Day 39; Dom is coming home!

Sorry for not blogging yesterday, my evening was spent back at home with my family. I decided to rock up uninvited (it is still my house after all..) to go through my wardrobe. It needed a good organise, plus I had suitcases full of old clothes in the loft from university, most of which I was able to either donate to charity or throw away. I had dinner there too, but instead of having smoked salmon with them I made my own chicken pasta type meal. It was really nice and less than 500 calories! I’d have had the salmon if it wasn’t smoked, I’m just not keen on it. Because I’d had such a low calorie dinner I was able to have a little yoghurt for pudding and I was still under 1000 calories – MyFitnessPal tells you off if you don’t eat at least 1000 calories a day – so I had a little bowl of cereal when I got back to the flat to bring me over that limit.

I didn’t go to bed until gone 10pm either which is  late for me! I got woken up by my mom ringing me at 9am this morning telling me to get ready as we’d planned to go to M&S to grab a few bits and bobs. We started off in the cafe where Mom had a latte and some shortbread biscuits which looked so yummy but I resisted and just had water and my yoghurt for breakfast. The weather has been lovely so far so we sat near the windows to enjoy the brief sun while we could. We had a mooch around homeware but didn’t find anything we liked so we headed down to women’s wear. As per usual, I found a few things I liked and came away with a few new pairs of tights, some jeans, and a backless jumper (don’t ask how it works, it looks nice though). We quickly nipped into the food hall so mom could buy her friend a few birthday gifts. We settled on a nice box of flowers with a mini bottle of Prosecco. We considered chocolates but she’s given them up for Lent so we didn’t want to scupper that on Day 2 of Lent because that seems a little cruel. We also bought my nan a few little treats like cakes and tarts. She hasn’t been very well and she’s going in for some major surgery next week and her eating will be affected so we thought we’d let her have some tarts and cakes while she can still eat solid food!

Speaking of lent, I haven’t officially given anything up, so that can be something for me to consider. Most people go for alcohol or chocolate but I don’t consume either of those so I’ll have to be a little more creative.

On to the amazing news, my boyfriend gets home today! In fact, he’s already landed and I’m writing this post as he is driving home from the airport. It’s the longest we’ve been apart and I can confirm that absence really does make the heart grow fonder. I’ve already made a dash to Morrisons to get supplies for dinner – his favourite meal at the moment is venison burgers with brioche buns and lots of veggies. It will be interesting getting him back on the health kick since he’s had some pretty high calorie days since going away. I guess he’s been more active though, running around installing things in a factory all day must burn a heck of a lot of calories.

I’ve tidied the flat so he can’t complain that I’ve destroyed it while he’s been away. Now to go and get myself ready so I can run and greet him when he arrives back! And we’ve already made plans to go to one of our local parks for a cute walk. Exciting!!

 

Day 36; And so we begin again (long post)

As you can see, we’re not on day 400 or some crazy number, so we’re kicking all this off again. So, for the second time, HELLO WORLD! I’m back on my blog which is both nostalgic and a tad upsetting. My blog towards the end of my SW journey became a way for me to look back and think about how far I’d come and to congratulate myself on hitting my goals. I’m trying to think back to when I last visited my blog to make a post and it must be Summer 2015 and now its the start of 2017… I can’t even begin to describe how much has happened/changed in my life in the last 18 months, but I’m going to attempt to condense it down (if I can remember!). Get ready for the dreaded W.O.T – Wall of Text:

I went back to university to start my third and final year of my studies and life was pretty good. My weight was healthy and I was throwing in a few treats here and there but on the whole was staying on track. I booked to go on the ski trip in December 2015 to Val D’Isere with other students including some close friends and my housemate James at the time. As it got closer to the Christmas holidays, though, I started to feel a bit ill. Not just a tummy bug or a headache, but a weird kind of ill. I had a really bad tremor in my hands, I had no strength especially in my legs, my heart was racing like crazy, I couldn’t sleep much and I was constantly really warm. I just put it down to me being stressed about third year and the extra work load that consisted of (I fell asleep in the lab once!) so it went to the back of my mind. On the coach trip to France for my skiing holiday I felt ill again which was partially due to my travel sickness and could’ve been a bit of altitude sickness thrown in there too. It wasn’t until I got onto the slopes on Day 1 when I realised I was not myself, I felt so nauseous and warm, I couldn’t focus on the skiing which I absolutely love, and I couldn’t keep up with everybody despite being quite a good skier. I spent the afternoon of Day 1 back at the hotel in bed – not how I wanted to spend my trip! Fast forward to the end of the trip and I went out briefly for one night and tried to drink alcohol but decided it wasn’t a good idea. I didn’t get up as early as everyone else because I was 100% drained and they must’ve thought I was the biggest party pooper ever because my mood was foul for the majority of the trip. Thankfully, the journey back was spent with most people, me included, sleeping off as many hours as we could.

