Weight loss; need to trim the waist a bit

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silmcoach
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Re: Weight loss; Week 4 / Struggle

Post by silmcoach » Mon Jul 08, 2019 11:07 am

Pleased to say that the target weight loss (half a stone) has remained constant over the last week and the belt is definitely down one notch, so that's just over an inch off the waste.

Excess skin is naturally proving a little more obstinate, but I believe the skin will gradually tighten if I keep up the stretching exercises. Also found this NHS webpage for abdominal exercises that I will gradually add to my routine.

However, the last week has been a bit of a struggle. I kept up the diet, exercise and cycling, but I have to say by Sunday I was shattered. I think it's because I have been quite active burning off fat, but not taking enough food in to balance energy expended. Given my restricted calorie intake of around 1200 kcal per day, (five days a week), and less than 800 kcal on each of the fasting days, cycling and walking most days will inevitably make significant demands on my body.

Guess this is to be expected as I approach the mid-point of my 12-week diet, the time at which most on a diet "fall off the wagon". I need to build up my resilience a bit - guess this is when the mindfulness bit comes in. Yesterday was a bit of a battle, being shattered. So I had a gentle walk to get in touch with my "spiritual side" (secular that is, more about re-connecting with nature). This helped me to relax and become accepting of my mental and physical states.

Hey ho, onward and upwards, or should I say onward and downwards weight wise, and onward and inwards waste wise! :D
silmcoach
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Re: Weight loss; Week 4 - a corner turned

Post by silmcoach » Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:51 pm

Had a long cycle ride on the Friday (end of Week 3). Then cycled to the beach on Saturday, and had a good walk on the Sunday, but must admit I was forcing myself as tired. So a bit shattered Sunday evening and on the Monday, beginning of Week 4. Think the reduced food intake and increased exercise had definitely got to me in Week 3. So just a walk to and from the office and no stretching on the Monday start to Week 4.

After the relaxing day I slept well and had a significant dream ... it was a revelation. One of the few times that dream content was totally relevant to my situation. It reconnected my conscious self with my inner being, that creative, intuitive foundation that has always been my strength. It made me realize that the negative events of the last couple of years had shifted my perspective such that I was focussed and judging myself from that world outside of me that I had so little control over, and which seemed to be controlling me.

So Tuesday I went for another long cycle ride and I was definitely beginning to feel more like the old me. My motivation was increased and I knew I was getting back into my world, becoming the whole me again; and so it continues, now Thursday afternoon of Week 4. Not really thinking about weight, but mood definitely improved overall, diet maintained, but do have my hungry moments.
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Re: Weight loss; Week 4/Day 5

Post by silmcoach » Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:59 am

With a fast day yesterday I was battling a bit last night after ham & cheese tortellini (200 kcal). No yoghurt or apricots on the shelf, so a second cup of coffee in the evening.

As no exercise on Thursday I didn't sleep so well and I woke with external concerns hinting in the background, and the autonomic defence response starting to kick off. I managed to shift my conscious focus back inwards and calm things down.

The trouble is that the autonomic system has no capacity to question or doubt, therefore the only way to manage it is to "change mental gear" and switch attention to rational analysis. So by assessing my current situation and being clear in my mind that there is no immediate threat I was able to focus on inner calm.

Looking forward to my day
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Re: Weight loss; Week 5/Day 2 hungry

Post by silmcoach » Tue Jul 16, 2019 11:16 am

Monday was a fasting day (less than 800 kcal intake) and I must say that last night in bed I did wake a couple of times feeling hungry.

It's now 11 a.m. and I am ready for my cereal, yet I'm almost thinking I won't bother and wait for lunch. It's as if I am getting used to the feeling of being a bit hungry. (I do remember reaching this point some years ago when I was trying to get back into shape previously.)

I have checked my weight and it remains constant at the target weight of 9st. 7lbs., having lost the half a stone suddenly in the third week. It sounds contrary, but I am going to make myself eat my late breakfast cereal because I think my body requires the nutrients, especially as I want to go for a long cycle ride later.

My stomach is much flatter, but I do still have loose skin around the middle. As I understand it, skin is quite elastic and it should become taught over time, as long as I keep up the exercise. To help I bought a small exercise wheel that, with grips either side on a spindle and knees on the floor, you roll forward until eventually (few months I guess) you are able to have your whole body flat on the floor and then back up again onto the knees.
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Re: Weight loss; Week 5/Day 4 lethargic!

Post by silmcoach » Thu Jul 18, 2019 5:33 pm

Took a day off yesterday and went to visit a National Trust property in Wiltshire. Able to relax and enjoy a day out having gained greater personal insight.

