Welcome to Week 3 of One Meal a Day for Six Weeks. This is about seeing what can be accomplished in a short time frame rather than having a specific weight goal in mind.
I’m tracking my progress with the scale, the tape measure and progress pictures.
Week 1 started at 185 lbs, saw a low of 181.2, and finished at 183.6.
Week 2 started at 184.8 lbs, saw a low of 179.8, and finished at 181.4.
This is the story of the tape measure so far:
Monday 1st August 2016
My week started with a 25 minute walk around the forest. It gave me a chance to think about what I want to achieve in the week ahead.
Although I’ve still got four full weeks to go, being in week 3 creates the idea in my head that I’m half way through. This is interestung because it adds some pressure to perform. Pressure in a good way, acting as a motivation rather than stress.
It’s going to be a good week!
Dinner: Bolognese, various pasta, cheese, cucumber, slice of bread (not shown).
Dessert: Ice lolly
I liked eating dinner at 5 pm, it’s a much better time for me and works well to reduce the food cravings I have if I don’t eat until 7 pm.
Dinner with the family was always important but now that the children are older and doing different activities in the evening, I might start eating my meal earlier again.
30 minutes of walking woke me up. I only got six hours sleep last night and I’m starting to feel it.
100 squats in 4 sets of 25 finishes the day for me.
I love Mondays as far as the diet is concerned. It always feels like a fresh start and another opportunity to build a solid foundation for the week.
Eating more at the weekend somehow manages to make Monday easier. Maybe that’s just my imagination?
My aim this evening is to get to bed by 9.30. I’ll be asleep before my head hits the pillow.
Tuesday 2nd August 2016
I forgot to mention yesterday how great it was to put my work trousers back on after a week off work and not feel like they’re cutting me in half.
I had the same experience this morning. It’s not like they’re loose but it feels so much better. I can’t wait to see how they fit at the end of the six weeks.
Dinner: Chicken, tomato and pasta bake with salad and bread.
Dessert: TWO Cornettos.
Somebody had better call the diet police. Surely this isn’t allowed?
My wife was late home and my youngest child I’d too young to leave by herself, so I was late out for my walk.
It was already quite dark because of the cloud cover, but 30 minutes later it was significantly darker.
I didn’t enjoy my walk so much this evening. There were loads of people about. They should know by now that it MY forest and they’re not welcome!
I might be a bit grumpy this evening.
Damn it. I wanted to be in bed 2 hours ago. Life’s just not like that, eh?
It got to 11.15 and all I’d managed to do all day was 2 sets of 10 press ups (which I did mid-afternoon).
I so very nearly binned the idea of doing the exercises but immediately threw myself onto the floor and did 30 press ups. I got to my feet and did 25 squats. Brushed my teeth and then did 50 dips.
I felt compelled to do the exercise because I knew that it would be crazy not to. After all, I’m only doing this for another 4 weeks and then I’m free to have a break if I want one.
Wednesday 3rd August 2016
Another rainy dark morning… but it’s still a good way to start the day!
The weight is dropping off, as it tends to do, as part of this now very familiar pattern.
It’s really hard not to get caught up in the scale weight even when you fully understand the significance, so I fully understand when people freak out over it.
It’s fine today because it’s where I think it should be, but if I’d seen an increase today that would have irked me, even though I know what I know about scale weight. Just being honest here. Things like this are a constant challenge and I don’t think any of us are ever totally free from it. But I do believe we get better at it the more we practice.
Perhaps that’s how we should view it. As a practice. As part of an ongoing journey towards self mastery. In other words, it’s a life long commitment.
I know that will put some people off, but I think that’s the reality. Being concious of the choices we make in relation to nutrition is not something restricted to the period of time we’re actively on a diet. I know this to be true from repeated first hand experience .
It’s an intesting journey to say the least. I think there’s a lot of self discovery involved with this game.
I went to a coffee shop with a couple of colleagues for an impromptu meeting. It was my turn to buy but while we were standing at the counter I saw one of my team eyeing up the cakes and pastries.
Being the nice guy that I am, I asked him if he fancied a cake. He graciously accepted but then I was left with the dilemma… my other colleague didn’t want anything and I didn’t want the other guy to feel guilty.
