Adventures in Weight Loss!

Archive for December, 2013


Saturday, December 14th, 2013


S – 1200 kcal consumed, 0 miles walked, 200 kcal exercised:  0 pts

S – 950 kcal consumed, 0 miles walked, 0 kcal exercised: 0 pts

M – 800 kcal consumed, 1 miles walked, 0 kcal exercised: 10 pts

T – 480 kcal consumed, 0 miles walked, 0 kcal exercised: 50 pts

W – 990 kcal consumed, 2 miles walked, 0 kcal exercised: 20 pts

T – 1000 kcal consumed, 2 miles walked, 0 kcal exercised: 20 pts

Last week’s weight: 102.8 kg

This week’s weight: 100.2 kg

Weight difference: -2.6 kg (+25 pts)

Total ponts: +125


Now that’s a bit more like it! Although, I must admit, I reckon the bulk of the weight loss this week occurred due to Tuesday’s illness, where I slept for most of the day and wasn’t really all that interested in eating…

I’ve had some really great support and my mates over the last few weeks, and a good number of them have contributed by way of advice. It seems that a lot of people have set themselves on the course to weight loss at some point in their lives, and a greater number still are keen on keeping themselves fit and healthy. Who says Scotland has a health problem?

One interesting thing I’ve noticed is the great emphasis placed on exercise – Some have even gone so far as to suggest that dieting is not as important as increasing the amount of exercise that one does. I’d like to address this one first off; While exercise is vital in boosting the body’s metabolism, it’s not necessarily the most effective method of losing weight on its own. The body is startlingly efficient in the way it extracts energy from its stores; it’s why we don’t collapse in shock at the end of a long day of hiking across hills having depleted our energy reserves.  It is for this reason that, in order to achieve any meaningful weight loss via exercise alone, a prodigious amount of time must be spent expending energy.

There are, of course, some suggestions that lean almost entirely the other way. Some have proposed diets of limited types of food, or the removal of specific foods from the dieter’s intake. This sort of thing must be managed exceptionally  carefully. If one were to suddenly simply stop eating and rely on burning their fat reserves to provide energy, they would find themselves malnourished incredibly quickly, as they lacked the regular intake of vitamins and essential materials the body needs to maintain and repair itself. Indeed, if someone were planning on embarking on such a diet, I would be advising them to ensure that they are eating sufficient alternative sources of their vitamins and nutrients, and to monitor their health to make sure that they were getting enough of the right stuff.

Of course, the crux of the matter here is that different diets work best for different kinds of people. For people as driven as my sporty friends, an exercise-rich regime is perfect. It delivers the physical challenge they crave, and allows them to spend time refining a skill without them feeling as much of the obligation to ‘starve’ themselves. For people concerned about the quality of the food that they are putting into their body, the restricted diet style allows them to control their intake. By limiting consumption of the ingredients that act counter to the goal of weight-loss, people on restricted diets  can achieve weight loss and healthy living through careful monitoring.

For me, I believe sitting somewhere around the middle is best. I’m sure many readers of this blog also read my comic. those who do will know exactly how little time I have, as I’m always writing, drawing, or otherwise storytelling in some capacity. As a result, I have precious little time to devote to an intense exercise regime. However, I understand the benefit of regular exercise, and strive to keep up a moderate programme of exercise. Diet-wise, I’ve chosen to go with controlling my calorie-intake. This allows me to keep to my own tastes, and permits me to curtail much of the cravings by satisfying them in a way that is manageable to me.

I’ll be the first to admit that my method of ‘eating less and exercising a bit more’ is not exactly the most sophisticated, nor is it the quickest on earth. What I’d like to do is take on the fantastic advice that’s been given to me and integrate it into my own, personal plan. What I’d quite like to do is change up the type of exercise I’m doing from time to time, so that I’m getting some variety. I’d like to identify if there’s anything that I can cut out of my diet that’s obviously hindering my chances of succeeding in my goal.

So, hopefully people reading this understand a little better now why I’ve picked the plan I’ve chosen. I need something time-efficient, that does not necessarily deliver spectacular short-term results but is, in fact, a plan for the long-run.

Keep the support and advice coming in, guys! It’s all appreciated!


‘Tis the Season for Slippage!