Ten homes, six different schools by the age of eleven, and with limited parental contact or support, my childhood development was undoubtedly restricted. Given this insight, my response to events of the last couple of years is understandable.

I realise my motivation for dieting was refusing to give in to the past, which if allowed, can be overwhelming and demotivating. Now my motivation is about being healthy for the future. I need to visualise what my body and lifestyle will be like, both if I do or don't stick with this diet and exercise.

Two days without exercise and I was up at 4:30 a.m. Let that be a warning ⚠ Don't let things slip and fall off the wagon now!

Went back to bed, had about an hours sleep, then up exercising straight away. Have had an hour in the office, time for my 11 a.m. breakfast. Not sure if I'll get out on the bike today as rain forecast all day. But I do have a fold-up bike with mudguards, so can always whizz round the local cycling track. Lucky to have that - should make the most of it.

One disappointment, the exercise wheel I bought has inflamed the back problem that was the first of mounting problems nearly a couple of years ago. (Related to a spinal injury in my late teens). In pain, but I can live with it. Know how to manage movement and avoid severe pain, like turning sideways getting out of low armchairs. Tends to ease off after a few weeks, hopefully it will again.
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Re: Weight loss; Week 6/DAY 4 - Oh dear

Post by silmcoach » Thu Jul 25, 2019 8:06 am

Well this morning definitely feel I've fallen off the wagon. The back pain has prevented me from exercising, that may be the reason. Also reading a new book and webpage development, which always dulls my mood. Hence I've read this entire topic to refocus this morning.

Don't quite know what changed my mood from yesterday. Great to see my son for a walk and lunch on Sunday. Took a very poorly relative out on Tuesday and felt fine in the evening. Yesterday finished at 3 p.m. and sneaked off down the beach as a gloriously sunny day. The only thing is I had a third of a bottle of wine last night watching the Tour de France, hmm - I should heed my own advice re alcohol.

But the point is the alcohol seems to have opened the door on all that negative stuff of the last 18 months - I thought I'd put that all behind me. I really should count my blessings and look positively to the future and enjoy the moment. Why do I carry these burdens of the past? It's possible that we never forget anything and some trigger brings unconscious memories to the surface, in my case, the back pain associated with negative events of which I am being reminded.

Given that our emotional response has no way of knowing if conscious thought is real or imagined, in the past, present or future, then my negative memories have in a way tricked my emotion systems into believing that the events of the past are actually occurring now. So the obvious answer is to get myself active doing something that occupies consciousness to signal to the emotion systems there is nothing negative happening now. I'll start by hoovering the carpet and think about what a beautiful day it is and how I am going to make the most of it. I'm lucky, I have nothing to be down about. Let's get that body moving with a few gentle exercises to get me started.

Tried a little too hard with the hula-hoop, my back needs a little more time I think. But I've walked to the office and feeling positive - so that's definitely shaken off the downer. Beautiful day today, I shall have a walk over the golf course tonight - what on earth do I have to be down about?
silmcoach
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Re: Weight loss; Week 6/Day 5 Don't prolong the agony

Post by silmcoach » Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:02 am

After a good nights sleep much better this morning.

I realize now that negative experiences in the past are just that - in the past. Should memories come to mind I quickly dismiss them before they trigger any emotional response. There is no point reliving past events in the mind, that serves only to prolong the original distress.
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Re: Weight loss; Week 6/Day 7 Fasting day

Post by silmcoach » Sun Jul 28, 2019 4:18 pm

So that's it - halfway through this 12-week course. Feel I am back on track, having "fallen off the wagon" a little earlier than expected.

Having a relaxing day. Got the wrong Sunday paper which unfortunately doesn't have the weekly TV Guide - short walk down the shop then. Back in time for last day of the Tour de France. You have to admire those guys, real guts, unlike F1, where the best car makes you the Champion.

It's back on the bike for me next week, and I hope the back will have eased off enough for me to start light stretching, some lose skin to tighten up!
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Re: Weight loss; Week 8/Day 4 Happy days

Post by silmcoach » Thu Aug 08, 2019 10:50 am

It's been a while. Progress is good, life is good.

WEIGHT: 9st 4lbs, that is 3lbs below my target weight - not sure if I should continue dieting.

