Wednesday, 21 September 2016

A new approach needed

The consultant appointment came and went, the last ditch effort to lose weight failed, I stuck to the no alcohol or chocolate ban for two weeks, but it didn't really make any difference. In the end I weighed in at 115.6kg, half a kilo heavier than I did four months earlier. Ultimately it made no difference to my stats, my CKD remains stable (c. 28% kidney function according to the consultant) and my medication remains unchanged.

After that I kind of let things slip a little, having failed to make the weight loss I slackened off on the diet, not massively but just enough. It didn't help that the day after the appointment I was giving the eulogy at my Grandfather's funeral and wasn't in the mood for abstinence. So this week my weight is up again to 116.4kg.
I now need to rethink my approach, as the current one isn't working: eating a generally sensible diet with moderate consumption of alcohol and occasional sweets; combined with regular moderate exercise. There are a couple of levers, the first one is to change my diet again, I know it's too heavy on carbs, particularly refined carbs like bread and pasta. I mainly eat white bread (usually unsliced bloomers, ciabatta, baguettes etc., not that it probably makes any difference from sliced packet bread) as I've never been too keen on brown bread finding it a bit dry and cardboard like, but there are some artisan style brown breads I've tried and enjoyed, the question is figuring out whether switching will make have a material affect? It's actually quite difficult to get clear guidance on whether switching bread and pasta is materially beneficial. The other options are to switch away from bread altogether for some meals, perhaps having weetabix or muesli for breakfast instead of toast or soup at lunchtime, the only concern being whether these will fill me up sufficiently to avoid snacking or having to go with portion sizes so large they defeat the objective. It may simply be a case of try and see.
The second lever is more exercise. This is not as easy to affect. I have my morning walk from the station (instead of taking the tube), and I have my lunchtime constitutional, but after that it becomes more difficult. I try to slot in walks/jogs in the evenings, but these are not easy. With two young kids and their various activities (after school clubs, homework, feeding, bathing and getting to bed) as well as the day to day chores that need to be slotted in finding a suitable half an hour and time for a subsequent shower is not as easy as it sounds. Too soon after a meal and it's uncomfortable, push the meal back and it's going to bed with a full stomach and inevitable indigestion. Jogging/running has never been my thing, even back before the kids, when I played rugby league and went to the gym several times a week. I now find heels and ankles can hurt afterwards. There is also no gym or swimming pool close enough that I could take advantage of it. sufficiently to justify a membership.
It's given me something to think about, but I can’t mull it over for too long as I need to get some momentum back up.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Special Measures

Well, my plan to get down to 111kg by my next visit to the consultant on 13th September is completely in tatters. This morning, with two weeks to go, I weighed in at 116.1kg, basically 1.5kg heavier than I was 4 months ago. It's not that I have been especially bad with my diet or exercise, I just haven't been disciplined enough overall.

The lack of progress is a combination of daily 'extras' like ice cream and/or a couple of beers, particularly whilst I was on holiday in August, and a few 'bad' days like my cousin's wedding or Saturday's challenge cup final where I ate more or drank more than I would normally. It's not like I've been on any mad benders or have binged on food, it's just that there haven't been enough days where I've burned off more calories than I've consumed. I can get away with those occasional bad days if I keep the days with 'extras' to a couple of days a week, unfortunately I haven't done that.

So my new target is 113kg. That is basically 3kg in two weeks, very challenging but not impossible. I'm working on this basis that I can shock my system back on track by cutting out chocolate and alcohol for two weeks, and adding a regular evening walk/jog to my routine. I still do my daily morning and lunchtime walks, and I follow my late breakfast and no morning snack routine at work, but I suspect that my body has simply normalised to this so I need to increase the work rate to get benefit. I think it will be an important milestone to break below 114kg.