My weight loss journey(s), part IV

As promised. The series of My weight loss journey continues. I received a few questions on what do I eat now then? Well right now I am eating chips and chocolate, but that is definitely not an every day thing.

Started thinking what do I actually eat and realized that I have made significant changes to my diet that is true.

Portion size

Like I already mentioned in My weight loss journey(s), part II portion size has changed significantly. I did not think how much I ate. I most likely ate too much all the time thinking back. Now I am consciously thinking how much I eat throughout the day as I have learned better to count calories in my head.

I started taking clearly smaller amounts on my plate and yet I have not been ever ”hungry”. I think there is a bit of that buffet phenomenon that when you can take as much as you want you tend to take ”For the money’s worth”. I completely changed that way of thinking into eating as much as you need, not as much as you can.

Extra liquid calories

So juices, smoothies, alcohol, soft drinks I changed to water and coffee. I cannot give up coffee you, must have some vices. I consciously again made the choice thinking that they are just unnecessary calories and not worth putting in my mouth.

And yes I put milk in my coffee! like I said, you must have some vices… (trust me that is not the only vice I have!!)

One meal a day should be salad

I made a clear choice to have either lunch or dinner as salad or more ”light meal”. Nowadays I tend to eat only one warm meal a day if I have a day off exercise for example as I simply am no longer that hungry. The good part about losing weight is that your body uses less energy and needs less food to maintain the status quo so it becomes cheaper too!

So yes thinking back I eat a lot less now and no I am not hungry. It’s just that my body needs less to be where it is now.

More protein

I do prefer salad nowadays for meals, but to fill out the void of protein I ate A LOT of eggs when I was loosing weight. Salad and two scrambled eggs was my dinner quite often (eggs scrambled as they are). Then the other option was omelette with salad and A LOT of quark. Maybe so much of those both that nowadays I eat hardly any eggs but I do eat quark.

Keep it simple

Why over complicate things? It was easier to eat plain, unprocessed food as it was easier to log into the app. It kind of stuck. It tasted better and I did not feel so bloated eating less processed food so try to keep to that even when eating out.

Bulk up days…

Yes! I had them at least twice a month. I ate what I wanted candies, chocolate and all. I have noticed that when you exercise a lot your body has hard time keeping up with the calories lost in exercise by food (healthy!!!) so eating a bit more than the restricted calories was not a bad thing on the contrary it boosted my weight loss. Then again this might be just how my body works and more related to the amount of exercise and diet being not in balance.

Anyway I still have ”eat yummy stuff” days, but if I am not exercising it does backfire I have noticed. Like Christmas time. It takes a week or so of very strict regime and diet again to be back to ”normal”, which is nowadays 68 kilos.

Feeling of hunger passes

I noticed that when I started eating better carbs and more protein the feeling of hunger always passes or is not that bad. You know how after having a lot of ”bad carbs” you could just eat a moose as you are almost trembling because you are so hungry.

For me that was truly a revelation that hey it passes… The feeling of ”I could eat anything” does not appear at all and too quick drops of sugar levels stay at bay. That kind of balance suits me so much better, so again I would rather avoid bad carbs because I don’t like the trembling hungry feeling of sugar levels dropping.


I used to eat just for fun. Now I am eating because it is something I need to do to fuel my body. I used to indulge on different tastes. Now after eating more unprocessed food I can taste better what I am eating and I am not drowning the original taste of the food anymore. This makes everything taste so much better when you can taste all the smallest flavors.

So I think in all my perception towards food and eating has changed. I eat because I must give my body something keep me going, not because it tastes good. I must have energy to do the things I want like trail running in the forest or singing from the bottom of my heart, but I do not need food for the taste of it. I’ts an compulsory thing we need to do, taste has lost a bit of it’s meaning. I also try to choose as wisely as I can what I put into my mouth depending on the situation and the place (not always easy I know!).

This is my body and hopefully I can still ”live with it” for another 30+ years so why on earth would I treat it bad?

It’s a balance all the time the older you get though I know 🙂 That I have noticed that the older you get the more important it is to pay attention to what you put in your mouth.

More about me getting older and the joys of it in my Getting old(er) series.

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My weight loss journey(s), part III

If you read My weight loss journey part I and part II you know the history and how I got to where I am now with my body.

