When I turned 35, I weighed almost 16 stone. It hadn’t really occurred to me just how much I weighed. It seems to be I attained a steady state of 15 stone something about a decade before that and nothing changed. I guess that means that while I weighed a lot, I didn’t eat so much that it made my problem worse. I was – according to BMI calculations – obese, but I didn’t feel I suffered for it because I didn’t really recall any other way to be.
But, it wasn’t healthy. I didn’t exercise. I consumed without thinking about what I actually ate.
I had a check up with the doctor and he told me a few things. I needed to exercise more. I needed to cut down on sugar and salt. I needed to moderate my diet because I had high blood pressure as well. I couldn’t carry on the way I was without serious risk to my long term health.
After that, I started walking more at lunch times. I would walk a circuitous route near my work for about 30 – 45 minutes. I ate more fish and less sweet stuff. I made a small change. I’m not sure it made much difference physically. I don’t think I did enough to lose weight, but I did enough to feel I was doing something.
As my 39th birthday rolled around, I realised that I couldn’t ignore it any more. I knew that next year I would have another checkup. That set my goal.
Over the next 6 months, I lost 3 stone. By my 40th birthday, I’d lost 4 stone. By Christmas that year, I had lost almost 5 stone, as the weight continued to drop off, as if by momentum alone.
I exercised at least five times a week. I used a stationary bike, did aerobic exercise, and dabbled with jump rope, jogging and step. I found Fitness Blender incredibly useful to focus myself on a routine of routines.
I kept my diet under control. Dropped my calorie intake by half, to around 1200. Cut out sweets and stopped drinking alcohol. I kept a careful journal using an app on my phone –MyFitnessPal – and made sure I measured everything. Not to the precise gram, but with enough attention to detail to let me keep targets and make goals.
The following year, this last Christmas, I might have eaten too many mince pies. I don’t have the same desire to eat cakes and sweet things as I used to, but I do allow myself a treat now and again. I could work with a box of donuts in front of me and not bat an eyelid, but I’m not a complete robot. The festive season has too many biscuits and cakes for me to not eat anything at all. So, I had a few and even consumed a couple of glasses of wine.
Over the festive season, perhaps a 10 week period, I climbed back up by about half a stone. I brushed the ceiling of 12 stone again, and I didn’t like it.
January – and I’m back on the dieting wagon. I will return to regular exercise and keep to 1500 calories. I will keep a journal again and I will aim to get back down to 11 stone in the next 3 months. And I’m happy to do it, because I don’t feel comfortable where I am now.
I’m no fanatic, nor am I anorexic or anything. I just know I enjoy the freedom of a healthy weight, and I don’t want to waste the opportunity it offers me to live better and, hopefully, longer.