I’ve been carrying at least 30lbs extra around with me for years now. And I’ve dieted and managed to shift maybe 10-15 of them and then I’ve fallen back into old habits and let it all pile back on again, over and over, for years.
This year, I decided that I’d had enough. I was totally fed up with being “just a bit fat”. I was never huge, but my BMI was definitely over the ‘Normal’ range and the idea of chucking on a bikini over the summer or stripping off in the heat of the moment made me feel a little queasy and I really hated that. I wanted to feel properly comfortable in my own skin and to stay that way.
So, On January 13th this year (don’t ask my why that date, I think it was something to do with not wanting to start until my January exams were over) I re-downloaded MyFitnessPal, stepped onto the scales, shuddered at the numbers I saw and started tracking.
I’ve been quite strict with myself, and I track EVERYTHING. I even weigh out my veg, which I probably don’t need to do but I think it’s a bit all-or-nothing with me and I needed to track it all accurately or I think I’d find myself eating a chocolate biscuit (or 5) a day,not tracking it and just letting it slide.
The only thing I don’t track is skimmed milk. I know that sounds like a weird one, but I know that tea makes me happy, and if I suddenly had to track, say, 35 calories for the milk I put in my tea I’d start limiting my tea-intake or cutting out other things so I could have tea and then it would make the whole thing unsustainable. Likewise with the milk for my cereal, if I’ve chosen a healthy, low calorie cereal, and I’m weighing out a sensible portion and tracking that, then I’m making the right choices already and so tracking every ml of milk I put onto the cereal might well make me have smaller portions of the cereal in the first place, making me hungry in less time and making it all unsustainable. I only use skimmed milk, and only have it in tea and on cereal so I figure I’m not consuming more than about 200ml a day anyway, so I don’t track it, and so far that seems to be fine. Others might disagree and say I should track every single drop of milk too, but I’m just sharing what has worked for me and made it sustainable…
I’m trying to stick to around 1200-1300 calories a day, but the focus on that being AS AN AVERAGE. I think where I’ve tripped up in the past is when I’ve tried to follow 1200 calories a day and I’ve gone over one day because we’ve gone out for a nice dinner or something, it’s made me feel awful and I’ve lost all confidence and given up. Now, I follow 1200-1300 calories a day as an average over the week, so if we go out for a proper date night and have three courses and a bottle of wine, that’s fine. I input an estimate of what I’ve consumed onto MyFitnessPal, and then the rest of the week I will be a little more restricted to balance it out (I’ll never go below about 950 cals in a day, but it’s a balance).
MyFitnessPal have the weekly average as a feature on their Weekly Nutrition tab so I can see my weekly average really easily. I’ve included a screen shot of it below – so you can see, on that Thursday, we went out for a full whack three course dinner with wine and cocktails etc and it was AMAZING, but over the week, I managed to balance it out with a slightly lower calorie intake (the target line is actually about 1350 calories as that is what MyFitnessPal worked out my target should be, but I’m sticking to my own) so that my weekly average was 1281 a day – which is fine and in my target range!
Anyway, thats a lot of maths. Really I wanted to write this post as I’ve had a lot of comments on instagram when I’ve posted my stories about losing weight asking how I’m doing it and things, so I thought I’d share a bit more about it. I’ve also started an instagram account for my food – including the calories – so you guys can see that I’m actually eating real food, and not tiny portions of it either – pasta and pizza and rice and cheese – it’s all still being eaten!
I have made a point of avoiding all the “meal replacement” shakes, bars and all of that stuff; I’m eating real food, with fresh veg and nothing processed, and cooking loads, so it’s really healthy too as well as being low-calorie – and I’m making up recipes on the way and sharing them on here, like my Chicken & Broccoli Pasta Bake and my Ham Omelette Muffins along with others.
So here I am, over 31lbs down in 5 months, feeling better about myself than I have in years – yes it’s been tough and there have been days when I’ve just thought “fuck it” and really indulged (the day I made these brownies was one of those days and I ate about 4!) but I’m maintaining a balance and managing to keep the weight off! I’ve got about 5-10lbs more that I’d like to shift, and I also need to do some serious work in the gym cos there is zero tone going on, but I’m so pleased with how far I’ve come.
I hope this post answers some of the questions I’ve been being sent, but if you have any more, do leave me a comment!
To see my “Happy Healthy Foodie” Instagram account, with all the food I’m eating and the calories etc, click here:
**Disclaimer: I am NOT a nutritionist and I would never give anyone advice on what to do to their own body. I am simply sharing what I have been doing that has worked for those who have been asking. If you need assistance, make sure you speak to someone who knows what they are talking about and is qualified to give you that advice – don’t jump on board with any of those fad diets or limit yourself excessively – it’s not good for you!**
This post is not sponsored or affiliated in anyway – I have simply mentioned MyFitnessPal because that is what has worked for me, and I think it’s pretty good at what it does!