Here’s How I Lost 100 lb On My Weight Loss Journey
Hello my lovelies, how are you today?
Firstly, if you would have told me eight years ago when I first started my weight loss journey that I would be sat here, typing away on my laptop about how I’ve lost 100 pounds (7 stone 2 lbs/ 45 kilograms) and then publishing those words on a blog for everyone to see, I would have laughed in your face. Then I would have told you to get out of the way of the fridge because I fancied gobbling down a family-size pack of wafer-thin ham. But here we are! Today, I’m going to be talking about how I started my weight loss journey at 252 lbs and where I’m at now. Of course, I’ll also be sharing my best tips for overcoming the biggest challenges and changes you’ll face along the way on your weight loss journey.
I wasn’t a fat kid. My parents raised my sister and I to have a proper breakfast every morning, healthy lunchboxes and a homemade family meal together every evening. I started gaining weight when I went to secondary school aged 11. I suddenly had independent control of what I eat throughout the day and I went power mad. By 13, I had ditched the lunchboxes altogether and had a new routine established for myself. I’d have a sausage roll at break time, then see how far I could stretch £2.50 in the corner shop at lunch. I’d usually grab something cheap and filling like a steak slice and a can of pop. Lastly, I’d buy as many mini chocolate bars as I could with the leftover change – at least five. When I finished school, I’d head home for a jam sandwich and a pint of chocolate milkshake before mum’s dinner three hours later. My diet relied heavily on simple carbs and processed meat and I didn’t like vegetables. I used to try and convince my mum that cheese was a vegetable so that when she made us count our 5-a-day, I would have at least one… Aside from cheese, I would eat peas, sweetcorn and baked beans.
THE REAL BEGINNING
The real beginning of my weight loss story started the day I learnt what calories really were. You see, I believed you could eat up to 2000 calories a day worth of snacks, as well as whatever healthy foods you had at your meals. I’m not joking… I really thought it was only ‘naughty’ foods that contained calories. I was genuinely shocked to discover that even ‘healthy’ foods could have calories and fat in them. However, I won’t be shocked if you’re having a giggle at fat teenage me right now!
MEASURING THE CHALLENGE
The next day, I took to the scale. At just 18 years old, I was tipping the scale at 18 stone exactly (252 lbs or 114 kg’s). At this stage of my weight loss journey I didn’t know anything about body fat percentage or measurements. However, I did know about the NHS body mass index (BMI) healthy weight calculator. I typed in my age, weight and height- 5 foot 11 inches/ 180 cm- yes, I’m very tall. I was mortified to read that my BMI was now 36, meaning I was obese. I knew I was fat, but I had no idea that I was so unhealthy and the word ‘obese’ felt like a punch straight to the gut.
BACK TO BASIC’S
Although I was upset by how big I’d got, I felt confident that I could change things and I was super motivated. I also ‘knew’ that losing weight was simple – you just eat less and move more, right? (Ha!) To begin with, I went back to basic’s and prepared healthy meals from scratch. I started making lunchboxes for myself again, I counted my calories in using MyFitnessPal and stopped using oil and salt in all my cooking. I still believed being healthy was supposed to be a punishment, so I made boring but low calorie meals, like a grilled chicken breast with plain cous cous, sweetcorn and peas. I started losing weight on the scales immediately. I lost 3 lb on my first week and I was chuffed. I had a lot of excess weight to lose, my daily calorie intake had decreased by over 2000 calories and I was only 18 so my body took to it easily. I signed up to my local gym and would run on the treadmill three times a week for 30 minutes. In the first year of my weight loss journey I lost a total of 2.5 stone/ 32 lbs/ 14 kg.
CHANGING OLD HABITS
Over the next few years, my understanding of nutrition, exercise and well-being grew. However, starting uni was a major challenge to my weight loss journey and it plateaued between 2011 and 2013. During that time, I went out partying at least 3 nights a week, often 4 or 5 and I was a very stereotypical fresher. Alcohol is full of empty calories and at the end of most nights I could resist a kebab, but I couldn’t resist my beloved jam on toast when I got home. I went vegan in my very first lecture (more on that story another day) and it took me a while to figure out what I could eat. I began experimenting with vegetables and legumes but most meals were based around huge servings of bread, pasta and rice.
HALF WAY POINT
After graduating and moving to Brighton with Himself in 2014, I re-committed to my weight loss journey and this time with a vegan kick. Exercise had gone out the window at uni so I began practicing yoga at home and going for brisk walks after work. I started planning and prepping plant-based lunches and snacks for the week. By the end of 2014, I had managed to lose over 4.5 stone (63 lb/ 28 kg) since beginning my journey and I was delighted! I took my measurements and calculated my body fat percentage for the first time – it was 30%.
Staying motivated to keep working towards my long-term goals was hard. It was and is still important to me to have non-scale-based goals too. A helpful technique I’ve learnt along the way is to reverse engineer my goals. I start by thinking about where I want to be in a year’s time and then work backwards. I create quarterly and monthly action plans that can then be broken down into weekly and daily tasks. One of my fitness goals for a long time was to improve my balance because I’m so clumsy, it’s ridiculous. Here’s a breakdown of how I planned for this:
Monthly goal: Be able to hold Dancer’s pose on both sides to improve balance (and to look like a ballerina, cos who doesn’t want that?)
Weekly tasks: Practice stretches in this week’s yoga sessions that use the same muscle groups as those in Dancer’s pose like Warrior III and Tree pose.
Daily: 30 minutes daily practice every day to include 5 minutes of Warrior III and Tree.
WE’VE COME A LONG, LONG WAY
So here I am today! I now weigh 10 stone 12 lb (152 lb/68 kg). I have 22% body fat and my BMI is 21, meaning I am a healthy weight according to the NHS, yaaasssss! I’ll be writing an in-depth post about how I meal plan and prep soon but suffice to say my diet looks very different today. Now, I usually start my day with a smoothie and I make sure to include protein, fat and complex carbs at every meal. I practice yoga 3-4 days a week and walk or hike with my fluff boy for at least 2 hours every day.
MY WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY – NOW
I’ve always been adamant that I want to lead a healthy lifestyle and not be on a diet. Eight years on that is still very much true. My whole approach to diet, exercise and my overall well-being has changed drastically and most importantly, I’ve changed my thinking. If I could boil down the most important lesson’s I’ve learnt, they would be:
- Organize, plan and prep your meals and snacks in advance as much as possible
- Self-care is everything – be kind to yourself because you can’t berate yourself into wellness
- We all need support in achieving our goals. Duke is my fitness accountability partner but human friend’s work too (I guess…)
So what next?
- Check out my guide to creating your own healthy vegan meal plan for weight loss and optimum health
- Click here for my every-growing recipe collection – my current favourite snack are these delicious gingerbread energy balls 🙂
- Have a read of my tips on using mindfulness for a peaceful night’s sleep