Another step on the way

And finally I reached another goal on the journey. It took a while, guess my body is reaching its limits. But I finally made it to the -35 kilos (-77lbs). I think this will be one of my final goals to reach, as it’s starting to get really difficult to continue. Not that I’m not willing to, but I guess my body has reached the point where it’s deciding it’s been enough. I think my body has found a new balance and without adjusting my eating patterns or my moving patterns, there won’t be a  lot of change anymore. But that doesn’t mean I’m giving up or giving in. I will continue to make the efforts, and continue to try and lose a little more weight every day. There is one more goal I’m persuaded to reach, even if it takes me a lot of extra efforts. No, still not willing to starve myself or go to the gym every day, but I did start the swimming again. from now on, I will try to make it to the swimming pool at least once a week. Summer is just around the corner (although for the moment I’m doubting if spring is already arrived over here) so in with the salads and fresh fruits, out with the comfy winter foods. Strawberry season is about to start over here, so I am looking forward of passing by local farmer to get myself tons of strawberries. Let the strawberrydiet begin!

Those two things should make my next goal accessible. Another 4 kilo’s (9lbs) to go. I never did set myself a date on which I had to reach my goal, although I always did put a date in my head for which I wanted to reach it. Last year I said to myself it would be nice to have lost 20 kilo for the start of the new schoolyear, and I did. So now I’m telling myself that reaching my new goal for the start of the summer, would be ideal. Will I make it? Who knows??? I will definitely try to reach it. And if I don’t, well, we just set ourself a new date, won’t we?

 

Big aims, little aims,… as long as they’re reachable

When you start a diet, you set yourself a goal. Some people pick a big goal, and are disappointed to never reach this goal. Some people set themselves a big goal and do reach it. And then there’s me. When I started this ‘change’ – I don’t like calling it a diet – I did set myself a goal. But a tiny goal. I said to myself, if I could lose 5 kilo – 10 pounds, I would be thankful. When I lost 10 pounds, I said to myself: ‘Well, you came this far, why not try to lose 20 pounds?’. And so I did. And little by little, my small goals started to became huge accomplishments. Over a year ago, I would never have dare to dream losing 35 kg – 77 pounds, but look, only half a kilo to go, one small pound and I’m there. Whaaaaaaat????????? If someone would have told me in january 2017 that by now I would have reached this, I would have laughed at him and called him an idiot.

Daphné - 20180407 - 003

Do I still have goals to reach? Of course I do. First goal on my list (and I can almost touch it, almost there) is to lose 35 kg, after that one I want to lose another 3kg – 7 pounds to pass a certain number on the scale (and to drink that bottle of champagne my friend Sandra promised me longtime ago and which I never thought she would ever have to buy for me, I wonder if she thought she would ever have to buy it for me?). Once I reached that goal, I still have one small goal to reach. I want to lose another 8 kg in total – 18 pounds to reach a BMI of 29.9. I know that a really healthy BMI is pointed between 20 an 25, but I also realise that reaching a BMI of 24,9 is off target for me. (Although, never say never, but I’m not willing to starve myself for it!).

What if I never reach my next goals? Well, fine then. I want to reach them, I will try my best to reach them, but I feel that it’s getting harder and harder to reach them, and I think my body is feeling fine the way it feels right now. So my main target for the moment: just stay the way I am. Do I lose some weight? hooray! Does it stay like it is right now, fine by me. The only thing I want to avoid absolutely is to go back to the weight I had before.

30221658_10214966644773309_8409267896500355072_n

I feel great, I feel confident and I feel loved by so many people. People who loved me before and who still love me now, and that’s the thing that keeps me going. Those people don’t care whether I’m fat or thin, whether I binge-eat or diet, …. Last weekend I was away with some friends, and my best friend gave me a hug and said: whaw, I can actually put my arms around the whole of you! She’s a crazy girl, but I guess that’s why we are besties.

A little help …

I already stated that I’m doing this on my own. On my own means I don’t pay anyone to support me in my struggle. I don’t go to a dietitian, I don’t go to Weightwatchers, nor do I have a weekly appointment at the gym. So when I say I do it without the help of others, I mean without the help of professionals.

