For many years now I have been very overweight. Not by choice I assure you. I had tried numerous of different diets, losing three stone on one of my attempts. But then came the bad habits, slowly finding their way back into my daily routines again – yes then followed by the weight again!
Damn you wine, chocolates and takeaways!
From being overweight I was warned by my GP that there were health risk I would be more at risk to.
Here are just a few health risks of being overweight to name a few.
- High blood pressure
- At risk of diabetes
- Heart problems
- Breathing difficulties, such as asthma
- Joint pains
- High cholesterol
Finding out last year that I was going to be a Nan for the first time was a real eye-opener to my poor quality of life. I was extremely overweight and in a lot of pain. I was suffering with really bad depression, breathing difficulties, high blood pressure and was in pain daily. I was also informed by my GP that I was at high risk of also becoming a diabetic. This was something I did not want to add to my list of medical problems too, as I already suffer with three chronic health conditions as it is.
In the photo above, you will see myself on the left – this was a photo taken last July 2020 – and the photo on the right was a photo of myself (in the dress) taken June 2021. Since last year I have lost eight stone in weight. I decided that I was not going to be a Nanny who is always tired, out of breath and in pain. I was a Nanny-to-be who took her GP’s advice, which was to lose weight to give myself a better quality of life.
Reducing the risks of:
- Heart disease
- Cholesterol problems
- Joint pain
Just to name a few, but there are so many more health benefits of weight loss.
I was referred to a dietician who has helped me have a much better relationship with food – such as not to use it as a comfort tool when feeling bored or down in mood levels. I now find better ways to distract myself in hobbies I now love.
This may sound funny to some people but our Grandson has really helped us grow up a lot. I look at the relationship that I have with my Grandparents and it is one I wish to have with Dylan our Grandson. My Grandparents are strong, independent and healthy people, Grandparents I can turn to with anything and they are always there ready to give me sensible advice and help guide me through any situation. They are people I look up to always.
I certainly didn’t want Dylan looking at me in the unhealthy state I was in, due to my poor lifestyle choices.
The steps I took on the road to a healthier me were:
Get a better relationship with food
Stop all the unnecessary snacking on the wrong foods. I found other ways to distract myself. I started making items for Dylan on my sewing machine.
Not skipping meals
My dietician informed me that skipping meals was not a good way to lose weight. This was one of my downfalls as I was losing out on essential nutrients and increased my snacking throughout the day due to being hungry. This was an area I needed to concentrate on. I now have regular meals.
Drinking more water
The dietician also made me aware that thirst and hunger are often mistaken for each other. That some people often eat more, when in fact they are thirsty. So, my water intake was monitored and still is on a daily basis.
Eat the right foods
I now tend to go for more high-in-fibre and high-in-protein foods. Purely because these foods help to keep me feeling fuller for longer. I also now only buy wholegrain breads, pasta and rice. I take the time also to look at food labels, as this allows me to make better/healthier food choices.
I find myself doing my shopping weekly now, online without fail. I count my meals and make sure I have all ingredients needed for them. I make sure I mix my dinners allowing for a nice variety of meals. This then allows me to enjoy my week and reduce the risk of the dreaded trip to the shop for missed meal items putting the risk in the way of unnecessary purchases – another one of my downfalls.
Alcohol is an area I needed to work on. I didn’t realise how much wine I was drinking. I mean have you compared what you would call a glass of wine compared to an actual measured glass of wine? I was shocked when I done just that. I found I was pouring two or three measures into one glass and calling it a glass. Easily done I suppose. I now purchase low calorie wine with low alcohol % and I really enjoy it when I do have a glass, which is only occasionally now.
So, I don’t crave crisps, chocolate, biscuits and so on, I do still buy them, but only in a very small quantity. A little of what you fancy doesn’t hurt anyone. But these items are only purchased in small quantities and when they are gone, I do not restock until next shop. This is my way of keeping my will-power going. But I do purchase loads of fruit and sugar-free snacks also.
Did you know that it takes twenty minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that it is actually full? I was advised to try and eat much slower and to see if this would help with portion control. I did give this a try and I now eat much more slowly and smaller portions too!
Becoming more active
I have been slowly increasing my exercise and becoming more active. At the start of my weight loss journey this was something I struggled with. I have been sticking with my exercise regime and it is now becoming much more easier. With having three chronic conditions exercising can prove difficult at times depending on what exercise I am trying to do. But I dont let this beat me, I try to find ways to work around it as there is equipment out there to help make exercise more easier for those with health conditions.
Since losing the 8 stone, I have been much happier in myself, my confidence is growing daily and I actually enjoy going clothes shopping now, and that was something I hated doing before. I am noticing my health improving as I am not as breathless as I once was, I am not needing as many painkillers as I did last year and my risk of diabetes isn’t as high as last year which is amazing news!
I have been assisted and monitored via a dietician to help with my weight loss. If you are needing help to lose weight and have health conditions too, please speak with your GP and seek advice like I did. They can help/guide you in the best direction to lose weight a healthy way best suited to your health needs.