Sunday, 7 September 2014


As I was at the beginning of this journey...
Well, it's the first week of September and I can't believe how quickly the last six weeks have gone. I work in a school so I have been at home and I had so many plans, but most of them didn't work out the way I wanted.
Everything seems so routine and matter of fact, and I suppose in weight loss terms that can be seen as a good thing. It has become a normal way of life and I no longer have to think about it so much on a day to day basis as I did in the beginning. On the other hand it then becomes mundane and the spark that was there at the beginning is  becoming a little duller. When I first started this blog I said I would write it  until I had lost 100 pounds and I will, but getting back into the habit takes a little bit of effort.
I am still losing weight, I have lost 83 lbs now so I am nearly there. I suppose it's like a lot of things we do in life. We start with such enthusiasm, do well and then it's not so exciting, or it becomes boring.
Trying to keep up the euphoria is not easy, remembering why we started becomes a distant memory and excuses begin to start to stop us doing things. I think I need a good shake. I'm not quite light enough for Steve to pick me up yet. :)
On the plus side I have been away twice to see the family and had a great time.
It is lovely to have the energy to play with my beautiful grandson and be able to do things I could not do before.
It's the daft things too, like being able to paint my toenails, fitting into a toilet on a coach, wearing trousers, being able to put tights and socks on and being able to put a bath towel around me and have it wrap around me and tuck in. I can not tell you how excited I got when I could wrap a regular bath towel around me just like "normal" women do!
I have discovered/remembered just how I much I enjoy walking. To be able to get out there in the countryside and walk is great. So much so that I have decided to do a sponsored walk to celebrate the fact that I CAN now walk with ease and without fear. Before I lost weight it was so hard to move, I got tired very quickly and I was afraid to walk too far. If we went out for a walk I would not walk too far even I could, because I was scared I wouldn't be able to get back.
So on the 20th September I will be walking 5KM for the Alzheimer's Society. I looked after my Grandmother who had brought me up when she suffered from that disease and I feel it is a good cause to support. Quality of life to me is very important. We may only be here for a short time, so being able to enjoy life with all it's ups and downs is so very important.
I know it is only a small walk, but it is a start and hopefully the sun will shine and it will be a lovely day. As an extra motivation I have started to make plans to walk up Mount Snowden next year with my family, so I need the practice.
It has been so good to write my blog again and I hope you have enjoyed reading it as much as I have enjoyed writing it.
I will let you know how things go, but for now love, strength and happiness in all that you do.
My Justgiving link for the walk is HERE for any of you that would like to donate, but by no means feel obliged to. Just be pleased for me that I can do it.



Saturday, 2 August 2014


This week has a positive one which is always good.
I think it's slightly too big now...
I have managed to get out and walk quite a bit, which always makes me feel so much better, especially if it's a pretty walk. The less it involves busy roads the better. Walking has always been my chosen form of exercise (along with dancing around the house a lot of the time).
While you are doing Change 4 Life, you are offered a free six month gym membership, and certain exercise classes, but they all involved travelling to get there, which wasn't for me. So walking and dancing it is then. :)
As you may already know I have been struggling with my weight since I was a child and have tried all of the slimming clubs and all of the fad diets, but nothing really worked in the long run.
During my recent weight loss I must admit that as well as physical exercise I seem to have also been exercising my mind. In the last seven months I have been doing a heck of a lot of thinking. Not always a good thing, but you do find out a lot about yourself that either you didn't know, or you had conveniently "forgotten" about and put in that Filing cabinet in your brain. :)
I was having a long conversation with my son recently and saying that if you have a good foundation in life, all the experiences you have are like bricks that build upon that foundation. It all makes for a balanced and complete life.
That would be in an ideal world, but for many of us it's not like that. 
We have a rocky start and have some bad experiences. We try to change things and fail and this knock us back big time. 
I know with myself I can go back as far as I can remember and see things that shaped the first half of my life, good and bad. Those foundations were not as strong as they could have been and I did not have a lot of confidence building experiences, but being aware of that can be a great start.
There are things you can change and things that will always be the same, but knowing that helps you to change what you can and accept what you can't.
I am really hoping that all this thinking I have been doing has not only worn out my brain :) but also helped me to discover why it is that in the past I have failed with my weight control.
It's not always easy to face what has happened to us in life, but in the end it is those things that make us what we are.
It's that old saying - we only have one life, there are no rehearsals. So change the things we can. It's got to be worth a try, if we really want to.
If those bricks bother us, we shouldn't let them. Throw them away and put new ones there in their place.
And my positive week ended well as I had lost another three pounds. That's 78 altogether. I'm getting there...

Sunday, 27 July 2014


It's been just over four weeks since I last updated my blog and what a strange four weeks it has been. With it's ups and downs it has been an emotional roller coaster and at one time I did even question what was the point of losing all this weight. That seems such a silly thing as I write it down, but at the time when for whatever reason you feel low you start to question what you have achieved and only see all the negatives in life.
This has been the time in the past that I have given up. If all the problems in life are still there, then what what was the point of losing weight. But problems in life will still be there whatever you have achieved for yourself. The point is that if you feel better or more positive in yourself you find that it becomes easier to cope with whatever life throws at you. For me losing weight is not only a physical thing but a mental thing.
My emotions determine what I do sometimes in a life changing way, and I know I have to conquer some of my emotions to make myself a stronger and more positive person and sometimes not so self-destructive. A lot of us look for some magic cure to give us what it is we need, whether it is losing weight, getting fit, stop smoking, biting our nails... the list goes on.
I know that with losing weight, many of us are looking for that magic diet and will often think that someone has that answer that will make everything so easy and simple. Over the last thirty years over 200,000 books have been written about weight loss. You can't help thinking that if one had the whole answer, would we need the other 199,999!
We need to look at ourselves and with a bit guidance do what is right for us.
Why are we the way we are? And if we want to do something how can we try to change things?
With the food it's a case of portion control, balance in what we eat, cutting down on fats and sugars and not too much denial. If you want to eat it, then eat it and then adjust what you eat afterwards.
With the mind it's looking at your own self pride and worth. You have a value, and sometimes we need to remember this. Self value can be something that not only helps us, but also makes us a better person for our family and friends.
I have now lost a total of 75 pounds which is great, but that does not mean that there are not issues that I have to learn to deal with. However, with my new found confidence I know I can do this.
My life, like so many others, will always throw problems at me, small and large, but there is nothing that can't be sorted with a little help and support, and with self value and self confidence.
So, 75 pounds lost and another 37 to go. I had better get on with it. See you next time - and I'll try not to leave it so long this time.  

