The Shrinking Blog

Good Evening England, this is Stockholm calling!

Morning all 🙂

I hope you’ve had a delightful week – I certainly have!  I’ve been in Stockholm on business all week, and can safely say that I have never seen a more beautiful city in my life.  We’ve had warm, sunny weather, I’ve spent a week with some great people, and all in all I’ve had a fantastic time.

So what of the weigh-in I hear you ask?  We’ll come to that in a minute 🙂  Let me first of all describe the highlights and lowlights of the week for you – a selection of the highlights first:

  • It’s difficult to describe how great it feels to sit in a seat on a plane and to only feel uncomfortable rather than stuck.  It was still a pretty unpleasant experience, but being able to move around in my seat to try and get comfortable was a new and exciting experience (I’m very easily pleased of course)
  • Being able to do the seatbelt up with loads of extra inches left on the belt was a pleasure I hadn’t considered, along with being able to relax knowing that the stewardess won’t have to try to peer under my belly to see if I’ve got the belt on or not
  • People who I’d not seen since last August being genuinely surprised at how much weight I’d lost felt pretty good as well
  • Being able to wear tight-fitting t-shirts and tops and feel good in them was fantastic.  I know I don’t look amazing just yet, but fantastic will do for now 🙂
  • While I only got to the hotel gym a couple of times, I walked everywhere whenever I could, and have done more exercise this week than I have in months
  • When leaving Sweden, the passport control lady had to check my big fat-faced passport photo four times to check that it was really me – that’s a bit of a result!
  • Lastly, while genuinely struggling to lug my huge suitcase between hotel and airport, to realise that this massive, ungainly 21kg load weighed less than two thirds of the massive, ungainly weight that I’ve already lost felt amazing.

And a selection of the lowlights:

  • It was pretty much impossible to point things during the week.  I tried for the first day, but just couldn’t do it, mainly because a lot of the time I had absolutely no idea what I was eating
  • No fruit was available for breakfast most days, which threw my schedule right out, and meant that my usual zero point breakfast was becoming a five to ten point breakfast.  Fruit was available later in the day, so I tried to make up for it then, but it gave me a difficult start to most days
  • Some of my shirts felt a little tight at times – I’m really not quite at the right size for some of the clothes I’ve brought recently, but I’m getting there
  • Eating a few too many biscuits and cakes throughout the course of the week didn’t feel great
  • Binging a bit on chocolates that they put on the conference desks on the last day certainly wasn’t brilliant
  • Sharing a bag of jelly sweets on the plane on the way back and noticing that I was eating about ten times as much as my colleague was a bit of an eye-opener as well.

So – let’s sum it all up.  No fruit for breakfast, and unable to point for most of the week.  Doesn’t sound promising really.  With all of that in mind, I am absolutely delighted to announce an STS for week 56, and am feeling very proud of myself.  Throughout the week I’ve eaten as sensibly as I could at mealtimes, tried to limit my snacking, stopped eating when I felt full and generally tried to stack the cards in my favour where I could.  And it seems to have worked 🙂

I’m happy.

That’s all for now – have a good week everyone.

The Shrinking Man


The Shrinking Blog

Crumbs! That’s a lot of biscuits!

Morning all.

Week 51 weigh-in just completed, and I’m pleased to report a -1 for all my hard work.  After three weeks of STS, it’s nice to see a little bit of movement in the right direction, although it’s still difficult to see it as ‘real’ progress.  I’m stuck in a similar position to where I was just after Christmas, in that any progress I make doesn’t really feel real.

At that time it was because I’d put on a lot of weight over the Christmas period, and it didn’t feel like real progress until I’d got back to my previous low, and that made that period quite a struggle.  This time it’s certainly to do with re-losing weight (although it’s only a few pounds this time, until I get down past 14st 1lb, which was been my lowest so far, then it’s difficult to see it as progress) but it’s also just due to it having taken so long to get through this stage.

