The Shrinking Blog

Feeling a little gutted…

Morning all.

I hope you’re well and that you’ve had a good week.

I must confess to feeling a little disappointed ths morning. I’ve just completed the weigh-in for week 73, and I’m showing a -1 for the week, and I was really hoping for a little more than that. I know I’ve said many times on here that -1 is a great result, and it’s true – it is. Losing a pound a week would mean nearly four stone in a year, which would be a great result in anyone’s book. Providing they were trying to lose weight of course, otherwise I guess that could be more than a little concerning, but I digress.

The reason I’m disappointed with a pound this week is just that I’ve been so good! Truly. If WW was looking for a poster-boy this week, someone who embodied everything they stood for, and who could stand up and shout “yes! It’s all true. Just look at me!” then this week, that would have been me. I’ve asked myself all the right questions, I’ve come up with all the right answers, I’ve made sensible choices, I’ve not deprived myself and I’ve pointed absolutely everything that has passed my lips. I’ve swum, albeit just the once, and have gone out of my way to be more active generally wherever I can. If there’s been stairs, then I’ve hunted them down and made them my own, and I’ve shunned lifts, escalators and travellators. I’ve even been ready to reject offers of piggy-backs and fireman’s lifts in the admittedly unlikely event that they might have been offered.

Yet still just one measly pound.

The other reason I was expecting a bigger loss this week was that I feel smaller. Clothes are fitting me better, and I feel at least two pounds lighter. Not one. Two! Again, I’m aware that this is actually a positive thing rather than a negative one, but I guess what I was really hoping was that I was going to get some reassurance from the scales that things were going as well as I felt they were.

And I didn’t. And destructive as it will sound, that makes me want to reach for the crisps/midget gems/curly wurlys. I’m not going to of course, but it makes me want to, and thats really annoying.

Anyway, even at this rate, I’ll be getting back down to my dreaded sticking point of 13st 12lb in time for Christmas when I’ll pile the pounds on again. And then I can start the whole thing again 🙂

I will snap out of it soon. Probably.

Have a good week.

The Shrinking Man.

The Shrinking Blog

Week 72 and a Milestone Re-reached

Morning all 🙂

Hope you’re having a marvellous weekend and all that.  The weigh-in for week 72 has been completed, and I’m part-pleased and part-disappointed to report a -1.  In itself that’s a sign that I’m getting myself back on track, as I’d have bitten my arm off for a -1 a few weeks ago, but it’s also a sign of just how far I’ve still got to go.

The scales were teasing me this morning.  I climbed on board, and the clear digital reading showed me a -2.  -2?  That’s great – just what I wanted!  Thanks very much. Oh. -1.  I tried a few times, just to make sure, but each time, they looked like they would settle at -2, but jumped to -1 right at the last moment.  So -1 it is.

I’ve had a pretty good food week for the majority of the last seven days, but have struggled in the last 48 hours.  I’ve been feeling a bit rough, and it’s been interesting/frustrating to note that in my slightly weakened state (I’m feeling your compassion and pity right now!) I allowed my carefully controlled eating to go out of the window to be replaced by semi-indulgent snacking.  On the one hand, it’s quite easy to explain it away as being just for simplicity’s sake – “I’m feeling poorly, so instead of taking the time to make a sandwich, I’ll grab a box of cakes and take them to bed with me”.  On the other hand, I think that’s quite indicative of how close to the surface some of my demons still really are, as my first reaction when things are slightly out of the ordinary, is still to reach for the cakes.

Nothing that can’t be dealt with of course, but still something to be aware of.  I did say semi-indulgent snacking earlier, which perhaps deserves some explanation.  As a general rule, whenever I let myself go these days, I’m still pleasantly surprised to discover that I’m not really letting myself go at all, at least not in anything like the manner that I would have done in my previous life.  When I say that I grabbed a box of cakes, what I should probably point out is that what I actually meant was that I grabbed a box of weight-watchers cakes.  And ate all six cakes.  Over two days.  That’s still a long, long way from the “pretty much no limit to what I can and will eat without provocation” me from a while back.  Which is a good thing.

The other thing I’ve had going against me this week is that I’ve still got a temporary crown in place which has made eating a bit difficult at times.  That’s meant that where I’d usually have reached for the fruit bowl, when there were only hard fruits in there, I often went for something less healthy instead.  What I’m trying to say is that once we’d run out of bananas, I had a pretty good excuse to eat something else instead of harder fruit.  What I didn’t have was a pretty good excuse not to go and get some more bananas, or even to ask someone else to get me some when I was feeling rough, so I’m aware that it’s something else that’s easy to hide behind if I let myself do it.

