This is Week 4 of my diet. Welcome.
I’ve reached the half way point in my One Meal a Day for Six Weeks project, in which I’m not aiming for a specific weight loss goal in terms of the number on the scale, instead I’m seeing what can be accomplished in a short time-frame of just six weeks.
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.
Week 3 started at 182.6 lbs, saw a low of 180.2, and finished at 182.4.
I am tracking my progress using the scale – Daily Weight.
I’m also taking progress pictures.
Here are the key measurements:
MONDAY 8th AUGUST 2016
Don’t panic. Not yet anyway.
Unless I’m totally mistaken — and it is possible that I am — this is a perfect example of working hard on a diet and seemingly making little progress.
If I’m reading my situation correctly, I’m holding onto a couple of pounds of water and waste.
I’ve been eating salty foods like fries and pizza. I’ve been taking high doses of nsaids. I’m a little sleep deprived and somewhat stressed. And I haven’t had a satisfactory movement for a few days. I feel bit backed up and waterlogged.
Of course I could just have eaten too much food. That is also a distinct possibility.
Either way it’s not an issue because this is a lifestyle diet. I’m making minimal compromises regarding food choices, and walking twice a day with just 4 minutes of body weight exercises can hardly be described as punishing.
If I wanted faster weight loss I could count calories, track macronutrient intake, make bland food choices and exercise like a demon.
But this is not what this six week project is about.
For now I’m going to continue without changing my exercise or diet. We’re only half way through. There’s another three weeks to go.
I want to play this out to see if I’m right about the scale not telling the whole tale.
If it turns out I’m wrong, that’s fine, I’ll cut back a little on the portion size and see what happens.
It’s exciting. 😀
Walked for 30 minutes in the forest.
Dinner: Mince and onion, potatoes, carrots (and gravy).
A very basic meal. Going for quick and easy here.
Dessert: Magnum Icecream
I was ready chew my own arm off by the time my family finally got home to eat dinner. That was too long to wait. Too long!
My back has been less sore today so I haven’t taken any pain relief.
I decided to skip the press ups and I didn’t fancy doing the squats, but the dips don’t seem to cause me any problems. I did 100 in 1 set of 40 and 2 sets of 30.
It’s been another crazy hectic day and I am more than ready for bed. Just to mention that I hot through the day drinking several cups of tea and coffee along with 2 apples. I do this most days which is why I don’t tend to mention it.
I am genuinely interested to see what the scale says in the morning.
TUESDAY 9TH AUGUST 2016
I laughed at the scale this morning. It was an enjoyable thing to do but as always, there’s the danger that the scale will have the last laugh.
Clearly I’ve dropped 2 lbs in weight overnight, as I predicted I would. I didn’t do anything special. I didn’t starve myself, I didn’t eat the “one secret food”, and I didn’t spend two punishing hours on the treadmill.
My work trousers are really starting to loosen up. I only feel slight pressure now and most of the time I’m not even concious of it. Three weeks ago it was a different story. Back then my work trousers were cutting me in half.
I feel so much better, even in three short weeks.
Toast! I was violently attacked by toast when I got home from work. I think it was laying in wait for me. When I walked through the front door I should have know there was a problem… I could smell the toast, I just couldn’t see it. And then I realised I’d unwittingly stumbled into an ambush. I was helpless as the toast forced me to eat it. That’s the honest truth of what happened. Really.
Not really. I’d been hungry at work from 1pm onwards and knew I’d be waiting until 7 pm for dinner. I mentioned somewhere on one of these posts that eating that late in the day no longer suited me, and this is why.
I ate two slices of buttered toast and a yoghurt (British spelling). I didn’t take a picture of the toast but I did take a picture of the yogurt (American spelling).
Thinking of this kind of episode as a failure is probably not useful. It’s one event on one day. Maybe it’ll happen tomorrow and become part of an ongoing pattern. I think not though. History tells me I’ll be able to deal with it for just three more weeks and then I’ll reconsider the timing of my evening meal.
Another 30 minute walk around the track that usually takes me 40 minutes. I walked fast.
Dinner: Pork belly in cider and pepper sauce with mash and peas.
This was another awesome meal cooked by my 13 year old son. It was seasoned perfectly and tasted wonderful.
Just as a side note, I was tasked with peeling the potatoes and sneakily I prepared only enough so that each of us could only have a small portion. And this was because I knew I’d be eating rich chocolate cake with butter cream icing made by my 10 year old daughter.
I wasn’t going to tell her to throw my piece of cake in the bin because daddy is on a diet.
My enthusiasm this morning about dropping 2 lbs might have been premature. I cannot wait to see what happens to the scale weight tomorrow.
I finished my day with 100 press ups in 2 sets of 10, 1 set of 20 and 2 sets of 30. The last set was a real grinder, but there was no way I was giving up.
