Friday, July 22, 2011

Month 5 Progress Pics!

As I'm away next week on holiday I won't be able to weigh-in, so wanted to get these latest progress pics up before I leave.

The old photos are from day 1 of this program, back in February. The new ones were taken this morning, and according to my scale I weighed 227.1 lbs, which means you're looking at a change of exactly 70lbs!

Those love handles still bug me, but I DO still have at least 30lbs to shift, so I'm sure they'll go eventually. Pleased to see that the contours around my body are smoother now too. When I have lost sufficient weight I intend to start working out and try to build some muscle, so eventually we'll see some definition on the arms, chest and stomach too!

This has always been the best angle to see my weight loss, and I think it really shows! Very happy with this actually - when the weight loss is gradual, and over a long period of time, you can occasionally fail to appreciate how far you've come, which is why I'm glad I do these progress shots! You know, I MAY even be talked into swimming on this holiday...

Anyway, that's all from me for a week or so. I'm down 2.4lbs since Monday, so as long as I don't go up by more than that while I'm away, I'll be happy! Pretty certain I WILL see a gain when I come back, but as I'm having a kick-ass holiday, it'll be worth it.

See you the Sunday after next!


Not a weight-loss post I know (I will make one today, I promise), but I just wanted to let everyone know...


Can't describe the relief I feel at the moment. I've mentioned before that I was doing two years in one, so my objective for this year was always just to pass. Back in the day I would have wanted to be top of the class, but as I've detailed at length in my Confessions posts, I was never willing to work harder when the work itself got harder.

Well, I finally found a bit of working mojo with these last exams, as for the first time I tasted potential failure. I'm so pleased that the work paid off - I'm really hoping that positive reinforcement will encourage me to work harder from now on! I certainly intend to - I have found the limits of the lazy me, now I'm curious about how well I can do if I'm actually applying myself...

Actually, might have to approach work the same way I've approached this weight-loss, as that's worked wonders so far!

Anyhow, I'd better pack, going on my holiday tomorrow, woo hoo!!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Week 22 So Far...

You know, I almost wish I WAS weighing in on Monday, as I've had a really successful week so far, weight-wise.

Not having any more revision to do means I have been able to get back into my dieting mindset, and the weight has been falling off. Of course that was the plan - to try and lose as much (within reason) as I can this week, to try and preempt any gain next week on my holiday. Not that gaining weight while I'm away is necessarily a given fact - we're going to be really active, always on our feet, and I don't plan on pigging out or anything silly. Still, no harm in being prepared!

Its been really nice to get away from the books for a while. I'm still dreading tomorrow, when the results are announced - if I have resits, any chance of a relaxing August are out the window! I've been trying not to think about it, and that means distracting myself with anything I can! I've watched a lot of DVDs, played through a computer game, and now I'm neck-deep in holiday itinerary. Still need to pack! But there's time.

Anyhow, tomorrow I will of course let you know how the exams went, and I'll also post up my before-and-now progress pics (since today is technically 5 months since I started). Can't believe I've been doing it all this time - but the results definitely show!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Week 21 - RESULTS

In a week where weight-loss has been second in my mind to exams, have I managed to shift the pounds?

STARTING WEIGHT:   234.5 lbs

ENDING WEIGHT:  229.5 lbs

WEIGHT LOSS:  5.0 lbs

Wow! Surprised myself with this one! Although I was eating more calories than usual during revision, I think the fact that I was spacing them out through the day might have helped keep my metabolism ticking over (as well as the fact that my days were much longer, as I crammed well into the night!).

Even so, very pleased to see such a big loss, especially when the rate of loss has been a lot slower over the last few months. In fact, in the last 8 weeks, I have only reached my target weekly loss on two occasions, including this one. I have pretty much lost all the advance I had from the start of the program, and am now more or less at the weight I planned to be by now, so its not all bad! Makes me wonder if my rate of loss is actually slowing at all, or if its just the fact that over the last few months I've been more focussed on exams than losing weight?

I am now out of the 230's, where I spent 4 weeks, so if I can be out of the 220's in a similar period of time I'll be very happy. I am also now below 16.5 stone (that's UK stone - according to my phone's converter app the US stone has a different value!), and edging closer to the weight I always remember being at school - craziness, but in an awesome way! I'm also more than 7lbs below an Obese BMI, so the chances of me bouncing back into that category on my imminent holiday are growing slimmer - woo hoo!

Speaking of the holiday, I won't be able to weigh in next Monday, as I'll be on a train from Vienna to Ljubljiana (and hopefully hopefully HOPEFULLY will know I passed my last two exams), so we'll have to wait another week to see what impact the travels have on my weight. I'll keep posting this week though, and will do my monthly progress picture comparison on Thursday, which will be 5 months to the day since I started this program!

All that's left is to record my weight loss to date, and post up YET MORE body shots - anybody as sick of lumpy male torso pictures as me yet? :-p

67.6 lbs

229.5 lbs

 229.5 lbs

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Week 21 So Far...

I still haven't posted much this week, despite exams now being over. I'm trying really hard not to think about them. They were really tough, although luckily everyone else felt the same. I know I tried, although I did leave it late again; it certainly wouldn't be a case of too little, too late - just perhaps too late on its own! I wrote in my Confessions post about the laziness/apathy that struck me during school, and I'm working really hard to overcome it now. I don't know if it would be some kind of 'poetic justice' to fail an exam at last, after actually making the effort - punishment for past hubris, or something. And I guess, if it came to it, I wouldn't mind having a resit, as I HAVE done two years in one - I just worry about it clashing with my brother's wedding. Ah well, nothing I can do about it now, just have to twiddle my thumbs and bite my nails until Friday!

Got a lot else to do besides. I'm going away for a week on Saturday, so busy planning that trip now. Means that there will be a gap of two weeks after tomorrow's weigh-in before the next one, and with a holiday in between, its likely we'll see my first gain once I return. But you never know, maybe I'll buck centuries of human experience and actually LOSE weight on holiday!

Anyway, how has this week been? Not too bad so far. I upped my calories and wasn't running at the start of the week, because I had exams, and since then I've been out on the town a couple of times to unwind. I still managed to lose quite a lot of weight regardless, but my weight-loss pattern still vexes me occasionally. This morning I had put on almost two pounds since the previous day, despite having a calorie deficit of about 500 calories! I know that will even itself out eventually, but it annoys me that this always seems to happen at the end of the week, as I feel all my hard work over the last 7 days has been pointless. Also, now my weight loss has slowed, a couple of pounds is a really good weekly loss for me, so to see that same amount of weight pile back on in one day (and a day where I can't really justify it too) is a bit disheartening.

None the less, I was still at a loss for the week this morning, so hopefully I won't gain again tomorrow for the weigh-in! See you there!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Back In Business

Had my final exam yesterday morning - was absolutely brutal, but at least everyone else thought so too, and not just me! Trying not to think about it anymore until the results come out, but would be VERY surprised if I'd passed - just have to hope the resits don't clash with my brother's wedding!

Having a good week weight-wise. Haven't had a chance to run yet, but plan on sneaking at least one in before Monday. I upped my calories too, in an attempt to keep my brain fuelled, but I still seem to have lost quite a lot of weight so far this week - I think perhaps that spacing my calories out over the day has helped quite a lot, as during revision I was eating small portions maybe six times a day, whereas usually I have three larger meals.

Yesterday will have helped too, although not in a way I planned. Had a big breakfast to keep me going through the exam, then we all went to the pub to celebrate/commiserate. I allowed myself to have a drink, since it was something of an occasion, but decided not to eat - I wasn't sure what the calories would be in the pub food, and I was so tired that I planned on going home after a couple of hours anyway.

But one drink led to another...

So yeah, finally staggered home in the wee hours of this morning, and slept through almost to midday. No idea what the calories of all that alcohol will have been, but there absolutely weren't enough proper food ones! Great for the scale, but of course there's always a chance it'll just pile back on again. Will have to wait until Monday to see!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Week 20 - RESULTS

Although this post is a day late, I'll use the weigh-in I did on Monday morning anyway, which means...

STARTING WEIGHT:   235.2 lbs

ENDING WEIGHT:  234.5 lbs

WEIGHT LOSS:  0.7 lbs

Not a very big loss (and this morning's weigh was a lot lower than that, but I decided to stick with the Monday result anyway), but with good reason. My weight was substantially lower than this around mid-week, but gradually crept back up by Monday. I wasn't too fussed - I managed three big runs, and had a calorie defecit every day, so any fluctuations weren't my fault, and would even themselves out eventually. I was probably eating more towards the end of the week though, as I crammed for my exams. Had one yesterday (hence the lateness of this post), and have another one tomorrow (hence the shortness of this post), then I'm DONE. For better or worse, pass or fail, I get to enjoy at least two weeks away from it all. Then revision for resits begins. Maybe...

62.6 lbs

234.5 lbs

 234.5 lbs

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Busy Bee

Sorry for the lack of posts and comments from me recently, I have my final two exams on Monday and Wednesday next week, so I'm trying to cram in as much revision as possible between now and then. Feeling sick with fear and worry, can't wait for it all to be over, but terrified of failing one or both of them, as the resits are the week of my brother's wedding, and that's a clash that could be potentially devastating.

