Athos's Diary


My first thread! Hello everyone.

I meandered onto this site by accident, and I think it might be just the place for me to keep an online diary of my weight loss journey.

I am hoping that my anonymity will allow me to be truthful with myself, as I think one of my many problems is a degree of self deception. Hey ho. So if you'll have me here I am.
I'm thirty, married, one child and working. That's as much as you're going to get I'm afraid, at least for now.

My weight history.

Teenage: Looking back at my photos I think I was gorgeous. Curvy, definitely. Fat, never. Yet I always compared myself with the skinny girls, and that's always a bad place to start. Then at home, of course, I had the teenage dieter's nightmare: a dieting mother.

My mother who is now in her 50s as been on every diet in the world. She has lost and gained the same five stone for as long as I can remember. I remember joining in her attmepts to "sort it out once and for all" by fast walking around the local park (for three weeks). I remember gazing longingly at the Cambridge Diet packs feeling disgruntled that she had an "easy" way and I didn't. I started diets and stopped them within a week as the hunger took hold.

A thousand calories a day was the rage in those days. I learnt a lot from her. I learnt that I could only have one biscuit at a time (unless I ate them when no-one could see me); I learnt that if I looked hard enough I could find Jelly Babies secreted at the bottoms of handbags, bars of chocolate hidden beind tins of beans. I learnt the tools of a dieter's trade. I read Slimming Magazine religiously. I think my first offical diet was Rosemary Conley's Hip and Thigh Diet (remember that one?).

University: I put on quite a bit of weight in the first year due to alcohol and stodgy hall food. During the first summer holiday I toyed with binging and purging - which worked but I'm not by nature a neurotic person; I realised what I was doing was daft so I stopped it. howover, I did realise that people noticed when I was slimmer. For a while I did a bit of sport for the first time ever and my weight was a fairly stable size 12, then later on as exams took over the weight started climbing again, and I settled at a fairly unappy 14-16. I tried Slimming World at this point, but it wasn't compatible with the student life, or with me. Ooh I tried the Atkins too. Hasn't everybody?

FIrst job: accidental weight loss, for the first time ever. Being too busy to eat - never a problem for me before, let's face it - and walking miles up and down stairs every day, was a big help. Down to a curvy size 12 again. Looking good. Meet my now husband - lots of nice meals out. And of course happiness does make me eat (as well as sadness, boredom, frustration, and any other emotion you care to mention). Once we were living together, it really piled on. Rich meals (we're definite foodies), roast dinners every weekend, evenings out, lots of booze and always pudding. Suddenly I'm over twelve stone and a well padded 16. But thankfully he proposed.

The first ever diet which worked. WeightWatchers, lovely. A more motivated WWer you never did see. Two and a half stone in six months, and I kept it off too. Down to a size 8-10; going to the gym three times a week or more. I was NEVER going to get fat again. This is it. I threw out all my fat clothes and spent a fortune on a new wardrobe, and a slinky wedding dress.

I was evangelistic about WW, and I suddenly realised why I'd succeeded when I never had before. For the first time I knew I was going to do it. I was positive and I could visualise a slim bride. I knew I didn't want a picture of fat me on the top of my mum's TV for the rest of my life. Dieting was EASY. Really.

I was insightful enough to know, though, that I would be weighing in at WW for the rest of my life. I didn't mind that; I realised that I would always be a dieter.

After the wedding: I became pregnant on honeymoon. Did you know that these days we're told NOT to diet in pregnancy? So I didn't. And a combination of not counting points and permanent early pregnancy queasiness meant that I survived my first and second trimesters on a diet of cornish pasties, full sugar cocacola and lemon curd sandwices. Result? a five stone weight gain.

After my baby was born I couldn't get into a size 18. From size 10 to size 20 in 10 months. That's impressive, hm? Breastfeeding helped a little, and I went back to normal-for-me eating.

Which took me to where I am now. A size 16, twelve stone, unfit. Since having my baby I have read "French Women Stay Slim", the GI diet, the GL Diet, Drop a Dress Size in Two Weeks. I have joined WW again, and left again. I have paid for a three month subscription to and a six month subscription to I have been onto the LL, CD and Lipotrim websites. I have bought Slimfast shakes. I have bought running shoes, exercise DVDs, and a yoga kit. But the plain fact is, I still eat too much and do too little.

