OPERATION: GET SKINNY (update 4) Mission Complete!

20 August 2012 – Total weight lost: 37lbs Current weight: 9st 9lbs (61.2kg or 135lbs)

In 5 days I am getting married. I am full of nerves and excitment. A year ago I was 12st 4lbs (That’s about 78 Kg or 172 lbs). I wasn’t happy with my weight. I wanted to do something about it, I wanted to be slim on my wedding day so I started OPERATION: GET SKINNY FOR THE WEDDING. I joined MyFitnessPal and wrote a weekly blog to track my progress. I set my goal weight as 11st (70 kg or 154 lbs) but I have a very bad diet and a food phobia so I didn’t think it was possible to get down to 11st. The only thing I knew I could do was cut down on potion sizes, count the calories & stick to my limit for that day.

On October 17th I did it. I passed my weight loss goal of 11 st. In 8 weeks I had lost 19 lbs. I set myself a new goal, a harder goal, something that would be a real challenge and that was to reach my “perfect” BMI. The healthy range for BMI is between 18.5 to 24.9 and the “perfect” BMI would be 21.7 as it’s bang in the middle of 18.5 and 24.9. This gave me the goal weight of 10st 3lbs (64.9kg or 143 lbs).

It was a lot harder than I thought. I put on weight over Christmas and there were times when I felt like the weight was never going to shift. I went to the gym, I gave up on the gym. I cut out treats and just stuck to what I knew best, calore counting. I logged in every day and logged everything I consumed. Then 31 weeks into my weight loss journey I did it. I reached my “perfect” BMI, but where to go from here? I didn’t need to lose weight anymore I just had to stay this weight until the wedding, but the wedding was still 5 months away.

Maintaining weight was my new goal. I made the mistake at first of setting my daily calorie goal too high and I started to put weight back on. So started dieting again to get back to 10st 3lbs. 37 weeks into my weight loss journey I had my suit fitted for the wedding. I was 10st 3lbs. I knew I couldn’t put on any more weight and I found that 1500 calories a day was perfect for maintaining.

However I had got into the habit of always being slightly under my calorie goal for the day. So instead of 1500 calories I would consume something around 1200. I liked that the weight was still coming off. I had failed at my new goal of maintaining. I had promised myself to remain at 10st 3lbs until my wedding on 25th August 2012, but with the wedding only 5 days away I am now 9st 9lbs. I am 8lbs lighter than what I intended to be, so for the rest of this week I am going to try and put some weight back on until my wedding day. I hope my suit still fits.

So I guess this is it. The end of OPERATION: GET SKINNY FOR THE WEDDING. After the wedding I will be making a fresh start. However this time I am not going to take things so seriously. I am still going to weigh myself once a week, but not log everything I eat. Not to obsess about calories, but to know when to stop. I want to be able to get to 10st / 140lbs / 63.5kg and stay there.

I have new account on MyFitnessPal, with a new blog and a new goal, and that’s to stay slim, and not put all the weight I lost back on again. Because I am… Too Fit to Quit!

I am Runner 5!

If you have read my blog before you will know that:

  1. I am a bit geeky.
  2. I’ve been getting fit for my forthcoming wedding (I’ve lost 2 stone!)

So imagine my joy when I found a great running app called Zombies, Run!. It’s basically an adventure story that you listen to while you are running. You play the character ‘Runner 5” and you’ve got to help your base rebuild from the ruins of civilization by going out and collecting critical supplies.

I am Runner 5! (Me sporting the official ‘Zombies, Run!’ T-shirt)

When you start your run, your base (Able Township) will give you a mission (from what I’ve done so far most missions last about 30 minutes) and then the app will play you tracks from your own music playlist as if your base is broadcasting it from their radio tower, it will then briefly interrupt the music every now & then to let you know you’ve found something, “You’ve picked up a first aid kit”. After each track someone will update you on your progress and how the mission is going, and letting you know if zombies are nearby. They will tell you If you need to speed up, slow down, and more importantly if you are being CHASED BY ZOMBIES!!!

