Wow! What a week!

Good day to you all 🙂

I’ve just completed my 16th weigh-in and I’m simply delighted to tell you that I’ve managed to misplace another four pounds.  That’s eight pounds in the last two weeks!  And I was expecting to put a bit of weight on this week!

For a variety of reasons I’ve not been able to get to the pool at all this week, so to be completely honest I would have been really pleased to lose anything, let alone a rather enormous four pounds.  I’ve also gone slightly over my points on a few days, and actually finished the week 2.5 points over my allowance, so really would have understood if I’d stayed the same or gained a bit.  That’s really quite an important lesson I think, as it suggests once again that it’s not the daily or weekly stuff that makes the difference, it’s the long-term stuff, along with the long-term habits that you pick up, that make the real difference.

There are some key milestones that I’ve hit this week.  I tipped the scales at 15st 9lb this morning, from a starting point of 18st 4lb, which means that I’m now past the two and a half stone mark.  I’ve also dipped below 100kg, which for the metric speakers amongst you is probably key, although I’ve never really used kg myself.  I’m now just 1lb away from my next target, which is to lose 15% of my starting weight, so that’s just round the corner.  I’ve now lost 37 pounds in total, which is somewhere in the region of the weight of a 37 inch LCD television.  Plus the stand.  Or an 8″ x 8″ x 16″ concrete block.  It is actually starting to get difficult to accept that a few months ago I was carrying all that extra weight.

If anyone reading this is wondering whether they could cope with the strict regime that weight watchers imposes on you, it might be helpful for me to pick out a few highlights from last week’s food intake.  This week I have eaten:

  • KFC
  • Burger King
  • Bacon sandwiches
  • Burger and chips (twice)
  • 11 packets of crisps
  • a bag of midget gems (more on these later)

Not what I would expect someone losing weight to be eating really, but that does show the whole ethos behind weight watchers – if you’re prepared to adjust your other eating to compensate for it, you can eat whatever you want.  To provide a clearer overall picture I should add that this week I have also eaten:

  • Lots of salads
  • Loads of fruits
  • Salmon, prawns and tuna
  • Chicken
  • A ton of vegetables

This isn’t how I used to eat.  For a start, on a visit to Burger King, I would always have had an XL Bacon Double Cheeseburger and Fries – often large fries.  These days I have a Whopper (no cheese) and fries – never large.  On a visit to KFC I would always have had absolutely everything and carried on eating until I felt physically unwell.  These days I’m happy with a couple of bits of chicken and regular fries.  Even so, if I do go to BK or KFC, then I have to adjust the rest of my eating to allow for it.

  • Eating sensible amounts, whatever I’m eating
  • Adjusting the rest of my intake to allow for it

Those two things allow me the flexibility to eat what I want while still losing weight.  This is indeed a good thing.

A quick point on the midget gems, as I’m not sure I’m all that comfortable having them around.  I know I said the other week that they didn’t have any power over me any more, but I think that I wasn’t being completely honest with you.  I bought another bag this week, and however much I tried to ignore them, I could hear them calling to me from their draw in the kitchen.  The real problem was they kept saying to me “it’s a bad idea to have midget gems in the house – it would now be a great idea to eat the whole of the rest of the bag, otherwise you’ll probably die”.  That’s not a good sign really, as that’s the classic addiction call as far as I’m concerned.  I’m not scared of them in the way that I once was, but I think I do need to be cautious around them, so may just lay off them for a bit.

Anyway, as I mentioned above I’m now just 1lb away from my next target, which is to lose 15% of my starting weight.  There are also a couple of other targets which are beginning to loom large in the road ahead of me.  First of all, there is the 14st something target, which is now just ten pounds away.  I have a feeling that it will take quite some time to get there, but that will really be something quite special when I hit that.  Before that though, I get to hit a rather excellent goal.  When I lose another five pounds, so when I hit 15st 4lb, that’s when I officially become OVERWEIGHT!  I will no longer be one of the statistics in the obese world, and will simply be OVERWEIGHT!  I will need to find some appropriate way to celebrate this momentous event when it happens, which it surely will.

I don’t expect the next few weeks to show major weight losses, as from reviewing my stats over the past few months, that’s not the way it tends to go.  If I go through a few weeks where I lose a lot, I then tend to have a few weeks where I lose a little, stay the same or put on a bit.  It all evens itself out in the end though, so I really am not all that concerned about that at all.  Honestly 🙂

May the shrinking continue.

The Shrinking Man

The Arrival of 15st Something Man…

Morning all!

I’ve just stepped off of the scales from my 15th weigh in, and am feeling rather happy.  To be more specific, I stepped off of the scales, did a little dance, woke my wife up to tell her the news, apologised for waking my wife up, made her feel guilty for being cross with me on such a glorious occasion and then headed for the computer.  But that’s probably a bit long winded, so anyway, I’m feeling rather happy.

The Shrinking Man is pleased to announced the departure of 16 stone man, and is genuinely delighted to announce the arrival of 15 stone something man.  A four pound loss this week means that for the first time in a very long time, I am under 16 stone.  15 stone 13 pounds to be precise. 223lb!  101.4kg!

