Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Week 71

3lb loss??

3 pounds in one week is stranger than the 2 pound gain last week. However, I think I know what's going on. Last week I'm pretty sure should have only been a 1lb gain. When I weighed myself later in the morning out of curiosity, I saw that I was a pound less. The scales had been flicking between one and the other earlier on and in these cases I always count the higher figure.

This week I've been extraordinarily good. My eating has been superb and I have fought off every temptation. The result could account for a 2lb loss. All in all I think it's just evening itself out and the net result is that I'm one pound lighter than I was 2 weeks ago, which is fine by me.

However, things are not likely to stay this way as we are off to France for 2 weeks. I don't intend the eating to get out of control, but this is a country where butter, cream and cheese are a way of life, not to mention large quantities of red wine. I have to accept that I'll be likely to gain a few pounds while I'm away, but my intention is to try and work on damage limitation. If I only gain 4 pounds instead of 8, then that has to be good.

Statistical Significance: I have now lost 90lbs since I started out.

Starting Weight: 19st 9lb – 275lbs
Current Weight: 13st 3lb – 185lbs
KoTRB Weight Lost : 25lb
Total Weight Loss: 90lbs

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Week 70

2lb gain.

2 pounds??? Oh c'mon! Iknew it wasn't going to be a loss this week, and I feared I might gain one, but two?


I blame my son's birthday, primarily. He insisted on a "party spread" which means a buffet-style help-yourself assortment of pizza, crisps, things fried in breadcrumbs etc.

There are 2 major problems with this type of food:

1) Any buffet-style layout is fatal for me as I cannot "see" how much food I've eaten. My stomach won't tell me until an hour later, by which time the damage is done. And of course you can refill your plate as often as you want

2) This kind of food comes under the category of "trigger food" - high fat, high salt stuff that means once started I cannot stop

3) (Ok, there are more than 2 problems) - it throws my system out and the next few days will be wobbley at best.

4) (I seriously underestimated the number) - birthday cake - enough left over to have the next day too - choclate, thick, rich, chocolate, sweet (I mentioned chocolate didn't I?) cake with icing and chocolate.

So bingeing on all this meant that Saturday was not good and I kept scanning the kitchen for extras and Sunday was a complete disaster with my emotions all over the place, culminating in the consumation of a large bar of chocolate I'd been given for Father's Day.

Actually, when I write all this down, I'm beginning to think I got off lightly with only a 2lb gain...

Starting Weight: 19st 9lb – 275lbs
Current Weight: 13st 6lb – 188lbs
KoTRB Weight Lost : 22lb
Total Weight Loss: 87lbs

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Week 69

1lb loss!

Another surprise loss this one, as at least twice over this past week I've had a buffet-style dinner that was high in processed foods and I've definitely over-eaten. The problem with a pick 'n' mix type of meal is that I invariable pick a lot more because I can have seconds and even thirds. Unlike a standard plate of food, I can't "see" how much I've eaten. And as I have a delayed off-switch that doesn't tell me I've had enough to eat until an hour later I end up feeling bloated and uncomfortable by the time my stomach catches up with my eyes.

So why have I still managed to lose a pound? In fact, how come I've been losing weight over the past few weeks when I've felt I probably shouldn't?

The only thing that I can think that I've been doing differently over the past couple of weeks is that I've become more regular with my Tai Chi. During the winter I can go a week at a time without practicing Tai Chi, but with the great weather we've been having recently I've pretty much been doing it every day. Maybe that's what's making the difference.

Statistical Significance – I have now lost over 40 kilos

Starting Weight: 19st 9lb – 275lbs
Current Weight: 13st 4lb – 186lbs
KoTRB Weight Lost: 24lbs
Total Weight Loss: 89lbs

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Goal Weight

I just received a comment on my I Am Overweight! Woohoo! post from Sir Squishy, saying:
I just re-read this post for additional motivation.....just curious, what is
your goal weight?
I started to answer in the comments and then realised that my reply might in fact make a better post for this blog, as the answer is not as straightforward as it should be. Strange though it may seem, I've not actually had a goal weight as such.

My main aim when I embarked on this new way of living and eating was to become healthier. Losing weight was always a side effect of that rather than the main goal.

At 5 feet and 7 inches tall, my ideal weight for my height is supposed to be about 10 ½ stone (147lbs). The upper limit, allowing for a broader bone structure is about 11 st 5lbs (159lbs). Even at my leanest, as a fit teenager working as a landscape gardener, I was about 11st 4lbs (158lbs), so 10 ½ stone has never come into the equation.

Therefore, to get to about 11 ½ stone should really be my goal. From the viewpoint of over 19 ½ stone, however, this just looked laughable. I could not for the life of me imagine losing over 8 stone in weight. 8 stone is also 112 pounds, which is the amount in a British “Hundredweight” – hence the title of this blog. I discovered shortly afterwards that the US Hundredweight is a more obvious 100lbs exactly, although even that seemed like an impossible dream.

So when I set out, my feeling was that if I could get down to about 15 stone (210lbs) then I would be more than happy. At the point that I actually reached that weight back last October, I was approached by Sir (now Lord) Chubalot to join the Knights of the Round Bottoms. Up until then, this semi-ironically title blog was just being used to collect and store specifically weight-related blog entries. Now however, I started to keep a weekly log of my progress online as well.

As the weight has come off, so my idea of what weight I might be able to reach has shifted. Having passed the 15 stone mark, I then started to think about 13 ½ stone (189lbs). When I was I was in my early to mid twenties I was about this weight and I thought I looked fine. In addition, I’d worked out that at this size, I would no longer be categorised as “obese”. However, I have now passed that marker too.

