Previous: 266lb
Current: 263lb
Loss this week: 0lb
Total loss: 3lb

The number on the scale only tells part of the story. Friday night was particularly boozey complete with kebab at the end of the night. After a night like that I can expect a higher number on the scale for the next couple of days as my body deals with the carnage. At one point I was down to 259lb during the week.

It has been a stressful week though. I’ve been sick and turned to comfort food on monday/tuesday (pizza). Those days also had some bad snacking. Wednesday/thursday were much better, but then Friday came along and was a blow out. I felt like I need to celebrate the end of a tough week and part of meeting that feeling was with drinks and food.

At the time the comfort food may have felt good but it was a short-lived feeling. Perhaps sometimes we need to be ok with feeling “blah” and not trying to do anything about it? In my studying I’m reading about the relationship between positive and negative emotions. In positive psychology there has been a focus on eliminating negative and promoting positive, which is being challenged as the “negative” things can often be opportunities for growth and change (in an ultimately positive direction in terms of wellbeing and individual flourishing). This is slightly different, but wouldn’t it be nice to feel like crap and not try to self-medicate it away? Or at least turn to things that have a net-positive effect in the long-term.

This week I want to work on my “rice and beans” strategy again. I know that if I lock down 2/3 meals then I’m going to post a lost next week.


Previous: 266lb
Current: 263lb
Loss this week: 3lb
Total loss: 3lb

Ah, here we go again! This week I rediscovered my old friend the capricious bathroom scale. One day we’re up, the next we’re down, and just when you think you’ve lost or gained for the week, he changes his mind once more! The scale showed a lower number mid-week and there were daily fluctuations, but I’ll take 3lb every time though.

The challenge this week was to focus on the standardisation of meals.

  • Breakfast – 100% consistent. Porridge with chopped banana, with a couple of flat whites coffees.
  • Lunch – mixture of eating at the work canteen – (3 days) and at home (2 days). I ate 1 meal out over the weekend.
  • Dinner – 5/7 meals were “rice and beans” (!) 1 meal out.
  • Snacks – 6/7 days I ate additional pieces of fruit (satsumas and apples). 1 day I ate a cupcake (it was for charity!). On thursday I ate crisps and chocolate from the work vending machine.
  • Alcohol – a bottle of beer and 2 glasses of wine on friday night.

    Breakfast is sorted. I’m happy with the nutrition I get, I like the food and I don’t even think twice about it, my behaviour is fully integrated/automatic.

Rice and beans was a success this week. I cooked the recipe 3 times producing 6 meals. The only day I didn’t eat this meal was Friday when I ate out. It’s easy to prepare, cook and clean. It tastes good enough, it reheats well, and it’s cheap. Longer term it’ll be easy to vary the base recipe to mix it up.

It’s interesting that I was trying to standardise my lunches this week but instead it was my dinners that became “rice and beans” most days. It was nice to come home from a stressful day at work and zap some leftovers in the microwave, or even just cook the dish as it’s so easy. Rice in a pan, chop the onions and start flying them, chop the peppers and add them to the onions, tidy the kitchen, add the beans to the mix. Done – wait for the rice. Mix together. Eat. Snacks and alcohol were good overall. I had one bad day on Thursday when work was getting me down and I hit the vending machine, but otherwise this was a disciplined week.

Next week

More of the same I think. I’m happy to let lunch at work be the little bit of variety in my diet. There’s often a half-decent vegetarian option and perhaps I can mix eating in the canteen with coming back home for some eggs.

Good start.


I’m getting back into the habit of posting weekly reflection posts. I’d like to make some lifestyle changes (or tweaks!) in 2016 and I know this is a good way for me to get some honest feedback from myself. It’s particularly useful when I investigate the reasons why I’m not doing the things I want to do. And generally, the process of reflection helps me organise the thoughts in my mind and solidifies my internal narrative. I’ve also enjoyed re-reading some of my old posts and would like to capture “me in my words” at this point in time as well.

Weigh in #2016.0 – starting weight for the new year.

Previous: 266lb
Current: 266lb
Total loss: 0lb

The holiday period has been indulgent but not excessively so. I’m actually fairly pleased that the scale said 266lb this morning.

