Something tells me my lucky number’s gon-na be thirty-four

Happy Easter!

I hope you’ve all had a good week, and that you are currently staring at a huge pile of chocolate and cursing your family for their lack of understanding and consideration.  Mine aren’t up yet, but I’m certainly hoping they’ve followed instructions and bought me loads of really top quality chocolate – it’s not as if this happens every year is it?  It’s only right to take advantage…

Week 46 weigh-in completed, and a +1.  Yada yada etc.  I think it’s probably a good thing that I’m not bothered by that in the slightest, whereas a few months ago I’d have been rendered fairly distraught by such an outcome.  To be honest, following on from a -4 last week, I’m quite impressed that’s all it is.  I always struggle to remain motivated after a very good week, and this week has been no exception – over daily points, over weekly points and no exercise points earned = weight gain.

Anyway, enough of that, what’s done is done etc.  I have more important things that I wish to share with you!

I went clothes shopping last Sunday with my ever-supportive wife.  I wanted to try on some smaller jeans, as the ones I’m wearing are so baggy round the bum that I look like I could fit huge quantities of contraband in there.  When I started this journey, I was wearing 40″ waist jeans and the ones that are currently baggy have a 36″ waist, so I’m already making significant progress, but I wanted to try a 34″ to see whether they fitted.  My wife told me that I’d still need a 36″, as they’d just stretched out a lot and lost their shape, partly because she knows how upsetting it can be for me when I can’t get in to clothes, but partly because I think she struggles sometimes to see how much weight I’ve lost.

Anyway, she helped me pick out a couple of pairs of 36″ in a different fit that she thought would fit me better, against her advice I picked out a 34″ and off I went to the fitting room.

Oh yes!

The 34″ fitted just fine and all is well in my world!  I should add that there’s still a fair bit of belly that sits above the waistband, but that’s always been the case, anyway, I was/am absolutely chuffed to bits!  I decided to chance my arm a bit and popped down to Gap to pick up a couple of tops to go with my new pairs of jeans.  Now when I started this, I couldn’t fit into Gap’s largest sizes, and was really pleased when I’d lost enough to get into their XL tops.  This time I bought a couple of L tops.  And if anything they’re a bit big!!!!!!

The hot weather meant that shorts were on the agenda too, and on my wife’s advice, I picked up a pair of shorts from Gap with a 36″ waist, as “they often come up smaller, particularly at Gap”.  Got them home, tried them on and they’re massive.  Way too big for me.  They’ve now been swapped for a 34″, and I’m starting to consider not taking Wife shopping any more.  Except that being a man in my forties I have no idea how to dress myself, so need her for guidance purposes too.  Actually, I was rather happy to prove her wrong.  Twice.

Just to lower the tone slightly, I then went off to Next and bought some new pants!  And they have an M on them!  Not M for Monday – they’re not those sort of pants.  M for Medium!  From XL to M – a journey in pants, by The Shrinking Man.  That’s the name of the TV documentary right there…

Anyway, it’s been a great week – so great that a +1 can’t dampen my enthusiasm.  It being Easter, I’ll probably blow it big time this week, but if I do, then I hereby make this pledge, both to you and to myself:

“I, The Shrinking Man, being of occasionally sound mind, and being the possessor of pants with an M on the label, do hereby solemnly declare that should I over-indulge over the Easter break, I will make every effort to enjoy it.  I will not wallow in guilt or self-pity, but will instead savour every minute of it, accept it for the treat that it is, and once it’s done, I will get back on to my Shrinking horse and carry on Shrinking.”

Have a great week.

The Shrinking Man.

Four steps forward, after one step back…

Morning all!

The weigh-in for week 45 has just been completed, and I’m delighted to announce a whopping great big 4lb loss.  That brings me under 200lb, under 90kg (thanks for that one Reg!) and very close to my next target.  Just to recap my total progress so far, that means that in the last 45 weeks I have lost a grand total of 59lb/26.85 kg.

The BMI figures are also quite significant, as my new BMI figure is 27.5.    That feels pretty great to be honest, because when I started my BMI reading was 35.7, which is officially classified as being huuuuuuuge.  I know that I’m still considerably overweight, but I’m now exactly halfway between the overweight mark (25 and above) and the obese mark (30 and above), so from here on in, I’ll be closer to being “not overweight” than I will be to obese.

