Size Matters Serialisation – Chapter 18 – Final notes and getting started.


This is the last chapter in the main part of Size Matters and there is a second section which contains some of the tools that will help you get started including food diary templates, Candida Questionnaire, weight charts and food and nutritional information. Tables do not always translate well to WP, so if you would like copies of those then contact me direct and I will send via email.

The main worry that concerns people who have lost a considerable amount of weight is that they will put the pounds back on again. I trust that you now have a better understanding of your body and the type of fuel best suited to you. The program should become a way of life, with the odd dash of high living thrown in for good measure. I have reached some conclusions about body weight management over the last eighteen years that will prevent me from ever returning to obesity.

Number one is that everybody is unique in the way they utilise the food they eat. This is dependent on lifestyle, age, sex, activity level, and to a degree genetic background. Once you have found the right dietary balance, one that offers you energy, fitness and health, you will want to continue eating that way. Take this program and adapt the basic ingredients to suit your own personal requirements. Be in control of your own eating habits and do not simply let your body dictate what you eat.

Another conclusion that I have come to is that the body has a fine-tuned detection system where food’s nutritional value is concerned. For example, if you take two people of the same height and activity level, eating exactly the same amount of calories, you may find that one puts on weight very easily, whilst the other stays at the same weight or loses weight. However, one of these diets may consist of 2,000 calories of fruit, vegetables, grains and protein, with moderate amounts of fat and sugar, while the other may consist of high levels of fat and sugar and small amounts of fruit, vegetables, grains and proteins. If the proportion of nutritional food is too low, the body may decide that there is a deficiency and start to store food to ensure that it can obtain all the nutrients it needs.

I have learned not to underestimate my own body. I did so for over forty years and suffered the consequences. This body of mine is now my most precious asset. Provided I do not meet my destiny in the form of a truck or untreatable disease, I hope to live out my natural life span with all my mental and physical faculties intact.

When I am old, I want to be active and alert, not sitting in a chair barely able to remember yesterday. I believe that the ageing process can be managed with diet and supplementation in order to prevent deficiencies which cause damage to the body and the mental faculties. Having tasted health, fitness and energy, I will not let them go easily. This one conclusion alone will keep me from returning to a heavier weight.

As you will now realise, I am very keen on my accumulation theory. My resting heart beat when I weighed 330 lbs (150 kg) was 85 beats per minute and if I was just walking gently, it would rise to over 140 beats per minute; hard work for a pump that has only one life span.

My resting heartbeat is now 45 beats per minute and it takes me 20 minutes of aerobic exercise to raise my heart rate to over 130 beats per minute. In my case, if you do the sums for the next forty years, which takes me to over 100 years old, it should convince you of the benefits of being slimmer and fitter:

Old resting heart rate

At 85 beats per minute x 60 x 24 x 365 x 40 = 1,787,040,000 beats in the next 40 years

New resting heart rate

At 45 beats per minute x 60 x 24 x 365 x 40 = 946,080,000 beats in the next 40 years

As you can see, my resting heart is going to beat nearly a billion times less over the rest of my lifetime, which has to save on a great deal of wear and tear. Remember that this is based on the resting heart rate, but the mathematics works across all levels of activity for the heart.

The same theory applies to other parts of the body, which are all now having to work less. Your joints will be able to move more efficiently at your ideal weight and there will be less cartilage damage, decreasing the possibility of wear on the joint head. Your internal organs require a certain amount of fat to cushion them from unexpected damage through accidents. However, when you reach your ideal weight, the excess fat that has been strangling the organs and inhibiting them from working as they should will be gone, and this will prevent them from becoming diseased and withered.

On the subject of fat accumulating over the years I have posted this table a number of times but it is worth taking a look at from time to time. We tend to think of things in two when it comes to food. When you put your hand in the cookie jar, do you usually pull two biscuits out instead of just one? Does your toaster look lonely when you only put one slice of bread in so you add another? Many of my clients will fill in their two week food diary before coming to see me and will point out that they have a very good diet and that they only have two plain digestive biscuits with their coffee in the morning and tea in the afternoon.

