14by17 – 2016 summary

So, a summary.

Nearly 5 months ago I wrote the last post on my weight loss journey, and it was never really all that good. Despite my goal to be 14 stone by 2017, the exercise was not successful – instead, I put on weight every time I weighed myself, and I didn’t manage to follow through on eating healthily.

So, instead, I took a little time off. I went on holiday and wasn’t really the weight I wanted to be.

Then, I listened to the recommendations from family and went to Slimming World instead. And now, I have managed to drop nearly a stone from the weight I was in July – from 16 stone 3 pounds to 15 stone 4, and I’m on track. Weight keeps going down. I eat better, and less, and I move around more – more walking to locations, playing badminton once a week when I really work up a sweat, and more often than not turning down dessert and snacks.

When I do eat, I eat better – mostly – and the best thing Slimming World has taught me is that every time I eat crap, I have a price I have to pay. In Syns, as far as Slimming World is concerned, and in extra exercise for the day to day moving about.

Yes, Christmas is not going to be a particularly healthy one, but I know I have a pathway out of it and a strategy to get lighter and fitter.

Right now I’m back to where I started. I managed to turn around the weight increases over the 14by17 exercise, and I’m now on a downturn in weight gain to actually hit the 14 stone goal. In 2017, I will **definitely** hit that goal.

Here goes – I’ll keep checking in.

14by17 week 17

This week I’ve been making changes. While the chart may not be showing tremendous drops in weight, It does show a fantastic increase in the amount I’m walking about – and by god, my feet and my calves can feel it. What the chart doesn’t show is that I also managed to stop taking nicotine lozenges this week, for the first time in five years.

So, yes, success. And while I may not be making dramatic changes in my diet – dammit – the fact that I’m walking around a hell of a lot more and making these healthy choices when it comes to anything else but my diet should help. It’s very early days, and god knows that I’m the king of wild promises with very little delivery, so time and proof will tell. There’s no hiding it, if I’m not doing the miles, the graph will show it.

14by17 week 27

Once again, I have reason to believe that while the overall trend is up, it is slowing. I haven’t done anything to help that, and I’m still occasionally snacking and not doing as much exercise as I really should be doing. I really should sit down and write the post I’ve been meaning to write about how I make promises to myself and others and then summarily fail to deliver.

Anyway, self-loathing aside, I am all about the super slow changes – but I’m also mindful that in September I have a beach holiday; so I should really do the best I can to get into a semi-decent shape for that.

14by17 week 26

So, six months in, on my 46th birthday, what have I got to say for myself?

Well, let’s just say that the preceding six months have not been kind. Far from losing weight, I’ve put it on, and I’m now – if anything – eight to ten pounds heavier than when I started.

That, in itself, is having an effect on my self-confidence, my wardrobe, and my goals. I really want to be lighter, but it’s never as easy as it may seem.

I distinctly hope that I can turn it around in the last six months. I very much don’t want to be posting that I am even heavier than I am now in another six months, and right now I’ll settle for just getting back down to 15 stones in weight. At least all my skinny clothes will fit me then.

So it’s rapidly turning into 15by17, and not 14by17 as originally envisaged. hmmm. Onwards and upwards, then!

14by17 week 23

Another poor week, and another week of disrupted weight and slow progress. The steps continue apace with the occasional blip, but generally better than before. The continued poor progress on weight loss is definitely due to me eating crap.

I really need to stop eating crap. That bit is a hell of a lot harder than I thought it was; I’m really slipping back when it comes to eating more than my normal three meals a day – and it’s not as if I haven’t been able to control this in the past, just now it requires a bit more grit.

14by17 week 22

The graph over the last week shows an increase in weight directly aligned with the reduction in physical activity, but this is more nefarious; I have discovered that the way I weigh myself has possibly been reporting the wrong values for the last month and now I have to correct that.

The last week shows what I believe to be the right weights, which means it looks like I’m going in the wrong direction.

