Twenty-second Weigh-in, Wednesday, 10th November, 2010

Psst…I’ve got a secret, every diet works. No, really. Every diet works. I know. I’ve tried them all.

Weight Watchers:
Top of the heap for me! I’ve spent at least four years of my life in Weight Watchers. When I was fifteen, I went from 18.5 stone, down to fifteen stone. I continued attending meetings until I climbed back up to 16.5 stone. I joined twice again while I was in college, but for short periods. In 2006 I joined briefly, but went back properly in 2007, when I went from 22 stone to 16.5 stone. I continued attending meetings as my weight went up to 18.5 stone. I’ve joined Weight Watchers again twice in the last year.

Motivation Weight Control Clinics:
Joined in Cork while in school. Cost my dad a fortune. Did OK, but gave up when I told the “counsellor” that I’d eaten a packet of chocolate digestives and her response was “but they’re full of sugar, you shouldn’t do that” as if I was some kind of nutritional neanderthal (a great name for a band by the way) and she didn’t offer any kind of assistance at all. Joined again in 2008, cost myself a lot of money, and I had my biggest one-week weight-loss (11 pounds) and could comfortably do a 8-mile walk. It’s the only diet I ever did where I lost weight over Christmas. Gave up in a huff after three bad weigh-ins in a row.

I did this and a similar intolerance-test-type diet towards the end of my time in college. I have a vague recollection of lots of Bourneville chocolate, tuna and cheese, and expensive brown bread. I lost weight, but it was one of those diets that you had to be really anal about, and couldn’t really last all that long.

Slim Fast:
I did this in school. I can’t remember how well it worked, but to this day I can’t have a strawberry milkshake or a mushroom soup without thinking of Slim Fast.

Calorie counting:
Much easier if you have an iPhone. It works, but I’ve never stuck at it for very long. It’s what (theoretically) Project Connor is based on.

The Cabbage Soup Diet:
Absolutely revolting, based around a cabbage soup that tastes of socks. Works really well – for a week.

The Milk Diet:
I did this in Poland, before my brother’s wedding. It involves eating nothing, and drinking a litre and a half of full-fat milk a day. I saw really quick results and didn’t feel at all hungry. But I would die if I tried to build a life around it. And by die, I mean, well, die.

The Scarsdale Medical Diet:
I found this in an old book lying around my parents’ house when I was a teenager. I’m sure it would work, if you were willing to invest an awful lot of money in funny breads and exotic vegetables. What I did was a severely modified version, which also worked, but didn’t last very long.

“Lifestyle Change”:
An intangible and infuriating concept. When I graduated from college, I weighed around 25 stone. A week later, I flew to Poland. After a year there, I don’t know how much weight I’d lost, but about 10 inches were gone from around my waist. I hadn’t done anything special. I’d walked to work and back every day, and I had cooked food for myself for the first time (Poland didn’t really do convenience food at the time). But I’d still eaten biscuits, drunk beer and gone out for pizza regularly.

“Being good”:
My very first diet involved “being good” – I think that, at the time, it mainly meant not eating biscuits. I was eleven. My mother had got a book out of the library for me called “How to help your child lose weight”, but she had told me to read it. To be honest, much of Project Connor has revolved around the concept of “being good”, and that’s worked…a little.

If all diets work, and I have such a broad knowledge of them (and I have read at least 20 books on diet and nutrition), how could I possibly be fat? Basically, it’s because obesity is a mental illness. You can’t get fat by accident. To get to 25 stone, you have to eat until you’re full, and then continue eating until you feel queasy, and then continue eating until you feel sick, and then eat a little more.

What I’m doing isn’t working. Not because I’ve chosen the wrong diet. Any bloody diet will do (although, obviously some have much better long-term health potential than others). It’s the mind.

I don’t know how to segue from that to today’s weigh-in. I guess I feel that if I shame myself in public, yet again, that some giant switch in my mind will flick to on, and I’ll start eating properly again.

I haven’t weighed myself yet. I’ll do it in a minute. After I do, I’ll know where I’m starting from and I’ll try flicking that switch and set out a realistic, achievable goal for Christmas.

Neck: 16.75 inches/42.5 cm – same
Arm: 14.75 inches/37.6 cm – down
Chest:51 inches/129.6 cm – up (a lot!)
Waist:54 inches/ 136.7 cm – up 2.5 inches
Thigh:26.25 inches/66.5 cm – up

Weight: 22 stone 1.5 lbs/309.5 lbs/140.5 kgs. So, I’m up 9 pounds, or four and a quarter kilos.
BMI is 46.9, body fat is 9 stone 1.5 lbs (41.1%)

So, my reasonable, sensible, logical goal for Christmas is 21 stone. I never, ever thought I’d want to be 21 stone, but I do, by Christmas, so there.

Wish me luck!

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6 Responses to Twenty-second Weigh-in, Wednesday, 10th November, 2010

  1. Anonymous says:

    I wish you good good good luck. That's funny that you mentioned the Scarsdale Diet. I think I found that in my local library when I was in eighth grade (13 years old) and I also did not have all the exotic funny breads. I think I ate tomatoes and ham slices for a few days before giving it up. You can do this (lose weight, I mean, not live on tomatoes and ham). You've done it before and you can do it again. MB x o

  2. Claire says:

    Have you any knowledge (first hand or second hand) of any mind therapies for overeating? I mean that seriously, I went to a cognitive behavioral therapist once for stress and I found it pretty good – and I think it has all sorts of applications and no doubt there are other approaches. Just interested. Hope all is well. Come to Paris soon. We can walk and talk in gardens all misty wet with rain…

  3. alhi says:

    My goal is similar to yours for Christmas. I want to lose just over a stone. Not looking good right now as Iost sweet nothing this last ten days. Gone on a complete alcohol bender as a result and feeling really depressed over it all. Can we motivate each other?

  4. Sinead says:

    I'm so glad you set a new goal Connor! Think of this process like teaching a lesson. Something didn't go according to plan, so you adapt and react. The learner isn't making progress, so you try to motivate him. You're way better at teaching than me, you can work out the rest. I agree with Claire's comment above. The biggest thing is trying not to rely on food to solve your problems. I know you wouldn't think it to look at me, but I've felt all the things you've felt at some point and I really know how to overeat and I think about food a lot of the time, maybe most of the time and sometimes I still turn to it to make me happy, but other times I try to distract myself with something else. Good luck as always and a big hug.

  5. Thanks guys. I didn't mean to cause concern with the whole "mental illness" thing. I believe most people have some form of mental illness. At least 50% of my friends have alcoholic tendencies. And in the greater scheme of things, though I hate it, obesity is far from the worst mental illness you could have. Claire, I have a lot more time for CBT than I do for most of the pill-pushing "mental health profession". It is a future possibility.

  6. Pingback: Connor has a project | Project Connor

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