That’s my goal to achieve by my 30th birthday in September. I started from a little over 100kg in March (but didn’t have working scales at the time.) 78kg is the top of the BMI scale’s ‘normal’ range for my 177cm height, and I don’t know the last time I was in that band.
Plenty has been said about how the BMI scale is flawed, and it doesn’t work for this body type or that group of people. That may all be true, but there’s nothing to say it’s not right for me, and until I’ve tried to hit that weight and seen what I look and feel like, I’m not going to use that excuse.
I’ve been overweight since my second year of uni, 2005-06. I had more or less stopped all exercise other than walking around Durham, but was still eating as if I were rowing four times a week. There were delicious daily cooked breakfasts on offer in college, so you can imagine how that went. By the time I left Durham in 2007, I was a great white whale. I weighed around 105-110kg, and stayed in that range until Spring 2012, when we returned from holiday in the USA and decided that something had to be done. So I started my first diet, having always believed that they wouldn’t work for me, based on absolutely no experience.
During that diet, I was only aiming for 0.5kg a week in weight loss, so I counted calories and had good success for six months. I enjoyed a few months of compliments, and people saying that they could tell I’d lost weight. I’d got down to 89.9kg, but then I left my job and had a few months at home. A new job and new baby later, and all that stopped.
That diet was a little bit faddy, with a lot of protein, eating a whole tin of tuna as a snack, or a whole bunch of almonds gets old really quickly, and just isn’t necessary for this sort of weight loss. I hate the idea of food being sinful or bad, I think it promotes unhealthy relationships with food and is counterproductive after the weight loss is done.
This time, I’m relying entirely on portion control, calorie counting, and exercise within my daily routine. It would be a nightmare to get down to my goal weight, come off the diet and then pile all the weight back on again over the coming year, as so many people do, and this approach should help me form sustainable habits for after I’ve lost the weight.
So I’m eating our normal meals, at ordinary times, and going out to eat and drink occasionally (as often as we would normally with two small children!) I’m also enjoying the food around Edinburgh, and not beating myself up about having some cake from time to time. When I get to 78kg, I might go a little further and then gradually up my calorie intake of these same foods to a maintenance level.
So far, I’m down to 87kg, roughly halfway through what I had to lose in a little under half the time. I’ve been able to buy 34" jeans for the first time in many years, and I’m finding some of my older, smaller clothes are a lot more comfortable - these little things are a big motivator. The second half of the weight loss is bound to be harder than the first, but I’m planning to keep a log of how it goes here. I’ll be sharing progress, excercise, and recipes. I’d love to hear about your experiences with weight loss in the comments or on Twitter.