I have one person who helps me enormous. My best friend Veerle, she’s my rock. Since I started this journey she has stood beside me every step of the way. She cheers for me when I’m doing great and she supports me when I’m stuck. She encourages me to keep on going, even when it’s not going well. As we share the same struggle, she knows how I feel and we can tell each other about our feelings.

Another person who supports me is my boyfriend. Although he claims on regular base that I don’t have to lose weight for him, and that he loves me just the way I am, he will support me. He plans healthy meals and help me make healthy choices. At night, if he feels like snacking, he always asks me if I’m bothered by it, or puts the snacks far from me. I always said I’m doing this for my own and by my own, but being in love with someone who supports me like he does, really is a benefit. I think it is indispensable to have someone who supports you without putting pressure on you. Knowing that your beloved ones will love you the same way whether you succeed or fail in your struggle, that’s a treasure.

30221801_10214953874774067_6808792674888318976_n

Beside the help of these two magnificent people, I also have some ‘little helpers’. I have two applications on my smartphone that help me in my struggle. The first one I use is ‘Walklogger’. It counts my steps I do on a daily base. Before I started last year, I had a daily rate of 5000-6000 steps. One of the first changes I made in my struggle was to adjust that daily rate. I stated for myself I had to do 10.000 steps each day. SO I park my car a bit further from school, I do little detours through the village when I go to the bakery, …

29790692_10214953646688365_596900720708419584_n

The second little helper I have on my smartphone is ‘Mijn eetdagboek’. It’s a Dutch app in which you can put everything you eat. A bit like counting points at Weight Watchers. I don’t use it every day to keep track of what I eat, only when I notice I’m having a difficult period, I use it to motivate myself. The application has several funtions. The function I already stated, where you can put the thing you eat and drink daily to count calories, but also a function to keep track of your weight and a function to keep track of your movement. The function of the weight-tracking is the main reason why I use the app. Each day I weigh myself and I note the result in the app. So I have a list of my weight results from the past months. That for me is a real motivation. Seeing that number go down week after week really stimulates me. Next to my weight it puts my BMI (body mass index). My BMI at January 2017 was 42,8. My BMI now is 32,3. One of my goals is to get a BMI of 29,9.

30127726_10214953645848344_2294040490623893504_n

Turning 35!

Last week I turned 35! Yikes! It should be an understatement that I don’t feel like 35 at all! I feel a lot younger and I feel good. I really do feel good. And that’s to do with all the changes I went through this last year. Starting my battle against the weight problem wasn’t always easy, but when I look at the way I have become to this point where I am today, I feel proud! Proud, and confident to go on further.

Last week we went shopping for my birthday. Springtime asks for spring cleaning, and I cleaned out my wardrobe. It took several trips to the cloth dump a bit further down the road, which also was good for my daily steps ;). Losing this much weight has changed my body and so almost all my clothes from last year became to big.  It started with the jeans that I started losing after a couple of months. So in with the new jeans. The tops and tunics I loved to wear before followed a bit later. Last week when we were looking at clothes, I started realising that my taste in clothes has changed to. Before, when I was bigger, I always went for the long tunics, mostly in darker colours. I always wanted my clothes to cover my butt and my hips. Now I find myself reaching for shorter tops and sweaters. I have very few tunics left in my closet now. I even bought a skinny jeans last week, me, a skinny jeans. I always said I did not at all had the body to wear skinny jeans. But the most ‘shocking’ change of all, I’m actually becoming a dress-girl. Before I had one or two dresses. I wore them to the occasional wedding I was invited, or to our anual new year family gathering. But never ever was I thinking about wearing a dress on a ordinary school day. And even when I wore a dress, I would always pair it with a little bolero on it, just to hide myself. But now I have several dresses hanging in my closet. They’re not only hanging in my closet, I do wear them very often and I love wearing them. I don’t feel like hiding anymore, and I do feel great when I wear them. Yes, I still do rely on my shapewear, because I have a stuborn tummy who doesn’t want to disappear unfortunately. Next step on my way, showing my legs and my knees. I really don’t like my legs or my knees, and as we were winter time, it was easy to put on stockings and leggings to hide them. With the summer coming up, I’l have to find peace with my two milk bottles (as I call my legs).

