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