Road to Management Diary Part II

Back on the Packs Again

Week Nine (weigh in: 13st 3lbs – 2lb up)

Gloom descends again. It isn’t how it should be, so I must be retaining water. Have got to have a max water week, especially as this is bread week.

Decided to do the food diary really explicitly, writing down every individual morsel. I think I’ll buy a roll late in the day, and try to leave it until bedtime before eating it, which will prevent any further purchases if the carbs have a psych effect on me.

Bought a roll, left it all day, went out for the evening and then had my first sandwich for 9 months. Tomato and spinach leaves between two bits of the roll, and then a banana with the rest of the roll. It was goooood. Managed reservoir-fulls of Adam’s Ale over the weekend.

Got a packet of pitta breads on Monday, and had two each day, in a controlled way. Tasted good. Thursday saw me troughing down on two homemade burgers, each in a soft white roll, which was very special.

Rejoined the gym and did some cycling and swimming.

Week Ten (weigh in: 13st)

Good news, but hard to explain. Add bread and lose weight. Barmy. Mark says it’s all to do with water retention, and I’ve had a lot more water this week, thus creating sufficient throughput…

Should be sugar and cereals week, but since I gave up sugar three and a half years ago, it seems a backward step to reintroduce it again. So I have done bread week again, and found it okay, having a ciabatta roll one day and some soft wholemeal rolls. Oh, and a crispy roll. I like it, and it helps bulk out a spud-less meal, but it ain’t a true test of iron will until there’s a bloomer in the house. But I have no intention of tempting myself in that way.

Back at the gym, just did 30 lengths without pausing and got a little out of breath, which was good for me.

Food diary in detail again, which keeps me in check, especially in the realm of snacking.

Week Eleven (weigh in: 13st no loss, no gain)

Keeping the detailed food diary is a good discipline, as it helps me avoid stuff I should avoid and helps me see the types of food I’m eating.

Week Twelve (weigh in: 13st 2lbs - 2lbs up)

Pasta etc. The food diary continues, but I have to admit that I’m not keeping a good record of quanities, which might be the root of the weight gain issue. I’m still doing the water, but gaining steadily…?

Week Thirteen (weigh in 13st 5lbs – 3lbs up)

Now I’m best part of a stone heavier than my lightest, which isn’t so clever. Will have to make some drastic reductions to quantities, but in the meanwhile, I’m still enjoying the new regime of salads, protein, no chips, no snacks and massive amounts of carrots. Oh yes.

Week Fourteen (weigh in 13st 5lbs – no gain, no loss)

Getting it together!

Been here before…

So I’ve got it a bit wrong. But then anyone who learns a new skill might make a bit of a shaky start and get it wrong and need to adjust course as they go along, or even return to the start and use the wisdom of experience to have another go.

For example, when I learned to drive, it was all very well to sit down and read the Highway Code, or to watch the Grand Prix on the telly, but the actual experience of sitting behind the wheel showed me that all the knowledge in the world is worth diddly squat compared to a tiny bit of experience. Getting to grips with estimating the width of the vehicle was an issue, I remember, and I used to leave loads of spare room on the passenger side, ending up with my driver-side wheels over the centre line. My instructor often mentioned it, and eventually I adjusted. I was surprised that I wasn’t smashing wing mirrors with parked cars all the time, but my instructor was right.

In the same way, I’ve discovered a thinner man living inside all the blubber that used to conceal him. But the skinny bloke has memories of vast dinners, unending snacks, huge appetite and piggy eyes to match. So what’s happened over the past few weeks is that I’ve eaten the right food at the right times and in the right way, without the wrong things or extras or any snacks. I’ve studiously avoided crisps, chips, cake, and even tried to limit fruit to retrain the snacker inside me.

But I’ve gained weight since adding the blood sugar. I’m almost a stone heavier than I want to be (actually, 20lbs heavier than I was), so rather than deciding to keep going and not worry about it and end up putting more and more on, or getting guilty and depressed about it, I have decided to abstain again.

