The Shrinking Blog

TSM Airways are pleased to announce…

TSM Airways are pleased to announce the arrival of Mr 14st something man.  We would like to apologise for the late arrival of this milestone, and particularly for the confusion over the last few weeks regarding whether it would arrive at all, but we are more pleased than it would ever be possible to explain that it’s finally here!!!!!!!!

28th weigh-in just completed and four pounds off!  Oh yes!

I tipped the scales this morning at 14st 12lb, which brings my running total to 48lb lost.  That’s just one pound from having lost three and a half stone, a couple from the big five-oh, and just three pounds from my next target of having lost 20% of my starting weight.  The fact that it’s now officially Christmas and that my next couple of weigh-ins will undoubtedly be going in the wrong direction really doesn’t matter – I weight 14st something again for the first time in an amount of years usually described as lots, so I am therefore rather wonderfully pleased with myself.

As well as thanking my agent, my family and my fellow cast members, it’s worth restating that I’ve had problems recently, and it would therefore be remiss of me to continue without touching on what’s made the difference.  Most importantly, I took last week’s 2lb gain very seriously.  It hurt.  A lot.  It was another of those points where it would have been easy to just give up, and to go back to the old ways of eating, and the weight-gain that would inevitably follow.  But I didn’t.

Something was wrong, and it was either something fatally flawed with the new WW system, or it was something wrong with how I was following the new WW system.  If it was the former, then there was nothing I could do about it, but if it was the latter, then I just needed to understand what it was.  I went right back to basics, paid a lot more attention to what and how much I was eating, and made sure that EVERYTHING I ate was pointed properly.  I also made a pact with myself that I wasn’t going to touch my weekly bonus points unless I really felt the need to.

Now I can’t state for definite that I wouldn’t have lost 4lb this week whatever I did, but I’m fairly certain that I’d got a bit sloppy over my pointing over the previous weeks and months, and paid the price for that over the last month or so.  I weighed a few food things just to see whether I was estimating properly, and every time I did that, I found out that I’d been under-estimating.  I’m also fairly certain that I’d been missing things out as well, although that’s harder to say for sure, as if I was aware of something, then I always pointed it.  Anyway, once I started giving it all a bit more attention, then I go and lose four pounds.  That’s pretty much all of the evidence I need 🙂 .

I’ve made one other really important discovery, and it’s one that hurts to admit, but I have to be up front with myself about this one.  I have a problem with jelly sweets.  I’ll say that again, but in a bigger font, just to really get the point across:

I have a problem with jelly sweets!

Midget gems, wine gums and all other sorts of jelly sweets have the potential to be my downfall, and much as I’ve tried to convince myself that I’ve mastered that problem, then I have not and I cannot.  I hate that.  There are two aspects to this – first of all, if I buy a big bag of wine gums, then I simply CANNOT just have a few.  No ifs or buts, I just simply CANNOT do it.  They trigger off some sort of desire and need in me that no matter how much I try to be strong, or to forget about them, they call to me incessantly until they are eaten.  If I have an open packet of wine gums in the house, I actually wake up thinking about them!  That’s pretty ridiculous isn’t it?

That’s not the end of the world of course, because it just means that if I’m going to buy them, then I buy small packets, and there’s no problem.  It’s the second aspect of this that is most intriguing and most annoying though, as it means that’s not really a solution.  When I eat jelly sweets, then fairly instantly I get pretty much uncontrollable urges to eat other foods.  And to eat a lot of them.  I don’t think that it matters what that food is, just that I eat it.  But it just gives me the urge to EAT!  Honestly urge isn’t a strong enough term here – it’s more of a NEED! I have absolutely no idea what that’s all about, but it sounds and feels like addiction to me, which is frankly ridiculous.  Is it possible to be addicted to midget gems?  Are there support groups for this sort of thing?  Are there meetings taking place right now across the globe where groups of fat men and women applaud each other for sharing their tales of addiction to wine gums?

I am aware that in the wider scheme of things it’s not exactly much of a problem, but it’s annoying, because I want to be in control of what I eat, and it would appear that I don’t have any sensible control options available here, other than abstinence.  I can do abstinence, it’s just that I wanted to be able to deal with this in a slightly more grown-up way, but right now I don’t think that’s an option.  If anyone out there can help explain exactly what is going on inside my body with this, then I’d love to know.

