Some of my friends have noticed that I’ve lost a lot of weight recently, so I thought I’d tell the story behind it.
Back in February I was working on my allotment. The allotments are about a mile outside Dunbar, and overlooked only by an agricultural machinery yard, so it’s remote and isolated. On this particular day there was no-one else at the allotments. I was planting my onion sets, bending over with the dibber to make the holes, and dropping the small bulbs into them.
I became aware that my vision was blurring, and that I was becoming dizzy and disoriented. I managed to stagger over to my shed, and leaned against it until things went back to normal. Rather stupidly, I then went back to what I’d been doing, and the same thing happened.
So I thought I’d better see my GP the following week. He examined me, and said that it was probably the result of being overweight, and with the excess being primarily round my waist. When I bent over I was compressing the major blood vessels in my abdomen, and preventing the blood from reaching my brain. He advised me to lose weight.
So that’s been my motivation. I started immediately, cutting my portions in half, and avoiding carbohydrates. A slice of bread or a couple of potatoes became very desirable but occasional luxuries. Lunch was most often miso soup, often with some vegetables. I get my bean paste in a Chinese deli in Edinburgh, and make the soup myself. I increased my intake of fruit and veg, and reduced my caffeine intake. I have two cups of coffee a day now, which is way fewer than I used to drink. At the same time I increased my exercise regime. I’ve been going to the gym regularly for many years, but now I concentrated on aerobic exercise – treadmill, cross-trainer, bike and rowing machines. I started running on the treadmill, gradually building up speed and duration. I’m now very comfortable with the regime of diet and exercise.
Gradually, and without putting pressure on myself, I’ve gone from 14 stone to just under 12, and the effects have been dramatic. I’ve kept it steady, losing about 2 lbs per week, but I didn’t beat myself up if I didn’t achieve that. I’ve ‘plateau-ed’ a few times, and now I’m hovering around a total 2 stone weight loss.
I feel better than I have in years; I don’t get breathless digging – I can dig for hours – or bending down to tie my shoelaces. I’ve got so much more energy. On the BMI scale I’ve gone from obese through overweight to ‘normal weight’. I can get into clothes I haven’t worn for years. The only downside is that the Sheila Flett silver ring Jane gave me when we visited Orkney no longer fits my finger – I can’t wear it.
Will I lose more weight? Well, maybe a little. I don’t have a target weight, but a target shape. There’s still a bulge round the waist, albeit it’s a much smaller one.