Get in!

Just back from 40 minutes on the treadmill (half a game of rugby!). I was walking at a 3% incline at 5.3 km/h, which kept me in the aerobic zone for most of the workout.

I feel great. I knew I would, but I still didn’t want to go; I had to psych myself up again and just do it. It’s like there’s a missing connection in my brain linking exercise to feeling good. Maybe that will come with time.

I’ve been looking at “calories burned” calculators and been pleasantly surprised that the heavier you are the greater the number of calories you’ll burn from something like walking. My 40 minutes this evening has apparently burned 400-500 calories, without taking into account the incline (which one page said could contribute an extra 10% burn per 1% incline [although that was for running]). Burning calories doesn’t really turn me on, I just want to be fit and healthy, but it’s amazing to know that such a relatively small exertion can burn so much ‚Äî I could definitely handle doing this every day.

I say “small exertion” but that’s probably the single largest continous piece of exercise I’ve done in‚Ķ 8-9 years. Fuck. That’s embaressing! This whole process is making me feel like such an idiot for letting things get this way.

Bring on next week, I’m going for 3 weights sessions and 3 cardio. ROAR!

Late evening gym session

I’ve just got back from a 25 min. cardio session and feel great.

In an effort to reduce the barriers and excuses for not exercising more I upgraded my off-peak membership so that I can access the gym any time I want (previously it was 6:30am – 5pm). This evening I was reading some blogs and got motivated into a “this fat won’t burn itself” zone at about 9:30pm; I grabbed my gym gear and¬† squeezed out 25 minutes on the treadmill. Yay me!

The time also flew by as the “Live At The Apollo” stand-up show was on the tv: headphones on, laughing out loud as I worked the treadmill :).

Mid-week frustration

I’ve probably weighed myself twice a day for the past 3 months. Some people say obsessing over the scales and being a slave to them is a bad thing, but for me it’s served as a useful motivator. When I see a mid-week loss it encourages me on to “lock it in” and make sure it’s still a loss by the time monday comes; when it’s a gain it encourages me to “be good” over the rest of the week/weekend.

Daily weigh-ins have also made me more aware of my body generally. I notice when my fibre intake has dropped off and when I’m getting dehydrated, as well as being more attuned with when I get hungry and tired or having cravings for certain foods.

This is all good stuff and I plan on keeping it up whilst the novelty lasts. However, over the last couple of weeks my daily weight hasn’t shifted much between monday and friday. It’ll go up after my monday weigh-in and then I’ll barely show a loss all week. I’ll worry a little bit about it over the weekend and then some how post a loss on the monday.

I’m going to keep monitoring it for the next few weeks, but I’m starting to wonder if the difference between my week-day routine and my weekend is causing this. There aren’t that many variables that differ, but off the top of my head:-

  • I sleep more at the weekend
  • I don’t “eat out” at lunch times (although I don’t perceive my weekday lunches to be OTT)
  • Sometimes I’ll skip breakfast on the weekend (so no porridge+banana in the morning)
  • Perhaps I drink more water when I’m at home than when I’m at work (or visa-versa)
  • Perhaps my evening meals are better at the weekend because I’ve got my time to prepare them?

Maybe it’s more complicated and the daily fluctuations just average out over a ~7 day period. I also realised that when I weigh myself on friday it’s pretty much “midweek” even though it’s the end of the working week. Up until then I’ve had 4 days/ nights and still have 3 days/nights left until the weigh-in.

Fingers crossed that my body rallies over the weekend in time for monday!

My Introduction to Free Weights

Today I had my gym appointment.¬†We went through my 3 routines – 2 upper body and 1 lower body (I’ve got a 2nd lower body to sort out as we ran out of time). Having the trainer there was a good idea, he demoed the movements and gave me pointers on my positioning and technique. There were a couple of excercises that I found tricky, like the two-handed overhead tricep extension, and he suggested some alternatives that worked the same muscles.

Even though we looked at 2 upper routines, my legs are absolutely killing me. When you weigh ~400lb, bodyweight squats and lunges are more than enough!

I’m looking forward to my next session now ‚Äì shit, I’ve run out of excuses!

Weigh-in #11

Peak: 435 lb
Previous: 395.2 lb
Current: 391.2 lb
Loss this week: 4 lb
Total Loss: 43.8 lb

Alright! Another week of good eating let down slightly by a lack of excercise, but a loss is a loss (and four pounds is great!).

