The Shrinking Blog

Yo-Yo, Yo-Yo-Yo-Yo, Yo-Yo-Yo-Yo, Yo-Yo there’s no lyrics

Morning all!

Welcome to week 61 of The Shrinking Man’s exploits, and I’m certainly thinking of changing my name to The bobbing-about-a-bit Man.  The weigh-in for week 61 has just been completed and I’m not too surprised to announce a +2 for the week.

It’s not in the slightest bit surprising really, as I’ve not pointed things very well this week, and as a result have eaten too much.  Actually, that works the other way around too, because when I eat too much, that often makes it tempting to avoid pointing it, so I can pretend that it’s not really happening, and I think both of those have been true this week.  That’s about all there is to say on it really – when I make sensible choices and balance any heavier-eating periods with lighter-eating periods, then I lose weight.  When I just stuff food down my throat without any concept of quantities or control, then I put weight on.  Anything else and I’ll end up somewhere in between.

I’m not disheartened in the slightest to be honest, which is a little weird, when you consider the depths of dispair that I was plunged into when I put three pounds on a while ago.  I think that was a really useful reminder of how it works.  You eat well you lose weight, you eat poorly and you gain weight.  When I put on those three pounds, I managed to convince myself that the whole thing was doomed and I would be 18st again in a matter of hours.  Whereas what actually happened was that I knuckled down a little bit, started doing the right things again, and I lost the weight again.  Then I stopped doing that (is knuckling up a phrase?) and I’ve put some of it back on again.

That helps to put some of the longer term elements into perspective I think, because whatever happens in a bad week, it only needs to affect that week.  In reality, I definitely need to work harder to stop bad days becoming bad weeks, because that was all that happened this week – I had a couple of bad days, and then spent the rest of the week living down to the standard that I’d set for myself.  That is quite liberating in some ways, because it makes me feel a little normal.

I still have a tendency to think that there’s something different about me when it comes to food, and that the normal rules that apply to other people don’t apply to me.  I know that, without attention, then I definitely eat more than the majority of people, but that doesn’t make me any different to everyone else.  Anyone else who ate what I would eat without me paying attention to it and controlling what I’m eating would gain weight too.  That’s how it all works.  The only difference is the habits that I’ve got myself into, and how I respond to food triggers (that and the overriding compulsion to EAT that I get sometimes too, but that doesn’t fit the idea I’m trying to describe here, so we’ll ignore that for now 🙂 ).

Anyway, I’ve got just over a week before I head off on my holidays for a couple of weeks, and I’m not going to sit here and kid myself that I won’t put weight on while I’m away.  I’m sure that will offend the amateur psychologists amongst you, so feel free to go ahead and feel offended.  Realistically, I’m going on holiday, and controlling what I’m eating is going to be a little further down my list of priorities than is usually the case.  Somewhere beneath relaxing, getting a tan, lazing around a lot and eating lots of ice-cream.  I don’t intend to go absolutely mental, but you know what, even if I did, it wouldn’t be the end of the world, because whatever I manage to put on, I can take off again.  And I’m going to feel better in my swimming shorts than I have ever done before 🙂

This week can best be summarised as a bit of a non-event.  A gain, but not a huge one, and certainly one that matched my expectations based on how I’ve eaten.  We’ll see how this week goes, then we’ll start worrying about the Ice-Creams!

Have a good week everyone.

The Shrinking Man


The Shrinking Blog

Ho Hum etc

Week 47 weigh-in has been completed, and I’m relieved to only report a +2.  It’s disappointing in some ways, because that’s only the second time that I’ve gained two weeks in a row since starting this, and the other one was the period that we don’t talk about called Christmas.  In reality though, I’ve not eaten well this week, so it could have been much worse.

It’s time to take stock a little bit, as it feels like I’m in a bit of a rut at the moment.  I promised last week that I wouldn’t indulge in any self-flagellation over Easter, so I’ll need to be careful how I word this, but it’s safe to say that the week didn’t start well.  Delighted as I was to receive a gorgeous Hotel Chocolat £25 Easter egg, I ate the whole thing in two days, which did make the whole WW points thing a little bit of a challenge for the rest of the week.  The egg itself equated to about 60 points, which is about a day and a half’s worth of normal eating.  I enjoyed it, although I definitely ate it too quickly – I do not seem to have a “let’s just have a little bit” mode for situations like this at the moment.  The positive thing was that on both days when I ate the egg, I felt unpleasantly full afterwards, which I think is a good sign, as I don’t think I would have noticed anything this time last year.

I think perhaps the speed at which I eat generally is something that I need to look at, as by the time I’ve noticed that I’m feeling full, I’m already really stuffed because of the pace of it all.  There’s something to play with there I think…

What I need to come to terms with properly is that things like Easter indulgences are fine – they just need to be factored in, and it’s the factoring them in that I need to get better at.  In general I didn’t respond too badly too it – I’ve upped the exercise and swum three times this week, which was the right thing to do.  There were other areas where I didn’t do as well.  I sat and watched a film with my Wife on Easter Sunday and managed to devour three quarters of a large bag of toffee popcorn.  That’s not good.  Well it was, but you know what I mean.  I’ve also snacked when I wasn’t hungry, even though I was up against it in terms of points.

It’s quite difficult to feel satisfied with my general progress at the moment – things are still generally moving in the right direction, but with so many backward and forward steps that it’s so very, very slow.  I’m actually just 8lb lighter than I was before Christmas, and it really feels like a bit of a slog at the moment.  If you factor in the 10lb that I put on over Christmas, then I’ve lost 18lb since January, which feels slightly better, but not much.  I still haven’t quite forgiven myself for Christmas I don’t think.

