It’s been over 2 months since I reached my target weight so I thought I would do an update. On the 1st April 2021 I smashed my 10 Stone target weight and reached 9 Stone 13.2lbs. I stopped my weekly weigh-ins and started eating a few more calories each day to maintain. Today is 4th June 2021 and I thought I should weigh myself to keep a check on my maintenance plan. I was surprised to weigh 9 Stone 6.4lbs. Especially after our recent day trip where I ate so much delicious food including pizza. My plan after I reached my 10 Stone target was to try and reach 9 Stone 8lbs because that would mean I have re-lost the full 7 Stone from my heaviest weight of 16 Stone 8lbs. I am so glad that I have reached my second target weight and managed to lose those extra few pounds. I’m not sure how I did it really as I have definitely been consuming more calories on a daily basis and I have enjoyed a few Portuguese delicious treats too. I think my saviour is exercise. As well as keeping up my 5 jogs per week I have been really busy on roofs and gardening. The gardening I participate in is not your normal pottering around the garden but physical exertion e.g. lifting and carrying rocks, stones, huge bags of sand, cement, compost and manure.

As I said in my previous post it’s not all about numbers on a scale but more about health and preventing illness and disease. I am a lot bigger now than I was when I reached my goal weight a few years ago. My arms and legs are much larger but stronger and have a higher muscle tone. I think it’s from all the hill running and hiking. I now have the hard task of maintaining my weight. I don’t want my weight to creep up again as it was such hard work to lose it. I’m still trying to learn to love my body and embrace my imperfections and I’m not doing too well on my Self-Love challenge as I find it difficult to celebrate and love myself, I just see my flaws. There is so much hype about body positivity online at the moment and I really need to learn to see the positive aspects of my body no matter what size or shape. I think I have always had a negative attitude to my body image and poor self acceptance and low self esteem. It really does stem back to my childhood being the chubby child of the family and being called “Fatty” by my grandad. Social Media can portray a false image of what we should all look like and some celebrities drive me nuts with their airbrushing and always looking perfect. I look like a bag of shit most days in my gardening leggings and T.Shirt with messy hair and no make-up. One day I will buy a nice frock and take a day trip to a city and actually try and look nice on one of my photos for my blog post. Then again probably not (ha ha). It’s pointless wearing make-up in the Portuguese heat and a face mask. Also my foundation is about 5 shades too light for my skin as I seem to have a permanent face and arm tan from gardening and jogging. I’m gonna look like an idiot when I eventually expose my lily white legs at a beach (ha ha).

My long term goal is to maintain a healthy weight range of between 9 Stone 7lbs-10 Stone for life. Whether I will achieve this is debatable but I am going to try my best to eat a healthy diet, exercise and enjoy the fantastic Portuguese food and drink. I need to celebrate my weight loss success and acknowledge my achievement. It’s not blowing my own trumpet or showing off, it’s patting myself on the back for a lot of hard work and commitment. 7 Stone weight loss is a huge amount of weight and I need to be proud. I am slightly worried about my daughter’s upcoming visit as she is due to come for between 8-10 weeks and as hubby will be working a lot, the two of us will go out for many day trips to explore beautiful Portugal. I always eat unhealthy food when I’m out on day trips. It starts with a Snickers and can of coke in the car and hubby loves his car journey sweets which I feed to him (ha ha). I also won’t be keeping up my 5 jogs per week if we are out late in the evening but hopefully we will be able to enjoy some family exercise as many of my day trips include hiking around Natural Parks or City walking tours. I haven’t seen my daughter in a really long time so I don’t actually care what I weigh at the end of August, I am sure it will be a lot more but I know I can get back on track if needed. Maybe I can make some sensible healthy choices whilst out and about. You would think that the heat would suppress my appetite, not me, I’m greedy and Summer = Ice cream, yum yum. Also a lot of salads here are drenched with olive oil and many other foods are deep fried.

I am looking forward to visiting the many river beaches this Summer and now have the daunting task of buying a new bikini. I hate shopping malls and shopping for a bikini fills me with dread and fear! There are lots of cheesy mantras to awaken your potential (ha ha). I really need to say the following mantras to myself on a regular basis:

Don’t let your mind bully your body.

I am strong, I am beautiful, I am enough.

This self love journey is gonna be a rocky ride! Wish me luck.

