Smorgasbord Guest Writer – 50 Losses and 50 Gains by Julie Lawford

This week Julie Lawford shares some of her experiences during her weight loss process that I am sure will resonate with all of us. We tend to focus on the pounds lost or gained and not on the difference even losing 20lbs or 50lbs can make to us. I remember the first time that I could get in and out of a bath when I had lost 50lbs.

Judith shares the gains that she made when she had lost her first 50lbs and it is a terrific way to not only celebrate the weight you have discarded, but provides the motivation to continue to reach your target weight.

This post was originally shared in March 2016 and I can tell you that having met Julie at the Blogger’s Bash she looks amazing now that she has reached her target weight.

This weekend was a memorable one for me, in weight-loss terms. I’ve now shaken off 50 pounds since I begun my new healthier lifestyle last September. I still have a very long way to go (I’m not quite half-way to my most ambitious goal, since you ask). But at 50 pounds – that’s over 3½ stone or over 22 kilos, depending on your measurement of choice – I’ve just exceeded the most I’ve ever lost on any healthy eating campaign (note the absence of the word ‘diet’) before.

Weirdly, and I don’t want to labour this as it could easily depress me and I don’t want to get depressed… I’m now back to the weight I was when I started the weight loss campaign when I managed to shift what was until yesterday the most I’d ever lost before. But back then (2002) I had crawled to the upper 40’s and couldn’t keep it going. It all went (excuse the pun) belly-up. On that occasion, I’d gone to Weightwatchers, and it was good while it lasted. But as soon as I took my eye off the ‘points’ ball, my weight soared back on. Yes, soared back on at a rate which terrified me and which I could not even begin to understand. In all, I put on an average of 1 pound per week over the next 18 months (and then still more thereafter); a catastrophe from which, after several false starts in the mid noughties, I am only now recovering.

But I don’t want to jump aboard the trauma train. The whole point of this post is to mark an achievement, and highlight some of the many, many wins, gains and benefits that I’ve seen from the loss of this first 50 pounds.

So, here they are, in no particular order – all the ones that spring to mind at least:

  1. I’ve dropped 3 dress sizes
  2. I’m wearing ‘old favourite’ outfits that haven’t fitted me for 8 or 10 years
  3. I’m back to the weight I last carried over 14 years ago
  4. My ankles are pretty again, no more heavy, fluid-filled balloons
  5. I’m wearing high heels again and loving the increased stature and well-being
  6. I can go for a walk without pouring with sweat
  7. I’ve discarded a giant pile of ‘fat clothes’ that I hated having to wear
  8. I’m breathing more deeply, not catching my breath
  9. My resting heart rate has dropped over 10 bpm
  10. My nails are unblemished and healthy
  11. I haven’t had a cold all winter
  12. I can bend and touch my toes
  13. I can see my toes!
  14. My waist and once proud hourglass figure is re-emerging
  15. I’m wearing pretty bras again
  16. Yes, I’ll say it, I feel sexy again
  17. I’m standing straighter and taller
  18. When I pull my tummy in, it actually goes in a bit
  19. I like myself because I feel in control of my eating habits
  20. I feel good when I take exercise
  21. I feel good that I take exercise regularly
  22. I feel great when I get home from taking exercise
  23. I’m relishing many compliments from friends, family and colleagues
  24. I’ve surprised one or two people who haven’t seen me in a while – that’s been fun
  25. My feet have shrunk
  26. My boobs have only shrunk a little
  27. Pilates has become more fun again
  28. I can lie on my stomach and still be able to breathe
  29. I’ve rediscovered vegetables, nuts and seeds
  30. I’m looking forward to warm summer days ahead, not fearing discomfort
  31. I’ve eliminated 99% of added sugar from my life – and totally lost my sweet tooth
  32. I’m able to make healthy, balanced choices in restaurants
  33. I can fit into bucket seats without cutting off the blood supply to my legs
  34. I can sit on folding chairs without worrying they will collapse
  35. I won’t need an extender belt next time I fly
  36. I’ve learned to live without… toast
  37. I’ve discovered I can lose weight and still enjoy butter and cheese
  38. I can wear trousers that do up with buttons and a zip
  39. My favourite dressing gown wraps right around me again
  40. Tight toilet cubicles are no longer an embarrassing challenge
  41. I can buy ordinary clothes at Marks & Spencer
  42. I can buy actual sportswear
  43. I have swimming costumes which hold everything that has to stay… held
  44. My neck is slimmer and necklaces sit so much more comfortably and attractively
  45. My fingers are slimmer and I can wear rings I haven’t worn for years
  46. My wrists are slimmer and I can wear watches and bracelets again
  47. My hips no longer ache when I walk
  48. I can run upstairs
  49. I don’t get acid reflux after evening meals
  50. I no longer worry that I’m slowly killing myself

And a bonus ball…

“Hold yourself to a higher standard, and enjoy the self-esteem that comes with each single, small, disciplined act.” Tony Robbins

… I am indeed enjoying the self-esteem that comes from ‘holding myself to a higher standard’…

What about you. Are you, or have you ever been on a weight-loss, healthy lifestyle journey? If so, what were the most significant gains for you?

My thanks to Julie for sharing this post and as always your feedback and questions are very welcome.

About Julie Lawford

Always engaged with the written word, Julie Lawford came to fiction late in the day. Following a career in technology marketing she has been freelance since 2002 and has written copy for just about every kind of business collateral you can imagine. By 2010, she was on the hunt for a new writing challenge and Singled Out – her debut psychological suspense novel – is the result.