I'll be back in action as soon as the exams are over, I promise. Until then, please keep everything crossable crossed!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Week 19 - RESULTS

After a really satisfying week, where I feel I've successfully got back on the wagon, how do the scales read?

STARTING WEIGHT:   237.5 lbs

ENDING WEIGHT:  235.2 lbs

WEIGHT LOSS:  2.3 lbs

I'm really happy with the result this week. Granted, its still just under my weekly target, but I know I have earned every ounce of weight dropped, without a panicked starvation over the weekend just to bag a loss.

In fact, the achievement is more than this result shows, as by Wednesday my weight had actually gone up 4 whole pounds. That shock led to me doing a serious re-evaluation, and making my 'confessional' posts below, which so many of you have been kind enough to comment on. Since then, I managed to drop that gain and earn a loss too, so very happy, and looking forward to sticking with the new regime into this coming week.

So, what milestones have I passed with this weigh-in? I finally got my loss beyond the 60lb mark, which is great, and have actually now lost 20% of my total body weight since the start of this program. But the biggest achievement, which blows all others out of the water, is:


Haha ok, so my BMI is now 29.79, so rounded up is still 30, but just to see that 29 at the front makes me feel amazing. I think I have been obese without pause since early 2004, so it definitely turns the clocks back on that front! I don't EVER want to pass that 30 mark again. These next few weeks will be crucial, as I'm cramming like mad for my exams next week, and shortly after that I have my holiday abroad, and both those things could tempt me to over-eat. I mustn't let myself lose this achievement. The only way is DOWN!

61.9 lbs

235.5 lbs

235.2 lbs

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Dropping Anonymity - Progress Pics!

First of all, thank you to everyone who commented on my last few 'confessional' posts - it felt really good to let everything out, and was also great to discover other people who went through similar situations. I'm feeling really refreshed with the whole weight-loss malarkey now, almost as though I've got a fresh start, and can't wait for my official weigh-in tomorrow!

I wanted to end this week on a different note to my last few posts, as they have been 'downers' in a sense, and don't really reflect the new enthusiasm I have for this weight loss program. They have been all about looking back, and reflecting on past mistakes and attitudes, but now is the time to look forward, especially as I am into the latter half of my weight-loss journey.

As such, I began to think about the day I will reach my goal weight, and what I had planned for that special occasion. Readers will know that I take two photos every week, and my intention has always been to collect them, and once I reach my goal weight run them all together into a kind of time-lapse video, so I can literally watch myself fading away in a couple of minutes!

Thing is, I actually take three photos a week, and the third one (which I don't post up here) is a head shot.

When I started this blog, it was to make myself accountable in my weight-loss attempt. I believed that if other people were reading about my journey, waiting to see how I'd done, I might have a better chance at success. I decided to keep the blog anonymous, however, on the off-chance that family or friends somehow came across it, as that would have embarrassed me.

But I really feel now that I have nothing to be embarrassed about. Yes, I'm still heavily overweight, but look how far I've come! Look how much I've lost! I ought to be owning these achievements, not hiding behind a mask of anonymity. As such, I have decided to share the missing progress pictures with you.

First up is the picture of me taken on the very first day of this program, way back in February.

And here is a picture of me taken yesterday, 61 lbs lighter!

To be honest, I still don't really see much of a difference weight-wise, unless perhaps a reduced sag under the chin. But there is definitely a big change in there - I just look so TIRED in the first pic, and my eyes seem so dull. It is absolutely true that I feel much more vital, more alive, then I ever did at my heaviest weight. And obviously, I couldn't quite muster a smile back then either...

Anyway, I wanted to do that as a way of claiming ownership of both my achievements and my mistakes so far on this program, and stop hiding behind my anonymous Headspace tag - my real name is Marc! Business as usual will be restored to this blog now that the emotional spring cleaning has been carried out, starting tomorrow, with what I hope will be a really good weigh-in. See you then!

Saturday, July 2, 2011


I almost decided not to write this post, as I'm having a fantastic week so far, and feel as though all the problems and mistakes of the last few weeks are well and truly behind me. However, as I decided to make this a week for re-evaluating and reviewing my weight loss to date, I thought it would be important to admit to myself (and to you) the things I am/was still doing wrong, and how I plan to change that going forward.

CONFESSION: In the five weeks prior to this one, I only ran twice. OK, not so much a confession, as I never claimed otherwise, but more something I just wanted to acknowledge to myself. Time really has flown by since lectures stopped, and my days lost that structure. Its a worry, not only for my weight loss, but also my revision! I can't believe I did so little exercise in that period. I don't really have an excuse for it either - just a general descent back into a lazy mindset, I guess.
CHANGE: Well, start running again! I'm pleased to report that so far, so good - have been for three runs already this week, and going for another before weigh-in on Monday. Now I'm close to exams I've started structuring my day better re. work, and that has made it easier to fit running into my day too.

CONFESSION: Reducing calories by cutting out GOOD foods. I haven't been a saint over the course of this weight loss, and still treat myself to the occasional chocolate or ice cream. The problem arose when, due to not exercising much over the last month, I decided to reduce my calories to compensate. When I did that, I didn't cut out the treats, but dropped proper, healthy foods, so that I could still have my candy. That obviously won't do at all - this isn't JUST about losing weight, but also about changing my eating habits and lifestyle so that the weight STAYS lost. I'm also a firm believer in 'you are what you eat,' and I'd really rather not be made up solely of emulsifiers, preservatives and E-numbers!
CHANGE: I am still going to allow myself treats now and then, but they are no longer allowed to make up part of my 'normal' calorie intake. I only eat them now after I have exercised, and burned off their calories in advance. It works really well, actually - it makes me want to run, it makes me feel like I've earned the treat, and I'm not having to sacrifice any healthy food to do it!

CONFESSION: I ought to have recorded a gain. Part of the problem with having been so successful at the beginning is that you don't want it to end. Having recorded so many consecutive losses, you start to dread the day you see a gain. And to be honest, on a couple of Mondays my first weigh-in HAS shown a gain. Occasionally just moving my scale solves that, or perhaps just waiting an hour, and trying again. But this Monday I did the unforgivable - I starved myself all morning, not eating or drinking, and weighed again in the afternoon, so that I could record a loss.
CHANGE: THAT is unacceptable. I'm only cheating myself if I carry on like that. Plus, its not an accurate weigh-in, as its likely just dehydration. It also leads to a big gain on the following morning, so you're almost taking one step forward, two steps back. AND it gives you a skewed perception of how you're doing, so you don't really address issues when they arise. I now pledge to record whatever weight I see in the morning, loss or gain, without waiting to see if I can improve on it an hour later. A gain is not the end of the world - its a warning sign that something needs to change, that's all! (I'm pleased to report that I am currently at an honest loss for this week so far, and if I don't gain by Monday, will official not be obese anymore!)

To finish this post off, I am again going to answer a question posed by The Evolution of C., about whether it was really JUST my weight that made me so unhappy before this program started. Because of course, it was not - rather, the weight gain was just another factor. In truth, it was a general dissatisfaction with myself, and how I had allowed my life to progress.

I was always one of those people who just did well at school without really trying, and that meant I could spend most of my time on fun things I enjoyed, like drama etc. It meant I never really developed a good work ethic, and got used to doing well with minimal effort. I grew lazy, and that meant that when my studies got harder, or I started to gain weight, I wasn't willing to work harder, I didn't up my game. I developed almost an "All or Nothing" attitude, such that if I couldn't have it ALL, if I couldn't ace EVERY exam and drop EVERY pound with minimal effort, then I wasn't going to try at all. I sneered at effort - people who wanted to lose weight were vain, and people who tried hard for exams were nerds. It was all just a defence mechanism, of course, probably born out of fear that if I DID try and failed, I'd learn what my limitations were, find out I wasn't as clever as I thought. But it meant that when I finished my first degree, I had no idea what to do with myself. I went travelling for a year, then returned home at the beginning of the financial crisis, and suddenly found myself unemployed, still living at home, a good two years behind my class-mates (who had got jobs straight from Uni), AND severely obese. I suddenly seemed to have thrown everything away. To have missed every opportunity, and lost any promise I had shown. I felt like a failure, completely worthless, and it was all my own fault.

I'm well out of that vicious cycle now, fortunately, though the old darkness still crops up from time to time. I managed to get myself into medical school, and I've done well dropping the pounds so far too. Things are a lot better since I started to lose weight, and I don't think that's because I'm slimmer, but more because I MADE myself slimmer. Through dedication, and hard work. Putting the effort in and seeing results has meant I'm putting more effort into other aspects of my life, which is fantastic. I've still got a long way to go, but I'm getting there. Slowly but surely.

Anyway, I've spent enough of this week making myself sound like a vain, arrogant, lazy, envious asshole, so I think that's enough confessions. I really am a nice guy, I promise! I just wanted to get EVERYTHING out there, to make sure I don't repeat old mistakes, and also for the catharsis of being completely honest with myself. I really do feel fresh and dandy now - I'm enjoying my runs, I'm eating healthily, and I'm looking forward to weighing in, rather than dreading it! Thank you all for putting up with the last few posts - I'll aim for a cheerier one tomorrow!