Saturday, March 23, 2013

A Difference Of Reading

Weighing machine, Luxembourg Gardens, Paris
Image: Wikimedia Commons

A strange thing happened to me this week. I'd gone for my annual medical check-up at the doctor's surgery round the corner. The nurse read my blood pressure, took a blood sample, asked about my alcohol consumption — that kind of thing. I told her I'd been on a diet and had lost a stone quite easily, but was now finding it almost impossible to drop below 14 stone. She weighed me — and announced that my weight was 13 st 4 lb! And this is with clothes on (obviously I didn't want to frighten her by suggesting I removed them). Earlier I'd weighed myself at home with clothes off and the scales had read 13 st 13 lb. The nurse insisted her own scales — a hefty, industrial-sized model — were correct, and were regularly and rigorously calibrated. Who was I to disagree?

Delighted, I left the surgery in a state of euphoria and made a bee-line for the supermarket next door, where I bought some celebratory cakes, chocolate and a couple of bottles of wine. However, as soon as I got home, I began to have some doubts. What was going on here? We have two pairs of bathroom scales at home — one mechanical, one digital — and both always read the same. How could they both not only be wrong but also be so far out? I took 5 cans of baked beans, which I knew weighed 2 kg, and placed them on each pair of scales in turn. Yes, 2 kg exactly. How very odd all this was becoming.

I did eat the cake and chocolate, and I did drink the wine, and enjoyed them a lot, though I must admit my pleasure had been very slightly tainted. I'll have to try to weigh myself somewhere else for a final, cast-iron verdict. And that's another thing. Where have all the public weighing machines in Britain gone? They used to be outside every chemist's and in every public park. (And when did you last hear the word 'chemist's' rather than 'pharmacy' for that matter?)

I must be honest and say I do actually feel more like 14 stone than 13 stone. An okay weight for someone 6 ft 1 in tall, and I feel good, and all my trousers now fit beautifully. But I'd still rather lose another stone if I can. (Or if I haven't already, according to the nurse!)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Writing Myself Positive

Image: Wikimedia Commons

I'm approximately a third of the way through my self-imposed regimen, so I thought I'd better assess my progress.

Diet: This still goes well. It's not that I ate unhealthily before, but this time I really am cutting back on sugary, fat-laden and processed foods, and concentrating on natural and organic as far as possible. As far as sweet things are concerned this wasn't too difficult, as I have a naturally savoury rather than a sweet tooth. Though everyone craves sweetness now and then — and I find fruit or small quantities of chocolate or ice cream fit the bill. This diet does seem to suit me, I must admit, and I feel fit, healthy and full of physical and mental energy. My ban on alcohol wavered once or twice recently, but I haven't fallen back into the habit. My weight this morning was hovering between 13 st 12 lb and 13 st 13 lb, so I've broken the 14 st barrier. Therefore, roughly speaking, in a month I've lost half of what I set out to lose in three months. The rest sounds easy? Well, no — as I predicted, my weight loss rate has now slowed considerably.

Exercise: Because of the pulled hamstring, exercise was on hold for a while. But I'm now back to doing 20 min to half an hour stretching and various resistance and cardiovascular exercises each day. I haven't any expensive exercise equipment; in fact I have no equipment at all except for a Bullworker and a skipping rope. I find that the free props we have around us in the home — the wall, the floor, the chair — work perfectly well. I'm also walking again each day. In fact, the other day I walked 6 miles into the nearest town, and yesterday I walked 3 or 4 miles through the surrounding countryside. Soon I'll begin some very gentle running in combination with walking.

Meditation: I suppose I'm practising this on my walks rather than putting aside any special time or place for it.

Reading: I'm still reading a fair amount, but not as much as I was when recovering from my cyst and my muscle injury.

Computer: Hopeless! I'm grazing on it at every possible opportunity.

Thanks to everyone for your continuing support. Rereading the above, I hope I don't sound too smug and pleased with myself. In attempting to hide and cope with the problems in my life which were the impetus for this new regime, I sometimes may come across as more self-satisfied and in control than I really am. I'm just trying to think and write myself positive.