Here's her story in her own words......
Hi everyone - have not posted for a while (and when I do it tends to be a novel so prepare yourselves!) but wanted to share with you all that I have reached and even exceeded my goal weight by over 2lb! It has taken 17 months but I am beyond chuffed with myself. From a start weight of 15st 11lb and a size 22/24 to 9st 111/4lb and a size 12/14 as of today. That is nearly 6 st off and 52 ins in total from upper arms, bust, waist, hips and thighs and may even be more inches as I did not measure myself until 8 weeks in. My BMI would probably have me at still slightly overweight but I feel that the weight I am now is the right one for me.
When I started I was not sure if Atkins would work being far less active than when I was working and having hypothyroidism but it certainly has. I do have a little loose skin now but hey ho I am 63, was overweight for many years and no doubt have less collagen than when I was younger so it is understandable. I also feel that this is a small price to pay for feeling great and not just psychologically but physically as well which I am convinced in the case of the latter is due to the low carb food I eat now.
I am lucky in that I have had no major stalls and for the first year the weight and inches came off steadily. In the last few months there have been a few weeks where I may not have lost but I have been able to identify and rectify what has caused it which has usually been too much protein and/or not enough fat. Interestingly and especially of late I developed a pattern whereby I would go perhaps 2 weeks where I lost little weight but lost inches and then have a couple of weeks where I lost weight and little in the way of inches.I did not exercise apart from that gained from housework, walking etc. I am most definitely not a gym person and while I may have lost weight more quickly if I had been it confirms that exercise is not necessary in the long term if you cannot or do not want to go down that route.
In the main I have adapted what I am preparing for others in the house to suit the way I eat. At other times I may make a different meal for myself but they always are quick to prepare. Yesterday I fancied something different to my other half so had crispy skinned salmon on a bed of sautéed (in butter) leeks, shallots and courgette noodles and it was delicious - prepared and ready in about 20 mins. While on the subject of courgette noodles no need to buy a spiralizer just keep a look out for a julienne peeler which does the job no problem. I got mine from a local market for £2. MIMS - love them! I make mine in the oven in batches and freeze them. For the savoury ones I use half milled flax and half ground almonds (very cheap at Lidl's) and flavour with parmesan cheese and salt and pepper and bake in a deep muffin tray. I also make a mean chocolate one topped with a small amount of coconut sprinkled on which toasts as they bake. When I first started making them I found them to be a bit dry so now add almond milk to slacken off the mixture and leave it to stand for about 5 mins before I bake them which works a treat and gives a lovely moist result.
I have to admit to using Atkins bars but limit then to about two per week. For me they have been a bit of a 'treat' with a cup of coffee made with cream in the evenings and have not found that they adversely affected my weight loss or given me 'tummy' problems but I am aware that others may have had a different experience. However they do cost a lot if you pay full price so I wait until they are on special offer and stock up.
Meals out in the UK have not been a problem as I am usually able to find something on a menu that suits Atkins and even over Christmas I stuck very much to plan. However my dilemmas of whether to eat off plan came on holidays. In the early days I kept as close to Atkins as I could throughout a stay in Venice and Med cruise and came home 2.5lbs lighter. On the next trip (an all inclusive) I again stuck as close as I could to Atkins food wise but allowed myself a few drinks of spirits and diet coke - I neither lost or gained on that one. The next two I decided I would have a few treats and of course gained weight. I did get right back on track as soon as I got home and lost what I put on within a week. Although this gave me confidence that when on holiday I can have a few treats and deal with the consequences I think it is up to the individual how they feel about and approach eating off plan at certain times. For me I think staying on plan as much as possible in the early days was the right
thing as gaining back lost weight may well have de-motivated me. We are off to the Far East in a few weeks and I fully intend to try some of the food on offer but will have, as Ellen has mentioned in her posts and which I have used before, a clear exit strategy which will be a return to induction the minute we touch down on British soil so that I can deal with the inevitable weight gain.
I really have to end this post as although I did warn you about my 'novels' and I am sure by now you are thoroughly bored. Before I sign off though I just wanted to say that although I post infrequently I do read the forum every day and have got a great of inspiration, humour, comfort, support, advice and guidance from Linda and the many people who contribute. I do not think I would have done it without you all and have no doubt that I will continue to visit often to check how you are all doing!