And it has to stop. My decision has been made. I don't want to diet ever again. But I don't want to remain overweight eiter. I don't want my children growing up like me, with a totally skewed idea of what food is and what food means. And I don't want them growing up hating exercise and being as sedentary as I am. So I'll be slimming from the head down. More on that later.

(Constructive) comments are welcome. And I would like to say, that while I think I've tried a lot of diets in my time, that's not to say I "disagree" with any of them really. I truly believe that if you stick with them, and they work for you, fantastic. What I know now, though, is that they don't work for me. So if you are commenting, please be respectful of the fact that I personally need to do this my way. I have loved lurking on the site and reading your stories and seeing your amazing pictures. I hope to join in with the chatting too. But what I don't want or need is people urging me to try Diet x or Diet y. I'll support you in your choices, you support mine. I hope that's ok with everyone, and the mods too.

To be continued.
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Thanks D_Q:)

I'm going to be slimming from the head down. This is loosely based on a book I read about five years ago, called "Lighten Up". It was written by a personal trainer and sports psychologist, who uses motivational tools to help people identify their bad habits and swap them for good. And he knows that most people think they want to be slimmer, fitter and more healthy, but that belief system is really shaky. Because we've failed so many times before, it's hard to REALLY believe it.

He uses the analogy of a dining room table: The table itself is the belief that, say, "I'm going to be slim, fit and healthy". The table won't stand up by itself though: it needs some legs to support that idea and keep it steaady so it doesn't collapse. The legs are going to be the actions/changes that I'm going to make (eg only eating when I'm actually hungry, becoming more active, etc etc). If there are only a few legs then the table might fall over if I lean on it especially hard - at times of stress, for example, my belief might waver. But if my table has dozens of legs, and these legs are good habits that I've practised again and again, so often that they're instinctive, then no matter how hard I lean, then my table won't fall over. My table is going to look like an upside down hedgehog...

So, for me, slimming from the head down will involve identifying my bad habits, swapping them for good habits, and practising them so often they become second nature. I'm going to be relearning how to eat.

I've gathered up a bit of material along the way: a mish mash of various different diets (a Greatest Hits, if you like), and I'm going to take it one step at a time. Identifying a different habit every so often, and working on it until it's instinctive. I plan to take it slowly. It's taken me thirty years to become really good at being overweight, so I don't mind if it takes a while for to become an expert in being slim.


Being "SMART" about getting slim

1. Specific – Objectives should specify what they want to achieve.

I want to be slim.

2. Measurable – You should be able to measure whether you are meeting the objectives or not.

I want to fit comfortably into most size ten clothes.

3. Achievable - Are the objectives you set, achievable and attainable?

Yes. I have done it before sensibly without starving myself, and I looked good at this size.

4. Realistic – Can you realistically achieve the objectives with the resources you have?

Resources are plentiful. I have inner strength (which I'll be working on) and the support of others. I have a supportive husband.

5. Time – When do you want to achieve the set objectives?

Let's say a year.


I will revisit the SMART objectives, to look at other aspects of my goals. I don't want just to aim for "slimness": I want to become fitter, and have a better diet too, not just for the effect it will have on my size. But I don't want to rush things. Let's say this is the "contemplative" stage. I'm thinking not doing, quite yet.
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Gold Member
what you're doing sounds incredibly sensible and that way of thinking should stick with you forever once you're in the habit.

I never thought to use those SMART thingiwhatsits with regards to dieting. I just had them drummed into me at uni too (doh!)

Good luck I'm sure you'll do really well at it, and there are so many people on different diets etc on this site I doubt you'll get anyone telling you which one you should follow at all.


Gold Member
Very thought provoking, and liked it a lot, Im not gonna tell you whats right for you, only you know that, but I'll help you in what ever journey you choose.

You get your head in the right place and I am sure your body will follow.

Looking forward to your diary x


Thanks kati and canireallydothis - I do hope I can help others as well as myself.:)


Gold Member
Hi Athos,

I'm really looking forward to reading your diary. Welcome!


