Saturday, 27 February 2010

I give up, admit defeat

No, dear reader, I am not giving up my weight loss. I didn't sleep well last night, I was obsessing about the new plan of eating 8,500kJ each day. Would I still lose weight? Would I gain instead? Would I gain initially due to the increased weight of the food I was eating, then start to lose? How long would it take to have an definite answer? These questions kept of going through my head, so I had a large gap where I just couldn't get to sleep. I know it's the right choice though, I don't want to have problems losing because I'm eating too little, and I'm too scared to eat more because I don't want to put on weight.

As you may know, I decided that I wouldn't exercise in this weight loss, for two reasons. First, I wanted to prove that you didn't need to exercise to lose weight, and second, I've done it before (I lost 15kg in 2000). The first part is a bit of ego, if I were asked about how I did it, I could say that I did it without exercise.

Well, today I weighed myself, and I was 88.5kg. That's up 100g on yesterday, not a large amount up and nothing to worry about. I checked back on my spreadsheet to find out when I first reached 88.5kg since being at my maximum. 102 days ago. Although 1kg of the difference is because I was on low carb then, using the mythical 100g a day loss that I go on about, that means that I could be 9kg less than what I am. Effectively, I've wasted 3 months.

I have decided that due to wasting 3 months, and the fact that I don't really know when I'll be at goal (it could be this year, or it could be next year), I have decided to exercise. In addition, I've decided to go to a gym. That's something I haven't done before, so it's going to be a new experience for me. First though, I need to get fit, which will take about a month.

It's disappointing to have to come to this, but really, if I'm ever to get to goal, go on an overseas holiday, look for a new job (more on that in the future), I need to start exercising.

On Monday I start running, and I'll also stay at 8,500kJ while I'm running, unless there is a good reason to increase it.

Friday, 26 February 2010

Better safer than sorry...

After the whole birthday thing, I went to having 7,000kJ daily, and noticed (how could I not!) that my weight was dropping by about 700g a day. Of course, that's not fat, it's probably liquid and partially digested food. It did however, make me wonder whether I had chosen an energy value which was too low. I'd hate to start off with a value too low, then struggle and be hungry while I lose weight as my body fights to keep on the weight.

Because I am uncertain about what value is 'safe' and what value is 'unsafe', I decided to go for the safer option and have 8,500kJ a day. That's quite a difference, and I wouldn't be surprised to see a temporary increase in weight, but I'm curious what my body will do with it. Obviously, there are three options, lose, stay the same and increase. Given that it's been so long since I've been at goal weight, I'm prepared to invest the time and see how it goes.

I've calculated what my body should consume (both now, and at goal weight) to stay at a constant weight, but really, I'm skeptical. The reason for that is because if those values are out by say 10% in either direction, that has quite an effect on how fast you can lose weight. I'll just go with the 8,500kJ and see what happens. The main thing is that it's not going to mess with my metabolism, which is what I'm concerned about.

On a less positive note, I only managed 4 days without sugar, before I decided to go and get a coffee and slice. Becky's birthday is on Sunday, which means three days maximum before more sugar. How long can I go without sugar after that? As long as possible hopefully.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

An update and another non-weigh in

Anyone reading my blog in one or two sessions will notice that my methods are likely to change, and do so frequently. I'm not sure why that is, but again, it's the case today. First, how did my going off the sugar experiment go? 115 hours without sugar. That's less than I thought it would be, and given the negotiations in my head, I have to say that yes, I am addicted to sugar. After that experiment, a few days before my birthday I pretty much stopped trying to lose weight. This happens to me each year, so it's not unexpected. My birthday involved eating reasonably, and having some treats, but the birthday cake choice was either small or large, and since I wanted to share the cake with Becky, I chose the large size. I wish that birthday cakes came with nutritional information, but they don't, thankfully birthdays only come once a year.

After finishing the cake, it was time to get back into the weight loss game. Recently I've been reading dire stories about how people are screwing up their metabolism by eating far less than they should be. Could that happen to me? Who knows, but it's better to be safe than sorry, which is why I yet again change my weight loss methods.

Starting today I aim to eat 7,000kJ a day. This is just really a guesstimate about how much I should eat, I'd rather aim for too much than too little. I very much doubt that I will put on weight at that intake. One issue to consider is that although I am counting kilojoules and weighing stuff, there seems to be a difference in energy values of the food I'm eating depending on the source I look up. Usually this is within about 10% but even so, that's quite a bit. I'm hoping that it will all average out to zero but of course there is no guarantee that will happen.

I don't intend to post daily lists of how much and what I'm eating, but today I have eaten: peanuts, whey protein powder, mixed veges, tuna, apples, bananas, peas, carrots, olives and Special K. Generally speaking, the less energy dense the food, the more of it I'll eat ie I'll eat 243kj of peanuts and 1,300kJ of apples.

I know that I absolutely hate counting energy values of food, but given the recent slowdown of losing weight, I have one choice presented to me:

Start counting kilojoules or start exercising.

Given that I want to say that exercise is not necessary to my having lost the weight, I need to start counting.

On to the usual motivations that I have. On my birthday, we went to see Avatar, but it was sold out, so we went to see Shutter Island instead. It was ok, I've seen better films though. Yes, I am allowed to see a film on my birthday (and on Becky's birthday too), although I have no idea when I will be able to see a film based on the normal rules that I have. Yesterday, I was too scared to weigh myself (that starts tomorrow) so out goes a shirt. That means I've thrown out ten shirts! I didn't know I had so many. Because I have chosen to slow down my weight loss, by eating this amount of food, I've decided that I won't be throwing out any more shirts, so long as I stay at 7,000kJ. However, the other motivations (buying coffee from the supermarket, swimming, seeing a film) stay, I need to get below what I was the last time I did these.

I'm trying to see how long I can go again without sugar, the last time I had it was Sunday afternoon, so I'll post in a week to say how that went. I've given up on the trying to lose 100g a day, at least temporarily, because I have a fixed energy intake now, I can't really expect to lose at a certain rate when I am eating a certain amount. It will be interesting to see how much I lose, and from that, make inferences on how much energy my body is using. I'm guessing now that my body will be non-linear, in other words, if you were to do the calculations, you'd end up with lots of different values that didn't make sense.

Today being day 1 of the 7,000kJ trial, I have to say that I feel just a little bit hungry, although I seem to have been eating for a lot of the day. Generally speaking, I'm a grazer, I don't have specific meals (with the possible exception of breakfast).

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Back in the game

I seem to have shrugged off any issues with not being able to lose weight that I had, and now I'm counting kilojoules and staying between 5500 and 6000. Hunger is just noticeable but not having sweet things (the no sugar pledge is going well) is something that I miss quite a bit, but I wanted to see if I was addicted to sugar (it looks like I'm not).

On Monday I weighed in at 87.7kg, again more than I'd previously, so again one more shirt to be thrown out. I'm running out of shirts, but I don't see that as a particularly big problem.

I've been talking endlessly about how I am supposed to be able to lose 100g a day, but I have yet to actually prove it. So today I start, my new system is that I've got to lose 100g a day before I can see a film/buy coffee/go swimming. I've got both my own birthday on Saturday and Becky's 8 days later to deal with, I'm hoping that they will not be an issue for me.

So what happens if it's becoming obvious I can't do it? I'll drop it down to 95 grams a day loss, something that would delay reaching goal by about 2 weeks, nothing to worry about.

This whole thing has been a bit disappointing, the struggle that I've been through, I guess the answer is keep away from sugar, count kilojoules, and make sure that I go for a swim/see a film at least once a week.

Stay tuned.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Update and two week challenge

Yes, it's been a while. I weighed in at 87.6kg on Monday, which is 1kg higher than the lowest I've weighed in on a Monday, so again a shirt gets thrown away. In case you haven't noticed, I'm having a bit of difficulty with this losing weight thing. I'm sure I'll get there, but it's taking a while.

On a positive note, I bought some new jeans recently for $12! This has to be the lowest price for jeans I've bought in at least the last 20 years. They were really tight to put on for the first day, thankfully they've stretched somewhat due to wearing, and are easier to do up. Of course I've thrown out the old jeans.

In just over a week, I've got my birthday, and Becky's birthday eight days later. Because of this, and having watched a video recently on sugar addiction, I've challenged myself to do the following:

Go without sugar for the next 15 days except for a birthday cake, and the typical foods you have on your birthday
Count kilojoules
Aim for a maximum of 6,000kJ each day, except my birthday and the day after my birthday, when I'll finish off the birthday cake

As you may know, I've got a system where I'm allowed to see a film every 3 months. I've extended this to buying coffee from the supermarket and also going to have a swim, so I went for a swim and bought coffee on Wednesday, even though I'm not at a new low.

So all in all, this isn't the greatest update. But I'm getting there. Slowly.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Struggling (just a bit)

I seem to be a bit stuck in terms of losing weight, excepting the fact that I went from low carb to high carb (with a subsequent gain of about 1kg in a few days), I haven't really lost weight recently. Eating, or rather the excess of eating is the problem. From today I'm trying to properly get into the whole 6,000kJ each day. I'll have to seriously go without sugar, but I've done that before, a whole month in fact, so I know I can do it if I really want to.

I weighed myself today, now I'm doing a 40 day test to see if I can manage 100g a day loss. If I can, I'll aim for that rate until 71kg. If I can't, no problem, I'll start again and see if I can manage 90g a day. I've got both mine and Becky's birthdays in that 40 day period, hopefully it won't make much difference. Usually Christmas results in a gain (except last Christmas, I was extra good), but birthdays don't have the same effect.

It's a new month which means that I have now got, with my blog project a list of people who have lost weight for three successive months. Oh how I wish I'd done this a long time ago. One woman has lost an amazing 18 percent body weight! These are the people who I need for inspiration. When my list is whittled down to 10 (which will happen in two months I think) I'll hold it at that, and see how they all go. I'd say at least half will reach goal. Of course, from the original 270 blogs that I started off with, hopefully many others will reach goal eventually. More good news: I have proved that weight loss is not random! If you lose one month, the next month you are more than randomly likely to lose as well.

Yesterday I went to see The Lovely Bones. It was an ok film, nothing special. As you may know, I'm allowed to see one film every three months, even if I haven't reached a new minimum. I'll probably be allowed to see another film in a few weeks.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

An update and a non weigh in

For the last week, I have been visiting my father in another city. It's been an experience. I've always wondered about how much personal detail to put in the blog, reading other blogs, there is a lot of information which could be considered personal. Mine, not so much. I'll try to increase that amount somewhat.

The objective for the trip was to divide the household property. That house has been a part of the family for 35 years. We moved in when I was 10, I left when I was 21, I wasn't sure what would happen when my mother died 8 years ago, but my father (who is 85 this year) decided to stay. Now, as his health slowly gets worse, it has been decided that he'd stay at a flatette which has been built next to where my sister lives with her 10 year old son.

Any household that stays in one place slowly accumulates material. Over 35 years, that's quite a lot of furniture, numerous little ornaments, and a multitude of things that mean absolutely nothing to strangers but have a lot of memories attached to them. It's sad to say goodbye but it has to happen eventually, I'd rather it happened now rather than after my father dies.

Having a complete household with Becky, it really wasn't worth taking a lot of stuff that would have to compete with my current stuff in terms of room here. So my brother and sister had the majority of it, I got just two boxes: one full of aircraft books (which I enjoy reading about), the other of mounted photographs. Speaking of photographs, it was the culmination of about 100 hours of work in scanning the family photographs and putting the scans onto DVD for distribution.

I was really upset when my father decided to throw away all the negatives about 4 years ago. How could someone make such a stupid decision? I still don't understand it. However, I decided that we would go through all the photos and scan them, then actually write down who was in what photograph before there weren't any parents to tell us. That has been done, amazingly there are 2,000 scans. This includes such things as my brother's wedding (which none of the family went to because we were living on the other side of the world at the time - my parents didn't even meet his wife until about 9 months later) and trip to India 22 years ago. All in all, there's about 75 years of history there. Going through the photos, I learnt a few things: my mother could be considered attractive (I had never really thought she was, growing up); when I was a baby, we went overseas for 2 years then came back to the same house; and I had forgotten what my cat - that I'd gown up with looked like (there are only two photos of her).

Losing weight while there was difficult. My brother and his daughter were there as well, so I decided that I'd just try my best, and deal with the aftermath later when I got home. My brother didn't care that I was trying to lose weight, he offered me lots of junk - some of which I accepted, some of which I declined.

So I'm back home now, and having to deal with the inevitable weight gain. I've decided to not weigh myself until next Monday. I'm aiming for 6,000kJ a day, which is entirely achievable for a week. I know that avoiding weighing myself is entering a diet "danger zone", but I think for a week, it'll be fine. That means I forfeit a shirt, I can't buy coffee, nor go to see a film until I can prove I weigh less than what I weighed previous to each of those. I'm also resetting the whole relative to what weight I should be system (the green and red lines) early next week. I need to prove to myself that I can lose 100g a day before I start making it a requirement.