Latest photos I have of me from 31st May 2021:

December 2021 Update

Consistency, discipline, motivation and movement. I am super proud of myself for keeping up my exercise routine and for maintaining my goal weight since April. It means I can relax over Christmas and indulge in plenty of gorgeous Portuguese delights without the guilt. I usually put around 10lb on over Christmas which is shocking and the same weight as my first born son. He was a whopper! Remember fad diets are not sustainable and carbs are not the enemy. All food groups are important especially protein. Focus on the benefits of long term health and a little indulgence over the festive holidays won’t ruin all the hard work you have done all year. Take a moment to appreciate your progress and how far you have come. One unhealthy meal won’t make you obese the same as one exercise session won’t tone your body or give you washboard abs. For me personally it’s all about balance, inner health as well as mental health, preventing a stroke, heart attack, diabetes and living a long happy life whilst embracing and enjoying the journey. I’m hoping to get even more fitter, healthier and hotter in 2022 (for an old bird – Ha Ha). Now where did I hide the King cake and mince pies! Oh and if someone mentions your weight ………. Eat them LOL. Looking at my “FAT photo” reminds me how much I’ve achieved this year. Over 2 stone weight loss in 2021 and 7 stone 5 lb in total. Here are a couple of recent photos from the end of November hike.

January 2022 Update

First time ever in my entire life that I have only put 1 lb on over Christmas. Keeping off over 7 stone and below my target weight of 9 stone 8 lb. The blue dress I wore on New Years Eve is a dress I haven’t worn since I was on holiday in Las Vegas many years ago so it was a lovely feeling to be able to fit back into it. I couldn’t wear crushed velvet at 16 stone 8 lb, I would have looked like a gigantic pair of retro brothel curtains (ha ha). Time to start congratulating myself for all my hard work and learning some body positivity and self love, something I’m not very good at. I have an amazing hubby who has supported me throughout my weight loss journey and accompanies me on my village runs, he saves me from the stray angry chasing dogs. He also cooks a healthy dinner for me every night after working full time so I owe him a lot. My soulmate and my very own Mr Motivator (without the Lycra unitard) (ha ha). I actually managed to lose my 1.2 lb gain very easily and then experienced a flare up of my IBS so dropped below 9 Stone which is not good. I was shitting thorough the eye of a needle hence the weight loss. Good luck to everyone who is embarking on a new year challenge of getting fit and healthy for 2022. If I can do it then you certainly can, go for it!

February/March 2022 Update Body Acceptance and Jumping for Joy

I’m still managing to maintain my weight and it fluctuates between around 8 stone 12 lbs – 9 stone 5 lbs and I’m happy with this as long as I stay around 9 stone 7 lbs I think it’s a good weight for me. I’m now focussing on my fitness rather than weight. My new running motivation quote is: “Run like there is a hot man in front of you and a zombie behind you” (ha ha). My body is not perfect and I hate my excess skin which is the result of losing over 100 lb in weight. The frustrating part is no matter how hard I work out I won’t get rid of the skin. Some days I can see my abs peeking through so today I am celebrating my successes and embracing my flaws. I may have wrinkles from all my laughing (ha ha), excess skin and stretch marks but I also am strong and have muscles so let’s jump for joy. Post run and workout photos of a filter and make up free sweaty middle aged menopausal real woman (ha ha). Just when I’m working on my fitness and health hubby “The enabler” brings home Portuguese cakes from Côja. I even gave him a list: bananas, sandpaper and my prescription medicine from pharmacy. I think he is becoming “A Feeder”.

4th March 2022 Update – Miniature March Mayhem

It’s my birthday in a couple of days and one of hubby’s presents gifted to me is a fantastic long pair of exercise shorts. They are great as they don’t ride up and magically turn into thongs and they have 2 pockets. I’m not sure what for, maybe a phone, keys or in my case a couple of snickers, alcohol miniatures or distraction sausages for the stray dogs who chase me when I run (ha ha). I’ve been feeling a little deflated lately and chubby as I can’t run due to my foot injury. My weight is stable and maintaining but I still feel a lump and eating a lot of food so it’s good to know that as well as loose skin on my lower abdomen I actually have definition starting to show. Time to celebrate small fitness victories and apologies for not shaving my legs or pits (ha ha).

Celebrating Success (March 2022)

Don’t let anyone tell you your too old to be strong and fit! I might have chronic pain, under active thyroid, loose skin and be crazy menopausal but I’m fierce as a badger (ha ha). When your feeling down due to new injuries it’s good to backtrack and see how far you’ve come. It’s certainly been a whirlwind of a journey and it’s not over yet. I’ve always wanted to do a side by side photo of my journey but I’m not that IT savvy. I found an App on my phone which enables me to create this within minutes.

