Weigh-in #72

Peak: 435lb
Previous: 241.4lb
Current: 239.6lb
Loss this week: 1.8lb
Total Loss: 195.4lb

A smaller loss than the last few weeks, but it still puts a big smile on my face. I’m back in the swing of things with my training now, the knee isn’t 100% but it’s good enough. Six weeks to go!

I need a diary

Here’s a surprising NSV: my life has got busy, so busy that I need to keep a diary. Sounds like a lame victory, but for the first time since ever, my life is buzzing with activity.

The old me didn’t do anything and had no commitments. Weeks turned into months turned into years, and time was a blur of inactivity. When friends or family asked what I’d been up to, I had no answer; I think I probably fobbed them off with stuff about work, whilst secretly I levelled my Death Knight and raided with my guild.¬†In 2009, prior to starting this journey, I took 3 months off work with the intention of sorting my life out and figuring out a plan. During this time I did precisely nothing. That’s a lie, I watched every episode of The West Wing, but in real terms, nothing. Three months! I wish I could have that time back now – I promise I’d cherish every day.

Today my life is stuffed full of stuff. The next two months feels like it’s booked solid with a mixture of leisure, training, study, work and travel. It’s amazing, I actually have a life.

2010 Review

2010 was an outstanding year. I’ve mulled this over for a while, and I’m happy to call it the best year of my life. I would say that in almost every area I’ve made improvements: physical, mental and moral wellbeing; financial; professional; relationships and family. My self-esteem has grown tremendously and it’s fuelling confidence in my beliefs and actions. This whole experience has cemented within me a growth mindset and I look forward, knowing that I can change myself.

A Mental Trick

Last year I made a list of goals – things I wanted to achieve in the year. I deliberately told no one what they were. There was one guiding resolution: “Tell people what you’ve done, not what you’re going to do“. That simple mental trick made a huge difference and I still use it today. It’s a small, subtle adjustment, but it’s the difference between “I’m going to lose weight” and “I’ve lost 193lb in the last 18 months”.

For some reason this really work for me. It’s stops me day-dreaming and focuses me on the reality of making it happen. Tell people what you’ve done, not what you’re going to do.

Resolutions/Goals in 2010

So, here’s what I’ve done (my 2010 list).


  • Complete C25K – done (I can run 13+ miles now)
  • Take cooking lessions – done (not life changing, but done)
  • Organise my Rugby World Cup trip – done (7 weeks in NZ here I come!)
  • Eat vegetarian 2-days/week for 6 months – done (I am now a fulltime vegetarian)
  • Play rugby again – done (although I stopped pretty quickly)
  • Lose 100-150lb by Christmas – done (120lb+ lost)

Failures (that I’m happy to fail):-

  • Write a PHP framework. Abandoned: life’s too short, I’m betting my chips on Symfony2 (this is a programming/work thing)
  • Complete Justin Sandercoe’s guitar lessons. Abandoned: I don’t want to learn guitar badly enough.
  • Eat at The Fat Duck restaurant. Abandoned: due to vegetarianism

Failures (that I really failed):-

  • Generate ¬£200/month passive income (no progress)
  • Read 5 classic novels (I read 2)


So the stuff that I’m happy to fail are things where I deliberately abandoned the goal. There’s something positive in being able to give-up things¬† you thought you wanted to do,¬† accepting that they are not important or desirable enough in reality.

The two proper failures hurt. They were things I really did want. The passive income is a part of my plans for the future. I want to create income streams that earn me money without being directly related to my time; the sort of thing where you could be sitting on a beach for a month, yet still earn money. £200/month was the starting point, this goal had tranches up to £1,000/month for 2010, so I failed big time.

Failing to read 5 classic novels annoys me, because that really shouldn’t have been hard – I was just lazy.

The successes are profound. Losing that much weight, becoming a vegetarian and being able to run a half-marathon are pretty awesome things. Playing rugby again was a great milestone, but my body just didn’t react well to it ;). Organising my trip to NZ is another big deal: I haven’t been abroad in the last 10 years* and now I’m going on an absolute dream trip. (* until I went snowboarding).

Overall I’m pleased.


