First of all, I’m not being paid to write this. There’s a link at the end which if you click it, you will get a discount off the main programme and I will get a small referral payment but that’s it!
In January 2020 I saw an advert on Facebook, for a nutritionist that Id followed for a while. She was starting a paid for challenge and so I signed up.
Its now May and I’m still on that plan. I did the initial 30 day challenge and loved it so I paid up to be a member of her full programme and its been amazing. The programme comes with a food plan and a mindset plan. And that mindset plan is the magic sauce. I have blogged about it before but I wanted to put it into some sort of order so that it helps others along the way.
I will gradually post about my experiences and hopefully put them into some kind of order.
In Week 7 of the mindset work we are asked to write our food story. We don’t have to share it and at first I didn’t but I realised that perhaps others would benefit from what I learned so I decided to share.
In January 2020 Id already lost some weight. I was the slimmest Id been in about 6 years. I was a size 18-20 (UK) and 98kg (15stone or 216lb)
I thought maybe Id lost all I could. I told myself that Id always been fat and so I was probably doing well to have got this far.
Thing is though, I hadn’t always been fat. That was rubbish. The fat I’d gained had been over the preceding 6 years and it all started to appear following a period of intense and incredible life changing stress. Before that, over the years I’d had a few instances where I’d filled out, but Id quickly lost it again.
For perspective… I’ve never ever been skinny. As a teenager I was a healthy size 12 (UK) and I’d pretty much bounced around between a 12 and a 14 throughout my twenties. There had been a few 10s now and then but I always considered myself to be a healthy size 14. If I went up to a 16 I’d just cut back on the beer for a week or so, and it would go and if I was poorly (as I often was in my teens) I would drop down to a size 12 and enjoy it for a while before slowly normalising at a 14 again.
I was an active teenage army cadet and wanted to join the army. My fitness level was great and I was cross country champion for the county. I never felt unfit but as one of only 4 females in my cadet unit I was often ridiculed for being the biggest. Now of course I recognise that I was just more developed than those other young girls who could have easily been mistaken for teenage boys, and that made me stand out.
It was the 90s though and hips and boobs were deeply unfashionable. During the Kate Moss grunge years, those of us with more Marylin Munroe figures were considered to be overweight. I never felt unattractive but if Id had the money I would have booked a boob reduction and liposuction for my thighs. My waist and tummy were fine.. but those two things were what made me think of myself as fat. When M&S bought out the minimiser bra i bought several… and I never owned a Wonderbra!
The Army career fell through during a routine health test when they told me that my hearing was too poor. Id suspected it for a long time but once confirmed, I tried the same with the Airforce and the Navy – passing all their weight and fitness tests before I gave up completely because my ears let me down.
I had become a vegetarian at the age of 11, and growing up, I remember eating a lot of vegetable stews and curries. There were plenty of lentils and soya mince things, but pasta was still an occasional treat rather than the daily staple it became just a few years later. There was a lot of bread and potatoes in our daily diet. It was cheap and easy to cook and it was traditional family food at that time.
During my early 20s while living alone in London I joined a gym and went to Weightwatchers. I did it because I felt that’s what women did and I wondered if I could be slim like I thought I should be.. its what my mum had done for as long as I could remember.
I never remember her being fat but I do remember her always being on a diet. Weightwatchers, Cambridge, the BBC Diet you name it. There was always diet cottage cheese and low fat marg in the fridge and she often had special food like shakes or even low fat bread that we weren’t allowed to touch.
At my first WW meeting I weighed in at 11 stone (70kg or 154lb) and needed to lose about 14lbs (6kg) to be in the right BMI range for my height. I wasn’t fat, but I wasn’t slim either. I just thought that its what I had to do.
I lost some weight but I was bored, and I left the gym and WW and hovered around 11 stone for a long time.
My next visit to a Weightwatchers meeting was when I lived in Brighton some years later… I remember my initial weigh in being 11stone 11. I got down to just under 11stone again but yeah.. I got bored.