I’ve got an appointment with a trainer on wednesday to go over my weights routine. It’s one that I’ve had for a while, but have been too chicken to get into. It’s all free-weights and I don’t want to look like a plonker and do it all wrong. In the session we’re going to go over the movements which will hopefully get rid of that excuse.

Three more weeks until Christmas and my target of a 4-stone loss. If I keep up this pace I should hit it.

Treating myself: but what to choose?

I was in the supermarket this evening and wanted to treat myself. Every time I picked up an item I’d check its nutrition details and decide that it wasn’t good enough “value for calories”. Big bar of chocolate for 500? No way. Chocolate croissant for 300? Rip off. I was actually struggling to find something to treat myself with: there wasn’t anything that I wanted enough to justify the extra calories. COOL! I should have bought nothing, but in the end I picked up some mince-pies (and custard!). And whilst they did taste good immediately afterwards I realised they didn’t taste “500 calories good”.

For me this is a really telling shift in my behaviour. To find it difficult to buy “naughty” food is a great place to be. As I browsed the aisles I also checked out the stuff that I would have bought a couple of months back and was amazed (and repulsed) that I wouldn’t think twice about chowing down on 2000+ calories of crap in addition to an evening meal. It felt liberating to hold that banana cake in my hand and have absolutely no intention of putting it in my basket 🙂

My “supermarket discipline” is doing well but I’ve still got zero little self-control once the food is in the cupboards. My mince pies came in a 4-pack and after eating two I later had a major craving for the rest.¬†I didn’t trust myself and in a moment of strength I spoiled the pies by drowning them in the sink! A little dramatic, but it got the job done.

Psyching myself up for a good weekend now, bring on monday.

The Beginning

My name is Harry and this is a blog that will record my weight-loss. I was inspired to start it after coming across blogs like The Fat Lazy Guy’s Blog, 344pounds.com and The Anti-Jared. These are some guys who have lost massive amounts of weight and completely changed their lives ‚Äì something that I need to do.

As a kid there was always some kudos associated with being “big”, it was a sign that you were growing up. I remember wearing adult shoes with pride (I was a man!). A cute, childish attitude that unfortunately went pretty wrong. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been at least as heavy as my age in stones. When I was twelve years old, I weighed 12 stones. I remember feeling depressed about this as I got older, but took solice in the fact that when I was in my twenties there’s no way it could continue. Wrong!

My childhood was fairly normal. I was never bullied and my weight was never really a problem for me. Playing rugby helped a lot, I wasn’t the “fat guy who didn’t do sports”: I was part of the team, one of the lads. The first time my weight really hit me was when I went to university. This was a new group of people and my social capital was reset: they¬†did see me as a fat person first. This was the beginning of downward spiral into depression and comfort eating that in many respects has wiped out my twenties.

My peak recorded weight, which may not have been my actual peak, is 435lb (31 stones+). That is an embarrassing and shameful admission. It’s a surreal number, how is it even possible to get that big? The answer is simple, I ate way more calories than I used up and lived a sedentary lifestyle (Ricky Gervais: it’s not an disease). It happens gradually and without you noticing it, you do literally wake up one day and have a “Holy shit I’m really fat!” moment. If you put on 1lb a week, over 5 years that’s +18 stone. Would you notice if you put on 1lb over a 1 week period? It really does just snowball from there, compounded by the psychological effects that you pick up along the way.

The blog is titled “Rock Bottom” because that’s where I am starting from. There’s a scene in the TV-series “The Wire” where a drugs councillor (Waylon) is talking to a junky (Bubbles). Waylon is looking for his cousin, who is also a junky, but explains that his cousin won’t be ready for rehab yet: he’s got a long way to go before he hits rock bottom. It’s only when you see that rock bottom approaching that you become ready to question your lifestyle / do something about it. For me this rings very true: I’ve been fat my entire life, I’ve always known it was a bad thing and something I didn’t want to be, yet I never did anything about it. Now that I see that rock bottom approaching, I’m in a mental place where I can deal with it. (And I feel remarkably strong-willed and confident about succeeding.)

On the flip side of “you get fat by putting on 1lb at a time” is that the reverse is true. If you lose just 1lb a week then over a year you’ll have lost nearly 4 stone. Bump that up to 2lb a week, the amount health professionals say is a safe loss, and you’ve got a 200lb loss over 2 years.¬†My initial goal is a 200lb loss, over whatever period of time it takes, using nothing more than sensible diet, exercise and willpower. I honestly don’t care how much I weigh, but I do care that being obese affects my life and the things that I want to do in it.