Victory Day Weigh In – One year on wartime rations!

Today it’s been exactly one year since I started living 100% on wartime rations (British WW2) to see what effect it would have on my health, my morbid obesity…

My heaviest weight ever, prior to weigh-in, one year ago was 345-350 lbs (25 stone) but by the time I weighed in for THIS attempt to live one year on wartime rationing, I had reduced to 299 lbs (21 st 4 lbs).

TODAY, this morning, after one year, of living on wartime rations, I weighed in at 219 lbs (15 st 7 lbs)…

I’ve lost 80 lbs in one year! (and 130 lbs in total) I’m so very, very happy with that.

I’m so happy because a year ago I was scared, I had headaches, dizzy spells that made me fall down, lower crushing back pain on standing and walking (so I just couldn’t go for walks), my pulse raced on any exertion, at rest it raced too, my blood pressure was high, I sweated profusely, I really thought it was going to be a matter of time before something awful happened and despite the public facade of being bubbly and happy, I was depressed.

Today, even with about 60 + lbs still to lose, my quality of life is just amazing. I rarely get a headache, the dizzy spells have gone, no back pain, low pulse at rest, normal blood pressure, I can walk forever and I’m training for my first 5k run!

This is my THIRD attempt at the 1940s Experiment. Both previous attempts before were very successful, I just couldn’t stick with it for more than 4 or 5 months. For the first two attempts I was still a meat eater but also a HUGE vegetable consumer too. Both previous attempts followed the same pattern as this attempt (even though I am now vegan)… initial rapid weight loss as the body detoxified from it’s “modern diet” state, eventually plateauing out and then followed by a very gentle weight loss.

For over SEVEN years now I have been passionate in my belief, that a return to a SIMPLE, UNPROCESSED way of eating, mainly plant based and plant strong diet, with only very small amounts of meat, fish and dairy, is the way to optimum health. I am happy I’ve proved to myself that my theory is correct and that returning to this way of eating, as they did during the war, has ABSOLUTELY improved my health and my quality of life.

At 219 lbs posing with my freebie copy of Wartime Farm which I am about to review for Octopus Publishing on my blog.

An important part of this process was also becoming more active and early into the experiment I decided to start walking. It was tough to begin with as I was still in a lot of pain with my back and experiencing dizzy spells but a lap here and there soon became several laps (yes it was tough, yes I sweated and wanted to give up) and before I knew it, my back pain had gone and I could just walk like everyone else! Walking is the best form of exercise and I am so grateful I can now do this. These days I take myself off for 10 km hikes over all sorts of terrain. The freedom is LIBERATING!

I have made a LIFESTYLE CHANGE for good, for ever..

THANK YOU for everyone who has supported me during my year. EVERY SINGLE MESSAGE and COMMENT has kept me going. Please, you really do not appreciate how this has helped me and I thank you from the bottom of my heart xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

SO WHAT NOW? I still have 60 lbs to go (and still classified as obese). I still want to lose 100 lbs living on wartime rations so I’ve decided to continue, business as usual until I reach 199 lbs and then the third and final phase will be to get to my ultimate goal of 160 lbs. The VICTORY PARTY is on hold until then too. It’s something to aim for, to look forward to, a GOAL!

At 299 lbs
Chest: 59.5 inches
Waist: 56.5 inches
Hips: 62 inches (the tape measure only goes up to 60 inches)
Thigh: 27.5 inches
Upper arm: 16.5 inches
B/P: 176/88 at rest
Pulse: 89 at rest

BMI= 48 (Morbidly Obese)

At 219 lbs
Chest: 46 inches
Waist: 42 inches
Hips: 46 inches
Thigh: 24 inches
Upper arm: 12 inches
B/P: 128/73 at rest
Pulse: 55 at rest

BMI= 35.3 (Obese)

Weight about 335 lbs

41 thoughts on “Victory Day Weigh In – One year on wartime rations!

  1. Amazing! Congratulations. It is so easy to start a new regime but to really embrace a new way of living is hard, it is so easy to fall back and lose ground, especially if you have other pressures – but you have shown that with guts, determination and the belief that you deserve it, it can be done. This is a great victory, celebrate. Then keep going – and keep celebrating. I will be toasting you tonight with your amazing apple brown betty! Thanks for your great example.

  2. I stumbled on your blog when I was looking about for 1940’s recipes. I’ve been keeping an eye on what you’ve been doing ever since. I am so impressed. What I love most is that you persevere and keep your eyes on your goal of being fit and living more simply. You have a positive outlook and a creative spirit. I will be cheering you on as you reach for your 199 goal!