I’m not sure if I’ve made this clear or not, but I know why I’m finding it so difficult to get below 14st.  Seriously I do.  It’s because…(wait for it) – it’s because I’m eating too much!  What I’m still struggling to work out is why I’m eating too much 😉

Most days, and on the whole certainly most weeks, I’m eating a little bit more than I should.  Not enough to make any significant moves upwards, but certainly not enough to keep me moving downwards.  It ought to be simple to not do it, but it’s not.  Really it’s not.  I’m eating loads of biscuits at the moment, and I’ve never eaten a lot of biscuits in my life.  I’m going to the biscuit tin to grab a little treat (which after all is a totally sensible and appropriate thing to do) and instead of taking one rich tea, I might take two rich teas, two shorties and a custard cream.  And then I eat them really quickly.

Why? Honestly no idea.  I’m not hungry, and I don’t even particularly like biscuits.  I’m also eating them too quickly to get any real pleasure out of them, so I’m really getting nothing from this.  I won’t labour this point too much, but whatever psychological process guides this sort of behaviour has a lot to answer for, and if I could only understand it, I think my life would be a whole lot easier.

This sort of pattern is so familiar to me, and it’s played a fairly huge part in keeping me fat for the past 20 years.  The positive thing is that I’m doing it in much smaller quantities, and with generally better foods.  Traditionally I’d do the same sort of thing with bags of crisps, or cocktail sausages, and instead of three or four it would be three or four packets, or 30 or 40 sausages.  But the pattern is still there.

I’m not going to get too hot under the collar about it, but it’s an issue, and one that I have to learn to deal with a little better if I’m going to lose more weight, and particularly if I intend to keep it off.  Which I do.  If I removed that unnecessary stuff from my diet completely, I’d be having no problems shrinking right now.  Having said that, removing it completely probably just shifts the problem onto other types of food – it’s the drive to do it that’s the problem I guess.

Anyway, I’m a pound lighter than I was last week, I’m a step closer to saying goodbye to the 14st somethings, and I’m feeling pretty good about myself generally.  I’ve questioned whether I’m happy to stay where I am, and the answer to that is a firm NO.  I will go further with this.  I’m much happier being where I am, than where I was (and in that sense, the last few weeks have really helped me come to terms with that, so some good has come from this) but I’ve still got a couple of stone or so to go I think.

Actually, I’ve been avoiding doing this for the best part of a year, but I think I now have a picture of where I want to be at the end of all this, so let’s set my stall out properly:

My final target weight is 12st and 4lb.

I’m currently 14st 3lb, so that’s a grand total of 27lb away, and I’m sure it will take some time to get there, but get there I will.  I’ll need to work out a whole load of interim targets too, as that really does seem like a long way away, but I’ve now got something specific to work towards.  And every hurriedly-eaten biscuit will increase the time that it takes to get there!

Have a good week.

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

The Shrinking Blog

And the results from the Week 43 Jury are…

Morning all!

Week 43 weigh-in just completed, and it’s an STS (that’s a Stayed The Same for those new to the jargon.)

It’s been a bit of a nothing week in lots of different ways, so I’m not surprised or disappointed that I’ve not lost anything.  If I go back over my progress, whenever I hit a major goal it tends to be followed by a few sluggish weeks, so following on from last week’s achievement of the 4st target, then I was expecting this sort of week.

I’ve not gone mad or anything this week, I just haven’t been quite as fastidious at times than I otherwise would have been, and therefore I’ve not lost anything.  The one thing I did manage was a trip to the gym, which has been something I’ve not got around to for a month or so.  It sounds a bit silly to blame a lack of exercise on just being too busy, but right now that’s a pretty accurate estimate of what’s happened.  For a number of extremely dull reasons I’ve ended up with a huge workload for the next couple of months, which means that time is the one thing I don’t seem to have much of, so trips to the gym are a luxury that I’m struggling to fit in, which is a shame, as I really do love my swimming.  Anyway, that will all work its way out soon I’m sure.

I’m going to leave it at that for this week – a bland sort of week, with a bland sort of outcome.  Better than a gain though, so am relaxed and happy with it.

Have a great week.

The Shrinking Man.