One of my most significant achievements of 2016 was losing 10kg or 12% of my bodyweight, and I want to bring together some of the thought processes and actions that I took that might be useful to you. I’ve split this over 7 posts and have linked it to it’s own page so you can find it again easily should you want to.
My history with my bodyweight is a difficult one. I’d never been slim before going to university; I’d always been what you’d call chubby. But I wasn’t unhappy with my weight. I couldn’t run for more than about 15-20 minutes; I always put this down to being asthmatic. But I was always fit enough to play football with friends and that was what mattered.
In my second year of university I joined a gym for a while and was going consistently for probably 6-8 weeks. I saw some weight loss, but I quit the gym when I got busy with exams and never really went back.
In 2007, my last year of university, I put on a lot of weight through comfort eating because of stress. I put myself under a lot of pressure in my last year and had a lot of work to get through. I peaked at about 105kg (BMI 31.3) through eating a lot of chocolate, beer and takeaway pizza. I definitely (thought I) didn’t have enough time for exercise.
When I started work in 2008, I lost a lot of weight almost completely by accident. I was eating more healthily as I was eating dinner with the owners of the house where I was staying and they ate quite healthily. I also bought a bike and was cycling the 3 miles to work quite regularly.
The combination of eating well and regular exercise meant I weighed about 70 kg within about 6 months. In the end I had to eat more to keep weight on!
I started going to the gym in September 2008 doing mainly free weights and machines. As time went on, my relationship with food was that I would eat and drink whatever I liked, in the knowledge that between cycling and the gym I would burn it off. Whenever I ate junk and people were watching, they would often comment jealously that I would burn it off later. My confession is that I was struggling to burn off the calories I was putting in. Any body will typically reach a state of homeostasis, and I was slowly putting on weight.
Fast forward to January 2016. My weight had crept up to 93kg. I had just got back from three weeks in Spain where I was inactive and had eaten and drunk my way through Christmas. But I would just do my usual of getting back into my routine of cycling to work and going to the gym on my lunch break and I would be back to a normal weight soon enough.
Then my wife went into hospital. 2 days back and me being a good 5 kilos above the weight I wanted to be, and my 26-week-pregnant wife went into hospital with preeclampsia. Suddenly I had no time to cycle, I would drive everywhere to save time. I got to the gym a bit but not much. And with the stress came comfort eating again…
Spring came round and I managed to get back on the bike again. But I still wanted to lose weight. I had the goal of doing muscle ups at the gym, and just before Christmas I had managed one, but had put on so much weight that I couldn’t do them anymore.
Now I had so little time, I couldn’t burn off the food I was eating. So I had to slow down…