Once you have completed your mission you will be told to return to base and the app switches to radio mode. This mode is basically the same as the mission mode but the story won’t progress any further. Instead two DJ’s from Able Township (the base) will give you light conversation between tracks. This basically gives you opportunity to ‘collect’ more items for the rest of your run. Once you have finished running you can then use the items you’ve collected to develop your base and help your surviving population thrive. My base as gone from a population of about 60 to around 150. You can then post your progress on Twitter. With a bigger base comes more missions and some unexpected surprises!

I started using the app about a month ago on ‘Accelerometer’ mode while using my Wii Fit. So yes, I had been doing a lot of running on the spot, and the app would detect the motion of my iPhone and calculate my approximate pace. Yeah, yeah, I know, I was a bit lame, it’s not real running, but using ‘Zombies, Run!’ had made double the about of time I spend ‘Free Running’ on the Wii Fit and made me want to go out running for real. So that was my next plan, go out on the streets, turn on the GPS, turn on  the ‘Zombie Chase’ option, go for a run and see where the story would take me.

The first run I did was at night. I put on my black jogging bottoms and hoodie, and headed out into the darkness. I thought I was ready, I thought I was prepared. I wasn’t…

I turned out that running on the spot is NOTHING like the real thing (who knew). After about 10 minutes out I felt shattered, but I was scared. I was out on my own, and expecting zombies to attack me at any moment so I kept on running. A police car slowed as it passed me, so I turned the corner and started heading down a side road. I know I had done nothing wrong but the sight of the police car had given me a wake up call;

  1. It’s late at night.
  2. I am dressed in black with a black hoodie.
  3. I am running.
  4. If stopped, the police would probably not believe me if I told them I was being chased by zombies.

As the mission was over anyway I decided it was time for me to head home. I collapsed on the sofa, and started allocating my supplies. I had been out for about an hour. The next day I could hardly walk. I could hardly walk for a week. I ached all over. The next week I decided that from now on I would do more of a ‘Zombies, Walk!’ than ‘Zombies, Run!’.  So that’s what I’ve been doing. Walking.

I have being doing Chichester’s Wall’s Walk, starting off slow at first, just incase I need to speed up due to the threat of Zombies. As it’s easy to complete the walk in less than half an hour, I’ve got into the habit of doing laps or adding to the route. I normally go out for an hour, given myself around 30 minutes to complete the mission and then 30 minutes of ‘radio’ time. Sometimes i’ll jog, sometimes I’ll stroll but I will always be out long enough to complete the mission.

Hang on… Wait…. what’s that? Behind you! No!! No!!! It’s them! They must have broken through the barriers!!!  Zombies, RUN!!!!!!!

An ultra-immersive running game for the iPhone, iPod Touch, & Android.

OPERATION: GET SKINNY (update 3) I’ve done it!

26 March 2012 – Total weight lost: 29lbs Current weight: 10st 3lbs (64.9kg or 143lbs)

My starting weight on Monday 22 August 2011 was;

12 st 4 lbs (That’s about 78 Kg or 172 lbs)

On Monday 17th October 2011 I passed my first goal weight of;

11 st (70 kg or 154 lbs)

Today, Monday 26th March 2012…

I REACHED MY GOAL WEIGHT OF 10st 3lbs! (64.9kg or 143 lbs)

*does happy dance*

I have lost 29lbs in total, that’s 2st 1lbs in 31 weeks and I have reached my “perfect” BMI.  It’s now smack in the middle of Healthy…

The goal on my weight loss tracker now looks like this…

So… *twiddles thumbs* What do I do now?

I have no idea where to go from here? Build muscle? I still have my gym membership which I have forgotten to cancel so I could go to the gym everyday and become the next Mr Universe. Hmmm?  *Laughs* No. The gym and muscles aren’t my thing, however it is strange not having a goal anymore. I think my new goal is just to maintain this weight. I don’t want to lose any more and I don’t want to put anymore on. I think that will probably be a very hard goal. Eat too much, I’ll put on weight, eat too little and I will be wasting away.

