Monday, July 30, 2007

Week 128

1lb gain.


What upsets me about this is it means I've dropped back a pound from the 100lb mark.

So, what are my excuses this week? - left over treats from my wife's birthday weekend last week for one thing. And these cold Autumn nights we've been having through July means the temptation to light the fire and snuggle up on the couch with a large hot chocolate has been too much to resist a couple of times.

But bloody hell it's been a struggle this month. In the past 3 weeks I've put on 4lbs. There are things that have been going on in our lives that I cannot blog about, but have taken a real emotional toll. And when the emotional pain is there and the edible medication is there in the house it becomes a constant battleground trying not to give into it.

And that is what most of it is about now. It is not bad habits, ignorant food choices, unhealthy snacking or greed. It's the battle with feeling low, sad, depressed, fearful, horrified and too little control over the things that affect our lives. When these feelings hit, the choice is to experience them full on, or do anything to try and ease the pain for a few moments. At that point, worries about putting on an extra pound seem so insignificant.

Until the next Monday morning when I stand on the scales and berate myself for those times when I chose the temporary easing of the pain. I don't even get to praise myself for the many times over the week when I didn't give in.

As has been said before, in the end it's not about how hard the battle is, it's only the final result that gets counted.

Starting Weight: 19st 9lb - 275lbs
Current Weight: 12st 8lb - 176lbs
Body fat: 23.2%
Total Weight Loss: 99lbs

Monday, July 23, 2007

Week 127

Another 1.4lb gain

It was Maggie's birthday at the weekend. That in itself might not have been too damaging if it wasn't on top of a fortnight of some intense family situations that I cannot blog about. The upshot of this meant that extreme emotions have been flying about for 2 weeks, and trying not to medicate with food has been an ongoing, and not always successful, battle.

This morning, determinations have been renewed and mindsets are being wearily dragged back into position, so I hope to have stablised, and have everything back under control by the next post.

Starting Weight: 19st 9lb - 275lbs
Current Weight: 12st 7lb - 175lbs
Body fat: 23.3%
Total Weight Loss: 100lbs

Monday, July 16, 2007

Week 126

1.4lb gain.

Not too surprising. I can account for this with a combination of a couple of celebratory deserts and my kids doing some home baking, which was far tastier than I expected.

Big meal out tonight too, so I'll need to be vigilant the rest of the week.

Starting Weight: 19st 9lb - 275lbs
Current Weight: 12st 5.6lb - 173.6lbs
Body fat: 22.5%
Total Weight Loss: 101.4lbs

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Difference Between Habit and Addiction

Like the last post, this one was imported from Ramblings of the Bearded One, my other blog. After the comments I received, I realised that some people still don't really get what we're up against - that for those of us who are or have been 50, 100 150+ pounds overweight, it's not just about being greedy and too lazy to go for a walk. So I created this follow-up post. Once again, it seemed worth placing a copy on this site for obvious reasons.


Generally speaking I don’t like to write posts trying to explain what the last one was about. I can’t help but feel that if I failed to get my message across first time, the writing wasn’t good enough. Usually at this point I prefer to give an embarrassed cough and move swiftly on.

However, there were some touching, heartfelt and intense responses posted in "For the next time you see the finger being pointed at the fat person" that made me feel further thoughts needed to be expressed on the subject.

What has become clear from the range of comments is the need to draw a distinction between habit and addiction.

Very often, those who criticise people who are overweight assume that it’s purely down to bad eating habits. If only fat people were able to see that their behaviour was putting their health at risk then they would modify that behaviour. If it’s pointed out to you that the reason your hand hurts and is disfigured is because fire burns flesh, then you will understand that if you stop sticking your hand in the fire, you will stop being hurt. Likewise, if you just stop eating as much crap your health won’t be so badly affected. It is so bloody obvious, it seems insane the fat person just doesn’t get it.

Perhaps if you say it slowly and loudly they will understand. Perhaps if you give them smaller portions they will take the hint. Perhaps if you humiliate them it will draw their attention to their unacceptable behaviour and they will start to modify it.

The fact that you do all these things and they still eat too much just beggars belief.

But the reality is for many, especially those who are 30% or more overweight, "habit" is not what it’s about. Even once you get beyond the fact that the supermarket shelves are stuffed with foods loaded up with sugars, fats and salts to make the body crave more, and are wrapped in covers designed using some of the most sophisticated marketing techniques on the planet, eating is still much more than just fuel for the body.

For some people certain foods items are addictive and promote cravings that go far beyond just “the munchies”. Some foods are trigger foods – foods that once you start on them there is no stopping until not only is the rest of the packet empty, but half the contents of the larder and fridge too.

Some people use food for self medication – a way of dealing with extreme emotion, in the way an alcoholic or drug addict will use their chemical of choice to dull the pain, the ache in the chest, the deep hollow in the gut.

For some people food is used as a form of self-abuse in a similar way that self-harmers will cut themselves or burn themselves with cigarette ends.

For some, being fat is a way of keeping people at arms length because of fear of relationships, or even fear of appearing sexually desirable.

For some people, a combination of any or all of these reasons can be at play at any one particular time

In all these cases, the relationship with food is an unhealthy one. It goes far beyond just a lack of self-discipline.

