My Story: Exante


Full Member
S: 14st3lb C: 11st3.0lb G: 9st10.0lb BMI: 27.8 Loss: 3st0lb(21.11%)
Hi everybody!


I wanted to start my own diary for the simple reason that if I am typing, I'm not eating! Well, it's a bit more complicated than that but here is my story.

I was a normal size until the age of about 19. I went away to university and my mum had just died. I was obviously very sad about this but in hindsight I can see that because the pressure had been on me to "look after my dad" and to be responsible and do well in my A levels, despite the fact my little world had come crashing down around me, meant I really repressed my grief. I gained a lot of weight when at university, and a lot of it was because after my mum had died I broke the "three meals a day" habit that had been entrenched in me since childhood and I grazed. I would skip breakfast but then snack all morning, not be hungry for a proper lunch but have snacks instead ... it's probably all too familiar.

When I was in my final year I decided I wanted to be a secondary English teacher and realised I had to face facts, I would be crucified in a classroom at my size! I know there are lots of big teachers but the truth is, you have to not care. I did care so I knew I had to sort it. I googled "fast weight loss" and decided to do the Cambridge diet. I went from 14 and a half stone (I am 5 foot 3 inches) to 9 and a half and I had so much more confidence. I did put on a little bit in the subsequent years but I always reined it in well and as a result never went above around 10 and a half stone. The slimmest I got down to was 8 and a half stone in 2009 after getting really ill!

I was doing well, career wise and in January 2010 I accepted a promoted position as a second in English. This turned out not to be the best move in the world. The school was about 50 minutes drive away and for a whole variety of reasons I didn't really settle or get on there. Since this is a diet board I will try to keep to the point :) I found myself really comfort eating. I didn't enjoy going into work in the morning, and I would use lunch as a sort of "carrot" so the day didn't seem too awful, to give me something to look forward to, I suppose. I ate far too much: the school was in a lovely position just by a river and there were numerous little bakeries and delis on the High street. I'd buy a sandwich, crisps and slice of cake with a hot chocolate or latte as a "meal deal", then on the drive back I would buy sweets, crisps and chocolate from a petrol station or shop. I'd then snack through the evening. I knew i was gaining weight, but it was as if I was firmly in self-destruct mode, and the more miserable I felt about my weight the more I ate!

I wish now I had dealt with what was REALLY wrong (work, feeling sad/lonely) but it's so easy looking back ... Anyway, that first term was a disaster in all sorts of ways and when I weighed myself just before the Easter holidays in March 2010 I was nearly 13 stone. I had gained nearly 2 and a half stone since Christmas and 4 and a half since the summer!!! (although that was weight gained back after my illness.) I was MORTIFIED, horrified! I went straight back on the cambridge diet but to be honest I wasn't quite as motivated as before. I did still lose and was down to 11 and a half by the summer which was much, much better but still bigger than I wanted to be. All the same, I was happier, generally speaking, and I started back at work reasonably well motivated and happy enough.

September 2010 came and with it came my 30th birthday. A few weeks after that, in mid October, I realised I felt a bit unwell with a sore throat and swollen glands so called in sick. I spent the next week being so ill - glandular fever had returned. I was admitted to hospital at the end of that first week and spent 3 days there. When I came out, I weighed myself - 10 and a half. Hurrah! I was back to "normal", even if it had taken illness to get there.

I returned to work after the October half term (after 4 weeks off including half term week) still feeling tired but feeling better about myself and everything than I had for a long time. The children had clearly missed me, the staff were very kind about my illness and enquired after me frequently and best of all, I was eating really, really well. I was maintaining my weight really easily because I didn't feel the need to comfort eat. I looked forward to and enjoyed my meals but my massive sweet/fast food binges were well and truly gone. I had a lovely Christmas that year, really magical, and my dad went away skiing the week after Christmas. I collected him from the airport the day before I was due back at work and commented how much happier I was January 2011 to January 2010. I thought that had just been a brief sticky patch in my life that I was well and truly over.

Unfortunately, this was not the case. I was observed teaching towards the end of January 2011 and I was told my lesson wasn't satisfactory ("inadequate") and this was used as a springboard for them saying I was incapable. :( I won't go into details here, but suffice to say it was a horrendously stressful and stomach churning time in my life. I was constantly anxious about going into work because it felt like every day I committed a new "crime" or something was twisted. I think, looking back, they weren't happy with me from the start and just wanted me to go. I obliged quite early on and offered my resignation in early April 2011. But, sticking to the food side of things, I had slowly let old habits take over to deal with the stress and upset (ironically just as I had felt settled: it felt as if I'd had the rug pulled from under me somewhat.) The problem was I had to apply for new jobs, but since I hadn't been in my position very long I felt I bit unsure what to do. I didn't want to go back to ordinary classroom teacher because I wasn't sure how I'd explain it but not many second in department posts were advertised. So I applied for head of English positions and eventually I got one - in early July. That was three months of seemingly endless applications, interviews - and rejections. :( I was extremely stressed, unhappy and tearful (to the point where I cried in school on a few occasions.) The truth was, food didn't matter but rather than lose weight I gained because I was grabbing what I wanted, when I could.

