A bittersweet week!

The bitter: it’s not been a good weight loss week. My scale says I’m up by an amount that I doubt I’ll shift entirely over the weekend. The reason? Booze. I went out drinking on thursday and friday.

The sweet: I went out drinking on thusday and friday! On friday I went to a geek conference (http://www.phpconference.co.uk), which was¬†preceded¬†by late night socialising. The event is organised by the local usergroup and is “world class” but essentially put on by amateurs for the benefit of the PHP community. A few years ago I was living in London and became a part of that scene, making friends and enjoying the geekiness; I helped out at the 2008 conference and played a part in chairing a debate. Go me!¬†I “was a speaker” at an industry conference.¬†I really enjoyed that time, but my weight pretty much killed it off. It’s one thing being the sweaty fat guy sitting in the corner, but ¬†another when you’re standing on stage with all eyes on you. Since then I’ve retreated into my shell, avoiding the events and generally disappearing off the map for 2 years.

My plan was to buy some new clothes with I hit 100lb lost, but a trip to London and this event brought that forward a little. If any fat person needs a quick (de)motivation boost they should just go shopping for clothes: I’d forgotten how depressing it is. To cut that story short, I eventually found a pair of jeans and shirt that were just about comfortable; that’s a win in itself because I’ve not worn jeans for… 10 years? Unfortunately, or perhaps it was masterful¬†salesmanship, the only jeans that fitted well were a pair from Ralph Lauren. Great: not only do “big stores” rape you on the price just because they can, I’ve now got to pay designer premium too! Whilst they are a little on the tight side, I’ve got a feeling I’m going to get my money’s worth out of them.¬†(For the record, I’ve dropped 6-8 inches on my waist, and knocked an “X” off my top size, woot!).

So, wearing my new gear I hit the social event and partied like a rockstar! The next day was rough, but I felt like I was home. I caught up with my old friends and colleagues and just had a great day. There were a few “You’re looking really well” comments, and one “Wow! You’ve lost weight, like big time!” from a former boss. I also got a massive confidence boost from people asking me “So, are you speaking this year?”, and some explicit encouragement from others, telling me that I should be submitting proposals. That made me feel good.

The day finished off by watching the rugby with a couple of my best mates. As men, we talk about sports, women and man stuff; not feelings or makeup or our bodies. At Christmas the only weight comments I got were from my girlfriends (and even then subtly disguised), but yesterday my buddy looked me up and down and nervously asked me, “So, urm, have you joined a gym or something?”. A big grin crept across my face, I must really be losing weight if men are noticing :).¬†I reckon it’s the new jeans.

I’m preparing myself and you for a gain on Monday but it was¬†totally worth it.

Weigh-in #23: He shoots… he scores!

Peak: 435 lb
Previous: 357.6lb
Current: 353.0lb
Loss this week: 4.6lb
Total Loss: 82lb

Food: 6/7. Exercise: 3/7.

That’s more like it! 😉

My food was great but I was lazy with the exercise. Ha – writing that sentence made me laugh, I genuinely feel like it was a lazy exercise week with only 3 trips to the gym. I hope I think like that forever, that’s the “lifestyle change” I want right there. I only managed 1 weights session which isn’t good enough. My tweak-of-the-week is to make sure I get all my weight sessions in, so if I’m lazy and do 3/7 for exercise next week then all 3 must be weights.

Tuesday was my bad food day. I ate a big/bad lunch + dinner then went into the office with some snacks and worked late to hit the Wednesday deadline. Every other day was pretty solid. On Friday we went to the pub again, this time I had a single beer at lunch and “dirty” food with my colleagues. I knew this was coming and rather than fight it I planned for it: no snacks during the day and a light dinner to offset the lunchtime excess. It worked: I had fun, ate a little off plan but still came in on target.

More of the same for this week please. I want to hit my next milestone and start the countdown to the big one.

“Another 5 minutes for the blog”

I started blogging to record my weight loss as a form of a personal diary. I genuinely would still write posts if no one read them, I think it’s¬†therapeutic to get your thoughts out of head and into black-and-white. Certainly I had no expectation of joining a community or using my blog as a motivating tool, but in the last couple of weeks that’s exactly what it’s become to me.

