Fat Boy on a Diet: September Update: Good News and Goals

I’ve been trying to be good the last couple of weeks, and have exercised more regularly, routinely breaking my 10,000 steps target for each day. I’ve also taken some steps towards eating healthier, mainly by just not stuffing myself like a pig and switching to buying fruit instead of chocolate at work.

I’ve felt like I’ve lost weight and while I feared this was just my mind playing tricks on me, I’ve definitely felt better in myself over the last week or so. And I’ve actually been feeling better about myself, I mean, I’m not going to be going topless on the beach anytime soon, and not just because with autumn starting and it’ll be too damn cold. I’m a long way from being happy with what I see staring back from the mirror, but I feel more energised and less down on myself.

The weight loss wasn’t massive, but last night the scales delivered some good news and the numbers are slowly creeping back down. I don’t think that 2018 will be the roaring success I had hoped for back in January, but I should finish lighter than I started.

Now the question is, how much lighter? While reaching the weight I was before I took my second tilt at student life might take a while longer (possible target for 2019?), I should be able to shift a decent amount before Christmas.

I’ve set myself a new target, and rather than set a massive target for the end of the year, I’ve decided to be a bit more realistic. I’ve decided that my last weigh of the year will be on the 20th of December, because I want to enjoy my usual yuletide gluttony without guilt or calorie counting.

This leaves me twelve weeks. So, I’m going to hope to average a loss of 2 lbs a week. This is feasible enough, especially if I continue to exercise and resist temptation and should I be successful will mean that by December I could lose 24 lbs, which would be a little under two stone, and would mean I am successful in my resolution.

So, from now on these monthly updates won’t just be my usual ramblings, but will include a week by week breakdown of how my weigh-ins go. I’m not going to reveal any exact figures of what I weigh, because I’m not comfortable with doing that.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

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Fat Boy on a Diet: August Update Part 2: Saw That Coming

So, yesterday I finally climbed onto the scales for the first time in a while.

It didn’t make for good reading.

I’ve put back a bit of weight and the gains I made a couple of months back have been wiped out.

There’s no excuses, this is all on me. While I have been getting a fair amount of exercise in the form of walking more, I’ve also been guilty of snacking and overindulgence. This shit has got to stop.

It’s like I’m sabotaging myself, and when I do then check in on the scales my confidence takes a knock and I feel crappy. This cycle needs to stop, I joined the gym a while back and haven’t been yet, which speaks to my laziness, and frankly isn’t good enough. I don’t have the money to throw away, and so starting from the next payday I’m going to set aside some cash to ensure I can bus to the gym a few times every month.

Also, wasting days off on the sofa is out, and every day I’m free I will take the dog for a walk and try to eat better.

I really need to lose weight, doing so will not only help my physical health, but it will also help me mentally and curb the self loathing that strikes now and then. Dark Chris has had a field day over this news, and I was pretty low yesterday.

Time to stop talking and get doing. Hopefully the September update will show some improvement.

Not a fun post to write, and probably not that fun to read. Apologies, but still in a bit of a funk over this.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


Fat Boy on a Diet: August Update: The Great Unknown

I realise that this weight update is a couple of days late, but I was away at the end of last week, and Monday was the date with the scales.

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Unfortunately, I couldn’t make Chub Club on Monday evening, and so, I have no idea what my current weight is. You’d think that this would render this update pointless, but I did make it one of my resolutions to have a monthly update. So, technically I’m keeping that going.

I’m not sure how I feel about not weighing on Monday, as obviously it was bad, but on the other hand kinda good.

I say kinda good, because I’m worried that August hasn’t been a great month for me, diet-wise. I’ve stuck to it for the most part, but WoM went away last week for a few days, and my eating there wasn’t great.

Similarly, while I have done a decent amount of exercise this month, it was less than I’d intended. Thanks in part to work getting on top of me again, and the whole cramp issue. So, while I’d been hopeful for August, I don’t think I’ve made much progress.

Of course, not weighing does have it’s negatives.

I have no idea how I’ve done.

This leaves it up to my mind to make wild guesses.

Logically I know it can only have swung a little bit, but I will admit to not knowing which way it has gone. Unfortunately, logic doesn’t help silence the inner voice that tells me I’m a failure and that I’ve probably gained heaps this month.

This negative voice, who I’ll call Dark Chris (or DC), is always there in the background. Much of the time, I can silence him or defeat him with common sense. But the realm of body image and weight issues is where he shines. It’s DC who offers the unhelpful commentary when I catch sight of myself in a mirror, who tells me I’m gross when I’m all sweaty through exertion.

I weigh on Monday and hopefully will be able to shut DC up then. At least I’ll have an accurate sign of how I’m doing. There’ll be an update after that, but I’m trying really hard to be good this week.

Whether this pays off will be revealed next week for the more accurate August update.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


Born to Run? Why I’m gonna start running again.

One of my major regrets is that I stopped running when I went back to university in 2013. By that point I’d been running for almost two years, and I loved it, not only was I in better shape, but it was a great chance to clear my head, it made me feel good and I just enjoyed doing it.

