I’ve always liked the number 42…

Morning 🙂

Dear reader, this is a significant moment for me.  Week 42’s weigh-in has just been completed, and I am thrilled and delighted to announce that I tipped the scales at 14st 4lb/200lb/90.9kg.  That means that in the 42 weeks since that spur of the moment decision to do something about my weight back in early June 2010, I have now managed to lose a grand total of FOUR STONE!  That’s 56lbs!  Or 25.49Kg!  Whichever way you look at it, that’s a lot of weight, and as I type this, I’m grinning like, like…, well to be honest I think I’m probably grinning like a man who’s lost four stone would grin 🙂

The higher the numbers go, the harder it gets to visualise them and to work out what that 56lb really means, so I hope you’ll forgive me for a moment if I give you some comparisons.

  • First of all, go and get a bag of sugar out of the cupboard.  Feel its weight in your hands.  Then get another 27 bags and balance them on top of the first one.  Now walk around for a bit.  I’ll admit that my weight was probably a little better distributed than you’re holding right now, but that is how much weight I’ve lost.
  • For an alternative, take three bags of sugar and hold them in your hands.  Feel their weight.  Now balance those bags of sugar on the head of a small dalmatian, pick dog and sugar up and walk around for a bit.  I’m guessing that the balancing is even more difficult than before, unless you’ve got a specially trained dalmatian, and there aren’t many of those around.
  • One last one (honestly 😉 ) – take the three bags of sugar and feel their weight in your hands.  Now stick the three bags of sugar in the pockets of a seven year old boy.  Pick boy and sugar up and walk around for a bit.  Apologise to child and continue with blog…

Does that help you to picture what 56lb represents?

Just to continue the self-congratulation for a while (feel free to jump to the end if you haven’t come here to join in the celebrations) my physical dimensions have changed over the past 42 weeks too.  The dreaded tape measure has been out too this morning, and I have managed to lose:

  • 5cm from my neck
  • 14cm from my chest
  • 4cm from my calves
  • 20cm from my waist
  • 6cm from my upper arms
  • 2cm from my thighs

I have absolutely no idea why the WW tracker asks for measurements in cm when I’m tracking weight in lbs, but it does, and I’ve never bothered to convert them, so if cm don’t make sense, then feel free to convert.  And send them to me once you’ve done that.  Thanks.

So what happens next I hear you ask?

Well there are some very significant targets looming, so I’ve still got a lot to aim for:

  • One more pound and I’ll be under 200lb
  • Four more pounds after that and I’ll be under 14st
  • Three more pounds after that and I’ll have lost 25% of my starting weight
  • One more pound after that and I’ll be under the lowest weight I’ve been in more than 20 years
  • Three more pounds after that and I’ll be 13.5 stone
  • Three more pounds after that and I’ll have lost 5 stone

Every one of those targets excites and inspires me, and every one of them is achievable.  It will take me a while to get down to the bottom go that list, but you know what?  I think I’m going to enjoy getting there!

Have a great week.

The Shrinking Man

41 Weeks and Counting

Morning all!

My name is TSM, and it’s been more than two weeks now since I last had a Tesco’s Value Midget Gem…

The weigh-in for week 41 has just been carried out, and I am pleased to announce that the scales are showing a -1.  I must confess that they didn’t at first, but I was slightly out of kilter this morning, and hadn’t completely finished my morning ‘routine’.  Once normal service had been resumed, then the scales did their job properly.  Sorry if that puts you off your breakfast, but it’s the truth 🙂

Anyway, it’s been an interesting week.  I’m feeling pretty good about myself at the moment, and feel like I’m definitely back on track – to be honest I was actually a little surprised and disappointed that I struggled to get the -1 today, as I’ve felt like I’ve been losing more than that.  Having said that, I made a point last week of just how much my weight can vary from day to day, so I’m not going to let it get me down at all.

I’ve reached the point where the L clothes that I’ve bought recently (as opposed to the XL, XXL and XXXL clothes that I still wear around the house sometimes) either fit perfectly, or are now starting to look a little on the big size.  I think it will be a while before I’m ready to take the plunge and dip my toe into the wars of Medium clothing, but I’d say a couple of months and I’ll be there – that will be exciting!  My first purchase will definitely be a Medium Fred Perry, as that’s my clothing measure of choice – I started this in an XXL, moved into an XL and now have a couple of Ls that are a bit too big across the shoulders, but OK across the stomach.  That’s the next move 🙂

I’ve been pleasantly surprised by my lack of desire to eat rubbish food this week.  I’m doing a lot of work at a client where I’ve not been for a couple of years, and they have a canteen serving a variety of hot food as well as the usual sandwiches.  When I’ve worked there before it’s always been a treat to just fill myself up, and the people I’m working with are having cooked breakfasts, cooked lunches and snacks throughout the day.  I’m sure I’ll have something like that at some point, but at the moment I’ve not been in the slightest bit interested.  I’ve been having a sandwich and a fruit salad when I’m hungry, and a pack of Walkers French Fries if I fancy a snack.  The key to the pleasant surprise is the lack of desire rather than any denial – that makes a huge difference.

