“Walking For Weight-Loss” by Elaine


“Walking For Weight Loss”, by Elaine

“Before I reached my 50’s I could always manage my weight, but as the years crept past my weight slowly increased. When my eldest daughter set the date for her wedding (for August 2012), I realised I had 11 months to do something about it if I wanted to feel good in my mother of the bride outfit. I joined a gym and cut down on snacks. Gradually the weight started to come off and I managed to lose 1 stone and tone up.  During this time my youngest daughter got engaged and the date for her wedding was set for May 2013, just 9 months after her sister!

I managed to maintain my weight loss until after the second wedding but then even though I was still going to the gym the weight started going back on and it wasn’t just the original stone!! By December 2013 I felt fat and frumpy, I hated looking in the mirror or buying clothes. I started to have one minor illness after another and finally I went to the doctor in January 2014. I was horrified to be told that my blood pressure was high and would need to be monitored. I knew that my weight was partly to blame. I left the doctors surgery at 3.45pm and by 4pm I was signing up for Weight Watchers. I was told that I would need to lose two stone to reach a healthy weight for my height.

December 2013: The photo which sent me to Weight Watchers

I embraced the Weight Watchers lifestyle as I was still able to have meals out and enjoy a glass or two of wine. I  renewed my efforts at the gym and as the weight started to come off and my blood pressure returned to normal, I rediscovered my passion for walking. I started to walk to and from work whenever I could and then gradually built up to longer walks through the beautiful countryside nearby. I was delighted that only six months after joining Weight Watchers I reached my goal weight! I had gone from a size 16 to a size 12 and was determined that I would not slip back. Eating healthily, going to the gym and walking were now firmly established as part of my lifestyle, there was no going back!

I felt so much healthier. I was able to walk longer distances and people were complementing me on my appearance. I decided that I wanted to lose a few more pounds so that I would have a cushion for holidays etc. Over the next 18 months I managed to lose another 11 pounds and another dress size. In January 2016 my daughter Gillian announced that she had set herself a challenge to complete 100 walks before the end of the year. I joined her as often as I could and the weight stayed off.  I was delighted to be part of the group who was with Gillian when she  completed her challenge with a walk on the Isle of Cumbrae during December 2016.

In 2017 I decided to join Gillian with her new challenge to walk 1000 miles in the year. I was doing great and by September I had exceeded the challenge and completed 1750 miles.

April 2017: my 60th birthday!   2 stone 11 pounds lighter, 3 dress sizes smaller, a million times healthier and happier <3
Summer 2017 – I had re-established walking as part of my lifestyle and racked up 1750 miles over the course of one year!

Then on October 12th 2017 disaster struck! I fell down a flight of outside stairs and fractured my knee in two places. I needed surgery to insert a plate and screws to hold the bones in place. This changed my life completely. I was fitted with a leg brace and banned from putting any weight on my injured leg for seven weeks.

Hopping around using crutches was very difficult due to the pain so I spent most of the time sitting about. I was totally dependent on my husband for almost everything. I would get really upset every time the weather was good and I couldn’t get out. I started to resent people posting their walks on Facebook.

How could a second’s lack of concentration have such massive consequences?

The week before Christmas I was able to get my leg brace off and start weight-bearing by putting 50% of my weight down. With the help of the physiotherapist I managed to gradually increase this to full weight-bearing 13 weeks after my accident. I was told that it would be a gradual process over the next few months to build up the strength in my leg and increase the range of movement in my knee.

I went back to Weight Watchers mid January 2018 when I was able to stand on the scales. I had gained 9 pounds because of my inactivity and all the extra snacks I had eaten when I had visitors or was feeling sorry for myself. This was putting extra pressure on my knee so I was determined to work extra hard to get it back off.

Soon I could manage very short walks which was a great boost to my morale. The experience had made me realise that walking is not only good for my physical health, it’s good for my mental health as well. I was looking forward to the spring when I hoped to be able to join Gillian on her shorter group walks and enjoy the great outdoors once again.

Five years on (March 2023), and my weight has fluctuated by going up and down by 7 pounds or so (lockdown didn’t help). I keep a check on it and if ever I can’t manage to keep it under control on my own I’ll head straight back to Weight Watchers.

I am walking further than ever and have been on a couple of walking holidays with Gillian and my other daughter Louise. I have continued to take part in the Walk 1000 Miles challenge and managed 3488 miles last year!