Anyway for me I think the reasons for success were the reasons mentioned in the previous part I and II posts (that I have recognized myself). Another thing that helped was seeing that there indeed was progress all the time. I weighed myself on a regular basis in the morning on an empty stomach (after toilet) and measured with tape measure approximately biweekly and later on a monthly basis and yes I put it all to excel!

I like things to be tangible and measurable. Seeing the curve go down helped to make it more real since when you body changes it takes time for your mind to follow. You still see yourself as the ”old me” until your clothes start falling off and you realize there is a ”new me” peaking from the mirror. You don’t really believe the change until you see photos of yourself and put on some new nice clothes that fit better and the change slowly starts to kick in.

Graph of the excel 😀

In the graph above just for curiosity where I got to in 2016, and how it crept up again in a few years until I began my recent and hopefully last weight loss journey. In 2019 I have mainly concentrated on toning so no major changes in measures apart from weight and actually thighs which are not on this graph.

Measuring and other statistics

Window selfie at the Gym a few months back

Altogether according to scale and tape measure I have lost:

  • 14-15 kilos, 10.7 % fat (depending on where you count the start and end from)
  • Hip 11 cm
  • Waist 12 cm
  • Chest 10 cm
  • Bicep 2 cm
  • Thighs up 8 cm
  • Thighs low 4 cm

And my size in clothes has changed from pants 44/42 to 40/38 Shirts from 40/38 to 38/36. Generally from mostly XL sometimes L to mostly M sometimes L.

I am surprised on both how ”easy” it was after I found my balance and then again how much work it has required to tone up after four kids. I have worked hard, don’t get me wrong, very hard and if you follow my blog or my Instagram feeds you would know how hard. Having always exercised at least a bit has probably also helped not to mention being determined and believing that I can do this.

I started this process already before I even knew about Kilimanjaro, but it surely has helped me knowing I have 15 kilos less to carry on top of that mountain!

Physical changes

What about other things how I noticed that there has been a change ? Few examples:

  • Average running speed has increased. Best 9,4 km/h!
  • Length of runs has increased. Best 17 k’s
  • Amount of kilometers accumulated per week has increased. I can do around 35-40 kilometers per week as opposed to 20-25 before
  • I am actually able to do chin-ups, well only a few but was not able to do any before!
  • I have no problem to do squats what so ever. Uphill training has paid off!
  • Walking up and down hills is no problem nowadays. Note I used to hate and avoid hills, now I specifically look for them!
  • I can easily climb the stairs in the subway without catching breath. This is something you notice in every day life.
  • I can jump over a fence just like that 😀 Hmm this I came across one day when I had to jump and was surprised how easy that was. I felt like a gazelle!

I feel so much stronger than before, somehow more alert and confident. I don’t get tired that quickly and can get up in the morning much easier which is probably due to rising iron levels. I am so happy we noticed the low hemoglobin on time and got it fixed!

Most of all I am grateful of the support that I have received (especially from my husband) and so proud of myself for being a bit stubborn and pushing through away from my comfort zone to get the results I wanted.

Happy new me, Happy New Year! <3

Read recap of my journey in My weight loss journey(s), part IV or if you wish to see how it all started check part I and part II.

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My weight loss journey(s), part II

I’m lucky. I have never had any serious injuries that could not have been fixed or would not have healed. Physically I have been able to train and give a try to any sports I have wanted and after each pregnancy I have been able to start training as soon as I have felt like it. Not that I have wanted to start very early as with little ones it’s hectic enough as it is.

Anyway after giving birth I have started walking slowly around two months and by six months a bit more exercise. I did run quite a lot when I was younger and have continued to run all my life more or less. I have also gone to the gym ever since they became more popular but neither running or going to the gym was very goal-oriented, but more having fun and getting out of the house. Main thing being I have always been active so lack of exercise has not been the reason for my weight gain I understand that now.

Getting to know my body

I have started this ”self study” back in Australia getting to know different body types as I was always wondering why it’s so hard to loose fat around the waist and bum and why I seem to gain no muscles no matter what I do. I learned that women have different fat tissues stored in different places than men and there is really nothing you can do about it as it is the evolution way of ensuring there is food around ”in case you get pregnant”. Trust me I have tried many time to tell my body there is no need to store it anymore but evolution seems to disagree and it’s been the hardest and last spot to get rid of stored fat for me!

I also learned that some people have naturally more either slow or fast twitching muscles determining what sports you are more inclined to be good at. So no wonder I can keep going for hours and feel nothing and yet anything where you require sudden strength I am completely useless. My body clearly is an endurance body with more slow twitching muscles and again there is nothing I can do about it.

