The Shrinking Blog

Too Busy to Eat?

Evening all.

My apologies to those of you who find it difficult to start a Sunday without your regular TSM fix, but I’ve been jetting all round the country today visiting relatives who just happened to have chosen the same day to visit different parts of the country from very different parts of the globe.  That meant that I couldn’t weigh-in properly this morning (not on ‘my’ scales anyway, and I’m not in the mood for any traumatic differences in either direction due to Different Scale Syndrome (DSS as I’ve just decided to call it).  And I didn’t think early enough to weigh-in properly yesterday.  So I ended up weighing myself about midday yesterday.  After I’d eaten a hearty breakfast.  And drunk a couple of pints of fluids.  And I was still showing a healthy -2.  So I’m pleased.

To be honest, I’ve had a really, really busy week, which I’m starting to recognise is definitely a good thing for me in the shrinking stakes.  There is a bit of a correlation between me finishing the end of my studies and this latest bout of pitiful struggling, although I think I can always find a healthy handful of things to use as a reason/excuse for a bout of midget-gem indulgence.

Weirdly, I’m feeling quite good, even though I’ve eaten pretty poorly over the last 48 hours or so.  The usual visiting family combination of “don’t you look fantastic” followed by “I’ve piled your plate so high that it can be seen from outer-space” has made it a tough time, but worse things happen at sea.  I’ve spent some lovely time with some people I really don’t see often enough, some for good reasons, some for no good reasons.  And that’s worth it.

I’ve had a week of patterns, and they’re interesting, to me at least.  First of all, the week starts well, and gets progressively worse as it goes on.  That probably says something very important about what’s going on in my head.  Secondly, I’ve noticed that the busier I am, the less I eat.  If I don’t have much to do, then I find food to fill in the gaps.  That’s quite depressing really.  Thirdly I’ve noticed a direct link between me having food to hand and me eating it.  That might sound obvious, but what I mean is that if I buy a bag of something, and have a few, then I’ll keep having a few more until they’re gone.  If instead, I buy a bag, have a few and then stick in a cupboard/draw/glovebox, then I don’t.  I’ll go back to them at some point, but not then.  That’s really quite interesting.

I managed to get to the gym once this week, but am slightly ashamed to say that instead of doing my usual 50-60 minute power-swim, I spent two hours chatting in the jacuzzi with the friend who started me off on the shrinking thing.  She’s currently losing weight at a far greater rate than I am, but she started a whole lot later, so I’m not going to feel too bad about it.  Anyway, we talked about WW, about life in general and about chaffinches, so that really makes it ok.

One positive thing I’m feeling is that once I’ve had a rocky start to the week (which I have definitely had today) then I know that I need to push myself to the gym a little harder and do what I can to cancel it out.  I’ve avoided that part of the whole WW equation for a while, and it’s been hurting me, so I intend to pick it up again.  Even if I can’t get to the gym, then I can go for a walk, spend some time walking up and down the stairs, get the Wii out – lots of options.  I just need to choose them and use them.  Oh yes.

Anyway, it’s getting late and I’m nowhere near ready to stop working just yet, so I need to go.  I’ve had a good week, and I’m looking forward to this one, whatever it brings.

Have a good week.

The Shrinking Man.



The Shrinking Blog

Is this what it’s always going to be like?

Evening all.

Week 75 has come to an end, and it’s been a tough, difficult, challenging and generally horrible week. The end-result wasn’t anything like as bad as I’d expected – an STS, which would normally be ok, but following on from last week’s +4, it’s not great. When you consider that I was expecting something closer to another +4, I’m relieved, but I’m considering it to be a fluke, as I’ve really not had a good seven days.