Again, by way of full disclosure, I drank tea and coffee througout the day and had one apple. I’ll probably stop mentioning this now as I m sure you get that it’s part of my routine.
Today wasn’t perfect but it was OK. And it’s OK to have some OK days. OK?
WEDNESDAY 10TH AUGUST 2016
More walking in the forest. 30 minutes in the fresh air listening to an audiobook. It’s a great thing.
You might think that walking alone in the peace and quiet is the perfect time to be alone with your thoughts. So why spoil it by listening to an audiobook?
Well… it depends what thoughts you entertain. Sometimes when I’m under pressure or feeling frustrated the thoughts aren’t always helpful, especially if I’m tired.
On days like that I prefer to evict the voice of doom and gloom and replace it with a voice that’s wiser, more positive, more constructive. It gives me something to think about other than my own circumstances.
Today there was no issue with my inner voice, in fact I feel positive and somewhat* upbeat. It’s just that I’m listening to a great book and wanted to hear more. 🙂
(*I say somewhat only because I’m not usually quick to jump up and start throwing high fives like a giddy schoolgirl just because the wind has changed direction.)
This is the first time ever that I didn’t want to show you what I ate for dinner.
It’s not what the health and fitness brigade would recommend for people who are dieting (or undergoing a lifestyle change).
There’s a push away from brown foods and I understand why. They’re usually heavily processed and the nutritional value is often limited. But…
But this can sometimes be the reality. Not every family has the means to buy the latest must-eat diet foods all the colours of the rainbow. Nor do they have time to prepare them.
Sometimes, for whatever reason, you have to raid the freezer and eat what’s there. That’s what I did today.
I’ll post the picture shortly.
Dinner (at 7.30 pm):
Sausage rolls, potato wedges & baked beans.
I sometimes get annoyed at the diet snobs who look down on anyone who doesn’t jump on the broccoli and quinoa bandwagon. They have an extremist, exclusive and elitist mentality.
In some strange way I’m glad I’m sharing this because it will prove that diets don’t need to be massively restrictive. There is some room for foods from the non-approved list.
I’m not really sure why I was reluctant to share the picture. Perhaps I fear the diet snobs?
One thing I hope you do get from all the writing I’ve done at this site and my other websites over the years, is that I have shared all the high points and the low points, the successes and the failures. I hope you’d agree that I’ve been honest with you. Which is ultimately why I feel compelled to share my plate of salty brown food with you.
If I ate like this every day I’d worry. But I don’t, so I won’t.
And if you liked the brown food, you’ll love the apple pie and cream I ate afterwards. Not exactly what people on diets should eat, eh?
We’ll see! 😀
I didn’t want to do the bodyweight exercises but I knew if I did just 10, I’d probably do the rest. I did 2 more sets of 20 press ups and 1 set of 50 dips.
Before I started the dips I thought I could get 60. When I got to 35 I thought I might not make it to 40. Getting to 50 was murderous… but at the same time very enjoyable and rewarding. It’s a pleasure and pain thing. Like 50 shades of gray, except in my case, my face went fifty shades of purple. So not really the same at all, sorry about that.
See you tomorrow.
I’ve been in bed for 20 minutes and was just falling asleep when I remembered that I needed to tell you that I didn’t eat (drink?) all the cream. In the picture of the apple pie you’ll see loads of cream. There was too much so I felt ok about leaving some.
That’s it. I can sleep easy now.
THURSDAY 11TH AUGUST 2016
I woke up this morning with a headache which took the edge off my morning walk. I suspect it was the salty food, probably the spicy potato wedges. But then to be fair I’m pretty sure the mini sausage rolls were full of it too. Oh, yeah, and the baked beans and the tomato ketchup.
Is it any wonder I’m back up at 181 lbs this morning?
As an a version therapy it’s pretty good. I find myself craving salad. Never happened before. Never. That’s a new one on me.
I waited to see whether the headache would go without taking anything, but it got to 10.30 and I couldn’t concentrate at work.
I took some ibufen and was okay 20 minutes later. I tried to hold off because I took so many the other day when my back was sore.
My evening walk was much better. I spent half the walk just enjoying the countryside and then I got listening to an audiobook for the last part of the walk.
Dinner: Curried pork, baked potato and salad.
This was heaven to eat. It was the pork left over from the meal on Tuesday. I slow cooked it for two and a half hours. The pork was so sweet. I’m glad there was none left or I might have eaten it.
Dessert: Apple pie and cream
Still dessert: Water melon.
It would be great if I could start doing my exercises earlier in the day. During the times I was doing 300 body weight exercises a day — like the time did a 10000 push up challenge — I’d start as early as I could. Now I seem to be leaving it as late as I can, and the procrastination I have about starting is making me get to bed later than I’d like.
