I wanted to tell you about my own personal weight loss journey and how I have finally shifted almost a stone after over a year of trying without so much as losing a pound!!
Having PCOS or indeed any kind of hormonal imbalance makes it’s extremely difficult to lose weight, plus added to that the stress of starting my own business and at the same time turning 35 meant a metabolic disaster when it came to my waistline! I piled on over a stone in weight and the worst thing was it all went around my belly and hips…
In January of last year we chose our wedding venue and it was time to start looking at wedding dresses. The thoughts of this really stressed me out… as I really wasn’t happy with my weight…
My goals were realistic – I would go to the gym 30 times over a 3 month period, 10 times each month (2-3 per week), cut down on alcohol and really focus on healthy eating. Sounds simple right?
After 6 weeks on this regime I hadn’t lost anything off the scales but I figured maybe I was losing fat and gaining muscle? I really never had this problem when I was younger. I spoke to the gym instructor and he suggested that it was possible that I was over eating calories by consuming too many ‘healthy’ fats.
I had never done a calorie restrictive diet before (I never needed to as healthy eating and exercise always worked in the past….) but I thought, what the heck it’s worth a try…
I swapped all my full fat yoghurts to low fat, I stopped adding seeds to my smoothies, I reduced butter and I limited myself to 1/4 an avocado a day instead of my usually half… I also started tracking my calories on my Fitness Pal. I was hitting about 1600 per day. That’s about a 200 calories deficit so I was sure I would loose weight!
I noticed things like I had a shorter fuse… My mood and energy really took a knock and I was feeling very low. I was also very bloated and unusually for me; I was constipated!!
As planned, I continued on the regime until the end of March; as you can see from the calendar below, where I marked each gym session in pink highlighter. Something would eventually happen I told myself – I just needed to be patient!
I felt extra stressed, my mood was very low, I was finding myself teary on a regular basis, I was having problems sleeping and I had the worst PMS ever!
It wasn’t until I went to bed one evening with fleece pajamas, a hot water bottle and an extra quilt (and I was still shivering!) That I figured out it must be my thyroid!
I booked into the doctor and she did a blood test that confirmed my thyroid was ever so slightly out – but man could I notice the difference!!
She recommended a low dose of eltroxin, which is the medication used to support the thyroid. I knew exactly how I had gotten myself into this mess; cutting calories combined with intensive exercise in the gym had really stressed my body out… and it was effecting all of my hormones!!
So I told her I wanted to give it a couple months to see if it would return to normal before starting medication (and it did.) So I stopped the gym, I started eating normally again but it still took a full month for my symptoms to go away. My tummy was so bloated which many people don’t associate with low thyroid but it’s a very common symptom. The thyroid is the master gland of the metabolism and the gut cells are extremely metabolically active so if they slow down you can start to experience sluggish digestion, poor motility (constipation) and bloating.
So that’s my story… After 3 months of exercise and calorie restriction; I didn’t loose a pound – not only that I was more bloated and uncomfortable than ever. I couldn’t fit into any of my clothes, I couldn’t sleep and I was totally miserable!!
I knew it was time to try something very different… I knew that a low fat diet had not worked so I wanted to see what would happen to my body if I tried a high fat diet and reduced my carbs instead. The results were literally astounding. In just 12 short days I lost 3.5kg (over half a stone) and 2.5% body weight. I have never lost weight so fast in my life!! The only exercise I did was walking and without weighing myself I could actually see a difference in my body each day when I looked in the mirror!! In less than 2 weeks trousers that were digging into my sides after Christmas were actually loose on me….
I used a higher fat and lower carb / ketogenic style diet to kickstart my metabolism (which slows down as we age!) and it really worked!!!Below is a recording I made on my phone on day 10 when I first started the diet!
I am still loving the low carb lifestyle and have lost 12lbs in total. I haven’t been 100% strict either; taking a weekend off for my birthday and also St Patricks Day but it hasn’t affected my weight! Why am I telling you all of this… well maybe you can relate to some of my story. Maybe you have been struggling to loose weight but you’ve just been taking the wrong approach!
I really think this whole calorie in and out for weight loss does not work for everyone and it can make some people feel pretty awful!!
I wondered would this same approach work with my clients or was it just me..? I was determined to find out! I had a few early volunteers and the results were amazing!