Next week

The first week back at work. What can I do this week that will help me get to where I want to be? I think standardising my diet was a part of my prior success, I ate a lot of the same meals. I guess taking it to the extreme if you only ate 1 dish every day for breakfast/lunch/dinner, there would be a bunch of “economies of habit”. For example you’d quickly become efficient at preparing that meal, you would remove a lot of decision-making from your daily routine, and I think you’d quickly adapt and get used to eating the same meal. Food shopping would be an easy affair and “what’s for dinner” wouldn’t even be a question that you’d ask. Imagine if you could only eat one dish due to some form of economic or physical restriction (I have a stereotyped picture of people in third-world countries eating rice and beans); If you couldn’t actually eat anything else other than your one dish, do you think you’d have any weight issues? Take out pleasure, choice and desire from the equation, and I think weight-loss is probably easy. This feeds into my “prison theory” – if you locked an obese person in a cage and fed them a controlled diet, giving them no choice in what they ate, then they would lose weight (losing weight isn’t a nutrition problem, it’s a psychological problem). This is kinda what happens with bariatric surgery as well, the stomach is reduced or bypassed so that food cannot be physically taken up.

So, standardising my diet? To an extent I’ve implemented this in my breakfast routine: I eat porridge almost every day. (Funnily enough I also actually had porridge for dinner last night.) I think I could also get on-board with doing this for lunch as well. I’d like to stop spending money on the staff canteen so if I could get into a good “bring my own rice and beans” lunch routine that would help me out financially as well. I found the following recipe and am about to give it a try.

This week is all about rice and beans :D.

Both Ends

This is a blog post I wrote 5 years ago. It describes a sexual encounter (cringe!), my first turns on a snowboard, what it was like to purchase my first set of boarding gear (and generally the new experience of buying clothes) and the joy of fitting into a theatre seat. At this point I had lost 183lb. (If you’re a reasonably new friend and didn’t know this about me, surprise!)
It’s humbling to read this back and remind myself what life was like back then and how differently I feel now. The things I said I wouldn’t take for granted… I now completely take for granted. It’s amazing to look back on how this young version of me was stepping out and discovering a whole new world. All the possibilities in front of him, all the novelty in his experiences (he is so cute!). I kinda want to be more like that guy again :-).
When I reflect on 2015 and plan for the new year, I’m going to do so from two ends. There will be goals that I work towards, just like normal, but I’m also going to work on bringing some of those goals closer to me. There is so much in all of our lives to grateful for, right now, without needing to change anything.

Weigh-in #105+6: Messy Two Weeks

Peak: 256.6lb
Previous: 248.4lb
Current: 248.0lb
Loss this week: 0.4lb
Total Loss: 8.6lb

Last week’s weigh-in was a fairly big gain if I remember right (something like 5lb). It was enough to want to hide it from the world and stick my head in the sand and I didn’t write a weigh-in post. There’s an irony in preaching a public disclosure of your weight in order to leverage social accountability and then not actually posting when it hurts the most to do so. It’s a good-uncomfortable feeling though. Embracing the discomfort has helped me turn things around and I’m happy to post a minor net-loss today.

My diet and routine has spiked between being really good and really bad over the last 14 days. It’s felt like a roller coaster for my mood too; I’ve been up and I’ve been down. I think part of this has been caused by “end of season blues”. All the friends I’ve made here are slowly leaving. The season is ending and people are moving on to new things, or moving back to old. I’m stressed with my study and stressed with with trying to figure out what’s next for me. There are lots of conflicting desires and trying to resolve them is making me feel drained; I haven’t fully internalised the idea that you can’t have everything, and my mind toils away trying to solve a problem that can’t be solved.

I’m now halfway through this 12-week block. My goal is a 25lb loss which means I’m 3.4lb behind where I should be for halfway. Still, I’m moving in the right direction. Given my current social environment and lifestyle I’m pretty happy it’s not worse! The next 6 weeks are arguably going to be more of challenge as I anticipate I’ll be on the road a lot. When I leave Nelson I’m going to have to consider some strategies for dealing with this. Off the top of my head I like the idea of treating this as a bit of a backcountry hike… albeit within an urban environment. I will have a limited ability to prepare food and the temptation will be to eat out a lot – bad for my wallet and my diet. I’m thinking about simple breakfasts, trail-mix “lunches”, and giving myself some flexibility with eating out in the evening. I guess a lot of this depends where I am though… which is another set of decisions I’ll have to make shortly.