Those four biscuits add up to 300 calories a day x 365 = 109,500 calories in a year. Each pound of body fat is related approximately to 3,500 calories. This means that by eating those four biscuits each day you will accumulate over 31 lbs of body fat. As most people are looking to lose 28lbs or so it seems logical that at least halving the intake of biscuits each day might be a place to start!

fat accumulation table

Items on the list are also healthy options but it is important to remember that you can have too much of a good thing as well. Unless you have an extremely active lifestyle your calorie requirements need to be taken into consideration and your best bet is high on vegetables, lean protein, moderate on healthy fats such as olive oil, moderate on high sugar fruits and low to moderate on grains. ‘Cook from Scratch’ and cut out the industrially processed foods.

This program is not only about losing weight to look good in a new outfit, or on the sports field, it is also about the health and functionality of parts of your body that you cannot see. When the damage has been done, it can be irreversible. Remember this when you are tempted to return to your old lifestyle. Take a look at your checklist of all the reasons why you wanted to lose weight in the first place: do you really want to go back to that? Catalogue all the benefits you now enjoy: would you want to give all that up?

New Year’s Eve 1995 330lbs

170lbs 1999

When you have finished your program, which may be in a matter of weeks, months or even years, take a photograph and put it next to the one you took at the beginning. This is your achievement and deserves to be rewarded. Celebrate a successful completion of the project and then plan how you are going to maintain this level of health and fitness.

Now it is time to design your own program and learn to live a different life than the one you are used to. Your future is in your hands. This is your chance to take back control of your weight and health and in a few short months you will wonder why you waited so long.

You will find the other 17 chapters of Size Matters in this directory. I will leave the book up on the blog until the New Year.

©sallygeorginacronin Size Matters 2001 – 2015.

More details via Amazon and my own bookstore where you can also listen to an excerpt.




Size Matters Serialisation – Chapter Twelve – Managing the people around you as you lose weight.


Chapter Twelve – Managing the people around you as you lose weight.

I have learned a lot about myself over the last twenty years and hope that by sharing some of my experiences in this book, you will be able to bypass some of my early struggles in your efforts to lose weight.

Know who you are

We may think we know who we are, but I remember just how confused I was when I started out on this process. Over the years I had become many things to many people and behaved differently, or was expected to behave differently, with each and every one of them.

I was a daughter, sister, friend, lover, wife, employee, employer, niece, cousin and counsellor, and this is the same for everybody; it is a bit like having a multiple personality disorder. I was constantly trying to please everybody else but myself, always striving to fulfil their idea of who I should be.

Me age 40 and 330lbs

Me age 40 and 330lbs

Be prepared for some surprising reactions from the people around you when you start on your program. You are going to be making some major changes to your appearance, and some people will find that threatening. Changing from a plump, motherly, comfortable, predictable sort of person to a slim, sexy, confident and slightly surprising ‘new you’ can make the people you love uncomfortable. Most people are wary of change and, if their perception of your role in their life does not fit with your new image, a certain amount of emotional upheaval may ensue.


Ten years later me at 50 and 170lbs

The last thing you want at this point is to feel tempted to hit the comfort food. So, as soon as you hear things like ‘Don’t lose too much weight; you will look gaunt’ or ‘You are beginning to look ill’ or ‘I liked you the way you were’, you will need to sit down and discuss your reasons for losing weight.

Husbands, especially, can feel a bit threatened if their wife and the mother of their children goes from being their ideal picture of how a mother should look to a slim and perhaps sexier looking woman who might just be paid some attention by other men. Some men are delighted to have back the woman they married, but others may need some extra attention and reassurance that the changes you are making will benefit both of you.