I did the decent thing and ordered a slice of banana bread.
Instead of having a milky coffee I chose to have tea instead.
I didn’t take a picture but I borrowed this one from Harris and Hoole (which is where we were – and it’s very nice too).
OK so I didn’t get to put a mark on my adherence tracker but it did make me make a deliberate decision.
I’m happy with the decision I made and I have no regrets. Sometimes you can have your cake and eat it too.
My 13 year old son cooked dinner this evening, so what I ate was out of my control. I suspect that this is the case for many people wanting to lose weight.
It can be made difficult make better choices if you’re at the mercy of the person who does most of the cooking.
That is definitely something I had in mind when I first looked at this diet. I saw eating one meal a day as a way to limit exposure to what might be called sub-optimal foods.
This was a lovely meal though. It’s the first time he’s ever made something like this and I’m not being protective when I say it tasted great.
Dinner: Roast beef with various root vegetables, peas and sweetcorn.
We didn’t have any gravy but I certainly wasn’t going to question his choice there. It’s interesting that I was served a dad-sized meal. The potatoes and veg were piled high.
Dessert: Meringue, strawberries and cream.
I was able to get away with just a splash of cream without causing offence to the chef.
I can imagine it’s a nightmare for those who try to influence other family members to eat different food or smaller portions. For some, sharing the news that they’re going on a diet might well be met with open hostility.
I might have eaten slightly more than I wanted to today but it was marginal. It’s always difficult to judge when you don’t count calories.
Great meal! I’m proud of my son.
You’ll be glad to hear that I had the forest all to myself this evening. The other people obviously realised the error of their ways and stayed away.
Order has been restored!
As my day draws to a close I’m pleased to say I’ve finished on a high by completing my body weight exercises.
75 press ups in 3 sets of 25.
50 dips in 1 set of 50.
Thanks for reading. See you tomorrow.
Thursday 4th August 2016
I was slightly later getting out for this morning’s 30 minute walk. Even though I got to bed at a reasonable hour I was woken several times by children having nightmares and dogs scratching to go out to pee. I felt wrecked when I finally had to haul my rear end out of bed.
There’s a half pound weight increase since yesterday, which is unusual for me at this point in the week, but is by no means unheard of and certainly not catastrophic. I don’t now need to head directly to the fridge loudly declaring that my diet is failing and proceed to fill my face with cream cakes.
All I need to do is stick to the process.
Looking forward to my dinner this evening because I already know I’m having fish. Lovely.
Dinner: 2 pieces of breaded haddock fillet with potatoes, carrots and broccoli.
… and tomato ketchup.
Dessert: Chocolate (KitKat Orange).
This meal was fantastic. The fish was delicious. In fact I’d have preferred 3 pieces of fish in exchange for the potatoes.
I went a bit lighter on desert today because I felt I could.
I rarely mention it… but you do know that throughout the day I drink tea and coffee with milk and one sugar, right?
I also eat fruit if I’m hungry. Today I ate two apples, and most days I have at least one. Because an apple a day keeps the doctor away and all that.
Just thought I’d mention it. I felt like it was common knowledge but I had an email today asking about it.
It rained. It rained hard. I got soaked. For 30 minutes!
That’s it! I’m done. 100 press ups in 4 sets of 25. I’m starting to feel stronger in my chest especially at the low point in the movement.
Friday 5th August 2016
My weight is stubbornly sticking around the 180s as I approach weigh in day tomorrow.
I have to keep reminding myself that this is about a change in body composition, not pure weight loss.
I am stronger than I was, I don’t feel like I’ve lost muscle. It’s hard to gain muscle on a calorie deficit, but when you’re an untrained individual (like me) it is possible. It won’t be much but it might be enough to mask some of the fat loss.
Anyway, enough of the second guessing.
Stick to the process. The result will come.
Although it’s no longer raining, there’s still plenty of water to play in. This was a really good walk. My legs felt like they were on fire at one point going up the hill.
I was thinking about something I’d read in Seth Godin’s The Dip.
Quitting in the dip is usually a short-term decision — and a bad one.