What do you call “not overweight”? Oddly enough, I don’t seem to have the terminology to describe it, which is rather strange.  Do you call it normal?  Or healthy?  Skinny?  Shrunk?  Interesting…

It’s been a strange week, as yet again, I’ve not eaten what would be considered to be the healthiest of diets.  A combination of work pressures on both myself and my wife, together with a distinct lack of organisation and planning has led to a Chinese takeaway, a KFC, a Burger King and a Fish and Chips this week.  I almost feel guilty at losing weight to be honest, but it’s a pretty good example of the whole WW concept in action.  First of all, while my evening meals weren’t great, they were balanced by very sensible and healthy breakfasts and lunches.  Secondly, the choices I made for each of those takeaways were considerably better than I would have made 45 weeks ago – the difference between a BK Chicken Royale that I had now and the BK XL Bacon Double Cheeseburger that I would have eaten then could feed a family of four for a few weeks.  Probably.

It’s also a good indicator that things even themselves out over longer periods.  The last couple of weeks have brought me a +1 and an STS, even though I haven’t felt like I’ve been all that far outside of the system.  If you even that out over the past three weeks, it means that I’ve lost an average of a pound a week, which is much more sensible.

My watch is getting looser again, my ring is getting looser again, and I definitely need some new jeans, as the ones I’m wearing are hanging off of my backside.  Not a pretty picture I know, but much better than it was.  I met up with a friend yesterday who started on a similar journey at about the same time.  We’ve been encouraging each other along the way, and he’s been a useful benchmark and a bit of competition for me.  He started lighter than I was, and has now reached a weight where he’s happy, which is to remain somewhere between half a stone and a stone heavier than I am now.  That means that he’s fatter than me!  And he looks it!  And even my wife noticed!!!!!  He still looks much better than he did before, but that’s not the point – the point is that he looks fatter than I do 🙂  Am I a bad person? 😉

My weight currently stands at 14st 1lb/197lb/89.5kg.  That means that I’m now just 2lb from being 13st something for the first time in a very, very long time, and that’s quite an exciting prospect.  The other big target that I have coming up soon is to reach 13st 10lb, which will mean I’ve lost 25% of my starting weight, which will be pretty cool.

Sitting in between those two points is another target that is hugely significant personally.  Once I hit 13st 11lb/193lb/87.7kg I’ll be in completely uncharted territory.  I’ve mentioned a few times that I lost a lot of weight on the Atkins diet in the past, and it’s probably worth explaining a little bit more about that.  I managed to lose just under 4st over a fairly short period about 8 years ago, felt great about myself, but then went back to eating ‘normally’ and put it all back on and more.  Which pretty much sums up my dieting life before, and to be totally honest, haunts me on a daily basis right now.

I’ve actually got a record of my weekly weigh-ins throughout that whole period, and there are some very significant points to draw from it.  First of all, when I started that time, I weighed 17st 8lb.  This time I weighed 18st 4lb.  Secondly, the lowest I got that time was 13st 12lb.  I’m currently 3lb heavier than that, but have no idea yet how far I’m going this time, but have a sneaking feeling it will be a fair bit further than that.  Thirdly, I had to use Atkins that time, whereas this time I’m doing it by eating sensibly and exercising.  That time, I knew that I would be able to stay there as long as I kept eating within the Atkins program.  This time I know I’ll be able to stay there as long as I keep eating within the WW program.

And there lies the rub.  This gets scary precisely because I’ve been here before.  The toughest challenge for the serial fat-bloke is to be honest with yourself about the fact that you’ve succeeded in losing weight before (probably many times) but that you have never succeeded in keeping weight off before.  I see people come on the WW forums talking about how they know that WW is a good system because they’ve lost weight on it before.  That scares the life out of me, because losing weight isn’t the point.  Losing weight isn’t even difficult once you put your mind to it.  Keeping weight off is the challenge.

What fills me with hope is that to my mind there is a significant difference between the long-term outlook now and the outlook before, and that’s all based on the principles behind the WW system.  If I had kept on eating within the Atkins system before, then I wouldn’t have gained weight again, but I don’t think that was ever a realistic proposition.  While it’s very effective whilst you’re within it, the whole Atkins thing just didn’t represent how I want to live my life.  But Weight-Watchers does.  It’s eating healthily and exercising.

That means that I can do it.

Have a good week.

The Shrinking Man

…And left to my own devices, I probably would…

muck things up completely 🙂

Morning everyone!

Week 44’s weigh in has just been completed, and I’m slightly relieved to only report a +1.  It’s not the best of results of course, but I’ve not had the best of weeks, so to be completely honest I’m happy with it.

I won’t bore you with the details, but I’ve had a really busy week, and a particularly challenging one from a WW point of view, as I’ve been forced to endure ( 😉 ) three days of buffet lunches and three nights of takeaways.  I’ve struggled to point a lot of what I’ve eaten this week, partly through just not having the time, and partly through not having much control over what I’d eaten.