I’ve got some fairly momentous targets coming up soon, and am starting to get a little bit excited by them.  Let me map out my next steps for you:

  • Once I’ve lost another 2lb I’ll have lost four stone, which is pretty massive (in every sense)
  • One more pound after that and I’ll be beneath 200lbs
  • Four more pounds after that and I’ll be thirteen stone something
  • Three more pounds after that and I’ll have lost 25% of my starting weight
  • One more pound after that and I’ll hit my next major target of 13st 9lb which will take me below the lowest weight I’ve been at any point in at least 20 years, and will be under the lowest weight I reached in a previous Atkins Diet attempt.  Simply from eating sensibly and exercising 🙂

I saw a post from someone on the WW forums this week who’d just reached 5st lost and that really got me thinking that that is totally achievable for me too!  I’m still not looking past that 13st 9lb target at the moment, but that did get me thinking about where I can go with this.  To reach 5st lost I would need to lose 16lb from where I am now, and that sort of figure is soooooo achievable it isn’t even scaring me any more!  When you factor in the fact that even at 5st lost I would still be classified as overweight, then it becomes almost rude not to hit it!

Targeting is an interesting element of this – I have a feeling that part of the reason I’ve struggled a little bit recently is that I set a target that seems a little too far away.  All I’ve done with my targets so far is to set them in chunks of 5%, so my initial target was to lose 5% of my starting weight, then 10%, 15% and 20%.  Once I hit 20% it seemed sensible to just go for 25%, however I think it might make sense to decrease the targets a little as my weight comes down.  It makes sense that my weight-loss will slow as this goes on, so smaller targets might make sense.  I’ll think on that and might reset my target over the next day or so.

That’s all from me this week – have a great week.

The Shrinking Man.

Well I’m Still Here!

Morning everyone 🙂

The weigh-in for week 40 has just been completed, and I’m chuffed, relieved and more than slightly proud to report a -4 to get me back on track.

As of this morning, I weigh a grand total of 14st 7lb.  That’s 14 and a half stone, 203 lbs or 92.3kg in new money and brings my running total up to 53lb/24.13kg lost.  The 18st 4lb fat bloke that started this thing back in June 2010 now has hip bones and ribs!

I’d like to offer my heartfelt thanks to those of you who took the time to get in touch after last week’s blog and offer some advice and support.  The shrinking world can be a very lonely and scary place at times, so to Dave, Jim, David and Kate in particular, your kind words and encouragement genuinely helped me to pick myself up, dust myself down a little and just get on with it.

This week I’ve been the model WW shrinker.  I’ve eaten within my daily points on most days, used some of my weekly points for special circumstances on a couple, pointed everything I’ve eaten, drunk lots of water, and generally ticked all the right boxes (and not a midget gem in sight!).  And oddly enough, I lost weight.

And yet last week, where I ate above my daily points on most days, used all of my weekly points within the first few days, didn’t point everything I’d eaten, didn’t drink much water and generally ate as if I wasn’t trying to shrink, I put weight on.  Strange how it all works isn’t it?

The simplicity and predictability of this is quite powerful at times.  You do the right things, and you get the right results, as with just about everything else in life I guess.  That doesn’t help when you know that, but aren’t actually doing it, but that’s just something that I’m going to have to learn to deal with as I go on 🙂

I tend to make a point of only weighing myself once a week, but this week I weighed myself almost every day.  I wouldn’t recommend it, and certainly won’t do it regularly, but it really throws up some interesting information when you do.  I weighed myself after a couple of days of knuckling down and doing things properly and the scales showed a -4.  Obviously thrilled to bits with that.  The next day, I was showing -2.  Slightly less thrilled.  The day after that, I was showing a STS (stayed the same).  The next day a -1, then a -3.  Put simply. it was all over the place!