29683420_10214932065628852_6445230744665286072_n

Going shopping for clothes really is an eye-opener. When I go through the clothes, I find myself still taking the wrong sizes with me to try on. I tend to take a bigger size than the one I actually need. So for the moment, I find myself carrying three sizes from each item I want to try on to the fitting rooms. Good for the arm muscles. And I still have to check if it’s really my jeans I’m holding when I’m ranging my clothes after laundry. I just can’t get it in my head that my jeans have become so small. Well, not actually small, but smaller compared to before. I even gain place on my laundry line outside when I put the laundry up. Before I had to puzzle to get everything on the line, now I even had spare room. Crazy, the advantages we get every day.

Today, I came across an old jacket I bought 17 years ago when we were on a school trip in Firenze. I always kept it as a memory, but for 15 years, I wasn’t able to fit in it. Today I tried it on, and it almost fitted. Still a little on the narrow side, so not to wear as a daily jacket right now, but I think I found my next goal in the battle. The battle of the leather jacket 😉 . Victory will be mine, eventually.

29597540_10214931903224792_1566852052151260029_n

 

Pros and cons

When you decide to lose weight, there are some pros and cons. Ok, let’s be fair, there are way more pros than there are cons. In fact, there are no real cons. There are some ‘less-positive’ sides to it, but no real cons. Nothing that can or should stop you to decide to go ahead and take the challenge.

The biggest pro of all is of course your health. When I started this, I carried a lot more weight with me than I do right now. I was lucky to not really suffer from my weight. I had no real pain because of it. I had some physical discomforts, of course. When I had to take the stairs, I was out of breath at the top of it. When I had to go for a walk, I was exhausted. But although I did not suffer from my weight, I do feel the difference right now, with losing it. I feel how my body is more at ease, how I’m capable of doing more activities with ease. No, I’m not an athlete, not at all. I should really decided on starting to exercise more. Who know, maybe tomorrow? Or next week…

Another pro is the compliments you get from the people around you. It starts with the people close to you. A quote I see passing on Pinterest a lot and which I adore: ‘It takes 4 weeks for you to notice a change, 8 weeks for your friends and family, it takes 12 weeks for the rest of the world.’ And I can confirm it. After a couple of weeks I started to notice changes myself. Clothes that got wider around the waist, and of course the number on the scale that changed. After a couple of weeks those close to me who knew I was working on it started seeing changes. And after a couple of months, I started to get compliments from colleges, and acquaintances. Of course, you will always have that one college who, after one year, all of a sudden asks: ‘you’re on a diet? Really?’

Third one on the list, and this one for me is a real motivation. You have to change your wardrobe. The first few weeks, even months, you can just go on wearing your clothes as you did before, but all of a sudden, you realise that those jeans really are getting to big and you risk losing them. And that top you always loved to wear is actually becoming way to baggy. The first time after you have made the switch that you go shopping and that you can take a jeans in a smaller size and that – woohoo – it fits… Blimy, I can guarantee you, it is worth all the efforts. But on the ‘negative’ side (because I mentioned pros and cons), it’s not cheap, losing a lot of weight. You come to a point where you almost have to change your entire wardrobe. Which leads to hilarious moments when after a year all of a sudden you clear out your closet and you find your old baggy sweater.

One of my personal favourites on the pro side? Oh, that moment when I get onto an airplane and I don’t have to worry anymore whether I’ll fit in the seatbelt or not. To just sit down, click the belt and even have to adapt the strap,…. It felt as if I had won a marathon.

28056253_10214593279599413_8517478951043726329_n

On to the cons. Hmmmm, for me, actually I can’t really come up with some cons, but there are some sides about it that are not always easy.

You have to accept that others do not support you. Some people will find it amusing to tease you, will make it their personal agenda to see you ‘fail’. Just ignore those people.

Some people will be jealous. Ignore them too.