Anyway, the end result is that I’ve gained a little bit of weight this week, but I’m not too concerned about it at the moment.  On the surface this is quite a straightforward scenario:

  1. lots of stuff happened this week that resulted in me eating too much at times
  2. that led to me not tracking what I ate
  3. that ended up with me not adjusting what I ate at other times to compensate.

The maths in that little list wouldn’t make sense to a mathematician, but they probably make perfect sense to any fat blokes out there.  In this case, 1 + 2 + 3 = +1.

It’s a useful reminder of how far I have to go with this before I’m safe to be allowed out on my own.  Just a few days of not tracking and I put on weight!  That’s a bit of a “let’s bring TSM back down to earth” moment, but probably a very good lesson in the wider scheme of things.  It’s probably worth adding that my eating got worse as the week went on, even as the external pressures that were there at the start of the week dissipated.  There was a sort of “well I’ve already blown it this week, so it doesn’t matter if I eat a pound of lard as a snack” kind of mentality going on.

Perhaps every now and again I need a break from the pressures to do this ‘right’ all the time?  Perhaps I’m just kidding myself that I’m actually making changes at all, at least on any deep level, and deep down, I’m still the same food-shovelling-machine that I’ve always been?  I don’t think I am, but I do think that I still have food-shovelling-machine tendencies (food-shovelling-machine has a certain ring to it! – I might use that a bit!!!) and that’s quite unsettling to know it’s still sitting there, waiting.  Only time will tell I guess…

My suits are getting too big for me.  Not the suits I was wearing when I started this – they look very much like they should be worn with a big red nose, huge shoes and face paints that even the women on the counters in Boots would baulk at.  These are the suits that I rescued from the loft from a previous thinner life some months ago.  They’re not looking stupid just yet, but they’re definitely on the ‘too big’ side, so I have some shopping coming up I think.

Clothes shopping is always a difficult thing for fat blokes to do, but it’s particularly hard if they’re in the process of shrinking.  On the one hand, having clothes that make you feel good about yourself is a good thing, and while there is something to be said for wearing clothes that are too big for you, there’s a lot more to be said for wearing smaller clothes that actually fit you.  The other problem is that you have to ask yourself some serious questions about how much you want to spend.  The one thing that you expect while you’re in the middle of a shrink, is that you will not be the weight you are for any sustained length of time.  You hope that is because you will shrink further, which would make it a bit daft to spend too much as you’ll need to replace them soon.  At the same time, you fear that is because you’ll become the gaining man once more and end up not being able to get into the nice new expensive clothes that you’ve just bought, although we’ll block that thought process out for now 😉

The bottom line on this I guess is that wearing nice clothes that fit properly is a very positive thing for a shrinking man to do, so I’m not going to let either of those scenarios distract me for now.  Nice clothes will have to be bought.  Quite when I’m going to have the time to go shopping, or where on earth I’m going to find the money from are questions that I’m sure I’ll find a way to deal with as we go along.

Anyway, I’m surprisingly positive for a week with a gain, but let’s be honest, putting on a pound when you’ve already lost 56 isn’t really anything to be too concerned about.  All I’ve got to do this week is make sure I reverse the trend and get back on track.

Have a great week.

The Shrinking Man


And the results from the Week 43 Jury are…

Morning all!

Week 43 weigh-in just completed, and it’s an STS (that’s a Stayed The Same for those new to the jargon.)

It’s been a bit of a nothing week in lots of different ways, so I’m not surprised or disappointed that I’ve not lost anything.  If I go back over my progress, whenever I hit a major goal it tends to be followed by a few sluggish weeks, so following on from last week’s achievement of the 4st target, then I was expecting this sort of week.

I’ve not gone mad or anything this week, I just haven’t been quite as fastidious at times than I otherwise would have been, and therefore I’ve not lost anything.  The one thing I did manage was a trip to the gym, which has been something I’ve not got around to for a month or so.  It sounds a bit silly to blame a lack of exercise on just being too busy, but right now that’s a pretty accurate estimate of what’s happened.  For a number of extremely dull reasons I’ve ended up with a huge workload for the next couple of months, which means that time is the one thing I don’t seem to have much of, so trips to the gym are a luxury that I’m struggling to fit in, which is a shame, as I really do love my swimming.  Anyway, that will all work its way out soon I’m sure.

I’m going to leave it at that for this week – a bland sort of week, with a bland sort of outcome.  Better than a gain though, so am relaxed and happy with it.

Have a great week.

The Shrinking Man.