I’m torn right now. I’m unsure how to proceed, because on the one hand I’m clearly struggling, and want to write about what that feels like. On the other hand, I’m also aware that people reading week after week of me whining and whinging about how terrible it all is can’t be much fun. In the end though, the purpose of this blog is to document what it’s like throughout the shrinking process, warts and all, so those of you looking for a positive and uplifting experience, might need to look away now. If you’re here to find out what it’s really like being a former fat-bloke trying to first of all remain a thinner-bloke, and then go on to become a thin-bloke, then pull up a chair, take the weight off your feet, and rejoice in my misery:-)

Did I mention that it’s been a tough week? I’ve found myself beating myself up on a pretty regular basis, trying to resist the temptations that have been calling out to me pretty constantly. With a degree of success at firstq admittedly. Then I’ve found myself giving in to the voice that says “Just give in. Eat the whole packet of biscuits. Then I’ll be quiet. But only then. You might as well do it now. You know you’re going to anyway. Because you’re useless. And you’ll be fat again soon.”

The kind of compulsion that means I end up sitting with two packs of crisps, a couple of chocolate bars and a bag of midget gems one minute, and a pile of wrappers, and a whole load of guilt and self-loathing.

There have been positives at times this week too, and while I’m aware that it might interfere with the general mood of gloom and despondency that I’m creating here, I think it’s important to provide a bit of balance. On two occasions I’ve felt so bad after a binge that I’ve dragged myself down to the gym to make some sort of half-hearted apology to myself for it all. Once I went for a swim, and managed 80 lengths. I had the feeling that I would be able to do more, and was feeling quietly confident that I could break the 100 lengths barrier, right up until the moment that I almost threw up after the 80th. The second time I went, I even ventured into the gym itself, and managed 30 minutes on the treadmill and 30 minutes on the cross trainer thing. Both of these reactions were very positive, and are the perfect reaction to bad eating, but I’m really struggling with just how difficult I’m finding it to control the initial bad eating itself.

I’m definitely noticing some patterns around when I struggle with food. It tends to be when I’m not doing anything. Does that sound silly? I’m still coming to terms with having a little more time on my hands since I finished studying, and those times are a particular problem for me. Not sure what that says to be honest – I don’t want to have to keep making myself busy just so I don’t eat sweets all the time. That would be daft.

What’s concerning me the most is that I seem to losing control of things more and more each week. This isn’t something that seems to be sorting itself out, or just a phase. I’m slipping back into the sort of habits that got me fat in the first place, and that’s really quite scary. I’ve responded better to it this week, so that’s perhaps a positive sign. It has to be, but it’s difficult to see much positive news right now.

So let me try and deliver a positive ending to this weeks diatribe. I’ve done a bit of checking back through my stats and the first time I reached my current weight (14st 6lb) was about six months ago. From a losing weight perspective, it’s difficult to see absolutely no progress in six months as a positive, but I think that it IS a positive outcome if you look at it in terms of staying thin for the long term. It’s not been a pleasant experience for a lot of the last six months, as I’ve been up and down like a yoyo, but the fact that I’ve managed to keep the weight off for six months is a fairly significant achievement. It’s always the keeping it off where I’ve struggled in the past, and I guess what I’m doing right now is managing to deal with the ongoing challenges in a better way than I’ve previously managed, no matter how tough it seems.

Is that positive? I have absolutely no idea.

But it’ll do for now.

Have a good week.

The Shrinking Man.

The Shrinking Blog

You eat crap, you get fat

I believe the phrase the youth of today would use is OMG! Week 73’s weigh-in has just been completed, and I’m disgusted to report a +4 for the week. +4? OMG! Again.

Would it make any sense if I said that it was not a surprise, but still an incredible shock? I mentioned a week or so ago that I’d been the perfect poster-boy for the whole weight-watchers experience, and this week has been quite like that. Except it’s been the complete opposite. I’ve managed to consistently do the opposite of what I should have done for pretty much the whole week. I’ve snacked when I wasn’t hungry, I’ve stopped tracking what I’m eating, I’ve made the wrong choices when I actually stopped to think about what I was eating. I’ve eaten midget gems, wine gums, crisps by the gallon, avoided be gym completely, even though I had more chances than I can remember to actually get there and generally had a terrible, terrible week.

