Category Archives: weight


So despite the fact I haven’t been blogging I have been keeping to my weekly weigh in… mostly… some weeks admittedly I don’t bother if I know the print out will not make happy reading and will just make me feel more down than I might be that week…

If I do a certain amount of exercise and keep and eye on the calories then the weight will go down… if I fall down on my vigilance or have a week where too many nights conclude with the TV and a bottle of wine then I know it will go up…

There is no secret to this for me, there is no quick fix, it’s just exercise, count calories and stay away from the red wine…

It was unfortunate that my busy stressful period coincided with the end of Dry January… and I know that losing weight is easier if alcohol is not involved… not because of the amount of sugar in wine but because alcohol reduces your will power and “less will power leads to snacking… snacking leads to suffering” (as Yoda didn’t say)…

However I don’t see the point in cutting out alcohol completely unless I am planning on cutting it out long term because otherwise the weight will just pile on once the abstinence is over… I have to find a “lifestyle” and habits that work as a permanent solution.

I do try different things to keep things interesting and as a way of motivating myself… these however fell by the wayside when things got busy but I would like to start that up again.

I may have to ditch the “chew your food more” tip as I’m not sure I will ever eat slowly… but I guess less fast may be a start…

My parents banned me from reading at the table so I got into the habit of eating quickly in order to get back to my book…

The idea of eating slowly is so that you stop when you are full and don’t overeat which is a risk if you eat quickly because it takes awhile for your tummy to tell your brain that you are full…

I was also brought up to eat everything on my plate… so maybe the answer is smaller plates, smaller portions

SO the weight then, well it went up and down and up and down but generally the trend has been going down so now instead of yo-yoing between 11st 7lb and 12 stone I am bouncing mostly between 11st and 11st 7lb so I guess that’s a win

Anyway, as at the end of week 13  it was 11st 6lb the strange thing is that the gym scales now say I am 1m 67cm… I seem to be getting taller rather than slimmer…


NHS 12 Week Review

I am a little behind with reviewing this… I am almost at the end of the C25K which I started after I finished the 12 weeks of the NHS weight loss programme

I don’t really have a lot to say about it. It’s basic premise is move more and eat a healthy diet with lots of vegetables, some fruit and not too much saturated fat or over processed carbs.

It, like a lot of such programmes, majors on a healthy way of life rather than a fixed “diet”. Change the way you live for weight loss and keeping the weight off… with 30 minutes of exercise at least 5 times a week.

It didn’t work for me because on the food side of things I was mostly there already. There were no quick wins for me such as cutting out junk food or fizzy drinks.

It wasn’t until after I finished the 12 weeks and moved on to something else which placed more emphasis on the exercise and made me focus on counting calories and portion control that my size started to reduce.

I’m not saying this is a bad programme. The advice, same as the advice in the Diet Doctors (which I tried the year before), is sensible and will in most people lead to weight loss and fitness. It’s just that those of us who are already following this advice won’t see any quick results and at the start of a programme you need some sort of reduction to keep the momentum going.

Yes. Diets don’t work, the only way you keep weight off for good is a regime such as this… but you need a kick start to make you feel that it is actually worth adopting a healthy life style.

The C25K leaves me aching and in mild pain most days… but I can see results and therefore I keep going with it!  This didn’t and to be honest all I felt was deprived of some of the things that make the winter bearable such as carbohydrates especially cheese, mashed potato and pasta…


This has not been as good a week for “moving more”. I caught a cold at the start of the week and, having learned from the last where I suspect too much exercise contributed to a chest infection lasting for 6 weeks, decided not to push things too much.

But there has still been a bit of a reduction in the numbers including 0.5% in fat % which now stands at 36.5%.

No print out this morning as we were a bit rushed. The Boy had karate grading as well as swimming today…I think I have lost a further 2lbs as my home scales which are nicer to me than the Gym ones give me a reading of 11st 6lb…

I am still 4 pints of water a day and keeping a food log plus….(see previous 2 weeks).