Friday, 27 June 2014


Getting ready for Henry's party.
It seems such a long time since I last wrote an update on my blog. It's not really, but we have now been away for our Grandson's first birthday party and what a lovely weekend it was. Yes, I did have my cake, and party food, and saveloy and chips, and a glass or two of Proseco and do you know? It was wonderful!
I seem to have so much more energy to enjoy the preparations and the party and even have some left for a walk to the park afterwards.
It is hard to believe it's a year since Henry was born, and six months since I set my first goal of losing four stone by his birthday.
Now it is time to set my next goal, which is to lose another two stone by Steve and my tenth wedding anniversary in October. That will then be 84 pounds in total lost.
It's a funny feeling when you have achieved something, you can sometimes feel a little deflated when the time comes, a bit like the day after Christmas, a special occasion or your wedding day. It's like you have worked up to something, then it's there and gone.
The difference with my situation is that I still need to lose weight, so I need to find the motivation to carry on.
Well, all the larger clothes have now gone. Bagged up and taken to the local charity shop. I did say to Steve, what will I wear if I put the weight back on? He said I wouldn't, so there you go - the old me is gone.
I must admit I did feel good last Saturday at the party wearing a new dress. I am beginning to like what I see in the mirror and in photographs, and it was lovely to mingle and talk with friends, family and guests I hadn't met before with a new found confidence, rather than wanting to sit at a table and hide with a plate of food and a drink.
I have inspired my daughter Jal to lose weight too, and I must say she looked gorgeous in a beautiful new blue dress she had bought. I was so proud, and you should have seen the birthday cake she made.
The next day we went for a long walk along the seafront at Southsea, something I would have struggled with before the weight loss. We talked about the differences that losing weight have made to us. She mentioned to me how much we talk now about fashion and make-up, something we never did when she was growing up, and how it feels so lovely to have these chats about "girly things".
So now it's time to get back to the straight and narrow, so to speak, and carry on where I left off. And the first step is my regular Thursday weigh-in. The result? I've lost another two pounds this week. That's a total of 65 and a half pounds so far. Will I make my next goal? I hope so, and I hope you will continue to follow me on my journey.

Saturday, 14 June 2014


Before I start this weeks blog, I would just like to say that I have reached my first weight loss goal and lost 3 and a half pounds this week, making a total before our grandson's first birthday party of 62 pounds. The cake awaits :)
Having just set my next goal, I feel there is something I need to get off my chest before I start towards it.
Life isn't always easy, and choices may be limited but it is up to us how we cope with the situations we find ourselves in.
Sometimes things that bother one person, another person would not find a problem, but quite often the choices we make do affect the ones around us that we love for better or for worse.
I have said before that back in 2002/3 I lost ten stones in weight whilst taking medication (now withdrawn from the market) to help me do this. It was a complicated time in my life and when I lost weight it did give me a kind of confidence that I had not had before.
At this time I did something I would have never done before and asked a man I knew from a shop I went into if he would like to go to the cinema with me. Within the year we were married and this year we will celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. Still as much in love today as we were then. (Okay, time to stop the soppy music!)
Now the point I am trying to make is when I first met Steve I was 11 and a half stone. He knew I had lost weight but we had not really talked about it. It's not something you talk to a man in a comic shop about :)
The rest is history. Over the next couple of years I put the weight back on and then it stuck around the 21 stone mark until the start of this year. My weight has never bothered Steve and he and my family love me unconditionally, but the way that my health started deteriorating did really bother them all.
As much as they told me, I dragged my heels because I was in denial. Sometimes we are, but if we want change we are the ones that have the choice to do it and how we do it.
I had been offered surgery and medication again but for me personally I did not want to do it that way. Steve has since told me that he was quite relieved that I decided to try to improve my health and even though my size has never bothered him, he has got quite excited about how much my weight has gone down and he is the one (along with my daughter) who nags me to go out and buy smaller clothes. I have had a lot of support from family and friends, but Steve is the one that puts up with me when I get stressed, cry and feel down; goes without certain foods because he knows I don't want to eat them; puts up with my moaning when we go out for a long walk and I don't feel I can do it. I am the one that decided to give it a go one last time because I wanted to live, but I could not have done it without my family and friends and I could not have done it without Steve. We have gone full circle and hopefully by our wedding anniversary I will once again be the woman he married, just ten years older.
I am so thankful for what I have and grateful for the fact that Steve helps me proofread my blog and enables me to get it onto the web.
Right! Enough of the Oscar speeches. Four months to go, back to the weight loss. My next goal - October 16th!