FOOD: Last night I had a beautiful bream fillet of fish with mixed veg followed by a Sainsbury's Limon Cello desert. For lunch I had the usual crumpet with marmite, tomato, banana, yoghurt. Breakfast I had the usual Waitrose Berry Muesli. For my fasting day yesterday I had Muesli for breakfast, but skipped lunch as I was taking a relative out for a cream tea in the afternoon (pleased to say they are turning the corner health wise). The fruit scone was big, equal to two of the usual size. Covered in cream with strawberry jam on top it went down a treat. Evening I had the Baxter's hearty soup that counts as three of my 5 a day, followed by a nice thick fruit yoghurt - and yes that was within my 800 kcal limit. Thinking about it, I can't really say I'm starving myself, I'm just not eating those choccy biscuits. I think what's making the difference is the 5 day normal/2 day fast routine, as well as eating within the 8 hour window/and nothing to eat the other 16 hours of the day. That's breakfast 11a.m. to evening meal 6:30 p.m.

EXERCISE: Pleased to say that the back is definitely improving. Monday I was able to start doing my stretching routine in the morning after a three week layoff. I also managed to get a long cycle ride in last Thursday, and I hope to get another one in today before the rain forecast for 3 p.m. I have of course continued my daily walk to and from the office, and had a good walk on both days of the weekend.

MOOD: Well I do seem to have turned a corner, I am beginning to feel joy again, something I haven't done for a couple of years now. It would seem that the dieting regime has focused my mind and I have gained a greater insight into the events of the last couple of years. I am aware of changes in my mental faculties and I realize now that I cannot rely on my unconscious mind to manage many of the routine things that we tend to do without thinking. To compensate I have been consciously prompting myself. At first this was actually speaking (silently) to myself, "take the card out of the reader", "lock the door", but now it's an almost semi-conscious process of being aware of my intentions and consciously following through on the action.

I am also aware that the frontal lobes don't seem to be doing as good a job as the "gatekeeper" should be in social control, limiting excessive emotional responses, and negative thoughts (from a psychodynamic perspective you could say my defence mechanisms are less effective). I have also developed strategies to deal with this. With regard negative thoughts and memories of the past I use the stock phrase "don't prolong the agony". By that I mean if something upset me in the past, then I have already experienced the negative emotional response to it. So if the event is not occurring now, why emotionally put myself through the experience again just because of a memory of it? So I nip negative thoughts and emotions in the bud by mentally repeating the stock phrase, "DON"T PROLONG THE AGONY!"

So yes, joy is returning. Funny, that wanting to lose a few pounds should have led to the opening of so many doors!
silmcoach
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Re: Weight loss; Week 8/Day 7 Fast day relief

Post by silmcoach » Sun Aug 11, 2019 8:48 am

Never thought I'd say this, thank heaven for a fast day. Yesterday I had my usual day out. Caught the bus to Poole, then on to Corfe. Walked across the common to the Scott Arms at Kingston for a pint and a bowl of chips.

Walking back I sat in the top field, surrounded by sheep, looking down on Corfe Castle. One of those mindful moments. Heading for the bus stop, as I passed the old stone cottages, it struck me as amazing that l was walking in the footsteps of Oliver Cromwell, and whoever else, as the pub in Corfe dates from 1586.

As I was early, I sat in the square with a Magnum choc ice lolly, watching all and sundry, many, international tourists. How lucky all this is on my doorstep.

At home, time for the evening meal. Half a pepperoni pizza, small glass of wine followed by prunes (not perfect, but needed eating up), and a small bar of milk chocolate.

Well, did I pay for that blowout. I was in pain and had to get up for a number two around 2:30 a.m., and then at 7 a.m.it was the the loo again urgently.

Don't know what it was, consuming over two thousand calories for the first time since I started the diet perhaps, or the chips, prunes or pizza, something upset me.

Anyway, I just want to get back to that empty feeling again. It's the day off day, so I'll go for my usual walk to get the Sunday paper and chill with a coffee before lunch? We'll see, might skip that as well. Strange, could it be a bug? The best answer to that is eat nothing for 24hrs. I may well try that.

(UPDATE: A week later I went to eat the other half of the Pepperoni pizza and I noticed the pepperoni had grey patches. Smelt, and it was definitely off. I remember having emptied the freezer and temporarily storing the frozen food before the new one was working. I reckon the pepperoni had thawed as it has a high salt content.)
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Re: Weight loss; Week 9/Day 1 - I'm back

Post by silmcoach » Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:53 am

FOOD: Didn't fast all day yesterday. Gave in to egg on toast around 2:30 p.m., then ham & cheese tortellini followed by apricots for the evening meal, hands up, and the last of my chocolate. So likely a bit over the 800 kcal limit.

MOOD: After a dodgy weekend, feel I'm getting back to where I was last week. But as well as an upset stomach I also faced one of the deepest personal dilemmas of my early teenage years. I think over the weekend I came to accept it for what it is, a dilemma, the result of early childhood experience.