Saturday, December 7th, 2013


S – 2500 kcal consumed, 1 mile walked, 0 kcal exercised:  -140 pts

S – 1500 kcal consumed, 0 miles walked, 200 kcal exercised: -30 pts

M – 700 kcal consumed, 2 miles walked, 0 kcal exercised: 50 pts

T – 950 kcal consumed, 2 miles walked, 0 kcal exercised: 20 pts

W – 1000 kcal consumed, 2 miles walked, 100 kcal exercised: 30 pts

T – 2000 kcal consumed, 1 mile walked, 0 kcal exercised: -90 pts

Last week’s weight: 101.7 kg

This week’s weight: 102.8 kg

Weight difference: +1.1 kg (-25 pts)

Total ponts: -185

‘Tis the season for slippage.

We're all only human!

Nooo, come back, weight loss!

Wow, just look at those figures. Doesn’t look good, does it? Well, no, it’s definitely a setback and I could be doing better. But is it the end of the world? Most certainly not, and in today’s article, I’ll be talking about how I’m coping with slips like this.

December is probably one of the most difficult months in any slimmer’s diary. Work nights out, Christmas dinners and family gatherings all present challenges to be overcome. The challenges come in two main forms: Firstly and most obviously, is the temptation aspect. It’s very, VERY easy to justify fitting a little bit more in than you should ‘because it’s a one-off’, or having something just because it’s there and it’d be a shame to waste it. Secondly, there are some instances where, as one of my colleagues put it, there is a ‘social obligation’ to join in and eat. I’m not exactly the most socially conformist of people, but I understand fully the idea behind this. Sometimes, you’re expected to eat hearty and make merry, because it would be considered highly rude not to. I mean, I’m sure most (if not all) dieters have been acutely aware at some point or another of being ‘that person’ who eats a comparatively tiny amount at the table, either becoming uncomfortable themselves or inducing guilt in their companions.

It sounds like I’m justifying breaking my diet. I can assure you that I’m not;  I do feel a bit disappointed in myself that I didn’t stick to the diet properly this week. Just because I didn’t, however, doesn’t mean I couldn’t. Breaking down the ‘anomalies’: Saturday I met with my parents, and we revisited a restaurant we had fond memories of from when I was a child – to avoid joining in there would have reduced the emotional impact of the meeting, I feel. Thursday was the Employee Roadshow, and so much free food was had – refusal here would have been easier than with my parents, admittedly, but would almost certainly have set me apart from my colleagues (that, and it probably would have revolved around eating salad and salad only, blecch). Sunday was probably the day that was most indulgent – I had no excuse to justify my overeating, so I will say only this: Go to the Little Italy deli in York, sample some of their mortadella and their salami Milano, and tell me you wouldn’t be just a little tempted to do the same!

The important part is not, of course how one justifies skipping one’s diet on oneself. The key lies in the way in which you deal with your slippage. There are two main ways to view it:

-          “I slipped up, and I’m going to have to really ratchet up the diet for the next few days to make up for it”: You can see I tried this on Monday. And then, by Tuesday, had given up on that approach and had gone back to my normal regimen. If you were on a less stringent daily calorie target than I am, I can see this approach potentially working, but you have to bear in mind that if you increase the aggressiveness of your diet, you will wear yourself out in both body and in willpower much more quickly.

-          “I slipped up, and it’s going to take me a bit longer to achieve my target weight if I stick to the same plan as before.”: This is the approach I favour, as I feel it’s more sustainable. While it does delay you on your journey to slimming down, it makes sure that you’re still healthy and energetic enough to get through each day. Remember, there’s absolutely no need to lose weight rapidly – to do so runs the risk of putting your body into shock, and shows a lack of the kind of patience that’s required to succeed in this task. Weight loss should be done in a gradual and healthy manner, so as to encourage the loss to stick.

So, to sum, I think the key thing that I’ve found helpful in dealing with slip-ups in the slimming plan is this: Don’t panic! Enjoy yourself, and just remember that you can hit that target the next week. As long as you realise that this season of overeating is only temporary and can instil in yourself a sense of discipline for when you’re not being tempted to devour everything in sight (except Brussels sprouts, for obvious reasons), you’ll catch up on your diet in time!