Anyway, I’m in a great mood, and I’m really pleased to finally get under 15st.  I’m guessing it will take a while to get the three pounds off that sit between me and my next target, what with it being Christmas and me intending to let my hair down a little bit, but once that happens then I really need to start thinking about my end-goal.  I know that my next target will be 13st 9lb, as that will bring about two new milestones.  First of all it will mean that I’ve lost 25% of my starting weight, which will be quite an achievement in itself.  Secondly, and in my eyes most importantly, it will take me below the lowest weight I’ve been since my teens (probably).  A number of years ago, I got my weight down to 13st 10lb (albeit just for one week – lol) doing the Atkins diet and that’s a big target for me.  Reaching that figure, but doing it by eating sensibly and exercising rather than what for me was an unsustainable approach to eating will be a really key achievement.  From there, well right now who knows?  I’ll give it some though over the next few months.

From this side of the keyboard, it’s going to be a lovely Christmas – have a lovely one yourselves, and I’ll let you know how much weight I put on soon 🙂 .

The Shrinking Man

Weigh Ins

19/12/2010 – 28th Weigh-in

Weigh-in for Week 28

Starting Weight – 18st 4lb

Current Weight – 14st 12lb

Weekly Weight Loss/Gain – 4lb loss

Total Weight Loss/Gain – 48lb loss

Average Weekly Loss/Gain – 1.71lb loss

Starting BMI – 35.7

Current BMI – 29.0

The Shrinking Blog

Frankly feeling a little bemused…

Sometimes it’s difficult to know whether to laugh or cry.  Really it is.  I’m laughing at the moment, but a little bit of me feels like crying at just how bizarre this whole journey is at times.

Week 27 weigh-in just completed, and I’ve gained a couple of pounds.  In the overall scheme of things I know that means nothing, but it’s still never nice to gain weight.  What makes it particularly galling is that this week I really thought that I’d cracked the new program.  I’ve been struggling with the new ProPoints approach since it was launched, but this week I thought that I’d settled into a way of working the additional weekly allowance points that made it work.  And then I go and gain weight.  Doh!

I’m not going to get too cross about it – I still think I’m doing the right things, and that I’m moving in the right direction, but right now progress is soooooo slow.  Actually it’s pretty much ground to a halt right now – over the past four weeks my weight has gone from 15st 2lb to – wait for it – 15st 2lb.  Something is clearly not right, so I’m going to need to stop and take stock for a bit I guess.  Perhaps I’m under-estimating what I’m eating, or over-estimating the exercise that I’m doing.  I know that I’m doing less exercise than I was at the start, which is mainly a work thing, but that’s been the case for a few months anyway.

There are certainly some elements of the new WW approach that I’m struggling with, but there’s no reason why I can’t either get used to them or work around them, so it’s not as if the whole concept doesn’t work any more.  That means that it must be down to how I’m doing it, so I’m just going to have to knuckle down a bit, go back to the basics and make sure that I’m doing things right.

I really am a little surprised with this result to be honest, as I was feeling physically lighter and leaner, particularly over the last couple of days.  I did go out last night and drank a lot of alcohol free beer, which means I do feel quite bloated this morning, so perhaps it’s a just a blip and a reaction to that anyway.

The most positive thing this week was tied up with going out last night – I met up with some old school friends who I saw for the first time in 20 years a few months ago when I was 44lb or so heavier.  Everyone noticed that I’d lost a lot of weight, and I felt really, really good about myself.

I feel like crap now of course, but I’ll get over that.  Probably.

It’s like this.  I have a choice here.  I can let this get me down and let it divert me from where I want to go, or I can let this spur me on to do it better.

I like better.

Have a good week.

The Shrinking Man

Weigh Ins

12/12/2010 – 27th Weigh-In

Weigh-in for Week 27

Starting Weight – 18st 4lb

Current Weight – 15st 2lb

Weekly Weight Loss/Gain – 2lb gain

Total Weight Loss/Gain – 44lb loss

Average Weekly Loss/Gain – 1.63lb loss

Starting BMI – 35.7

Current BMI – 29.6

The Shrinking Blog

Six months in and so much acheived, but why am I still struggling with it?

Morning all!

Six months ago I decided that I was fed up with being a fat bloke, and that I needed to do something about that.  It was quite a spur of the moment decision, and was prompted by a telephone conversation with a friend who mentioned that she was thinking of starting a weight-watchers programme.  I let the friend ramble on for a while, got on the web, found out they had an online programme, and before I put the phone down (and before my friend had noticed I wasn’t paying attention to her at all) I’d signed up.  It was time for Mr Fat-Bloke to disappear.

