A little unexpected down time

[actually, make that a LOT of unexpected down time, but more about that in a minute]

got me twiddling my thumbs looking for something to distract me

[but more about THAT in a minute, too…]

so, here I am, back at the page and pretty much ready to share much of what’s happening right now.

It’s good stuff; so I’m sharing it in pure celebration, and in the hopes that it’ll help someone out there at least face up to tough decisions.

Just in case you don’t like to go long, here’s the TLDR:

Never in my life have I been lean bodied. I have recently taken decisions, that are leading to healthy habits. I will be lean-bodied at some point in the near future.

There, if you don’t want to read any more, you’ve got the gist of what I’m going to be sharing here

[and in subsequent posts]

Well, how did we get here? 49 years in a nutshell

I was overweight as a kid. I lost some weight while at university. Kept that off until about age 35. Then went into a couple of cycles of ballooning and dieting. The most successful weight-loss period I ever experienced was in 2003, following principles in Atkin’s New Diet Revolution.

There, that’s all you need to know about how we got to July 25th, 2017.

Me at July 25th, 2017

Here’s the pen picture: 5′ 10″, reasonably fit (though not an athlete), 258.7 lbs.

Just in case that weight doesn’t make it clear, here’s a photo of me at my leanest in the past 10 years:

Here’s one about a year ago:

And here’s one from the week leading up to July 25th, 2017:

It really doesn’t matter if you see the difference

[though I’m pretty sure you can]

All I care about is that the top picture was me at 222 lbs, and the bottom was me at 258 lbs. And NONE of them are lean.

Why July 25th, 2017?

Put simply, that was the day I flew back to the UK to spend time with family. A solo trip, just me, myself and I.

That and I’d finally looked at the scales and accepted that I was failing to lose the weight – and I don’t like failing.

A month or so earlier, I’d taken everything I’ve learned from coaching for personal transformation and brought it all together in Your Next Thing – a practical, pragmatic approach to change. Now, this isn’t a sales pitch, so don’t expect one – but the bottom line is that I decided to practice what I teach and use the method on myself

[I’ve blogged about specifics at the site]

My trip to the UK would be the ideal opportunity to make changes.

What I learned in the UK

Sticking to new habits proved easier than I thought it was going to be – basically the Your Next Thing approach works and works well

[I had no doubt it would, but it’s always good to see it in practice – in myself or with clients]

But here’s where I get personal, and I want to do it with the utmost respect.

Mum was diagnosed a little over a year ago with dementia, and subsequently with Alzheimer’s. So my trip home was to spend time with her before she’s gone, while she could still benefit from knowing who I was

[while she has moments of intense, terrifying confusion, she’s still there, thankfully – still the Mum/Mrs T/Syb that we all grew up loving – and who loved us right back]

and to be close with her and Dad

[because geographic distance is ever-present between us now]

Knowing about Mum’s condition, and also having watched Gramps go through a similar dementia, I’d noticed many articles over the past year linking:

Weight => Diabetes => Dementia

And, though the research is young and far from conclusive, that had been playing on my mind.

So, somewhere in the mix was also some factor of

“If it’s in my genes, I want to delay it as long as I can”

I didn’t weigh myself in the UK – I just kept living to my commitment to do my next things.

When I returned from the UK on August 9th, I weighed 248 lbs.

I had lost 10 lbs in 2 weeks.

And I was committed to continue my next things at home.

August 13th, 2017

My buddy Carl Franklin has been sharing and teaching about ketogenic lifestyle for a while now – and on this particular day, he posted a Facebook update:

which planted a seed about Dr Jason Fung’s book: The Obesity Code

Lots of discussion, and me mulling over things. But I didn’t buy the book

[YET]

I stuck to my habits and dropped another 4 lbs but reached a plateau.

Then started creeping up again.

This is the story of weight loss – lose around 10 lbs, plateau, then creeping back up – this leads to self-loathing and self-recrimination, which in turn leads to comfort eating which…

You know this cycle, so I need say no more.

August 25th, 2017

A month on from when this started, I take stock – I decide that I won’t succumb to the cycle once again.

I download The Obesity Code, and I get reading – I learn all about Insulin resistance being the cause of obesity and using a combination of diet and fasting to bring things back into balance. The book fills in many lingering questions from my Atkins lifestyle, and explains so much of why I’d been a continual failure loop.

August 27th, 2017

By this time, I’ve had so many AHA moments reading the book that I’m convinced about fasting – and, though I don’t know it, subconsciously I’m already planning my first fast.

The family and I go out for dinner on the evening and I have a couple of margaritas, I eat tortilla chips and salsa, I have a healthy reasonable-carb main course.

My weight that morning had been 247 lbs.

August 28th, 2017

I don’t eat breakfast – kind of have the idea that I might be fasting, but yet to say that for definite.

I get through lunch without eating.

[I’m not a medical adviser, so don’t do this blindly just by copying me – read the book, do the research, be safe]

Teach a couple of karate classes.

Find I’m at dinnertime without eating.

Much easier than expected.

Wondering… Am I fasting yet? Can I make it to tomorrow morning?

Tuesday 29th comes and goes. I don’t eat anything except water and salt

[seriously, read the book]

Wednesday too.

Thursday came and went

[though I did treat myself to a handful of mixed nuts in the evening]

And so to today…

September 1st, 2017

This morning, I weighed

235.4 lbs

Some water loss for sure, though I am well hydrated.

And I haven’t eaten today, nor do I plan to. I feel fantastic – energized, steady, seeing progress.

Taking a wider view

Putting all my weight loss together since July 25th, I make it around

23 lbs lost in a little over 5 weeks

though over half of that has been lost in the past 4 days. This is working and I feel optimistic that it will keep on working.

Will I fast forever? Of course not! I have a sense of what my target weight is for now (220 lbs) – at which point I will recalibrate. Achieving that weight is completely within the realms of fat-loss and would still see me at about 20% body fat.

My longer term maintenance weight will be 20-30 lbs below that – definitely under 200 lbs, though I’ll recalibrate along the way.

I will, of course keep you updated on progress – just writing this has helped me keep perspective and reflect upon the success of the journey so far.

For now, though, here’s just one insight from this week’s fasting experience:

I had never appreciated fully how my day-to-day is structured around food – taking a break from work at lunchtime, preparing a meal, snacking, going out for dinner, feeding the kids.

It’s a LOT of time and focus.

As I’ve been fasting, all that time has come back to me – and it’s sometimes tough to know what to do with it. Where lunch used to take an hour of preparation, eating and digesting, it’s now as simple as pouring a cup of water.

That’s just one of many hours that I’m regaining!

The second part of this insight is that I’ve only really experienced hunger pangs at the PLACE where eating happens…

I wander into the kitchen at around lunch time, I’m suddenly hungry

[a drink of water and it’s gone]

I take the kids to Subway after karate, I’m suddenly hungry

[I ride the wave until I can get home and have some water – it’s not really that hard]

The trick for me is to distract myself – which is where we began today, I guess.

Stay tuned for more updates

[I promise they won’t be as long, as I don’t have to cover the history]

and, as I say, make sure you do your research and stay safe. The first step is to READ THE BOOK.

Love-peace-trust

p.s.: Just to make it clear – I’m posting this for posterity and in the hope that someone, somewhere, sometime will find it helps them make their own decisions. I am NOT trying to convince you of anything. I am not selling anything. And, I am categorically NOT interested in arguing right/wrong about the choices I’m making for myself.