The milestone I’ve re-reached is that I’ve stepped under 200lb again.  My natural instinct is to ignore these re-reaching of previously reached milestones, but I’m not sure that’s the right way to play it.  It’s important to have things to celebrate, yet the natural reaction to any weight gain is to categorically refuse to see anything as progress until you’re back at your lowest point.  That’s quite a difficult scenario to pick your way through, because you don’t want to belittle your actual achievements by celebrating them every time you get there, but as I said earlier, you NEED things to celebrate.

I know that after I’d put on 10lb over Christmas I took far longer than I should have done to shift that weight again, and part of the reason for that was because I couldn’t see any progress towards shifting it as progress in itself.  I could only see the failure that needed to be wiped from the record, and until I’d done that, I was a failure.  I’m not sure that I’m explaining this well enough, either to myself or to you, but I think there’s something highly significant in here.

It’s probably sensible to accept that at times, anyone will put on weight, particularly those of us who have a track record in that area 😉 .  If we don’t allow ourselves to embrace and celebrate minor reductions in that gain, because for some reason, we feel that it ‘doesn’t really count’ until we’ve lost it all, then that looks like a pretty good recipe for turning a minor problem into a major one.  That says to me that EVERY loss, no matter how small, and no matter where it fits into the overall pattern of weight-loss, should be celebrated.  Probably.

At some point in the next few weeks I’m going to try and come up with a list of significant learning points that I’ve reached, because I’m conscious that I’m re-reaching those due to either forgetting them, or just being reminded of them in better ways.  I think perhaps I need them printed out somewhere.  Or tattooed on my knuckles or something like that.

Anyway, am off to do some real-life stuff – have a great week.

The Shrinking Man

The Shrinking Blog

Well that’s a bit better…

Morning all:-)

I hope you’ve had a good week. For the first time in a while, it feels like my week has been pretty good, and I’m pleased to say that the scales agree with me. The weigh-in for week 71 has just been completed, and I’m feeling very proud to report a -2 for the week. Hurrah etc!

I know that in the wider scheme of things, a -2 isn’t the most incredible result in the world, but I’ve been struggling recently, and it feels great to have started to turn myself around a little bit. Perhaps it’s a little early to say, but I feel like I’m back on track, and ready to continue shrinking some more.

It’s been a week of controlled eating, sensible decisions and a fair amount of physical activity, so in shrinking terms it’s been pretty great, and I’m pleasantly surprised to be reminded of how good it feels to be in control. I’ve even been to the gym for a swim, which I hadn’t done for many weeks, and while it was a bit of a shock to the system, I did pretty well. I like to swim a hundred lengths when I get to the pool, and while I didn’t manage that, I managed seventy, so was pleased with that, particularly as my muscles were begging me to stop after about twenty. It felt good, and while work is making things a little difficult in terms of time at the moment, I need to make sure I get to the pool once or twice a week. I’ve also made a point of trying to be more active in other areas, so during a trip to London during the week, I took the stairs on the underground instead of the escalators, and walked from the station instead of getting taxis. Small steps but important ones.

Anyway, I don’t think I’ve had any major revelations of any kind this week, instead it’s been a week of pleasant reminders of how good it feels to be doing things right. It hasnt been difficult to do, which is weird when you consider how difficult it has been recently, but if I was to single out one thing that’s made a difference, then I’d suggest that it’s not always trying to look at the bigger picture. Just treating each food choice as just that. A choice. Do I really want to eat that? Really? What will happen if I don’t eat it?

One other thing that’s been interesting this week is dental problems. I need to have a couple of crowns fitted, and in preparation, have had temporary whatchamacallits put in (I think that’s the correct term). That has meant that I’ve had to eat quite carefully, and therefore considerably more slowly than I would usually do. And slowing down makes it easier to notice when I’ve had enough. That’s cool! I can recommend dental problems for anyone looking to shink 🙂

Have a great week.

The Shrinking Man

The Shrinking Blog

Getting a little scared now

Morning all.