When people quit, they are often focussed on the short-term benefits. In other words, “If it hurts; stop!”
The Dip is when you hit a point where it gets tough, tougher than you expected and you find it difficult to continue. Perhaps you don’t feel like you’re getting the results you’re expecting, or you question whether the desired outcome is worth the pain.
It can be difficult in the moment to see beyond the short term. We’re wired to avoid pain and seek comfort, whether that be physical pain or mental pain.
Diets aren’t easy. Lifestyle change isn’t easy. New habit formation isn’t easy. There is some pain and discomfort involved.
I am convinced that finding success in many challenging endeavours, like fat loss, involves learning to sit with the discomfort and recognising it for what it is… a transient and quickly forgotten experience.
Dinner: Pizza, fries and salad.
Dessert: Strawberries and Greek yogurt.
This is not what I’d have chosen for myself. It’s another meal where the salt content will likely play havoc with my water balance. Oh well.
The strawberries were amazing!
I forgot to mention this earlier, but you may remember that a couple of days ago I went for a coffee shop meeting with a couple of colleagues. On that occasion I had a slice of banana bread which meant I didn’t stick to my eating plan.
I had another meeting today and this time I just stuck drinking tea. I explained that I was watching the calories. It wasn’t an issue at all.
I’m happy to break my eating plan if the occasion is right, but I don’t want to set up a habit of eating cake every time I go to the coffee shop.
I think it was also in the back of my mind that I’d be weighing in tomorrow and that made the decision slightly easier.
Today is over and I get to go to bed now! Can’t wait.
But before I go I should tell you I’ve just finished doing 100 dips in 4 sets of 25.
Saturday 6th August 2016
It’s weigh in day! As you see from the image I’m 180.2 lbs. That’s about half a pound up on last Saturday’s 179.8 lbs.
As much as I would desperately love to have seen a number in the 179s, it hasn’t worked out that way this week.
Lunch: Chicken burger, fries and salad.
I spent 30 minutes walking around the forest. It was nice to see the sun breaking through the canopy.
Dinner: Quiche, potatoes, carrots, broccoli, cheese and red onion bread.
I’ve eaten too much today.
No dessert for me!
Today’s progress picture:
Hmm? I look spongy and puffy and water logged.
I’ll post this one alongside the other progress pictures.
My exercise today… 100 tricep dips.
Sunday 7th August 2016
I’ve just done a really bizarre thing.
I’ve just eaten 5 of these oaty biscuits:
I had a really full-on day yesterday. My time was hijacked by everyone else and the things I wanted to do didn’t get done.
As a result I felt cranky and I woke up feeling the same way today.
There seem to be lots of things about day to day living that are irritating me. I’d put that down to being on a diet, but even when I’m not on a diet, those things are still irritating.
I think that negative aspects of out lives seem worse than they actually are while trying to lose weight.
Eating the biscuits was a deliberate decision.
“I don’t care, I’m doing it anyway”
…were the words that ran through my mind.
Well it’s done now. The main thing is not to dwell on it. I certainly don’t need to do anything drastic. But I do need to exercise some caution for the rest of the day.
Interestingly, I wasn’t using my adherence tracker this morning. To be honest though, I’m not sure it would have helped. I was pretty much going to do it regardless.
It’s quite funny to think about how easily we’re swayed to act by our primative brain. The rational reasoning brain doesn’t even get a look in!
Lunch: Tuna mayo sandwich.
Nothing fancy here.
I don’t eat Muller Light because it’s ‘light’. I eat it because it’s in the fridge.
This picture was taken just as we enter the forest. It’s lovely. 30 minutes of walking.
Dinner: Salmon and broccoli fish cakes with fries and peas.
No dessert today.
I’ve just this minute finished my exercises. 50 press ups in 2 sets of 25 and 50 dips in 1 set of 50.
I was in two minds whether to do them at all because my lower back has been sore for the last two days.
It feels like something is getting pinched which in turn is causing all the muscles around the area to tighten.
The pain killers take the edge off it — and I have taken a oat load of them — but they don’t work nearly so well as I’d like.
I’ll see you tomorrow for Week 4.