Mark advised me to make a plan and go for it, so since I had a rather important social event planned for Friday night (I chose the prawn cocktail but left the bread, had the salmon and asked for a baked spud with neither butter nor sour cream and left half of it – such righteous behaviour!) and a day out planned for Saturday, it made sense to start the sequel, entitled PacksMan Returns, on Sunday.


It was okay, getting back into it, and became Ketotic (is that right?) within three days. There was more than a touch of the hair shirt about the timing of this, as it all followed a disappointment the previous weekend; yet this eating game is mostly about emotions, so if I thought if I could abstain when I’m at my most defeated, disappointed, confused, etc, I have stepped across another line in the sand.

I survived the first few days and had a good weigh-in, with the old pink stick and a storming 9lb loss (to 13st 4lbs! The second week was okay as well, and I ended up another 4lbs down, to 13st. I wanted to get back to the lightest point, so I kept abstaining, and by 17/11/06 was an astonishing 12st 7lbs.

Managing again

Here comes the sad part of the tale; I was so pleased to have achieved 12st 7lb that I enjoyed the food celebration far too much, and didn’t follow the plan for reintroduction well at all. I was advised that I could cram the four weeks of gentle start into two, and I crammed it into a couple of days, frankly, and not only added my glycogen, but also so other stuff as well, and within a week was tipping the scales that never lie at 13st 7lb. How could this be? Not enough water, too much indolence, bad luck, complications unknown…

Three additional pounds the following week left me back at 13st 10lbs, which isn’t where I want to be at all. So, playing the system for all it’s worth, I had a very sensible week and a morning pop-in, which got me a score of 13st 7lbs.

Now we’re into the trough-fest that is Christmas, and I’m planning events all over the shop, but trying as hard as possible to be social without being foolish or allowing others to take control of what I eat. So I attended two parties and drank water, watching others consume fried stuff, pastry, greasy stuff, cheesey stuff, sugary stuff and booze. I confess that I felt slightly righteous but I’d rather err on the side of pride than start skidding down the slippery slope that leads to lardiness again. I have far too much to gain by refraining from a sausage roll or a filo pastry deep-fried prawn doodah.

Works outings for hefty meals are complicated things to avoid, but I’ve planned well, and eaten reasonably. The stilton was good, but I managed to leave something on the plate at each course: some of the bread which came with the prawns, one of the spuds and two pats of butter, a BabyBel and a cracker from the smorgas. (In what way are those tiny fromages and snack-size edams a reminder of God's wonderful gift to us at Christmas? They're the baby cheeses.)

I’ve had to steer a wise course through the many Christmas invites I’ve received, and will probably find myself alone on the 25th, but that’s a decision to be in control of my intake that day, building up for a social and calorific event the following day at my sister’s (she always starts with the table groaning and ends with the diners groaning, happily stuffed to the sallies).

Christmas went as well as could be expected.

I'm hard on myself these days, for having opened a packet of Rice Cakes and chewed my way through them. I know previously it would have been three packets of tortilla chips plus a few slices of thickly-buttered toast and a three-pack of custard slices or cream turnovers... And I would never have considered settling down to a Carry-On movie and a fistful of polystyrene ceiling tiles. But it's the snacking habit I need to break. I've been advised to eat carrots, but already three people have commented on how orange my skin is turning ('have you been going to a tanning salon?' says one) so I want to lay off the Bugs Bunny Packed Lunch for a while.

Am I being too harsh with my weakness?Or is this the time to re-learn about how to be bored and a touch lonely and slightly fed up with having to face the reality of yet another Christmas (I count 48 so far) with no wife.

Wow, I didn't mean to get quite so real; sorry. Back to the glittering generalities and monster over-positiveness.

Played a game with some friends in the evening (how marvellous to be invited to join in with the extended Fellingham family) and indulged in a scrap of turkey and some salad leaves. Righteousness abounds. Got home and checked out the spinach and a small sprinking of parmesan.