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Start Again Again

As of this morning I weigh 216lbs. That's not so bad in one way. It's about what I weighed two weeks ago and I haven't been dieting or exercising in that time. So I'm maintaining.

But I'm maintaining at a weight I first reached back in November i.e. 6 months ago.

I don't know how much this is my body trying to tell me that this is the weight it wants to be. In some ways it's not a terrible weight if I maintain it. But I'd like to be lighter. In any case the exercise is a good thing so I'm going to start my running again.

The reason I had stopped is that about a month ago, after reaching an all time low, I quit for a week because I wasn't feeling very well. I soon felt a bit better but a week became ten days. Then I got back to it, for about a week and then stopped again. No reason for that other than laziness.

I do sort of feel however that I get these little twinges and aches and pains when I'm doing my regime that I don't get when I'm not. Nothing serious really but it's made me wonder if I'm maybe cutting back too far. Maybe I need to not aim for so large a weekly loss, especially at this stage. That would both be easier and gentler on my body perhaps.

So I might go back to running + 5:2 but let the "2" be my deficit and as long as I'm losing at least say, 0.5lb a week on average be OK with that.

 We'll see. I'll try it for a month. 

8 Weeks Later

" let's see where I am on Monday 31st March"

Oh Dear! This morning - after a run - I weighed 213.6lbs. That's right, a pound more than my "I need to make a change" weight. A pound more after a run, when typically I'm dehydrated a little so probably 2-3lbs more overall.

 What went wrong? Well I could talk about how I found that it was still feeling like a diet and that I had days when I just "gave up" and so on. That was true a couple of days in the first three weeks. Then last week I just fell off the wagon altogether. It started with a late night which meant missing a run. Then I missed another. Then I missed a fast day. Then I was eating and drinking pretty much what I liked.

So here I am. Starting over again.

I haven't reset MFP and I did a 50min run this morning. So I guess I'm repeating the regime from the last 4 weeks - or what it was supposed to be. I can always up it again I suppose but I don't want to go to extremes.

See you in 4 weeks I guess.  

4 Weeks Later...

"Let's see where I am in a month's time. "

So Where Am I?

Well first of all I didn't do the "go over by 250cals" thing. Almost straight away I came up with an alternative regime.

 So What Did I Do Instead?

Glad you asked :) Remember I was also worried about eating too much due to over-estimated exercise calories. So I basically changed my MapMyWalk app to report fewer calories - which I did by "lying" about my weight. I set it to 75% of my then current weight. (Don't worry MFP knows my real weight). With that in place I just made sure that on non-fast days I would not go over my net calories i.e. 1790 + exercise cals.

Now three days a week I do a run (10k currently), three other days I do kettle bell work-out and at the weekends I do gentle but long-ish walks (70-90mins). The walking and running gets measured via MapMyWalk - so I'm not eating back all those calories. The kettle bells is 20mins of "general circuit training".

 So How Did it Go?

Do you mean how much did I lose? I'll get to that but first I want to talk about the experience of it.

It reminded my a lot of my older diets. Back when I would eat a flat 1800cals a day regardless of exercise with the occasional "freebie" day. Which is to say it was hard and I didn't like it. The beauty of 5:2 has been that I don't feel like I'm dieting on non-fast days, well, pretty much. This got me back to a few things I don't like:


  • standing in the supermarket doing mental calculations on calories before I buy something. 
  • standing in front of the fridge and making the same calculations, figuring out trade-offs to see if I can have X or Y for lunch and still have A or B for dinner.
  • Ditto for a snack. 
  • actually getting so frustrated that I "give up", stop counting and binge. Actually the one day I did this I didn't have an evening meal in the end so I'm not sure how much of a binge it really was.
  • putting in extra slots of exercise to "pay for" an extra treat.
The thing is, I wanted to be strict and apart from that one day I did stick to my limit. But deciding between one relatively modest item and another felt a little sad, and I know that it's this kind of thing that made me lose heart before. Anyway...
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, But HOW MUCH DID YOU LOSE?
As of this morning I weighed in at 201.2lbs.  Which is 11.4lbs down on 4 weeks ago or 2.85lbs/week.
Now in my head that's really 11.4lbs over  about 11-12weeks (because I'd been 212 before Christmas remember?) but that's not really relevant.
2.85lbs/week is not sustainable so it's no wonder I'm feeling those unhelpful behaviours/situations coming back.  
So, What if Anything, are you Going to Do about it? 
Again, glad you asked.  I intend to tweak things so that I'm nearer to 1-2lbs/week. Specifically I'm going to:
  • change MapMyWalk and split the difference between it's current fake low weight and my real weight i.e. I'll be eating back more of my exercise calories.
  • reduce the length of my runs. Actually I've wanted to do this for a while anyway. After I completed C25K I needed a new challenge and working up to 10K has been good for that. But now I know I can do that well, I want a bit of my life back! It's just time-consuming is all. (I started running originally to get more bang for my buck in terms of calories versus time spent in comparison to walking)
  • I may increase my non-fast net calorie limit a little. Haven't decided on this yet. But since some of my complaints above are really about having less calories to play with I need to make sure I come out ahead after reducing exercise but upping the proportion I eat back.
What I do like is the idea of reviewing the situation again in 4 weeks. That's long enough to see an effect but not so long as to let things completely slide if I've pulled back too far. 
I'm going to be running a little less and eating a little more and let's see where I am on Monday 31st March


I need to make a change

So as of this morning I weighed in at 212.6lbs. Which is OK. It's nearly 71lbs down on my official start weight. Great huh?

 Well no. On Dec 1st I weighed 213.8lb and on Dec 2nd I was  211.6lb. So I've been hovering round (and above) this weight for about a couple of months. Even taking into account Christmas and the aftermath that's too long. 

5:2 has server me well for a year or so. I started in Nov 2012. How I've used it with MFP is to set my goal at lb/week, use the logging to know my calories and on fast days limit myself to 650-700calories in total. On non-fast days... well there's the thing. Initially I just ate what I liked and lost weight anyway. Later I tried to stay roughly within my MFP calorie net limit but allowed myself a few extra calories given that it didn't account for the fast days. However over time that's gotten harder as the MFP target has become tighter. 

Currently I'm on 1790 cals a day - I just recalculated from 1760. I've been trying to do this thing where I average out my deficit so I can eat more on non-fast days. Even so I'm clearly eating too much. I think part of the problem is that my exercise calorie may be over-estimated. I just switched on the mapmywalk <-> MFP sync and those numbers seem higher (though that's literally only been a few days so I'm not blaming that).

So I think from now on I need to have a hard limit on my non-fast days. From now on I can only go  250cals over on non-fast days. That should still allow me to feel like I'm eating normally on those days.

Let's see where I am in a month's time. 

So This is What 16st Looks and Feels Like

I weighed myself this morning and I was 222lbs. This is my lowest ever since weighing myself regularly and it's under 16st (224lb).

 When I started my first diet in 2008 my goal weight was 12st because I'd been that as a young man. After a few months I changed this to 16st as it seemed more realistic. I got to within 2lb of that but then put a lot back on. It's taken 3 more diets and over 4 years to get back here and below.

And it's great but I still look/feel bigger than I'd like. When I was 22+st I just assumed that 16st would be reasonable and if not "thin" then "normal" or "stocky". Truth is I still look "fat". There's still plenty of wobble and a significant outward bump. 

However I'm trying to be ok with that. I am a lot lighter and healthier. I am definitely a lot fitter (ran my second ever 5k this morning). And I've got pictures of me when I was 16st2 which I used to look at when I was back up to 20st and thought "look at how good I look, and I still thought I was fat then". So a lot of it is relative.

 My current goal is 14st. I chose that because it was halfway between 16 and 12 and I knew 16 would feel like this and 12 was a big ask. Maybe I'll still get to 12. Maybe I'll hit 14 and maintain. I could try to build up some muscle and get a more toned look.

Anyway in case I don't completely sound it I am very happy to have made this weight.


Important Milestone

Today I weighed myself and I was 226.2lbs or 16st2 or 102.6kg.

 This is a big milestone for me for a few reasons. Obviously it's my lowest so far this time around but it's more than that.

 A little history.

 In 2000 I moved. At that time I had never dieted and I was still eating what I liked and taking little or no exercise. I did occasionally weigh myself but it was more out of curiosity. I recall having weighed myself some time just before or just after I moved and being 17stone (238lbs).