I really am chuffed with this one, so forgive me if I go on a bit:-)

15 weeks ago I tipped the scales at 18 stone 4lb.  For those of you who don’t speak stone, that’s 256lb.  For those of you who only speak metric, that’s 116.4kg.  That means that in just under 4 months, I’ve lost 2st 5lb.  Or 33 lb.  or 15kg.  That means that this week alone I’ve lost the equivalent of a chihuahua, and that overall, I’ve lost the equivalent of more than eight chihuahuas.  15 weeks ago, I was carrying around the equivalent of 8 small dogs (well tiny little yapping rats really) with me everywhere I went.  That’s just plain antisocial.

For a slightly easier to follow analogy, 33lb is around the weight of a 3 year old boy.  Anyone who has had children can remember just how heavy they feel when you carry them round for any period of time.  If you haven’t had children, then go and find a 3 year old boy and carry him around for a few weeks (although make sure you ask the parent’s permission first – people can be very tetchy about strangers carrying their sons around without permission). I was doing that full time.  Every day.  All day.  My poor, poor organs.

One of the strangest things about this period of the journey is that I really don’t know what to expect when I step on the scales.  When I first started, I could literally see the changes in my body, and could make out specific changes in parts of my belly.  I knew that I’d lost weight, it was just a question of how much.  A few months later and when it’s weigh-in time, I simply don’t know whether I’ll lose a bit, lose a lot, stay the same or even put on a pound or two.  I thought that would be very difficult to deal with, and perhaps it was for a while, but I’m learning more and more by the week about this, which makes it easier to deal with.

I know that I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ll mention it again – what happens in any particular week really doesn’t matter.  It’s how you respond to what happens in any particular week that makes the difference.  If you’re doing the right things, then it will all go in the right direction.  Not necessarily every week, but it will in general, and that’s the bit that’s important.  Over the last three weeks I’ve gained a pound, lost two pounds and lost four pounds.  It would have been easy to have reacted badly to the one pound gain, and given up, or at least relaxed a bit.  It would have been easy to have reacted badly to the two pound loss after a one pound gain – particularly as I’d done everything right and perhaps expected to lose a little more.

It’s quite possible that even if I exercise like crazy this week and stick rigidly to the plan, I might still not lose any weight this week.  I might even gain a pound.  But if I keep doing what I’m doing, then I’ll lose in the long run, and that’s the bit that matters.

Ooh – while I think of it – I hit a major goal yesterday!

Someone who I hadn’t seen for the last three or four months came up to me, out of the blue and said “You’ve lost loads of weight – you’re looking fantastic!”  This was someone who didn’t know what I’m doing, someone who isn’t on facebook, someone who had no way of knowing that I was dieting other than by looking at the results, and therefore can’t have just been saying it “to be nice”.  Stick a huge tick in the box for that one 🙂

Anyway, I have to go and dance around a little bit more and annoy my family a whole lot more, so I’ll leave it there for now.

Keep shrinking.

The Shrinking Man

Minus Two Feels Slightly Disappointing…

Morning all 🙂

14th weigh-in just completed, and I’ve dropped two pounds this week.  It’s great news, but to be honest I’m a little bit disappointed that it’s not more.  Following a 1lb gain last week that was a little surprising, I was hoping that I might shift a bit more this week, but it wasn’t to be.

To show you just how desperate I was to lose more, I weighed myself at about 8:30 this morning, saw that I’d lost a couple of pounds, but decided to weigh myself again a little while later, once I’d done that thing that people do in the mornings that is pretty much guaranteed to make them lighter.  It didn’t.  So 2lb it is then.

Anyway, it’s been an interesting week.  I didn’t react well to the 1lb gain last week, and went on a bit of a binge that very day.  It wasn’t quite as straight forward as that – we went to visit relatives and they cooked a proper Sunday dinner for us.  The meal was lovely, and I really enjoyed it, but I miscalculated in my head over the points, and ended up having just a couple left over for my tea at the end of the day.  By the end of my tea, I had gone over by a few points, and ended up feeling so down about that, particularly as it was on top of a 1lb gain, that I just sat and snacked out.

No excuses, and it was a bit of a daft thing to do, but in some ways it was quite a positive experience.  First of all, I was fully aware of what I was doing.  This wasn’t some mindless feast of the terminally angry – I was just fed up, and wanted to do it.  Secondly, even while I was snacking, I was making food choices – deciding not to snack on that, but to snack on this instead, as it had fewer points.  Lastly, the result of about three hours of feasting?  Just eight points.  There’s six in a mars bar!  Those eight points, when added on to the three I’d already gone over put me a grand total of 11 points over for the day.  Not great, but not a huge problem either, and I made those points up the very next day by having a good swim and saving a few points.

I’ve exercised like crazy this week – four full 40 minutes stints in the pool of 60 lengths each.  I’m aching, but in a good way.

