9 Jul 2007

Weight Loss Tips Interview (Updated with Photo)

As you may recall, Lizza at Weight Loss Tips recently requested an interview from me for inclusion on their site. I was happy to oblige. Below is the content of my interview.

Weight before diet:

Recently, my weight has fluctuated from an all-time high of nearly 280lbs in early 2005 (I vowed I would never be 20 stones….) down to 230lbs following a concerted diet/exercise effort in late 2005 and then slowly crept back to 270 lbs by April 2007.

Weight now:

My weight has been static at 245lbs for 4 weeks now - I have reached the dreaded first plateau!

Target weight:

My goal is to reach 200lbs by 31st December 2007 and then over a period of time get insanely fit and stay comfortably between 185-195lbs for the rest of my life….

What finally made you decide to start with a weight loss program?

I have been overweight to a greater or lesser extent since I was 10 years old. I have regularly visiting health professionals over the last 25-30 years to relieve and regulate my Asthma.

Following a routine check-up in late 2004 I become a ‘medical anomaly’ – whilst having all the symptoms of the condition, the usual remedies failed to have any remedial effect. To my surprise, I was informed that I may not be asthmatic – at that time I weighed 275-280Lbs. Incredibly, I failed at that point to conclude the now blindingly obvious fact that the weight and lack of fitness was causing the ‘Asthmatic’ symptoms…the clock was ticking…

I returned for a check-up in April 2007 and was told in no-uncertain terms that my weight was slowly killing me. The time was right to act…

What type of weight loss program are you following?

My weight loss programme is not a weight loss program at all as that would imply I am on a diet – I believe diets (though effective for some) are often an excuse to reduce the weight of your bank account rather than your body.

I don’t count calories or points or anything of that kind. I am seeking happiness, spiritual happiness - and as a starting point to that ultimate goal, I have to be at peace with myself and love myself. I am studying Buddhist teachings and using them to think more positively about myself and my life.

This spiritual change has enabled me to totally change the relationship I have with food and alcohol to such an extent that I do not feel remotely that I am depriving myself as many people do when following traditional diets. I eat healthily and regularly and take alcohol in moderation. This combined with a sliding scale of physical exercise and continued positive thought amount to my weight loss program.

Why did you choose this weight loss program?

I chose to go my own way after looking at Atkins, WW and all the others and nothing appealed to me. The weight loss I am hoping to achieve will be the by-product of my spiritual journey not the other way around.

Being thin does not make you happy but I believe that being happy CAN help you get thin and fit.

The combination of healthy living and spiritual wellness can be summed up as a DharmaDiet – letting Buddha burn the pounds off!

How long have you been on your weight loss program?

As I am not on traditional organized diet, this is difficult to quantify but I have gradually found this change in life direction over months and years but in effect the catalyst for this journey was my visit to a nurse practitioner at my local health centre in April 2007.

This life change will be a central part of my existence now and forever.

What kinds of physical activities do you like doing to help you lose weight and stay fit?

I walk every weekday at lunchtime covering about 2.5miles in 40 minutes. I have also just begun my version of the Couch to 5K programme from Cool Running.

I used to love running in the way that a blind man loves a good sunset but I need to break through the plateau and more exercise is the only effective way I know to do that! Even this early in my ‘running career’ I can feel the obsession starting to be born – the possibilities are endless and I just can’t wait!

What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome or are still overcoming?

The most difficult obstacle was admitting that I had a problem with food in general and the weight I had become in particular. My apathetic view of exercise is legendary but I am working on that with attempts to boost my motivation levels all the time.

Having the patience to take the long term view over a project that will take me nearly 2 years is a constant battle. I am winning at the moment!

How do you keep yourself motivated?

My Blog is my primary motivation. The friends I have ‘met’ encourage me so much and the stories of the many other people on similar weight loss journeys are a constant inspiration to me.

I weigh myself everyday without fail and keep a spreadsheet with a trend line. This trend line is crucial as it ‘irons-out’ minor fluctuations in weight and prevents obsessing over the everyday up’s and downs of weight-loss.

As long as the trend line is down, I am happy and fully motivated!

Do you have any weight loss tips for our readers?

Don’t go on a diet for a start – start a Fat Blog instead! Use your Blog to explore your feelings and think deeply about where you want to be mentally and physically.

Identify any obstacles in your way and slowly work to eradicate them from your life. Once you feel ready to make this life change, pick long term and achievable scale and non-scale goals and break those goals down into mini goals. Never use food as a reward for success – special treats DON’T work.

Do it for yourself and treat eating as a cerebral undertaking – think long and hard about what you are eating and why. Don’t be afraid to refuse food if you are not hungry or you feel you are eating for the wrong reasons.

Finally, seek out an exercise regime you can enjoy and embrace it. You will never look back!

Do you think it will be easy to fall back into your old lifestyle pattern? How do you prevent this from happening?

I know I will not fall back into my old ways of excessive/emotional eating and avoidance of exercise. I have make a public commitment to achieve certain physically goals. Failure is NOT an option!

I also make use of the Transtheoretical Model of Change to help me understand the obstacles to a successful lifestyle shift and its maintenance. The spiral model in particular is a great help in identifying the reasons for relapse and can be used as a ‘roadmap’ to get me back on track.

Finally, I constantly focus on the reasons for starting this journey and through my blog I set myself challenges and goals that I feel obliged to meet due to their semi-public nature.

Do you have a favourite Web site or blog that helps or inspires you to lose weight? (you can add your blog here, as well as four other sites/blogs that help you with your lifestyle change decision)

My toe in the cyber ocean - http://www.fatblokethin.co.uk/

My spiritual search started here - http://www.thubtenchodron.org/

JoJo, my weight-loss blogging buddy – www.toafk.blogspot.com/

Shauna, to remind me what is really possible - http://www.dietgirl.org/

Manie, to remind me to help others – http://www.the-me-i-was-meant-to-be.blogspot.com/


Chris H said...

I did that too! Are you on their website yet???

FatBlokeThin said...

It's not published yet - oh the excitement of it all! Lol!

Chris H said...

You CAN see a difference mate! And I am gunna moan about winter, cos I CAN... I'M A GIRL EH? snigger snigger.

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