…what have we done?
I guess Christmas is always going to be a significant event for any dieter, for me it had at least three important aspects this year. First Christmas means Christmas dos, which mean alcohol and food. Second Christmas means Christmas at home (my parents home that is) which means food and various chocolatey treats. Third, Christmas was a kind of milestone – it was where I initially hoped to lose 10% by, and it was also the end of the first page of my spreadsheet*.
My Sister, Watcher of Weight
One of the first things I found out when I got home was not just that, as expected/hoped for, I got the “Ooh you’ve lost weight” reaction, but that my sister is also dieting. She’s doing Weight-Watchers and has been for the last 5 weeks. She’s lost 8lbs and has another 8lbs to go before she reaches her target. She’s also become a little obsessed with it – which is how come I got this entire story before I saw her – she’d been telling anyone who would listen, including the family, all about it.
I mention this partly to tell a funny anecdote about my dad. He was sure (rightly as it turned out) that she’d tell me all about it as soon as we met. He wanted me to reply to the news that she’d lost 8lbs with “That’s nice, I’ve lost 50.” I didn’t. It would have been funny, but a little too mean.
The other reason I mention it is because my Sister exhibited a mild form of something I’ve come to recognise, which is the apparent need to give advice. It’s happened to me a few times now. I happen to mention I’m on this diet and the person I’m telling asks me how much I’ve lost. I tell them. Then they ask me how I’ve done it. I tell them. Usually at some point during the details of this they feel the need to let me know how I could be doing it better. Which I find odd. I’ve lost 50lbs in 15 weeks. I must be doing something right.
Now it’s not really fair to put this all on my sister. She has a mild case as I said, and she really wasn’t telling me what I’d done wrong so much as congratulating me that by sheer luck I’d managed to replicate the principles that underlie the WW method.
It works for her. I’m glad of that. This works for me. :0)
Christmas Week Weakness
So how was Christmas itself? Well it was always going to be a ‘holiday’ from the diet. My way of handling times when I need to be social so far has been to take a break from the regime. I can get away with this because it’s so infrequent. This was a whole week (well five days) though. I learnt a few things.
I learnt that alcohol is bad for dieting. I already knew that I am able to have chocolate, deserts or other calorie-filled goodies in moderation as a treat. I have the self-control to have just one piece of chocolate and leave the rest. However if I have alcohol, itself full of calories, my resistance to temptation is severely compromised.
I learnt that given the chance to come off the diet I will take the opportunity to pig out. This is not great. It’s good that I can say “after Friday I’m back on the diet” and stick to it. It’s not brilliant that I use the intervening time to swallow all the calories I can.
I learnt that this diet is for the long haul. OK I sort of knew that but emotionally it sunk in. Consciously or otherwise I’d allowed this week to become a sort of milestone that I was heading for. I’d told myself (and others) that this needed to be an indefinite change in lifestyle but secretly I harboured a hope of “once I get to Christmas I can relax abit”. This was at least partly because I expected to have made more progress than I have. Or rather I expected the progress I have made to look more significant. Also I’d gotten used to a frankly unrealistic rate of weight loss. If I extrapolate my current weight loss I’ll reach my target weight somewhere around the one year mark. That’s ok. I just need to keep going.
Any Good News Misery-Guts?
This all sounds a bit negative but there is actually good news. Not only have I not put on weight over Christmas but I’ve even gone down a little. These are the results based on last time I weighed myself properly (i.e. week 13):
Loss since week 13: 0.7kg (1.5lb)
Total loss: 22.5kg (49.6lb or 3st 7lb)
Current weight: 121.6kg (268lb or 19st 2lb)
Here’s a graph from the first (now complete) page of my spreadsheet.
The 10% reduction is self-explanatory. The “milestone” is a mini-target that I kept moving (usually it went down in 5lb intervals) every time I hit it.
[*]Yes I know a spreadsheet can scroll and therefore doesn’t need to have “pages” – but I designed mine in sections so a section (or “page”) would all fit on the visible screen. The first page ended with 29th Dec.