This week I also tried Eating more unrefined carbs although this did end up being mostly beans and some pearl barley as I had a cupboard clear out…this may continue into next week as there is a big bag of brown rice that also needs using up. The FitBit has been assisting me with counting calories and I suspect this is the aspect of this week which will continue for the rest of the year.

Less successful was the use smaller plates which only really applies to the evening meal but on the other hand the Man (who did most of the cooking this week) is attempting portion control. Also less successful was weight or resistance exercise this was due to the cold I mentioned earlier which meant I only managed 1 session… however I hope to build this in as a regular thing over the next 8 weeks.

The final tip was better sleep.  I have been trying to get at least 7 solid hours in but as a light sleeper at the best of times I find this difficult.

All in all I am still feeling reasonably upbeat but I know that the next 5 weeks will be tougher simply because it’s cold and grey out there at the moment and I do not cope well in the winter as my normally positive attitude to life takes a severe dip when light levels are low.

Haven’t decided what tips to try for the week to come yet… I try and mix the sensible in with at least one slightly quirky suggestion if I can but I am having problems of focusing on a plan for the week.

Stats: week 1


I don’t have a start weight for the new year as I didn’t go to the gym last Saturday. The Boy was ill so missed swimming. My home scales said 12 stones plus and a fat % of about 40%.

so pretty much back to where I was last July 😕

When I finally managed to get myself on the gyms official scales it wasn’t as impressive as I’d hoped…I also seemed to have gained a cm in height to go with the lb (note singular) that I had managed to shed…



so yeah, not very impressive…also gym scales turned out not to have a fat monitor so I still had to weigh myself at home to find out I was 39% fat…and 11 stone 11…

So, some other statistics to try and cheer myself up…and because the Man bought me a running log…for reasons I will explain another time.

i have run a total of 6 miles…at an average of 4.9mph outside and just over 4mph if I am on a treadmill…I can do a mile in a pb of 12 minutes and 17 seconds…I can currently run just over 2 miles without stopping.

i have upped the spin class to twice a week and on average burn 350 calories in a 45 minutes…and can keep up with the rest of the class


i have been trying to drink about 4 pints of water a day excluding that during or after exercise…I am almost meeting this but it’s taking awhile to make it a habit.

i also tried eating eggs for breakfast rather than porridge…because not only does it mean I start the day with protein but it is easier to include vegetables with eggs…spinach and porridge does not appeal !

oh and I am also dry until February 2nd

not really seek the benefits from this week though…but still a lb is a lb


Find a new plan Stan

Whenever I have tried to lose weight by exercise, at some point through the process I look down and fall in love with my legs…I suddenly realise that actually they look quite good, not slim but toned.

It’s those moments you have to hang on to when the scales are stubbornly refusing to budge… like this morning…or about a week ago.

After 3 months of exercise I have lost 4lbs… or I had before Christmas intervened.  I have lost inches off my thighs and bottom and about 2% of my body fat  (down to 37%).

The glacial rate of progress can be quite dispiriting and yes, probably lead to slightly more excess over Christmas than the restrained approach I had promised myself.

OK I do have a slight excuse of the chest infection which lasted a month but still I do have to grade myself with a “C-“ and “could do better”

So it’s time for a rethink and a new approach.

Firstly I am only going to weigh myself once a week on the scale at the Gym.

Secondly a more disciplined approach to eating including keeping a Food Diary because psychologically if you are having to record it then you are more likely to think twice before you eat it.

Thirdly I have drawn up a list of hints and tips from various web sites advising you of “why-you-are-not-losing-weigth-despite-the-fact-you-are-exercising-like it’s-going-out-of-fashion” and am going to try a new one a week… whilst continuing with the hint/tips from previous weeks if I think they are genuinely useful…  such as “drink water”

Finally I am going to relax and enjoy 2016 focusing not so much on the weight loss goals but on the other targets on my 2016 list so that in 12 months time I can look back on 2017 and think “I did that…I the Sofa Slug got out of the house and did THAT”

Because no matter how much blubber I manage to shift I am never going to be a whippet thin red carpet movie star but being happier healthier and fitter and being around to see the Boy reach 18 is good enough if not better. As is giving the Boy a good example as a parent.