Julie is based in London in the UK. Whilst penning her second novel, she still writes – and blogs – for marketing clients.

Singled Out by Julie Lawford

‘There’s something delicious about not being known, don’t you think?’

Brenda Bouverie has come on a singles holiday to Turkey to escape. Intent on indulgence, she’s looking for sun, sea and … distraction from a past she would give anything to change.

But on this singles holiday no one is quite who they seem. First impressions are unreliable and when the sun goes down, danger lies in wait. As someone targets the unwary group of strangers, one guest is alone in sensing the threat.

But who would get involved, when getting involved only ever leads to trouble?

Singled Out subverts the sunshine holiday romance, taking readers to a darker place where horrific exploits come to light, past mistakes must be accounted for and there are few happily-ever-afters.

A simmering psychological suspense laced with moral ambiguities, for fans of Louise Doughty, Sabine Durrant, Gillian Flynn, Elizabeth Haynes, S.J. Watson and Lucie Whitehouse.

The latest review for Singled Out.

Author Julie Lawford and I got chatting originally on twitter where I was envious of her new bookshelves! She had tweeted a photo. On discovering that she had published her debut novel earlier this year, and because I am always nosey where books are concerned, I took a look at its reviews and decided that Singled Out might well be a read for me. I was right – it’s a really good book!

Set on a singles holiday in Turkey, Singled Out is much more than a light beach read. In the very first chapter we meet an anonymous man who is preying on women. We soon learn that he is part of the holiday group, but not which male character he is or which of the female characters are at risk. Lawford deftly presents her story from two perspectives – a straightforward third-person recounting of the tale is interspersed with chapters from the point of view of The Man – and this creates a chillingly creepy atmosphere. I enjoyed trying to pick up clues and then discovering they could be applicable to multiple men. Great writing!

My favourite character is our heroine Brenda with whom I found it easy to empathise. She has a degree of the obligatory tortured soul persona, but is also warm and caring. She loves her food and the frequent descriptions of Turkish cuisine had my mouth watering and almost a plane ticket booked! It is refreshing to read about a woman who is not a stick insect and also not desperately trying to become one, and I liked that she is portrayed as strong, independent and desirable. Jack’s existence is nicely veiled and explored in an intriguing sub-plot.

Lawford’s presentation of people and places makes it easy to envisage what is going on and I know people just like Adele and Veronica. Singled Out is a good crime mystery read that is more about the participants than just the chase. The writing and plot have an interesting splash of originality and this book is definitely a cut above the identikit mainstream norm.

Read all the reviews and buy the book:

Connect to Julie Lawford at her website and on social media.


You can find the previouse guest posts in this directory:

Thanks for dropping in today and I would love it if you would share Julie’s post – Thanks Sally

32 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Guest Writer – 50 Losses and 50 Gains by Julie Lawford

    • Well, thanks you paulandruss ! Very kind of you to say. The journey continues. Sally was very kind about my current weight, but I am still targeting another 25+ pounds. The journey is a lot slower and less dramatic now, but those rewards are all sticking!

      Liked by 2 people

      • I totally understand that you feel you have some way to go to meet your own personal target…. but from the outside you are already near the top of the mountain and it’s just the summit to go. Best wishes Paul

        Liked by 2 people

  1. Julie – it would seem from Sally’s comment that you have now lost a lot more than your original 50 pounds – slowly and through healthy eating. You GO girl! My fav of the 50, btw is #22 (I feel great when I get home from taking exercise). I can relate!

    I’d love to read the follow up – how you are keeping it off, how it’s changed you inside as well as out, anything you’d care to share. In any case, congrats – and your book sounds like a TBR to me!

    Thanks, Sally, for reposting this one – I didn’t see its first incarnation.
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”

    Liked by 2 people

      • Great to hear that. Posts like hers (and yours) help to counter the marketing aimed at women and girls – and all those photos of size 0 six foot models in most of the fashion magazines.

        Your point is well-taken – it is about increased energy, HEALTH and self-esteem, not the size we wear or some number we see when we step on our scales. But I’m not saying anything you don’t know personally.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Madelyn – the journey continues and I’ve lost 70 pounds now. A few ‘wobbles’ in the last few months, as I’ve had to contend with a bereavement, which has knocked me sideways. But staying in touch with all those ‘gains’ is an important part of keeping going. I blog at if you would like to keep up with how it’s going. And the book…. if you pick it up, I hope you enjoy it – it’s a dark read, but people have said some very nice things about it!

      Liked by 2 people

      • I’m sorry to read that you must deal with your feelings about your recent loss – but you sound wise enough to contain the wobbles and stay on your path for the long run. Losing 70 pounds is truly an accomplishment – congratulations, and thanks for sharing.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: Smorgasbord Guest Writer – 50 Losses and 50 Gains | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  3. I liked your positive list on losing weight, Julie. I just reached my goal weight yesterday…lost 35 lbs!
    Sugar was the #1 culprit.
    All the best on your continuing weight loss and writing journey. 😊
    Thanks for reposting, Sally! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you! The lovely thing is all those little benefits begin to creep in long before you’ve lost all the weight you want to lose. There are benefits from the first 10-12 pounds onwards, and they just keep on coming!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Congratulations, this well-earned bread- or cake, if you want to put it this way! I remember when I was a teenager, struggling to shed 5 unflattering kilos, if someone would have told me “take this pill and you will wake up slim tomorrow” I then would have taken the full box! It’s a cruel path, but I’m happy I don’t have the weight to watch now.
    I am eager to hear about your next challenge, now that the weight is melting away!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Pingback: Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – The Good Life #Waterford History and amazing guest writers | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

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