My mum has previously been weight-watcher members and she said one of the biggest motivators is having to stand up each week in front of the same people and get weighed. For me, you are those people. I dread posting a gain or tiny loss and that helps me make better choices. It’s like a weight-loss conscience.

In a bigger sense, I don’t want to let the team down. Our community is amazing. There are hundreds of people around the world blogging about changing their lives through healthy, sensible, diet and exercise. No bullshit, just lifestyle changes. I don’t want to be the guy who doesn’t make it. In fact, I want to be a guy who does make it. If Tony, Kepa, Sean and Zeus can do it, you bet your ass I’m going to get myself there too!

I was doing my cardio session this morning and at the end I wanted to push for another 5 minutes: “another 5 minutes for the blog” :).

Thank you Andrew, Erin, AFG, Mary, Steve, John and the others.

Weigh-in #22: Still could be better

Peak: 435 lb
Previous: 360.2lb
Current: 357.6
Loss this week: 2.6lb
Total Loss: 77.4lb

Food: 3/7. Exercise: 4/7.

I’m happy with the loss, but still not satisfied with my own performance during the week.¬†On the one hand, it’s nice to be able to say “I lost and still ate pizza and drank beer”, it shows that losing weight is not just about eating salads – you can still have a few treats. The problem at the moment is that most of my deviations are not treats, they’re moments of weakness when I make bad choices and blow my calories for the day.

I still feel great though.¬†Getting into the 35x numbers is nice, I’m almost nearer 300 than 400! Last night I had the best 40 minutes of cardio yet; it was the hardest session I’ve done (the most distance & incline) and I felt so satisfied at the end.

Ding ding, round 23!

A progress picture

I’ve been pretty slack in doing progress pictures. I don’t have any proper, staged “before” shots, which is a shame. Probably like a lot of obese people I didn’t (and don’t yet) like people taking pictures of me. I do have some pretty bad “before” shots of me out with friends, when I get some¬†equivalent “in progress” ones I’ll post them up (probably when I hit my 100lb milestone and buy some clothes that fit me ;)).

For now, here’s what I’ve got:-

In Progress #1
In Progress #1

2008 was a “big” year. The picture above is from a holiday with some friends and I think that was when I was my heaviest; it’s definitely the largest shirt I bought and I remember hating having to buy it (5xl). The november face-shot was 408lb, the february one is 360lb.

A close call and peer pressure

Friday has been a tough day in the last few weeks. Some of the guys in the office I work have been making an effort to get everyone together in the pub on friday lunchtime, for some food, drinks, pool and general bonding. It’s a good idea and I enjoy the social craic of doing it, but it puts pressure on my routine.¬†No one is forcing me to have a beer or order pizza (the bar is a pizzeria) but the social convention is to do these things and I find it hard not to join in. Sure, in theory I could have a diet soda and a salad, but I’m just not comfortable being that person in front of my work-mates. It’s something I need to work on.

This week has taught me something new though: when I drink booze, I loose all self-control when it comes to food decisions and get cravings for the bad stuff. After two pints I hit the danger zone and anything goes. (It also shits all over any workout plans I might have later.)

I slipped on thursday after a couple of beers (which in itself is a slip I suppose); after the pub I went home and ate more calories than I should have. Again today, after my socialising, I went home and bought 800-calories of crap (cakes and chocolate), with the intention of calling up Dominos for dinner. That would have blown my daily target in itself, not to mention the booze and bad lunch. Ugh. On walking out of the store, however, I got a surge of willpower: I literally paid for my items, walked out, and threw them into the nearest bin. Like a crazy person :). I went home and made myself a low-cal dinner.

Phew! That was a close call. It was still a bad day but it could have been a whole lot worse. Want to know where I found my strength from? It was you. Like fuck was I going to blow it again and have to explain myself to you on monday morning.

So, thanks!

Ungrateful loser?

AFG and Andrew commented that losing 2lb is actually pretty good going, after I moaned a little that I hadn’t lost more. Whilst I agree, 2lbs is nice, it was still a bad week and I was after more. Am I a greedy looser?

