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Back on the Packs again

So that was Christmas. A minor mountain of salad leaves and spinach; two roast potatoes, one Yorkshire pudding, several packs of ricecakes and one small portion of socially-pressured Chinese food. I’ve piled on lots of weight and am way beyond where I was when I started eating again in June.

So it’s time to correct the course or give up and start eating my way back into sad obesity. Therefore I’ve decided to go for it, to take life seriously, to slim down way beyond where I was, and to risk the accusation of ‘gaunt’ (why do people think that frightens me – when ‘lardyboy’ 'wobblebottom' or ‘blubbermountain’ are what I’ve heard all my life?).

As Sean ponted out, January is hairshirt time for lots of people, so I’m just joining in the fun. Fun?

Day One (Tuesday 2nd January: 92kg; 14st 6lbs)

Back to work, via a pop-in and restocking the Nut Crunches. Suddenly there are two planned events I need to steer round, and it’s hard to tell people I won’t be eating, as the social calendar is always food oriented.

Lots of water, two Thais and a NC so far, plus a St Clements (no-acid, no calorie powdered lemon drink) and a LL savoury drink. Had to turn down party food at Lucy’s 4th birthday party (2nd years running I’ve had to do that), but wasn’t a problem for me. Long evening, but water and Thai sustained me. Slept surprisingly well.

The internationally-recognised LighterLife St Clements powdered drink

Day Two

Kept busy, drank water, head down, don’t look at the greengrocer’s produce as you walk up the street, stop smelling the vinegar on that woman’s chips as she passes you, avert your gaze from Subs and KFC and Burger King (not normally a threat, but they’re advertising a baguette thing now)… Late water to get the score up.

Day Three

Busy night, but woke up thirsty so got started. Feel some advantage already. Certain I’m entering ketosis now, so should have a good pop-in on Saturday (which is Day 5).

Deliberately started the day with a decent stroll. Took car for MoT (it came back really quickly, clean as a whistle!) Spent the evening with friends, watching them eat a meal, which was probably harder for them than it proved for me. The gravy smell was tempting, but I got through it. By the end of the day I’m feeling lighter and more in control.

The universally-appreciated LighterLife Thai Chilli soup-mix

Day Four

Into the swing. Lathered into St Clem this morning, since I can get some more tomorrow so don’t have to be so fierce with the rationing.

Week Two (Saturday 6th Jan: 86.1kg; 13st 7lbs – 13lbs loss!)

And there was loud rejoicing and shouts of ‘huzzah’. As the man said, who else weighs the same on Jan 6th as they did on December 12th? Mark accused me of being Matt and I was satisfied that the vast gain last week had been a bogus reading – not that the scales were wrong, but that it was a combination of water retention, needing to sit down on the loo for a while, loose change in my pocket, etc.

But this good news has spurred me onwards. Party tonight, but it holds little threat over me, despite the youngsters circulating all evening with trayfuls of hot finger-food, with which they were instructed to tempt everyone. I stuck to my glass of water and felt righteous.

Tummy feels good – slack skin but firm beneath without feeling bloated or fat-filled. Still on course; hope my decision yesterday to have 2 x Nut Crunch won’t have any impact on my guts. Got a call from the LighterLife publicity machine; they want to interview me for the magazine! Wrote a long email to the journalist and got very positive reply.

Kept focused on the liquid input, making sure that the Savouries, the St Clements and the Peppermint Tea flowed in, while stuff-that-makes-ketostix-go-pink flowed out.

Week Three (Sunday 14th January: 83kg; 13st – 7lbs loss)

Continuing to shout Glory and Hallelujah. Feeling good, moving onward, receiving positive comments. Being 13st is great. Aiming for less than that, so keep going, boy.

Had a wild day on Friday, having travelled to Birmingham on business, I met up with two dear friends for pleasure (along with their fantastic boys), and I asked them to take me shopping, as I valued their advice on style and boldness. And they are great company, too!

So I purchased almost everything Marks & Spencers had to offer. Nice suit, very nice shirts, deeply horrible tie, superb jumper. And then more shirts in Debenhams. Nearly bought shoes in Next, but accidentally forgot. It was an orgy of self-indulgence, rejoicing in my slimlineness.

Horizontal stripes? I was always told to avoid them, but now... no problem, sir. Bold colours? Thank you very much. Quality suit off the peg? I think so. It has to be noted that the trousers were clearly on a hanger marked 34" and seemed slightly snug, which, on reflection, concerned me a little. But when I checked them later, I found I'd bought 32" strides. Amazing, when you consider that the last suit trousers I bought, merely 18 months ago, made-to-measure, were 58", more than 2 foot bigger in the waist!

Week Four (Monday 22nd Jan; 81.9kg; 12st 12lb - 2 lbs loss)

But as Mark said straightaway, 'Evening weigh-in, so you can take another three off that.' (We all weight 3 lbs more by the end of the day; pehaps it's the vast ballast of the water.)

We discussed the goal I'd originally set in the light of the success I was having and the slight concern about having got into this groove. But we agreed that I should keep aiming for 12st, which would give me a few pounds with which to play once I returned to the world of spinach.

Checked the pedometer this morning, and was amazed to read that I'd walked 23 miles this week! Shopping, travelling,several 'fresh air' strolls... and my feet are coping fine!

Interim pop-in (Wednesday 24th Jan; 12st 6lbs - 6lbs loss)

Oh yes, I know I shouldn't have, but what joy to discover I am lighter than I had previously achieved! Could it have been the haircut (and beardtrim) that made all the difference? Probably not. But loud rejoicing is certainly appropriate.

Photo: 27th January 2007

I shall carry on through 12st and into the high 11s, I think. I shall carry on until Sunday 4th February, and then embark once again on a 4-week road to management course with the old turkey, salmon, spinach, rocket, cucumber etc.

Week Five (Monday 29th Jan; 77.6kg; 12st 3lbs - 9lbs loss)

What a good week! The goal of 11st something seems even more likely now; the idea of spinach and celery sounds very attractive. Navigated the weekend conference in Eastbourne wisely and by avaoiding the free dinners supplied, which is a financial loss but a weight loss, too.

Target! (Monday 5th Feb; 75kg; 11st 11lbs - 6lbs loss)

I had never considered this milestone in a million years - 75kg seemed so unlikelyand holpelessly unattainable when I first sat on Mark's sofa and found out about emotional dependence on food, and about addiction, abstaining, water and support structures. But here I am, standing tall in my new suit and tie, wearing nice shoes, feeling fit and healthy and ready for more or less anything. I'm doing so well.

Went direct from the pop in to Tesco's for spinach and celery, plus a few other bits on the list, and am looking forward to a turkey steak for lunch and a nut crunch for tea.