On a cruise from Sweden to Finland 2018 photo credit to hubby

So these body type revelations have enabled me to accept my body the way it is and work with it and not against it. I also have read about my blood type and other similar kind of books about ”body types”, but I will not go into more details about them as for me the two above mentioned were the most meaningful ones. I will though mention that after reading about what kind of foods are recommended to my blood type and after I have started to ”examine” my body more by eating (or not eating) the ”recommended” (or not recommended) foods I must say I do agree with most of them and found that information very useful also. Worth checking if it interest you.

BUT like with everything I consider all these as a sort of ”framework” you can work around with. Knowledge gave me more options and helped me to understand how my body may react to different things easier. This all helped me in finding my balance.

Finding the balance

Anyway back to the actual story about my weight loss journey…

So having read a fair bit and having tried this and that I felt I was all the time getting closer to finding the ”key to my body”. I after all always did loose weight a bit once I set my mind on it, but the critical thing I think I was missing was as simple as the BALANCE of it all.

I trained too hard and ate too little or ate too much and did not train enough. So I ate the wrong amount and wrong macro nutrients in wrong balance.

After summer 2017 I got totally fed up of myself and I felt like I was not getting anywhere although I ran quite a lot and trained all the time so it did not quite make sense to me. Then I decided to put a stop to it and started marking every single thing I put in mouth into one of these food diary, health apps (there are so many around nowadays) just to see where I go wrong.

I set my target weight loss on the app to reasonable 500 g per week thinking the slower I go, the easier it is to maintain. After a few days, weeks and months my revelations were:

  1. My portions were way too big
  2. The calorie intake for loosing weight was much lower than I thought
  3. The ”hidden” and ”unnecessary” calories
  4. The balance of macro-nutrients was completely off
  5. I had not compensated for exercise days enough
  6. You can fit so much energy in just 1400 calories a day!

So let’s dig deeper into each of those:

My portions were way too big

I ate for two although it was just me, well not quite, but definitely smaller portions and smaller plates helped to count the calories easier and I realized that I had been eating more than I need to ”keep the hunger away”. With less ”bad carbs” the hunger did not come so strong, but actually was very tolerable.

The calorie intake for loosing weight was much lower than I thought

The app said that my calorie intake should be around 1400 something if I wanted to loose weight. My total calorie intake I thought was around 2000 but nope, it was actually less (around 1600) so I had probably all the time eaten a bit more than I should have because ”I am tall girl”.

The ”hidden” and ”unnecessary” calories

Counting calories forced me to simplify my menu and what I eat resulting in better quality food. I did not want to fool myself but wanted to be honest, so rather had homemade stuff where I knew what was in it, than bought ready made with dodgy nutrient/calorie figures. I also quickly realized what foods there is no point eating as they have absolutely no nutritional value. Plus it’s all out of my daily total calories if I eat them so again no point.

The balance of macro-nutrients was off

I ate way too little protein and too much fats and carbs. Also my vitamins were not hitting the required targets. So what I started doing is looking at the macros and adding more to what I was still missing for the day. For example if I was missing protein, have one more egg. Missing carbs eat a piece of bread. Missing vitamin c eat an orange and so on. All this helped me to a) learn even more about nutrients of each food b) balance what I put into my mouth better on a daily basis without any apps.

I had not compensated for exercise days enough
Summer 2019. Photo credit to my daughter

I ran at that time around 20-25 kilometers a week with one long run and a gym session on top. I realized I had not eaten more on those days to keep the calorie deficit at around 200-300 calories per day. So if I went for a long run I ate more and had a so called ”eat & recharge day”. Basically I all the time made sure I stayed at the calorie target or 200-300 below if I had been exercising (the app added the calories you had consumed on top or your total target so the more you run, the higher the ”allowed” calorie intake).

You can fit so much energy in just 1400 calories a day!

With the right macro nutrient choices you can fit so much into just 1400 calories. First when I saw the daily amount the app gave me I thought I can never survive on that and that I will be so hungry. The more I logged my daily food into the app the better I got to know what keeps the hunger away best and started to favor those on my diet.

This kind of goes together with learning about the ”empty” and ”hidden” calories. No point putting something into your mouth that does not have the right nutritional value you need. After training I tended to prefer eggs as they have lots of protein. I also ate lots of veggies and salad as those you can eat almost as much as you want without them ”taking it out” from you daily target.

