Tag Archives: diet

On the verge of a great breakthrough!

Morning all!

The weigh-in for week 54 has just been completed, and I’m pleased to announce the departure of another pound.  A -1 for the week brings me up to 62lb lost, and down to 13st 12lb, and that weight is really significant to me.  I’ve mentioned in previous blogs that I’ve lost weight on a number of diets in the past, and the diet which allowed me to lose the most previously was the Atkins diet about 7 years ago.  Atkins was/is a great way of losing weight, but like every other diet plan you’ll find, if you stop eating according to the plan, then the weight comes back on.  I know that every diet plan will tell you that you can continue eating their way forever, but for me at least, Atkins didn’t fit into that category.

Well can you guess what weight I got down to when I did Atkins?  13st 12lb.  Go to the top of the class!  And I stayed there for about a month.  And then the slow but steady rise back up the pound scale began.

This is a significant stage for a number of reasons – first of all because it serves as a reminder that it’s not losing the weight that’s really important, it’s what you do after you’ve lost the weight.  Secondly, this is significant because while I know that none of the diet plans consider themselves to be diet plans, WW genuinely isn’t a diet.  It’s allowed me to change the way that I eat in a way that I genuinely believe is sustainable in the longer term. Alright, let’s be totally honest and say that it’s allowed me to change the way I eat in a way that I genuinely HOPE is sustainable in the long term.  The thought of going back to where I was before fills me with dread, and I’ve always had this 13st 12lb figure looming in my head.  To go past the level I could only reach before in an unsustainable fashion, but to do it in a totally sustainable fashion, well that’s pretty exciting to me, and shows that I’m doing pretty good at the end of the day.

I had a wonderful experience yesterday that I can describe, but not show you, as it involves photos of me, and one of the key elements of the whole anonymity thing is that it’s a little more difficult to remain anonymous when you put photos of yourself up.  Anyway without giving any specific details away (and because it makes me feel like a spy when I have to hide details and that’s fun) yesterday I did a thing that I also did at the same time last year, and on both occasions people took photos of me.  The two photos genuinely look like different people (in fact they almost look like different species!) and I’m absolutely chuffed to bits with the new one.

Highlights of the week this week include going to Gap and buying a huge bag of clothes in their sales.  Not an L in sight 🙂  And it all fitted except for a pair of swimming shorts that seem to come up small.  I bought a pair of Gap jeans with a 34″ waist and they’re too big for me!  I’m keeping them, as the 32″ will be way to small right now, but that’s exciting.  One of the genuine pleasures I’m getting right now is shopping for clothes, which is a very new experience for me.  Traditionally, clothes shopping has been a matter of finding a place that had lots of Xs in front of the Ls on their labels, then choosing something that was loose enough to allow me to think that it would somehow cover up the walrus within.  I have no fashion sense at all of course (I’m a heterosexual male) but I’m loving rejecting clothes because they’re too big.  I still smile when I think about that!

Another highlight was an exercise-related one.  A few weeks ago I set myself a new bunch of targets (see http://theshrinkingman.co.uk/2011/06/01/the-next-goals/) and three of them were exercise-related.  My exercise of choice is swimming, and I’ve pushed myself over the past year from swimming 40 lengths at a time up to 80 lengths each visit.  I set myself three swimming goals, which were to swim 100 lengths, 120 lengths and 150 lengths and this week, in a moment of madness decided to push myself to see if I could hit the 100 lengths.  One of my challenges at the moment is getting to the pool more than once or twice a month, and it had been a few weeks since I’d swum at all, but while the last 20 lengths were unbelievably hard work, I’m proud to announce that I can now tick off the 100 lengths.  It hurt like hell, so I have no idea how I’m going to do the other ones, but I never thought I could do this one anyway, so what do I know!

Before I go, let me just share something that I think will be of great importance to anyone new to the whole shrinking thing.  Last Sunday I was over the moon to see a 13st 13lb on the scales, which was a -4 for the week.  I really was absolutely delighted.  The very next day, I weighed myself again (never the best idea, but I wanted to check) and the scales showed 14st 2lb, which was an increase of 3lb in a single day.  A day on which I’d done everything ‘right’ and certainly done nothing to trigger a gain like that.  I’ve weighed myself on most days this week and have seen my weight gradually decreasing throughout the week, but there’s a really important point in there somewhere.  Whether that means that the -4 weigh-in was a blip, or whether something weird was going on in my body or whether I missed something important last Sunday and ate a horse without realising it, none of that really matters.  What matters is that your weight can fluctuate by quite a few pounds without you doing anything, which means that it’s a really good idea to take what the scales say on ANY given day with a pinch of salt.  It’s the longer term picture that’s important.  What I find most interesting is that I’d really knuckled down that week, and felt that I genuinely deserved a huge result.  Had the days worked out differently and I’d stepped on the scales and seen a -1 rather than a -4, that’s the sort of blow that could knock you off track a bit and really dent your motivation.