Whether psychological and physiological events occurred concurrently by chance over the weekend, or whether they were in fact related, I can't say. All I can say is that this morning I feel I've been through the ringer, but better for it. I feel positive about the future, but the feeling of optimism has yet to catch up.

Looking forward to the week ahead.
silmcoach
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Re: Weight loss; Week 9/Day 3 Optimism returns!

Post by silmcoach » Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:20 am

Raining as I walked into work whistling away - ah, the joy of an English summer.

FOOD: Not a fasting day, so can enjoy what I like.

MOOD: Happy bunny this morning - positive in the moment and optimistic about the future.
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Re: Weight loss; Week 10/Day 1 Great!

Post by silmcoach » Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:29 am

After a great weekend, up bright and early this morning. Meditation, exercise routine, off to the office earlier than usual. 10:15 a.m. now, and I'm hungry. Guess I don't normally experience that as I am usually a bit later with my morning starts. Will weigh myself to see if there is any encouragement there.

WEIGHT: 9st. 3lbs., well below my target. That weight has been constant over the last week. Given that I ate well over the weekend, even spoiled myself last night with cheese and biscuit and another small glass of wine after my apricot desert, and to top it all, half a bar of dark chocolate with my coffee, I certainly can't say I'm starving myself. So being a little hungry waiting for 11 a.m. to start eating, I guess that's a price worth paying for the satisfaction and general well-being I feel.

MOOD: Great. I really do feel happier about having lost that spare tyre around the middle. As to the surplus skin, well I guess I've just got to be a little more patient with that. It stretched out over a few years, so I guess it's going to take a little longer than a few weeks to shrink back.
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Re: Weight loss; Week 11/Day 1 Fast

Post by silmcoach » Mon Aug 26, 2019 4:41 am

As I start the penultimate week of this 12-week exercise, I am relieved it's a fasting day. Yesterday was a joint birthday celebration lunch for the family and it was a delicious roast chicken dinner with Yorkshire pud and lots of juicy gravy and plenty of veg. Yummy, but oh my tummy, especially after the chocolate birthday cake.

That's the beauty of this 5/2 diet though, you can be flexible on which are your fasting days and choose them either side of such celebration days. And the 8-hour eating window is no probs because I just couldn't eat anything this morning as I was still full from yesterday.

So fasting today, mood positive and as a Bank Holiday I'm up for a long cycle ride. As sun's up, could end up cycling to the beach for the afternoon.
silmcoach
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Re: Weight loss; Week 12/Day 1 Last week

Post by silmcoach » Mon Sep 02, 2019 10:52 am

Well, here we go, last week of my 12-week diet.

Have to hold my hands up, last week I opened a bottle of wine that I was given as a birthday present. It had a higher alcohol content (13.5%), more than the usual cheapo I buy from Asda ("The Wine List Cabernet-Sauvignon"; £3.81, 10.5% Alc., but very palatable). The Thursday night I drank just half a small glass as usual, but Friday night, being Pizza night, I got a bit carried away and drank a third of a bottle, and that was fatal. Couldn't stop eating, had cheese and biscuit after my desert, but just kept eating the TUC cheese biscuits until I'd finished the whole pack. I know its the salt taste, because I can be much more self-controlled with the usual dry cream crackers which have no taste of salt. Sin of sins, I did the same Saturday night, and finished the second packet of TUC biscuits (buy two for discounted price - fatal).

I had also drifted back into having a few sweet biscuits after my coffee mealtimes, and, naughty of naughty's, I was given some Belgium chocolates for my birthday and I'd been having a couple of those a day as well. At least having them in the office meant I wasn't tempted at home. The one good thing I did was make Sunday a fasting day (bit over 900kcal though).

It's 11 a.m. and before I have my morning cereal I just weighed myself. Shock of shocks, no increase in weight at all. I think it may be the same as not losing any weight in the first two weeks of the diet; just as it took time for the body to start burning fat, maybe it takes time to start storing fat. The only other factor was two 20-mile cycle rides, one Wednesday and one Friday. (Over the last week I had been working all day, and through lunch, at the computer. So, not exercising, not sleeping so well.)

So the lessons of the last week are:
  • Anything more that half a small glass of wine and I lose control diet wise
  • Excess alcohol wakes me up after a couple of hours and I can't get off to sleep again. Also lessens my feeling of both physical and mental well-being the following day or two
  • Regular fairly strenuous exercise is essential at least two or three times a week to maintain a good sleeping pattern
  • It takes a couple weeks for my body to respond to a decrease or increase in food intake
WEIGHT: 9st. 2lbs
MOOD: Peaceful, optimistic, looking forward to the week.
silmcoach
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