My live weight loss tracker is below. Fingers crossed it will remain at 29 lbs lost until my wedding on 25th August 2012.

Created by MyFitnessPal – Nutrition Facts For Foods

Can I do it? Will I be able to maintain this weight for the wedding? Is it possible? Who knows? The wedding is in 5 months and this blog will tell you how I am doing on a weekly basis.

Check out my profile at www.myfitnesspal.com for more.

The Geek Squid!

Since starting ‘OPERATION: GET SKINNY’ I have been logging onto MyFitnessPal.com almost daily as part of my weight loss routine, but what I love most about ‘MFP’ are the forums. For those of you who are members, and only use the app, you are missing out on about 50% of what MyFitnessPal is all about… It’s about community.

Since joining MFP I have made some great online friends. I really like how everyone helps each other stay motivated and have their own story to tell, wheither it be that they want to lose weight, stay fit, gain weight or muscle. They all have their own reason to be on the site and a goal they want to reach. Of course there are the odd few people who disagree and have issues with others, but you will get that in any community, online or otherwise, and like I said, they all have different goals and reasons to be on the site.

Now, talking about weight loss is all well and good but I wanted to find more people who were a bit like me – a bit on the geeky side – so about a month or so ago I posted ‘Calling all Geeks & Nerds’ in the forum. The response was amazing! My friends list more than doubled, It went from 70 friends to 177 friends in a day. Because I had made so many new friends on there who were geeks and nerds I then created a group for us called, ‘The Geek Squad’. It’s a group for all things geek. So if you are a member of MyFitnessPal and you’re a massive sci-fi fan, into gaming, or just know your way round a computer, then this is the group for you. However, It turned out that there is an American store called ‘Best Buy’ whos IT support comany is also called ‘The Geek Squad’. This caused a bit of confusion, and even some abuse by some of the American members of MFP who thought the group was for ‘Geek Squad’ or ‘Best Buy’ employees. According to some of the members of the open forums who have had dealings with said company, they aren’t the most helpful or intelligent group of IT individuals.

I wanted to distance the group from this negative view of ‘geek’ & so I asked the members of the group to come up with a new name and mixedfeelings came up with the name ‘The Geek Squid’. I loved it! I then made a mascot (the little guy on the left), I again asked the group to give him a name, and due to a few drunken updates from myself where I use this word a lot, the squid gained the nickname ‘Squiffy’. I did want to go with a name that was suggested on twitter and I thought was genius, ‘Squeek’! It’s a combination of the words ‘squid’ & ‘geek’ and is a cute misspelling of the word ‘squeak’, but it looks like ‘Squiffy’ has stuck, and deep down I love that he is called ‘Squiffy’. I love the group, I am so proud it and it’s a great place for me to talk to other people who love the same things as me and to express my inner geek. We can talk about where we would travel in time if we had the keys to the Back to the Future DeLorean, or who our favourite character from Spaced is…

Speaking of which…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1y1BIACRH4

As you can see from youtube link & picture of me from 2008 standing outside “23 Meteor Street”, I am a massive fan of SPACED. On the night of Februrary 9th 2012 I had a dream that I was watching Spaced. I dreamt about the third series & I wrote about it here, in an entry called ‘Deep SPACED’. For those that have seen Spaced would know, there isn’t a third series, but in my dream there was. This series was new and picked up on the characters lives 11 years later. I won’t write the dream here as I have already done so a few entries back.
Well, my blog and twitter account are linked, so my blog will automatically send a tweet informing my followers and the other people on twitter that I have posted something. When I finished that entry a tweet was sent, like so…

 The tweet was then was retweeted a few times, and some people also sent a tweet to Simon Pegg (who co wrote and starred in Spaced) about what I had written…

“Skip to the end…”

Anyway, on March 6th, Simon Pegg tweeted this…

Coincidence?!!! Well, probably yes… but still, It was nice to know that Simon Pegg was also thinking about SPACED, and that is awesome. or as Squiffy the geeky squid would say…

 “GEEKS ARE AWESOME!”