In 2008 I started my first attempt at a weight-loss diet. Actually I initially started doing exercise because I was upset when I realised I got out of breath walking up the 7 or 8 steps into work. After about a week I wondered if that had had any effect on my weight and started weighing myself. I was 144.1kg (317lbs - I weighed myself in kilos then). That was in September. I started doing walking for exercise and limiting my calories to 1800 a day with the occasional 'freebie' day. By Christmas I'd lost 50lbs.Things slowed a little but by June I weighed 102.9kg.

Actually that was itself a bit of a blip. I had been dropping steadily but the previous week I'd been 105.1 and the following week was 105.8. So 102.9 was a bit of an outlier and I always wondered if the scales were wrong and changed the battery. In fact that became a plateau which became a slow rise and discouraged I stopped dieting and I eventually put back on most - but not all - of the weight I'd lost. 

Since then I've gone back on diets - usually the same regime with little tweaks - for periods of time and have lost weight but always put it back on and never got back as low as 102.9.

Until now. 

So this is a milestone because it's my lowest since I've been dieting. It's also probably my lowest for 15years. So I'm really really pleased.

Oh and it also represents a 20% loss this time around (actually 29% since my all time high in Sep 2008 but I don't count from then since I haven't been consistently dieting)


Week 18 - More Mysterious Loss

So a second week with a big loss. Last week I felt like I was catching up after 3 flat weeks. This week - well I'm pleased but I'm slightly paranoid - is my scale working? is there something wrong with me? I'm sure it's neither of those things.

So I'm now over 2stone down - which feels like it's been a long time coming. This is also the lowest I've been this time around and that's good. 

Next milestone under 18stone.

 Lost: 2.8lbs
Lost so far: 28.4lbs
Average Weekly Loss: 1.56lbs
Weight: 255.2lbs (18st 3lbs)

Week 17 - Who Knows Why?

As far as I can tell I've been doing the same thing for the last few weeks. Yes I have occasionally gone a bit overboard on my non-fast days, but I've done that consistently I think. So I'm not sure why I was "flat" for two weeks and then lost 3lbs this week.

 But I'm happy. :)

 Lost: 3lbs
Lost so far: 25.2lbs
Average Weekly Loss: 1.48lbs
Weight: 258lbs (18st 6lbs)

Week 16 Bowled Over

I went out bowling with work on Wednesday night. It wasn't a fast day (Mon & Thu) but I hadn't intended to go mad. I had a burger and chips at the bowling alley... and a couple of beers. This led to me getting a couple more beers from the corner shop on the way home... and some sweets and biscuits. 

So yesterday morning I was nearly 4lbs up. I'm back now to something more reasonable but essentially it adds up to a nearly flat couple of weeks.

I'm disappointed asI really should be able to have a night out without it scuppering any weight loss. It's the beer that's the problem and the thing is I hardly drink any more except when I go out, which isn't very often.

Lost: -0.2lbs
Lost so far: 22.2lbs
Average Weekly Loss: 1.39lbs
Weight: 261lbs (18st 9lbs)

btw for reference - I have or had 3 places where I record my weight. A spreadsheet that I update once a week, my blog and MFP. Previously when my blog was in another place I didn't bother too much about keeping MFP current and used to only do weigh-ins when it went down.I did this because I had my "official" weight recorded elsewhere - both publically and privately. However now my blog is on MFP too I'm going to do weigh-ins on Friday and put them in all three places. Apart from anything else I want MFP's calculations about how many calories I've burned due to exercise to be based on the correct weight. 

Week 15 - A New Old Location for the Blog

I've decided to switch all my dieting blogging to MFP. I'll post the occasional update on my general blog - but mostly to re-direct any infrequent visitors here.

Friday was week 15 of my current diet. I keep a spreadsheet of my progress and here's my weekly update figures:

Lost: 0.4lbs
Lost so far: 22.4lbs
Average Weekly Loss: 1.49lbs
Weight: 260.8lbs (18st 8lbs)

So pretty good. If you've seen my banner you'll know I'm a little bit further down than that too. That's mainly due to having had a "low-calorie-but-not-quite-fasting" day on Saturday. I'm doing IF 5:2 but I've been mostly keeping to my net MFP set goal (aiming at a lb a week) on non-fast days. Saturday was a net 1000 calorie day (1400 - exercise). It worked quite well. I may do it again. I don't think I could do a full 600 calorie day on a weekend - too much time and not enough to distract me - but it's useful to break up what otherwise can be a 3-day calorie-fest.


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