Incidentally, the month I did that challenge I also ran one and a half marathons.
Those were great challenges but one of my biggest challenges right now seems to be getting enough sleep.
I finish today having done 75 press ups and 25 squats.
See you tomorrow.
FRIDAY 12TH AUGUST 2016
As soon as I got home from work I was ushered straight out of the door.
I spent the next hour putting the tent up (by myself, I might add (the bloody cheek of it!)).
I’m sitting by the fireside with my four kids. We’ve toasted marshmallows and now they’re telling ghost stories.
For dinner today I had a tuna salad and for dessert I ate a yoghurt and some Jaffa cakes.
Sitting around the camp fire I’ve eaten a couple of charred sausages and a few of the marshmallows. Not exactly on plan but acceptable given the circumstances.
I didn’t walk this afternoon and I haven’t done any exercises.
I’ll do a proper update tomorrow. See you then!
SATURDAY 13TH AUGUST 2016
30 minutes walking:
I woke up in the tent at 5.45. Actually I woke up about seventeen times during the night. It was only at 5.45 that I decided to get up.
I loaded the kids and my aching neck and back into the car and drove the short distance home.
When I jumped on the scale it lied and said 178.8 lbs. The thing with the scale is it lies in both directions. It will tell you that you’re heavier than you are and it will tell you you’re lighter than you are.
I think 178.8 is a false reading in so much as it will bounce back up.
Regardless, it’s part of the downward trend and follows the looping pattern I quite often see.
The measurements haven’t changed much. There’s a slight decrease in my Hips (by which I mean my rear end).
There also a slight decrease in my arm an leg measurements. I record these but don’t often share them because they’re less interesting.
But what I can tell from those measurements is that I’m losing fat from my extremities. This is a great sign for me because this has always been the way it happens just before I start to see more obvious results around my belly and waist.
The picture I took today bears out my perception that there hasnt been change in fat distribution on my torso.
You can see all the progress pictures here.
I’m very pleased with the progress this week. I feel that the last two weeks will see me drop down into the 170s with the high weight (usually on Sunday and Monday) not returning to the 180s.
Lunch: Beans on toast. Cucumber. 3 Jaffa cakes (eaten too quickly to take a photo).
No walking for me this evening and that’s okay. This morning I spent 2 and a half hours mucking out stables and doing all the associated tasks. Alone. Everyone else had somewhere to be!
It was a great workout though.
Dinner: Sausage casserole and rice with bread. Followed by fruit salad and cream.
This is not good. I’m sitting here talking myself out of doing my 100 daily exercises. I’m telling myself that I’m tired because I had a seriously disturbed sleep last night. I’m telling myself that I did enough exercise today mucking out the yard. I’m telling myself it’s okay to miss two days in a row.
But it’s not okay. If those are my only problems, it’s not okay. If my back were sore or I had a headache, then yes, it would be okay.
If I finish the day without doing my 100, I expect you to call me out!
That was a close run thing. I could easily have skipped the exercise, and physically it wouldn’t have made much difference, if any at all.
As far as the diet is concerned, i.e. the calorie burn, the effect is negligible.
But as far as my psyche is concerned it would have been just a little damaging. Maybe not much. But it’s the thin end of a fat wedge.
I did 100 dips in 2 sets of 50. I’m so glad I did. It took me less than 2 minutes.
SUNDAY 14TH AUGUST 2016
I was cloudy when I set off on my morning walk and those clouds looked a bit dark. I wondered whether I was going to get rained on. Thankfully it stayed dry because I didn’t have a coat.
I’ve been walking and running in this forest for 20 years but today I noticed something I’d never seen before.
On a telegraph pole I’ve walked past more than a thousand times, I saw this panda.
Full size Diet Panda
I have no idea how long it’s been there but it doesn’t look recent.
I don’t know why, but it brightened my day. 🙂
[I couldn’t help myself, I had to mess with the picture because I thought the panda looked HANGRY.]
Lunch: Scrambled eggs on toast.
While the kids are riding their ponies I’ve got some time on my hands.
It seemed like good opportunity to throw myself onto the barn floor and do some press ups.
I recorded a video of my first set of 25. I’ll try to upload it later.
I completed my 100 exercises for the day. In the end I did 4 sets of 25 press ups.
Dinner: Chilli with bacon, rice and salad. Followed by cookies and cream.
It’s been a good week.
This six week period is still about what can be achieved with a lifestyle diet. I’ve made relatively few compromises in terms of food choices, I haven’t thrown myself into a painfully punishing exercise program, I’ve lost fat and my trousers fit better. This is definitely working. It hasn’t always been easy, but it’s definitely working.
Join me for week 5