Week 70!  70 weeks!  That’s ages that is.  Well the weigh-in for week 70 has just been completed, and the fact that I’m a little relieved to report an STS should give an indication of how things are going right now.  I’m really finding shrinking difficult at the moment, which I think is perhaps where this whole thing starts to get interesting.  By interesting, what I mean is that for me at the moment it’s generally petrifying, frustrating and difficult, but on reflection, when I come out the other end skinnier than I went in and with a better understanding of what’s going on, then I’ll look back and say “that’s where it got interesting”.  Probably 🙂

It’s like this.  I know what to do.  It’s not difficult.  But somehow I can’t seem to get myself to do it.  Not consistently anyway.

The WW thing gives me a framework that I know works, and all I have to do is stick within that framework.  I have all the tools that I need to do this, and none of them are difficult to use:

  • I need limits that I can understand – I have those, and in WW terms that’s 40 points a day, with an extra 49 points for the week if I need them
  • I need to understand what those points mean in terms of everyday food and drinks – I have that, and in better formats than I’ve ever had before.  The WW website has all of that, and I’ve now got access via a iPhone and an iPad too
  • I need a simple way of tracking things – I have that, again online,  iPhone and iPad.

So why am I having so much trouble in doing it?

On a daily basis I’m having to force myself to track every single thing I eat, and I’m failing on a fairly regular basis.  Whether I’m tracking properly or not, when the killer question comes up (which for the uninitiated is “shall I have that?”) I’m genuinely struggling to come up with any answer other than yes.  With the fairly regular exception of when the answer becomes “Ooh yes!  And I’ll have another couple as well” of course.  It’s weird.  I can’t explain it, and I don’t seem to be able to find the motivation to stop it, and that’s really getting me down a little bit.

I went clothes shopping again today, as I needed a suit for work, and I had to buy a larger size than I bought a few months ago.  I know that’s not really a good idea (and genuine thanks to those who got in touch after my tales of shopping and size dilemmas last week) but the last suit, along with just about everything that I bought recently, were just on the tight size of fitting when I bought them.  That meant that providing I stayed where I was or lost more weight, then they’d fit great, but if I put anything on, then I’d have a problem, and that’s where I am – I’m half a stone or so heavier than I was when I went shopping last, and there’s no point pretending otherwise.  The new suit will be a little bit big on me, and I’m planning to make it much too big for me as soon as I possibly can, but I need to feel good and comfortable in what I’m wearing, and I wouldn’t be able to do that had I bought the same size as before.  Incidentally, I also went back to Gap and bought myself a shirt that’s going to be just a little bit too small for me, but it’s there for when I fit into it properly.

It’s a little odd to be sitting here wondering what to do next.  Actually it’s not the what, it’s the how.  I know what I need to do – I need to track everything I’m eating, and make sure that I make smart choices, and don’t eat more than my allowance.  So how do I make myself do it?  No idea.

There are positives in this.  I’m clearly not eating anywhere near as bad as I think I am, as I’m not piling the pounds on, but I’m not losing it either, and I’m still sitting here 8lb above my lowest weight so far.  And that’s still a fair way off of where I want to be.  I guess this is the real challenge going forward.  Not losing the initial weight, but making enough changes to my daily habits to get me to a stage where I can keep weight off for good, rather than just taking a temporary trip to slimville.

I need to get myself to the pool as well – that’s something I’ve avoided fairly consistently for ages now, and in the last week I’ve had opportunities that I’ve not taken.  Having said that, even without exercise, I can lose weight by controlling what I’m eating, and I have to keep coming back to that.  Control the input, and everything else will deal with itself.

I think there are a couple of significant patterns that I’ve noticed that I need to sort out.  One is that traditionally, if I had a heavy lunch, then I’d have a lighter dinner, and I’m not doing that now.  Not sure why, but it should be something that will make a significant difference if I focus on it.  The second one is late night snacking.  Even if I’ve had a great day and I’ve tracked everything perfectly, I keep finding myself pigging out when everyone else has gone to bed.  The fact that I’m waiting for everyone else to go to bed before I do it will probably keep my future psychoanalyst in comfy chairs for decades to come, and I’m not sure I want to delve too far into that, but in terms of the basic snacking, I can tell you something very important about it – I’m not hungry in the slightest.  Not at all.  Not even remotely peckish.  Yet last night for example, in the space of 30 minutes or so, I had a pack of discos, a pack of french fries, a chocolate cookie and a curly wurly.