That’s quite interesting actually, because I’d generally suggest to people that they don’t weigh themselves mid-week, as nothing good can really come of it.  This week I think that something good HAS come from my extra weigh-ins.  If I’d have carried with a “I’ve just lost four pounds” attitude, I can pretty much guarantee that I’d have relaxed a bit more, and ended up looking at a 2-3lb gain this week.  As it is, BECAUSE I weighed myself when I ‘shouldn’t’ I was aware that things might not be quite as I’d thought, so have perhaps been more focused this week.  Food for thought anyway.

Look – it’s like this.  I’m just about to step into unchartered territory – I’ve not weighed less than 13st 12lb since I genuinely don’t know when.  I’m feeling a weird mix of emotions right now, because on the one hand I’m feeling elated at my progress, and on the other hand I’m feeling terrified at how easy it would be to slip back into fat-bloke eating.  Although I’m starting to doubt just how easy that might be, and I guess that’s progress.

Have a great week.

The Shrinking Man

Goodbye 14st Somethings – Hello 13st Somethings!

Morning all!

The Shrinking Man is absolutely ecstatic to announce the departure of 14st-something man, and equally proud to announce the arrival of 13st-something man.  Indeed I am 🙂  Weigh-In number 53 has just been completed, and a whopping -4 brings me to 13st 13lb (195lb/88.6kg) and puts my total weight-loss to date as 4st 5lb (61lb/27.76kg) which represents a grand total of 24% of my starting weight.  To incorrectly and inappropriately quote Tony Hancock, that surely has to be more than a leg-worth!

I’m now a 13st-something man for the first time in a very long time, and that really feels fantastic.  This has been a long time coming – the last half a stone has taken me over three months to shift, so I’m feeling chuffed to bits that I haven’t given up, binged, built and then eaten a model of the Close Encounters mountain out of midget gems (mashed potato is so last-millennium) and generally let all my good work so far go to waste.  Because that’s exactly what I’d have done in the past!  Well perhaps not exactly, but you know what I mean…

The odd/great/intriguing thing about this sudden leap in the right direction, is that it was totally predictable, and to be totally honest, I could have done it at any point in the last few months.  All I’ve changed is that I’ve gone back to controlling my eating a little more closely than I have been in recent weeks and months, coming in on or under my points total each day (as opposed to coming in over, or really over my points total each day) and suddenly everything clicks back in to place again.  I have still snacked on occasions, but it hasn’t been the norm, and I haven’t done it if it would take me over my points.  I have still had junk food on occasions, but again I’ve one it within my points, and I’ve made a conscious point of not snacking if I’ve had, or am planning to have junk food.  A Burger King and a Fish and Chips this week.  And a few subways for lunch too!  Diet?  What diet?

I’ve been doing this too long now to not be aware that this could all stall again this week.  A big loss for me is generally followed by an STS or a small gain, so I’m not getting carried away here, but this is a really positive reminder of the mechanics of this whole thing.  I think it goes like this:

  1. If you stay within your points, then you’ll lose weight
  2. If you don’t, then you won’t.

Tough system huh?  Not sure if I’ll ever really be able to get my head round something that complex 😉

A few other positive things from this week.  I had someone who I know to chat to but who I don’t see very often fail to recognise me yesterday, which was pretty cool.  Also, I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I’d bought some Large Gap tops that were a bit big, and that against my Wife’s advice (as they were certainly a little snug), I decided to change them for Medium Gap tops. Well yesterday I wore one, and she didn’t notice!  That was a genuinely pleasant experience, because I appear to have a better handle on my size at the moment than she does, which is quite remarkable because I’m usually rubbish at that, particularly in relation to clothes.

When I’m doing it right, it does all feel very different.  There’s a lightness in my body as a whole that just feels ‘right’ when I’m eating the right amount for me.  At times I’ve let it go too far the other way, and have ended up feeling too hungry and that doesn’t feel nice.  A little bit of hunger in the run up to food can feel really pleasant, but not for too long.  I’ve also eaten too much at times this week, and that doesn’t feel nice either – horribly stuffed and unpleasant, even though the old me wouldn’t even have registered what I’m eating as a snack, let alone as being too much!

The interesting thing for me at the moment is that I’m learning more about how I eat, and I’m really becoming aware of some things that I will need to work on to keep this weight off in the long-term.  First of all, I eat too quickly.  Almost always.  That’s not good for a number of reasons – first of all, it means that I don’t actually enjoy my food very much, and secondly, it makes it easier to eat rubbish, because I’m not taking the time to really taste the difference between great and rubbish foods.  Secondly, I still have (and perhaps always will have) a tendency to binge, it’s just that these days I tend to binge on healthier things.  For lunch one day this week, I had a Subway Melt (disturbingly delicious, in the sense that it feels like there’s something put into it that makes me really, really want another one) followed by a whole punnet of strawberries and a whole punnet of cherries.  I didn’t eat all the fruit because I was hungry, and after about half of it, I wasn’t even enjoying it any more.  Yet I still ate it.  What’s that all about then?

For now, let’s just say “who cares!  I’m a 13st something man again, and that’s fantastic” and we’ll come back to it later, but there’s definitely some stuff to think about in there.

Have a great week.

The Shrinking Man