British. Writer. Solo Traveller. Flexitarian. Workshop leader and Carer. I want to play a part in helping to redefine age and what we think is possible as we get older, which is what keeps me searching for different ways to improve my health, exciting places to travel and alternative ways of living. I am a firm believer in personal growth and self development.
I was on the road towards ill health and sitting in front of the TV with only my cat for company. I wasn’t happy with the road I was travelling so I decided to make some changes.
ZESTIZM is my personal lifestyle blog which focuses on my attempts to change lanes, to live more, have adventures and fear less. I am aiming to rediscover my zest for life through adventure, food and movement. To regain my health and work on my saggy bits so that I am fitter, leaner and stronger.
I self-published my book and love writing flash fiction stories. I have always loved writing. Never really confident enough to think about becoming a writer or studying creative writing. So, I fulfilled my dream by self publishing my own book and being happy with that – I write for the joy of it and I love writing memoir type stories because its my personal history.
I also love notebooks. As brilliant as computers are I still love the feeling of putting pen to paper. One day I hope to have my own set of published notebooks that I will sell.
When my youngest turned 18 and went off to university in 2017 I decided it was a good time to start my travel dream. Crete in July 2018 was my first trip, followed by Antigua in 2019.
In July 2020 I bought a van and converted it into a campervan, which I now live in when I am not working. I wanted to travel around the UK, Wales, Scotland and Ireland but because of the pandemic this has been put on hold.
Weight Loss Journey
In February 2014, while running a workshop called ‘Memory to Memoirs’ one of the participants took a photo of me. When I saw the photo I couldn’t believe how much weight I had put on. I was having trouble walking and moving at that time and with no mirrors in the house never thought to check on my weight.
By March 2014 I decided I had to start losing weight. This time I wanted to take a different approach. My focus was on changing my mindset about food. After years of losing weight that I put back on (plus extra) I wanted the cycle to end.
I didn’t weigh myself for the first couple of weeks and by the time I did I weighed in at 22 stones 4 lbs (312 lbs – 141 kg). My clothes size was 24 at that time. I had a lot of work to do.
The film ‘Fat Sick and Nearly Dead’ by Joe Cross got me into juicing and I researched FASTING (which has been a great help), plus eating low energy density foods, which means eating loads of fruit and vegetables. I was on my way.
By 2016 I had lost a total of 73 lbs (5 stones 2lbs – 33kgs). It was slow progress, almost 1 or 2 lbs a week. Then I hit a weight loss plateau that lasted for two years. I didn’t regain my weight but I couldn’t lose any. Despite that my dress size continued to drop.
Now in 2019 I am using everything that helped me when I first started and my weight is going down again. As of August 2019 I am 233 lbs (16 stones 9 lbs). A total loss of 84 lbs (6 stones – 38 kgs).
UPDATE: As of December 2020 I am 196 lbs (14 stones). A total loss of 112 lbs, 8 stones or 50 kgs.
Most importantly though I have worked on my mindset. Why I eat when I eat, why I eat when I am not hungry. I have focused on my emotional eating, portion control and the triggers that lead down the path of unhealthy eating.
I am now focusing on my fitness as I am to improve the strengthen and flexibility of my body so it is STRONG and not SAGGY.
For nearly 20 years I worked freelance, running workshops for local community groups and eventually my own workshops on blogging and writing your memoirs.
In 2017 I decided to go back to employment, working with agencies to enjoy the flexibility. The jobs on offer were either Customer Service or Healthcare Assistant, being paid minimum wage on a zero hour contract. I work as a live-in carer, which gives me the flexibility to work when I want to and stop when I want time off.
I have developed a workshop called from Memory to Memoirs that I hope to develop into something I can do on a regular basis in 2021.