Day 2: get your sponsorship in now! even though it will be too late to guilt me into losing more weight...
The whole point of being sponsored to lose weight was that it would make me feel guilty if I didn't lose the weight. As of today, having just been over and checked the sponsorship page and taking into account the £90 that a very generous friend donated directly in a Shelter shop, and also including Gift Aid, I have raised...
For some reason I thought it was more than this, but I'm still pretty pleased about it. And I would like to thank everybody who sponsored me with a song.
Unfortunately I havent done a song. I did a dance yesterday, but I don't know if anyone other than Denise saw it. If I can make it up to £500 by day 0, I'll definitely do a song. It won't be good and it won't be tuneful but it will be sung and will therefore qualify as a song.
In the meantime, here are the reasons why I'm raising money (apart from my purely selfish desire to live longer and healthier)
I have mentioned before about how, many years ago, I tried to get a hobby to help me lose weight...
I'm pretty sure that playing Tomb Raider counted as a hobby, though there are some who would say it was a colossal waste of time. Especially given, the 'no actual weight loss achieved' end result.
Well recently, as you may have noticed, I have discovered online meme generators. I'm working on developing quick-fire wit. But not yet achieving it. Honestly, that Lara Croft one took me about half an hour of staring into space before I managed to reduce the verbiage to that level.
Also, as you may have noticed (again), I have rediscovered the art of animation. Now I have explored this before as it entertains me no end. And in the last few days I have spent approx 5 billion hours generating approx 0.00002ms of animation. Which is a pretty good work:output ratio I think you will agree. And already Hanna Barbera are hammering at my door...
Ok, maybe not.
But this all another tool in my plan for continued weight loss or at least weight maintenance.
But this is all beating around the bush because I know you came here to find out whether I have lost my holiday weight gain. At my last weigh-in I was 14 stone and 2 pounds. At my post-holiday sneaky unofficial weigh-in I was 14 stone and 9 pounds. Today, I am....
...or possibly lurches towards me.
I revealed, on our return from our hols, that I had put on half a stone in just a few short days. Disaster!
I've been on diets before and there are various things which have broken those diets. One of them is that most years, but not this year, I attend a professional conference for 4 days in early April. At this conference, I stay at a hotel at which I eat a cooked breakfast every day. There are lots of drugs companies in attendance who, throughout the day, offer freebies of food and drinks, none of them healthy. And in the evening there is meeting up with old friends for food and drinks. I always come home heavier than I arrived.
I didn't go this year, but the holiday fulfilled much of the over-eating in early April criteria for a diet-breaker.
But what is it that breaks the diet?
My current theory is that it seems so easy to put the weight on, and it always seems so difficult to get it off. Attending the conference is a bit like a mini holiday from work and I think I just get the post-holiday blues. You know the thing - you've been away, had a good time, put on weight, and now you've got to go back to work. Who wouldn't feel like just carrying on eating? Because it's going to be hard work to lose that weight again, isn't it? May as well give up.
But no! If there's one thing I've learnt in this year of dieting, let it be this. Short term weight gain can be lost almost as quickly as it was put on.
Or at least, that's what I'm hoping tomorrow will bring...
This morning I met up with a friend I had not seen for a few months. She made some gratifying comments about my weight loss, best of which was that I had not, in some way, become ‘scary-looking.’ Her fear that this might have come to pass was based on some comments from people who see me every day…
Hmm… thanks for that!
We both have a scientific background but the question arose as to what happens to fat cells when you lose weight. We were both of the impression that as you gain weight you acquire more fat cells, but when you lose weight these cells lose their fatty contents but do not go anywhere. They sit there waiting for you to start overeating again so that they can fill up their little fat cell bellies.
The horrible little bleeders.
But, I asked, is this really what happens? Is this just another fat myth to make us feel easier about why we gain weight again after weight loss, because the fat cells we have are just waiting to trip us up?
This research also looked into the rate at which fat cells in the body die and are replaced. The evidence suggests that the rate of cell turnover is the same whether you are fat or thin. And that the number of fat cells you are stuck with as an adult is determined earlier in fat individuals than in thin individuals.
Another study shows that a fat cell without fat wants its fat back, will be producing less of the hormone leptin, and so you are going to have a larger appetite. Your body, it has to be said, is not always your friend. (if you want to find all these studies, just search for a pdf of the original article on Google)
Oh man, I love cheese…
People still look at me slightly askance when, in response to their “How did you lose weight?” question, I say, “I just stopped eating cheese.”
I have to follow it up with, “I really love cheese. No, really, really love cheese. No, not like that. But honestly I love eating cheese.”
If I’m unlucky I then get into a conversation about the different types of cheese, the many varieties, the stinkiness, the blueness. I have to quash this line of conversation very blooming quickly. I do not like all cheese. I’m not a maniac. I like Cheddar cheese, I like the Double Gloucester, the Red Leicester, the Lancashire crumbly cheese. I like me a bit of Edam. As soon as any weirdness starts going on with the cheese, you know, streaks of colour, foot smells, I become not a cheese lover. I am not an aficionado of cheese, I am not a connoisseur of cheese. I love your basic cheese.
And in the mythology of me, it is probably true that I could eat the whole of that lump of cheese in a single sitting.
And yet when I come to write my best-selling tome of diet advice, possibly entitled ‘I lost weight and so can you!’ (just send me cash now if you want to pre-order this) I feel it won’t be much use to say on every page, ‘Stop eating cheese!’ I believe there may be more to it than that.
Apart from anything else, I haven’t entirely stopped eating cheese, but I have stopped eating cheese when I’m making a cup of tea, or when I’m toasting some bread, or when I’m staring out of the kitchen window, or when I’m watching Doctor Who late at night.
My best advice at the moment, if you are somebody almost exactly like me, is take a long hard look at yourself and think about the food that you guzzle more than anything else, you know, the one with loads of calories in it. And just eat less of it. Imagine, every time you go to eat some, that somebody is watching you and shaking their head sadly, also possibly tutting. Or you could just imagine a flood of cholesterol swooshing through your arteries and plaques of, not to put too fine a point on it, crapulent gloop (okay, I did apply a slightly finer point than necessary because I didn’t want to offend) adhering to the walls of your blood vessels. Or you could just imagine yourself having a heart attack and being no longer alive to eat cheese in moderation. I have attempted all of these methods of food control, but if they don’t work you could try these instead…
1. Employ an army of mice. This almost never ends well and only works for cheese, or if you are mad keen on eating grain, but requires the secondary employment of an army of cats and so if you are a mad cat person you will at the very least be happy.
2. Acquire an extreme dairy intolerance, the kind which means you can’t even go into the countryside for fear of meeting a cow. Unfortunately this may limit your exercise opportunities and it is not easy to acquire food intolerances, despite what everybody seems to think. Yes, I am saying that your lactose intolerance is probably all in your mind.
3. Groundhog Day your way into Seattle on January 18, 2015 when the city authorities banned cheese ahead of an important sporting fixture. I feel it is as sensible to suggest you could Groundhog Day yourself as it is to ban cheese, so there.
4. Make every day a cheese-rolling day. You are only allowed to eat cheese if you have first chased it down a hill and injured yourself. Combine exercise and cheese-eating with prolonged periods of recuperation.
And this sort of advice is why my book, ‘I am an idiot and you are too’, is going to make a fortune.
Hi, I'm Andy, serial weight gainer. My year of dieting is over! But you can still give money to Shelter or the PDSA!