OPERATION: GET SKINNY (update 2) Six months in…

On Monday 22nd August I started OPERATION: GET SKINNY FOR THE WEDDING and things are going well. I passed my original goal weight of 11st on Monday 17th October and wrote an update about it here. In that post I set myself a new goal of being the “perfect” BMI of 21.7. I call it the “perfect” BMI as it’s bang in the middle of the ‘healthy range’ of 18.5 and 24.9. To be a BMI of 21.7 I would have to weigh 10st 3lbs (143lbs 64.9kg), so that is my current goal.

Today is Monday 27th February. I am now 6 months into my diet and 6 months away from my wedding, and things look like this…

As you can see I am currently 10st 9lbs (149lbs 67.6kg), with a BMI of 22.7, so I am slowly getting there. I am only 6lbs away from my goal, but as you can see by the tiny graph, I was this weight in December so it is getting harder to lose weight. The lightest i’ve been since starting this diet was 10st 8lbs, but that was before I put some weight back on at Christmas. I did get down to 10st 8lbs after Christmas but my weight has been up and down by a few pounds ever since.

I would like to reach my goal but I wouldn’t be upset if I didn’t. I am at a body shape I am happy with but it is always good to have a goal to aim for.

My starting weight on Monday 22 August 2011 was;

12 st 4 lbs (That’s about 78 Kg or 172 lbs)

At the half-way point on Monday 27th February 2012 I am;

10 st 9 lbs (149lbs 67.6kg)

My goal weight is;

10 st 3 lbs (64.9kg or 143 lbs).

You can follow my weight loss progress with the tracker below;

Created by MyFitnessPal – Nutrition Facts For Foods

Can I do it? Will I be able to keep the weight off before the wedding? Is it possible? Who knows? The wedding is in 6 months and this blog will tell you how I am doing on a weekly basis.

Check out my profile at www.myfitnesspal.com for more.

Nil by Mouth

Where to start? I have an issue with food, (I guess that’s a good starting point if I am to write a post about my eating disorder). In fact I have a huge issue with food. I’ve had an issue with food my entire life. As you may or may not be aware I am trying to lose some weight for my forthcoming wedding on August 25th 2012, and to help me do this I joined MyFitnessPal.com. It is a brilliant website, that also has a great iPhone app for people like me who want to lose weight, and track calorie intake. But It was my food diary that a lot of people took interest in because my diet was so limited. People would ask me why I just didn’t eat a wider range of food?

Whenever anyone asks me about poor diet, I don’t really know what to say. I have an eating disorder, which is more like a food phobia. I am scared of food, or to be more precise, I am scared of trying new food. Almost everything I eat, everything I ‘trust’, I’ve been eating since I was very little and I have never really ever strayed from these ‘safe’ foods. It is easier for me to list the things I do eat rather than the things I don’t it. If I had to make a sweeping statement on the things I don’t eat, it would be this;

“I don’t eat meat, fruit or vegetables.”

I don’t really know the cause of my eating disorder. Trying to find the answer is a bit like trying to find the killer in a “whodunit” murder/mystery. My family seem to point fingers at each other as to who is to blame. There are a few theories. One is it being down to me having cerebral palsy and due to this I was not able to suckle as a baby. Then there is a dramatic story of me being traumatised after being force-fed food when I was very young and having to eat my own vomit. Whatever the cause, my issue with food has affected my whole life.

