Browse Tag by Life changes
weight loss

My weight loss journey so far (8 stone down)

My weight-loss journey so far (8 stone down)

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
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Breathing difficulties, such as asthma
  • Joint pains
  • Stroke
  • 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
  • Diabetes
  • Joint pain
  • Stroke

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.

Meal planning

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

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.

Temptation

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.

Portion control

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.

Lifestyle, Slimming World, weight loss

Life changes

Life changes

Life changes

A while back I ended up in an awful car accident. This saw me ending up being cut free from the car, hospitalised for just under two weeks and paralysed down my left side due to nerve damage. I was in a wheelchair for a while and had to learn to walk again.

With not being very mobile this saw the lbs pile on which at the time I was just glad to have survived the accident and it couldn’t have been further from my mind.

Life changes

Once I was more mobile thanks to the intense physio sessions and reflexology treatment I had on a weekly basis I started to gradually build myself back up again. Once more mobile I signed up to attend our local Slimming World group. Back then I managed to lose 3 stone and I was so proud of myself as I had gone through so much and had come such a long way. I had the determination which was amazing and I felt so much better and confident in myself.

My aim back then was to lose about 5 stone, I was over half way there but then life had gotten in the way. Things happened and I ended up suffering from depression due to certain issues. This is where comfort eating kicked in then yes you guessed it, the weight piled back on.
No I am not proud but hey what can I do but pick myself back up and start again. Now I am starting to feel better in myself again I feel that I am in the right mind-set again to try again. I have amazing support around me from Ian, my 3 beautiful boys, work colleagues and even neighbours.
Ian is my rock and said he will help support me in any way he can as he knows it means so much to me to get this weight off and my confidence back.

I have now joined Slimming World again, this time round it is a different group as we’ve moved house since my last journey. I am now 2 weeks into my new journey and I’m currently 6.5 lbs lighter already. I am so happy to be on my Slimming World journey again, I was so happy last time until I sadly suffered with depression.

This time round I am not going to be so hard on myself, I am going to set small goals along the way and little Interim goals. My first little goal is to try and lose 1 stone by my birthday (7th August). This is purely set as a birthday gift to myself. I still have a few weeks to do it in, I feel like I can do it so I’m going to give it my best shot. If I don’t do it then no harm is done I am just happy at the moment with any loss.

To help myself get up and moving I have signed up to do a 5k run. Well they say run but you walk, crawl, skip even hop just as long as you complete the 5k. I done a 5k run a few years back and completed it within 36 minutes. By the time I completed the run yes I did crawl over the finish line and no I couldn’t even talk for 10 minutes but I did complete it and it felt amazing.

All I need to do now is stay as focused as I can and keep telling myself to keep thinking positive.

Lifestyle, Moving abroad

Is moving abroad as difficult as It sounds?

Is Moving Abroad as Difficult as It Sounds?

Is moving abroad as difficult as It sounds?

If you’ve ever been on holiday and told yourself “I want to move here in the future!” then you’ve probably thought about actually moving overseas. However, those thoughts are quickly forgotten once you realise the cost of moving, the friends and family members you’ll have to say goodbye to, and the kids that you’ll force to either learn a new language or make new friends. It’s a tough decision to make especially if you aren’t happy with your current location, and there are times when simply moving to a new house won’t cut it.

But plenty of people move abroad to find themselves, seek happiness and sometimes for their jobs: but is it really as difficult as it sounds? Let’s dive into the issue and discuss a couple of things about moving abroad. At the end of this article, you’ll have plenty of information to help you make a decision, so if you’re close to packing up your bags and leaving the country, here are some thoughts to keep in mind.

Is Moving Abroad as Difficult as It Sounds?

Is it even legal?

The first thing to consider is: is it even legal to move abroad? There are some legal implications when moving abroad and it’s not entirely easy. For instance, you need to check your visa status and you’ll probably need to have a relationship with someone in the country to legally move over. You also need to look at your rights to see if you’ll be covered by things such as insurance. You’ll also need to apply for citizenship in another country which can be a lengthy and complicated process if you aren’t well-versed in all of the law, so make sure you do your research on this step and consider all the legal implications before packing up your bags.

What are you going to do with your old house?

Next, consider what you’ll do with your old house. If it’s just rented then you don’t need to worry about it much, just end the contact at the earliest convenience, pack your bags then leave. However, if you own your home then you’ll need to contact international removalists to help you carry all of your luggage and furniture to your new home. Alternatively, you could simply rent out your current home if you still have family members or friends in your current country that are willing to give you a hand. There are some steps to take before this can be made possible, but it’s generally quite easy and straightforward.

Where do you actually want to live?

There’s no point moving abroad if you aren’t actually sure where you wanna move. Do plenty of research and consider visiting that country for a holiday several times before you ultimately make a decision. Remember that the decision is reversible, but if you sell your home in your current country, it’s going to be difficult to gain accommodation if you decide to return. There are also plenty of other things to consider when picking a country, and they’ll be explained in detail below.

Is Moving Abroad as Difficult as It Sounds?

Do you need to learn a new language?

Learning a new language can be tricky, but it’s generally easier if you surround yourself with the language and force yourself into unfamiliar situations. It’s worth learning a couple of phrases and taking a serious look at the language before you decide to move. The worst thing you can do is move to a new country with absolutely no knowledge of the language. It’ll be difficult to live your daily life and you’ll find it hard to communicate with anyone. If you’re set on learning a new language to move, then make sure you watch as many shows as possible in that language, speak to people and make friends from that country, and ask them to help you practice your new language skills so that you can become fluent.

Are you prepared for new culture and tradition?

Another important thing to keep in mind is culture and tradition. If you move from Europe to Asia, then you’ll be surprised at the number of things that are different. Everything from wearing shoes indoors to how you present yourself politely at a table will be new, and although some people are accepting of foreigners in their country, others can be extremely offended if you take their culture and customs lightly. Again, it’s important to learn about the country that you want to move to before you decide on it. If you’re not willing to follow their traditions and customs, then you might want to consider another country or simply staying at home.

Can you find work in the country?

A lot of people move to foreign countries to teach English. While this sounds like a great idea, it’s ultimately a job that won’t progress very far. Before you decide to move to another country, try and do your best to find a job. It could be something that relates to your current job, you could become a freelancer, or you could even take a gamble to become a travel blogger or YouTube content creator and make money from advertising revenue. Whatever your decision is, keep in mind that you’re starting a new life and this often means you’ll be back at the bottom of the career ladder. Although you’re probably not moving for the sake of money, it’s important to understand that you need an income in order to sustain yourself.

Are you prepared to say goodbye to friends and family?

Lastly, are you fine with saying goodbye to friends and family? Some of us might not have great relationships with our families and could easily say yes to this, and some of us probably hate the idea of leaving our friends behind. Make sure you’re mentally prepared to say goodbye or else you could end up regretting your decision, feeling homesick and hating your idea to move. Keep in mind that just because you’ve moved, it doesn’t mean you’ll never see those people again. Social media is fantastic at keeping the world connected, and you can always visit each other during the holiday seasons.

***Collaborative post***