Christmas quickly came around which was spent at my Aunty’s house. I had been sick on the morning but I didn’t want to be in bed on Christmas day so I put on a brave face and went over. Now, I’m not ridiculous but if I have a Christmas dinner I pile my plate as high as anyone else would, but this year I had no appetite and put a few slices of turkey, a couple of veggies and a few potatoes on my plate. Now, my aunty’s potatoes are delicious and I could barely stomach them, and not long after I finished I fell asleep on the sofa for a few hours whilst everyone else sat around the table playing Christmas games. My mom knew that this wasn’t just something I’d caught and I couldn’t just put it down to altitude sickness now that I was safely back in Birmingham, so she took me to the GP a few days later. He took about 5 seconds of feeling my neck and checking my BP & pulse to say that I had hyperthyroidism and that it was pretty darn bad. I’d only ever heard of thyroid problems when I’d studied endocrinology at university so I knew the basics of it but I hadn’t connected the dots with my symptoms. I was sent straight to A&E where they took my bloods and confirmed that I had thyrotoxicosis, my body was basically toxic due to the extremely high levels of thyroid hormones going through my system! I was put on Carbimazole to bring my levels down (which was upped again after seeing my doctor a few days later) and Propranolol to control my heart rate which was 132 bpm RESTING. Yes, resting. My 21st birthday was just another day of feeling ill, vomiting, being tired, and not what I had in mind when I was planning a big event earlier in the year. Not much later I had to go back to uni and despite being on my medication things got worse! Unbeknown to me, I was going through a very dangerous thyroid storm (google it) and I couldn’t keep any food or liquids down whatsoever so I was rushed back home by a family friend and I went back to my doctor. She gave me an injection – now this is an in-joke but it REALLY HURT! I was then put onto a ward and I had needles in just about every place you can imagine – 4 in my arms and one in each hand, and I was on a drip as well. They monitored my blood sugars and changed my medication to Propythiouracil, meaning I was taking in excess of 20 tablets a day. I suspended my course until the following January so that I could stay near my doctor and hopefully recover quickly. My levels did drop but not very quickly and it was becoming concerning how little progress I was making. I started working for my Aunty in the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham City Centre for a while, followed by a few jobs in local schools to keep me busy (I wasn’t recovered by any means so I had low activity jobs to allow me to afford a car!).

I eventually agreed to Radioactive Iodine therapy treatment for August 2016 which is a little radioactive pill that releases iodine into my system to kill my thyroid cells. This leads to the opposite of hyperthyroidism over time because I don’t have the thyroid cells to control my body functions, so it was very likely I’d develop hypothyroidism after treatment. August 2016 was very memorable for me for a drastically different reason though! I met my now boyfriend Dom just a few days after my treatment and despite having to keep my distance because of the negative affects of exposure to radioactivity we spent every day together that we could when he wasn’t working. I was also offered a job working at my local M&S part time which I was happy about because it would give me money for days out with Dom and I could keep my car so that we could see each other as he lived about 30 mins away at the time. After my treatment I started to feel a lot better quite quickly. I loved going for walks around the Lickey Hills while it was still summery and warm outside, and a lot of my symptoms started to fade. However, with my new found freedom, my metabolism was getting slower and slower and my eating habits started to get worse and worse. My boyfriend is a tall man who can get away with eating a lot more than I can so I started eating bigger portions, but then I started having naughty food binges when I was at his house because I could buy my own food and control my own diet fully again.

We’ve almost come full circle, don’t worry! He moved flat to be nearer to work (just kidding, it was to be closer to me!!) and my naughty eating habits just continued. I stay with him to be closer to work and I just got 100% comfortable in his company so quickly that I lost sight of my health and maintaining my weight. At my lowest weight I was about 12 stone 2lbs, but that was because of my hyperthyroidism eating at my muscle mass and massively increasing my metabolism. So I consider the last time I was at a healthy weight NATURALLY it was 12 stone 7lbs. That was when I stopped Slimming World in the summer of 2015.