Growing up with this phobia was difficult. I don’t think people realise how much they take food for granted. How it – food – has an impact on everything. During my school years my fear of food would cause me to panic about school trips, staying at friend’s houses for dinner, and I even remember having to miss out on my best friend’s birthday party because they held it at Pizza Hut. I couldn’t go out for the day unless I knew there was something I could eat when I got there. I just wouldn’t eat otherwise. This behaviour seemed to be socially acceptable as a child. One doctor told my mother that it would be something I would grow out of, but I never did. The older I got the more it affected me. I felt even more alienated then I did at school. I was embarrassed by my disorder. I never went out on dates, going out meant eating out and that was something I just didn’t do. I couldn’t travel. I couldn’t see the world, and because didn’t really eat anything I was also very underweight. I am 5′ 8″ and until I was about 25 years old, I weighed less than 8 stone (112lbs / 50.8kg). The below picture gives you an example as to how skinny I was.

Me (on the right) playing the bass guitar in 1999 when I weighed under 8 stone

It was around this time that I met a girl who didn’t try to change me but instead gave me options. For example she knew I liked cheese and she knew I ate plain pasta and asked if I ate macaroni cheese? For years I thought that macaroni was a vegetable and refused to eat it. I thought it was the same thing as cauliflower cheese. I had no idea that macaroni was pasta. She also introduced me to the plain cheese pizza. She phoned a take-away and asked for a margarita pizza without the tomato base. This was something I was too scared to do. What if they laughed at me? What if they ask why? What if they forget and it came with tomato? But she didn’t see my phobia as a problem, she would just help me work round it. She was great. She introduced me to more foods and because of her I put on a healthy weight, but I knew my diet wasn’t a healthy one.

My weight has been up and down ever since, and this normally depends on if I am in a relationship or not. I don’t really have a love for food, I hate cookery programs. I see food as more as a necessity rather than a pleasure. When I was single I would forget to eat, I don’t think I really register hunger. Buying food just seemed like a chore. I would buy food like bread. Forget to eat it. It would go mouldy. I would throw it away, and the cycle would start again. So I would then stop buying bread. I would stop buying milk. I would stop buying things that had a short ‘best before’ date. I started to get back into old habits, but now because I wasn’t as young as I was it started to affect my health. Different girls I dated had different ways of dealing with my disorder. One would try to trick me into eating things I didn’t like by hiding things in my food. This didn’t go down well at all. Some chose just to ignore it and let me eat what I wanted. Then when I was about 30 I had one girlfriend who was very militant about fixing my diet. She was tired of me saying that I would to get round to fixing my diet one day. She wanted me to fix it now.

I talked to my GP who referred me to a nutritionist. The nutritionist made me keep a food diary, but made it very clear that she wasn’t a therapist and could only advise me on my diet. I saw a therapist who tried CBT, but it didn’t get me anywere. I looked online trying to find help for people with eating disorders, but I couldn’t find anything that related to me. I wasn’t bulimic. I wasn’t anorexic. It was like no one else had the same issue as me. Then I found a web forum called http://www.fussy-eaters.com. The introduction to the forum reads:

We are an online community providing support and information for people with eating problems related to Selective Eating Disorder (SED) and Food Neophobia (fear of trying new foods).

I had finally found other people who had the same issues as me, and it was through this website that I was contacted by one of the producers of a program called Freaky Eaters. She sent me a set of questions for me to ask my friends and family about my food issues. She also asked me to make a small video diary of my eating habits, and to video myself trying new things, so thats what I did.