  3. Congratulations! What you’ve done is amazing and truly inspiring. I look forward to following you as you continue on and using your blog and story as inspiration for my own attempt at eating and cooking more from scratch, and losing weight. Thank you, and WOOHOO!!

  4. Carolyn, Congratulations on your hard earned and well deserved success! You are truly an inspiration to me as you have shared your journey with all it’s ups and downs and your attitude of “If first you succeed, try, try again…” regarding your determination to do your ration diet. I keep this always in the back of my mind as someone who is also rationing with her family while trying to loose weight. I am down 15lbs since August which is huge for me because as I once mentioned I have thyroid disease and all my scale has done in the past 2 years is go up! I still have 55lbs left to lose and I know it will be slow going but with your example I know I can do it! Warm wishes and best of love, luck and happiness in your continued journey. Feel ‘V’ictorious because you are!

  5. You are already a one woman victory party just with what you’ve achieved so far, Carolyn. I’ve been rooting for you every pound of the way, and i’ll carry on rooting for you as you carry on digging even deeper for victory. Well done. Talk about winning the Battle of the Bulge…

  6. Amazing. 14.5 inches from the waist. Most of that is going to be visceral fat, and that’s the fat that will kill you. By shedding those 14.5 inches, you’ve probably put 14.5 years (or more) back on your life.

  7. Wow, you’ve done so well Carolyn. I really admire your persistence and determination. Keep going gal 🙂

  8. I just want to cry! I am so happy for you but also you have inspired me to attempt to try some wartime recipes. I think I may pick up a few books also. My husband has been wanting to get to a more plant based diet and I have been wanting to eat less meat. Not just for our health but honesty bc its all so expensive. I want to make the most of what we have and also eat well and feel better. I am going to go through your blog posts to figure out how I should go about this and speak to my hubby today. I have been looking for a way for us to eat better and I think making wartime recipes is a genius idea. Thank you for sharing your story and for being so open. Ahhh I am so excited-going to email my hubs your link now and see what he says. Hugs to you! And keep going-you are doing beautifully!!! xox

  9. Thank you ALL so very, very much for your kind words and support. If there wasn’t so many other things going on in my life right now I’d be so very happy I could burst… but this weight loss and how healthy I feel now (even with another 60+ lbs to lose) is making me stronger and more ready to deal with the coming months ahead… I’m sorry to be vague about this all but I’m just not ready to speak too openly about it all… xxxxxxx

    Well done for losing weight too! I LOVE to read about that and just think it is amazing! What we can do when we try hard enough! Resilience and determination is abundant on this thread!!!! xxxx

    Bunny- you are right. Plant protein such as lentils, beans etc are much more affordable than meat based protein even when buying organic (my lentils and kidney beans etc only cost an extra 50C per packet)…

    Loving reading about every one elses journey/struggles/successes!!!!!

    C xxxxxxxxxx

  10. Congratulations! I’m so proud of you for this. I’ve been following your blog for 6-8 months now and it’s been a pleasure to follow your journey and see all of the recipes, as well as the health changes. It’s made me think more about food and food waste, as well as economizing.

    Best wishes for the book & the rest of the journey! I’ll still be reading!

  11. Well done Carolyn! What you’ve accomplished is incredible and admirable to say the least. Good luck continuing your journey and I’ll be here reading your blog religiously!


  12. You have so much to be proud of! I found your blog looking for war era vegan recipes (woolton pie specifically) I love the premise for your experiment! These too are times in which we should be frugal. The economy in many places is lacking and learning more about the rationing that took place during WW2 in both Britain and America can help us all to live more frugally and in the end more healthily. So glad I found your site! I hope you continue to live this way and to blog about your weight loss.

  13. Congrats on the progress thus far at your one year mark. I am proud to know you and hope that we can continue to read a blog entry at least every now and then to keep posted as to your continued progress. Thanks for being so brave and sharing it with all of us that cheer you on.

  14. Carolyn,
    You are so admirable and a wonderful role model. Because of your blog, and the recipes, I have had an easier time with my plant-based diet (vegan), and am loving it even more. Thank you so much. When you are ready for my No Cheez sauce (made from butternut squash) let me know. I made it and took pictures for the Victory Party, and will send them to you when you have it. I am excited for you, and know you will make it.

