Yup – I’m still here, and I’m still fat. Fatter actually, if truth be told, which probably isn’t much of a surprise to anyone who has read much of the sort tale told on these pages. I’m still quite happy though, so don’t worry about me :-).
It’s been nearly a year since I last wrote in here, and I’m not sure whether this is the start of another period of regular activity, or just a ‘see you in a year or so’ type of thing. I guess we’ll find out in the next few weeks.
Anyway, let me describe where I’ve been in my shrinking journey in the last year. Going backwards is probably the simplest description. I’m currently weighing in between about 18st 13 and about 19st 12, which is the heaviest that I’ve ever been. I don’t feel particularly healthy, and my breathing when I’m at the heavy end of that scale is really not good, So all good then 😉
I’ve drawn some conclusions over recent months that are driving my thought processes at the moment. First of all, I’ve come to the conclusion that all of my previous attempts at dieting, whether successful or not in the short term, have all had negative effects in the longer term. I’m just getting fatter. Secondly, while being fat makes me unhappy, failing at dieting makes me unhappier still. I’d rather be fat and relatively happy than yo-yoing and genuinely unhappy. To be serious for a moment, my weight might kill me at some point, but I’d honestly rather have five or ten years of being relatively happy than twenty or more years of being this unhappy. Putting all that together, and it says that I’m giving up dieting.
That may mean that I’m giving up shrinking altogether, though I don’t think that it has to. I’ve seen a number of videos and articles that have suggested some reasoning behind the ever-increasing weight of the serial dieter. The standard explanation says ‘lazy glutton stops being a lazy glutton for a while and loses weight, then goes back to being a lazy glutton and puts it all back on again and more’. That explanation leads to a very unhappy shrinker, who will end up feeling really, really bad about themselves, and that will help too perpetuate the cycle.
The revised picture I’m trying to work out at the moment, goes something like this – ‘Fat bloke loses weight. Fat bloke’s body acts as if he’s just lived through a famine, and sets out to regain that weight, no matter how long it takes. It also adds some more on, to help minimise the chance that it would happen again. It works at a hormonal level, and fat bloke has no more control over it than he does over whether he breathes or not. Fat bloke’s body doesn’t know what he should weigh, but it does know what he did weigh, and that becomes the target of the entire body if the weight drops.’
On the one hand, that’s liberating. It says that ‘it’s not my fault’ loud and clear, and the guilt that I live with every single day because I can’t seem to control this, could possibly begin to lift. On the other hand, that’s terrifying, because that suggests that there really is nothing that I can do about it. And I’m not ready to throw in the towel just yet.
So at this stage I’m focusing on a few things. I’m trying to be mindful of my eating, being conscious of what I’m eating, how it tastes, and trying to genuinely enjoy my food. I’m trying to eat what I want, and cut out any sense of denial from my approach – that ends in tears every time. And I’m relaxing about the time that it might take. While there’s a big bit of me that really, really wants me to lose a lot of weight quickly, I’m challenging that with the part of me that says making the changes that I need to make will take time. A lot of time. And that’s ok.
I’ll write more soon, but for now, just accept that I’m trying to approach this differently.
The Shrinking Man