Anyway, lets sum it up.  I’m struggling.  I’m not sure why.  Not even sure if the why is important.  And I have no idea how to make the change.  Feel free to tell me snap out of it and just do what I know works.  That’s what I’ve been telling myself for ages now.  Perhaps I’ll listen to you in a way that I clearly don’t listen to myself.

Have a great week.

The Shrinking Man

The Shrinking Blog


Morning all 🙂

I’m going to be slightly unfashionable here and not start this post by saying how great the weather has been.  Well sort of anyway.  I’m going to start this post by trying to describe just how busy you have to be to not even notice how good the weather has been, even when it’s apparently been the hottest few days on record ever.  Well sort of anyway.

Each day this week, I have been waking early, walking from the bedroom to the office that occupies the room next door, sitting down and working on an essay.  That’s it.  All week.  Nothing else.  Occasional trips to other rooms to deal with whatever needed dealing with, but that’s all I’ve done.  I did leave the house on a couple of occasions, but only after dark, so wouldn’t have known about the weather at all, were it not for the hundreds of thousand of people making sure I knew about it via phone, mobile, text, facebook, twitter etc.

Anyway, the good/great/amazing/dull (please delete as applicable) news on this is that I have finished not just the essay, but also the whole year’s study and also the whole six years of degree!  That’s it.  Over and done with.  I won’t actually know whether I’ve passed or not for three months, but providing nothing ridiculous happens, as of the end of December, I will officially be TSM BA (Hons) History.  If you had any idea how terribly challenging the young TSM found formal education, you’d be clapping even louder than you undoubtedly are that I’ve managed to stick at it for this long.  I won’t go on too much about this (well too much more anyway) but when I started this, I’d presumed that general maturity and the passage of time would have dealt with all of the things that caused me problems in my school days.  Guess what?  Nope!  They’re all still there, they’ve had 25 years to really bed themselves in, and they’ve found a whole load of mates too.

The reason for mentioning this is that I’d done a deal with myself that with the essay deadline falling at the end of this week, then I wasn’t going to let anything distract me from that, and if that meant that I was going to eat less well than I otherwise would, then so be it.  Well so be it indeed 🙂  I surrounded myself with every form of comfort food known to man, and boy did I comfort myself.  I’ve ended up with a +1 for the week, which is quite amazing to be honest, and far better than I deserved, particularly as earlier in the week I was showing a +5 at one point during a sneak-peek at the scales.  I guess the overall weight gain was less than it could have been partly because at times I wasn’t actually eating meals, which must have helped a bit, partly because there’s been 36 hours since I submitted the essay, and I’ve had a couple of days to settle back into a more normal eating pattern, and partly because the + sneak-peek freaked me out so much that I must have scaled things back a bit.

So now the real work begins once more.

I’m really not enjoying being heavy again.  Actually, that’s not quite accurate is it?  Let me rephrase that.  I’m really not enjoying being heavier again.  I’m a few pounds heavier, but nothing that could be called ‘heavy’ in the same way that I used to be ‘heavy’.  I’m still a couple of pounds under my post-holiday peak, but I’m also still 8lb above my lowest point so far, and I can really see and feel it.  Clothes that were fitting me fantastically a couple of months ago now don’t fit well at all.  It’s actually a little difficult, because I went a little mad and threw out everything that was even slightly big on me, so am struggling to find things to wear at the moment.  Which throws up the standard yo-yo dieters dilemma I guess.  Do I buy some bigger clothes, or do I wait until I can fit back into the smaller ones that I have?  That’s a toughie to be honest – the motivator part of me knows that to buy larger clothes again would be something of a defeat, and could possibly make me more comfortable with the size I am, rather than encouraging me to lose weight again.  The same part of me also knows that wearing clothes that make you feel uncomfortable and fat doesn’t make you feel good about yourself, and that can encourage poor eating.

Well I went to Gap yesterday – they’ve got a sale one, which is something that I try my best to take advantage of these days.  I picked up a nice top.  With an M on the label.  And I knew it wasn’t going to fit me.  Wifey told me so as well (which you might remember is her job on occasions like this apparently) but I knew she was right.  I looked for an L.  They didn’t have one.  I left the shop.  I think if they’d have had an L, then I would have bought it, but as they didn’t, the dilemma is still a ‘live’ issue.  What do you think?  Let me know if you have a minute – I’d appreciate your views.

So, as of this week, I have no excuses for putting more weight on, and no excuses for not losing a pound or two to be honest.  I’ll have to see what I can think of during the week…

Have a good week.

The Shrinking Man