Right – first of all, I’m really pleased with myself right now. I started this journey at 18st 4lbs and I tipped the scales yesterday morning at 17st 5lbs, which means that I’ve just reached my first target, which was to lose 5% of my starting weight. This is what is generally regarded as a good thing. I’ve now reset my target to 16st 6lbs, which will mean that I’ll have lost 10% of my starting weight.
I’m not sure yet what my overall target is. I have an idea that it’s somewhere around 12st, but that seems so far away that I’m not interested in focusing on that just yet. I think there’s an important issue there for fat blokes, as we’re usually encouraged to identify a very clear end result and go for it, but I think that approach can cause problems. This might just be me, but setting a smaller target like the 5% means that a very small weight loss can still make a significant difference towards the target, and that can really help to keep positive. I’ve currently lost 13lbs. That’s just one pound under a stone, and it’s something I’m very proud of. When measured against the 5% target, or the 10% target, that feels like a real achievement. When measured against a total target of over 6st to lose, it’s easy to feel like you’ll never get there.
One of the key things that I’m preparing myself for is that the rate at which I’m losing weight will drop. It will do soon, and it should do too – as I updated my progress online this morning, I was informed that as far as WW are concerned, I’m losing weight too quickly, and it’s not good for my health. The recommended rate of healthy weight loss is 1-2lbs a week, and if you work on the basis that the lower figure will be the norm, the time that it will take to reach any target obviously increases. If my target is to lose another 13lbs, then it’s OK to look at that and see that at 1lb per week, then I’ll reach that target in another 3 months or so. That’s a long time, but it’s something that seems feasible, and it seems feasible that I can maintain what I’m doing for the next 13 weeks. If my target is to lose another 75lbs or so, that’s difficult to imagine, it’s difficult to accept that I can do it, and it’s difficult to see a 1lb loss as anything significant. I’m not sure if that makes any sense to you, but it seems very sensible to focus on shorter term, smaller targets right now.
I’ve had a couple of very interesting experiences in the past 24 hours that I wanted to get down on paper/screen/whatever you call it these days. First of all, I had a bit of a binge evening yesterday. I actually weighed myself a day early, as I knew I wouldn’t be near my scales this morning, so knew that I’d hit my target, and went off to a family BBQ with a big grin on my face. I ate a lot. This is actually a good thing in a number of ways. First of all, I’d saved up a large number of points throughout the week, and also earned a large number of points at the gym, which mean that even though I pigged out a bit, and ate more than I really should have, or even wanted to, I still ended the week with about 15 points to spare. Secondly, I’m reliably informed by my good lady wife that even though I felt like I’d eaten a lot, I didn’t eat anywhere near as much as I would previously have done. Thirdly, I still wrote down everything that I’d eaten, and pointed it all – that’s the point at which it’s very easy to stop writing it all down (as it doesn’t make fantastic reading) but I took it all in my stride, pointed it all properly, and carried on eating more healthily today.
The other experience was potentially more disheartening, but I am refusing to let it be so. I weighed myself a day early, as I was going to be staying with relatives, but this morning I found myself in the bathroom, looking at my relatives scales and wondering whether I should step on. The little voice in my head (did I really call him Sebastian the other week?) was giving me some very good advice, saying “nothing good can come from this – do NOT step on those scales”. Of course, I didn’t listen, and got on the scales anyway. Result? According to those scales I was actually a full 6lbs heavier than I was the previous morning. Sorry Sebastian – you were right! Anyway, whereas something like this may have crushed me in the past, it’s not going to this time. Had I put on 6lbs in 24 hours? Nope. End of story. It’s possible that my scales are consistently recording me as being 6lbs lighter than I am, but even if that’s true (and it’s just as possible that my scales are accurate and the other ones are wrong) then I’ve still lost 13lbs in the last four weeks, so IT DOESN’T MATTER!
The Shrinking Man