It will cost you money. Even if you decide to do it my way, without any personal coach, no program, no products, no gym appointments,… It will still cost you money. As I already mentioned, I eat a lot of fresh fruit and fresh vegetables. Those are not cheap. I try as much as I can to take the seasonal foods, but even then. Unhealthy food just is cheaper than healthy food. The changing of the wardrobe, not cheap either. I was lucky I have my best friend who is losing weight to, and who was a size under me. So when I started dropping sizes, she lended me a whole pile of jeans. Later on, I got two other pair of jeans from another friend, who lost weight to. So I got to save a little on the clothes. I also sold some of my biggest clothes on a charity event. But still, it cost a lot of money.

It’s not always easy. You have moments in life when you feel like crap and all you want to do is go to the pantry and eat your heart out. I never was a really emotional eater, so for me it’s not that big of a trap, but sometimes when you’re having a rough period in life, it’s not that easy to keep your focus on losing weight. Just allow yourself to have those moments. When I have one of those moments, I try to maintain the weight I have at that moment. Maybe I don’t lose any weight, but I also try not to gain any. And even when you’re mentally fine, it can happen that you reach a platform. Sometimes you reach a weight and that’s just it. However you try, you just seem to be stuck on that weight. That’s fine. It’s hard, and it’s frustrating, but after a while you will pass it and continue. I already ‘survived’ four of those moments, and my BFF will confirm it to you all, I can be a pain in the ass during those moments. :p

It takes time. Of course, we all want to see quick results, and therefor we are tempted by those methods who promise us quick results. Eat this, drink that,… Just be patient and the results will come. I’m pretty sure with my method I did not get the results as fast as some other methods would have, but I’m also pretty sure that the results will last longer. But when I look back to the journey I have made, and the results that I have reached, I can only say one thing, it was totally worth it.

What you eat is what you get

So how did I lose all that weight? I already mentioned in my first post, I started with some small changes is my daily routine. The longer I was enrolling in this new routine, the bigger and the manier the changes became. You should know, before I started this new lifestyle, I was a more or less normal eater. The cliché about overweighted people is that they eat the whole day, they only eat fastfood, they binge-eat,… I did none of those. But I was not eating that healthy either. My preferred foods were potatoes, bread, sweets,… Luckily I don’t like chocolate, or it would have been a total disaster. So last year, when I decided to make changes, I started with small ones.

My first change was to adapt the size of my meals. I had no intention of starving myself, so I did not all of a sudden ban everything ‘evil’ from my plate. I just made a promise to myself to eat a little less. To only eat as I was feeling hungry. Only eat what I really needed. So when I felt I was satisfied after one platter, I did not take a second, even though I liked what was on it. I tried to make my portions of potatoes, pasta and bread smaller. The first days were difficult, but after a couple of days, I realised I was not really hungry. I had enough with what I took.

Next step in the line was to turn up the veggies and the fruits. Before the change, I already ate my fair share of fruits and vegetables, but now I made them the key portion of my meal. So instead of eating dinner with mainly potatoes and a bit of green beans, for instance, I started eating dinner with mainly green beans and a bit of potatoes next to it. I tried to take vegetables or fruit in every single meal I ate.  Little by little, I even went to a system in which I start my day with a bowl of fresh fruit. Now most of my mornings I only eat a bowl of fruit. Sometimes, when I know I’m having a long morning with no snack break, I pair it with some Greek yoghurt and granola, or a slice of bread. I won’t pretend to by holier than the angels, I do still eat bread on a regular base. Just no more the amounts I did before.

My colleges can testify for me, I rarely wander around without raw carrots in my bag. It helps that I do adore raw carrots, and I always have them with me, in a little bag, ready to eat when I feel like nibbling something. Yes, it does look funny, and I gave them already their time to laugh, but I know it works for me. Raw carrots or even better, raw cauliflower and I can conquer the world. (or at least the day in school 😀 )

Another change I made was to ban, as much as I could, all fats. So no sauce with my meat, no mayonaise, no dressing sauce, … In the start, it was not that easy. But, like with everything new, you get used to it. Now, whenever I go on restaurant and I order a salad, I always specifically ask to have it served without any sauce on it. Some restaurants do, others don’t. When I prepare a salad for my own, I don’t use sauces anymore. I take my green salad, my protein (like salmon, or shrimp, or chicken,…), my other vegetables, some nuts and I add some tomato in it, for the moisture.

