Weigh-in #26: They all count

Peak: 435 lb
Previous: 347.2lb
Current: 346.2lb
Loss this week: 1lb
Total Loss: 88.2lb

Food: 3/7. Exercise: 2/7.

Food was pretty decent until I went out drinking on Thursday then sloppy with my tracking too. This week also sucked for exercise:-

  • Monday I was busy
  • Tuesday I did weights
  • Wednesday I was lazy
  • Thursday I went drinking
  • Friday I recovered from my drinking
  • Saturday I did weights
  • Sunday I was busy/lazy

So not only did going out on Thursday mess with my nutrition, it caused me to skip 2 potential workouts. There are no good excuses there though, I’ve given myself a slap on the wrists and will try harder this week: 7/7 here I come.

This week I’m going to try chugging down some whey protein shakes. They were a part of my original nutrition plan but I dismissed them as being for “gym junkies”; now that I’ve done a bit more reading and learned more about nutrition, I’m comfortable giving them a go. I’ve bought some vanilla flavoured whey and am adding ~5g of flaxseed powder to it as well. My plan suggests 2 servings daily in addition to a post weight-training shake. We’ll see how that goes.

Have a great week!

Responsibility

Bobbie’s post made me think about how I became obese and why. Me response was that I’ve always been overweight, so I have to think back to being an overweight child. This makes me a little uncomfortable because if you criticise your childhood you’re going to be pointing the finger at your parents. Oh well, here goes!

I think my childhood was pretty great, certainly no catholic priests in the closet or any other major traumas. I’d call it normal, whatever that is. My immediate family consists of 2 loving parents and 5 of us kids: Myself (27) and my sister Louise (25) were followed by Emily (19), Sam (18) and Tom (18). There is an age gap between the two eldest and the “little ones”, but also a weight difference. Myself, Lou and my parents are all obese, but Emily, Sam and Tom are not. This is not a subtle difference either. I do wonder if there was a conscious effort or conversations about raising the younger 3 different, something I’ll inevitably end up asking my parents at some stage.

My earliest memory of being overweight was school swimming and I’m sure that must have put me around 10yrs old. I have a vague recollection of being an 8-stone (112lb) 8yr old (although I’m not sure about this memory) and knowing then that I wanted to lose weight – I think the doctor told my mum that I shouldn’t try to lose weight, but just to make sure that I didn’t put any more on. Anyway, I was overweight as a child and it was downhill from there.

I do “blame” my parents. That 10yr old child didn’t make his own meals or go down McDonalds and buy buckets of fast food, yet he was still fat. Once a child gets to a certain age then I accept that a parent can’t really “control” their weight, but I think it’s reasonable to say that at that age, it is a parent’s responsibility.

What’s interesting is that love2eatinpa just made a post about how her father’s teasing about her weight contributed to her obesity. I don’t really understand this, if you get teased about the size of your ass wouldn’t that make you conscious about it in a good way, as in you’d want to stop the teasing by losing weight? I see myself as being on the other side of that coin: I don’t remember my parents ever talking to me about my weight, certainly never in a “Son, we think you have a serious problem” way. Perhaps if my parents had teased me, bringing it to my attention, then I would have felt more pressured to do something about it?

My thoughts on this extend into the general debate about obesity in our society. There are increasingly stories in the newspapers about how fat people have issues on aeroplanes, or people complaining about sitting next to them on a bus, or how they are a burden on the health service etc. As one of those overweight people in the crosshairs, I’m actually in support of the people doing the “discriminating”.

Not being able to fit in an aeroplane sit or having to face the humiliation of having to pay for two seats is a huge motivation to me. I can’t buy skiing gear, or snorkelling gear, or hell, even “gear”! If I want to do these fun things then I have to lose weight. I don’t want to live in an accepting society! I mean I don’t want to be abused or anything, but the more pressure there is to lose weight the better in my opinion.

The government over here faced a similar issue with smokers. Whilst they bring in loads of money in tax, they undoubtedly cost the health service loads of money (as well as it being disgusting for us non-smokers). There is so much support now for helping people to quit smoking: government TV/print advertising, programmes, commercial products etc. The govt. even made it law that you cannot smoke inside in a public place. That’s the way things should be going for our “obesity epidemic”, increased pressure and scrutiny on the obese, balanced by loads more support and education.

If the govt. banned me from eating in a public place until I slimmed down… 😉

Small Adjustments

Measuring my weight loss and recording my diet has been a¬†revelation¬†for me. I feel in control and organised, not only of my weight but also more generally of my life. Perhaps it’s the process of logging the data, getting it down on paper in black and white, rather than sloshing around in my mind. Seeing the numbers, trends and the summation of individually small marks of progress is making me feel good.

When I reflect on my week, I’m also seeing and acknowledging the things that I did badly, and thinking about what I can change to do better next time.

In the last 2 weeks the big thing that has let me down is going out drinking. Alcohol itself has a high calorie cost, but the loss of control in my decision making makes it even worse. One beer, two beer, three beer – MORE! If I have a night out I’ll always drink a lot and most likely eat some crap food. I don’t have an alcohol problem, but once I get going I don’t stop.¬†Looking back over my life I can see now that this is something I’ve always done.¬†The root cause is no longer relevant; what is, is that I got myself into a routine and rhythm and that became normal for me. Much in the same way as being obese is normal, it’s normal for me to go out and binge drink. Now that I can see “the problem” I can create a strategy to improve the situation.

I’ve never really thought about this until I started reflecting on discrete, concrete metrics in my life. Track some metrics, reflect on them, make a small adjustment, see how the numbers change. It’s self-experimentation, using empirical data that’s important to us, to try and change something in our life.

