Profile - Ian
I've had three attempts over the years at Weight Watchers, but found the one thing I valued most was being weighed weekly on reliable scales.
I found eating out very difficult to track, and never got sustainable (for me) loss.
So I migrated over to Atkins, and wallop - several stone off within three weeks, so around 6 people in the office bought the book and went on it too.
However, in every case, we all stalled completely after the initial 20g/week carbs induction. After six weeks of no loss, I gave up.
On being made redundant, I decided to enrol at the local gym and follow Atkins, but despite all the gym work as well, exactly the same stall occurred second time around.
In most cases when I find I don't make consistent weight losses, I lose confidence in the diet…
Something really hit me when I started following Weight Loss Resources, kept my food dairy bang-up-to-date, always stayed under calories quota (including diet balance!) and had the opportunity to look at the weight loss graph over an extended time period.
While I'm tracking the 2lbs/week trend line down, it's plateau, plateau, drop, plateau, drop, plateau, plateau, drop…
On Being Overweight…
Being overweight affected my self-confidence and I know gave very poor first impressions.
I also managed to lose sleep by having stomach acid coming up my throat whenever I laid down.
Not exactly the right ingredients when you're in your mid-40's and out there job hunting.
Finding the Motivation
At my last company, I attended a course that looked at your own priorities and goals in life.
The tutor gave a story of a University professor that wanted to fill a container with some large rocks and some gravel, and set his students off trying to get as much of the materials into the container as possible.
The ones that filled the container with gravel first and then the large rocks didn't do too well.
Those that positioned the rocks in first then poured the gravel down the cracks, fitted a lot more in.
He then told them that life's priorities are like that:
Put the rocks (your key priorities) in first, before everyone else tries to add the gravel. Well, maybe a bizarre story, but a light bulb switched on in my brain.
It was important to me to stop making excuses ("I don't eat very much really", "I don't eat the wrong things", "I can't understand why I'm this weight") and to get a grip.
If you want something badly enough, you'll do what you need to do; no-one else is going to do it for you!
When Atkins #2 stalled, I'd already started exercising at the local gym. They were going to run a 6-week "Bodyworks" course and one of the staff talked me into going on it.
They started with all your measurements, weight, fitness levels, then dished out diet sheets to fill in.
The cynic in me came out - "a website where you can monitor diet and weight - £7 per month value".
However, it quickly became apparent how really excellent the site was and I ate all those words.
How WLR Helps
It's certainly the first place that has advised me to eat more to maintain consistent weight loss!
I do put in all my exercise and religiously keep the food diary up-to-date; force of habit really.
Having come this far, I'm determined not to break the pattern. Same with the gym. Monday, Wednesday, Friday… come what may.
I now manage to learn as I eat, and know the root causes fairly quickly if my carbs, protein or fat go out of shape.
The Best of WLR
I tend to spend most of my time in the food and exercise diaries, with a once-weekly diversion into the My Results pages to log my weight.
I do go onto the forums occasionally and, boy, am I glad I'm male!
There's an awful lot that the women in the board have to contend with - everything from bad bosses, hormones, temptations bought for others at home (or by collegues at work!), husbands who "like them as they are"…
One hundred things that could affect their ability to keep their desired weight loss going.
The folks on the boards gave been helpful, friendly and offer excellent advice.
Knowing the family wanted to get a Chinese Takeaway for tea, I logged a question on what I could eat. Then spent an afternoon on the food diary trying to see what I could eat from the Chinese takeaway menu.
The only answer I could find was "Chicken in Black Bean Sauce with Boiled Rice". When I got back to the message board, someone else had suggested the same thing 2 hours earlier!
At first, keep to what you're eating today and just keep learning.
I discovered in pretty short order that sausages, burgers, cheese, filled pastry pies and some ready meals were bad news, whilst some ready meals and food were much better than you'd expect.
And that it was easy to blow out on proteins if I ate meat both at lunchtime and in the evening.
I also found that I could sneak in a 113g bar of nougat once a week as a treat without affecting the numbers too much.
And the occasional Double Chocolate Muffin. To date, my eating patterns have changed.
I don't think I'll get the free Christmas calendar or chopsticks from the local Chinese takeaway this year, but I'm rarely hungry and the weight is dropping.
The real reward is when other people start to notice and say so!
Don't lose faith if you don't lose every single week. Even though I've managed to follow the eating and exercise religiously, I find I lose weight about one week in three - but it stays tracking that 2lb/week trend line on average.
And get that gym membership - you'll feel much better for it!
Remember every 2lbs lost is another bag of sugar you're no longer carrying around.
In my case, 28 bags of sugar at this moment compared to six months ago - can you imagine someone telling you that you must carry this sort of quantity everywhere you go?
When I'm at target I'll have lost another 42 bags - 70 bags in total. Really puts it in perspective.
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