Monday, 9 June 2014


Last time, I left you with the thought of a large slice of birthday cake, a reward for what I have achieved so far this year! That will be in a couple of weeks time at our Grandson's first birthday party, and I can't wait. I am looking forward to seeing everyone, enjoying the excitement of the day and helping to make the food for everybody.
I am not a bad cook, I have always enjoyed cooking and learning about foods from all around the world. It makes our planet seem such a smaller place when you realize we all have so much in common. We all eat, but the question is do we think about what we eat and does it matter?
When my two children were at senior school, I spent a short time as a school governor. The area I was assigned to was Home Economics, which was great because I always thought how important it was to learn how to cook. For whatever reason it does not always happen in the home and often Home Economics at school was our first experience of preparing and cooking food, and knowing what goes in it, which is something we seem to have lost.
Sadly, the government of the time decided that other school subjects were more important, and Home Economics was cut right out when it came to choosing exam subject options. I thought at the time that this was a bad idea. Over the years we seem to have forgotten what good food is.
When I used to teach Indian Cookery to adults in the early 2000s, a lot of the students thought it would take a long time to cook a meal from scratch. They soon discovered that they could cook a quick and healthy meal in no time at all.
We are bombarded with quick food, takeaways, microwave dinners, and there is nothing wrong with that in the greater scheme of things, but food seems to have become such a mystery. Most of the time we do not think about how much salt, sugar or fat there is in certain foods, which is something we need to do if we find we have put on weight and want to have healthier eating habits.
While I was attending the first twelve weeks of Change 4 Life we looked at food labels and it was mind-blowing the hidden salt and sugar that was added to processed foods. Even so-called low calorie foods can contain higher levels of sugar than we might be led to believe. 
I heard on a TV programme recently that just an extra 100 calories a day over our recommended daily allowance can result in us putting on a stone in weight over the course of a year. Such an easy thing to do!
I saw "Masterchef" on the television the other week and I heard food described as "fetta cheese foam", "apricot stew", "beetroot fondant" and "beetroot paint". I feel terms like that can make good food sound elitist, expensive and time consuming.
What we need to do is think about the food we would like to eat and think how we can change things.
There are lots of good, quick recipes out there. We CAN make food cheaply, that looks good and is tasty without adding the extra fat, sugar and salt.
Obesity is becoming an increasing problem in many countries and it seems to me that one of the reasons is that we are eating far more processed foods than we used to.
There now seems to be whole generations that, for whatever reason, have not learnt to cook the basics and have become dependent on quick alternatives that may not be as good for us as we believe.
It won't happen overnight for any of us but let's start to think about just what we are eating and if we do spoil ourselves now and again, do it with food that we really enjoy, not with something that will "just do".
Those of you that drive would not dream of putting the wrong fuel in your cars, but we do it to our bodies quite often.
I hope this week I have given us all some food for thought, an idea of what we can change and what we can achieve step by step.
Until next time, I'll leave you thinking and, maybe, looking at those food labels. :)

Saturday, 31 May 2014


This week I was going to write about food, a subject close to our hearts (some of us more than others), but, because of the way I have felt this week, I feel I need to write about another subject - "Me". When I started this blog, one of the reasons for doing it was to write down what I was thinking and get it all clear in my head. Now I've reached the half way stage of my journey I need to be a bit self indulgent, so I ask for your forgiveness in advance.
It is now my 24th week since starting "Change 4 Life" and it is now becoming a way of life. This is a good thing because it needs to be a way of life if it is going to be for the long term, but for me there is a "tiny" down side.
There is a tendency to become complacent and with it comes the negativity.
When I started "Change 4 Life" and was attending the initial twelve weeks there was a part of me that thought "twelve weeks, what can I learn in twelve weeks?, Is twelve weeks enough?", but knowing I could go back for support and to be weighed weekly helped me to get my head around this new concept that was so different from the slimming clubs I had been to in the past.
So far it has worked, and worked far better than I thought it would, but here I am in my 24th week feeling a little apathetic for no reason that I can see, other than, perhaps, I am feeling a little stale.
Keeping up the motivation and enthusiasm for a long length of time is not always easy, but I think to move on I have to selfishly look back at what I have already done, and hope that it also helps those of you out there who also have a struggle with what you are trying to achieve.
So far I have lost...
55 1/2 pounds
7 inches from my bust
8 inches from my waist
10 inches from my hips
gone from a UK dress size 26-28 to a UK size 18-20
and even my feet have gone down a shoe size!
My first goal was to lose four stone before our Grandson's first birthday. He was six months old when I started, and is one year old in three weeks time. I only have another half a pound to reach my target.
The icing on the cake, so to speak, was when I went to see my doctor for a medication review and found my Diabetes blood results showed that my sugar levels have dropped down almost to normal levels. My doctor was very pleased and my medication has been reduced. So much has happened this year so far, and sometimes it is difficult for me to take it all in and realize just how much I have benefited. I have so much more energy, can walk a lot easier, and can climb hills with much less difficulty, very handy, given that I live in such a hilly area.
So why do I get so down about a pair of size 18 jeans not fitting?
It is so easy for me to be negative with myself, a "skill" developed over many years growing up and living  with negativity. If I am to succeed this time, it must be something I can conquer. I have so much love and support now and I need to be more positive about the next part of the journey. Writing this I have realized how proud I am of myself and what I have achieved so far. I am told all the time by my husband and family how proud they are of me, but now I am finally beginning to be proud of myself.
As my weight loss starts to slow down I will plan the next changes I will make and set myself a new set of goals. At the moment I look forward to my grandson's birthday and being able to try to keep up with him. And who knows, maybe even a slightly larger slice of birthday cake. 

