Week Two – “Roger Black!”

Although I managed to lose a further 2lbs this week, I had a huge blip in my diet caused by a 150g bag of “Oh My Guru” spicy tomato flavoured crinkle cut crisps. I opened a bag, sprinkled some on a grilled chicken sandwich for lunch and became so addicted to the taste that I had to have some more crisps separately. The back of the packet does say it will leave you craving more and, ‘Oh My Guru’, it was correct. I felt guilty for devouring half the bag without even noticing it was happening. My taste buds were indeed tantalised, and I now realise that it is possible to be both happy and sad all at the same time!

Despite the aforementioned crisp eating failure, I have managed to avoid chocolate and biscuits completely. I do find this particularly difficult as I had become practised in the art of devouring chocolatey treats both after and in between meals. Temptation exists at every turn as we still have lashings of surplus delicacies following Christmas and New Year. Phenomenal mental willpower is required to pretend that this lot does not exist.

new-year-chocolate
“Temptation”

I was telling my elderly dog while out on a walk about how hungry I was. I actually don’t know why I talk to her; even if she could understand English, she is as deaf as a post.

As I mentioned in my first blog entry, part two of my dieting regime involves exercise using a treadmill I have in the garage. It has not been used for a year, so the first task was to remove all the contents from what had effectively become a low-level shelf. I was knackered after this process and had to leave it an extra day before firing it up. Once the dust had settled (literally), I was able to walk for 30 minutes at a decent pace. The treadmill is a Roger Black brand; he was an accomplished 400m Olympic athlete back in the day. In the middle of my brisk walk I decided to run for 400m; no more and no less; if it was far enough for Roger Black it is far enough for me. The treadmill was originally for Angela who used to take part in a series of 10K runs, she has visited her lawyer to ensure I pay rent for the privilege of half-killing myself. The contracts are in the post.

Continue to Week Three – “Fat Club.”

Week One – “Anorak Man.”

In terms of surviving, week one has been a success; I am still alive, I’ve lost 4lbs and have not yet succumbed to malnutrition. The most noticeable effect throughout the week has been the fact that my stomach rumbles at 3.4 on the Richter scale. A tsunami warning was issued by the Met Office just off the coast of Scarborough. At one point, my stomach rumbled, and the sound can only be described as an ancient dragon choking on its own vomit. Right there is an example of how dieting can sink the mind into the depths of depravity.

A few years ago, the incident that caused me to start my diet was when my lovely wife, Angela, put her arms around me and tapped my fat stomach twice before walking off. There were no words, no look of disgust and no obvious indication that I should do something about it, but that simple act was the only encouragement I needed. There was no such compelling event last year, and none were forthcoming this year. It leads me to believe that either she has accepted my bulkiness for what it is or she has taken a liking to the rather rotund gentleman. I suspect neither of those is true and that she’s just being polite. I have therefore come to the conclusion that I need to incentivise myself. Upon passing the full-length mirror in my bedroom, I turn myself sideways and marvel in wonderment at my circular profile. For years it has been instinct to ‘hold it in’ but now I avoid this underhand deed so that I can be truly disgusted with myself.

fat-stewart

While on a night out with Angela – who, by the way, is the shape of a twig in comparison – she said that the word “diet” is a very negative word and shouldn’t be used. The act of dieting is something that no one looks forward to so how can anyone on a diet expect to adopt a positive outlook on life? I said, “What should we call it then?” She said we should just call it “Reduced portions, healthy eating and plenty of exercise”. Yes, that slips right off the tongue, doesn’t it? She ended the discussion by saying I should aim to change myself from ‘Anorak Man’ to ‘T-shirt Man’. I reckon, even though I am against setting myself unachievable targets, the statement sums it up very nicely. I do however like my anorak.

As a whole side topic, in my previous post, I mentioned about a treadmill “gathering dust”. I love that phrase, it reminded me of when my daughter moved into her new flat, and I said that if she wanted one, I had a spare vacuum cleaner in the loft which was” gathering dust”. Well, I thought it was funny, but for the reaction I received, I might as well have been talking to a garden gnome.

Continue to Week Two – “Roger Black!”

Diet Blog 2017

Background

It is that time of year again when the yo-yo dieter needs to start reeling in the string again. The yo-yo is currently extended further than it has ever been extended before. If you were to plot my weight history in a chart it would look like a sound wave; it takes about ten weeks to lighten the load and the rest of the year to put it all back on again… plus a bit! In previous years, my diet has been an annual event starting in early January, but last year I simply couldn’t be bothered. This resulted in me being in the heavyweight category should I ever to don a pair of boxing gloves.

weight-wave

Let’s suppose for the sake of argument that my current weight measured after the Christmas and New Year festivities is 16 stone 2 pounds – it’s not, but “for the sake of argument.” I remember around ten years ago being around 14 stone 3 lbs and said to myself at that time if I ever get heavier than 14½ stones, then I would instantly start a diet no matter what time of year it was. Over the following years, that upper limit became 15 stones and then 15½ stones and last year it became 16 when I was safe in the knowledge that would never happen. Of course, I’m not actually 16 stones… I’m only using the figure “for the sake of argument.”

I am a weak man. I love my food too much and, like so many people in my position, I dare say that if you love something, then you simply can’t get enough of it. If my plate contains something particularly scrumptious, then it is a matter of good manners and a desire to avoid waste that ensures no food is to be scraped off that plate. This behaviour probably stems from my parents who were brought up in a time when you didn’t waste a single thing. I also think back to that famous Pink Floyd line, “How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat?”

Dieting takes a lot of willpower. I have found in the past that to be successful it has been necessary to cut the amount of required willpower using some or all of the following techniques:

  • Potato crisps are one of my favourite things in the whole world. If they are not in the cupboard, then they can’t be eaten.
  • Chocolate biscuits and boiled sweets, ditto.
  • Drink water during the day.
  • Reduce alcohol consumption; I don’t drink vast quantities of alcohol anyway, but I prefer the taste of stronger beers so during periods of dieting I go for the weaker ones.
  • Most importantly, accepting that it’s hard for me to leave an empty plate, I must start reducing the portion sizes. It psychologically helps me to use physically smaller plates.

There are many diets out there which purport to be the best. I have however found that the only way to lose weight that works for me is quite simple; I call it the “Stop-Eating-So-Bloody-Much” diet. Reduce portion sizes, eliminate snacks between meals and yet continue to eat the type of food I like to avoid getting too depressed about the whole situation.

Food intake is only one part of the equation; without attempting to state the obvious, the other is exercise. I am an overweight man in his 50’s and it goes without saying that physical activity has slowly become a thing of the past. As a young man I had a large appetite, but counteracted that by playing a lot of sport, so weight gain was never an issue. As the years went by, my appetite remained, but the sporting activity side of the equation faded away; the result is a 16 stone 2 pounds (“for the sake of argument”) mass of blubber. Walking my dog used to give me a decent workout but unfortunately, Becky is now a pensioner. Our walks have now degenerated into leisurely strolls where the most strenuous activity involves bending over to pick up her redundant matter.

Sporting injuries and time have also taken their toll on my body with dodgy knees, cartilages that pop out from time to time, a touch of rheumatoid arthritis, a trapped nerve in my shoulder and the occasional bit of back pain. The last of these is probably a direct consequence of the fact that I’m overweight meaning I potentially find myself in a Catch-22 situation – the extra pounds cause a backache which in turn makes it difficult to exercise and therefore lose those extra pounds. There is a treadmill in my garage which is currently gathering dust. After a week of reduced food intake, my intention is to fire it up again and attempt to (a) not break it and (b) not kill myself. To quote lyrics from another famous track, “I think I’m gonna be sad, I think it’s today, yeah” <Ticket to Ride, the Beatles>.

Only time will tell if I will be successful and to what extent but one thing is for certain, I cannot expect to live a healthy life weighing 16 stone 2 pounds… “for the sake of argument”.

Continue to Week One – “Anorak Man.”