My fat story: The end of the beginning

Today, I completed the first stage of my attempt to lose weight.   I've lost four and a half stone. That's sixty-three pounds for Americans, twenty-eight kilo's for continentals, or eight basement cats for the intenet generation.

While I'm pleased to have done this, accepting congratulations on losing weight at the end of a diet is a bit like being inordinately boastful about giving up smoking on your very first day. It's what comes next that really matters.

There are two reasons to applaud someone with a propensity to accumulate excess lard for the absence of lipids on their person. Ther first is if they've managed not to get fat in the first place. The second is if they've managed to keep weight off for a considerable period of time. Neither of these applies to me.

So this is just the end of a stage, not the end of my effort. I'm pretty aware I could comfortably stand to lose another half stone, as I'm still overweight by BMI standards.

The plan now is to switch to a more maintainable long term strategy. Eating healthily, trying to introduce "good" carbs, allowing the occassional glimpse of oil, or flour, or butter, and lots and lots of delicious fruit. (God, I've missed fruit). 

That said, naturally I'm pleased to have stuck to this diet, despite the increasing excellence of London's Burger offerings.

Much of the credit for this goes to Sophie, who despite not needing to lose any weight herself, has bravely dealt with my need to eat only high protein, low fat, low carb food by developing a series of delicious meals, all of which I want to carry on eating. You can read more of them here and here and here and here. I heartly recommend you do, if you're looking to try some tasty, healthy food.

As you'll tell from those recipies, we've basically followed the Dukan diet, removing some of the more suspect pseudo-science (more vegetables, no day on-day off protein, a few scattered beans) and trying to stick to the "eat more protein, less fat and carbs, walk lots" approach that forms Dukan's core. I've also been doing a lot of extra exercise, specifically running.

Anyway, as the cool kids say on their new fangled web forums, this post is worthless without pics.

So here goes:

First up, a head shot. The "before" photo was taken last spring.

Next, a full length before and after. The before was taken the day of the 2010 Brighton Marathon. I was feeling pretty chipper at finishing (very slowly!).

Next, a traditional "Trouser pull", beloved of Weightloss companies the world over. I look a bit grumpy, for some reason. It was cold this morning, I think.

I've just noticed I'm wearing the same trousers I was last year. Nothing if not fashion conscious, me.

Finally, perhaps my favourite photo, for the scale of the change (and also because it shows where I need to work on next).

If anyone wants some scale, those jeans are a US 38 inch waist. I suspect Mr Levi gives his American customers a pretty generous 38 inches, mind.  So, there's me. I'll answer any questions about the diet in the comments.

Having said all that about the diet, I can't help feel that the more interesting question is probably why I got fat, and stayed fat for so long.  

Perhaps that'll be for another time..

19 Responses to “My fat story: The end of the beginning”

  1. bert

    That's truly astonishing, Hopi. Mind you, if I supported a party led by someone as inept as Ed Miliband, I would probably lose weight too.

  2. Hooby

    Congratulations on reaching your goal. You look fantastic. Enjoy the Consolidation phase. Hope all that fruit doesn't play havoc with your tum!

    • hopisen

      I think that’s one half “dullish Brit politics books” inc Turn again livingstone” and one half below average books on us politics, inc Alec cockburns “Washington Babylon”. If I was as tall as you, it’d have been a shelf of classics. Bugger.

  3. Paul Newman

    Good start. Sort the newly hatched chick, barnet and the, "Have her washed and brought to my tent " ,expression, and the world will be yours.

    • Hopi Sen

      You will be glad to know i got a haircut this lunchtime. As for the expression, I would have thought it was the sort of thing you would approve of!

  4. Andy Mayer

    Who says Labour can’t do austerity, congratulations! Evidently Balls needs a Plan Sen for the policy review.

  5. Brian Hughes

    Well done.  After retiring (very) early from a fairly stressful job, I managed to lose weight by following advice from a BHF booklet.  Basically it tells you to eat everything but not much of anything and very little of the really tasty stuff.  Being an ardent European I did it in kg and shed nine (that's about a stone and a half for you little Englanders).
    As you imply, the tricky bit is staying at the lower weight.  A great incentive is that you feel better, a great disincentive is that food and drink are v nice.  Try my neem and neddy mantra.  No Eating Except at Meals and No Evening Drinking except at Weekends (The Welsh may pronounce Ws as ee although I might have made that up).  Not being so stressed and therefore cutting out some 'comfort eating' helps.
    Good luck.  You may need a new passport to get past Ms May's men (how does Switzerland (for example) manage without such people?) – your face looks rather different and your eyes seem to have changed colour… 

    • Hopi Sen

      It's odd. I noticed the skin tone change too.
      I suspect it just a trick of exposure, that I appear to be much more the coffee-coloured person my genetic heritage should produce. 

      • bert

        I didn't realise you were an ethnic minority, Hopi? You can clearly see in those last two pics you're not white.
        I posted ages ago why I thought you'd never get on a Labour short list – all that's changed now. Just show them those photos!!

      • Brian Hughes

        It was the new narrow shape of your lower face rather than its colour that I thought might perplex the border people.  That and the change in the colour of your eyes (which I guess is a trick of the camera(s) and/or my computer monitors)…

  6. Andy H

    That's extraordinarily impressive, so despite your admonition at the beginning of the post, congratulations.
    Curious: How long did it take?

  7. Livy_Nye

    Well played Ho!
    Sincerely. I know, I've been there. Didn't lose as much as you, maybe 40lb or so, but it took over a year of my life, focusing on nothing else, and basically treating food like medication.
    What would you say has been the biggest change in your life since losing the weight? I don't know if you've experienced this, but for me it wasn't what I expected. It wasn't that I could finally buy whatever clothes I wanted. It was far more simple, and even mildly alarming. People treated me better. I mean everyone, even the guy selling me a carton of milk. 

    • Hopi Sen

      Dunno- I always feel people treat me pretty well, generally, and I don't care much about clothes.
      I think it's that I'm a bit more confident/pushy now. THis makes me wonder if I had been unconsciously restraining myself for fear of others views of me in past. I don't think I did, but now I wonder. A subject for another time, I think.

  8. Tim Carter

    Reading those stats and looking at the pics made me realise that you lost over 1/3 of my body weight and about a 1/3 of my waist! What neck size are you down to – I am up to a life time biggest of 16!

  9. Damian Buckley

    How tall are you, Hopi? And how unfit could you have been if you were running marathons shortly before starting the diet?


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