A weighty issue

I’ve spent quite a chunk of today pondering on whether or not to write this post. Obviously I’ve plumped for ‘yes’. Plumped is the operative word here as today’s post is about weight. More specifically, my weight. I don’t usually write about weight because in all honesty, that’s not what my running is all about. While I happily admit to the fact that I didn’t run I would probably be lardier, I don’t run to lose weight. In fact, I’m quite happy with my size and shape. Don’t get me wrong, there’s times in changing rooms where I might wish there was a bit less squidge (especially when I’m between trouser sizes) and occasionally I will look enviously at willowy types with their gazelle-like legs, but on the whole I’m content and am certainly happier with myself now than I was when I was nearly a stone lighter.

So why now? Well since Easter I’ve had a wedding, a bit of a holiday, meals out, a few days off at home, a brownie and pizza fuelled day out in London, a lot of beer and a degree of laziness resulting in a few too many takeaways. On top of that, bad habits have crept in; mainly treats becoming daily occurrences (I do enjoy something sweet with my evening cup of tea) and a lax approach to portion control (especially when a generous heap of my homemade muesli with dried fruit, nuts, seeds and um, maple syrup, has replaced my carefully measured porridge oats on a daily basis…). Normally after an indulgent weekend I’ll see a couple of pounds go on but they’ll slide off after a few days. At the moment, those couple of pounds have decided that they’ll stick around and then invite some mates around for a bit of extra company.

Basically, if I don’t do something, those pounds will become permanent residents, my weight will creep up a bit more and, horror of horrors, I will have to go shopping for new work trousers. This is not how I want to spend my time or my money.

A few years ago (although thinking about it, it’s about eight years now), I lost a couple of stones at Weight Watchers. I have absolutely no urge to go any slimming club at the moment; they work but that’s not where my head is at the moment. While I didn’t appreciate the incessant flogging of weighing scales and cereal bars, going to Weight Watchers did teach me a couple of things mainly Write Stuff Down and Make Better Choices. It does me good to keep an honest food diary, otherwise I ‘forget’ about the bits raided from the fridge, the team meeting biscuits and all sorts of other odds and ends. The choices thing sort of can be summed up by the Men’s Health book Eat This, Not That, and is really the realisation that sometimes a small tweak of a choice can make a difference (see my muesli vs porridge situation). It can also be a question of acknowledging that although you can have your cake and eat it, you can’t always have a pie as well – there must be a decision which is more important (the answer to that depends on the cake. And the pie). This all came from the day that I realised that a lovely KitKat Chunky was a third of my days points – much as I like them, I didn’t like them that much. Having said that, I had a similar moment when I realised that a J2O had the same points as a pint of Guinness (like that’s a choice that needs a lot of thinking over).

So in an attempt to record my food and make positive choices, I have downloaded the MyFitnessPal app. I’ve follow a lot of people on Twitter who use this and after a day I like what I see. I’m not planning to do strict calorie counting, but it’s already making me think about what I’m eating (it was the brains behind my muesli eureka moment and the reason why I chose to have an adequate portion of couscous, rather than an autopilot half a bag of fresh pasta, for my tea). It gives me nifty little piecharts and stats about the nutritional values of what I’m eating, and does the adding up of all these figures. I also get to zap barcodes, which always makes me happy.

I’m not sharing numbers with you all, I can’t guarantee that I will write regularly about any of this particular project and I can’t even say for certain that it will work. I’ll be the first to admit that no one comes here for the technical details, if you do want to read about proper weight loss and fitness, have a look at Julia Buckley who has both (a) given exact details (b) taken ‘before’ photos and (c) knows exactly what she’s talking about. I on the other hand, am more likely to get distracted and post about wool.