Probably the best thing that’s happened to me this week was clothing related.  One of the main things about being  fat bloke is that you don’t often have good clothing related stories to tell, so excuse me if I indulge myself a little here.

A few months before I started this journey, I went to buy myself a Fred Perry top.  Something of a throwback to my childhood, but something I really wanted to do.  Anyway, went to a young-person’s clothing store to try one on, and just about fitted into the XXL, which was the largest size that they did.  I loved that top, and actually brought myself a couple more over the coming weeks, which at £50 a throw was quite a break from my usual “buy the cheapest thing that covers your belly” attitude.  They just fitted me at the time, and after a few washes, a couple of them were on the verge of not fitting me anymore.

Over the last few weeks, they’ve been looking a bit too big.  Much, much too big really.  I asked my good lady wife whether she thought I’d be able to fit into the next size down, and she suggested probably not, but it wouldn’t be long.  Yesterday I went shopping.  I tried on the XL and it fitted great.  And if anything was a little on the large size :-).  I’ve bought one so that I can enjoy this very same feeling again when it comes to time to move into the L, and I don’t think it will be all that long.  Really, really pleased about that.

On the back of that experience, I decided this morning that I’m going to have a clear out of my clothes, and get rid of anything that doesn’t fit.  My wife was supportive of the idea, but expressed one reservation.  “I wouldn’t throw out the expensive tops, but definitely get rid of all the cheap ones, as they can always be replaced when…” and she stopped in mid-sentence, choosing not to add the final words “when you put the weight back on again”.

I’ve got something to prove here I think 🙂

Keep Shrinking.

The Shrinking Man

The Pain of a Gain

13th weigh in this morning and I’ve gained a pound.  Not the result I was hoping for, but certainly not the end of the world.  So why does it feel like it is?

It’s a strange thing this weight loss malarkey.  Psychologically, it’s fascinating at times, and would be really amazing to study if it was happening to someone else.  With it being a little more personal, it has a tendency to be just that little bit more painful.  Which is nice.

One of the keys to successful weight loss is that slow is better than quick, or so I’m told by those in the know.  I believe that to be very sensible and very true, and that’s why, at times I’ve taken action to slow my weight loss down to try to keep it around the 2lbs a week.  An integral part of getting that right in your head is coming to terms with the fact that losing 1lb in a week is a great success.  It’s easy to see a loss of 3 or 4 or 5lb as being significant, but it takes a little bit more work to see just 1lb as really meaningful, particularly when you’ve as much to lose as I have (interestingly enough, my weight loss has tended to come in larger chunks – just in case you’ve not noticed, there’s a link to the Shrinking Log at the top of the page, which shows you the statistics of my little journey).

Just as I start to come to terms with the fact that a 1lb loss is indeed a truly wonderful thing, I then go and do something stupid like put 1lb on.  This is fun isn’t it?  All the carefully balanced and considered reasons why losing a 1lb is great are now suddenly working against me.  Aaaargh!

This is what I’m supposed to think:  Gaining a pound means nothing in the longer scheme of things.  Your body can gain quite a few pounds at any point just by retaining water. Your scales probably aren’t accurate enough to consistently measure identically down to such small quantities.

The thing is, I believe all of these too!  They’re very sensible and very true as well!  They just don’t fit very well with the other side of the coin 🙂

The bottom line is this.  Nothing that happens in any individual week matters.  Not in itself.  It only matters in relation to how you deal with the coming weeks. Whether you gain a pound or lose five pounds what matters isn’t the loss or gain, but what that loss or gain means for how you approach your weight loss in the next few weeks and months.  I’m not overweight because of what’s happened in any given week.  I’m overweight because I’ve eaten badly over the last 25 years or so.  I’m overweight because I’ve unlearned how to eat sensibly over many years.

What I’m doing right now is learning to eat sensibly again.  Learning to make sensible food choices each day, that will add up to a leaner and healthier me.  I’ve already made some great progress in that direction, but it will take time to undo all those years of harm, and that’s why the bigger picture doesn’t care if I put on a pound over the past seven days.  If I put on a pound a week for the next month, then that’s telling me something, but a single pound in a single week?  Be gone feeble annoyance.  Be gone.

By the way, I crossed the midget gem horizon this week.  Possibly a reckless decision, but it was bugging me and I wanted to see how I’d react to it  (For anyone reading this who doesn’t have the faintest idea what I’m talking about, then have a read here) .  For the record, I didn’t die.  I didn’t fall on the pack like a rabid dog, ripping the bag apart, sending jelly sweets all over the room in a frenzied desire for the sugary contents.

You know what?  I didn’t even eat the whole bag.  I just grabbed a handful, ate them slowly, enjoyed them, pointed them, and then stuck the bag back in the drawer.  I had a few more yesterday too.  There’s still three quarters of the bag left in there, and I was rather surprised to find that I have no desire whatsoever to dive downstairs and eat the whole bag after the weigh-in.

You have no hold on me anymore, you little jelly beasts you!

I am the master.

And I will shrink more.

Much more.

The Shrinking Man