Maria Fox shares her impressive 50-pound (22.6kg) weight loss journey after dealing with chronic fatigue, burnout, and acute perimenopausal stress during the pandemic. Learn how This Naked Mind played a role in her weight loss after 50.
Impressive Weight Loss After 50
Two months ago, I went on holiday to Mallorca and packed six bikinis. It was the first time in my life I’d ever worn a bikini.
If someone had told me 10 years ago that at 51, be showing off a size 10 figure in a bikini on the beach, I’d have thought they were mad. What I’ve achieved is beyond any dream.
I’ve always struggled with my weight, despite being incredibly active throughout my childhood playing hockey, cycling, and netball. I was probably a size 12 when I was 14.
My weight went up and down through my 20s, but generally, I was a size 14, weighing around 13 and a half stone (85.7kg). I never had any issue with food or eating. I was from a big family with parents who cooked healthy, balanced meals.
Drinking Contributing to Weight Gain
It wasn’t really until my forties that I started to pick up on some warning signs. I’d joined the police force when I was 23 but as my career progressed, so did the stress levels.
There was a lot of social drinking at the pub after a shift in my earlier years on the job, and then as I got older I didn’t think twice about opening a bottle of wine with a takeaway when I got home late from work. It was my coping mechanism. When I’d drink, I’d reach for the carbs like crisps, bread, and biscuits.
I tried Slimming World, Noom, and also a Rosemary Conley diet, but they all revolved around a low-fat diet plan and calorie counting. I’d lose a bit of weight and get down to a size 12, but I’d soon put it back on again. I’d mitigate my love of food with intense exercises like long bike rides and spin classes, which I enjoyed teaching in the evenings.
In 2018, when I was 48, I started experiencing low moods. I saw my GP, but they wouldn’t prescribe me HRT for the menopause due to my history of having a blood clot at 37. So I was advised to find ‘natural’ ways to cope.
I went teetotal for eight months using Annie Grace’s book This Naked Mind and also upped my exercise. I’d teach four or five spin classes each week. But the amount of cardio I was doing didn’t translate into what I was seeing in the mirror.
In May 2020, I was diagnosed with thrombophlebitis (a blood clot) in my leg after a long 20-mile bike ride. Looking back, this was the first physical manifestation that my nervous system was under attack. More pain ensued and I was then told I had DVT in July. Little did I know this was all building up to something bigger.
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I started a nutrition plan which I stuck to religiously – I never skipped protein as it kept me full, ate lots of greens, but said no to alcohol and refined sugar.
I was eating very low carbs to start off until my body started to learn how to burn fat, which happened within about four to five weeks. As my body got better at burning fat, I could then up my carbs. My metabolism shifted dramatically. It was remarkable.
This journey has not been just about weight loss for me. My new regime has completely changed my energy levels, my outlook, and my sleep. I returned to work after five and a half months’ leave and by May 2021, I had lost 50 pounds (three and a half stone or 22.6kg). And one year on, I can confidently say I’m still a size 10, weighing 150 pounds (68kg).
I still eat healthily, don’t drink, and take the right supplements to suit me. I started on HRT back in December 2020 which has also made a huge difference.
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