Why I want to be slim

My health: to feel better, to live longer, to be a good example, to have more energy, to improve my fertility, to boost my chances of a straightforward pregnancy and birth next time

My looks: to look better in clothes, to hold my head high when shopping, to compare myself favourably to friends who've always been slim

My self-esteem: to prove to myself that I can do it and that I am a strong person

My family: to set an example to my family, so that I can be around for longer

My job: to show people that I mean business; to be taken more seriously


What can I do for myself?

(anyone who's reading must be thinking I'm nuts; I am in the "preparation" stage of changing my behaviour; I just need to get a few things sorted first of all)

What can I do for myself?
  • Eat when I'm hungry
  • Learn how to enjoy exercise
  • Be relaxed around food (it's fuel and pleasure, not The Enemy)
  • Eat and drink when I want to not just out of habit (this goes for booze too!)
  • Become more active generally


My first habit to change

I'm starting small.:)

I often have a cup of tea and a biscuit. Most mornings at work and most afternoons too; sometimes a few times. All those biscuits do add up....

I am going to stop drinking tea with milk and swap to herbal tea, or hot water with lemon. Not too taxing. The idea, of course, is that any habit can be changed.
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Prochaska and DiClemente’s Stages of Change Model

Not currently considering change: "Ignorance is bliss"

how to help someone/myself at this stage
Validate lack of readiness
Clarify: decision is theirs
Encourage re-evaluation of current behaviour
Encourage self-exploration, not action
Explain and personalise the risk

Ambivalent about change: "Sitting on the fence"
Not considering change within the next month

how to help someone/myself at this stage
Validate lack of readiness
Clarify: decision is theirs
Encourage evaluation of pros and cons of behaviour change
Identify and promote new, positive outcome expectations

Some experience with change and are trying to change: "Testing the waters"
Planning to act within 1month

how to help someone/myself at this stage
Identify and assist in problem solving re: obstacles
Help patient identify social support
Verify that patient has underlying skills for behaviour change
Encourage small initial steps

Practising new behaviour for 3-6 months

how to help someone/myself at this stage
Focus on restructuring cues and social support
Bolster self-efficacy for dealing with obstacles
Combat feelings of loss and reiterate long-term benefits

Continued commitment to sustaining new behaviour
Post-6 months to 5 years

how to help someone/myself at this stage
Plan for follow-up support
Reinforce internal rewards
Discuss coping with relapse

Resumption of old behaviours: "Fall from grace"

how to help someone/myself at this stage
Evaluate trigger for relapse
Reassess motivation and barriers
Plan stronger coping strategies


At present I am somewhere around stage 3. Which means I have to a) identify potential obstacles to changing my eating patterns b) encourage myself to take small steps, c) identify sources of support (here!) and d) learn some new skills (from books and online).

You are so right - starting small is the way to go :D
hi D_Q hope you're well - thanks for the support


New habits and old habits; measurements; being negative

My new habit of swapping daytime tea for herbal tea is going ok. I need to get to the supermarket to try some new falvours though - all work had were some weird liquorice ones and some ok blackcurrant ones - tasted like sugar free warm ribena. I like the ones I have at home: spearmint and camomile - very refreshing. I also had a mug of hot water which was really nice and surprisingly refreshing.

I will have one cup of tea in the morning and then no more caffeine in the form of tea or coffee subsequently.

The trouble is an old habit of oh-my-god-it's-chocolate-and-it's-THERE is hanging around. I am trying to be gentle on myself, but all these Celebrations and things hanging around are really hard to resist. I also noted I got really peckish mid morning, so I need to (a) have a bigger / more low GI breakfast, and (b) factor in some kind of healthy mid morning snack suitable for work.

I remembered a good habit I started when I gave up smoking (five years ago yesterday!): and that was: speak like a non smoker. In other words, instead of saying, "no I'm trying to give up", say, "No thanks, I don't smoke". To take this through to eating, let's not say, "I shouldn't really" (then do); instead let's say "No thanks, I don't eat chocolate". This should also be helpful in responding to that little voice in your head that says, "go on, you know you want to" when confronted with a tin of Roses.;)

I have done some measurements:
Weight (I don't want to use weight as a measurement so i'm going to try not to worry too much about this from now on - but I do want a start point): 12 stone 4lbs. Except from just after having my baby, it's the heaviest I've ever been.

BMI 29.1 (ouch)

Dress size: probably a loose 18 but am squeezing into size 16's for the moment.