So, why did I stop?

Well, the first hurdle was trying to adjust to university life again. Unlike Film Studies, Nursing was a pretty intense course and I was in lectures pretty much five days a week, in the evenings I was wiped out and would just hang out with my flatmates and I didn’t fancy waking up super early for a run before lectures I found difficult.

The other issue was that living in halls put me off the idea a little. I didn’t want to come back after a run looking all sweaty, red faced and gross. I know that’s daft, but in 2013, despite being at my lightest for years, I was still massively self conscious, and cared a lot about what other people thought about me. I think moving to a new city and going back into halls had really shaken me, I was around a decade older than my flatmates and I felt a bit of an outsider. I also worried that I looked lame trying to hang out with them and that my running might be judged, which is silly and not something I should have let get under my skin.

As a result in the entire first year I managed about three runs.

It was pretty dumb as the running probably would have given me a release valve for the stresses of the course and with a Park Run a few minutes away I could probably have improved my performances over that time. Unfortunately, I just kinda let it peter out.

Of course, the major impact of this was that my weight started to creep back up, not helped by the fact that I was drinking more and eating crap.

But I think a worse effect was on my mental health and wellbeing.

I was never a super runner, I wasn’t the fastest and I didn’t cover massive distances, usually around the 8-9k mark in around an hour. And I probably looked a total mess, but the thing is, none of these things mattered.

I’ve heard of “runner’s high”, this feeling of being utterly in the zone, exhilarated and even a bit euphoric, and I totally had a version of that. After a few minutes I would find my rhythm and enter what I call the Juggernaut Zone.

juggernaut

This was the feeling of being unstoppable I got when I was in full flow. I’d run straight ahead, feeling that anybody on my path had best get out of my way because I felt unstoppable.

It was a great feeling, especially for someone like me, who usually felt kinda powerless or adrift. When running I had purpose, I had power. I was the Juggernaut, b***h!

I’d love to get that feeling back again. While my life is a lot better in lots of ways than it was in 2013, I’d be lying if I didn’t acknowledge that some stuff has got worse. Not only am I physically worse now, but my body image has taken a real kicking. I’ve always been self conscious and never felt particularly proud or happy with the man in the mirror, but I know that when I was running I felt better about myself.

This wasn’t because my scales were telling me that (in fact, I was only weighing about every six months or so, if that) but because of how I felt about myself. Sure, I was tired after a run, but I’d earned that tiredness, and it was getting easier all the time. That good feeling didn’t end with the run, it carried over into my everyday life. Hell, that newfound confidence was part of what gave me the nerve to gamble with going back to university.

That might not have worked out, but I think if I hadn’t I’d probably still be working my crappy job in Swansea, living in a rented room and never would have met WoM and built the life that I have now.

I’m not saying that running is gonna cure everything, but if it helps with my weight loss and body issues, that alone will be a good thing. But I think having that outlet and doing something constructive and for myself every couple of days will make me feel a lot better in myself. And if I feel better about myself I’m probably more likely to try to better myself further.

So, I’ve downloaded a new Couch to 5k app and I’m going to give it another go. It got me there the first time, so here’s hoping it can do the trick again.

juggernaut return

It’s coming…

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


Fat Boy on a Diet: July Update: Meh

Apologies for this one going out a couple of days late, I’m sure the suspense has been killing you. I was in work on the 31st and too bushed afterwards to write anything down.

I seem to be in work all the time at the moment and I ain’t gonna lie, it’s draining me quite a lot. While my sleep has improved the fact my days off are fewer and more spread out it means I haven’t had the chance to really recharge.

This means I’m crabbier and less motivated, content to spend my evenings on the couch watching The Miss Fisher Mysteries. But I don’t want to go on, we all work and we all know working sucks. I’m sure there are jobs that don’t but these seem to be rare.

This means that while I lost weight in July it wasn’t the big improvement that I was hoping for. I’d built it up that this would be the month where I really got going and turned it around. Lots of healthy eating, more exercise and a big loss at the weigh in.

Unfortunately, the weight didn’t fall off as quickly as planned and I finished July feeling a bit disappointed. It wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t great. It was frustratingly average.

Here’s hoping August goes better I guess.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


Fat Boy on a Diet: May Update: There are no calories on your birthday

Little earlier this month as I decided to have my last weigh in for May earlier in the week as I knew that with my birthday on Friday and a couple of celebration meals planned waiting until the end wouldn’t be the best course.

I’d been kinda good in May, or at least I thought I did. I made an effort to exercise more, managing to crack 10,000 steps most days. I could have done better on the eating front, and this turned out to be my undoing.

A pound and a bit.

A bloody pound is all I lost. That is frankly pathetic.

Really need to focus on the food side of the equation now. Pointless burning off all those calories walking if I then cancel it out by scoffing junk in the evenings.

At least I’m moving in the right direction, but I really need to do better.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


Fat Boy on a Diet: April Update: Fail

April has been a pretty shit month, with a lot going on that has been pretty rough. As a result of this I’ve spent a lot of this month stuck in the house, either bored stupid or stressing out.

