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.