Waist 35"

Bust 38" (over bra; widest point)

Hip/Bum 46" (widest point)

Non dominant upper arm 13"

Left thigh 26"

This has left me feeling a little despondent, so my immediate thought is now: let's get rid of those negative thoughts, and start some positive thinking. How about:

"I am becoming slimmer and fitter and healthier"

I think I might print this out and tape it to my mirror in the morning, for a little bit of a boost. I will also incorporate it into my yoga meditation.

Baby steps, baby steps....


Gold Member
S: 17st4lb C: 15st1lb BMI: 36.2 Loss: 2st3lb(12.81%)
Best of luck to you in becoming a 'naturally' slim person. Definitely the way to go if you can get your head in that zone.

Take a look at this section if you haven't already done so, I feel you may find some likeminded people here with info to share.

Looking forward to reading more of your posts.


Best of luck to you in becoming a 'naturally' slim person. Definitely the way to go if you can get your head in that zone.

Take a look at this section if you haven't already done so, I feel you may find some likeminded people here with info to share.

Looking forward to reading more of your posts.
Thanks Cheb for the support - I hadn't seen that section, but it certainly looks as though I'd fit in well there. Cheers.


Gold Member
I remembered a good habit I started when I gave up smoking (five years ago yesterday!): and that was: speak like a non smoker. In other words, instead of saying, "no I'm trying to give up", say, "No thanks, I don't smoke". To take this through to eating, let's not say, "I shouldn't really" (then do); instead let's say "No thanks, I don't eat chocolate". This should also be helpful in responding to that little voice in your head that says, "go on, you know you want to" when confronted with a tin of Roses.;)

Hiya Athos,
welcome to mini's
thats a great tip you've given there - gonna try that one myself - thankyou :p

good to see you've been pointed in the direction of the PaulMckenna section by cheb.. I was out with my friend Yvonne last night and she was telling me how her sister has lost 6 and a half stones on Paul Mckenna in the last year....

Good luck on your weightloss journey - and thanks sooo much for the message on my 'Jolene' thread :D


Gold Member
S: 13st1lb C: 13st1lb G: 10st10lb BMI: 29.5 Loss: 0st0lb(0%)

Thanks for dropping by my thread this week and leaving me the link for OA, I will check it out.

I did reply in my thread but just in case you haven't had a chance to look, the book I was referring to was Overcoming Overeating by Jane Hirschmann & Carol Munter, IBSN 0-09-182561-X.

I have just read your thread and I love it. You sound like you are in the same place as me - never wanting to diet again. I am a very successful dieter (culminating in losing 6 stone this year on LL). I am giving myself credit for doing this because it wasn't an easy journey but it never fully addressed the underlying issues. That's where I need to go now.

I look forward to hearing more about your journey!


Gold Member
Hello Athos


hi westiegirl and cah-ching:)

westiegirl - I was hoping you were going to pop over here. Glad there are a few of us in the same boat.

I've been awfully busy over Xmas/NY, but it's all going well so far. I haven't counted a calorie, nor stepped on the scales so far. I'm just reading about nice healthy food, and I've been out in the garden these last few days, digging and cutting the hedges. Fun, but hard work - as it should be.

I realise that I need to plan my food a bit more. It's all too easy to wolf down three weetabix with skimmed milk for lunch (it's lowish in calories, and fills me up enough) - but where's the pleasure? And where are the fruits and veggies? So for work days, I need to be planning a little better ahead. I will make do for this week, but next week I hope to plan my meals so that I have all the right food in.

I also want to keep a food diary so that I can spot trends in my eating, and my nutrition profile.

My food intake so far today:

Cup of tea with sk/milk (I have now given up tea drinking except this one. Yay me!)
home made muesli a la Food Doctor (toasted oats and barley, linseeds, pumpkin seeds, chopped dates and a handful of sultanas), with sk/milk

A couple of bites of breadmaker white bread (this MUST stop lol) while preparing child's lunch.

Cabbage and lentil soup (mmm goose stock left over from xmas yum)
One and a half spicy flatbreads. (food doctor again)


I have realised I have hardly had any fluids, and only a small amount of fruit and veggies. Sadly shops are shut today - must get some F&V in tomorrow.

Off out to the garden to get my heart rate up again, and tidy up where I left off yesterday when it started raining. happy new year, all.