Monday, 26 May 2014


I wasn't really sure what I was going to write about in this update. Sometimes I do know, but sometimes I have no idea until I try to write it.
This time I started with one idea and then had another idea. So now I've got two ideas but still unsure of which one to go with. A bit like you feel in life sometimes, not sure what you want to do, or what you should do, or even what you think others want you to do.
In the end, this weeks blog is about something that just provoked a strong feeling in me.
I'd read on the internet a couple of weeks ago about a woman who had gone to the BAFTA awards last year to accept an award, and was unhappy that she had been criticised for the way she was dressed. 
She wrote an article about it this year, just before this years BAFTA ceremony, to say how unhappy she was. I don't remember the whole article but what I do remember was that she was saying that because of her dress size (an 18 to 20 UK size) she could not get designer dresses and had gone to a department store to get a dress. She loved the look of it and as she was a comedienne she thought it shouldn't matter what she looked like anyway. After all, the award was for her work, not what she looked like.
Now there is a part of me that agrees with this and a bit of me that doesn't. I remember another comedienne who is also large in size (although she has lost weight over the past few years) but even at her biggest she always looked good and appropriately dressed for where she was.
Sometimes, especially in the media, celebrities are expected to look a certain way and depending on the occasion dress in a certain way. It is what is expected. And there is a good chance that if they looked different then it would be commented on.
In real life, we wouldn't dream of going to a wedding in jeans and a t-shirt if it is a formal do, so whoever you are, the occasion determines how you dress. If you choose to be different then have the confidence to carry it off or know that next time you might be hurt by the comments of people that don't really matter.
Of course, when you're a celebrity, they say that any publicity is good publicity, so it did get her noticed again this year. I do feel for anyone who is hurt by other peoples comments. People are so free to comment about others, especially when it comes to appearances, behaviour or how someone sounds. If you see someone who is really large eating in public, we might think "look at them, do they never stop eating?". We may see someone who is unstable in walking or has slurred speech and assume that they are drunk, when in reality they may be unwell or even have had a stroke. 
I know that I have had times in my life that just because I was large I was made to feel stupid, or not good enough to get a job, to wear a certain dress style, or even allowed to have a valued opinion.
We have the right to be who we want to be, and if we are whoever we are at a certain moment in time, we should be given the dignity and respect we deserve.
There is a saying "You can't change how people treat you, or what they say about you. All you can do is change how you react to it."
Know what you want and how much you want it and even though there are times you feel it's not going to happen, keep going because if it matters you WILL do it.
I once attempted to do A-Level psychology but I never took the exam, there was too much pressure in my life at the time. What I took from it was that things are very rarely what they seem. You never know other people's reasons for why they behave the way that they do, but if you are happy with what you are doing that's all that matters. If not, then do what you can do to  change it - but because you want to, not for someone else.
Next time, less of the heavy stuff. I will be talking about FOOD!

Wednesday, 21 May 2014


Firstly, let me say a big hello and thank you to all of you out there who read my blog. Some of you I know, my family and friends, but many of you I have never met.
When I first started writing this blog it was a way that I could express what was in my head. A way for me to see in writing just what my thoughts were.
I shared the link on Facebook, but never suspected that I would end up with so many people around the world reading it. I have never been one for statistics but since the beginning I have had 1754 page views from ten different countries. To me this is absolutely mind-blowing, but for whatever reasons you read this, thank you. It gives value to the way I feel and I hope it helps you and gives you pleasure to read it.
We all have had things we wanted to change in our lives, and as my regular readers will know by now mine is the state of my health and my weight.  
Any change that you consider important must be a long term change, so it is up to us to change our state of mind accordingly.
I started to look at conventional slimming methods, and I was surprised to discover that in 2012 there were 27 million people in the UK on a weight loss diet at some point that year. There were roughly 60.3 million people in the country at the time, so that is well over one third of the population on a diet. I found that figure quite astonishing, although I shouldn't. It's the norm, it is what we do just before Christmas, just after Christmas, before we go on holiday, etc. etc.
If we only have a few pounds to lose, which ever way we do it, if it makes us feel better there's nothing wrong with that. For those of us that have a lot to lose or find it a problem, it can be a different story.
There have been slimming clubs in this country since the early 1960s and they have helped so many people, but for some like me they were only a short term solution. 
To learn what to eat in a way that will help us to  lose weight is great,but is it the complete answer? 
Since 1954, when food rationing imposed by the Second World War finally ended, we have had more and more different foods to eat and enjoy. We have also had the introduction of numerous labour saving devices to make our lives so much "easier". 
But with this, it seemed came weight gains and the desire to be thin. We could diet, we could exercise, and we'd be happy ever after!
Give one hundred people the same diet to follow word for word and I wonder how many would succeed in the long run?
Anything that is going to be long term needs to fit into your lifestyle. If that's following a particular diet and going to the gym, that's good. If it isn't, don't panic. You haven't failed. You are an individual and nobody knows you like you do. What works for one person, won't work for everyone.
I am beginning to think that learning to change your life should include a chapter on learning to change your mind set.
You need to start to think "OK, I will follow the guide lines, but what will work for ME, the individual?"
If you don't like the gym, but love to dance or love a long walk, there is nothing wrong with that.
You don't always have to conform. Guidelines are great, but freedom to be who we are can help in the long term. Be yourself, find your own path to success.    

Thursday, 15 May 2014


I wrote in my last blog entry about my past attempts at losing weight and why I feel they failed. I thought at the time I was doing the right thing, but I know now it was for all the wrong reasons. Whether it be for a peaceful life or because I was showing someone that I was better than them and better than they were making me out to be.
This time however, I started out with a lot more confidence and feeling stronger than I had been all my life and I had taken 55 years to get here. This time it HAD to work, and for all the right reasons.
So here I was, with at least seven or eight stone to lose. A long journey. How was I going to find the motivation to start, carry on and to keep going. I have a lot of support from my family and friends and that means so much to me, but there are some times when you are on your own. When you are bored, when you are down and when life sends you those horrible dips and troubles and you feel that you could so easily just give up.
I decided in the beginning that I would become "obsessed" and keep my mind focused on the task ahead.
I read all that I could, watched every TV programme going about weight loss and mapped out all I was going to eat each day. Fortunately at the beginning of each year we have so much on TV about how to lose those pounds we have put over Christmas. However, I had a 100 plus pounds to lose. That would take a bit longer.
I settled down to think about this "Change 4 Life". It had to be something that could be done now as a way of life without too much discomfort. Little changes can become big changes with time.
You need to look at how you got to where you are before you can make those changes. I find you need to think about the things that can help you stay motivated.
We are all different and see things in different ways but we can all think about what helps us.
What is good about the "Change 4 Life" way is that no food is banned. You learn that some foods are better than others, but if you still want to eat something now and again you can. I like to pick at food sometimes and now I always try to have "healthy" things that I like in the fridge if I want a snack.
I still have chocolate every so often, only a little bit, but that is my treat.
I get weighed every Thursday, and in the evening I'll have what I want to eat before I start again on Friday morning to be "good" again.
I don't have a set of scales in the house and only get weighed once a week. If I did have scales at home I would be on them four or five times a day. Silly, I know, but that is what I have done in the past. 
What I also do now is wear the charm bracelet that my husband Steve gave me the day before our wedding. Every time I look at it, it helps me to remember that times are better now and I need to have respect for myself and be the person I want to be. It may sound silly, but it works for me.
I read once about a cord you can buy which you tie around your waist and when it becomes tight you know you have eaten too much. A simple reminder of what you are doing, so whatever works for you.
What I think I am saying is we all have things we would like to achieve. As I said earlier we are all different and to reach those goals we need to know who we are and what it is that works for us.
Just knowing who we are can make us so much more confident and stronger and help us to cope with whatever life throws at us. 
I hope that what I have said and my ideas will help you to work out what is good for you.
As for me, well I have my blog to share with you what I do, and if it worked for me, only time will tell. 