I made the decision to weigh myself towards the end of January this year and I was weighing in at 15 stone 2 – meaning I’d put on around 2 stone and 9lbs since I last dieted. I was absolutely gutted and ashamed, but at least I’d stopped myself before getting back into the 240lb/17 stone region! My boyfriend also made the decision to lose a bit of weight himself because he’d not been hitting the gym as hard as before he met me and he’d probably picked up some of my bad habits! I’m not going back on Slimming World – it worked the first time around but I have the support of my family and more importantly the support of my boyfriend to do this with. So I’m home cooking pretty much every meal I eat except on Friday nights where we go for a pub meal (but a healthy one!!) and Sunday mornings. I go back home on Sunday mornings and have breakfast with my family and Dom and I weigh myself each week on that day. We’ve been tracking what we eat using the MyFitnessPal app and trying to keep our macros (carb/protein/fat) in good proportions. We also try to go to the gym at least 3 times a week and I do a bit of cardio but mostly I lift weights and do other weight based exercises. My cooking skills have vastly improved since the last time I blogged so I’m cooking so much more variety and I have to admit it all tastes so good. And good news, I’ve been losing weight! On a side note, I’ve officially been diagnosed with hypothyroidism and I have been scheduled to start thyroxine tablets very soon, which should help me deal with the few little niggly symptoms I’ve noticed and hopefully get my weight under control a bit easier.

But anyway, back to the weigh ins. I started at 15 stone 2lbs or 212lbs (gasp), and the last few weeks have gone as follows!

22/01: 15 stone 2lbs/212lbs
29/01: 14 stone 8lbs/204lbs
05/02: 14 stone 5lbs/201lbs
12/02: 14 stone 2lbs/198lbs
19/02: 14 stone 0lbs/196lbs
26/02: 13 stone 12lbs/194lbs

So I’ve already lost 1 stone 4lbs in 5 weeks! I’m over the moon to have firmly left the 15 stone region well back and I’m aiming for 12 stone 7lbs again by summer time – but with more muscle this time! Not in a body building style but I want toned legs/bum/arms/back etc. Dream body, come on! I have progress pictures but unfortunately they are NSFW because I wanted to see the difference without clothes making me look larger or smaller so you won’t be able to see the change visually but I can and let me assure you it’s coming along nicely. Dom’s away on a work trip at the moment so I’m only cooking for myself which isn’t as fun because I love making him happy with his dinner. I miss him so much as well which makes me want icecream!!

To keep me busy I’m going to have a play around with my blog to update it with my new information so watch this space!

Day 192; Some interesting news…

The last week has been a bit odd if I’m honest. Since getting back from holiday I’ve been much better with my eating and I have lost 3lbs! Just goes to show that you can get back onto healthy eating despite eating copious amounts of ice-cream and cake the week before. Mom has been experimenting with some ideas on recipes to try, so I’m having heaps of veg and lovely meat in new and interesting ways. As always, delicious. Here are a few of my meals from this week; an egg salad (lettuce, cucumber, mushrooms, ham, carrots, peppers…), an egg and butterbean stew with loads of veg (courgettes, broccoli etc) and then my favourite of them all; pepper and ham salad with chickpeas and a garlic and basil dressing. Continue to be jealous, go on.

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Plus, I am a happy bunny because the tennis is on! Who doesn’t love Wimbledon? I went about 6 years ago and had the best day, so watching it on TV isn’t quite as spectacular but I do love watching it nonetheless. As always, I’ll be cheering on Federer and Murray – I can’t STAND Djokovic. Not sure why, maybe it’s because he comes off arrogant but I just can’t bring myself to support the guy.

I went to Snobs [nightclub in Birmingham, FYI] last weekend with my friends from school. We used the first letters of our names (well, L for me because nobody actually calls me Olivia unless I’m being told off!) so we refer to our little group as LAMA. We made it up a few years ago and it just stuck. We also invited our friend Nishith who is moving to Melbourne today to study abroad for a year! So it was nice to see him before he disappeared to the other side of the world for a while. An odd coincidence too was that we saw some people who went to our school/sixth form in Snobs, one of which is an old best friend of mine. I haven’t seen him for about 2 years other than the occasional snapchat which really doesn’t count, so it was great to see him too. I went to my local gym on Sunday but I didn’t work out, I had a nice swim instead. I did about 25 lengths in the end, and the pool was reasonably quiet so I nabbed the ‘quick lane’ for some proper swimming. I didn’t have to dodge around the slow people that way, or splash anyone in the face.

So given the title of this post you can guess that this week has been more eventful than just watching TV, eating, swimming and going out. Well, a woman from the Slimming World press office got in contact with me about my application for my story to feature on their website. Unfortunately, it didn’t get picked to go on their official website but she did refer me to the major student online newspaper called The Tab. It’s a pretty big deal, a lot of students read it! They ran my story which you can read here:

http://tab.co.uk/2015/07/03/i-put-on-five-stone-at-uni-by-going-out-and-eating-in-secret/

Yes, I know. Not the catchiest headline. He did make some exaggerations about my story, but I’ve just accepted that it’s just journalism! Oh, and I didn’t gain 5 stone in one term (IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE!?), it was one year + one term. So about 16-17 months.

