The Shrinking Blog

An interesting week full of interesting thoughts

Evening all

(was that Dixon of Dock Green?)

Welcome to yet another week of weight-loss/gain related ramblings from yours truly.  It’s now week 68 of my quest, and following my weigh-in I’m not all that fussed about reporting a teeny +1.  It’s not an ideal result, but a fair reflection of the week.  Following last week’s -4, I’ve had a few days where I was under my points, a few days where I was over my points, and one day where I had such a heroic blow-out that, disgusted as I was with myself, it was impossible not to feel ever so slightly proud.

My excuse at the moment is that I’m in the last days of a six-year part-time history degree course, and am therefore in a position where I am absolutely refusing to let anything else worry me.  That means that where I might ideally like to respond to pangs and cravings with a lengthy period of internal debate, a change of focus to take my mind off of it, a bit of a “will I or won’t I” period followed by a refusal to let it derail me, at the moment, I’ve taken the stance of least resistance, which is often just eating it.

My heroic day involved me sitting at my PC working on an essay all day, and that’s something that I’ve not done when I’m alone in the house for ages.  It’s a perfect example of the sort of situation where, in the past, I would go to town, by myself a room full of treats, stuff my face, cook myself something stupidly unnecessary for lunch and then repeat the whole process in the afternoon.  And that’s pretty much what I did.

Was it a good idea?  Nope.  Did I enjoy it?  Some of it yes.  A lot of it no.  Did I hate myself both during and after it?  Yes.  Was it the right thing to do at that time?  Probably.  From the moment I planned the day on my own, my poor little subconscious mind had been going mental preparing for the food I would eat.  Seriously.  I would be having a conscious conversation with myself (in my head rather than out loud if that makes me sound any less insane) about what I needed to do, and I could actually hear the unconscious part of my mind joining in with food related comments.    I would think “I’ll take Mrs TSM to work, then come back home and get straight on with it” and in the background, I could actually hear my own voice chipping in and saying “better stop off at Tesco express on the way back and pick up some Midget Gems”.  I’m serious here.  Am I ill?  My conscious mind would be saying “I’ll focus on the introduction for a couple of hours, and then look to create the outline for each of the main topic areas” and I’d hear “and chocolate.  You’ll need a lot of chocolate.  And did I mention midget gems?”

The bottom line is that I had the voices in my head patiently explaining that it had a day of gluttony planned for me, and if I attempted to do anything other than just go along with it, I’d be spending the day battling with myself over it rather than studying.  So I gave in.

Not great, but not the end of the world either.  The nice thing is that I didn’t wake up the next day with a overwhelming urge to drink a pint or two of double cream.  Well no more than usual anyway.

Anyway, I’m hovering around the four stone off mark and have been for ages really.  I’m still telling myself that I have a target of another couple of stone to lose, but it doesn’t feel very real or achievable right now.  I’m not sure if this is a problem or not.  I don’t feel like I’ve finished yet, although I’m so much happier than I was when I started this, and I guess in some ways I would be happy staying where I am.  Sort of.  One of the things that I still find interesting about this whole thing is that psychologically I’m really not sure what, if any, lasting changes I’ve made.  I still have the feeling that all it would take is for me to take my foot off the accelerator for a month or two and I’d be back on the road to fatdom once more.  And then I think that it would still take a hell of a long time to put all that weight back on again, and somehow I’d have to either not notice, or to consciously avoid noticing for all that time.  And that’s where I feel like it’s different.  While I have a feeling that some of the food challenges that I have will stay with me forever, I really don’t think that I could let myself get really fat again.  But that doesn’t stop me worrying about it 🙂

Come the end of this week, when the study pressures have faded, and all being well I’ll just be waiting for confirmation in 3 months that I’m now TSM BA (Hons), once that’s sorted, perhaps I’ll find it all a little easier to pick up and focus on again.

Or perhaps not.

Have a good week.

The Shrinking Man

The Shrinking Blog

Life is getting in the way…

Hi all,

I’m really quite sorry to have been so sloppy in my updates over the past month or two.  A combination of holiday (good excuse), loads of work (good excuse), loads of study deadlines (remarkably good excuse) and a whole load of couldn’t be bothered at the time (less than good excuse) has led to a dearth of updates, so for those of you for whom this has become a regular part of your week, I apologise most profusely.

Just to recap where I was the last time we spoke.  I’d been on holiday, had gained 8lbs, and was looking nervously towards a week of hotel living as I went away for business.  Well just to relieve the tension a little, let me say that the week did not go well.  A combination of restaurant meals, snacks in my room and a whole load of midget gems ended in an STS.  After a week like that, an STS has to be seen as something of a result, however following a +8, I was quite disappointed with myself to not lose a single pound of it.

As is usual in cases like these, there are two options:

  1. Let it put me off for a few weeks before I finally knuckle down and get back on track
  2. Don’t let it put me off for a few weeks before I finally knuckle down and get back on track

I’m rather pleased to say that I chose option two, and am chuffed to report a whopping -4 for the week.  I’ve got a way to go before I get back to where I was a couple of months ago (another six pounds to be precise) but I’m really pleased to have taken control again.  I haven’t gone mad and stopped eating – that -4 came in a week where I had a KFC and fish and chips – but I managed to avoid over-eating throughout the week, and basically remained in control.  It’s also true that I was stupidly busy at work all week, and was literally running all over the building for most of the week, but it’s always the food that makes the biggest difference.

