143.36 average (small gain)

Well, my prediction was entirely correct. One month on and I’ve hit a plateau. How do I feel about that? I feel surprisingly okay, actually. Weightloss is not the primary reason for this but it’s a nice side-effect. If I stop losing weight, so what?

It’s interesting to note that the weight at which I have stalled is the one I was at 16/17 when I suddenly gained fat (thanks, puberty) and noticed it. I weighed myself and was shocked/disappointed to find that whenever I weighed myself, I was between 10.1 and 10.3 stone.

Whenever I’ve tried losing weight in the past, I have always got stuck at this weight. Coincidence? I really don’t think so. I suspect this is my body’s preferred set-point. I went up to this at 17 and have hovered around it throughout adulthood. Only anorexia saw it go below that and only in the last three years have I seen it creep significantly above that. My body seems veeeeery reluctant to go below this.

What if I do not ever go below this? Well, what with my work on body image, I’m beginning to think that’s ok. I’m not this weight because I’m greedy or lazy or unhealthy. This is just the weight my body wants to be, it seems. That probably means it’s a good weight for my body composition. It probably means this is the weight at which all my physiological systems work well together. There is an equilibrium here.

I’m still going to do the alternate day fasting. I really really like how I feel on it. I feel lighter and unbloated. I don’t get that puffiness.  My digestive system is really liking this way of eating, I can tell.  Forget your bifidus digestivum (I really do despise that kind of science fakery that is nothing more than manipulative lying as marketing – like nutrilium in shampoo – nutrilium, eh? where on the periodic table would that be, then?). The best way to combat bloat is to give your stomach a little more time to deal with what you put into it. I’ve honestly never felt better than when I take a day off eating now and then. It doesn’t have to be every other day. When I was younger it would just be a day here or a day there. Three meals  (or even six, the nutters) every day  just does not work for me. It makes me obsess about food, it makes me bloated and it takes over my day too much.  Fast days only become difficult in those last few hours of the day or at very brief periods (as in, 3.00pm  – 3.30pm). Sometimes I go to bed feeling hungry but also feeling chuffed that I’ve managed a day of fasting and then the next morning I feel fabulous. The hunger is gone but I can enjoy a breakfast of toast or muesli. And enjoy it I do.

I’m really feeling the run on Sunday. My hips are aching today. Also my buttocks. It was no effort to run but it’s given my legs a bit of a pounding. We’re going to rest from running until Friday or Saturday. We’ll increase the frequency of runs slowly. We’re fit enough in cardiovascular terms but we don”t yet have our running legs. That means we feel we could run on and on but the body’s hardware is not actually strong enough to take it. Most other people run out of puff before they cause too much damage whereas TSC and I could do ourselves an injury. Slowly does it.

It’s very strange that while I would rather like to have something to eat on my fast days, I still prefer to fast the entire day. I mean, I could eat a very small, light meal (I used to alternate normal days with 500 calorie or less days – up days and down days . On down days  I’d have soup for dinner) but I find having a small meal much harder to sustain over the long term. The temptation to cheat is greater and I also worry (unnecessarily) about whether my meal is actually under 500 calories. When I plateaued or gained I couldn’t help but blame myself, thinking I must have gone above my 500 calorie allowance. It was my FAULT.  Also, I hate counting calories. I don’t ever want to worry about calories every again so it was actually counter-productive for me on that front.

A totally food free day is the way to go for me:  It’s simple, it’s easy(ish) to do and I can’t bargain with myself (c’mon, just another bite, go on….) as it’s so clear-cut. No food until tomorrow morning. You really want it? You really really want it? You know you don’t need it though, right? Ok, so have it tomorrow.

It reminds me that that is not the last brownie/doughnut/portion of chips  in the whole world. I  can have it tomorrow.  Sometimes I do have it the next day but quite often, by the time it’s the next day those triggers that made me want it so badly then are absent now and I end up not having it and not minding that. Sometimes I’ll go out of my way to find another and have it in lieu of the one I missed yesterday. That’s okay, too. It means I really did want it.

Another very positive mind-shift that’s happened is changing my response to triggers. In our staff coffee-area, there are two biscuit barrels. I’m not a huge fan of biscuits but I used to frequently dip in and take one anyway while I was waiting for the kettle to boil. It was kinda spontaneous to do it. Nowadays, I walk into that area and 50% of the time I am not eating and so don’t even open the barrel. What I’ve found is that that alone has broken the habit. Now, even on my food days, the biscuit barrel gets left unopened. I might have one occasionally but it’s much less than 50% of the time because I’ve broken the habit. It makes me wonder how much of our thoughtless eating is just habits or triggers that we’re just not aware of. Finishing a main course and then developing a taste for something sweet is one I’ve noticed in myself but I am sure there are plenty more that I don’t notice.  Not eating a biscuit (or three) each day is definitely an improvement. I’m not even a huge fan of biscuits. I just ate them because they were there!

At 3pm, I cracked. I had some of that leftover chocolate in my drawer, that progressed onto a bag of sweets and when I got home, I had dinner with TSC. Ooops! Was it the run that made me hungry?

Eats: 3 milk-tea | 375 ml water | 1 milk coffee | 15g chocolate | bag of strawberry pencil bites | lots of tempeh | greek salad | bubble n squeak | trifle

Exercise: commute in (easy – tailwind) commute home (very hard –  headwind)