I have just completed weekly-weigh-in number 26 and am very pleased to report that two more pounds have hit the dust.  That’s 26 weeks that I’ve been doings things differently, and strangely enough I’m looking and feeling remarkably different as a result.  Let me summarise how far I’ve come:

  • As far as the numbers go, I started this at 18st 4lb/256lb (116.4 kg) and this morning I tipped the scales at 15st 0lb/210lb (95.5kg).  That means that in the past six months I have lost 46 pounds (20.9 kilos)
  • My BMI back in June was 35.7, which is in the seriously obese range, and it is now 29.3 which is in the overweight range
  • My waist measurement has gone from 126cm to 111cm and my chest measurement has gone from 124cm to 112cm
  • If you factor in other measurements like arms and thighs, then overall I’ve lost 42cm off of my body
  • I was just about fitting in to Extra Extra Large clothing sizes when I started, and I’m now starting to fit pretty well into Large clothing sizes
  • I’ve had to get my watch adjusted to stop it actually falling off of my wrist and have had to move a ring from my ring to my middle finger.

I still find it difficult to translate that 46lb into something meaningful without thinking in terms of real objects, so if you’re of an experimental disposition, try one of the following

  • if you have a fairly large LCD/Plasma TV in your living room, then pick it up for a minute (TSM accepts no responsibility for anyone who drops their TV etc.)  46lb is about the weight of a 46in Plasma/LCD TV
  • Alternatively, if you have or know a five year old child that you’re able to pick up without anyone getting social services involved, then pick then up for a minute.  46lb is about the weight of a five year old child
  • If neither of those is practical or possible, then pop down to your local supermarket, grab a standard bag of sugar and stick it in your pocket.  Then repeat 19 and a half more times – if you don’t have enough pockets, then just try to balance them in your arms.  Explain to the security guards who will by now be looking at you in a very odd way that you’re carrying out an important experiment, and I’m sure all will be well.  (Make sure that you either put the sugar back before you leave the store, or that you pay for it on the way out – TSM does not pay bail money under any circumstances)

I find it very difficult to believe that I was carrying that sort of weight around with me all day every day six months ago, and would like to apologise once again to my heart and lungs for the additional stresses caused to them.

It has been a fascinating six months and I’m very proud of what I’ve achieved so far, but it’s not been all fun and games.  There’s been upset and anger and frustration on a fairly regular basis, and I have to keep reminding myself that what I’m doing here is quite literally changing the habits of a lifetime.  I’ve lost weight before and have always put it back on, so I’m under no illusions that losing weight is actually not the problem here.  The real problem is changing the way that I eat for good, so that once I reach a more acceptable weight, then I’ll be able to stay there.  I still have a long way to go – how far I’m not sure, as I haven’t decided where I want to end up just yet, but I’m very aware that I’m still a fat bloke.  I’m less fat for sure, but I’ve not finished yet.

So why does the title talk about struggling?  Well I’m struggling to adapt to the new WW programme, and haven’t quite managed to get my head around why that is the case just yet.  It appears to me that there are some major psychological differences between the old and new programmes that haven’t been explained by WW.  I’ll update more on this next week when I’ve had a bit more time to make sense of it all, but the focus of the plan appears to have shifted from one of daily control to one of weekly control, and that has made things much less specific and easy to follow for me.

To sum things things up right now, I’m chuffed to bits with what I’ve achieved so far, but really struggling to keep it going at the moment.  The fact that I’m aware of it and worrying about it is a positive thing, but I’ve got to get my head around this fairly soon, otherwise I run the risk of going backwards (that’s the sentence I’ve been avoiding writing for the past hour – lol).  I’m petrified right now that the system that got me this far has been taken away, and that I might not be able to continue to make progress under the new system.  I don’t feel in control of what I’m eating at the moment, even though I’m still losing weight.

I need to give myself a pat on the back, and most importantly I need to relax.

Have a good week.

The Shrinking Man

Weigh Ins

05/12/2010 – 26th Weigh-In

Weigh-in for Week 26

Starting Weight – 18st 4lb

Current Weight – 15st 0lb

Weekly Weight Loss/Gain – 2lb Loss

Total Weight Loss/Gain – 46lb loss

Average Weekly Loss/Gain – 1.77lb loss

Starting BMI – 35.7

Current BMI – 29.3