What I appear to be very good at is keeping my weight at between 14 and 14.5 stone, which is probably something to be celebrated, particularly when you consider that a year ago I would have been proving myself to be very good at increasing my weight gradually from 18st 4lb.  It’s less of a cause for celebration when you want to keep on shrinking though.  Part of me is thinking that perhaps I’ve reached my ideal weight already, and that I’m destined to be this lumpy sort of guy forever.  Most of me knows that’s complete rubbish though, so I’m not paying attention to me on that 😉

The bottom line is this – if I keep doing what I’m doing now, then I’ll continue to get smaller for a fair while longer.  It might be slow, but it IS still going in the right direction, and that’s really all that’s important here.  I guess I’m starting to come up against the ‘real-life’ stuff that will happen when I get to whatever weight I decide that I want to be in the end – how I eat will determine what weight I end up at.  Nothing more complicated than that.

The big lessons for me this week are that:

  1. I need to pay more attention while I’m eating, and eat slower
  2. I need to make better decisions after something like an Easter blow-out

That’s all.

Have a good week.

The Shrinking Man.

The Shrinking Blog

Two Steps Forward; One Step Back

Morning everyone 🙂

Week 37 weigh-in completed and a +1 to bring me back down to earth.  The only surprise about this really was that the gain wasn’t greater – it has not been a good week, and I’m not sure how the gain has managed to stay so low.

There are some extenuating circumstances I guess – I’ve spent 8 of the last 14 days living in cheap hotels for one.  That brings a combination of limited food choices and a lack of gym/pool to work with for most of that time, which certainly doesn’t help, but it’s not the whole story.  Those things really just set the scene upon which I managed to eat relatively poorly every day this week, going over my points on every day, making poor choices where I had the opportunity to do better and generally sabotaging my progress.

I’ve not written about self-sabotage for a while, but this week has been a great example of that.  It’s an odd thing that happens on an irregular basis, but there does seem to be a pattern of sorts – whenever I’ve had a consistent period of weight-loss, particularly after a very good couple of weeks, this attitude of self-sabotage kicks in.  It leads to a period of me actively doing the wrong things and consciously making the wrong choices.

It’s the fact that it’s conscious that makes it difficult to grasp.  This isn’t something where I realise afterwards what I’ve been doing.  I’m fully aware of what I’m doing while I’m doing it; in fact I’m fully aware of it before I do it, which is probably even worse.  The awareness really ought to be enough to nip it in the bud, but it isn’t – it feels like I’m just watching it from the outside, and feeling completely powerless to do anything about it.

It’s not the end of the world of course – it’s not going to stop me from getting where I want to be, even if it does slow me down a little bit.  It might even be a necessary part of the process – some sort of mental correction going on that keeps me going in the right general direction.  The worrying thing for me is that it’s precisely that self-sabotage that kept me smoking for so many years after I’d decided that I wanted to stop.  In these moments, the ‘just one cigarette’ would pull me back in (am I the only one reading those words back in an Al Pacino voice?) and all my progress would be gone.

Actually that’s a really positive thing!  I’ve always struggled with the fact that I could stop smoking and drinking completely, but couldn’t manage to kick the over-eating thing.  The different scenarios around self-sabotage show that they really aren’t the same thing at all.  One cigarette used to pull me back into being a smoker, and whatever progress I’d made previously had gone.  This isn’t like that.  Not at all.  One bad choice doesn’t negate anything that I’ve achieved so far.  Nor does a week of them.  I can just pick myself up, dust myself down a bit, and then get on with heading to thinsville just the same.  I might be a pound heavier than this time last week, but I’m 50 pounds lighter than this time last year and that’s the important figure.

Let me tell you what the worst thing that comes from my periods of self-sabotage is.  Can you guess?  Tesco’s sales of value Midget Gems go up (three bags by Tuesday this week 🙂 ).  That’s about it.  I’ve had this uncomfortable worry about my tendency to self-sabotage lurking in the back of my mind for a long time.  I know it’s there, and I’ve always had this fear that it would be my undoing.  You know what?  In the last few paragraphs, I think I’ve started to process of putting that to bed for good.

Psychologically speaking, it would be great to understand a bit more about what’s going on with me when I self-sabotage, but it’s not as important as I’ve been thinking it is.  It’s a strange process, but in the wider scheme of things, it’s not actually going to stop me getting where I want to go.  I’ve often wondered if I’ve got some strange sort of food addiction going on, but for the very first time I can see that isn’t the case.  I’d love to know what the medical possibilities are of being addicted to Midget Gems, as if there’s a support group for that, I’m signing up today, but other than that, there’s no addiction going on here.  Just some really mucked up thought processes and habits that have built up over the years that are taking a while to unravel.  But they ARE unravelling, and with each little moment of self-discovery comes greater awareness of what’s been happening, and greater confidence that it will be OK in the end.

I’m not sure whether any of that will make sense to anyone else, but to me that’s a couple of pretty huge mental breakthroughs that have happened right there before my very eyes.  I’ve got a sneaking feeling that I make all of my mental breakthroughs in weeks where I gain weight too, which is an interesting concept too.

I’m not addicted to food or overeating (just possibly midget-gems).  And my self-sabotage can’t hurt me.

Bring on week 38.  I’m ready.

The Shrinking Man