So for me I think the game changer was the realization that it’s not about avoiding bad carbs and fats but adding more protein and finding the right balance between them all that works for my body (with a little help of modern technology in the form of a handy mobile app).

How I made sure where I am at with loosing weight project and how did I know I have made progress? Check My weight loss journey(s) part III in the coming days…

Want to check background why I wanted to make a change? Check My Weight Loss journe(y), part I.

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My weight loss journey(s), part I

I thought I would share my story about how I got to where I am now with my body in the hope that it might help someone else and give ideas generally on the topic. As we are all different there is no one rule that applies to all, but I will try to open up why I think my actions have applied to my body. I am not a doctor and my observations are only about my body and how it seems to ”work”.

I have gone through some sort of weight loss project after each pregnancy, but the older I got the harder it became. I have also read a bit on how sports and nutrition affect human body mainly because I wanted to understand more of the consequences of my actions. It has helped me to understand better why my body reacts the way it does. This all has required a really close looks into myself listening to my body very carefully and paying attention to all changes in every level.

It is not only what you put in your mouth that affects the body, but many outside factors and also normal physiological things that you cannot change, but need to work with. But let’s get to the story and start from the beginning.

Before children

Me 22 years ago

I was always skinny. Too skinny. I grew 12 cm in just a few months during my teenage years and gained hardly any weight. In addition to that I have skinny genes. My weight back then in my 20’s was 62 kilos. For my height (179 cm) that is not enough I understand that now.

I ate normal, exercised a bit mainly running and team sports. No weight lifting so no muscles either. It did not matter how much I ate, I still didn’t seem to gain any weight so came to conclusion that this is the way I am and no point worrying about it too much.

If you have checked About me page you know that I have four children. Each pregnancy I have gained about 24 to 26 kilos. I ate fairly healthy and weight gain was welcome during the first few pregnancies and possibly nature’s way to ensure that there is enough meat on my bones to breast feed the baby.

Anyway second pregnancy started around me weighing 67 kilos which is still around the low end for my height. Again gained 24 kilos of which over 10 kilos was left to hospital during child birth. Being younger (31 years) I lost the remaining kilos weight fairly easily without any special effort and was around 70 kilos when I got pregnant the third time.

My 40th after 4th child 6 years ago

Now being already 35 years old there was a clear shift and it was harder to loose the weight and during pregnancy I seemed to gain weight easier too. I was at 75 kilos when I got pregnant fourth time when I was 39 years.

If there was a change at 35 then at 40 there was a clear drop. Pregnancy was harder and again weight just kept accumulating. I did long walks trying to keep active, but still I gained again 24 kilos! When I went to give birth to my youngest in Australia they said the weight restriction to the pool was 100 kilos. My weight was 99 and at this time I left only 10 kilos lighter from the hospital and I did not loose the weight anymore as easily as I did when I was younger.

After children

Being over 80 kilos (closer to 90!!) was a bit of a shock to me as a number and seeing photos of me at my 40th birthday about 6 months after giving birth to my fourth child kind of woke me up. I was determined to ”do something about it” and joined a ”12 week challenge” at a local gym. I thought that doing more exercise and eating a bit healthier would do the trick and it did to some extent and got myself to around 82 kilos.

Me few months ago

Time passed and I didn’t stress too much about it as for my height it was not too bad, a bit at the top range, but still within normal BMI limits. It did though bother me at times and I did not feel quite like myself having been slimmer all my life previously, but didn’t have strength or resilience to do anything about it. I think it just was not the time yet.

Three years ago I managed to squeeze my weight with plenty of running and a bit healthier eating to 77 kilos, but gained all that back in less than a year during a more difficult time in my life (divorce) so was back at 82 kilos. Again did not stress about it too much as there were so many things going on in my life at that time that were more important than weight.

Then 1,5 years ago I decided again to ”do something about it” and this time it would be for good. My weight was still around that 82 kilos and I did run regularly, but also ate completely wrong so the balance was incorrect. I totally got tired of the way I felt, the way I looked and it just was not me anymore. I felt like I have to really do something now.

Children were also older so I was able to concentrate more on my own well-being and more importantly my current husband supported me. This meant a lot to me and allowed me to take time to myself with good conscience.

Now 1,5 years and 15 kilos later I feel like me again. I feel more confident in my body and think that this is the me I lost some time ago.

How did I get here? I will share that story in My weight loss jouney(s) part II blog post in the coming days.

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