That tells me a couple of really important things.  First of all, if ever I had any doubt about just how much your weight can fluctuate naturally from day to day, then that’s just sealed the deal.  The answer is lots.  Secondly, it tells me that there really is no point weighing yourself more than once a week, and that you should never get too down or happy about any particular weigh-in, as it might not be showing you the true picture.  Lastly it tells me that how I’m eating is more important than what the scales are showing, as that will, in the end, be the thing that will control what the scales are showing.

I’ve had a great week, and I’ve enjoyed being back in control.  I feel a little bruised and battered right now, but I’m very aware that it would have been easy to drop the whole thing last week.  The fact that I didn’t let it drop fills me with hope for the future, and confirms that this time I’m approaching my shrinking in a sensible and sustainable manner.  I also feel less alone, so thanks again to you all.

Have a great week.

The Shrinking Man

Something Better Change…

Week 39 weigh-in just completed, and a very disappointing, but completely expected and fully deserved 2lb gain.

This is hard work at the moment.  Really hard.

At mealtimes I’m doing fine – eating relatively healthily and not stuffing my face at all, and generally ticking all the right boxes.  It’s outside mealtimes where I’m having real problems, and while I completely understand what I’m doing wrong, I don’t seem to be able to stop myself doing it very easily.

In simple terms, I’m snacking.  That suggests that I could be explaining it in a much more complex fashion, and that’s not true at all, so let me rephrase.  I’m snacking.  That’s better!

This week at various times I’ve eaten wine gums, midget gems, biscuits, cookies, ice cream and a whole bag of mini eggs.  Now to the uninitiated, that might not seem much like diet food, but trust me, any and all foods can be fitted into a weight-loss program in moderation (and who else should you trust but a man who’s just put on two pounds!).

The bottom line is that I’m eating loads of food that I don’t need or want, and am not fitting them into my overall points totals at all.  That means that I put on weight.  That’s the old me.  That’s the fat-bloke that I’m moving away from, but right now, he feels a little closer than he has done for quite a while.  I’m thinking of foods and eating them instead of asking myself if I really want them.  I’m eating snack foods without adapting what I eat for the rest of the day to compensate for it.

Now I know the question that will be on your lips – truly I do.  It’s WHY isn’t it?  Knowing what I know, and having achieved what I’ve achieved, and knowing exactly what the end-result would be, WHY would I do it?

Well I guess if I knew the answer to that, then I wouldn’t have been 18st 4lb in the first place, and wouldn’t have ever need to do this 🙂

Some of it I can make sense of.  I’ve mentioned it many times, but I have a serious problem with jelly sweets.  Particularly midget gems.  I talk about it a lot, but I keep trying to pretend that this problem will go away.  Throughout this process, I’ve been buying them every now and again, realising that I simply CAN’T eat them in moderation and subsequently avoiding them for a while.  Recently I’ve been missing out the ‘avoiding them for a while’ step, and have eaten a lot of them.

Is it possible to be addicted to Tesco Midget Gems?  I’ve never seen any support groups out there, so I’m presuming not, but there’s something so strong that compels to eat them.  It’s like giving up smoking in some ways – I can’t just have one to take the edge off of it, because I’ll smoke the whole pack.  When I buy a bag of midget gems, I can guarantee you that I’ll finish the bag.  Quickly.  I certainly don’t enjoy them while I’m eating them as I eat them so fast that they hardly touch the size.  Having said that, the taste of the juice slipping down my throat is worth it all.  What the hell am I going on about here?  Lol.

Look – it’s like this.  I have a problem with those sweets, and I need to stop proving that to myself and just accept that they’re not compatible with what I’m trying to achieve here.  It feels feeble to accept it, but it’s true.  Just to give myself an extra prompt here, on Sunday and Monday last week, I ate a whole bag of them on each day.  In the WW world that’s 50 points.  That’s more than my whole weekly bonus pot.  That’s more than a full days eating.  And yet still I was secretly hoping that the scales wouldn’t have noticed?  Genuinely insane! 🙂

Whatever happens, some things still stay the same.  If I carry on eating how I’ve eaten this week, then I’ll carry on putting on weight.  If I carry on eating how I’ve eaten for most of the last 7 months or so, then I’ll carry on losing weight.  I need to cut out anything that’s making it harder for me to go with the latter choice, and those damn things will be top of the list.  I need to look at my diet coke intake too, but that’s another story.

I’ve got a horrible vision at the moment of this being the last post I make.  That this time next week, I’ll have put on another few pounds, and that I’ll put off posting on here until I’ve taken those pounds off again.  And that never happens.

Wow.  This is quite scary.

OK – have a good week/life depending on how the next seven days go 😉

The Shrinking Man