I am sharing my experiences on this adventure in the hope that what I learn and share can inspire you to take action too – I am guessing that if you are reading this, you have also had a battle with weight and health too.
I have decided that the three best metrics for me to track are weight loss, blood pressure and resting heart rate.
I have read loads and watched many films on health and weight loss and have come to some very simple conclusions, and developed a simple regime for me to follow.
Why am I overweight and unhealthy?
- I eat too much food.
- I eat too much bad food (low nutrition/high calorie/high salt/high sugar/too processed etc).
- I don’t take any exercise (at all!).
The combination of these three factors has led me to where I am right now. Overweight, high(ish) blood pressure and lethargic. It’s time to change. The solution is plain to see of course – eat less, eat good food and move your ass – but I know it’s really hard to achieve in the real world, so I need a plan that will work for ME.
So I have tried all manner or diets. In the past I have lost weight and put it back more than once. So my diet needs to be robust enough to withstand ‘life’.
And I really can’t face the gym, I find it boring, so I can’t make that part of my regime. My regime MUST work in the real world, under pressure and in anger. Any exercise must feel part of my life and not a thing I need to go and do.
So here’s my simple plan which I will stick to now for the first four weeks. I plan to stick to this much longer of course, but I may adjust in four weeks after I learn what I learn.
- I will reduce my calorie intake to around 1,000 calories a day.
- I will allow myself as much fruit as I want to eat.
- I will cut out all silly luxury foods and additives (chocolate, biscuits, sugar, salt, butter etc.)
- I will only eat good quality food (more on that later).
- I will walk to and from work (approx 30 mins each way).
- If I do not walk to and from work, I will spend 15 to 30 minutes on the exercise bike instead.
- I will make a conscious effort to drink more water every day.
- I will get more sleep, aiming for 8 hours a night.
- I will relax these rules a little at weekends. I need to live in the real work or it won’t work.
Yes I know I should exercise more, and maybe I will, but for now 60 mins a day walking (or a spin on the bike) is enough for me not to loose my mind. So long as I break a sustained sweat, I think I am moving in the right direction. Again, I need to find the right life balance or I will simply abandon the regime. I am also tracking my daily movement with a FitBit tracker. More on that in blog entries in the coming weeks.
Finally, I don’t have many vice’s aside from a coffee or two each day, nor do I drink or smoke.
So in order to get accurate metrics, I plan to take data at the same time every day, and in the same way. I will use the same equipment to make measurements, and try to create the same conditions each time I take a measurement (same time of day, clothing, empty bladder etc ). I have found most equipment gives differing results (two scales never give the same weight for instance), that is why it’s essential to use the same equipment each time I take a measurement.
- I will use Saturday as the ‘weigh in’ day.
- I will take the lowest recorded weight for that week as the official weight to calculate the loss on that Saturday.
- I will weigh myself daily. If I loose one pound or more in a week, I will consider that week a success.
- I will only note weight loss during the weight loss phase (maintenance will come later).
- I will take my blood pressure on waking each day.
- I will take my ‘resting’ pulse on waking each day.
- I will track my movement with a FitBit tracker (this will tell me how active I am during any given day)
Saturday is the day I look at the past week, for the lowest weight, and log that as the official weight for the week.
I have found that weight loss takes place in mini ‘bumps’ and weighing daily is the best way to get to know your body rhythm. I also find that weight can fluctuate up and down by a few pounds every week, and so I will take the lowest recorded weight for the week as the official ‘weigh in’ weight.Most important though, weighing daily as soon as I get out of bed sends a clear focused message to my brain about what I am doing. In the initial period, this is essential to break the addiction and habits I have related to food and the way I eat. More on habits in the coming weekly entries.
Remember, as far as I am concerned, so long as I loose more than one pound in a week, I will consider that week a success. I aim to loose weight every week until I hit my target.
Live Data – Below are the charts that track where I am at right now
|I will update this chart whenever I loose weight. My goal is to loose at least one pound every week until I reach my goal. I know my body fluctuates up and down and so I will only record data when I have lost weight.|
Link to Blood Pressure and Heart Rate chart HERE
Week Zero: It all Begins
Making a change begins with acknowledging reality. And there is no better reality check than a weigh in, pulse check and blood pressure check. Doing this means I can’t deny the facts, I can’t lie to myself. I won’t lie, I was pretty scared of getting the numbers.
But contrary to what I thought, getting the data was actually liberating. I know now the numbers and how far I need to go. Effectively I have taken that all important and most difficult of first steps. I will update this blog every week on Saturday ‘weigh day’ and reflect on what I have learned in the past seven days. So here are the stats for Week zero (starting point)…
My plan is to get down to 11 stone – that’s a loss of 65lbs