Sunday, 11 May 2014


This is my twentieth week since starting Change 4 Life and I have now lost 50 and a half pounds (3 stones 8 and a half pounds). Time seems to have gone so fast when you look back on it, although when you first start it seems to go so slowly. You can't wait for the days and weeks to go by to achieve what it is that you want to.
I started to think about motivation and what gives us the desire to do something and keep at it until we get what we want. Then, I started to think about why it was that in the past when I was motivated to lose weight, I would later put it on again. What were my reasons, were they good enough, and were they mine
I have always been big. I was a big baby and was bullied about my size when I was a child, but apart from not liking P.E. or Sports at school, it never really bothered me. Looking back now I seemed to accept that that was what I was and put up with it. The first time I really thought about losing weight was when I met my first husband, and even then it was really his idea. He said you can't change a face, he thought I had a pretty face, or a personality, but you can change a body and mine needed changing. Being young, I went along with that. I was 13 1/2 stone at the time and went to a slimming club for the first time. This was back in 1975 when I was 17. I lost about three and a half stone and loved the way I looked. I had never looked good before and the feeling was great, but really it had never been my idea, and every time I had an upset with my husband (and there were many) I used to eat to take back control. Over the next few years my weight slowly crept up again. I was married now, with two beautiful children but the nagging never stopped.
I went to a slimming club again around about 1988 by which time my weight had reached about 17 stone. Again I lost weight and felt good for a while but still I was not really happy with my situation. Again my weight slowly went up again and was the cause of many upsets and arguments.
The next time I thought seriously about losing weight was in 2002. My marriage had broken up and we had a big family occasion coming up the following year. So I thought I would take "control" again and lose weight and show my ex-husband that I could do it myself.
At the time I weighed 21 stone. I went to the doctors and I was put on medication to help me lose weight. Over that next year I lost 10 stone, we had the family occasion and I felt a lot stronger after my marriage break up two and half years previously. 
I then met my soon-to-be second husband. We went out, got engaged, and were married within the year, and I was so happy, and still am 11 years later.
I could be myself. I even learnt what being myself really was, and for the first time I had someone who loved me for what I was.
The weight crept back up, but it didn't matter. I did try a couple of times to lose weight, but just couldn't get my head around the stress it caused me. The thing that had troubled me since my early years no longer mattered. I could just be me.
Then as my weight went up, my health started to suffer. In the beginning I was in denial. It didn't matter as I now had the freedom to do as I wanted to after all these years. But I came to realise it DID matter, because if I carried on the way I was doing, I wouldn't be here. 
My grandson was born last year and I wanted to be here for him and for my family. This time, I was the one making the decision to lose weight and for the right reasons. I was doing it for ME, and for my family, but I was the one who wanted to do it.
Hopefully this time I can lose the weight, be healthy and keep the weight off, because it is something that is important to me and this will be the motivation I need to keep it off this time. Only time will tell. 
Next time in part two of this update, I will talk about my motivation and the things I am doing to keep myself motivated, and hopefully keep the pounds off this time. 

Monday, 5 May 2014


I promised last week that I would write this time about food in special events and occasions.
It is something that is always there, laid out on the table, calling out to be eaten, eaten until it's all gone and something that some of us find a real problem. Why, though, should food be a problem?
I am sitting here today, Bank Holiday Monday, a little worn out after spending a wonderful day yesterday celebrating Vaisakhi in Trafalger Square, London with the family. Thank you Steve, Jalminder, Bob-Dan, my beautiful grandson Henry, Amardeep and Suzi for a lovely day of family, sunshine, music and, of course, food.
Vaisahki, sometimes called the Sikh New Year, is the celebration of the beginnings of the Sikh religion as we know it today and also of a new year, new starts, and optimism for the year ahead.
A time to eat  and celebrate, just as many other occasions are.
Food is so important to us at these times, so why is it that so many of us are frightened of it? Why the big deal if we are going to over-indulge and spoil the diet? Those of us that struggle with our weight always say it. "Oh dear, this will spoil the diet", "We will put weight on now" etc., etc.
Food is something we all need. Part of the world doesn't have enough, while part of the world has too much. We all know the story and the saying "Eat to live, not live to eat", but still we can't seem to get things right. If alcohol or smoking are the problem we can try to give them up, and many do successfully, but we can't give food up. We need it to live.
I know myself how difficult it can be to find the right balance, to be able to enjoy good food, and an occasion such as Christmas, a wedding, holidays, parties, or even just a meal out, without having a major brain meltdown when there is all that "naughty" food there.
It sits there calling out to us to eat it, eat it all now What choice do we have? Eat it and have fun or don't and stand there being a misery, missing out on all the fun. Then, the next day, we feel bad. Either because we ate all that we could and now everything is spoilt, or we didn't eat it and couldn't enjoy ourselves while our friends and families did. So, the question is, why do we feel like this?
I ask myself quite often "Why has food become such a big deal, such a weapon of control?". For some it can become such a dangerous place to be in, and I tried for most of my adult life not to make eating food an issue.
I am now beginning to look at my own situation and think that there may be two ways to deal with it. I either eat all I can when these events occur and deal with it the next day i.e. start afresh, or prepare in advance, knowing these events are looming. Of course, there is always the choice of trying to eat the healthy option if there is one, or eating in moderation by having smaller portions. What I'm trying to say is that when it comes to eating we are the ones who have to deal with the situation, we are the ones that can make the choices. I dislike the word control but it is us that can take control of food, and we have the power to stop food from controlling us. We all have our weaknesses, but there is nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is that we punish ourselves for giving into those weaknesses. We need to accept that at times we will be weak, after all we are only human. But if we can see this, pick ourselves up and carry on, that is what matters. Special occasions are the times we remember as the years go by. We should always do our best to make sure those are the happiest of memories with as few regrets as possible. After all, food may play a large part in these occasions, but it is only a part. A nice part, but only a part, and not something we should always feel we have to worry about.

