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

Day 2: Daily diet sheets- lots of food!

It is a good job there currently is no man in my life …If there was, he who shares my couch and my bed would certainly be in for a night full of surprises tonight and not in a good way ( I need say no more than beans and veggie stew- a delightful combination with spectacular wind power qualities…)

Despite not having a big appetite again today and worrying about my car repair bill, I made sure to eat plenty of wholesome food for the first part of the day. Firstly a large bowl of the obligatory porridge oats (oatmeal), a huge veggie stew of which I gobbled down three bowlfuls with two slices of bread and finally a small dinner of 1/2 my bacon ration and 1/2 can baked beans followed by a delightful ‘Danish Apple Pudding’ (I’ll post that recipe tomorrow)

So here is today’s 1940s authentic wartime diet sheet


Porridge oats (oatmeal) made with just water and sprinkled with a little sugar   25 cents/ 12 pence


3 bowls of vegetable stew (included veggies like cabbage, onions, cauliflower, potatoes, carrots and tomatoes)

2 thick slices of wholemeal (wholewheat) bread spread with margarine  $1.25/ 65 pence


1/2 can of baked beans

2 oz bacon  $1.00/ 50 pence


Large portion of Danish Apple Pudding ( 4 portions made with 4 old bruised apples, wholemeal bread, a little sugar, syrup and almond essence)  1 portion = 75 cents/ 35 pence


4 very large cups of tea and lots of water.

TOTAL COST = $3.25 / 1 UK Pound & 60 pence

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Daily Diet Sheets

As I struggle to keep within my rations (the will is weak at the moment) and due to the wonderful encouragement I am receiving from people on a daily basis, I’d really like to share with you a daily record of EVERY morsel of food that passes these nostalgic lips from now until next Monday.

I’ll take a quick photo of my dinner plate each evening so you can see that it is not piled high with ‘Nachos and Cheese’ instead of 1940’s cuisine…. 🙂

Will post every evening. (starting Tuesday evening)

One day **MY KNICKERS** will be significantly smaller- I know it!

C xx

The 1940’s Experiment- Four months on

August 2009 @ 315lbs - November 2009 @ 283lbs

Hello my name is Carolyn Ekins. I am a single mother of three and I have been morbidly obese for several years.

My all time heaviest was 343 lbs. Last Christmas I weighed 330 lbs.

In August 2009 I weighed in at 315 lbs and vowed to change my eating habits forever in a year long 1940s Social Experiment based on the rationed diets of everyday folk living on the home-front during World War II.  I truly believe by being as true as I can to living a year eating back to basics food, cooked from scratch and as little processed food as I can, I WILL become a healthier person. I aim to lose 100 lb in one year..

Four months into the 1940s Experiment I have lost almost 33 lbs and weighed in today at 282 lbs.

I don’t count calories, and if I am hungry I eat lots of food and my theory seems to be working- I do feel MUCH healthier from just a few months ago.

It hasn’t always been an easy journey and have slipped up a handful of times and sometimes eat way too much bread BUT I know I can make it.

100 Cooked and Photographed Wartime Recipes

100 Wartime Recipes will be recreated and photographed throughout the year of the 1940’s Experiment. I want this to be a record in photographs of a typical 1940’s rationing diet and to experience the tastes of the time using the ingredients available.

So far I have recreated nearly 30 recipes- 1 every 3 days!

Thank you for your support!

And thanks for all the support I have been getting from all the people who have read 23,000 pages of my blog since August 2009. Knowing people are reading and commenting keeps me going… it really does. I LOVE reading the comments and thoughts left on my blog!!

C xxxxxxx

Why did I get so fat Mr. Darcy?

mrdarcyI keep asking this myself….WHY & HOW did this seemingly happen so quickly. WHY did I let myself become 315 lbs and HOW come I haven’t succeeded in doing something about it permanently? I suck!

But weight loss and weight gain is a very personal thing….it really isn’t all about the food, that just happens to be something we turn to for comfort or to take our anger out on. And of course some of us really do just like FOOD!

And in an earlier blog when I spoke about Belgian Chocolates and Mr Darcy there was an underlying association of indulgent food with SEX! (but I guessed you picked that up already) Both give you enormous pleasure, the element of surprise (you don’t really know what you are going to get until you lick away the outer layers), fills you up, leaves you feeling a little guilty but still wanting MORE…

So far, there has been no chocolate  or Mr. Darcy in my 1940’s diet.

Please keep me from temptation……just for now!

Eggless sponge gone wrong


A birthday party is never a proper birthday party without a cake! Unfortunately, I had just one egg to last me a whole week so I had to find a recipe that used NO eggs…Marguerite Patten came to the rescue (as always) and I found a suitable recipe to try so at least I could enjoy a 1940’s cake on Em’s birthday.

All went well and the cake smelled actually quite nice as it baked and I removed the tins and left them to cool when cooked. But then it came to removing the cakes from the tins and everything fell apart into a crumbly mound looking more like cous cous than a sweet delicious treat. It may have looked like a total disaster but the cake tasted really good and now being a modern day 1940’s cook with limited resources there was no way in hell I was going to throw it away… with no further delay here is the recipe

Eggless sponge gone wrong

  • 6 oz wholewheat flour
  • 3 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 2.5 oz margarine
  • 2 oz sugar
  • 1 level tablespoon of table syrup (or Lyons Golden Syrup)
  • 1/4 pint milk
  • sultanas optional
  • jam for filling optional


Sift the flour and the baking powder together

Cream the margarine, sugar and syrup together until soft and light

Add a little flour and then a little liquid

Continue to do this until until you have a smooth mixture.

Grease and flour two 7 inch sandwich tins and divide mixture between them

Cook in centre of over at 200 celcius for 20-30 minutes.

Cool for 10 minutes before removing from tins

Halfway through week 1..

It’s been an exciting week for me (in a geeky sort of historical foody way)..

The biggest challenge was on Friday after work. I had promised a chinese takeaway to the children and had to drive with the wonderfully smelling chinese cuisine wafting up my nostrils on the 30 minute journey home. 

Have eaten well so far this week- a little hungry inbetween meals sometimes but that is understandable seeing as I usually eat all day!

I wonder what the scales will show on Wednesday morning for end of week 1 weigh in?