For the rest of my 20s I stayed between 11stone and 12 stone. Still wearing clothes in sizes that varied between a 12 and 16 and never feeling slim but also never feeling that I was especially fat either.
During the next 10 years or so I bounced up a couple of times, occasionally needing size 18 clothes but I always fixed it. Around the age of 26 I had discovered the Atkins diet. At around the same age, I started eating meat again too and so I controlled my weight using the principles of a low carb diet without really thinking about it, and when I wanted to drop some pounds I would go strict, with no cheats and laying off the beer for a couple of weeks. It always worked.
When I met my sons father I was approaching 30 years old and happily 12 stone, wearing size 14 clothes. He wanted to lose some weight too so we both ate low carb and again although neither of us were ever fat we were both healthy and not skinny.
When I became pregnant with my son I gained quite a bit of weight but after he was born it some came off quickly and with no effort.
Within 12 months I was a size 12 again and losing moreweight. I was the slimmest Id been since my 20s.
Around this time I went on holiday with a ‘friend’. I wont share the details of that relationship but one night she got very drunk and amongst many of the things she shouted at me was the revelation that she had always been jealous of me and that she was pissed off that I’d had a baby and lost even more weight. She told me that when she found out I was pregnant she was happy not because of the baby but because it meant that she would be thinner than me.
Needless to say that was a huge shock.
I’ve never been able to forget it or how she made me feel. We never spoke of it since but I think in some way its responsible for what happened next.
I always felt that I had a responsibility to not make her feel bad and so even though I had a healthy diet, and was regularly running, entering races, getting fit and loving it, all while staying at a healthy weight, I stopped.
Looking back I could see that she had always reveled in any period where I’d been bigger than her.
Often we were the same but occasionally she would lose some or I would gain and she would make a huge deal of handing over her ‘too big’ clothes to me.
I’d forgotten about it until then but I came to realise that it was a ritual for her.
Funnily enough I didn’t keep much of she gave me as our tastes were so different but I still have a couple of jackets which now fit me for the first time in years!
The next thing that happened was my relationship with my sons father began to falter. I was stressed with things that were going on at work and with some of the politics happening in my hobby. I ate too much and drank more than usual too.
When I left him I was already a size 18. I had gone up 3 dress sizes in 2 years.
When I got together with Tony, my (now) husband it was clear that he didn’t care what size I was. I had no incentive to lose weight. I continued to eat and drink far more than I needed to but I didn’t really care. I felt ok. I was deliriously happy, I always had confidence in myself and I liked how when I was big, no one had any expectations of me. I didn’t threaten anyone. In fact my relationship with the jealous ‘friend’ got better and better the bigger I got.
In January 2019 I was 121kg 266lbs – over 19 stone and probably more than a size 22. We were engaged with a wedding to plan and I didn’t especially want to lose loads of weight. I didn’t want to be one of those brides who spent ages on the run up to the wedding slimming and exercising. I just wanted to enjoy the run up with friends and family so I promised to lose a bit – and I did, 2 stone (11kg, 24lbs) but I didn’t stop enjoying myself.
When Tony and I married in August 2019 I was about 109kg ( a size 18. Sometimes a 20 and sometimes a 16). I wore a lot of baggy clothes at that time and my wedding dress was very forgiving. I don’t regret being that size at the wedding. I look at the photos and see nothing but happiness. It was a great day.