Saturday, 26 April 2014


I was thinking of what to write about this week. I had an idea but once again I changed it at the last minute because of something random that happened today. I have not been too well this week. I had a 24 hour bug that went away and then obviously decided it liked me and came back for more :-)
On the positive side we had a visit from my daughter and grandson, who is one of my main motivations for losing weight. We had a wonderful time going out, having fun and enjoying lunch out in cafes, restaurants and a picnic. I will write an update about food as an ingredient in social events and celebrations next time, but today I want to write about something different.
We decided to have a walk down into the village to get some fresh air this morning. In one of the shops there I was chatting to someone who had just started Change 4 Live and had had a very successful first week. It was lovely to see the smile on her face and enjoy her success with her. As we were walking back across the car park, a lady we didn't know stopped us and said "You don't know me, but you pass my house nearly every day and I have noticed how much weight you have lost. How did you do it?" It gave me great pleasure to tell her about Change 4 Life and how she could find out more. She made me feel really good about what I had accomplished.
Don't get me wrong, my family and friends have noticed the difference and have been very supportive, but for a complete stranger to say something really proved the point to me. Even though I am getting on for losing 3 1/2 stone now, I don't see myself as others do. I don't think any of us do. To me there is a start and a finish, but I have not really thought about the middle.
I am still wearing many of the same clothes at the moment from before I lost weight, with a few smaller ones I had in the wardrobe from years ago, or a couple of things I picked up in the sales.
You would not believe how much persuading it took from my daughter just to go out and buy a new bra! Although I must admit it is much better fitting than my old 50 DD one!!! As she said to me I have to learn to celebrate what I have done so far. We should all recognize our achievements, however small. With weight loss every week is an accomplishment if we have lost weight no matter how small the amount. If we have stayed the same, or even put on a bit, it's a lesson learnt, it's getting to know ourselves and learning what we need to do to reach what we aspire to. It is back once again to the ideas of self value.
We can be very good at putting our children, our families and even our jobs first, but sometimes it just needs to be just us for a little while every now and again. When we do this we will be more confident in ourselves and be a better person for the ones we love. 
I must admit the feeling of achievement is good and it can happen in only a few short weeks if we keep up the good work and celebrate each goal we reach.
The first few weeks can be hard. Finding the motivation and the commitment is not always easy when it is not obvious to others what you are doing, but keep going because after a while the benefits will become clearer and clearer and it should get easier.
Well we will see, but for now I for one will be going shopping! :-)

Saturday, 19 April 2014


I started writing my blog entry on Thursday this week, rather than at the weekend as I would usually do. This is because I have a busy weekend coming up with Easter and the fact we have a family visit this week.
I have had a good week and get weighed at my class support later today, so hopefully my weight is still going down.
The sun has been shining for a few days now and it's amazing how much better we feel as the weather gets warmer.
It's also surprising how much better you feel if you have succeeded in making changes to your life and all of a sudden you begin to notice how much things are different.
I went out shopping last Saturday and Sunday and I was amazed by how much more energy I have now got. At one time I really struggled to walk and even the five minute walk from the bus station to the shopping centre could be a real problem, never mind the energy I needed to walk around the shops. Mostly I would just go for what I needed, come straight home and then feel worn out.
It is beginning to be so much different now. I have so much more inclination to look around shops and "normal" clothes shops at that. Even though a lot of the clothes shops do sell larger sizes I had no interest in looking. Now I am beginning to enjoy looking at what's out there, and even though I have had always had my own style seeing what is on trend at the moment is of great interest to me.
There are a lot of large ladies out there who are beautiful, embrace their size and always look gorgeous, but I had lost all interest. I think that maybe it was because I was always feeling tired and unwell and my confidence was waning. If we feel down, it seems the glass is always half empty and it is hard to muster any enthusiasm for anything, never mind something that has evoked such negative feelings for me over the years. I have always been concerned that the fashion industry doesn't seem to feel that a larger woman has the same right to have the same clothes as her slimmer counterpart. It is a lot easier nowadays to buy larger clothes although quite often you have to pay more or they are badly fitting. I still find it irritating when you look at sizes that say S 8-10, M 10-12, L 12-14, XL 14-16, XXL 16-18. In my mind, no way is a size 18 a XXL, but that it what the fashion industry has determined. And this could cause confidence problems. As a large child and a large teenager, I could never find fashionable clothes in my size and always felt different.
Looking back now in a positive way, that is probably how I found my own style because of how little choice I had.
I still do worry about younger girls who feel they have to lose weight - and not always in a good healthy way - just to be able to wear the clothes that are in fashion. We should be able to enjoy a healthy diet and feel confident about looking good without all the pressure that is put on people to conform.
As I lose weight and feel healthier I find I am thinking more about how important it is to be who we want to be and to feel we have the confidence and the freedom to do so.
At this stage of my life, losing weight has begun to help me feel this way and I hope that anyone who reads this blog can find what does this for them too.
As I have said before, life is too short, there are no rehearsals and we have to try to enjoy as much of it as we can. With support from friends and family, and without too much (negative) influence from the media, the food and fashion industries and peer pressure.
As I said at the beginning of this update, I wrote this entry before my weekly weigh-in. I have now had that pleasure, and I am happy to report that I have lost another four pounds. It has indeed been a good week.