It’s been 14 months now since I made my first changes. 432 days to be exact. Have I been strict for 432 days? Nooooooo, of course not. And that’s fine. When I was in Canada this summer, I enjoyed their national dish Poutine. Worst thing I can eat following my ‘diet’ but so yummy. And instead of when I was just starting this changing, I did not feel guilty about it. (the photo was posed :p )

20638640_761854047319817_4814609509576636879_n

When I go to a party, I eat appetizers. When one of my kids in class has his birthday cake in class, I eat a tiny bit of cake. And that’s fine. Because I know that one ‘bad’ moment does not spoil it all. You just have to pick up the good spirit and continue as you are. Currently I’m on medical leave. Glandular fever had me down and I have to spend 7 weeks at home (what is killing me). I must admit that I tend to ‘sin’ a little now that I’m at home. I spoil myself with food I would not eat if I wasn’t at home. So this week I decided to get back on track, with fresh vegetables, fresh fruit.

One day, one decision, one body

Dit is de samenvatting van het bericht.

pasfoto

Hello everyone. This is me. My name is Daphné, I’m turning 35 soon (way to soon), I’m a teacher,… And I’m a big girl!

As most people who are overweight, there was always a vague hope deep in me, that one day I would find the courage and the strenght and who knows, maybe the magic trick to lose weight. But although the hope was there for years, I never found the courage to get started. Of course there were moments where I said to myself that I had to change, and then I tried a little, but I never continued. And slowly, year after year, bite after bite, my weight got up.

I never was a skinny girl. Even as a kid I was never skinny (maybe the first months after my birth, but that’s it). Neither was I really chubby. I was just a big girl. During school years I constantly putted on more weight. But things really got out of hand when I went for my studies as a teacher. The temptations of the life of a student didn’t help at all.

I must say, I wasn’t the most healthiest eater. I always liked vegetables, but I also loved french fries, bread, sweets, cookies,… All those yummie things. Except chocolate! Maybe it’s a blessing I don’t like chocolate, that is at least one addiction I didn’t have to conquer in my battle.

So years went on and on, and the number on the scale got higher and higher, and although I was embarrassed by it, still I couldn’t get myself motivated enough to do something about it. I always made myself the promise that I wouldn’t pass a certain number on the scale, but a bit later I passed it anyway.

And then one day, january 18th, 2017 I stepped on the scale, saw the number was getting higher once more and it just snapped in my head. I had had it with my weight. I decided right there and right then that that was it. If I wanted to change anything, I had to stop making excuses and start acting. I made a promise to myself to try and change my lifestyle. No rigorous diet, no weight watchers, no dietitian, certainly no operations,… It was clear to me, if I wanted this to succeed, I had to do it on my own terms, without any help from others. I know it helps a lot of people when they have help from outsiders, but I know myself, if I wanted to do this, it had to come from my inside, my own motivation.

So I started on a small scale. I began with little adjustments in my eating habits. Avoiding sweets, getting smaller portions, balancing my meals. And soon I started to notice difference. The number on the scale went the other way. I admit, that was the biggest motivation in the beginning. And then there were the other differences. I started to feel better in general. I was less tired. My clothes began to loosen up. And after a couple of weeks friends started to notice. A girl will always be a girl, and nothing is more motivating than getting compliments on how good you look.

And what I never dreamed possible, happened. I continued my efforts, I even turned it up. The further I got, the healthier I started eating, and before I knew it, I lost over 5 kg, 10 pounds. And I kept on going. The longer I did, the easier it became. A quote on pinterest that always kept clinging in my head: It takes 21 days to make it a habit. It takes 90 days to create a lifestyle. There’s so much truth in that quote. For me, after 90 days it really was a different lifestyle. I ate healthier, I tried to move more and my body changed. I lost weight, I lost body mass, I gained overall fitness.

It’s over a year now that I’m working on myself. Working on myself, by myself, for myself. So far I lost 33 kg (73 pounds). Do I have a final number in my head? No, not at all. I’m already so proud on myself for coming this far. Every step I can go further, is a gain.

This blog is to share my story and who knows, maybe it can give some inspiration and courage to other big girls. I will never be a skinny girl, nor will I ever strive to become a skinny girl. So welcome to everyone. I’m looking forward to your stories, your questions, your comments.