Friday, 30 September 2011

The Great Challenge - how long can I last?

About a year ago I watched a television series called Thintervention. It was your basic lose weight through exercise and diet programme with a few differences. First, the people trying to lose weight weren't very heavy. Overweight and obese, yes. But not in Biggest Loser category of size. Secondly, it used 'real world' situations, or at least as much as they could find. Take about a dozen people, train them for 6 weeks on diet and exercise, then leave them alone for another 6 weeks, and see how they did.

I learnt two things from this programme. First, there isn't a linear relationship between weight and how fast you lose. It's actually a square relationship, which means that if you weigh double, you can lose weight 4 times as fast. If you weigh 10 percent heavier than someone else, you could expect to lose 20 percent more than them.

I also found out the mythical equation for how fast you can reasonably expect to lose weight. If you go as hard as you can, but you're not staying somewhere where exercise is your only activity. Here's how you calculate it: take your weight in kilograms (say, 90kg). Divide that number by 60 (1.5). That's the percentage you can expect to lose per week (1.5% of 90kg is 1.35kg). Of course, as you get thinner, the percentage drops.

You can read my post about the show here.

So what is this great challenge I hear you asking? I've decided to see how long I can last losing weight at the rate that the Thintervention people were able to. Starting today. I'll be concentrating on exercise and totally accurate eating for as long as I can manage. I don't expect to be able to continue until I reach goal, I guess it could happen, but I'd say it's not likely.

One reason why I wasn't able to do this until now is that for me, whenever I do significant exercise, I need sleep (or at least a lie down) immediately afterwards. Living with Becky made this rather tricky and not worth the hassle or trying to get her out of the bedroom for 2-3 hours. Now that I'm living on my own, coming home and needing a rest isn't going to be a big deal the way it would have been before.

Today I weigh 82.3kg. I'll go for a walk tonight, which will be the start of the exercise. I'll have my usual coffee and slice as a send off, I always do this so please don't try to convince me otherwise! I'll be joining the gym on Wednesday.

So what progress can I expect?
After 10 days I'd be 80.7kg
After 30 days 77.6kg
After 2 months 73.5kg
I'd reach goal in 124 days

Like I said, I don't expect to reach goal using this method. I'll crash and burn sometime earlier. The experiment is not to see whether I can reach goal. It's to see how long I can manage.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Third week in a row of losing...

Okay, I accept that it's not the greatest achievement (especially with the fact that recently I lost 18 weeks in a row) but I have pleasure in saying that I have managed to steer the weight loss boat around and I'm consistently losing now. Today I'm 82.5kg, having lost 600g in the last week and 900g the week before that. I currently weigh the same as what I did back in March. Yes, the breakup has delayed my reaching goal by about 6 months. That's pretty bad but I accept it as things can get in the way of weight loss. 9 years ago I lost weight while watching two loved ones die of illness, something I still can't believe I did, but when it comes to dating related issues, it's all a bit too much.

How did I go in my challenge? Not that great. I didn't log all my eating, there was some Coke, some coffee and slices, and a few other things. Yesterday I had a chocolate bar. I was at work and debating in my head whether to have some Coke, so instead of going to the drink machine and continuing with that addiction, I went and bought a bar of chocolate. I've found it successful at eliminating caffeine cravings. It's better to have something fattening now rather than suffer again with the caffeine addiction. They were also passing around some small chocolate bites. I had one. However, the woman who sits opposite me declined the offer as the supervisor went around passing them out. She's been losing weight, I can tell because she usually wears something tight fitting. I guess the challenge for me is to decline or give away chocolate bites that are passed around. I've done it before, and I can do it again.

Exercise: I didn't do any. I guess I should have, but I just didn't have it in me. This week, I'm planning on walking a bit. I want to lose at least 700g a week, and that will require me to do some form of exercise.

So all in all, I'm pleased with how this week has turned out. It hasn't been ideal, but in my experience, weight loss never is.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

New challenge

I'm joining a new challenge that's starting in the next few days, it's called "Give Yourself The Best Gift" and what I like about it is the length - 3 1/2 months, from now until the end of the year. Who knows what weight I'll be then! I may sound a bit skeptical about my weight loss. That's because I have believed that I'll be some weight in the next 3 1/2 months so many times in the last 11 years since being at goal weight.

Anyway, about the challenge. You need to provide a statement, about what you'd like to achieve at the end of the challenge, and mine is:

My gift to myself (New Year's Eve gift) is to know that in the 3 1/2 months, I have done as much as possible to lose weight, survived any emotional or physical challenges that I've come across, and still was able to control my eating/reasonably exercise when those challenges (and they're bound to happen!) came along. That I can look back at this period and be proud of what I've achieved.

Also, we're (challengers) required to make a list of 7 things that we can use to achieve this. My 7 things are:

  • At the start of each day, plan my day with losing weight to be one of the most important things to achieve for that day

  • Write down what I eat if it is not on my 'list', writing that on my blog

  • Exercise as often as time and energy permits

  • Get quality sleep. That means going to bed at the usual time, rather than staying up late

  • Ensure that I have at least one full day of food at home, so I don't run out of anything

  • If/when something that starts to derail things, step back and analyse the situation. Work out what's going on. Find a suitable solution.

  • If I lose my weight loss mojo, instigate Recovering Mojo Plan (I haven't worked out what that entails yet!).

What I want to achieve is somewhere between the minimum and the maximum.

Minimum: lose weight every week while on the challenge, even if that is hardly anything

Maximum: reach the final stage of my weight loss journey: the 1kg a month line to goal I wrote about last post. The point at which I slow down my weight loss to 1kg a month, in preparation for reaching goal weight on 1st July next year. Theoretically possible.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

First week of losing...

I have gained quite a bit recently, the stress of the ending of my relationship with Becky (we hardly ever spoke for the 3 weeks between telling her I wanted to be single and then it happening), adjusting to the changes of living alone, then money worries where I had maybe 20 dollars to last 3-4 days (when I run out of money, I always spend what I've got on crap food - I guess some sort of evolved reaction to famine, and a possible reason why poor people are more likely to be overweight). So it was a bit of a weight loss disaster all around.

Thankfully, it has all stopped. Stress is over, indulgent eating has stopped.

In terms of weekly weight, Mondays weigh-in was the first week that I lost, I lost 0.7kg, making me 84.0kg. So I'm really back to what I was at the start of the year. I imagine that this whole recent gain will have put back my reaching goal by about 6 months, however I've changed my plans yet again.

When it comes to weight loss, I have a number of things helping me. One of those is the fact that I won't go overseas until I'm at goal weight. I'm definite about that, no exceptions. I'm thinking of going next July, which means that I have quite some time to reach goal. Originally the plan was to do the last 3kg in 3 months, reducing the chance of a reaching goal rebound. Now I'm thinking that I can just lose weight at whatever rate I can manage using diet and exercise, and when I hit the 1kg/month to goal line, I just slow down and cruise into goal on 1st July.

1st July. That's 2 years 10 months since I started this blog, and was at my heaviest. I would not have thought that it would have taken that long. Then again, I didn't expect to be single at the end. Looking at other weight loss blogs, it's kinda obvious that other people struggle too. I've only seen a few weight loss blogs where the person who started loses consistently and hits goal without having some sort of major rebound. Only about 10-15% of weight loss blogs reach goal by my estimation, a dreadfully low number and one hardly ever talked about.

So that's it. I'm pretty much sick of exercise, and when I do it, it makes me tired the whole day and I can't really achieve the other things I want to do in life. Weight loss has been high priority for so long, and I don't regret that, but I want to do other things too. By my estimation, I'll be hitting that 1kg/month line in about 4 months, which means 4 more months of exercise, then I'll still do exercise occasionally for muscle strength, but not for weight loss.