Do I feel lighter? No, but I feel healthier; the ability to walk further is now locked into my personal fitness. I do feel a little slimmer but that is more than the healthiness, but I do have to be brave and make sure that I’m not slacking off and eating crap – which sadly, is still a factor. I’m still slipping far too often and blaming it on some force over which I don’t have control, which I know is nonsense.

14by17 week 21

Something is definitely happening. While I don’t have the massive drop in weight that I was expecting – OK, sure, I admit that this was a ridiculous expectation – there is a distinct movement in terms of weight and the fact that it’s starting to move up and down in relation to my increased activity.

Sure, the activity has had a few variations recently – I’ve had to admit that the 5000 steps a day rule has had a couple of blips lately, resulting in the massive variation you can see in the chart. Even so, I am planning to keep up the activity as it is making a difference and shaking things up a little, which is the point. I may not be staring down the barrel of 14 stone any time soon, which given that I’m nearly halfway through the year is not a good thing to say, but I hope I’ll be able to at least get back to where I started with a set of better habits.

14by17 week 20

Without getting ahead of myself, I think I can draw a correlation between increased physical activity and weight loss – though it is early days, I do seem to be losing a few pounds, given that I am repeatedly walking more than 5000 steps a day.

The graph shows it all; I have noticed that increased appetite is (understandably) showing up when I’m walking 5-6 miles a day, and that needs a hell of a lot of willpower to stop the desire to eat later in the evenings when all it’s going to do is turn to fat.

For the last month or so, though, I’ve been talking about baby steps and I’m still keen to achieve them – I have managed nine straight days of hitting my target every day, and I just want to avoid breaking the chain.

14by17 week 19

o, last week I skipped my post, but I have a good excuse; I was moving house!

I have been trying to make more of an effort in the areas where I was able to improve, and rather than make massive inroads into the areas of eating less junk (that’s going to take longer than I thought to properly accomplish), I have decided to be a little more active by simply moving around more often.

As you can see from the steps portion of the graph below, I have made an effort. For the last ten days (with the exception of one day) I have managed to get my step count over 5,000 steps, and it has been surprisingly easy to achieve – as long as I make that conscious effort.

The one day was when it was raining, but I no longer have an excuse with the running machine in the shed at the end of the garden, a good 20 minutes out there will make all the difference.

So, I’ll try to keep up the good work when it comes to walking around, then gradually introduce the control of the diet. I’ll get there but in steps.

14by17 week 16

If I were a reactionary man, I would be increasingly beside myself with despair, anger and rage that I am able to continue promising myself that I would lose weight, when in fact the exact opposite is true.

I’ve done nothing but put on weight since I started this as if concentrating on reducing my weight has had the exact opposite effect. As I managed to stop taking the nicotine pills a couple of days ago by sheer force of willpower – deciding one day that I would stop, and simply doing just that – I guess I could say that I’m waiting for the same approach to occur to me with my weight, but that isn’t happening any time soon.

Stopping taking lozenges is a change that can be applied by simply not doing something. By reducing the effort on a particular task to zero (and riding out the chemical changes and habitual changes that occur as a result), within 2 days, I can say that I have made the change, when in fact I am now doing less than I was doing before.

Losing weight requires a positive change – to a degree – while I can say that I can cut out the chocolate and crisps and junk food, that’s a continual change across a wide range of foodstuffs and a big range of emotional states. To add to this, an additional positive change is required in that I have to move about more often – and that is something that requires explicit effort and the environment that supports it.

Yes, reading that back, there are a large number of excuses in there. I can facilitate the extra movement by simply parking my car further away and learning to love the walk back and forth. I can work out of the Westminster office if I really feel like it, which adds a chunk of additional walking – albeit not as much as the journey via Enfield lock.

I can, with a bit of effort, go running in the morning. Yes, that’s going to need more work than anything else, but it’s something I really should do (and by saying that very phrase, I have condemned myself to never doing it).

And yes, eating junk – I still have work to do there. I want to be more comfortable with being hungry; I used to be but I’m not quite there yet. I can still get down to 14 stone.