Monday, 14 April 2014


Firstly, can I thank all of you that read my blog. When I started it, I never knew there would be so much interest and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your support.
Now to this week's blog - "The Road At The Side Of The Cliff". A strange title, you may think, but I will expand on this later.
As I write this, I am watching the start of the London Marathon on the television. It has always evoked a lot of emotion in me ever since the first one all those years ago. I have always wanted to run a marathon, even though there have been days I could hardly walk. Still, you never know, maybe one day!
How my life has changed since that first London Marathon back in 1981. What a difference the years make. In spite of all the down times, the struggles, the fights to survive there have thankfully been so many, many happy memories.
I was thinking as I watched the runners line up what the atmosphere there must be like. I was very proud of my son-in-law when he ran it a couple of years ago. If I remember, he wasn't too happy with his finishing time, but he trained and did it and I was lucky enough to see him on the TV and I was so thrilled.
As I sit here, I think wouldn't it be wonderful if we could bottle up good feelings like that for times of trouble. All those good feelings we have when we go to a good music gig, when we see our team win, when we fall in love, when we get married, the birth of a child, their first day at school, the school concert, graduation, your child's wedding, the arrival of a grandchild - the list goes on and on.
If we could keep those various feelings in jars, just to have a taste now and again at the moments when we need them. 
That's why memories are so important, so precious, even if at the time they didn't always seem that good.
Which brings me back to "The Road At The Side Of The Cliff".
Back on my first visit to India in 1980, we went up, by bus, into the mountains to stay with relatives of relatives. Part of the journey was on a narrow road that had literally been cut out of the side of a very high cliff and way, way down below was a fast running river. The road was almost a single track with passing points cut out of the mountainside in case someone was coming the other way. At one point the road was so bad that everyone - including the bus conductor - got off. However, my ex husband insisted that I stayed on the bus because it would look good on the home video he was making. So in the end it was just me and the driver left on the bus. That could have been the end then and there, but Indian drivers are some of the best in the world when it comes to driving buses, jeeps, motor scooters, tractors etc. If you have been there you will know what I mean :). At the time I was terrified and upset that I was made to do this, but now I look back at that memory with fondness. It was something I did even though I didn't want to.
The point I think I am trying to make is that sometimes we do not like what we have to do, especially if, like me, we don't like being told what to do, even though it can turn out to be for the best.
Sometimes, to push ourselves just that little bit can lead to us feeling so much better and confident, maybe not at the time, but further down the line.  It is these memories that make us feel so much better and help us on those down days.
Life is short and we must always try to make the best of what we have and enjoy every moment we can to fill up our "feeling jars".
And you never know, one day I might just run across that finishing line.
Oh, and before I finish, "Change For Life" is still going well. Sixteen weeks completed and a loss of 41 and a half pounds! Now where did I put those running shoes?

Saturday, 5 April 2014


First of all, let me say sorry to anyone who noticed that I did not update my blog last week. Life got in the way, both personally and socially, and before I knew it - no blog entry.
How many times, when we want to do something, does life get in the way? It shouldn't, but it does.
They say that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, but I don't feel it's as bad as that! :) I pick myself up, give myself a good shake and off I go again!
Since my last post I have been feeling a lot more positive. My weight is going down again and I am beginning to feel the benefits. Walking is getting a lot easier, and I have gone down three dress sizes so I have a lot to feel good about in myself, which always helps when life gets complicated.
Anyone who knows me will know I love cooking and have a love of cookery books. I have 78 at the moment, which covers most areas of the world, different cultures and eras in history. I have a great one which covers how we ate during the war and managed within the limits of rationing - maybe an idea for a future blog?
I was thinking wouldn't it be great if we had a recipe for everything in life. It would be wonderful if we knew exactly what to do, and when, in a certain way and get the results we wanted without any trouble. Unfortunately life doesn't work that way.
But just like a recipe in a book we can use experience as a guide to think how we can change all the bits we don't like and have the confidence to try things slightly differently.
One of the benefits of a varied life (been there, done that, got the t-shirt) is that it gives you the confidence to not always conform, to do things your own way as long as you don't hurt anyone on the way - or at least do your best not to.
One of the "Change For Life" sessions was about changing recipes we already have. Being able to eat the food we love but changing the ingredients that aren't as good for you.
Fats and sugars are the main culprits and it is easy to cut these down with a little bit of thought using low fat substitutes or sweeteners where appropriate or even cutting them out completely. Adding herbs and spices can add an extra kick to your food without adding those extra calories.
So, just like in life, we can change the things that are not good for us and bring in things that will enhance what is already there.
All it needs is just a little bit of thought and respect for what we have and removal of those things we don't need.
Think about yourself, love yourself, and give yourself the value you deserve. We all deserve a more flavoured life, but how we change the recipe is up to us.