Don’t Run before you can Walk – Knowing your Limits (March 2022)

I have now had my ultrasound scan of my foot and it confirms a diagnosis of Tenosynovitis which involves a fluid collection involving the sheath of the extensor tendons of the left toes. The inflammation is still bad and very painful and I still can’t run which makes me very sad. I need some form of exercise for my mental health (sanity) and to maintain my current weight so I reluctantly have swapped running for walking. I am trying to accomplish 4-5 weekly long power walks of 7K distance which includes some hills. I have worked out that if I walk really fast and try to keep at a good pace I can actually burn more calories than running my regular 5K. Here are my last few walks and I have improved my overall pace and I am averaging just under 8 minute per kilometre which apparently is pretty fast for walking. I intend to continue my new routine come rain or shine and although I still feel a mini failure for not being able to run, I have to be sensible, know my physical limits and adapt accordingly otherwise I risk long term damage. Hopefully I will be able to resume running in a few months, who knows. I’m actually quite enjoying the walks whilst listening to my 80’s music soundtrack.

Power Walking and Beanie Hats

Power walking in the wind and drizzle rain = sheer commitment. I’m not gonna win any awards today for “Sexy lady of the year” in the 45-55 age category! Next time I think I will use my points for free vitamins instead of a beanie hat, not sure what I was thinking as I’m not portraying any kind of trendy vibe in this hat. I look like I’m about to break and enter (commit a burglary) but at least it kept my ears warm. They say the best things in life are free. Sometimes shit hats are also free (ha ha). Crime doesn’t pay folk but if your local to me and missing coffee, a random sausage and some pastel de nata’s, don’t panic. I may very well have shimmied a window and slithered through the gap mid route to fuel my cold and damp menopausal self. Happy Wet Hump Day! Milo approves of my hat and said a wet hump is better than a dry hump (ha ha).

April 2022 Progress

My foot is still just as bad so I am continuing with the X4 Power walks with a tiny bit of jogging down the hills mainly because the wind drags me wildly (ha ha). My speed is improving and I am maintaining my weight loss with just the walking and no running which is good. Roll on Summer for Paddle Boarding FUN.

May 2022 Progress

Another day, another NSV – Non scale victory. Smashed my goal of under 7 min/km pace. I have been really struggling lately with my chronic pain and having the energy to get out of bed, do my strength training and venture out on my power walk. The hills are brutal and the Portuguese heat and stray dogs that love to chase me all add to the challenge. Hubby keeps feeding me sweets every night and I can feel little treats creeping into my daily diet which is going to affect my maintenance weight eventually if it continues. I am still under 9 stone, I was 8 stone 10lbs this morning but that was after an IBS poop (ha ha). I want to be as healthy and fit as possible when I have my surgery in September as I will bed bound for weeks in recovery. I don’t run anymore due to my foot injury which is still problematic but I power walk 7 km X4 times per week and try to jog 5 small bits of the route that are downhill. I’ve been trying to get my average pace under 7 mins for weeks and today I smashed my goal. Not sure how as I felt slow but I did it. It just goes to show that determination and consistency pays off. Here I am all sweaty Betty but chuffed to bits. Apparently there is a proper name for a Jog/Walk “Wogging”. I don’t like that name as it sounds a little racist! So I made up my own name and I say “Jalk” which is much nicer sounding.

Discipline V Motivation

I am a true believer in Discipline will take you further than any motivation ever will, Habits are powerful. Not quite as speedy today on my power walk but it’s damn hot and those bloody hills! Now I have to make my own protein fruit smoothie as hubby isn’t here to make it for me as usual. The struggle to get off my bed in an air con room is real but I’ve got a hole to fill, not my mouth with cake, an actual hole in the balcony wall which needs filling (ha ha). Some days when chronic pain is bad, I have zero energy and I can’t be bothered, I take a deep breath and look at where I started and how far I have come. Losing weight is hard and maintaining a goal weight and staying fit and healthy is a different kind of fight. Consistency and balance is key, now who wants to make me my smoothie?

I made it to the kitchen to make myself a healthy smoothie. Here it is, just look at all my neon vests hanging on the back of my bedroom door (ha ha). They have saved my life on more than one occasion. If it’s a case of Fashion V Safety then safety wins every time. If I ever get hit by a car and fall off the mountainside i can use my neon vest as a flag to signal for HELP (ha ha).

I have a “Final Weight Loss & Fitness Update 2022” Post if your interested

Please refer to this separate post for my final update journey.

http://casavalhal.com/final-weight-loss-fitness-update-2022/