Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Progress: a celebration

Yesterday saw my first gym session with Kim for a couple of weeks: we were booked to meet on Sunday, but she wasn't well. Yes, I should have gone and done the session on my own, but it was a roasting hot day; I had a car full of shopping, including ice-cream (Skinny Cow, I'll have you know!); and a mountain of work to do... (I did make up for it by having a run on Monday, honest. Kim said that melting ice-cream was the worst excuse she'd ever heard for not doing a workout, and that she'd better come and help me eat it.)

Anyway, we had a great session (followed by supper back at the Rectory). We updated all my statistics, and I can't resist bragging about them here.

When I started this journey - twenty weeks ago, on 14th January - I weighed 167 lb. Just under two weeks after that, I worked with Kim for the first time, weighing in at 164 lb, and we started calibrating not just weight but (more importantly) measurements, body fat, blood pressure and the rest. In those 18 weeks, these have changed in these ways.

  • Weight: 164 (previously 167) down to 147 lb
  • BP: 144/101 down to 127/95 (sometimes as low as 122/80)
  • Body fat: 38.6% down to 35.3%
  • BMI: 27.3 down to 24.5
  • Hips: 111 cm to 103 cm (-8 cm)
  • Waist: 89 cm to 85 cm (-4 cm)
  • Bust: 104 cm to 96 cm (-8 cm)
  • Left arm: 28.5 cm to 27 cm (-1.5 cm)
  • Right arm: 29 cm to 26.5 cm (-2.5 cm)
  • Left thigh: 58 cm to 54 cm (-4 cm)
  • Right thigh: 58 cm to 53 cm (-5 cm)
My dress size has decreased from bordering on a 16 to a 12-14, depending on the make (usually a 12). Kayla, my beautician, has seen me about once every 5-6 weeks during this process, so she sees the more startling changes; she commented yesterday that I "look much younger", and my skin is in much better condition.

I'm eating absolutely normally: three square meals a day, with no more limitation than a bit of portion awareness, limiting the alcohol to one drink per day, and avoiding the obvious pitfalls like overloads of cheese and butter. Breakfast is a decent portion of muesli (Dorset Cereals - the best) with fruit and home-made plain yogurt. Lunch is usually soup or salad with a slice of bread (home-made again - get out that gingham pinny!!). Supper is a sensible amount of carb (pasta, rice, couscous, spuds), a lump of protein, a fair spread of vegetables or salad; a glass of wine, and some combination of ice-cream (I love Skinny Cow Madly Deeply - a vanilla & chocolate mix, with bits of Malteser in it!), yogurt and fruit for dessert. Generally my cooking is fairly low-fat, but if a recipe desperately needs a splash of oil or a drop of butter, I don't panic about it. My snacks are mostly fruit or Ryvita. I love my food too much to do it any other way (and get far too hungry if I cut out carbohydrate).

It's true to say that the weight is no longer terribly important. If I can reach:
  • the waist measurement I'd like (about 80 cm - halfway there at present)
  • the ideal body fat percentage (apparently the healthy range for my age is 23%-34%, so let's have a good Anglican compromise and aim for about 28% - quite a long way to go on that one)
- then I guess that a few more pounds will come off; but for the first time in years - possibly in my entire life - I am genuinely happy with the way that I look and, more importantly, feel. I have no wish to head for a size zero - a reliable 12 is just fine by me. I can now get back into loads of clothes that I thought I'd abandoned forever, and if I achieve the further inch loss above, there will be more still. (Not that it's stopped me indulging in some self-congratulatory retail therapy from time to time!)

You'll have gathered from these posts that there have been some vital contributors to this journey. My friends and family, sponsoring me for the Race for Life, praising and encouraging me. My husband, loving me at every size, happy to eat low-fat, walking with me, appreciating every achievement; and Kim: supportive, encouraging, professional, a friend. I could say she's changed my life; what is probably more accurate is to say she's enabled me to change my own life, which is actually far more important. God bless you all.

This isn't dieting; this is living the way that I want to live from now on.

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