De-lardification. Milestone: 20 percent of my initial body weight gone… more to come?

Well, the fry-up was bloody fantastic. Here’s a pic.

This was my reward for getting under 120kg. There’s a few milestones in that.

One is having lost 30kg – 20 per cent of my initial body weight (150kg in October 2019, which meant I was morbidly obese). Apparently losing 20% of your body weight is an unrealistic target, outside of bariatric surgery.

(I am glad I did not know that when I set out, or else I would have been like that smart chick in the Looney Tunes cartoon who doesn’t fall until they read the laws of Gravity. #IgnoranceIsStrength).

A second is 66 pounds (I have a party planned for when I have shifted 100 pounds)

A third was getting under 19 stone.

All of this has happened for the following reasons

At my wife’s suggestion (god, the cliches/stereotypes in that) I had been to the quack in October 2019 and been, ah, surprised when I stepped on the scales, and alarmed at my BP, which has always been a little at the high end of normal, but was now, well, higher. Turns out I was not immune to the laws of biology after all. Who knew? So I began going to the gym, and being a little bit more sensible in my eating. And the weight began to come off, but not hugely quickly – 17kg in 11 months.

Then I had gotten VERY fed up with myself for putting on 7 to 9kg while in Australia. For once, rather than blaming other people for my own behaviour, I managed to channel that frustration/self-recrimination into

  • Much less alcohol (though this will reverse when the Sandbar reopens, obvs)
  • Much less cheese (on toast, on pizza etc)
  • Zero ice creams (I’m like Odysseus with the Sirens when the ice cream van comes around)
  • A hell of a lot of walking – mostly around Alexandra Park, with 30kgs of weight on me – a 10kg weighted jacket (mostly copper coins, since you ask) and 20kgs in a backpack (bricks and weights).
  • Some upper body stuff (not enough), mostly at an outdoor gym nearby.
  • A very supportive and encouraging Dr Wife (see above)
  • A spreadsheet to track most of the above.

With regards purely to weight, which is a subset of fitness, there are two aims from here.

Firstly, maintain the current tempo of weight loss for as many of the next 4 months as I can, so I can get under the “magical” 100kg by the end of July (but there may be slippage). This would still leave me overweight on both the old BMI and the new BMI, but so damned what. I have very broad shoulders so a) that’s the reason and b) I can take it.

Secondly, get myself set up so that I have a good shot at doing something that few folks do – which is keeping the damned weight off in the longer term (so, a year after I get to 100kg, I want to be able to step on the scales and be no more than 105kg (ideally 100k, obvs), and never have gone back above 110kg.)

Here’s an outline of the plans for meeting those aims in the coming months. If you have experience of weight loss, or professional knowledge, please do tell me where I am being stupid/over-ambitious/ignorant. Email is marcmywords@gmail.com

Ongoing weight loss

I need to accept that this is going to get trickier, because as I get fitter and lighter, the same efforts (esp yomps) will mean less of a calorie burn. As summer comes, I will probably sweat out more, which will give me a false sense of accomplishment. So,

need to focus not on the dehydrated weight, but what it is afterwards (though the rewards are still on the table for the dehydrated weight, at least for now).

need to think about how to increase the calorie burn, either from

i) more weight on me (in the weighted jacket, in the backpack), while not being silly at putting my joints at risk – though of course, when I have all the weight on me now, that only takes me back to October 2019!)

ii) more distance (not sure this is a good idea – 23 kilometre yomps are about as far as I should go – see joints issue)

iii) more speed (faster walking with the same weight?)

iv) mixing it up with some running (but need to do warm-ups, stretches so my hamstrings don’t “betray” me as they did in February)

v) increasing basal metabolic rate by sleeping outdoors naked or putting on some muscle (the latter seems safer)

need to think about further regulating calorie intake

i) being even stricter on alcohol etc – but I don’t want to give myself an eating disorder, and I also don’t want to forego the occasional glass of wine/beer brewed by a friend. I will do this if I have to in order to get to 100kg, but I think that puts me at higher risk of the dreaded bounce back down the line (resentment, reward-thinking, general unsustainability. And look, I am going to be dead a very long time, and while I am here, Cocker Protocol applies).

ii) thinking about the long-term triggers and phenomenological stuff (what different kinds of food “mean” to me, when, under what circumstances).

need to think about how to record this above stuff. I didn’t do weekly blogs because I wasn’t sure how long this would go on for. I am still not sure how long it will go on for, obviously. But it seems that there is 20kg to be lost (13.3% of my initial body weight) and I am confident that I can get there. So blogging it will

  • help me from getting smug/plateauing,
  • force me to innovate when the old ways ain’t working, and
  • get me writing about the reading I do – which helps embed it…

Big picture – if it turns out the tempo of weight loss of the last few months can’t be maintained, then so what? Better to get “there” in October instead of August and be more likely – for physiological and psychological reasons – to stay there or thereabouts than do the classic rapid loss, almost-as-rapid regain.

Preparation for Weight loss maintenance

I’ve done some reading (but not of the physiology stuff so much yet), in part thanks to a kind academic/clinician who shared some recently published stuff (Thnx Dr Vallis). Short-version. There are no magic bullets/no surprises. This below looks “fun”.

Long-term, it seems that if you want to keep the lard off (I do)

a) Scales don’t lie. You’re committing yourself to regular (weekly?) weighing and record-keeping for years

b) Physical exercise (which helps you with the endorphins, anyway).

c) Get to know what sets you off, get to know your environment, maintain the support networks that helped you get there.

d) Maintain any good habits/new relationships with food.

Why am I doing all this when I am pretty sure shit is going to fall apart in the next 10 to 15 years? Because

a) I could be wrong about that timeline, and in any case,

b) cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stroke etc are no fun at all, and if I can take sensible steps (blah blah internal locus of control blah blah) to lower the likelihood of ending up in the clutches of the medical establishment/”Big Pharma” (except the bits we like, obvs- #jabbed) then I would be a total bloody idiot not to.

I don’t like being a total bloody idiot. I’ve been doing it that way on many things. It doesn’t help other people, it doesn’t help me. Screw it.

Above all (god, will I NEVER shut up?) I intend to do a weekly blog post until I can get on the scales and have them say 99.9kg. The weekly blog post will cover

a) my weight

b) my exercise in the previous week, esp any innovations/changes because weight loss hasn’t been “on target” (but of course, my expectations may clash with, er, reality.

c) my BP and heart rate

d) my reading about the physiology of weight loss maintenance (waves at friendly academics, GoogleScholar) so I can educate myself about the hypothalamus, leptins, insulin and all the rest of the fun hormonal soup.

e) stuff about how we measure all this anyway (old BMI and Quetelet, new BMI, “obesity”, “obesogenic environments”

“Whoop.”

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