Reaching threshold

What is it that makes us want to lose weight – and keeps our resolve strong after the first week?

So Robs left a comment yesterday that made me start thinking about what it was that makes us successful on a diet? She said,

“Can’t take this extra weight ANYMORE!!!”

In other words, she’d reached what I’ve heard called “Threshold” – that point where you’ve had enough, where you’re suddenly jolted into a sense of awareness of all those pounds which might have been creeping on gradually for months, years, decades.

It could have been a pair of jeans that used to fit but don’t anymore. Maybe it was a number on the Scales of Woe that you’ve never seen before (and had hoped to never see). Perhaps it was catching a glimpse of yourself in a window at just the wrong angle, or a particularly bad photo that you’ve had to untag on Facebook.

For me, last year, it was this photo:

To say I was shocked to see this photo was an understatement. It was taken in about May 2010, when I was at my all-time heaviest – around 114kgs. When I think that right now, I’m carrying 18kgs less than I was back then, it makes me wonder how I managed to get around at all.

18kgs – that’s the equivalent of one of those great big bottles of water that goes in the water cooler in the office.

Those things are bloody heavy to lug around. And I was lugging an extra one of those around 16 months ago.

Anyway, I saw the photo, at around the same time as I had been reading about the Dukan diet. It all just kinda clicked into place – threshold.

But by Christmas, I was looking a bit more svelte. I was down to about 88kgs, I was fitter, happier, healthier, but I tell you what, I was looking forward to those Christmas Carbs. I’d decided I was going to allow myself a lovely big celebration meal at Christmas. Late November rolled around, and I started thinking, “och well – it’s holiday season. Let’s have a mince pie.”

By the time Christmas drew near, I’d gone from the odd carb-indulgence, to having carbs every day. It’s what them’s in the low-carb world term, “carb creep”. One little bit of carbs leads to a little bit more. You justify a little jump on the scales, by saying that you’ll do better tomorrow. But tomorrow comes, and that little bit of carbs yesterday didn’t hurt that much, so you have a bit more bread, or another biscuit, or another mince pie.

And before you know it, the scales have gone up by 12kgs and you barely even know how it happened.

So how did it happen? Gradually, that’s how.  Over the past few months, I’ve found myself making a few desultory attempts at “getting back on the wagon” but it never lasted. I never had that “threshold” moment which really galvanised my resolve to make me resist the biscuits in the kitchen at work. Plus, I was so embarrassed at having put all the weight back on again, I didn’t really want to admit it to the world at large.

So what’s different this time? I think for me, the threshold has been a more positive experience – a couple of the bloggers who I used for support last year (most of us had gradually stopped blogging – and Dukanning – for one reason or another) have come back. Re-enter Gentlemonkey in particular – I’m holding onto her as my own personal “threshold” champion. When she does Dukan, she does it really well. She and I have kinda followed similar paths – perhaps via different routes – but the destination has been the same. We both did really well on Dukan, then she moved to Japan and I … well, I just enjoyed too much junk food. And so we both gained back some of what we’d lost.

It helps to know that I’m not the only one who fell off the wagon and is willing to admit it. So thanks Lauren. You totally halted my upwards spiral. Seriously, I owe you one. If you and your man ever need a bed to stay in when you visit Edinburgh, you’ve got one. We’ll have a high protein, low carb BBQ.

What about the rest of you? What were your threshold moments in deciding to go with the Dukan Diet (or any diet) with gusto? Blog it, tweet it, Facebook it, comment it – share your stories! 🙂

Love to you all – WE CAN DO THIS!!!


21 responses to this post.

  1. Oh man, my threshold moment was looking at photo of the back of my husband and I, not realizing I was the linebacker standing next to my husband. I didn’t recognize myself; that will shake you up! And Charlotte – you rock!


    • I love your blog, Annoyed Army Wife! I just spent waaay too much of my working morning reading. I especially love your proposal story – so cute! Ha ha – “is this going to take long?”

      Love it. 🙂

      Keep in touch!

      Charlotte xx


  2. Thanks for sharing Charlotte – For me it was knee pain. Suddenly my right knee started hurting and clicking (it still clicks going up stairs but no more pain) plus I had two items of clothing that were UK size 22s and I didnt want any more!!! I can’t even actually remember where I heard about the Dukan. I know I learnt alot about it reading your blog from start to finish though!


