Progress Report – Week 52

It’s a whole year that I’ve been wittering away on this blog now so it is time to reflect on how things went…

Weight loss

Well, it has obviously been a less successful year than I’d hoped for. I got off to a very good start in January and February 2009, but then I lost my way. I lost weight when I laid off the beer, and stopped losing weight when I was drinking quite a lot of it. When I got ill, stopped exercising and carried on consuming too much alcohol, I put weight back on. For me, it is very straightforward. I know what to do to lose weight, and I’ve done it enough times to see how easy it can be provided that I have the right attitude, set myself some sensible goals and stick to them. For me, being fat is not really a physical problem, it’s an emotional/mental one. When I get my head right, my body follows meekly behind.

So, why does my attitude change for the worse every time that I lose weight? I think that there are three problems that I need to address:

  • I have been relying on embarrassment to motivate me. When I reach a certain level of obesity, I find it humiliating and have a strong urge to do something about it. The trouble is that I only have to lose about 12 pounds and then I stop feeling embarrassed, despite still being fat; I’m just not that fat!
  • I am very good at avoiding temptation when I really resolve to do so. Unfortunately, after a while I start to feel a bit resentful at not being able to enjoy the same pleasures as other people and eventually I decide to have a bit of a binge. I’d be much better off accepting a lower rate of weight loss and sticking to it. That would allow me to have a few more treats a week, and would reduce my tendency to ‘yo yo’.
  • I self-medicate with alcohol. I have a couple of major issues in my life which trouble me greatly, and beer helps me relax and forget about them. It doesn’t solve anything of course – the problems are still there the next day. It would be much better for me to get on my bike and go and do one of my hilly hundred mile rides. I never have the energy to stay up late watching TV and drinking after one of them. And of course, I’d be more likely to tackle my problems the next day when I wasn’t bleary-eyed and hungover…
  • What’s the net weight loss for 2009? I peaked at about 18 pounds loss which I maintained for quite a while but then I got ill, the weather turned nasty, and Christmas and New Year celebrations came along in quick succession and the weight inevitably started going back on. It happens every year and I don’t think I’ll ever stop that as long as I live in the north of England. If I wintered somewhere warm and sunny, that would be a different thing. I’d be out on my bike most days and wouldn’t suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. If only I could afford to take my bike to somewhere like southern Spain from November to March!

    I’ve had problems with my scales, but have decided to stick with them because I can’t afford to get a pair which are guaranteed to be more accurate than them. I’ll be averaging the daily readings once a week and hopefully most of the random inaccuracies will be averaged out. I don’t have data for the past week, so I’ll just take today’s reading and work from that – 15 stone 2 pounds (212 pounds, 96.2 kg). It means that I only managed to keep 10.7 pounds off from last year’s peak (4.8 kg).

    I’m starting from a better position than last year – let’s see how much better I can do!

    Health , Exercise and Fitness

    I had two illnesses totalling about 5 weeks which is a lot for me. I would usually only catch one cold a year, lasting about a week. I think one of the bugs might have been Swine Flu since the symptoms were different to anything I’d ever had before and it was about the time that it was sweeping across the UK. They were not particularly bad illnesses, but they dragged on for weeks and took their toll on me psychologically and physically. I had to cancel some big bike rides that I’d been looking forward to doing, lost fitness and gained weight.

    The summer weather was once again disappointing in the UK. It really didn’t help me get out of the house as often as I’d have liked. I did manage to get some good rides in at other times. I also did more walking than I’ve ever done before. I’ve enjoyed writing about those walks and rides, but I never got round to writing detailed routes for other people to follow. Maybe I’ll do that this year?

    My fitness was at a reasonable, though not spectacular level. I was 53 last year and had plenty of energy for the local hills. Most middle-aged men in the UK would struggle with what I did, so perhaps I shouldn’t be too disappointed with myself. I spent a lot of time riding with people I’ve met via the CycleChat forum and we had some good times. There will be plenty more of that this year.

    Summary

    2009 had some enjoyable highlights, though rather too many disappointments but I’m not going to dwell on what might have been. There is plenty of flab left to lose but I am still determined to become slimmer and fitter. There are great rides and walks to tackle in this new year of 2010 – bring it on!

    To my cycling and walking pals – join me again this year for more fun times on the hills of northern England. :-)

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    2 Responses to “Progress Report – Week 52”

    1. Very honest appraisal Colin, dont beat yourself up though you have done brilliantly, just count how many bike rides and walks you have been on since your blog started !!!

    2. Well, I do feel a lot better than I did this time last year so as long as I start to make progress again now I should be okay.

      Don’t forget to pick that new bike up when the weather improves – I’m going to organise a Sunday ride out to the cafe in Waddington as soon as it does and you’d be welcome to join us!

      Incidentally, those scales are getting worse – today’s readings averaged 15 st 2 lbs but varied between 14 st 10 lbs and 15 st 5 lbs over the course of 2 minutes which is just ridiculous! I’m going to try new batteries in them but if that doesn’t improve matters I will have to get rid of them after all.

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