Then we moved house…. then we went on our honeymoon. It was a summer and autumn of food and drink and we had the best time. But when we returned from our honeymoon in November I was well aware that we had both gained even more weight. With Christmas coming I suggested that we try to lose a bit before the party season… otherwise we would need a new wardrobe! So we decided to have a month off the booze and to take it easy with the carbs. I stood on the scales at 118.9kg (262lbs, 18stone lbs)
Throughout the month I realised that the weight was coming off. It wasnt especially noticeable on my body but the scales were moving. By December I’d lost 10kg and I hadn’t missed the booze. I decided to carry on with another dry month and drink at Xmas if I wanted to. I didn’t and to date I havent had any alcohol in months. By mid January I was 98kg. Id lost almost 20kg (42lbs or 3 stone)
I was about a size 18 or 20 by now. Lots more to lose but the slimmest Id been since those hugely stressful years. Id lost that weight through low carb. I had occasionally cheated, over Christmas for example and I was monitoring my intake all the time. I had been for a few runs but I didn’t feel like I was working especially hard to lose weight at that time.
I had stalled in December and although I’d started to lose weight again in January, I was concerned that it was going to be hard work to lose more. I also knew that I was slimmer than Id been in several years and I wondered if that was enough. Should I try to lose more or just be happy I’d got this far? In honesty I doubted my ability to lose the weight and then keep it off. I didn’t want to disappoint myself.
Perhaps it was better to stay this size.
As I said at the start of this blog post, I told myself that I had always been ‘fat’ and so maybe this was my lot.
And then Deborah Murtagh appeared.
I’d followed her for a while on Facebook and I’d clicked through to join the programme several times, but each time I told myself it was too much money. That I already knew keto dieting and that it would just be what I already knew. Why not stick to that?
She was advertising a 30 day challenge though.. and at a price it seemed silly not to try. So I signed up – mainly for the group support.
I’ll share my 30 day experience in another blog post, but I think its important to share how I changed as part of my food story.
Within a few weeks I had lost all my anxiety about regaining the weight. I didn’t feel like I was monitoring myself. Exercise is actively discouraged at the start of the plan so Ive never felt under pressure to do that either. I lost another 12kg (26lb, over 2 stone) during that first month.
After that first 30 days I was ready to hand over my money and sign up to the main programme. And I have never looked back. It was easily the best money I have ever spent on myself.
As a side note, I spent the last few days of the 30 days in the UK visiting friends and family and I spent a great deal of time with the friend whose comment had previously sparked my downward spiral.
She had last seen me in the summer of 2019, 5 stone (30kg, 66lb) heavier and wearing clothes at least 2 sizes bigger.
She said nothing. Not a thing… well, nothing nice. But she was clearly ansty with me. She niggled at things, argued and disputed everything I said. I think my weight loss was a huge shock to her.
She last saw me at my wedding. I doubt she’d expected me to have lost weight after it when I didn’t bother before.
In the past, that would have upset me, and maybe set me back but not this time. This time I was actually pleased. It proved to me that I wasn’t making it up the first time. That it wasn’t just a drunken rant on her part. She really is jealous and unable to be kind to me when I have what she wants.
I know her issues and I cant make them better. She needs to learn to deal with them but me holding back on being the best I can be is not going to help her.
Its now May 2020. I have finished the first 8 weeks of the main Ketogenic Switch programme and I’m on a second cycle. You do these cycles until you reach your goal weight. I have 20kg (44lb, 3stone) to go before that happens and I may even choose to go further, but for now 20kg is a good number. I predict it will take another 2 eight week cycles before I get there, but I am happy with that progress!
Writing this story has helped me so much.
My food story has been key to me moving onto the next cycle. I feel like now I’ve addressed it (and writing things down always helps me) I can start from scratch again. I don’t feel like I’m ‘half way there’ anymore.
That’s in the past and my current story is that I’m on a brilliant programme that works.
I feel healthy, and I’ve got no baggage. Just 20kg to lose rather than feeling like I’ve got 20kg left of the 60kg I had to lose from the start.
Although I’m pleased and proud of how far I’ve come, I feel like it’s an old story so I’m ready to write a new one!
Anyone else want to join me.
I’m going to post more detail on my 30 day experience and also my ongoing experiences since I joined the main TKS programme.
I will also share more detail about the food plan itself but for now if you want to grab access to the plan with a discount head here: