Sunday, 27 March 2011

6 months to goal

Last month, I predicted that at the current rate of losing weight, I would reach goal weight in 3 years. Things have changed, my eating style has changed, and right now, I'm 6 months away (25th September) from reaching goal, based on my loss in the previous month. I'm pretty pleased with that, I'm thinking maybe I'll reach goal weight by the second anniversary of starting this blog, and starting to lose weight, after being at my highest.

My body is changing. I'm starting to feel my hip bones again. Although that is nice, I'd like to see the fat around my stomach get smaller. Also I have these annoying clumps of fat on either side of my chest. They 'hang down' when I'm in bed, and get pulled down by my arm, which is uncomfortable. Sometimes I have to pull them back to their normal position. I don't recall having them in the past when I was this weight.

I'm getting used to my body, I've been this weight for 5 years, on and off. My weight records go back nearly 20 years so I know pretty much exactly how much I weighed for any date since 1993. The Piha holiday challenge is going great, which means no increases until the first of July. How am I doing this? Something a bit different. I've been burnt before, so I'll give it a bit more time before I tell everyone. Some people won't like it, but hey, if I'm losing weight, and I'm ok with it, then they should accept that.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Lowest weight in over 4 years

It's taken a while. Just over 18 months to be exact, but I'm pleased to say that it was over 4 years ago when I was last at this weight. I'm at 81.7kg, with 15.7kg to go. Back then, I was living alone (while dating Becky), and looking for work. I won't dwell on the reason why I put on all of the weight since then, it happened, and I've got to let it go. I get a reward meal whenever I want for achieving this, I doubt it will affect my weight, because I'll eat less afterwards, total effect maybe 1,000kj.

Because all of the public pools are still closed because of the earthquake, so I'm joining a private pool. I didn't even know that these existed in my city until a few months ago. It's probably the only pool open here, so it'll be really busy. It's either that or running though.

I am going to attempt (note the word 'attempt') to lose 1kg a week, starting today. Currently, my eating plan is going exceptionally well, I'm losing weight consistently (about half a kilogram a week), but I want to speed things up. The other half a kilogram a week would come from exercise. I'm also looking forward to being half way in losing weight, I'll feel like I've achieved quite a bit when that happens.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011


I remember why my weekly weigh-ins usually stopped after a few weeks or so. That's because I realised that because I don't post frequently, half of the blog would be weigh-ins. I think that would be a bit monotonous, so this will be the last weekly update. I'll be posting more often soon, because I'll be halfway, and I want to share significant milestones.

As it is, I'm doing quite well. I've been losing consistently for the last 2 1/2 weeks. Things have changed, I've started a new eating style, but I want to see how it goes before I tell everybody what it is. I'll post in a couple of months or so if it is successful. If you were to note from my blog all of my ideas, plans and challenges, the one consistent thing would be changing things. 3 months of this new eating plan and I'll definitely feel comfortable telling people.

I haven't been exercising. The pool is still closed due to the earthquake, and I dislike running. If it is still closed on Thursday, I'll join a private pool.

Weight: 82.2kg
loss in the last week 600g
loss in the last month 1.4kg
loss in the last year 6.9kg

So things are speeding up, but I feel like I've just been crawling before now.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Weekly weigh-in

I thought that it might be slightly interesting to post a weekly weigh-in. I've done this before, it didn't last long. This may stop at any time. I'll aim for Tuesday for no real reason.

This week I lost 300 grams.

Not a lot, but I haven't done any exercise. The pool is closed due to the earthquake, and will probably be out of action for weeks. That gives me walking or running as options. My eating, however, has been very good. It looks like the death toll for the earthquake will be less than expected, which is great news. Current guesstimate is around 200, with 166 bodies found so far. Amazingly, no people were killed in the ChristChurch cathedral, when the spire came down, and half the building collapsed (not the 20 I'd said). When the rescuers found out that there were no bodies, the feeling was 'surreal'.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Consistency is the key

Have a look at the graph above, which details my weight loss since I was the heaviest ever, and I started the blog. Study it closely. Notice anything about the green line?

It's bumpy.

A bump on a weight loss graph is when instead of losing weight, you start gaining. This means a few things. It means you've been eating more than you should. It means you're wasting time because you are headed in the wrong direction. It means you have to lose the weight you've just lost again, so you end up losing the weight twice (or in some cases, more than twice).

Can I stop with the bumps on my weight loss graph? Hopefully. It's all just wasted time. I want to get to goal, retrain my eating habits, then slowly let go of this interest in losing weight. Sure, I'll still maintain this blog, and continue reading other weight loss blogs, but I think that'll be it. No more weight loss forums. No more searching for weight loss buddies. No more reading endless magazine articles which seem merely rehashed versions of countless other articles I've read over the years. Almost back to an 'age of innocence'. A time before I started putting on weight. There was a time when I didn't know what BMI meant. Or BMR. Or that protein suppressed your appetite. I just ate and stopped when I'd had enough. My body regulated my weight perfectly. I don't expect that to happen, my mind now has to do the job. I just want to stop constantly thinking about losing weight.

Back to the topic. Consistency. How do I make myself more consistent? The graph above has about 30 bumps. Over a period of about 18 months, that's one every 2-3 weeks. I've been talking on and off here about going to Piha, where I had childhood holidays, as a reward.

My challenge is simple: lose weight for 120 days, without any bumps, and I will go to Piha next summer. Guaranteed (I'll start saving now). But there can't be any bumps in the next 120 days, even one of a few grams means I won't be going to Piha next summer.

Today is day 1. Day 120 will be 1st July. To show you what Piha is all about, have a look at this link:

In terms of the earthquake, things here are pretty bad still. 1 or 2 bodies a day are removed from the rubble. Some people are without water, electricity, or sewage. I'm not sure how much to write about it here, it depresses me whenever I think of it.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011


About 6 months ago my city, Christchurch had an earthquake. It was quite big, 7.1, but happened at night, so amazingly there were two serious injuries and zero deaths. There was significant damage, about NZ$6 billion. Most damage happened in the built-up commercial zone, with buildings built more than 30 years ago, and also many, many buildings made of brick. We've been getting aftershocks since then, thousands of them. The frequency of the aftershocks has slowly been reducing, although now and then we'd get something biggish (say 3 or 4).

Until last Tuesday, a week ago. There was quite a big aftershock about 9am. I went swimming, came home and was doing things at home. Then it hit. Although it was smaller than the September 4th earthquake at 6.3, it was only about 10km from the centre of Christchurch. The shaking at home was much more noticeable. Much more. The kitchen cupboards emptied themselves. Broken glass (thankfully not much though). My LCD television fell over. I knew that this was worse than the September one, and things may get seriously bad for my city.

I went outside and the ground was shaking/rumbling/moving continuously for a period of a few minutes. The worst was over though. I called my girlfriend, but the network was overloaded. I managed to send texts to her and my brother to see how big it was (he's living elsewhere and I had no electricity).

This happened just after noon. By about 4pm Becky had returned home (she'd been knocked off her feet walking into a supermarket when it happened, people were screaming, people were cut from falling glass containers). She told me that a neighbour was within metres from death - he'd been waiting at an automatic teller machine when an awning fell down, narrowly missing him but killing the person behind him. I wondered what the death toll would be...

Well, the death toll slowly increased. It has increased (people are still searching through rubble a week later) and is probably going to be around 240. This is unbelievable for a city of 400,000. Almost all deaths occurred in the central business district. 50,000 people worked there, so you had a 1 in 200 chance of dying if you were in the 'four avenues' area. If you were in one of 3 buildings when it hit, the chances of dying increased dramatically: the CTV building, where about 1/3 of the deaths occurred (a 6 story building that was one story high afterwards; the PGG building (I'm not sure of the death toll there), and the icon of Christchurch, the ChristChurch Cathedral in the middle of the city (about 20, presumably tourists died inside it).

The whole city, in fact the whole country was in shock. The last earthquake of this degree of devastation occurred 80 years ago. I got text messages from my family from around the country, as a lot of people here would have.

People often criticise governments in situations like this, but one thing I am glad that the New Zealand government did was ask for overseas help. Within 8 hours of the quake, an aircraft from Australia was taking off with rescue workers. Within a few days we had, or were about to get, Urban Search And Rescue workers from Australia, China, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and United States of America. If you are from one of these countries, thank you for your contribution to saving the lives of the people who live here.

Of course there were awful stories. A friend of a friend saw the CTV building collapse. People had to have limbs amputated to be removed. People who were in the wrong place in the wrong time died, whereas others nearby lived. Two buses had been damaged by falling buildings with multiple deaths of the occupants.

As a result, I am in a bit of a state of shock. Not a huge one, but you know the feeling you get when you find out that someone is terminally ill? Something like that. I'm handling it ok, but my mood could be better. We had no power, water, sewage, although we've got all those back now. There are huge piles of sand and dirt piled on some streets, due to the liquefaction that happened in many suburbs. I'll probably go back to work soon. I'll get over this, but it may take some time.

I don't want this to affect my losing weight. In fact, amazingly, it hasn't so far. I broke my plateau of 4 months yesterday (see the above graph), which means that I'm the lowest weight in about 1400 days. But I need to be careful.

I've had my birthday. Becky has had hers. The cake is gone. I'm going back to my planned eating.