I sent them the videos, and the answers to their questionaires and they got back to me said they were interested in my story and would be in touch. I started to get my hopes up. I was finally going to be getting help. Real help. They started to interview my family, and friends, and then a few days later a camera crew arrived at my flat. It was now my turn to talk about my phobia. I was very nervous, but the woman interviewing me said I had nothing to worry about and she talked me through how it would work. This was just stage one. This was just the ‘getting to know me’ part. She would ask me a question and I would reply with that question and an answer. For example if she said; “What food do you like the most?” I would reply with “I think the food I like the most is..” etc. This was so they could remove the questions in the edit. The also filmed ‘cut aways’, which were just shots of my hands and eyes, and things they can use to edit my responses. They wanted me to talk a lot about pasta, the types of pasta I eat and how I just have it on its own or with cheese. No sauce. I became very aware that I was being pigeon-holed and that the name of my episode was probably going to be “Addicted to Pasta”. As things progressed I started to have concerns about how I was being portrayed on camera. I’m not addicted to pasta? I’m not a freak. I’m just someone who has an eating disorder, and one of the few foods I do eat is plain pasta. Then she asked me the question I dreaded the most. “What I thought caused my phobia?” I started to feel like I was on trial. They wanted me to point the finger. Point the finger on national TV as to who I thought was to blame for my condition. I started to worry about what my family had said on camera. Who did they blame? I answered the question the best I could. which is ‘I don’t really know what caused my phobia.’. She didn’t seem to be happy with that answer.

When the interview was over she opened a bag and brought out a carrot. She wanted to film me trying to eat it, raw. The camera focused on me. I couldn’t do it. She said this was brilliant. It shows I have a real issue. They wrapped up filming that day and said that they would be in touch about stage two. As soon as they had left I was on the phone to different members of the family with questions about what they had said to the film crew. Everyone was pointing fingers at each other. I got in touch with the producer and asked if I would see the program before it aired. If I had to give approval? She said that the first time I would see it was when it was broadcast. She told me that I had any worries and didn’t want to continue that it wasn’t too late to pull out. So I pulled out. I liked the idea of getting free help but was worried that the program might start a family feud. So that was the end of that.

Apart from getting over some of my anxieties, I haven’t made much progress since. I am too much of a stubborn person, but with my wedding fast approaching I have been thinking more about the future and how my diet is affecting my health. I also want to have children one day and I don’t want to pass my eating disorder on to them. I don’t want them to have the same problems as I do. I keep having visions of me trying to explain to a 3 year old child why they have to eat their vegetables but daddy doesn’t have to. Children learn by example and I wouldn’t be setting a good example for them, but I just don’t know where to go from here? In a way this is the first step. Admitting that I have a problem. Talking about it. Writing it down. I know it isn’t much, but it’s a start. It’s like being part of a help group.

*stands up*

“Hello everyone. My name is Russell, and I have a selective eating disorder”

OPERATION: GET SKINNY (update 1)

On Monday 22nd I started OPERATION: GET SKINNY FOR THE WEDDING and…

I’VE DONE IT!!! I HAVE PASSED MY GOAL WEIGHT OF 11st!!!

I am now 10st 13lbs! I don’t really know what to do now?  Last time I tried to diet I didn’t lose much weight, so I didn’t think I would reach my goal weight as quickly as I have.

I have lost 19lbs in total, that’s 1st 5lbs in 8 weeks.

So where do I go from here? Well I was thinking maybe I should reach my “perfect” BMI. My height is 5’8″ and as you know my current weight is 10st 13lbs so that gives me a BMI of 23.3. The ideal range is 18.5 to 24.9. So I am in the healthy weight range, but 21.7 would be the “perfect” BMI as it’s bang in the middle of 18.5 and 24.9.

To be a BMI of 21.7 I would have to weigh 10st 3lbs (143lbs 64.9kg), so that is now my goal.

So the NEW plan is simple. I’m getting married in a 313 days (Saturday, August 25th 2012) and want to lose some weight and look AWESOME for the wedding.

My starting weight on Monday 22 August 2011 was;

12 st 4 lbs (That’s about 78 Kg or 172 lbs)

On Monday 17th October I passed my goal weight of;

11 st. (70 kg or 154 lbs)

My new goal weight is;

10 st 3 lbs (64.9kg or 143 lbs).

The goal on my weight loss tracker has been updated and so it now looks like this;

Created by MyFitnessPal – Nutrition Facts For Foods

 Can I do it? Will I be able to keep the weight off before the wedding? Is it possible? Who knows? The wedding is in 313 days and this blog will tell you how I am doing on a weekly basis.

Check out my profile at www.myfitnesspal.com for more.