And would you believe that I’m still quite shocked that I’ve put on four pounds?

It’s in weeks like this that the challenge I face both in maintaining my original weight loss, and in continuing to lose more weight, is laid bare. It’s weeks like this that make me fear for the future, and it’s weeks like this that make me feel frustrated, angry, disappointed, scared, upset and generally fed up.

It’s probably not the least bit helpful, but it’s also weeks like this that absolutely fascinate me, as I still feel that if I could get my head around why I put myself through weeks like this, then I’d finally be able to crack this whole shrinking thing. I think I’m still clinging on to the hope that somewhere in my twisted little fat-bloke’s mind, there’s a little switch that if I can just flick it, will make it clear to me why it’s not a good idea to eat like a pig when you’re trying to lose weight. Just in case you’re new to the blog, I ought to state, for the record, just so you don’t think I’m totally insane, that I do know that it’s not a good idea to eat like a pig when I’m trying to lose weight. I really do. Or at least I do before the fact, and I definitely do after the fact. But clearly I don’t know that in the moment. At the time that I’m reaching for the midget gems, something overrides the whole ‘logical and sensible’ side of my brain, and I seem to revel in the general naughtiness of the self-destruction I’m wreaking upon myself.

What makes this whole thing so frustrating is that I’ve been able to find the right mental switches to deal with smoking and drinking, neither of which I do at all any more. And I have genuinely dealt with them – I don’t have these stupid lapses and smoke for a week every now and again. I stopped smoking because I managed to get myself to see smoking as a non-smoker saw it, and that flicked a switch in my head almost instantly, and overcame years of addiction once and for all. Am I mad to try to find the same thing for my over-eating?

To try to relate it to the smoking thing for a minute, I always believed that I enjoyed smoking. I now know that wasn’t true, but I genuinely believed it to be true at the time. I tell myself that I don’t enjoy over-eating. But I’m not sure I actually believe it. Deep down I mean. That’s the switch that needs flicking. When I’m pouring a bag of midget gems down my throat, I’m clearly getting something from it. But what actually is it? To link it directly to the seeing smoking as a non-smoker sees it, what would a thin-bloke think while watching me eating them? Would they be missing out on something by not eating them? If they could see what I was getting from them, would they reach for a bag and start gulping?

It seems so obvious to say no. They wouldn’t do it. So why do I?

I think there’s something else going on here. I think that when I’m eating badly, the urge that I’m satisfying might not have anything to do with food itself, but is more to do with overcoming denial. There’s a sense of satisfaction that comes from doing something that I know I shouldn’t that I think is the reward I’m getting from over-eating. I think it’s related to the same switch, and might actually help me to flick it, but it does involve looking in a different place.

I wonder if any of the above makes any sense to anyone else on the planet? It fascinates me to know how posts like this must read to different people. If you’re a thin person who’s just stumbled across the blog by mistake, then I’m guessing it must seem insane. If you’re just starting on your weight-loss, it must seem strangely irrelevant, as things are probably going ok. If you’ve lost lots of weight, and are keeping it off, then you’re probably wondering what I’m going on about, and not understanding why I’m making it so difficult. If you’re struggling, then I hope it makes some sense 🙂

Not for the first time, I find myself in an odd place. I’m not concerned that I’m going to fall apart and put it all back on. I know I could do that, but I’m happy that I won’t. I’m sure I’ll lose a pound or two over the next few weeks, then gain a bit, then lose a bit and so on. I’ve got a horrible fear that I’m going to spend the rest of my life bouncing around between 14 and 14.5 stone. Not the end of the world, and considerably better than bouncing around between 18 and 18.5 stone. But still not what I’m looking for.

The frustration is that I can feel the solution nearby. I feel like I’m blindly working my way around a darkened room, and that every now and again my fingers brush against the light switch I’m looking for. But then I lose it before I have a chance to flick it, and so still can’t see things properly.

How very odd.

Have a good week.

The Shrinking Man.