Mothers can always be relied on to pass comment on any changes you make to your weight, up or down. You are her baby at any age and she will interfere whether you want it or not. Mothers will spend all their time telling you to lose weight and then when you do they will tell you to eat properly, don’t starve yourself and have another cake; one more won’t do you any harm. They are natural worriers, so just accept that and try to work with it. Involve them wherever possible, and, who knows, you may just change some of their habits of a lifetime.

At this time you will also discover who your real friends are. There are those who loved to stand next to you when you were fat because you made them feel good about themselves. Start looking better than they do and suddenly they will be telling you that weight loss does not suit you, and your face looked much better with a little more padding. However, your true friends will be delighted for you. Do not pay any attention to those people who want to deflect you from your goal. Respect their feelings and involve them if possible, but do not let them make you go back to a place you hated.

Inside of all of us is a child who is still afraid of the unknown, but the unknown can also be exciting, an adventure of discovery, and, with this program, the only thing you are going to lose is weight. If you manage the changes within yourself and in the people around you, it will be immensely rewarding.

Lastly, being true to yourself is your greatest strength and you are going to need that to see you through the next few months.

The art to developing willpower

baby eating chocolate

Exercise your willpower to the best of your ability, but avoid temptation like the plague in the first few weeks of the program. Do not have open boxes of chocolates within reach. Tell friends and loved ones that the only acceptable gifts are non-edible ones. However, do not stay at home and cut yourself off from everyone and everything. You will have to learn to live with this program for the rest of your life, and it important that you still have some pleasure and do not end up feeling deprived.

Tough as it may be there are times when you have to remember that you are an adult with a serious health issue and you are not two years old and zero decision making skills!

Learn how to go out for dinner or to a party. Learn to say no graciously, so that you do not give offence (‘That was delicious but I really don’t have room for a second portion’). You can start making choices about what you put into your own mouth. Do not be afraid of offending chefs; after all, you are the customer.

It does not matter if people know you are on a diet. If necessary, tell them you are on a healthy eating program, not a diet, which is quite true. However, if people see that you are overweight and making an effort to lose the extra pounds, they will most likely respect you. Most people admire willpower. So enjoy yourself, and you will soon discover that you can have just as much fun eating healthily as unhealthily, and the bonus is that you will not feel guilty. Guilt was always a bitter sauce for me whenever I went out for a meal, but I do not have to feel like that any longer. So practice, practice, practice your willpower.

On a bad day

I would be lying if I said that losing weight is going to be all plain sailing, with no hurdles and no pain. You will have bad days. Sometimes you will have worked very hard and not lost a single pound in the week. This does happen; your body is not a machine and is subject to hormonal changes, water retention and various other internal and external stimuli. Go back and read the section on ‘The Plateau’ and reassure yourself that you are on the right path. You have to persevere, pushing through the bad days and accepting them as part of the program.

Re-read your list of reasons for losing weight in the first place. Get together with a friend who understands. I often give myself a good talking to, treating myself as if I was a client who is going through a difficult phase. Rest assured; you will come out the other side. You will continue to lose weight and you will not slip back into your old habits.

Keeping motivated as the weight comes off

There have been times when I thought I had done enough. When I had lost 56 lbs. (4 st, 25 kg), my nosebleeds stopped and my blood pressure was down, as was my cholesterol. I was walking an hour a day and, although I was still a size 26, I felt and looked a great deal better. This was a dangerous time because it was easy to convince myself that I had worked hard and that it would be unrealistic to expect to continue losing weight.

Clearly it would not have taken much to push me back into my old eating habits. However, I was still 98 lbs. (7 st, 45 kg) overweight and I had made a commitment to myself that I would see this thing through. I still could not do half the things on my wish list and I was not as healthy as I wanted to be.

Every time you reach one of your goals, you must re-focus. Be proud of what you have achieved. Reward yourself as promised; then look towards the next goal. Try not to be too ambitious. I used to focus on 10 lbs. (4.5 kg) at a time, now it is 3 lbs. (1.5 kg) at a time.