And like the stereotypical fat man, I respond to both boredom and stress by overeating.

For an extended period I was stuck in the house and so instead of stocking up with proper food was just going to the shop around the corner and gettting quick, easy food.

So, when I finally got back on the scale, I wasn’t confident. Unfortunately it was a lot worse than I’d feared.

I’d put back on pretty much all the weight I’ve lost this year. This is terrible news as it undoes a solid start.

I’m not feeling great about myself right now.

This means that I’ve really got to knuckle down and get back on track. Which means more exercise and less taking the easy option. I’m also going to keep less snack stuff in the house to stop me munching them just because I can’t think of anything else to do.

Gotta sort my head out and not be so dumb in future.

Any thoughts?;You know what to do. BETEO.


Fat Boy on a Diet: March Update: Mountains and Mirrors

I haven’t been able to hop on the scales the last couple of weeks, so I don’t know exactly where I am weight wise.

With no hard data I’m gonna have to guess how the month has gone. I think I’ve lost a fair bit this month thanks in part to all the extra walking I did for Sport Relief (I raised £175 in the end, which is a start on my “raise £1m for charity” bucket list item).

Walking with Oz

I’ve also been swimming a couple more times, and while I still suck, I’ve passed 1000m which is more than I managed between 1999 and 2017. So, that’s something, I guess.

Eating healthy has been hit and miss, with us moving house there have been a few evenings when MWF and I couldn’t be bothered to cook and opted for take aways.

Despite feeling like I’ve lost weight this month, and enjoying the extra exercise, body confidence wise I can’t say I feel great. Our new bedroom has built in wardrobe with a mirrored front.

This means that getting up in the morning, or getting ready for bed I get to see my body as big as life. And twice as ugly.

I saw old photos of myself at university this week, and think I look better now, but back then I don’t remember having the same revulsion at my reflection. Or did I just ignore it then?

For those few moments before or after sleep I am confronted with a body I dislike. I have half baked plans for working on my bucket list and trying new things, but I feel I need to scale it back and for now, just focus on slimming down.

I know I’ll never be one of those insanely ripped guys, and frankly, I don’t want to be. But I definitely want to be smaller and more comfortable and happy with what I see in the mirror.

It might take a while though.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


Fat Boy on a Diet: Just Keep Swimming

After posting my February update on Monday I went swimming properly for the first time since the late ’90s.

I’ve never been a particularly strong swimmer and out of my primary school class I was one of the last to move from the kiddie pool to the proper one. I was way behind the curve in earning my 100m swimming badge, getting mine at a point where their prestige had worn out for my classmates.

One of my few athletic achievements

Throw in the whole having to be topless aspect and I wasn’t exactly hammering down the door of my nearest baths.

But things changed last year. Under the Floridian sun and with a pool at our resort it seemed foolish to avoid the pool. And with WoM offering me reassurance and making me feel better about myself I hit the pool.

Nobody laughed. Nobody recoiled in horror. Nobody really cared, they just all went about their business.

As years of body image baggage and self consciousness drifted away, I quite enjoyed myself.

So, looking for a new way to exercise and shift some weight, I joined WoM at the pool today.

It did not begin well as after one length of painfully slow breast stroke my leg cramped up. I’ve had cramp before, but never in this spot, so it wasn’t fun. A bit of stretching and I was good to go.

I set myself a target of 20 lengths, ensuring a decent workout but allowing me time for some breathers.

Swimming is hard. Especially when you can’t completely remember how you do it.

My technique was pretty poor, but improved slightly with tips from WoM. My shoulders hurt from trying to keep my head up and I drank half the pool as I messed up my timing.

Compared to jogging, swimming sucks. There was no music and my mind didn’t wander. When I used to run I would daydream or plan things, but in the pool I was thinking about timing, technique and focused on that.

Also, I lacked the confidence I had on a run. When I got into my running rhythm I felt good, strong and unstoppable. Anyone who got in my way had better move, because I wasn’t stopping. I was the Juggernaut, b***h!

In the pool I felt slow, out of shape and meekly went around two old ladies chatting in my path.

Despite all this, I managed to hit my target and go beyond it, finishing 24 lengths.

Afterwards I felt pretty good. It wasn’t fun, but I felt better.

I’ll be going back. I need the exercise. I want to get better. And I can’t ignore Dory’s advice.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


Fat Boy on a Diet: February Update: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

February has been a mixed bag. It started off pretty good, with me passing the point where I had lost a stone.

Unfortunately there was a bit of a wobble and I put some of the weight back on.

I was worried that given this stumble I would start sliding back, but thanks to some will power and Lent I’ve turned it around and I managed to lose weight in the last week or so.

The problem is that while I lost most of the weight, I’m ending the month slightly heavier than I started. Disappointing.

Anyway, with a house move in March and me deciding to take more exercise, hopefully the downward trend can continue without any more blips. Tune in at the end of March for the next update.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.