Some days you are the statue

Yesterday was not the best of days. I had to go to Coventry to collect a pair of safety shoes from a colleague…of course I got lost. It is practically the law in Coventry that if you try and go somewhere new you will get lost. Even once you get used to the ring road you will still get lost because periodically they dig it up and change things just for fun !

Getting lost meant it was getting dark and the streetlights were coming on

On collecting the shoes and reaching the city limits it eventually dawned on me that the way in front was not as clear and bright as it should be. OK so the streetlights pretty much finished once you left the city and headed into countryside but most cars are equipped with headlights right ? And mine appeared to be on… so why was it so dark ?

Pulling over I realised that both my front dip headlights were for some reason not working. Fortunately full beam was so I managed to limp home but probably made myself a good many enemies in the traffic coming towards me…woops !

Without headlights though there was no way I would be able to get to BarreFit down in Bodicote… it really was turning into a bit of a horrid day.

Friday didn’t start much better. The weekly weigh in showed a miniscule reduction and I could go to the gym as planned to catch up on missed work outs as I had to sort my headlight situation out.

I was beginning to feel as if the whole world was against me and I should just get back into bed. But I couldn’t take the day off and hide under the duvet as I needed to collect a train ticket from work

Then suddenly everything started falling into place again as though someone had flicked a switch and said “no today its your turn to be the pigeon” and all the little stresses started melting away as quickly as they had built up…

NHS 12 Week Plan – the halfway mark

I think it is safe to say that the first 6 weeks of the NHS plan did not go well. After a good start I went on holiday and then ended up starting again… not that it helped

The main thrust of the NHS 12 week programme is move more, eat less.  That’s ok I can do that… no problem

So how do they suggest I eat less?

  • Watch calories
  • Learn about calories in food
  • Portion control
  • Eat more veg
  • Make sure you have breakfast
  • Embrace healthy ways of cooking
  • Fill up with fibre
  • Porridge
  • Eat soup
  • Avoid alcohol and calorie laden drinks

The problem is that I have been doing all that for some time already so continuing doing it is unlikely to make a major difference. The difficult bits for me are the avoiding alcohol and the eating more veg… and possibly the portion control….so there the bits I need to tackle going forward

On portion control  both myself and the Man are children of parents who were children during the war or just after. My parents and his were taught to eat what was in front of you and it was hell to pay if you didn’t. They brought us up the same way. The problem is that there wasn’t a lot of food to put on your plate during the war but there is now.  Eating everything on your plate is a problem when food is not in scarce supply.

We took a long hard look at the food on our plate. Although we are not serving massive portions or going up for seconds we agreed there was room for some portion reduction.

Alcohol.  I am not sure I could cut this out. You see I like the taste of wine. I like the occasional glass with a meal and loosing weight by cutting out wine is not sustainable if I go straight back to drinking wine when the weight has gone. So greater control on when and how often I consume alcohol. 2 G&T’s and a half bottle of wine a week puts me under the recommended units for a week

Eat more vegetables. This is the real tough one unless I start eating them with my breakfast porridge. My evening meal is not a solo affair and there are a limited number of vegetables the Man and the Boy will eat…I guess I can switch to a vegetarian lunch?

Move more

This didn’t start well. I am one of those people who won’t exercise unless I am told to. I need to be ordered to undertake a specific task on a specific day then I won’t do it

I need goals not vague “you have to do 30 minutes a day of your choice”

It didn’t help that their main suggestions involved apps which didn’t like the age of my phone. Things improved by week 5 when I joined the Gym and signed myself up with the Barre Fit programme as these were definite dates in my diary… I had to turn up

The other suggestion was to build more exercise in your life by finding opportunities to move more like getting off a stop earlier on the bus. Whereas I had been doing this quite a lot in the summer, parking my car away from the office and using the toilet on the 3rd floor instead of the ground floor the descent of the gloomy autumn weather found me parking in the car park more and more.

End result – start weight  12 stone 1

At half way point 11 stone 13

So 2lbs lost… not great but it’s still a reduction