At first I was really upset about the article, given that he’d twisted my words and made some pretty big exaggerations in the name of entertainment. But I realised that my story is out there now, and I’d heard back that a lot of other people had got the courage to tell their stories too! That made me feel a lot better about it all, and I haven’t had any negativity towards my story either. Not long after the story got published, I got offers from TWO other NATIONAL MAGAZINES wanting to run my story as well! Who’d have thought I’d be sought after? I am still considering it rather than jumping at it because, although it’s all out there now, I don’t want to feel like I’m selling my soul or something! Haha, now who’s exaggerating?

That’s not even the best bit – I got some flowers delivered to my house. I didn’t think that they were for me originally, I thought maybe my sister’s boyfriend had been adorable and sent them but noooooo, they were for me from the Slimming World Press Office! They were sent in congratulations about my weight loss and my article in The Tab. I was so happy when I got them, all my worries/nervousness about the story being in the public eye went away and it felt like I’d got recognition for my achievements. I didn’t think I’d get this much attention whatsoever. Oh, here’s me posing awkwardly (makeup free too) with my flowers.

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I may be going shopping to Merry Hill later on today if all goes to plan. I was meant to be going to a pub quiz but it was later than I originally thought, so I may struggle to get home. The joys of living somewhere with no public transport within a reasonable walking distance!

Day 156; Back to university

The internet on the train seems to be much better today. So I may actually be able to finish this blog and get it posted before I even arrive into Reading station! I got to Birmingham station about half an hour before my train was due to leave because I hate having to rush around last minute to jump on. Mom walked me in to the lobby and I said goodbye. I think she got a bit emotional and I have cried every single time I’ve gone back to Reading and this is no exception. I just can’t do it infront of her else I’d set her off! I’d already printed my return tickets off when I was in Reading so I didn’t have that to worry about. I just killed a bit of time in WHSmith and M&S. I didn’t buy anything other than a magazine because my mom has made me a full lunch of chicken, pasta, mangetout peas, carrots, mushroom, bbq sauce, sweetcorn and petis pois and some fruit and a water bottle. I get complimentary food in 1st class so I’ll probably have a cup of tea (they give you biscuits, crisps and cake to accompany that) but without any sugar or sweetener. I can lose just that one luxury for now 🙂 Speaking of, the 1st class host just asked me what I wanted!

Surprisingly, the sun is shining today. If it keeps up, I won’t have to get a bus back to my house and I will walk it instead. It’s a good 40 minute walk so great for Body Magic, and with the luggage I’m carrying it will certainly get my heart pumping a bit. It’s a hillier walk from the station > home than home > station too.

And so Tuesday has come rushing back around again. This week has gone so fast. I think it’s probably because I was at home having fun, and any time I have an exam coming up time seems to whizz by. I don’t really want to go back to uni as I know the next few weeks will be tough on my diet. I know there will be lots of nights out planned and that makes it difficult to stay on track. I will be back in Birmingham in just over a fortnight though as Ken is picking me up on the 16th. Me and Bella haven’t made too much progress in terms of what to do for our holiday, but top of the list right now is Gran Canaria! That is something to aim towards – we’re right next to the beach so I want to be rocking a bikini by then (only 3 weeks from now!!!).

I will leave you in suspense no longer. I weighed in this morning, but the scales at my house aren’t digital so you have to interpret it from looking at which notch it sits on. We moved it around a few times and I got 3 different results so I just averaged it and hoped for the best. Last week I weighed 12st 9lbs. This week I weigh….

12st 6lbs!!!!!!

Yes, really. I have hit TARGET!!! I honestly can’t believe it. It seemed so far away just 5 months ago, yet I really am here! I have added the awards for 4 stone and target onto the awards page. A part of me is glad that I hit target whilst being at home because I had my mom there. Plus, at the party for nan every single person commented on how good I was looking. It was an awesome feeling. So that means I have lost a total of 66lbs and have gone from 240lbs to 174lbs. It’s unrealllllll.

I have now made the decision to drop my target to 12 stone 2 lbs. It’s good to have something to aim for, whether it be fitting into a particular dress or for a certain occasion. But for me at the moment, being a ‘healthy’ weight would be fantastic. It would give me a BMI of 25 which, although on the uppermost end of healthy, is still a healthy weight. Plus, for my 5 ‘ 9 frame I am quite broad so I won’t ever be 10 stone or something.