As soon as I was fit I started joining Kilmarnock Active Travel Hub’s Monday Health Walk. I enjoyed the walks and meeting new people so jumped at the chance of training to be a volunteer walk leader. Most Mondays I can now be found leading a group around the East Ayrshire countryside paths and sharing my love of walking with them.

My leg will always give me a bit of bother but as long as I am careful where I go and don’t overdo it I manage to walk every day no matter what the weather.

I love joining Gillian on her adventures and look forward to continuing doing so for many years to come”


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21 thoughts on ““Walking For Weight-Loss” by Elaine

  1. yes there are no magic potions or injections out there, eat slightly less and move slightly more is the only way to do it. You have done amazing, and how wonderful to have a daughter with a passion for just what you need, and now even more so she is doing it for a job.


  2. Very inspirational story. Walking is getting us through this Covid pandemic. Don’t seem to be losing any weight though……maybe we shouldn’t carry chocolate with us, lol! 😂 Well done to you

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks Susan, sorry to hear that you found yourself in a similar situation. It takes far longer to recuperate than you think. I’m glad that you have managed to get back out walking & hope that you continue to get stonger


  4. I feel close to you. HAd a bad leg break December 2018. 3 months non weight bearing. Took till late 2019 before walking any distance was possible if not comfortable. In my mid 60s and just appreciate every walk now so much. Oh yes and weight is a constant struggle. Just have to keep working at it. Also find Aquafit a real help to exercise with weight not on knee. Take care


  5. Hi Anne, thank you very much for your lovely comments. I can be very stubborn and determined not to let anything get in the way of keeping fit & healthy. There were times when it would have been very easy to give up but I just kept persevering & I eventually reached my goal.
    You have done a great job too with loosing weight & keeping walking despite your health issues. Another advantage of walking is getting to meet some lovely people & I you have now become a friend.
    Hope we are all back out on our group walks soon but until then I’ll need to content myself with my own company


  6. Just read this Elaine & I cannot believe the difference in you. I have only known you since you have lost the weight so you have always been slim to me. You are a lovely bubbly friendly lady who I love being in company with on our group walks. You must be dedicated & determined not to put the weight back on & always look lovely. I am missing walking with you & cannot wait for the group to get together again. You are an inspiration & makes me although a slow one to keep on with my slimming & walking. Hopefully see you very soon xx


  7. I’m glad that you were inspired by my story. At 61 you still have many more years of walking ahead of you. I believe that if we want something badly enough we will find a way to achieve it.


  8. So glad I read your story Elaine it was just the pick up I needed. I am 61 and thought that walking would get harder for me now but you have reminded me that age is only a number. Glad to hear you are getting back on the road after your accident.


  9. Hi Andy, I feel that I have indeed got there! I have persevered and have now passed the 1000 mile mark with my walks this year. I hope that you manage to go on some of the walks & your blood pressure improves. If you manage on any of Gillian’s led walks please ask her if I’m there.


  10. Thank you Raymond. Perseverance certainly pays off. I’ve managed to walk over 1000 miles this year so far & have just returned from a 3 day waterfall hunt with my daughter’s. We visited 8 waterfalls over the 3 days and I managed to survive fairly challenging terrain. Looking forward to more adventures in the years ahead.


  11. Just started walking for health reasons (blood pressure), googled for short coastal walks that lead me to your story via Gillianswalks, sorry to hear your knee troubles, keep up the good work Elaine, you’ll get there.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thank you very much. Good luck with your 1000 miles challenge. I have also decided that I am going to do th 1000 miles challenge. It certainly won’t be as easy this year but I am a very determined person and I’ll give it my best shot!


  13. What a lovely post although I am so sorry to hear about your knee. I too advocate walking for wellbeing and love how honest and open you have been. I have signed up this year to the #walk1000miles challenge and will be blogging my adventures.


  14. I have been like a caged lion! I was so happy when I managed a “boots on”walk with Gillian last week. I need the snow to go away now so that I can get back out. If you are on any walks ^ I’m there please come & introduce yourself


  15. I really enjoyed reading your story, Elaine, well done on getting back out there so quickly. It must’ve been dreadful for you, not being able to walk. Like you, I find walking to be really stimulating, mentally and physically. Hope to meet you in s walkvdone day. X


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