So if 2010 was the best year of my life, can I make 2011 better? Yes :). Or at least, I can put in equal or more effort in improving myself and my life, and see where that takes me (as I whisper a prayer to Lady Luck).

What goals have I set myself? Well, that would be telling ;).

Weigh-in #71: BMI is flawed… but…

Peak: 435lb
Previous: 246.0lb
Current: 241.4lb
Loss this week: 4.6lb
Total Loss: 193.6lb

BMI is flawed, but, according to the WHO definition I am no longer obese :). (I’m 6′ 4″ tall. My BMI at the start was 52.9 and it’s now under 30.)

I wish I could be cool enough to just ignore this, but it does feel good. By the same measure that someone would have previously called me obese, super obese or morbidly obese, they must now refer to me as merely overweight.


Weigh-in #70: Milestone (under 250lb)

Peak: 435lb
Previous: 252.0lb
Current: 246.0lb
Loss this week: 6lb
Total Loss: 189lb

Milestone: I weigh less than 250lb!

No exercise this week but my diet was tight. It was “repetitive and boring” too, according to a colleague, to which I replied, “yep, and so is my weight loss over the last 18 months” :).

Breakfast: porridge with banana+sultanas (300). Protein shake (150)
Lunch: baguette from deli (~500/600)
Snack: yoghurts (150)
(come home from work, stick jacket potato in oven for an hour)
Snack: apple (80)
Dinner: jacket potato, with beans and peas (500)
Snack: ? (200)

That’s about 2000 calories and is the base that I worked around last week. I mixed things up a little bit, but the calorie value and timing of the meals stayed consistent.

My knee is improving but not ready for exercising yet. My trainer bitch-slapped me for not working out – “You have 3 good limbs, get your ass into the gym now!!”. Tonight will be my first session since breaking up for Christmas; the rational side of my brain is looking forward to it, but the lazy side just wants to sit on the sofa for another month.

Weigh-in: #67, #68, #69 – Happy New Year

Peak: 435lb
Previous: 252.0lb
Current: 252.0lb
Loss this week: –
Total Loss: 183lb

Three weeks of holidays and the net result is a break-even, 0lb change. I’ll take that!

This year Christmas time was pretty brutal for food, I pigged out on the usual fare and piled on the pounds (and did no exercise as I was sick). My new year was spent snowboarding in France, which was amazing. Every day my body ached hard and my muscles burned; the problem was that every day we also indulged in vin-chaud, glorious mugs of hot chocolate and pints of beer. And baguettes with cheese, and tartiflette, raclettes and fondues and croissants and pain au chocolat and… mmmm. It was a great trip!

For NYE there was a big outdoors party at one of the hubs on the mountainside. Everyone was geared up in the ski-wear and even then you had to dance to stay warm :). Great party, wicked location and lots of fun.

Rocking out on NYE
Rocking out on NYE

Unfortunately, I was a bit of an idiot when it came to the whole snowboarding part of the trip. Before going I had a day’s lesson at an indoor (but still “real snow”) slope; I got good enough to make it down a simple slope with no dramas. My fellow skiers/boarders were of mixed ability, but everyone was comfortable going down beginner runs, so when we got out there I just tagged along with them. Whoops! Turns out I wasn’t good enough to just hit any old run and not constantly fall down on my ass :D. For the most part I found this ok – no pain, no gain – and I falling over is a part of learning. I got better each day, and on day 4 my confidence was soaring and I started getting more aggressive with my riding. It’s all a bit clich√©, but that’s the point where I over-reached and ended up hurting myself.

On a fairly easy run, I made a turn and hit some ice at the same time, the board to slipped from under me and I came crashing down on my knees. It’s not a catastrophic injury (touch wood), but the impact cause my right knee to swell up and it’s still sore and fluidy (+10 days since the accident). I can’t train on it yet, which is frustrating and a little worrying. My 1/2 marathon is 8 weeks away and my next snowboarding trip is a couple of weeks after that. Stupid injury!

All in all though, it’s been a good 3 weeks; I’d do things differently with hindsight, but just the fact that I went snowboarding is a huge personal win.

Time to tighten the diet, rest my knee, and get ready for another fantastic year.