I will get to updating my graph and table. Monthly weigh in is on the same day as the summer ball so if all goes to plan I will have maintained this weight loss. If I lose a bit more and hit a healthy BMI I will consider writing to slimming world and applying for my story to appear on the website. It would be a cool thing if my story could inspire others. If I saw a girl lose more than 4 1/2 stone in less than 6 months I would be so inspired, but looking at my own achievement doesn’t inspire me in the same way even though it is the exact same thing. I think I need to pat myself on the back to be honest!!!

Day 155; A quiet day

Today has been uneventful. I haven’t even left the house; I neither needed to or wanted to! The weather today has been the most vile of the whole time I’m been home, it’s been really windy and rainy all day. I’ve been in the house on my own for most of the day because my mom works on Mondays and Milly is back at school. No more half term for her!

I got a bit of revision done today for my exam on Thursday. The final one. It’s going to be one of the more difficult exams but I have done really well on the coursework side of it so it takes the pressure off slightly. The only downside is that I am the last person in the house to finish so everyone else will be chilling out and I’ll still be in frenzy mode. Oh well, once it’s done it’s done.

I actually remembered to get some pictures of my food today. Breakfast was just cereal. For lunch I had a mushroom, green bean, pepper, sweetcorn, ham omelette with a bit of garlic and baked beans and cucumber on the side.

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Dinner was pretty huge too. I had chicken, my moms BBQ sauce, sweetcorn, red pepper, aubergine, tomatoes, roasted potatoes and some big chunks of garlic. So as you can imagine, I’m completely stuffed! This is my last dinner at home before I go back to uni tomorrow though 😦

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I have almost finished packing now. I’m just blogging as I watch Made In Chelsea – definitely my favourite reality TV. It’s weird having a TV because at uni we don’t have an aerial, hence Netflix or the xbox/playstation is constantly on. My cat Sammy is sitting next to me too, I don’t think she really missed me to be honest. I hope the weather gets better as I was planning on walking back home when I get off the train in Reading, but if it’s raining or windy I’ll either get the bus or a taxi. I have to get up early to get sorted to go, but I also have to get up and weigh in too! I may or may not hit target this week but fingers crossed!!!

Day 151; Birmingham Bound

Well this is a first – blogging on the train! I always travel first class on the trains nowadays because they are only marginally cheaper (if you book at the right time) and you get free drinks, snacks and wifi! Plus the carriage is comfier – generally far less busy too. Unless you are being particularly slow today, you will realise that I did decide to come home in the end, after all of my umm-ing and ahh-ing. I think the most difficult thing I will face over the next few days at home will be not blabbing to my nan about being home! I generally speak to her every week on my weigh in day (or at least soon after) but I didn’t ring her this week as a maintain isn’t literally anything to ring home about.

I was on the train originally when typing all of that. Since then, the internet was a bit intermittent and so I just gave up blogging and I am now home sweet home! So I suppose the title of this post isn’t exactly accurate anymore. I have been informed that Nan’s surprise party has been moved to Saturday night now so I only have to wait for 2 days to see her! Now to just unpack and settle in.

Today’s food has been more of convenience than food optimising. I needed to get all of the perishables out of the fridge before I left so I had chicken, tomatoes, pesto (3.5 syns), peas, pasta etc for lunch/dinner. Either way, the meals were nice. On the train I had a cheeky 2 pack of biscuits – 6.5 syns. That’s the most syns I’ve had on a normal day in quite a while! I didn’t get any pictures today unfortunately as I was a bit rushed and just wanted to eat it. The exam went quite well today so I have been in a much better mood about it all. Only one more left though now, so after thursday the pressure is off! We have organised a pub crawl that has rules based on call of duty – aptly named ‘Crawl of Duty’. I will probably end up drinking a rather large amount that day but I will try to limit myself to some degree. Some of the rules will prevent me from having complete control (e.g. downing drinks, no nursing a drink, certain paces for drinking, never being empty handed etc.).

Now that I am home I probably won’t be blogging as much because the main reader of this blog is my mother who will be experiencing everything I do first hand. I may just combine the 5 days I’m home into one big post on Tuesday. Oh, I just realised, I’ll have my weigh in here on Tuesday! Every scale gives my weight slightly different; the gym makes me slightly lighter, the ones at home slightly heavier. So I don’t really know what to do. I’ll just work it out on the day.

I thought I’d just post random update photos of me too. Now that I’m slimmer I can’t stop taking selfies every day!

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