    • Hey MC! Yeah, the knee pain was one of the things that lead up to threshold last year. And I was edging into the too-many-size-24s. Eek!

      So glad the blog helped – I love reading about your ups and downs. I’m going on a rampage today of signing up to RSS feeds or subscribing to all my favorite Dukan Friend’s blogs – yours is one of em! 🙂


  3. I’ve reached my threshold moment a couple of times. For me it’s 160lbs. I’m desperately unhappy when I hit 150lbs but it usually takes a little more sulking (and a lot more pastries) before I do something about it. I’m not sure why but 160 sets alarm bells ringing. I guess I see it as my point of no return. The last time I was there in Jan 2010 I recall yelling, “Action stations, action stations! Set Condition One throughout the ship! This is Not a Drill!” I low-carbed myself down to 134lbs by September the same year (training for a 10k run in Stockholm helped too – it was a holiday with a goal attached) but I fell off the wagon in Jan this year after starting my baking blog. I should have known that would lead me into too much temptation… but I just can’t help myself. This time my threshold was 145lbs – I didn’t want to feel like Sisyphus anymore. But I couldn’t face the diet I’d done last year. I had no enthusiasm for it. So I decided to ‘Do The Dukan’ (sing it like, ‘Do The Hussle’). So far so good, 3 weeks in and I’m already back to 136lbs (‘True Weight’: 131). Another 10k on the cards this September hasn’t hurt either…


    • I’m so impressed with the way you’ve managed things, especially with your baking blog, Kelli! I can only dream of reacing 160 – my Dukan endorsed true weight is 165lbs… 😉

      There’s something about Dukan that just suits certain people, isn’t there? yay!


  4. Posted by Lee-Anne on August 25, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    Hey there babe,
    Thanks for posting this. I’m sure it’ll hit home with a lot of people, myself included. I’m sure I told you but my moment was seeing a photograph of myself from last Christmas. Just horrid. I was so heavy my eyes started to disappear as my face was getting so big! At that point I knew I had to change. It’s been hard and the last few months have not seen a huge change for me, a little up a little down. The past five days have sucked. Other things getting in the way and it’s turned into me “treating” myself to junk food (pizza is a swear word) but I need to get the finger out of my soon to be smaller ass. As you know I have a wedding to go to in October so I want to be in a size smaller for it. So I have a goal and I’m going to reach it. I’m going food shopping at the weekend so going to stock up on the good stuff and use your advise from the other week.
    Love ya. Keep going strong. x


    • Don’t forget the exercise, hun! It’s pretty much the thing that’ll make or break this diet. All it takes is 30 mins every day – that’s just 9-10 great walking tunes on your mp3 player. Next time you come over, I’ll pop my playlist on a usb stick for ya, how does that sound? If you want to find your own great walking tunes, try They have a stack of songs categorised by beats-per-minute, genre, popularity, newness etc. I’ve found a lot of great choons there.

      And seriously – the difference between my weight loss last week compared to this week has been really obvious, and pretty much entirely because I started up walking again this week, yay! 🙂



    • And I meant to say, I aim for tunes at about 130bpm – that’s a nice brisk pace without going so fast that my boobs wobble out of their casings… 😉


      • Posted by Lee-Anne on August 28, 2011 at 11:59 am

        Thanks babe.
        I walk home from work every day, come rain or shine, so that I get my 30 minutes in no matter what. We haven’t been to the gym in ages (lack of car boo) but that will change this week. I’m all back on track and have done well this weekend, hit another milestone in the weight loss trip so I’m a happy bunny this weekend. I will certainly check out I’ve got my play list for the gym but couls do with a change. Enjoy the rest of your weekend and good luck with the derby today and the lap count.
        LA 😉

      • Yay, well done Lee-Anne! 🙂 I swear, once you get past the first 2 weeks of no carbs but oatbran and vegetables, it’s surprising how easy it becomes to resist them. But the first two weeks of cold turkey are SERIOUSLY hard – I actually used to get a really tight feeling in my chest, like I wanted to cry, from carb cravings. Thank goodness I’m past that now!!! 🙂


        PS – 20 and 1/4 laps!!! 🙂

      • Posted by Lee-Anne on August 28, 2011 at 10:37 pm

        Nice one babe. You’ll be flying around in no time. Keep me (us here) posted.
        I really do feel like I have my resolve back now. I’ve hovered about the same for a few months now after losing quite a bit. Yes on one side I wasn’t putting it back on but then still, I wasn’t going forward (well downwards). Now I have my groove back and am finding it easier to step away from the carbs. Once I get through the weekends I feel my week days are a breeze. Fingers crossed it won’t be long until I hit another milestone. I want a great dress for my friends wedding in October and I have promised myself a foxy red dress for Christmas!