Then I got a job in July 2011. Phew! It was a long way to commute though so I decided, after some thought, to buy a new property and to effectively start my life over and put the horrible events behind me. I started with my weight: 12 stone. So a stone and a half had gone on since January. I tried to tackle it with cambridge but I don't think I was quite in the "right place." It was the summer, and I'd spent the last six months constantly stressed,anxious, upset, worried. I was in the sort of mood where I wanted to relax and have fun - and I did. I kept half heartedly trying to Cambridge and failing. Eventually, it got so embarrassing I switched to Exante so no one had to weigh me, but I caved after about five days on that as well.

I'd started my new job and although I was grateful to have a job, I wasn't in love with the school. For the first part of the autumn term 2011, I was commuting miles and it felt strange - like straddling my old life with my new one. Then, after half term October 2011, I moved into my new house and did feel a bit low then. The job was stressful, I was lonely and sad :( and food was such a quick and easy way of helping me through the days (and nights.) In November, I got really ill again but it didn't effect my appetite unfortunately. This time it was a hard, barking cough which wouldn't go away and was incredibly exhausting and tiring. I'd get in from work (in the pitch black!) and curl up in bed with my laptop and a bag full of sweets from the corner shop.

December came, and it was nearly the Christmas holidays. The day before we broke up for Christmas, my new headteacher decided to tell me that there wouldn't be a job for me by the end of the year as the school was closing. I was devestated. Last year's upsets were still very fresh in my mind, and I couldn't believe that only a few short weeks after securing another job I was going to have to go through the application, interview (and rejection) process all over again! Coughing like a seal still and white as a sheet I just drove straight home to my family and spent the next 2 weeks of the holiday in bed! My memories of Christmas 2011 just centre around sleep and bad TV - but there was one upside. When I returned to school in January 2012 I was 11 stone 6lbs.

Antibiotics meant the cough had gone but a new and more worrying problem emerged. I couldn't eat. I put this down to extreme stress and tiredness. I was coming in from school, sleeping and then doing a bit of work then going back to sleep. I went one week where all I ate was a bit of porridge and mushed up banana. Every time I tried to eat something, it seemed to get stuck in my chest and I'd often bring it back up, the same way a baby would with reflux. Something was clearly badly wrong. Eventually, and after losing a stone and a half in a month I got someone to take me seriously and it emerged I had a tumour, or cyst growing inside of me, stopping me eating and causing me to bring food back up. You'd think the solution was simple and to remove it but the fuss I had to make to get this done as unbelieveable frankly and has made me lose all faith in the NHS. I was signed off work on the last day of January - and then got another job in early February! This did a LOT to restore my confidence and I felt so happy, I felt as if I was flying. Then, in February half term the cyst was removed (ugh but phew - I could EAT again!) I gained a tiny bit as eating was a novelty but then I had lost a lot and I looked fine. I was roughly 10 and a half when I started my new job.

My new job is great, I love it, but I did start to fall into old habits. Just like January 2010, I have a long commute and the temptation to break it up by calling in at Sainsburys and buying lots of mini brownies and crisps on the way home is VERY tempting. Plus, there are no less than 3 McDonalds I drive past! I have put a little on and I have decided that after the stress and upset of the last year I want to control myself and control my weight and for whatever reason, while I can make healthy choices and eat well and MAINTAIN easily, I struggle to lose weight through eating "real" food. So, I'm on Exante. :D

I don't like the bars at all, or the tomato soup, so rather than order a bumper pack I made one up myself consisting of shakes, porridge and thai chicken soup (I love this!) So it's going to be very same-y round here for a while! The only variation will be whether I have a strawberry, banana or vanilla shake (I wasn't keen on chocolate.) Today (Saturday) is day 3. I am 10 stone 12lbs. My target weight is 8 stone 12lbs so 2 stone down but truth be told I probably won't get that far. I'll probably get to 9 and a half and "see how I feel." I imagine I'll feel great!

I'm so sorry this was long, boring and largely pointless but it's helped me understand a lot of stuff and put it into context and most importantly it has reminded me that what happens to me in the future depends on what I do now, in the present. And I'm going to make GOOD choices!

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Silver Member
S: 16st9lb C: 14st8lb BMI: 33.9 Loss: 2st1lb(12.45%)
hey puzzles you really have been through the mill bless u well done for getting back in the zone and good luck i hope life is more kinder to you from here on in :hug99:xx


Full Member
S: 14st3lb C: 11st3.0lb G: 9st10.0lb BMI: 27.8 Loss: 3st0lb(21.11%)
Thank you :hugs: I hope so too and a major part of it is taking responsibility for what I eat/don't eat, so I am determined! Have had one porridge today and am hungry - looking forward to my vanilla shake soon! x


Let's do this!
S: 14st0lb C: 12st12lb G: 10st0lb BMI: 30.9 Loss: 1st2lb(8.16%)
Awww puzzles, as Clair says you have been through the mill!
You've done fab to stay afloat. Wishing you the best of luck, regarding this diet and also with your new job.

Every one here is so motivating, am sure you'll fit right in. Take care :hug99: xx


Full Member
S: 14st3lb C: 11st3.0lb G: 9st10.0lb BMI: 27.8 Loss: 3st0lb(21.11%)
Thank you gigglepants! x


Silver Member
Amazin Story!! Being a teacher 2 I completely understand I'm delighted Ur settled in Ur new SCH and r on d journey 2 being a slimmer happier and more confident woman GO GIRL!!
Lol Shoebedoo

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