My Three Chapters

In the last post I mentioned resetting my weight loss once I get below 280lb. This is partly because I’m starting to see and to plan for multiple stages of this journey – or rather, “my life”. My goals are ambitious and frankly¬†ridiculous, but no more so than loosing 200lb and I’m nearly halfway towards that one. In my mind’s eye I see the future me, my ideal me, and I’m starting to believe I could actually pull it off!

Chapter 1

Get below 280lb. This number is 20 stones, and getting down to 19-stone-something would be a win in itself. Yes, I’ll still be fat, but I haven’t seen that weight since I was a teenager. It’s also a weight that my Dad hovers around, he goes up to around 280s then diets down to 230s and back up to 280s (Atkins sucks!). “Not being the heaviest in the family” is one of my goals for Christmas, but around 280 is going to be my first shot at it (depending where he is in his yo-yo!).

At this point I am no longer “obese” in my mind; I won’t be happy with being that weight, but it will mark the end of the first part of this journey.

Target date: August 16th 2010

Chapter 2

Hit 217lb. This is my “half the man” point. Not too many people can say they’ve lost more than they currently weigh. I know that’s more of a testament to just how bad we let things get, but it’s still impressive in my book.

This is also where I think my long-term weight is going to be. I have twin 18yr-old brothers, one weighs ~200lb and the other ~240lb. They are both athletes (rugby players); Sam is “ripped” and the Tom is crazy strong (175kg bench-press!) and we’re all taller than 6 foot (I’m 6′ 4″). Being big is in our genes.

When I get down to 217lb my weight-loss will be done. At that point I won’t care what the scale says and I’ll progress in chapter 3.

Target date: April 2011.

Chapter 3

Get fit. I can’t see myself being small, but I can see myself being fit.

Right now it’s plain sailing: I have to watch my diet/exercise as a part of my weight loss. But once I hit my goal I know my interest in it is going to wane. I can’t get excited about counting my calories just to “maintain” nor will I be satisfied with hitting the gym and working hard “for nothing”. This needs to be a life-long deal and I will need new motivation. Getting fit is where I see it coming from.

I want to be able to run and jump and climb and swim. Sitting here at 347.2lb, this is a borderline stupid, throw-away thing to say, but really, just how hard is an Iron Man competition? :).¬†Crossfit looks amazing, I’d love to be fit enough to do that. I definitely want to be in the “1000lb” weight-lifting club (total amount you can deadlift, benchpress and squat). I used to do judo, I could totally be a black-belt in that. And so on.

And why not?

Target date: the rest of my life

I dislike telling people what I’m “going” to do because historically I’ve been full of shit ;). This stuff just feels right though. I’ve totally been bitten by the health/fitness bug and I can’t imagine it not being a part of my life.

Closing in on other people’s weight

Hitting the 340s puts me a few pounds of Tyler’s starting weight and a few months behind Zeus Meatball. Fast forward a few months and I’ll be closing in on 300 and and treading the footsteps of other bloggers I follow. By the end of the year I’ll bee 265 and falling ;).

It’s interesting to compare how I feel now, nearly 100lb down, with someone who is just starting out at this weight. I’m all “Woohoo, I’m slim!” and they are “I’m a massive huge obese slob”, yet we write this at the same weight.

Our different perspectives are hard to accept sometimes. I’ve been following a fitness forum recently and enjoy dishing out some advice from the things I’ve learned, but often a thread entitled “Help me lose weight please!?” is by someone who needs to lose 10-20lb. I reckon it would take me longer to write a reply than for them to lose that weight :P.

There isn’t really a point to this post. I just find it cool that I’m heading towards the “normal weight loss” zone, rather than the “lost 200lb” thing. Maybe I’ll reset the counter when I hit 280lb and starting a 2nd chapter.

Weigh-in #25: Milestone! (85lb)

Peak: 435 lb
Previous: 354.4lb
Current: 347.2lb
Lost this week: 7.2lb
Total Loss: 87.8lb

Food: 5/7. Exercise: 4/7.

Milestone! I’ve now lost 6 stone in 6 months and sub-350 amazing!

This was a good food week. Although with a big loss showing on the scales I told myself I could afford some treats, which is pretty dumb. (The number is artificially big this week, inflated by last week’s “gain”.)

Exercise was ok. I got my weights in but slacked a little on the cardio. Four days in the gym feels comfortable, it gives me some flexibility to miss a session and catch up later. I’m also happy with my burn rate at the moment, so I’m not going to bust a gut trying to get more sessions in.

I’m feeling good. Bring on the next milestone, a biggy 🙂

Dear Future Self…

Dear Future Self,

Congratulations slim! You’ve met your goals and hopefully are on the path to realising some new ones. Just remember one thing though: when you’re going around telling people how easy it was, and probably being a bit of a dick about it¬† ‚Äì “Just sensible diet and exercise, duh” ‚Äì please remember the days like today. Today was a bitch: you were stressed, upset and so close to going on a weekend-binge with a “fuck it” attitude. It’s dealing with days like this, the hard ones, that got you where you are now.

When you least wanted to, you still dragged your ass to the gym; and when you most wanted to, you were strong and resisted the Binge Monster. It wasn’t always easy, don’t forget that.

With love,

Your self.

Weigh-in #24: A boozey gain

Peak: 435 lb
Previous: 353lb
Current: 354.4lb
Gain this week: 1.4lb
Total Loss: 80.6lb

Food: 3/7. Exercise: 3/7.

I dropped the ball last week with some partying, which I’m cool with. My water/fat/muscle percentages hint that my body isn’t “back to normal” following the boozing, so I’m expecting to be lighter tomorrow. I got my three weight sessions in so that’s a step in the right direction, I’m certainly getting stronger and that’s pleasing.