12 ½ stone (175lbs) now looks like it might just be possible – and of course that is 100lbs. If I achieve that then I might even get a mention in Twice the Man’s hall of fame, although my efforts pale into insignificance next to his

Might I actually reach 11st 5lbs – 4lbs beyond even the British hundredweight?

Well, to be honest, I’m not going to lose sleep over it. If I’m eating healthily and I get my activity up to a healthy level, then my body will settle at whatever weight it should naturally be, whatever the charts say.

Naked in the mirror, I still have man-boobs and a belly, but I can now fit in clothes without an ‘X’ in the size. I look around at other middle-aged men and most seem to have at least the size of belly that I do, so I no longer look like a Fat Man. I look average. Some time in the next week or two, my wife and I are planning on visiting a gym for the first time, just to see what it involves and to get an idea of how much benefit we might gain from going there.

Even if I didn’t lose another pound, the fact that I have lost 88 is enough to feel I can’t complain.

The fact is, there is no end to this, and that makes a goal weight more or less redundant. Even if I reached 11st 5lbs, I wouldn’t stop eating healthily. As I have remarked before, this is NOT A DIET, it is a way of life.

Mind you, I don't know at what point I'll be able to move from Sir to Lord Man Boobs - when I've lost 100, 112, or 116 (meaning I'm no longer "overweight")?

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Week 68

1lb loss!

Very surprised at the loss this week as not only have my activity levels been very low, but I had a blow-out on Saturday.

Actually, when I say blow-out, what I really mean is I had a full 100g bar of dark chocolate because, well because of a lot of reasons which primarily meant that I felt too low to be able to say no.

And yet, even in that dark place of "I'm bloody well going to eat something and no one's going to stop me," I still found that part of me was working on damage limitation in a way I would never have managed before.

Wandering around the supermarket, I decided that a large tub of prawn cocktail and a large bag of crisps (potato chips for you US types) was just going too far, especially as I knew I'd want the chocolate afterwards anyway. So I just went for the chocolate.

In the end the damage was only 500 calories (if you're counting) rather than about 1,500 if I'd followed my old ways. And given my lifestyle now, 500 calories can be absorbed quite easily across a week.

In my head I'd had such a huge fight with myself that the whole thing seemed much bigger than it was. In the end I still lost a pound this week.

I don't intend to make a habit of it, but it does show me that I can be a bit more forgiving of myself sometimes.

Starting Weight: 19st 9lb – 275lbs
Current Weight: 13st 5lb – 187lbs
KoTRB Weight Lost : 23lbs
Total Weight Loss: 88lbs

Sunday, June 04, 2006

I Am Overweight! Woohoo!

(Imported from Rambling of the Bearded One)

Not a common whoop of joy heard in this day and age, admittedly, but I am a happy man. In fact, it turns out that I’ve been overweight for a few weeks now, but I hadn’t checked a BMI calculator recently.

BMI is the Body Mass Index and is essentially a ratio measurement between your height and your weight (you can check yours out at http://www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk/interactiveTools/bmi.aspx if you’re curious) and so can be used as a rough guide to how fat you are. It is only an approximation though - if you are an athlete, for example, then you will get a false reading because muscle weighs more than fat.

So, at 5 feet and 7 inches high, and weighing in this morning at 13 stone and 6 pounds (188lbs or 85.275kg), I have a BMI of 29.44466. This means that I am now Overweight and no longer Obese (as I am in no way athletic). The chart looks something like this:

Less than 20 – Underweight - everyone thinks you look like a model, but you’re actually very unhealthy
20 to 25 – Ideal weight - you are at the right weight for your height, will probably live longer, but worry that your bum looks too big because society tells you that you should be underweight (“You can never be too rich or too thin” - Nancy Reagan)
25-30 – Overweight - you eat too many snacks and takeaways and don’t exercise enough
30-35 – Obese (Class I) - now you’re getting into dangerous territory that could be seriously affecting your long term health. You’re probably struggling to find anything that fits you in a high-street shop
35-40 – Obese (Class II) - specialist "outsize" clothes shops are becoming the norm, but you despise the fact that they insist you look like your granny's sofa cover.
Over 40 – Morbidly or Severely Obese (Class III) - also known as “Extremely Obese” or “Pathologically Obese” – chances are you’ve been dieting all your life and/or have problems with food addiction and emotional eating patterns that are now way out of control. Jogging trousers are just so much more comfortable.

15 months ago I was 19st 9lbs (275lbs) and had a BMI of 43, at which point Maggie and I started a new way of life. The idea was that we would eat healthily (plenty fresh fruit & veg), cut out processed foods and certain fats, avoid trigger foods (ones that set off cravings) and stop snacking in the evenings.

The main aim has always been to be healthier and the weight loss has been a side effect. THIS IS IMPORTANT. We are not on a “diet”, and when we reach an ideal weight we will continue to eat healthily and will not return to old eating habits. This is a way of life.

It means that we have a bit of cake when there’s a celebration; we sometimes go out for meals; on occasion we get a takeaway; but we are careful not to let these things get out of control. And very importantly, we enjoy good, wholesome, tasty food. Maggie is an excellent cook and very creative. These days instead of using those skills to make cakes and puddings, she’s using them to improve our health. Maggie doesn’t want me discussing her weight with the world, but I will say that she has lost a similar amount over the same time period.

In fact, the other day we were looking back through our early photo albums and came to the conclusion that we now weigh more or less what we did when we first started going out together. 15 ½ years to put the weight on, and 15 ½ months to get back again.

It doesn’t stop here though. We are still overweight, we are not as healthy as we could be, and the next stage will be to start upping our activity levels a bit more.

But I am no longer “Obese”. I am “Overweight” and I think that calls for some kind of celebration. Unfortunately it can’t be with a chocolate cake…