The number of obese people appears to have soared (here in the UK) since I was a child. Seeing an overweight ‘old’ person has never surprised me – as we get older, we all slow down, and yet we enjoy our food so naturally we put on a little extra weight. Pensioners are (generally) not trying to impress people of the opposite sex, and therefore they are happy to ‘let themselves go’ a little. They know that they’ve only got 10-20 more years left on the planet, and they have decided that the enjoyment of food is more important than longevity or the persuit of active hobbies (like sports). This is normal and has been going on since time immemorial.
What shocks me are the numbers of obsese young people that I see – for example, people 18-30. They seem not to care that they will have (probably) 50 more years on the planet, during which they will have crippling knee, back and hip pain, will be unable to play sport with their kids, and so on. Anyhow, I digress…
I just wanted to write an honest post about me, to give one man’s honest feedback. My thoughts will not work-for/help everyone, but perhaps it will help someone out there.
In my whole life, I’ve alway been slightly overweight. To give you an idea, I was never so large that anyone would ever ‘point and stare’ but enough so that I was always slower in sports than my friends, for example. In early summer 2014, I noticed that I was getting larger than ever – the easiest way to describe it was that I could physically feel bits of me wobble as I walked. I also noticed that my back was hurting most days, presumably because of the extra weight that it was carrying. What’s more, my family had booked our first ever ‘all inclusive’ (also known as ‘all you can eat’!) holiday for late August. I knew that I wanted to enjoy my holiday (in other words “get my money’s worth of my free food”!) so I knew I would gain weight on holiday, therefore some action had to be taken!
Let’s start by giving you some key facts about me (based on early Summer 2014):
- Just over 6″ tall (184 cm)
- 36″ waist
- 40 years old.
I was shocked when I weighed myself – I was almost 16 stone (224 pounds, 100kg)! If you look at the picture at the top, I guess that my shape was most similar to the second picture (starting from the left).
We all know that there is no big secret to losing weight – you eat less and move more. I’ve tried ‘moving more’ (in other words trying to do exercise) but the family lifestyle that we have (with a teenage son and 5 year old girl) meant that I had so little spare time that if I had done more exercise then my family would hardly see me. Besides, the truth be told that (in the past) whenever I’d exercised more I always found that I came home afterwards and ate like a pig to compensate. So (for me) the only secret to losing weight is to eat less. Hardly rocket science eh? Just pure honesty!
People give you all sorts of ways to change your eating habits to lose weight, for example not eating bread, only eating meat or whatever. Ultimately, IMHO all these ‘rules’ are simply making you eat less – simple as that. The less you eat, the more you will lose weight. I knew (in my heart) that the biggest reason why I had gained weight was:
(a) Eating too large portions
(b) Eating high-calorific foods between meals (e.g. fatty / sweet foods, like chocolate/cake etc.)
So my plan was extraordinarily simple. I would just have the following rules:
- At mealtimes, just eat ‘normal’ portions (e.g. what I would get in a restaurant). If I was still hungry at the end of my meal, I would simply wait 20 minutes. I always found that that hunger pang went away (after 20 minutes) because my body had time to realise that it had eaten a meal.
- If I was ever hungry between meals, I would first have a drink.
I mean, most of the time we snack because we are either (a) thirsty or (b) bored (looking for a distraction). Making a cup of tea would distract me, and I would soon forget about my idea to eat
- If I was still hungry after having a drink, I would eat a sensible snack
By sensible, my rule was that it simply could not be a high-calorie food (for example cake, chocolate, pastry-based, cheese, ice-cream etc.). I would instead typically have a banana, apple, or chicken sandwich.
By following the above three simple rules, I was never (truly) hungry. Yes, we all know that occasionally we’ll say we are hungry (because we’ve just watched someone eat a delicious-looking ice-cream sundae) but are we really genuinely? Or are we just saying it because we fancy a treat? Ask yourself a question – if I am really hungry, then surely I would be happy to eat a chicken sandwich (wholemeal bread), not an ice-cream (which does not fill you up)?
And the results of this experiment? Well, my wife scoffed at my idea, and didn’t think I could keep up with my rules. Perhaps because of this, I stuck to my guns! In fact, I susprised myself to find out just how easy and regular it was to lose weight:
- First two weeks: Lost 0.5 stone
- Second two weeks: Lost 0.5 stone
- Third two weeks: Lost 0.5 stone
So I started my holiday at 14.5 stone, knowing that I would eat like a king all week (and I did!), came home and was unsurprised (and perfectly happy) to find that I now weighted 15 stone. And there I’ve (more or less) stayed (apart from a blip at Christmas, but don’t we all do that surely?).
Finally, I really do want to say how much I found this website interesting. It’s basically a picture of genuine ‘normal’ people with all sorts of height and weight combinations. Very interesting to see how we really look (given our weight).