Complaining about losing “only” 2lb does make me feel a little ungrateful, like the rich person saying he can only afford to travel first class and not on a private jet, or perhaps more aptly the buff guys and girls who complain that they are “fat”. Get real! Oddly enough though, they are both similar to my statement: they are one person’s opinion of their life/themselves put in the context of another’s. It’s all relative.

Feeling ungrateful is strange too. To whom, or for what, should I show gratitude for my loss? If someone was magically taking away my pounds, I’d be grateful to them; if I miraculously could lose weight by clicking my fingers, I’d be grateful for my good fortune; but neither are the case: I¬†earn my loss. They only person to thank, really, is myself.¬†So what am I feeling?¬†Perhaps the emotion has something to do with¬†empathy. If the rich guy had empathy for the poor guy, perhaps he’d feel guilty or¬†embarrassed about his complaints. I like this explanation; maybe I’m feeling a little guilty and¬†embarrassed¬†about “only” 2lb.

I love thinking about stuff like this; I’m hopefully going back to university in the autumn to study a Philosophy/Psychology joint-honours degree. My application is currently being considered and I’m starting to wear out my F5 key checking on its status :).

Weigh-in #21: could be better

Peak: 435 lb
Previous: 362.2lb
Current: 360.2
Loss this week: 2lb
Total Loss: 74.8lb

I went off plan and I didn’t deserve much of a loss. Last week I scored myself 5/7 for food and 7/7 for exercise (12/14). This week it’s 2/7 food, 3/7 exercise (5/14). Even though I lost this week, I’m disappointed in myself.

Having a cooking class on Monday that runs 6:30pm – 9:30pm is a bad way to start things off:-

  1. I can’t do my usual evening workout.
  2. I grab something quick for dinner because I’m rushed.
  3. We cook nice food during the lesson, which screams EAT ME! (Last week was Ricotta+spinach ravioli with a tomato sauce, mmm!).

I suck at mornings on the best of days, let alone on a Monday, so there’s very little chance I’ll get up early to do a pre-work gym session; today I’m going to work a “half-day” at work* instead, so I can get up at my normal time and hit the gym around 9am. I’ve got some errands to run too, which will include preparing a healthy meal for the evening. (*I’m able to do this because I’m self-employed, kinda).

I pulled things together on Tuesday and Wednesday, discovering a new favourite meal (prawn stir-fry) and hitting my gym sessions, but then things slid again on Thursday and continued badly over the weekend. I can’t think of any trigger events that caused this, but it definitely felt that once I started to slide it was easy to keep on going: “today was a bad day, so it doesn’t matter if I eat another piece of cake” – we’re pretty irrational/stupid animals sometimes!

Over the weekend I went and saw my family and got a fun comment from my mum: “You’re like a snowman who’s melting, soon we’ll be left with a pile of clothes on the floor!”. I’m holding off on buying new clothes until I hit my 100lb milestone (only a couple more months!) but I can’t wait to see what sizes I am. This year I’m totally saying “good riddance” to the specialist shops :).

Weigh-in #20: Milestone! (70lb)

Peak: 435 lb
Previous: 366.8lb
Current: 362.2
Loss this week: 4.6lb
Total Loss: 72.8lb

Yay! This has been a week of good eating and exercising; after two “bad” weeks it feels great to back on track. As well as the loss I’ve poked another hole in the belt, which I love having to do :).

To change things up this week I ate more (2000 calories per day), snacked more (smaller “meals”, more often) and¬†I nailed my 3x strength + 3x cardio workouts. Who knows what combination of these changes made the biggest impact, or maybe none of them, but I’m going to keep things the same this week and see what happens.

Saying aloud¬†”I’ve lost 70lb” is awesome. That’s massive. It means I’m now about 1/3 of the way towards my first goal weight, come on! My average over the last 20 weeks is 3.6lb/week, which is more than “health professionals recommend”. This concerns me slightly because I don’t want to lose muscle mass along with my fat, which I’m sure has been happening a little (according to the bio-impedance in my scales). Perhaps losing some muscle is inevitable, but I’d much prefer an “honest” fat loss if possible.

Looking ahead 6 months, I’m going to aim for a consistent 3lb/week loss, modifying my diet/exercise as appropriate. Coincidentally, this burn rate gives me a major goal that I can hit on my birthday (16th August): under 20 stone. I feel so happy just thinking about that :).