you lose weight; because of this your body doesn't get accustomed to a certain amount of food or calories. If you've started on 1200 calories and your metabolism gets used to how much you're having and slows down you really have nowhere to go.  
  4. You get 49 weekly points. Or on the old plan I would save points. Either way it's the same, I have a high day on a Saturday so I can go out. This means that your social life doesn't have to suffer. If I want to go for a night out, to a party, to a restaurant or just get a take away in I can. If it's a birthday or valentines day I can celebrate it without even having to take a day off my diet.  Your favourite restaurant has brought out a gorgeous cheesecake and everyone is raving about it? No problem. Work it into your weekly points. Chances are, once you've had it you realise it's not even worth the points and you don't crave it any more. On the other hand, I also found the odd thing that was worth the points and because I could only have it on a Saturday it became a real treat, something I looked forward to. 
  5. Fruit and Veg are free. This means that I'm encouraged to eat it. I do love my fruit and veg but I don't have either much if I'm not dieting. Because I can snack on fruit for free and fill up a meal with veg I'm much more inclined to eat it. 
  6. Everything is simplified. WW takes the science into account for you. Should I count fat? Should I limit carbs? What about calories? It's all done for you. Instead of obsessing about everything all I do is think 'what are the points?' and it works! 
  7. Exercise is made just as easy. Most people assume that because they've been the gym, or gone for a walk that they can have a take away. It doesn't work like that. Doing exercise actually burns very few calories. WW does the maths for you. Your app or whatever takes into account the type of exercise, how much you exerted yourself etc and logs it. Then you can choose to swap it point for point for food or you can choose to leave them and have extra weight loss. 
  8. It gives you flexibility. You've got a party, a birthday, a wedding this weekend? Sure, you can go off plan and hop back on on Monday or if you don't want to you can use your weekly points. 49 points not enough? No problem, you can work out all week to save up activity points. Simple. 
  9. It's easy to keep track. Before long I know the points and can keep them in my head. That way I don't go over because I roughly know what I'm having before I have it. I do log also but if I wanted to just add in my head I could and often do. 
  10. No one has to know. Some people like men I know don't want to share because of embarrassment. When I first started I was fed up of telling people I was on a diet and then getting nowhere. Because you can eat just like everyone else no one has to know and I went months before I finally told people. 

Sunday, 10 February 2013

The Picture Part

Everyone likes the part with the before and after photos. Since I never actually got to goal I'm going to cheat and call my during photos my after photos. So, below you will see me at my (previously) heaviest weight, but strangely a little bigger than I am now dress size wise, and after I lost 5 stone (or 72lbs for those who do pounds). I don't know if the pictures are motivational or depressing, but I thought they may be interesting for you to see. I hope to get back there one day and then surpass it to get to a place where I am happy with myself. I was happier with myself then, but far from happy. I had started to enjoy clothes and feel less self conscious but I don't think I actually realised how thin I had gotten. I still felt huge. I still wanted to lose another 4 stone or so - I had a long way to go. Hopefully this time around life won't get in my way...well, too much. I have more to share with you, but I'll leave those for another day.

Weight Watchers

As I mentioned in my previous post the only time I've had success other than starving myself is when I have been on the Weight Watchers diet.

I started off January 2010 dieting. I tried to follow a low calorie; I lost the first week and every week after that I stayed the same despite trying hard the whole time. Come February I was fed up and took up my friend's offer of starting Weight Watchers. She had been going to meetings and doing well so she sent me the information. I bought myself a calculator, Eat Out book and Shop Book and often bought the magazines for inspiration. I had days off for birthdays and such but I didn't have one slip up in the entire 9 months that I was doing the diet. Every time I didn't count points it was a planned event. I started off sceptical; I couldn't believe I could have McDonalds, Chinese and chocolate and still lose weight. I started eating healthier and incorporated exercise and I consistently lost. I started off at 19 stone 10lbs. At 5 foot 8 inches that made me a size 26 and a BMI of over 42. By Christmas that year I was 14 stone 8.4lbs (only a few pounds from being under 200lbs). I dropped 4 dress sizes to become a small size 18 jeans. Weight watchers allowed me to have anything I wanted and the pure fact that I could have it if I wanted meant that often, I didn't. That or I'd fit it into my points and realise that it really wasn't worth it so I didn't bother again.