Saturday, 22 March 2014


We can't always be positive in life and it is at times of negativity we can ruin what we have achieved. It becomes so easy to give up, to think we can't do it, whatever it is.
Sometimes it is the smallest of things, that at that one moment can seem so big. It's these moments we need to recognise and learn how to cope with. That is not always as easy as it sounds.
This week was my twelfth and last week of my Change For Life classes. I call them classes because in these twelve weeks you are given all the information that you need to eat a healthy diet, to see where you may be going wrong with the foods you eat, and to live a lot more active lifestyle.
I only lost half a pound this week and I really would have liked to have lost more. I really wanted to have lost 2 1/2 stone over these twelve weeks. That's 35 lbs and I have only lost 33! Now, I know there will be some of you out there reading this (especially my family, who are as ever such a great support) shouting out "You have lost 33 lbs!". "Losing 1/2 a pound is better than nothing!". "At least you didn't put weight on!". And you know, of course, they are right!
I think the point I am making is that it is so easy to see what we haven't done as opposed to what we HAVE done. We sometimes set ourselves goals and if we do not achieve them straightaway we feel we have failed, but really we should see we haven't. A great part of any change is in the mind. Learn how to deal with that and you can be more positive in whatever you wish to achieve. In these twelve weeks I have learnt a lot, and I now need to try and be a little more positive towards my weight loss. If I don't lose one week, or even put some on, it doesn't matter as long as I can recognise the triggers of negativity that could send my weight spiraling up again. 
I can still go back every week for support sessions to get weighed which is good, but nobody knows me better than me and I know that if I am going to keep the weight going down and staying off, it's going to be a very steep learning curve.
At the first session I went to after Christmas, I was very positive as many of us are in the New Year, and to make me feel even better I had lost 2 1/2 lbs. In fact, if I am being honest, I have lost weight every week, so really I haven't done that bad, but try telling me that! :)
The first class was about secret eating, which is something we all know about whether it's that little piece of cheese left on the worktop after making sandwiches, that bar of chocolate that doesn't matter because we ate it at midnight or the burger we had in the car, because what we eat in the car doesn't count. Car, bathroom, in the garden, or walking round the car park. You know what I mean.
Most of us have done it at some time and it can send our calorie intake up without us even realising it.
There are 100 calories in half a doughnut, half a small sausage roll, one small packet of crisps, a half pint of beer or lager. The list goes on, and if we eat or drink these on top of our normal daily food, then slowly and surely we will put on weight and wonder how it happened.
That doesn't mean to say that if we want to we can't eat or drink the things we love. We just have to be aware of what we are doing.
If the calories we take in when we eat and drink are greater than the calories we burn in just staying alive and exercising we will put on weight.
So if you want to have your 'treats' you need to be more active, but you need to be aware of those 'treats' you don't realise, for whatever reason, that you are having.
I was one of the worst for licking my fingers if I had butter on them when making sandwiches, licking the bowl when baking, tasting, tasting and tasting food when I was cooking... the list goes on. Hopefully now I am becoming more aware and trying not to do this, by squirting washing-up liquid onto bowls and hands very quickly before temptation strikes. The battle continues... :)
So this week's blog concludes and I hope that sharing this with you has helped me be a little more positive and helped some of you reading this realise you are not alone, and we can all have our moments of weakness.
There is a saying that "Strength doesn't come from what you can do, it comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn't". So here we go. Another week of trying...

Saturday, 15 March 2014


Since writing the first instalment of this blog, I have been thinking about what to say next. It's not that I don't have anything to say, it's knowing how to say it, and in what order.
Anyone who knows me well will know that I have no problem in talking... and talking... and talking.
Seriously though, to think about something and write it down in a coherent fashion is an all new ball game for me.
It seems sensible for me to start at the beginning and stay on a straight line, which is something I never seem able to do.
I have had a weight problem it seems since birth. A big baby, a big child and an even bigger adult. I am 56 years old this year and out of those years I have been overweight to some degree for 40 of them. My dress size has ranged from a size 26 at worst to as low as a 12. As an adult my heaviest weight has been 22 stone, and my lowest 10 1/2 stone.
Over the years I have tried almost every diet going, been to every slimming club and tried many fad eating plans, but nothing has worked for me long term.
At one time I was even prescribed medication (now no longer available) to help me lose weight and I did actually lose 10 stone, but it soon came back on again when I went back to my old habits.
That's one of my problems really. When I am told I can't have something to eat that I want, I want it even more and it always seemed like someone else was controlling what you were allowed to eat. The good things and the so-called bad things.
About 2004 I just seemed to give up. No more control and over the next nine years my weight again just went up and up. My health suffered, but I was in denial. I didn't want to be controlled. I think this was partly due to being controlled by my first husband for so many years. Now I have a wonderful second marriage and a supportive husband. I could not go back to being controlled.
I did try a slimming club a couple of years ago because my doctor was so concerned about my health, but it didn't last. For a number of reasons, it wasn't for me. My health got worse and worse and by the end of last year I was so tired and sometimes in so much pain I just wanted to give up.
Our beautiful grandson was born last year and I really want to be there to see him grow up, but to be honest the way I felt I couldn't see that happening.
Then, just before Christmas, I saw an article in a local free magazine about 'Change For Life', a service run by the N.H.S. to help you make lifestyles changes that can last.
I gave them a call, seeing it as the last chance to try and do something that could possibly help.
They were very nice and asked me to attend an introductory session a week before Christmas. I went, but only those close to me knew I was going. I remember walking into the village hall and hoping no-one would see me. It was just me and two ladies who were very understanding. They explained to me what it was all about, that everyone in the group was in the same boat, and that weight losses or gains were not read out and were confidential. 
To be honest, apart from being weighed, I don't remember much about what was said at this first meeting as my mind couldn't take it all in, but I knew I was going to give it a go.
I do remember being given a bright yellow folder with all the information in it. Coming home on the bus, I kept hoping no-one could see what it was. It was like something in a cartoon, all I could see was this great big, bright, shiny, yellow folder that I just didn't want anyone to see.
But I HAD done it. I had been, and now all I had to do was go back again after Christmas.
A new year - a new me?

Wednesday, 12 March 2014


Welcome to my blog.
It's really been set up for my benefit, but anybody who cares to read it will be more than welcome.
You may be wondering why I chose this name for my blog. At the end of last year (2013), for various reasons which I may go into at a later date, I decided that I needed to lose some weight. I wasn't really sure at the time that I could do this and felt a bit like a horse in a race that's a 100 to one outsider. A few weeks down the line I am now starting to think that I can do it, having lost thirty pounds in just under three months. I would like to now go on to turn that thirty pounds into one hundred pounds, hence the title. One hundred pounds from one person - me.
As many of you may know, when trying to lose weight there are many thoughts that go through your head, eg. food, food, food and possibly more food! 
Seriously though, I am hoping that this blog will help me clear my head and share my thoughts with you. Sometimes they may be positive thoughts but sometimes maybe not.  Sometimes I may just feel like a rant to make me feel better, other times I might be feeling really positive and want to share it with you.
I must point out at this juncture, they are purely my thoughts and my opinions and I would not want to contradict anyone else's personal beliefs.
I've never done a blog before, and it's a bit of trial and error as to if I get it right, but I'm willing to give it a go.
It would be nice if you could join me on my journey. Any comments would be read with interest. Please be kind :)
Well then, here we go...