  15. Carolyn,

    You are amazing and inspirational. I am an overweight 62 year old woman from the UK and was told a month ago that I have an irregular heartbeat and need to lose weight (I weighed in at 15 st. 7 lbs) and since finding your blog about the 1940’s experiment, quite by accident, I have been using some of your tried and tested recipes. Tonight we had bubble and squeak with many vegetables and some baked beans for protein followed by your delicious and oh so easy Brown Betty. My husband raved about the pudding. I have lost nearly 1 stone in a month purely by reducing dairy (I adore cheese and this has been the hardest thing to do), meat, and sugar and cutting out processed and junk foods completely. The only thing I have missed is cheese and can honestly say I have not felt hungry at all. You are an amazing role model and I wish you every success in your continued efforts, and would like to thank you for personally inspiring me to stick to my new regime. Go for it girl, you are incredible.

    from Sue 1.10.12

  16. well done! you look so much happier, as though a great weight was lifted- not just physically, but mentally as well= ) i mentioned to my husband about trying to live on 1940s style rationing and he went a little pale = )

  17. You have my heartfelt congratulations! I will join you in the journey to lose 60 lbs. I need to lose more than that, but it’s a great start for me. You’ll be hearing from me on occasion, and know I am still cheering you on!

  18. Congratulations. I’ve really enjoyed following your blog, learning about the food and following your success. I’m excited for you and your followers that you are continuing the journey.

  19. Jolly well done! Continue building health, and being kind to yourself. Thankyou so much for sharing your inspiring story thus far 🙂
    Every good wish from NZ. xx

  20. Wow, what amazing photos! You’re looking so great now, you seem like a different person entirely. What you’ve done is a fantastic achievement, for yourself and also for how you’ve inspired so many other people. I’m wiping away tears. Keep going, you’ve got new goals, and so have I now.

  21. WOOHOO!!!!! Go, Carolyn!!
    Congrats on such success at weight loss and for having the courage, creativity, and determination to stick with your plan for an entire year!
    Hugs for you as comfort against the mysterious sadness. You owe us no apology for keeping private. We all have sadness in our lives, and we don’t usually want to tell everybody. *HUG*
    What an inspiration and success you are! Yay, Carolyn!!

  22. Carolyn, I am so very proud of your success! In spite of everything that has been happening in your life in the past year that could easily have derailed your journey, you have used your persistence, ingenuity, and determination to carry on. You are an excellent example to anyone who is working toward a goal, as well as a real tribute to the homefront of the 1940’s.

    Well Done, My Friend!

  23. Great work Carolyn, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog and now aim to attempt some of the recipes. You have also re-awakened my interest in the 1940’s.

  24. Congratulations Carolyn, you’ve worked so hard and inspired so many. You look great. The last 60lbs. should be easy. Good luck

  25. I just read about you on the CBC. Your blog is such a wonderful idea, as there are so many people who would love to lose weight but think they can’t afford fancy diet food, new diet books or gym membership. During these financially hard times you can actually save money by losing weight – inspiring!
    And I had to smile when I saw your photographic weight loss scale. You can see your face is getting brighter and brighter as you progress along. I suppose when you reach your target, you’ll be beaming to the point of bursting! Congratulations on everything you have accomplished so far, and continued luck for your journey.

    • Dear Nicola- thanks so much!! That’s really kind of you to say that!! I agree so much with you about not actually needing to spend lots of money and needing fancy things to lose weight and by getting back to basics it’s not only been helping me to gradually lose weight and become healthier and happier but assisting me financially too, helping us get through these challenging times..

      PS I’ve just found the article LOL

      Thanks for leaving a comment xxxxx

  26. I just want to say how inspired I am of you and Congrats on your success. I feel you did a wonderful job with this blog; its info, recipies and documentation of your journey was very well done. I came across your website by chance when looking for a bread recipie. My family’s situation has made it is hard for us to put food on the table. I totally liked the ration idea and figured this might help us get through until things look up. We haven’t been following as strict as you, but I’m trying. I have to ease my family into change sometimes, ha ha!
    Good luck with ‘Round 3′ I’ll be rootin’ for you 🙂

  27. congratulations.. I am at 16st 4lbs and need to lose another 4-5stone, so am definately going to do your WW2 diet… I am so glad to have found your blog, keep going…:)

  28. Just found this post while helping my daughter research WWII, and wanted to comment on how incredible this is! From your prose to your positive attitude, you are amazing! Thank you for the inspiration!

  29. Pingback: The 1940sExperiment for a Year – Take 2 – The 1940's Experiment

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