It can be very hard to get back into the program after a night out, or a good holiday, or Christmas. This is the time to sit down and look at what you were, what you are now and what you are going to be in the near future. Do not throw it all away for the sake of that chocolate bar.


When I am out walking, I often spend time thinking about the new me. This is not selfish or obsessional; it makes perfect sense. When our body is undergoing major changes, we need to prepare for each one before it happens. Not only did I visualise myself at my target weight, but I also thought about how I would look and feel along the way. Instead of the word ‘if’, I would use ‘when’. When I have lost another 10 lbs. (4.5 kg), I will be a size 20 and I will be able to travel on a cheap airline with small seats. Some ambition! However, this strategy enabled me to break down the overall target into manageable pieces, giving me the opportunity to imagine my body changing over a period of time. I got used to this image and I liked it.

Having said that, I was fat for such a long time that I still sometimes experience a shock when I see myself reflected in a shop window, or when I try on a size 16 item of clothing and it fits. Because you look at yourself every day in the mirror, you do not always see the dramatic transformation that would be very obvious to someone who sees you infrequently. I still get a kick out of people’s reactions when they meet me for the first time in years. There is nothing quite like being ignored because someone doesn’t recognise you!

It is always useful to have an important event as a target. This is not to say that I believe you should go on the program just to lose some weight before a wedding. However, I remember knowing that I was going to be at an industry dinner one year, where I had not seen anyone from my former workplace for over twelve months. I had lost about 84 lbs. (6 st, 38 kg). When I walked into the room, I felt a million dollars, and the compliments I received all evening more than compensated for the hard work I had put in. Do not deny yourself a little grandstanding from time to time. Your morale and self-esteem can use the boost and it will help you reach your next target. Be careful not to get carried away by all the compliments and think the job is finished if you know you still have some way to go.

How long will it take?

You may have a long job ahead. It is not just going to happen overnight. However, trust that the project will be completed according to schedule and celebrate each measuring point as you reach it. The goal is a healthy, slimmer individual who will have succeeded at one of the most difficult tasks we can undertake. Losing weight and then keeping it off is an amazing achievement and one to be proud of. I hope that this program will guide and support you through the process, because the rewards are so worthwhile.

Remember, it has taken you a lifetime to get to where you are now, so it is surely not asking too much to spend a few months, or even a year or two, putting things right. I can promise you that although there will be difficult times ahead, the excitement, rewards and satisfaction you will feel along the way will be incentive enough.

Enjoying the party

One of the most embarrassing questions you will be asked as you lose weight will be ‘Are you on a diet?’ You may feel that whenever you decline food or drink, your hosts and the other guests want to talk about it. My response always used to be to joke about it. Now I tell the simple truth and say that I am following a healthier lifestyle. Unless asked specifically, I do not discuss weight loss. I do, however, talk about my new healthy eating lifestyle, and how much fun I am having.


There are a couple of tips to help you relax and enjoy yourself, while also deterring people from commenting on your eating and drinking habits. At the beginning of a party when food is laid out, get yourself a large plate and put one of everything on the plate. Take it away, nibble from the plate during the evening and make sure you do not go back to the table. If you do not do this, you can lose count of what you have eaten (was that two or three sausage rolls?). This way you get to have a little of everything, people will not comment on your ‘diet’ and you will not be tempted to overdo it. As for alcohol, alternate your wine with a soft drink. Or offer to drive.

Whatever you do, enjoy yourself. Life is too short to miss out on meeting exciting people and trying your new social skills.

©sallycronin Size Matters 2001 – 2105

You will find the previous 11 chapters in this link.

The reason that I began writing Size Matters nearly 20 years ago was to record my journey. From a journal it became a message that I wanted to share. The misery of obesity does not have to be for life.

I am sharing this book free here on my blog because the need for that message is even more necessary today. Apart from the health issues there is nothing worse than looking in the mirror and feeling powerless.

You can find out more about my life and journey as well as my books here.

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thank you Sally