W5.D1-4: A Blur

I’m not sure where the last 4 days have gone. Monday and Tuesday were a blur of hardcore assignment writing. I got in the zone and spent a solid 10 hours in front of the computer over each of those days. I completed my assignment and I’m fairly happy with it, which for me is a rarity and a mark that I put some effort into it. My brain is now scrambled. I’ve had two nights of bad poor sleep and despite my efforts yesterday to relax and unwinds I am still in a daze.

Food has been painkiller this week. I equate my level of mental effort with physical effort, and rationalise that I deserve or need more sweets and treats to fuel my body and mind. The scale is well up on Monday and I feel depressed that this could be a gain week.

I think it’s the sleep that’s hit me hardest. Right now I’m ready to crash again and it’s just about midday. My head is ready to burst. Maybe a walk will help.

Weigh-in #104:

Peak: 256.6lb
Previous: 250.4lb
Current: 248.4.lb
Loss this week: 2lb
Total Loss: 8.2lb

A good-enough week to see a -2lb loss. I’ll take that every time please.

My studying is going really good, perhaps too good. It has become my sole focus and all my energy is going into it. That’s great considering where I was before but I’m concerned that it’s going to affect other things I want to achieve.

This is a retrospective post as I forgot my Monday post. I was too busy with my studying.

W4.D6 – Big ass study day

Nice! I worked on my project from about 12pm through to 9pm. There was a break for lunch and dinner, taken in front of my desk, but that was a solid effort.  I feel like I’m winging the project a little bit, but I’m finding my analysis really interesting so hopefully my tutor will too.

Today was as great day for my diet. I’m driven by the number on the scale this morning and a desire to post a loss on Monday. I got tempted by my sweet tooth this evening but I powered through the craving and now it’s 9:20pm and I know I can “last until the morning”.

Tomorrow needs to be a big day working on the project too. Probably another 8hr+ shift. Gotta love a deadline to kick my ass into gear!


Not good days for my diet. Wednesday I went to the local co-op to get some eggs as they have the best organic eggs in town. They also have the best local chocolate, maple almonds, cheese and biscuits. Yum! Doh! Thursday was a friend’s birthday and that caused some indulgence that spilled into Friday with some recovery pizza whilst I crashed out on the couch all day. Surprisingly though my weight has bounced back down to 250lb, so a good Saturday + Sunday will hopefully see me post another loss again on Monday.

Study was solid on Wednesday and Thursday, and no existent on Friday. That’s ok though – I knew I wasn’t going to be very useful on Friday.


W4.D2 – Amazing day

What a fantastic day. We had some fresh snow!! At last! And what a difference it made to how much I enjoyed myself. I stopped worrying about what would happen if I fell and my confidence soared. One my favourite days on the hill this season. We had blue skies, sunshine, great snow… and a couple of crisp beers whilst we ate lunch outside with a view of the mountains. It was perfect.

Then I came home and cranked out 3hrs of studying. Boom! I feel great.

The way I feel is really interesting. Right now I’m completely satisfied with how I spent my day. I’m going to plonk my ass on the couch in a minute and watch a movie/tv absolutely guilt free. There’s no anxiety about feeling I need to do more today, or that I didn’t put effort into the things I value, or that my time could have been spent better.

Perhaps this is correlation and not causal? Maybe feeling happy makes me feel satisfied… or does feeling satisfied make me feel happy? Or neither. I know that when I woke up I was already buzzing and feeling good. I was Mr Cheerful at the coffee shop on the way to the ski hill. I knew it was going to be a good day – I knew the snow was good, I knew the sun would be shining, I knew I’d be ripping it down the slopes… and the day lived up to my expectations. And then I made it even better and surprised myself by studying hard in the evening.

And what’s also interesting is that I drank beer today and I didn’t eat particularly well. But I just don’t care. All the big stuff was there: exercise, outdoors, friends, snowboarding, sunshine, study effort*, progress… and I feel absolutely exhausted in the sort of way that you know you’ve had a good day. It’s 8:30pm and I’m ready to curl up on the couch. I ate life with a big spoon today and now I’m full.

I want more days like this in my life.


* This is the feeling that I put effort into something. That I worked hard, didn’t slack off, and I achieved something meaningful.