It’s Been A While

The Shrinking ManQuite a long while when all is said and done.  Not as long as the gap between posts would suggest, for reasons that I’ll explain in a minute, but it has been ages.  I have much to tell you, but I’ll start with the important bit.  I couldn’t begin to tell you how upset, sorry and to be completely honest, rather embarrassed I am to announce that I’m fat again.  A couple of minutes ago I weighed in at 17st 7lb.  That’s not as fat as I was when I started this, but it’s not far off of it, and let’s be honest, I know that I’m on the way back there and beyond unless I make changes.

A brief summary of what’s happened since the last update on here:

  • I decided to try and change the site from being a simple blog to more of a community site, as I believed that my success to date could help more people that way
  • I went backwards in my shrinking (there’s no connection between the switch to a community site and stopping shrinking – it just happened that way)
  • I very quickly found that writing about my struggle became uncomfortable and embarrassing rather than inspirational and supportive
  • I stopped writing
  • I kept growing
  • I didn’t renew the community site (it cost too much for a site that I wasn’t using)
  • I didn’t take a backup of the posts made since the move to the community site (though there weren’t many, there were some, including some by other people who joined up – to those people I’m very sorry but your contributions have been lost in the ether)
  • I switched back to the original blog.  Yesterday.
  • And now you’re here.  Hi 🙂

So what happens next?

Honestly I’m not sure.  I know that I used to find this blog very useful, and I know that other people going through a similar experience found it supportive too.  I need help again, so I’m hoping that I can find a way to use this site to help me.  That’s about as far as I’ve got at the moment.

Originally the concept behind The Shrinking Man was to document my journey from fat bloke to thin bloke.  Having gone from fat bloke to much thinner bloke and now back to fat bloke, I’m not sure if that concept still works, but I’ve got a feeling that it can.  Put simply, it may not be as simple a journey as I’d hoped, but perhaps that makes the concept of The Shrinking Man even more important.  This isn’t a simple journey from A to B.  Perhaps it’s more like a journey from A to Z.  I can see where I want to get to – that’s Z I suppose, but I can’t find the right roads, so I’m having to travel all over the place to get there.

So what happened then?  What made all my hard-won shrinking disappear?  Why did I get fat again?

I guess if I knew the full answer to that, then I wouldn’t be fat again, but as usual, I’m going to try to make some sense of it all.  The mechanics of it are simple – I got fat again because I stopped eating sensibly and exercising regularly.  So let’s ask a slightly different question:

Why did I stop eating sensibly and exercising regularly?

The generic answer is simple I think, and that is simply that I haven’t dealt with whatever it is inside of my head that makes me want to eat unhealthily and to not exercise.  I end up in a spiral where I know all the right things to do, and I have techniques that have proved themselves to be highly successful.  But I just can’t bring myself to do them.  Something stops me.  But what?

Let me list the likely candidates:

  • My relationship with food is just mucked up and has been since childhood.  I’m still trying to impress my mum by cleaning my plate and gain praise by eating lots in some weird juvenile throwback that is so ingrained that I struggle to overcome it
  • I have some sort of self-loathing thing going on that means that whatever my conscious mind decides that I want to achieve, my unconscious is basically saying “Sorry fat-boy – that isn’t happening.  You’re fat and you deserve nothing better, so you’re staying that way”
  • My unconscious mind is trying to keep me safe by fighting my conscious efforts to change
  • I just don’t have the willpower to see this through – I’m just not trying hard enough
  • There are elements within even my healthier diets that work against me and set me up to fail in the longer-term.

I think I could make strong arguments for all of the above being contributory factors except for the willpower one.  This isn’t about willpower – there are other forces at work here, and it’s my lack of understanding that’s stopping me rather than a lack of desire.

I need to think about how to use the blog going forwards – in reality, the struggles that I’m facing are probably more important to document than the pleasant weeks, so I’d like to see if I can get started with it properly again, but I’ll need to change the structure a bit.  The ‘Shrinking So Far’ block on the left of the screen doesn’t work, or at least elements of it don’t – the idea of average weekly loss over this time period is dead and buried at least.

The weird thing at the moment is that when I was down below 14st, I wasn’t happy.  I was thinking that I needed to get to 12 st something or other and that then I might be happy.  Whereas now I’d give my right arm to be dictating a blog post that announced by arrival into the 13st something club.  That’s my target now – I want to weigh 13st something and I’m going to get there, and I’m going to be bloody happy when I do get there.  And I’m going to work out how the hell I stay there too.

Have fun.

The Shrinking Man