  5. Yup, I hit threshold this past spring. I went to see my back surgeon (had back surgery in 2008) and found that I’ll need to have another surgery within the next few years. I remembered how hard it was the last time I had surgery, to do all of the physical therapy after having been on months of bed rest. I did NOT want it to be the same thing all over again with this next surgery! I made the decision to start Dukan (thank you for your blog–it was a huge help as I got started) about 3 months ago and I’m down 22 lbs. I’m hoping to be down another 30 before surgery next spring!


  6. Charlotte, I love this post!

    For me, I had gotten to the point where I didn’t want to see some old friends who I hadn’t seen in a while, because I was embarrassed about the weight I had gained since last seeing them. Although I know they wouldn’t have cared how I looked, something in me just felt so…awful…and I knew I had to change something. I did some research online, found out about the Dukan diet, and am chugging along… 🙂


    • Oh Vicki, I know exactly what you mean. I’ve totally been there. For me, it’s seeing my parents that makes me cringe if I’m at a higher weight. They’ve seen me struggle with my weight my entire life, and have exalted with me when I’m doing well, and worried for me when I’m not doing so well. And given that I live on the other side of the world from them these days, they only see the changes in time-lapse, rather than gradually. They’re coming again to visit in about a month, so that’s an added motivation for me!

      (and my mum reads this blog – hello mother! 🙂 )

      Did you end up seeing the friends anyway?

      Charlotte xx


  7. Posted by Sue on August 26, 2011 at 7:18 am

    My last threshold moment was when my weight was creeping up after losing 3 stone on WW- got to goal but then relaxed and slowly gained- into the next stone… And still gaining- I was done counting points – who does that forever? Just had a ‘if I don’t do something I will put it ALL back on’ moment and got the book. Must admit I sneaked it in so DH didn’t say ‘not another diet book’ but I started following the diet without saying anything and am now happy to eat this way long term- am proud to tell people that I do low carb as they can see it’s working for me.


    • Hehe… I was a bit nervous bringing a diet book into the house too. We’re not “those kinds of people” to jump on a band wagon of any sort (unless it’s a very geeky bandwagon led by someone like Joss Whedon) so I didn’t know how he’d react. He’s been SO good though – most of the time he eats what I eat, just splashing out on something like a pizza when he knows I’m not going to be home.

      And how much easier is Dukan than WW? All those points would drive me batty. Not that I’m knocking it – it works for some people, and weight loss is all about finding what works for the individual



  8. I was desperately unhappy with my weight (98 kg) but knew that only a low-protein diet would work. I had started and abandoned South Beach. Atkins. Glyx. All after a few days, all in 2011. I wasn’t really motivated. My threshold had long been reached but I simply couldn’t do it. So I started Dukan – the most restrictive diet of them all – without any real planning and already “knowing” that I would give up after a few days.
    But I didn’t. I didn’t give up. This was the diet that worked for me! It was the right match! I went on day after day, surprised that I could do it.
    And I am actually still surprised.
    For me in the end, after having really reached the threshold and having abandoned all hopes it was finding the diet that worked for me out of all the ones that are out there!


    • Moonday, that’s such an awesome story – I love that you’d tried everything else and nothing had worked. Well done for not giving up!

      I totally understand what you mean about having abandoned all hope – about 6 months before I started Dukan, I started getting rid of all my “skinny” clothes (and by skinny, I mean, size 18 stuff). I was fairly certain that I’d never be able to fit into them again. I totally wish I’d kept em now – cause all my clothes started getting too big!!

      Well done on your loss so far, you’re doing so well!! Yay for seeing the 80s solidly! 🙂



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: