Tony's "Grand Plan" Progress Diary

I'm Back!!

Yeah - that's right folks, I've ballooned and now I'm back to set it straight. Well, ballooned is a bit of an overstatement.... here's the story so far....

I started at 16 stone at the end of 2008. Then I lost 3.5 stone over 6 months in 2009 through careful eating and very regular exercise, so I bottomed out around 12.5 stone mid-2009. By new year 2011 I was at 13.5 stone - probably an appropriate weight for me (this was a balance of eating relatively normally (with a healthy slant) and exercising 4 times per week. However, even at 13.5 stone I had a belly that I didn't like. Following Christmas 2011 I increased to 14 stone where I have stayed. I'm reasonably proud that I've managed to keep off 2 stone of my original weight for over 3 years. But now I'm worried and need to reset things.

A few things led me to be unhappy with how I have become this last year and a half: my new slim clothes no longer fit - tight waistbands, shirts that don't get around my gut, and I remember fondly that feeling of shopping for new clothes when I could actually buy size medium!; my wife bought me a nice new shirt recently from Next (renown to be slightly small and tight fitting) - I put it on and couldn't do it up; also, my belly is bigger than it has been for a few years and its repulsive.

A big change has been with exercise - I have found it difficult to stick to a regular exercise routine. I used to exercise in the morning around 6.30am - 7.30am. Since last September I've needed to do the morning school-run at 7:45am, so exercise would need to start at 6am latest. This has proven tough. I am actually quite happy to exercise on the weekend when time is no object - usually around 10am. I really struggle to exercise after work (7pm or later) because I'm exhausted and by the time we've sorted the kids out and everything I feel I've deserved a rest. So I'm attached to getting this exercise in the morning, setting me up for the day - I just need to sort myself out at around 6am. One plan that might work would be to do 2 sessions at the weekend when I don't need to start so early - Sat and Sun - then fit another 2 sessions mid-week - say Tues and Thur. That way I get 4 sessions in per week with only 2 early starts.... I'd like to do 5 though.

Also diet... I've definitely slipped into eating more crap food of the sort described in my very first post on this thread. Sweets and pastries in particular, with lots of bread. That said, there are many things I've stuck with: I've maintained the wholesale shift to fat-free yogurt; I still only drink sugar-free softdrinks; I still try (emphasis on the "try") to have a breakfast every morning - though this is difficult with the new morning time pressure; I still have the same healthy lunch of a sandwich, baked crisps, yogurt and fruit; we have reasonably healthy dinners whenever possible. The problem is I have switched back to eating crap food in the evenings - always my downfall.

So the action plan has to involve a shift to exercising in the mornings as above; and avoiding the rubbish food in the evenings. Actually, I will do better to start by substituting the rubbish food: back to jelly (going off that now!); air-popped popcorn; Rivita crispbreads; that sort of stuff. Also, I find if I brush my teeth after dinner I am less likely to eat again before bed... and I can just slip into bed at the end of the night - bonus!

On the positive side, my wife has put on quite a lot of weight over the last 2 years and wants to lose even more than I do. I'd love to encourage her and vice versa so it could be a group effort. We have some different ideas about what will work so we can't be too pushy - she hates the sort of exercise I do, but then it doesn't really matter. It would be great to get fit and lose weight together.

I've set an initial target at 13 stone, so I am aiming to lose 1 stone. My deadline is May 25 - that's a little under 9 weeks. Should be plenty of time, though I've noticed I lose weight much more slowly than I used to - perhaps because I'm not so massively overconsuming calories as I used to... I think the key has to be ramping up the exercise. If I manage this target, I will probably want to go on to 12.5 stone, but no lower. Last time I got down to 12.5 stone that was as slim as I wanted to be.

I think now is a good time to start. I knew it would be hard trying to do those early morning workouts just after the clocks went forward (damned clocks!) but this Thursday my wife is home in the mornings until after the Easter hols, so the pressure is reduced in the mornings and no School run for over two weeks. I should take the opportunity to get into a morning exercise routine over the next two weeks so that when school is back in session I can try to stick to it for a further 6 weeks, taking me to my target date. When I think of it in terms of 9 weeks altogether it doesn't feel so bad... but I know how easily I slip off the wagon....

SELF CONTROL and PERSEVERANCE - my new mantra!

Wish me luck!
Well... one week has passed since my last post. I've had a pretty good week all-told. Sure - most days I lapse briefly at some point (last night it was a sandwich...) but otherwise I think I'm on a roll, for now at least.

I've done a full-blown 45-mins cardio workout 5 times in the last week. That makes me feel good! Its good to do it, and good to have done it. I can feel myself getting ever-so-slightly fitter every time I do it - there is definitely a cumulative effect to these workouts.

I've been eating good breakfasts (normally porridge with a little honey); good lunches (normally a sandwich with fruit and a small low-cal snack); and healthy dinner (lately I've tried the Innocent Veg-Pots which are really yummy, filling and only around 350cals all-in! - and they're half price in Tesco!).

My wife is also healthy eating, though she is struggling to fit in any exercise.

I'm a bit worried about life after the Easter holidays - when my workouts will need to become 6am affairs... but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

I use Wii Fit to weigh-in. Currently at a little under 14 stone (13st 13lbs). Initial target of 13st is within reach. Hoping to lose 1lb or 2lbs this week... will weigh-in again on Saturday/Sunday.