I, Robot

Weight loss is easy. "Eat less, move more," says Dr John Smug MD from the University of Smugtown, "That's all there is to it!".

If you're a goddamn robot that is. I wish I was a robot, an automaton, a shiny box of metal with flashing lights and sproingy legs.

But I am not. And this is why it is never easy. Because I have this  brain constantly ticking away, constantly flipping through a rainbow of moods. Just think, if our bodies could be half as active as our brains, we'd be permanently sweaty, achy limbed, and very very skinny. Just flick back through my archives or anyone elses. It's all subject to change. I write reams about my thoughts and ideas on weight loss, and some days I come up with lightning bolt theories and explanations, but the next day I'll wake up in a different mood, circumstances will change or Venus is my 7th house, and I'll come up with a earth-shattering revelation that completely contradicts the last one.

My attitude to my body, my life, my health changes constantly. Here's a few thoughts I've had in the past month or so:

  • If he steals that last piece of chocolate I will hit him
  • I don't need that chocolate, I'm fine with this here apple
  • I am getting serious calf muscles from all that running
  • I am not doing enough running, I'm not making serious effort
  • It's so nice being able to buy a size 18 at a normal shop
  • I hate never finding anything to wear in a normal shop
  • I drank all my water and took the stairs today, that's a great start
  • I am kidding myself thinking water consumption is actual effort towards losing weight
  • I don't want to have sex because my stomach is so revolting flabby
  • My body is such a gloriously curved masterpiece that I think I will go have a wank

So what can you do with all this? How do you find a balance? How does anyone ever succeed? How can you bring some robot action into a creature full of contrast and contradiction?

I overanalysed the above then considered the wide range of lovely ideas/theories in the comments on the last entry. I wrote things on whiteboards, brewed up some blue liquid in a beaker, met with a crack team of dietitians and psychologists and came up with The Ultimate Theory* about my godawful Lard Busting Journey.

The only thing you can do when trying to lose weight, especially if it is a really fucking huge amount over an excruciatingly lengthy slab of time is:

  1. Be patient
  2. Accept that you will be a moody bastard some days, and just ride it out
  3. Try to limit the damage when faced with #2
  4. Choose the healthy option/action for the vast majority of the time

* Theory subject to change

. . .

How about I stop with the analysis and tell you what's been happening?

I got on the scale Tuesday night. I just wanted to see how things were going, I hadn't been on for over a month. Well, it wasn't good. I'm back up to 95 kilos (209lb). My lowest weight was 90.5 (199lb) in mid February. I've been fluctuating at around 91 – 94 kilos all year, but now it's crept up to 95 I can no longer kid myself that I am maintaining. I have gained weight. The scale isn't everything, but my clothes aren't getting any baggier. If I don't put in some serious effort a small gain could lead to some serious blubber.

My sister, on the other hand, had lost two kilos. I was happy for her but so burningly jealous I longed to kick her.

But let's look at the positives. I've gotten into a nice wee routine of doing cardio before my Thursday night Body Pump (weights) class. I say "routine" because it's happened three Thursdays in a row now so it seems more than accidental now, yes? So it's 20 minutes on the treadmill followed by 20 minutes on the elliptical.

The first week you may recall I ran a record 5 minutes on the treadmill, last week I bumped it up to 7.5 minutes. My legs felt like jelly when I hopped off. I quite enjoyed it though. Last night, after 5 minutes warm-up, I ran for ten whole minutes. TEN! I was so euphoric.

So I am just aiming to build on this. I am trying not to think about how freaking slow I am, rather build up my fitness and just go a little further each week. I am never going to win any races, folks – I looked down at the timer at 14 minutes and I'd only just clocked up a mile. The 14 Minute Mile! Mwahahhaa.

I increased some of my weights in the Pump class. I was feeling all very smug with my fitness efforts until the end of the class when everyone was putting their weights away. When I put my Reebok step back on the pile the entire stack collapsed and clattered all over the floor like giant dominoes. Everybody turned and stared.

"YES, THANK YOU! THANK YOU VERY MUCH!", I waved to the crowd and slinked out.

19 thoughts on “I, Robot

  1. I teach aerobics in an upstairs room with a balcony that overlooks the main floor where the meatheads do 8 million bad-formed swinging bicep curls. The stability balls are in the corner of the room, right by the balcony edge. I do not place my ball nicely in the corner, but rather just toss it from the middle of the room. Someday, I am going to overthrow, the ball is going to go over the balcony and bonk one of the meatheads in mid-bicep swing. It’s gonna happen, mark my words!

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  3. The extra couple of kilos could be muscle…

    I know that’s one of those BS excuses but it could be true for you. After all, you are doing a lot of exercise (I think). You are obviously feeling fitter even if you are not at the size you want to be.

    I understand this. I stuck at around 125 kilos for the last 12-18 months. I belong to a gym and work out fairly regularly (some weeks more so than others – but it is a life thing!). I guess I was a pretty fit 20 stone woman. For the last couple of months I’ve been doing a Body Combat class which has a kick-ass instructor. I feel proud of myself that I can manage the whole class when many people at my weight are sedentary and get breathless walking down the road. but for a long time I felt like I’d always be a rather fit but definitely fat woman.

    Nevertheless, last night’s class was markedly better and the only thing I can put it down to is losing 9 pounds and feeling like my body is starting to move even better than it was. Certainly easier.

    Being 19 stone something for the first time in a couple of years has made me feel outrageously excited.

    Anyway, I think you are making progress (esp. in the running). But, of course, if you are not satisfied where you are, it is up to you to motivate yourself like you have done before…

  4. zorbs – i think you should just AIM for the meatheads! why wait for it to happen accidentally? 😉

    sandra – well done you with the combat! you have every reason to be outrageously excited, hehe!

    i wish i could say i’ve gained muscle but i have been frighteningly inconsistent with my exercise. my current 3-week run came after five weeks with NO exercise due to my baltic trip and being a lazy bastard in the weeks before and after it.

    and before that, we had three weeks + of no exercise when i went to russia. before THAT was a nice fat period of laziness based around my mum visiting from australia. she was only here 10 days but i think i had about a month off.

    so my weight loss / fitness efforts this year have been very inconsistent. now i am just going to aim to live by that theory i described above.

    UPDATE: it’s 3.45 PM, we just had Workplace Cakes AGAIN and I DIDN’T HAVE ANY. huzzah!

  5. Dont’ beat yourself up for your travel schedule messing up your long-term fitness goals! I’ve spent almost 2 years maintaining my weight, 2 years tht involved changing jobs, moving in with my boy, then moving twice more, planning and preparing for a wedding and then having the wedding itself.

    NOW I have no excuses of extraodinary upheaval and busy-ness, so NOW I am working on upping my gym attendance and lowering my grease intake.

    Give yourself a clean slate after each of your travels and start back on the reigime, wherever you happen to be on the scales.

    Heh, I should follow my own advice now and stop moping about the bad news my own scale gave me this morning!

  6. I agree with Rosemary Grace – punishing yourself for travel isn’t something to do. Just take it a day at a time.

    I think your theory is beautifully simple.

    And we can be in the 14-minute mile club together.

  7. maybe you need to sign up for a running event (someone said something to me the other day that suggested calling them races doesn’t really work, since we’re not there to ‘win’- – makes sense – and doesn’t ‘event’ have a nice carnivalesque feeling to it?

    anyhoo — I’m sure there’s some nice fall 5k events or maybe a 10k in the spring you could shoot for. I run 7min km (which works out to close to 14 min miles I think) – but I tell ya – nothing feels better than crossing that finish line – –

    –well except maybe passing people along the way who look like they should be passing ME . . .but since fit is more than just a number and really translates into what one can DO . . .

    long may you run – best of luck.

  8. professors and experts dont know what it takes to loose weight. They have never been there themself they have only worked with trying to get others to loose weight.

    You know how to do it and how to succeed.

  9. cheers, groovers!

    just want to reassure everyone i’m not punishing myself here… ‘lazy bastard’ is just my colourful turn of phrase. i was just pointing out a reoccuring pattern… when i’ve done these big trips i seem to slacken off in the weeks either side of it. strange… we are creatures of habit 🙂

    donna – tops idea about the Running Event, a bit of an Event sounds good. Mistress Julia (running expert) suggested I find one too… will have to see if anything’s happening in Scotland over the coming months.

  10. What a seriously damn good writer you are!! Every entry is like a great column!! I hate it when I miss one!! As for the plateau, look at the big picture: you have lost 64.2kg!! That is the equivalent of one and a half stick figure models. Or equivalent to one 5’5″ woman in her “healthy weight range”. That is one hell of an achievement and you are still managing this while completing one hell of an OE!! As for the theory, it is spot on. We all know the basics will lose the weight for us but it is getting the wobbly bit of grey matter in our skulls to link up with the rest of the neurons in our chubby bodies and putting this theory into play. Hope you have a great week and I look forward to the next update.

  11. well! i get it! i get your theory and agree but know that, maybe like u maybe not, it is only going to last until the next time there is a big bloody excuse to eat something taboo. I have 2 get back 2 that place where I WANT to be thin MORE than i want that piece of chocolate. And I just ain’t there. I have a boy, I have a job, I have a lot of friends- why oh why do i need a skinny arse when they love me just the way I am?? Oh yeah! That’s right because I might DIE. Because I am still morbidly obese. Because I am still scared of needing fat belts in airplanes. Because I am scared that I am going to break plastic chairs at bbqs. Because I might have a herat attack during class. Because I don’t want to wear a circus tent for a wedding dress. Because I don’t want to have more Chins than a Chinese phone book. Now- do I have to tattoo this list on my forehead to remember these reasons when I see that chicken thai curry or that mud cake? Why does my memory of these desires only last until I see something that has more than 50 grams of saturated fat and then I suddenly get a mental blockage and eat it. I don’t remember that list and I don’t remember that it is going to take me 6 and a half hours to work those kind of foods off in the gym! But……I need to OR I will be like this FOREVER.

    Sorry DG, I got off track. If you WANT this like you WANTED to lose the first 60 kilos then you will have it. You and I both know that we are not doing the right thing by ourselves and it is about time that we started.

    “if we almost eat healthily and almost exercise, we will almost lose weight”.

    Let’s turn this baby around!!!!

  12. Oh, if ONLY there was a theory that worked for everyone. But there isn’t and we’re all stuck trying to figure out these infuriating bodies and brains that we own. Gah! I do like your theory though, it seems to work for me.

    And through it all, you’re still exercising and it still makes you feel good (if a bit of a goof sometimes) and all of that helps. You’ll get that 5kg off and more. You’ve achieved so much, you can do the rest.

    And SUPER congratulations on resisting cakes! Go you!

  13. I think we should definetely meet while you are in europe!!! We then can spend the night making lists of our thoughts…while having our favourite bad food on the table and see who wins!!!

  14. Oh my god, I got the picture of you and the steps and you slinking out the door. What a crack up. The comment bout loving your body so much you want to go wank was hilarious!

    I have to say, your progress pics are amazing! You are looking terrific in everyway.

    Kindest regards..

  15. DG – that made me feel SO much better. I’ve just been beating myself up over the amount of progress I’m failing to make with losing weight. Like, none. Even though I feel I’ve been super-virtuous food-wise (although admittedly I haven’t moved above a walk all week, I do have a bad cough and would probably have collapsed in paroxysms up to about Friday).

    Rosemary, I hope getting engaged doesn’t make a good excuse for not getting on with losing weight. Because if it does, I will probably use it, and I got engaged four weeks ago!

    Wedding Easter 2006. So that’s, um, 18 months to get from size 16-18 to something where I won’t hate all the wedding photos…

    No, no, I don’t mean that. Or I sort of don’t. I change my mind at least as often as DG does.

  16. Love your theory! I tend to do a lot of theorising and analysing too, I can’t help myself. Even though I say I hate having to think about it all the time, that’s because I just want the weight to just fall off without too much effort hehehe. But when it isn’t falling off, that’s when my mind goes into overdrive ‘Why How What When Where’. When really it should be my legs going into overdrive, to burn off some blubber!

    So good on you for getting into the running and I think that building on it slowly is a great idea. Who cares how slow your mile is, at least you’re doing it!

  17. Kristen, getting engaged doesn’t do much either way for the weightloss, but planning a wedding sure makes the body image stuff go into overdrive. Especially with wedding dresses being WHITE, and we all know how flattering white is…

    I freaked out about wearing a white dress, and considered burgundy taffeta (drool) and another gown in a deep golden brown, with a fancy veil to make it look more bridal. I finally found a white dress that made me feel pretty, the high-waisted empire style is your friend if you’re worried about the podge!

    My mother wanted a weight-loss pact for the wedding, I refused, and made it a working-out pact instead, because working out helps relieve stress, “dieting” doesn’t.

  18. Keep up the good work on the treadmill – I despise running as it makes me feel even more fat,lazy and ungraceful but it does wonders at burning the calories!

    I started on the treadmill a few years ago like you recently did – babystepping my way from walking, fast walking, jogging to running with my headphones blasting all the way.

    Now, it amazes me that I can run 3 miles!!! Lazy ole me!

    You can do whatever you put your mind to (unless it involves money or professional sports).

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