Beginning My Weight-loss Journey

I've struggled with my weight for quite awhile now. I always felt chubby growing up compared to the other kids. At secondary school I got my boobs before most of the other girls and developed a curvy figure that I mistook for being fat at the time. It saddens me now because looking back at photos of me when I was 16, I wasn't fat at all, I had a healthy looking body with slightly bigger boobs and I just didn't appreciate what I had. As I left school and started moving around less and eating more my weight started to creep up on me. I didn't notice it at first because my perception of my body was pretty screwed up already, I didn't see myself becoming fatter because in my mind it was how I'd always looked, and I never weighed myself anyway. 


When I realised how much weight I had put on I brushed it off, it became part of my identity and I accepted it as just the way I was. I've been a Size 16 for about the last two years and apparently I'm average as, according to the guardian the National average woman in the UK is 5ft 3in tall, weighs 11 stone (70.2kg) and wears a size 16. Average doesn't necessarily mean healthy thought. I was shocked when I weighed myself this week and found I had put on a huge 2 st over the last year or so. According to the NHS website that marks me as borderline obese as my height is only 5"3. 

NHS Height/Weight Chart

Obviously I have decided that it is time I did something about my weight as according to the chart I need to lose between 3 and 5 stone to be healthy which is quite scary. I don't want to follow a diet such as Weight-watchers or Slimming World as although I know many people have lost weight following these programs, there are also lots who put the weight straight back on once they stop. Instead I have registered for the NHS Weight Loss program which recommends eating well and exercising regularly without any fancy gimmicks. I plan to alter my lifestyle and choices for good rather than follow a strict diet that I will find difficult to stick to and most likely scrap once I've lost weight. The NHS provides free advice in the form of a 12 Week Weight-Loss Pack, which you download all at once or receive emails each week with tips, and online resources such as exercise podcasts, videos and a community forum. You can download Week 1 here. Each email also contains a food and activity chart to track your progress.

NHS Example Food & Activity Chart

As well as using the NHS for help I have also started using the My Fitness Pal app which I love. I downloaded the app over a year ago but I stopped using it after awhile. Now I am using it everyday to record what I eat and how much exercise I have done. The app is great because a lot of the foods I buy are already stored in the database but its also really simple to add my own data. It has been an eyeopener for me too see exactly how many calories are in the foods I eat and it has helped to give me a better idea of portion control. Now when I eat I work out how many calories I am allowed before serving up my meal and it has helped me to choose more filling low calories foods instead of high calories foods such as chocolate that would use up a lot of my daily calories but not fill me up. 



To start exercising more I have borrowed my Mum's exercise bike. I don't like to exercise outside and I can't afford to join a gym at the moment so this seemed like the best option for me. The instructions that came with the bike suggest the best way to burn fat is to get your heart rate up and keep it up for at least 20 minutes by increasing the intensity of the resistance. At the moment I'm still very unfit so I find it difficult to keep my heart rate raised for that amount of time so I do it in intervals. 

Finally, I have also invested in some bathroom scales which I did not previously own. I bought the Salter Weight Tracker which was currently half price in Argos at £25. These are probably the fanciest I've ever stepped on as they record your weight digitally so that the next time you step on the scales it will tell you how much you have lost (or gained!). This can be set up for up to 8 different people. Now when I way myself it states my current weight, how many pounds I have lost since I last weighed myself, and how much I have lost compared to the weight I started it. It also provides this information as a percentage. 

The goals I have set for myself are: 
- To lose 3 st by Christmas (putting myself at a healthy BMI)
- To do at least 20mins of exercise on the bike everyday
- To eat and maintain a healthy diet

Of course I will let you know how I get on! Do you have any tips for me? Are you worried about your weight? Let me know in the comments!
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