Change.

I have a real issue with change, I like to do things a certain way and I like repetition. I love collecting things too. I have always been like this. If you’ve read my blog before you can probably see examples of that. I have an eating disorder. My obsession with bags. My enjoyment of making lists and surveys. I’ve always questioned whether I was normal. I just thought I was always a bit quirky. I am a bit quirky.

Last year my issues with change started to really cause me… well… issues. I was due to be married in August… Married! I have never been married before. What do you do? How will my life change? All these worries started to build up in my head. Everyone said I should be really excited but I felt more stress than excitement. Why was I not excited? Did this mean I was making a mistake? Why did I not feel the same as others? I made lists of positive things but I couldn’t get worries out of my head. Friends told me I wasn’t making sense. I had to get away. Run! Run away from the change. I had a breakdown as I couldn’t see anything positive in my future. I saw a therapist who told me it was just cold feet and not to worry and that my anxiety attacks would pass once I was married. This calmed me and I started to look forward to the wedding.

My wedding day was amazing. I was calm, I had no nerves and it just felt right. Everyone I loved was there. It was a great day. It felt amazing to get married. I was happy… for a few days. The anxiety attacks I thought had gone away didn’t. I was putting on a face for people. I found myself feeling like I was going to be sick. I couldn’t concentrate. The structure of my life was falling apart. I just couldn’t function. I fell into a deep depression.

As my wife is wonderful and amazing she did everything she could to help. In October I saw my doctor who put me on a course of antidepressants and referred me to a different therapist. My new therapist noticed strange patterns in my thinking and behaviour and asked me if I had ever been diagnosed with a Autism Spectrum Condition? I wasn’t sure what to think. When I think of Autism I think of Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man. That isn’t me, but I was willing to be assessed because I needed answers. I needed to know why I think the way I do. I was sent lists of questions to complete and on Tuesday 14th May I would be assessed by a specialist. I spent weeks wondering & worrying about the outcome. What if they said I am not on the autstic spectum? What does it mean if I am? If I am then I guess it would be closure. I would have my answer.

ASresults

The 14th of May was last Tuesday. I’ve had my assessment. I was diagnoised with Asperger syndrome. What is Aspeger Syndrome you might say to yourself? Well here is an easy read explanation.

The more the specialist spoke to me the more I could relate to the diagnosis and it seemed to tick boxes in my head…

  • They find it difficult to understand what other people think, and how they feel. ✔
  • They can have good language skills. But some people with Asperger syndrome think that people always mean what they say. For example, someone with Asperger syndrome might not be able to tell when someone is joking. ✔
  • They may only talk about their favourite subject. ✔
  • They may be very interested in some things. ✔
  • They may want to take part in games or activities with other people. But they may not know how to do this. ✔
  • They may like to play the same game or do the same thing every day. ✔
  • They can have a good IQ and may go to the same school as children who do not have a disability. ✔
  • They may be good at concentrating on one activity. ✔
  • They may find co-ordination difficult. ✔
  • Some people with Asperger syndrome may like to eat the same food every day ✔
  • They may have mental health problems, such as anxiety or depression. ✔

So what changes now? Nothing. It just means that the way my mind works is different to those who don’t have this disorder. I have my answer. I have closure.

You can get more information about Asperger syndrome from:
Autism Helpline: 0808 800 4104
Email: autismhelpline@nas.org.uk
The National Autistic Society’s website: www.autism.org.uk

My Wedding

It was the perfect day. I can’t really sum it up with words so I will just show you some of the amazing photos that was taken on the day (click on the pic to make it bigger) …

…It was truly the best day of my life.

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!

These are a few of my favourite things…

 I can remember years ago, the father of an ex girlfriend had a little note on his mirror which simply read…

“Remember how miserable it was”

He wrote that so whenever he didn’t feel like getting out of bed and going to work it would remind him of what it was like when he was unemployed and depressed.

I don’t need motivation to get out of bed, but I do like the idea of writing notes for myself. Notes that make me happy. So the other day I thought I would buy myself a blackboard so I could do just that. If I ever feel down or I’ve had a bad day I can just look at them and it will put a smile on my face. I wanted something magnetic that I could stick to the fridge, but I couldn’t decide on what to get?  A blackboard or whiteboard? …so I bought both. I also ordered some chalk pens and other creative things that I could use. The first thing I thought I would write down was a list of things that I am looking forward to. Seeing what makes my fiancee happy also makes me happy, so Sally has joined in too. So far things look like this…

The chalk pens haven’t arrived yet but when they do I want to start writing on the blackboard and instead of writing down things that I am looking forward I want to write down a list of favorite things. It’s going to be our new hobby. Every month Sally and I will write down our favourite things and it can be anything, a film, a song, a book, a drink, an event. It doesnt have to be in any order just a list of things that makes us happy. If I was to write a list now it would look something like this….

  • Sally
  • Snuggles
  • The idea of being married
  • The Avengers
  • White Knuckles by OK GO
  • Making lists
  • Dancing around the Kitchen
  • Sunny days
  • Playing guitar
  • Watching stuff on Netflix

…and what’s billiant about having a black/whiteboard is that it’s not permanent. If I think of something else, change my mind, or worse, the thing I wrote now makes me sad, it doesn’t matter. I can make a fresh start. I can almost literally, wipe the slate clean.

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.