Christmas came and I managed to gain 15lbs in 2 weeks but it took weeks and weeks coming off. I yoyo'd a bit after that until a family tragedy happened that meant I comfort ate and managed to put on more than 2 stone in the month after. After that I pretty much gave up and started to slowly gain everything back. Slower than that first month, thankfully! I'd been suffering from depression for some time but it became even worse to the point that I just couldn't deal with it. Eventually I got help from the doctors but given the time it took and the time to find the right antidepressants, the right dose and settle down I had a hard time finding the motivation to diet or to stick with it when I was. By this time it was October 2011 and I decided to join Weight Watchers online in the hope that it would spur me on to stick to it. Paying the monthly fee did force me to stick to it and it was like a switch. Unfortunately with the continued depression and the fact that my body no longer wanted to be kind to me I lost between 1 and 2 stone and gave up again. Come April 2012 I decided to give up on dieting all together rather than go around and around in my dieting rut. That lead me to my highest weight ever; the weight at which I started Weight Watchers for the third time. I'm again doing it by myself, having bought all the new books. I miss the Weight Watchers app, which along with the blog section was the best part of WW online. I did, however find a good app which is similar for about £2 and I'm using that now. I started off at in the second week of January and weighed in at a very depressing 21 stone 5.4lb. The only saving grace was that it was under 300lbs (by a measly 0.6 of a pound, but still not 300lbs!) I had my weigh in today and I have lost 8.4lbs in 33 days, an average of 1.8lbs per day (according to my tracker app!) This time around I'm trying not to give too much focus to anything. I'm focusing on if I've lost, not how much I've lost and I'm focusing on life in general rather than obsessing over the diet. Time is flying and it seems to be working well for me. My size 26 jeans, which I reluctantly moved back into have started to feel loose and my coat which was getting tight is fitting much better. Strangely, note that I got to the point where I was 1 stone 9lbs heavier than the first time I started WW but still in the same dress size. My body is a baffling thing.

It's depressing to think how far I got and how far I am going to have to go again but it's better than gaining, which is really my only other option. I hate not being able to look around clothes shops any more or enjoy buying clothes or be able to wear something pretty to make myself feel better when I'm having an 'ugly day' because I don't feel like I look any better in anything. I'm hoping to change all that and document it all for you. I really hope to get lots of readers and comments because the most motivating thing for me is being able to write about my experiences and know that people are actually out there reading it and caring.

My story

I guess a good place to start would probably be to introduce myself and tell you a little bit about my story. By a little bit, I more than likely mean a great deal because I tend to end up with essays. I can't promise that you'll like my essays but what I can promise you is that they will be open, honest and I will try my best to make them interesting and inspirational. If you have any ideas for posts, then please let me know.

My Blog Name

Some people may be wondering about the blog name. It comes from an amazing band that I have been following for a good few years now called Biffy Clyro. The full line 'take the pieces and build them skywards' appears in the song Machines. While it is a completely different situation the song talks about not savouring life, forgetting how good life can be and feeling alive. I want to take the pieces of my weight loss journey, collect them and focus on each step and build them skywards to reach my final goal. In this case I use it to motivate myself to think of each pound, each step, each choice as one of the pieces and how each one can allow me to reach the sky.

The Beginning

I don't know what is worse; knowing what it is like to be thin and love your body and not having it any more or never having been thin to have that motivation to get back there. I have never been thin, unless you count when I was a young child, which I don't. I was maybe a pound or two overweight by the time I started junior school but I remember always feeling fat and being called names. I've always been tall and big built, so maybe that was it, but it's sad to have never felt happy with myself. I've been dieting now on and off since I was 10. At 10 I was tall for my age and wearing an adult size 10 jeans which I don't think was really that big looking back on it. But that's where my struggle started. I can pin point a bunch of reasons why I have put on weight. Firstly, one of 5 girls each one of us has a weight problem...not just being a bit overweight but ranging from a size 16 to what I guess is probably about a size 28 (maybe more). Is it genetics or socialisation? Who knows. My second reason is boredom. When I was 10 I moved to Wales. I certainly wasn't happy there and I was away from my friends that I spent all my time out of the house with. As I grew older I was bored because I lived in a smaller part of a very small village that had only one shop; a post office that was open for half a day on a Wednesday. The nearest shop was 5 miles away. There was no bus route other than the school bus, which also ran through the village twice on a Saturday. When I thought 'what is there to do?' Eat was really my only answer. Ever since I have tended to go in a pattern of diet, fail, stuff everything in I can before I diet again on Monday, diet on Monday, fail and repeat! The problem with never having been thin is I have nothing to picture, no feeling to remember, no clothes to fit back into, no idea of my goal weight and no pictures to motivate me.

Weight Loss "Successes"

When I was 16 I got down to my lowest ever weight of 13 stone 13lbs and a small size 18. I did this through religious exercising and not eating very much, not the healthiest way of doing it but this was my first taste of weight loss success. When I first started college I was shy, quiet and very unhappy. I didn't speak to anyone really and I felt like the girl who followed my thin friend around and that nobody wanted around. I lost weight and suddenly all that changed. I was happy, popular and outgoing. I had several groups of friends I was happy hanging out with, I had boys asking me out, I could buy clothes in regular shops and enjoy dressing up. Second time I gave weight watchers a shot for the first time. I lost 5 stone in 9 months and went from a size 26 to a small size 18. Due to a family tragedy I started gaining weight (2 stone in the month afterwards) and then steadily gained most of it back until I joined Weight Watchers online and did the new ProPoints plan. I lost slowly and ended up just over a stone and a half lighter but depression made it difficult and I gave in. I decided to forget about dieting all together rather than follow my destructive pattern. That got me to my highest ever weight and at the beginning of January I started Weight Watchers once again and here I am. Hopefully this will be the time I get to goal and I hope to take you with me. Thank you for reading such a long post!