Losing weight and Staying thin.

Now and then

Now and then

In September 2012 I made some changes to my life that I have stuck with to date. I have no weight loss products to sell. I sell holidays. You are very welcome to buy one. That is not why I wrote this post. I am writing it because I want to contribute what I know about weight loss, in the hope that others who find this post can avoid some of the false starts that I went through.

What works for me is the 5:2 diet, when I first started blogging about it not many people had heard of it. At least the newspapers hadn’t got onto it. Thankfully the “craze” has now passed and it is in the weight loss tool box along with other effective strategies like the Atkins diet.

On October 26 2012 for the first time in years I found myself below 16 stone. On April 29th 2013 I was no longer obese. On the 26 September 2014 I was no longer over weight (13st 5).

I presently ware my wedding ring on my right hand as it keeps falling off the ring finger on my left hand. I am always being told that you can get rings resized. The reason I don’t is that this is the ring I got married in, and there is an argument for saying it will be a different or at least changed ring if I have it modified.

I worry that my circumstances will change and I will put the weight back on. So having the ring on my right hand means that if I do put the weight back on, I have the option to just move it back. And I won’t have the shameful episode of getting a ring enlarged that I had shrunk. The ring is a constant reminder that my weight can go up as well as down. Which I think is helpful.

The most helpful thing I think I can say to someone who struggles with their weight is that it probably isn’t your fault. The saying that stuck with me is “he was born on the finish line, and thinks he won the race”. It is not equally easy for everyone to look thin. Some people have a more robust build. That will make them look fatter at lower weights than other people.

Everyone does it: People tend to have self-serving biases. Often, people who have a desirable trait are quick to attribute those traits to their own good virtue, rather than luck. It is very hard to convince someone who is thin that part of their thinness is down to their physiology, and it isn’t all to do with their brilliance.

This isn’t the case. There are tall people and there are short people. There are stocky people and there are lanky people. If you are stocky, you will look fatter.  There is also variability in how people cope with sugar. Some people over produce insulin: Of the people who over produce insulin, some turn that into fat. Those people will be fatter than most, and their hormones will be dramatically effected.

I have always been very fit. I cycle 2 hours + a day and did when I was big. But for years despite all my personal experience to the contrary I believed that exercise was a good way of loosing weight. I had to read it in black and white, before the penny dropped for me. Exercise is an ineffective way of losing weight.

You can lose weight through exercise but it will involve a huge investment of time and effort.

That is why however you go about it; I think a critical question you have to honestly ask yourself is: “Would I be happy to do that for the rest of my life?”.

I plan to be on the 5:2 regime for the rest of my life. When I think about not fasting, the idea that I will certainly put on 3stone + if I don’t is what means it is a no-brainer to just do it and get through the fast. It was hard to start, but now the cost of stopping are so high, that it is easier to just do it. Whatever you do long term it has to require very little time and effort. So favor methods that are cheap, slow, steady and sustainable.

If you are embarking on a plan to lose weight then I want to say: good luck, you can do it.

If you want to know what worked for me look here

Above all my advice would be, only try one intervention at a time, otherwise how will you know what is working?

Give each thing several weeks to take effect, and keep records of your progress.

Try to look at other measures of health, not just weight e.g. waist measurements, VO2 max, resting heart rate.

If you are persistent and systematic you will get to the weight you want to be, and you will be much happier for it. I promise.