A few points that I’ve noticed over the past few weeks:

  • Adding 8lbs to a 14st frame makes a much bigger difference than taking 8lbs from an 18st frame
  • ‘New’ weight feels very different on your body the week after you put it on
  • A few pounds can really make you feel fat

Perhaps the biggest conclusion that I’ve drawn recently is that I really would have to go some to put all of my weight back on.  I’ve proved on a number of occasions that I can pile weight on pretty quickly, but I’m finding it difficult to understand how in the past I’ve allowed it all to go back on, almost without noticing.  I’m so aware of the weight I’ve put on recently, and that’s just a few pounds.  It feels horrible physically, and I feel quite horrible mentally.  My clothes don’t fit as nicely as they did a couple of months ago, my face looks fatter than it did, and I’m generally very aware of the differences.  I’m really struggling to understand how that could continue for long enough for me to put on four stone, but in the past it has.  I feel different now though.  Really I do. Is that good?  Or am I just fooling myself?  Who knows.  The most important thing for me is that I’m moving back in the right direction, and that I’m still four stone lighter than I was when I started this.  That’s what’s generally known as a good thing.

Anyway, that’s all for me for now – I’m intrigued to see what happens this week.  I’ve got a slightly less busy week at work, and have a bit more time on my hands in the evenings too, which is often a sign of impending difficulties, but I’m feeling fairly comfortable that it will be OK.

Speak soon etc.

The Shrinking Man

The Shrinking Blog

It’s been ages – how the devil are you?

Well it has been a while hasn’t it?

It’s week 65 and my last update was at the end of week 61, so let me give you a quick run through what’s happened since then.

Week 62 – a difficult week due to loads of work and study pressures. I didn’t eat all that well, but ended the week with an STS, so was quite comfortable with that. I was too busy to even think about updating, so please forgive me. I’m very, very sorry:-)

Weeks 63-65 – in the middle of week 63 I went on holiday to Crete for a fortnight, so I got back in the middle of week 65. And this morning I stepped on the scales for the first time in three weeks. Now I said that I wasn’t going to point while I was away, and I didn’t. I said that I wasn’t going to o mad, and I didn’t. I said that I expected to put on weight, and I have. Perhaps a bit more than I expected or hoped to, but not the end of the world. Well perhaps it’s close. After three weeks of taking a very relaxed attitude to what I was eating, I can report a fairly significant +8 on the scales.


That’s almost as bad as the Christmas unpleasantness, which regular readers will remember saw a rather impressive +10 in just two weeks, but on the whole I’m not too concerned. Let me tell you a little about the highs and lows of the period.

First of all, I really upped the exercise levels while I was away. I swam 60-70 lengths of the pool every couple of days, and while it was only a 15m pool, that was both immensely satisfying and really enjoyable. Secondly, I ate pretty well while I was away too, whatever the scales may say. I ate fresh fruit and yoghurt for breakfast every day. I drizzled gorgeous fresh Cretan honey all over it, which wasn’t the best of moves, but it was sooooooo gorgeous, I honestly don’t care. For lunch I ate fresh bread, cheese and ham most days, followed by some fresh fruit. In the evenings, I ate a full meal, often with chips, but when I felt full, I usually stopped and left whatever was on my plate. I snacked on crisps and boiled sweets, and I even drank a glass or two of raki after dinner, which for someone who hasn’t drunk a drop of alcohol for more than eight years, was more than a little odd.

To be honest, the only bits that I found concerning in the slightest were the few day before I went away, and the few days since I’ve been back. For no readily understandable reason, I’ve eaten like a pig either side of the holiday, and that needs to stop, else I’ll be starting to undo the good work I’ve done so far.

Putting on more than half a stone isn’t a good thing, but it’s not hugely worrying either. It’s the sort of thing that normal people do when they go on holiday, and I quite like the idea of being a normal person. Just to see what it feels like of course…

A few other highlights of the holiday – first of all, just being able to walk around in my trunks and not feel self-conscious, or even feel slightly fat. I honestly didn’t even think about it, and that’s pretty great on reflection. Secondly, not being the fattest guy around the pool. That was great. Lastly, having a photo taken by one of the other guys, here he referred to us as “the bald one, the tall one, the fat one and the short one”. Guess what? I was the tall one! I’m still actually grinning about that one.

Anyway, I need to knuckle down and get back on track, and start to shift the extra weight. It’s going to be a little tough I think, and I’m staying in a hotel all week, which won’t help (I’m writing this on an iPad, so no pictures or anything fancy this week) but I’m actually quite looking forward to it.

Have a great week.

The Shrinking Man.

Weigh Ins

4/9/2011 – Week 65 weigh-in

Weigh-in for Week 65

Starting Weight – 18st 4lb

Current Weight – 14st 8lb

Weekly Weight Loss/Gain – 8lb Gain

Total Weight Loss/Gain – 52lb loss