The thing to realise here is that the food in itself if not the issue. Food is being used as a tool, or weapon, for something else. In a different set of circumstances, the person who struggles with food would have struggled with alcohol, self-harm, or any kind of illegal or prescription drugs.

So for those who are feeling exasperated with loved ones who won’t take the hint, or who seem intent on continuing to eat more than necessary despite the obvious damage they are doing to their health, you need to look beyond the food.

Just like alcoholism, drug abuse, self-harm, anorexia and bulimia, or any other damaging addiction, over eating is an expression of another problem, or more likely problems. And until those problems are dealt with, the eating will never be fully under control.

This isn’t about over indulging at Christmas or anniversaries then being too lazy to work off a few pounds. People who fall into that category become a bit overweight, develop a couple of love handles and a bit of a belly.

But people who are a third or a half as much again, or even double the weight they should naturally be, are people who have a problem beyond food.

For them, the fat you see are the outward scars of a thousand internal battles

For the next time you see the finger being pointed at the fat person

This post has been imported from Ramblings of the Bearded One. Given the nature of the topic, it seemed a good idea to place a copy on this site where most of the readers would have a natural understanding. It sparked quite a few interesting comments on the other site. If you click on the link above it will take you to them


“If you want to lose weight, you just have to stop eating as much.”

Wow. How simple. Wish I’d thought of that. So it’s a bit like saying if I don’t want to burn my flesh I shouldn’t stick my hand in the fire?


But what if I have to keep sticking my hand in the fire?


What if I feel compelled to stick my hand in the fire, again and again, over and over?

“Why on earth would you do that?”

Suppose it was habit, or suppose I enjoyed it, or suppose every time I did it, it released endorphins that made me feel good, or suppose it was addictive, or suppose I hated myself so much I felt I deserved to be disfigured, or suppose by looking disfigured people would have less expectations of me, or suppose by looking disfigured people would leave me alone. Suppose at different times I stuck my hand in the fire for each of these different reasons, or any combination and it changed every time.

Do you think just saying “well don’t do it then” is going to make the slightest bit of difference?

“Er, probably not.”

Do you think that telling me I’m stupid for doing it is going to make me stop?

“Well, it might… tough love and all that…”

If my response to feeling bad is to stick my hand in the fire, what do you think calling me stupid is likely to make me do?

“Er… stick your hand in the fire again?”

And calling me lazy, useless, ugly and a drain on the health services?

“…stick your hand in the fire again.”

You know, I do believe we’re starting to get somewhere.

“But you don’t stick your hand in the fire.”

No, I overeat instead.

“Well, if you want to lose weight, you just have to stop eating as much.”

Slap, slap, slap, slap, slap, slap, slap, slap...

Monday, July 09, 2007

Week 125

1lb loss!

One of the odd things this I've noticed this week has been that my belly is looking slightly smaller.

Well, ok, it is. Obviously. I've lost weight again.

But only a pound.

Surely 1lb isn't going to make a perceptable difference is it?

But maybe it is. What I tend to forget is that because I'm now only about 15lbs or so overweight, one of those pounds is a considerably higher percentage of the excess baggage than it used to be.

One pound now counts for something like 6% or 7% of my overweightness, instead of the less than 1% it used to.

Starting Weight: 19st 9lb - 275lbs
Current Weight: 12st 4.2lb - 172.2lbs
Body fat: 22.5%
Total Weight Loss: 102.8lbs

Monday, July 02, 2007

Week 124

1.6lb loss!

Just when I thought I'd levelled out, I drop to create a new lowest recorded weight for 20 years - 173.2lbs (12st 5.2lb, 78.56kg).

Lord Chubalot of the Knights of the Round Bottoms has been asking for a while about whether I'm ready to stop being Sir Man Boobs and take on the mantle, Lord Man Boobs.

Although I have lost over 100lbs, a British hundredweight is in fact 112lbs and there is no doubt that I am still overweight by, well probably at least 12lbs, so I've been reluctant so far to upgrade my title as it implies that somehow my task has finished.

And yet, in a way it has.

When my wife and I decided to change our eating habits, we knew it was a lifelong decision. The aim was to have healthier bodies that would last for longer in a better condition. The weight loss was always a SIDE EFFECT of eating healthily.

As such, I'm just doing what I have been doing for the past 29 months and will continue to do for the next 40 years, namely, be aware of what I eat and chose the healthy options over the processed foods.

My task then, has not been to achieve a specific weight loss target, but to fight my own impulses to gorge, binge and stuff my face with foods that are not good for me.

The side effect of me facing, battling and finding ways to conquer my demons has been the loss of over 100lbs in weight.

Originally, I thought that if I dropped to 15 stone (210lbs) I'd be more than happy. I was overjoyed to get down to 13 and a half stone (189lbs), as this was a figure I remember from my early 20s. I was ecstatic to get below 13 stone and gobsmacked to lose 100lbs.

The Hundredweight of the title of this blog was only ever a fantasy and a wry joke. I never seriously expected to get close.

So yes, I have achieved, and yes I will accept the title Lord Man Boobs.

Thank you to everyone who has supported me over the many months.

Starting Weight: 19st 9lb - 275lbs
Current Weight: 12st 5.2lb - 173.2lbs
Body fat: 22.8%
Total Weight Loss: 101.8lbs