The Shrinking Blog

Life is getting in the way…

Hi all,

I’m really quite sorry to have been so sloppy in my updates over the past month or two.  A combination of holiday (good excuse), loads of work (good excuse), loads of study deadlines (remarkably good excuse) and a whole load of couldn’t be bothered at the time (less than good excuse) has led to a dearth of updates, so for those of you for whom this has become a regular part of your week, I apologise most profusely.

Just to recap where I was the last time we spoke.  I’d been on holiday, had gained 8lbs, and was looking nervously towards a week of hotel living as I went away for business.  Well just to relieve the tension a little, let me say that the week did not go well.  A combination of restaurant meals, snacks in my room and a whole load of midget gems ended in an STS.  After a week like that, an STS has to be seen as something of a result, however following a +8, I was quite disappointed with myself to not lose a single pound of it.

As is usual in cases like these, there are two options:

  1. Let it put me off for a few weeks before I finally knuckle down and get back on track
  2. Don’t let it put me off for a few weeks before I finally knuckle down and get back on track

I’m rather pleased to say that I chose option two, and am chuffed to report a whopping -4 for the week.  I’ve got a way to go before I get back to where I was a couple of months ago (another six pounds to be precise) but I’m really pleased to have taken control again.  I haven’t gone mad and stopped eating – that -4 came in a week where I had a KFC and fish and chips – but I managed to avoid over-eating throughout the week, and basically remained in control.  It’s also true that I was stupidly busy at work all week, and was literally running all over the building for most of the week, but it’s always the food that makes the biggest difference.

A few points that I’ve noticed over the past few weeks:

  • Adding 8lbs to a 14st frame makes a much bigger difference than taking 8lbs from an 18st frame
  • ‘New’ weight feels very different on your body the week after you put it on
  • A few pounds can really make you feel fat

Perhaps the biggest conclusion that I’ve drawn recently is that I really would have to go some to put all of my weight back on.  I’ve proved on a number of occasions that I can pile weight on pretty quickly, but I’m finding it difficult to understand how in the past I’ve allowed it all to go back on, almost without noticing.  I’m so aware of the weight I’ve put on recently, and that’s just a few pounds.  It feels horrible physically, and I feel quite horrible mentally.  My clothes don’t fit as nicely as they did a couple of months ago, my face looks fatter than it did, and I’m generally very aware of the differences.  I’m really struggling to understand how that could continue for long enough for me to put on four stone, but in the past it has.  I feel different now though.  Really I do. Is that good?  Or am I just fooling myself?  Who knows.  The most important thing for me is that I’m moving back in the right direction, and that I’m still four stone lighter than I was when I started this.  That’s what’s generally known as a good thing.

Anyway, that’s all for me for now – I’m intrigued to see what happens this week.  I’ve got a slightly less busy week at work, and have a bit more time on my hands in the evenings too, which is often a sign of impending difficulties, but I’m feeling fairly comfortable that it will be OK.

Speak soon etc.

The Shrinking Man

The Shrinking Blog

Has it really been 50 weeks?

50 weeks!  That’s nearly a year!

Well the weigh-in for week 50 has just been completed, and I’m relatively non-plussed to report yet another STS.  I’m slightly disappointed not to have lost a teeny bit this week as I’ve been back in the pool and have done a whole load of exercise this week.  That does suggest that I’m still struggling to get my head around some of the simpler elements of this whole thing, because I ate all my daily points, all of my weekly points, all of my exercise points and a few extra for good measure, so should never have been expecting any loss whatsoever.  There’s a weird sort of denial of reality going on there somewhere – even as I’m tracking in detail what I’m doing, I’m still thinking “I’ve done lots of exercise, so I ought to lose a little bit of weight” instead of “I’ve done some exercise, but eaten everything that’s earned me and a little more, so I’ll be lucky to get an STS this week”.

Anyway, as the weeks go by I’m feeling more and more relaxed about the lack of progress.  Of course I have no idea whether that’s a good thing or not, but I’m taking it to be a good thing at the moment, as I’m generally a positive kind of guy.  What I feel like I’m proving to myself is that I’m capable of maintaining this sort of weight should I choose to do so.  I’m eating well, but generally in moderation and would certainly have no problem eating like this on an ongoing basis.  Now I know that this isn’t the weight that I want to stop at, but if I did, and managed to learn to stay here, then that would be a truly fantastic achievement, as it’s the staying at a weight that has historically always proved to be a problem, rather than the initial loss itself.

I even ate some midget gems on Friday!  And didn’t die either.  Although they weren’t very nice midget gems, so perhaps that might have helped.  It wasn’t planned, although they have been calling out to me at a significantly higher volume of late.  A work celebration included a “cup full of sweets for 50p” stall, and the proceeds were going to charity, so I thought I’d join the queue and show willing.  Had I known there were midget gems there, I probably wouldn’t have joined the queue at all (and if you believe that, then I’m getting much better at lying) but there they were.  For a short while at least.  Part of me is proud that I only had two cup-fulls in the end.  Part of me knows that there is nothing to be proud of at all, because my second cup emptied the tub completely.  Part of me just wants to eat midget gems :-).

I’ve really enjoyed swimming this week – I’ve done a bit of cycling recently, which has kept my exercise levels up a little bit, so it wasn’t quite as painful as it can be sometimes to get back in the pool after a long gap.  I swam 80 lengths three times this week – three days in a row actually – and while it was difficult and I ache a bit right now, it proved that my general levels of fitness are still pretty good.

In another couple of weeks I’ll have been on this journey for a year!  That’s a really strange feeling – on the one hand this has all become a regular part of my life (including my Sunday morning blogging) but on the other hand, I’m still pretty certain that I could undo all of this good work in significantly less time than 12 months.  I think perhaps where I’m gaining a better understanding is that I’m starting to realise that there’s nothing significantly different about me in that respect – anyone could put on four stone if they consistently increased what they ate.  What’s different is that I’ve got a lot of years of history of doing precisely that, and that’s why I have to be a little more aware than most people of what I eat and how how much of it I choose to have.

I was going to write that my natural response to a lot of everyday life situations is to eat to excess, but that’s not true.  I think it would be truer (and far more helpful) to say that my usual response to a lot of everyday life situations is to eat to excess, but that isn’t a natural response.  I wasn’t born like that.  I’ve learned to do that.  And what I’m doing at the moment is unlearning it.  And as long as I keep on focusing on it, I’ll get better and better at not doing it.

That sounds like 50 weeks well spent to be honest – have a good week.

The Shrinking Man