If you’ve been following my blog from the beginning, you will know that it formed part of a multi-pronged attack on 9 months of depression and anxiety. Alongside the blog was a weight-loss challenge, powered mainly by fasting and intermittent fasting.
You may also have noticed that i’ve gone extremely quiet on this front for a few weeks. About a month, actually.
The fact is, I tried to do too much considering the mental state I was in. It was wildly optimistic to expect that by putting things in place, the genuine psychological pathology I was dealing with would go away forever. In the last month or so i’ve really struggled and the diet has gone out of the window. I have failed the challenge.
My eating started in a self-destructive manner, but has actually evolved. I have moved on from eating to punish myself and prove that i’m a failure, to allowing myself to eat but keeping a lid on things so I don’t get out of hand.
I do believe that, as in 2020, if I was in a better place mentally, I would have been able to lose significant weight and improve my quality of life with my approach, but things just didn’t fall into place – no matter how much I tried to force them.
Another key factor was that I was on an antidepressant called mirtazapine, which is well known to boost appetite, so i’m hoping that getting off meds will help me in that sense too.
I have spent a few weeks feeling incredibly crap about myself for failing that challenge, so if you think I take it lightly, don’t. But I think i’ve calmed down about it and am in a more stable place to set a more compassionate challenge #personalgrowthinnit
The old challenge
I started my weight-loss challenge on the 1st September, needing to lose 20kg by Christmas. In 6 weeks I had managed to lose 8kg, which is pretty good going. I used a combination of the commonly used 16:8 intermittent fasting protocol (only eating within an 8 hour window each day), ramping that up to 18:6 or 20:4, and ‘OMAD’ (one meal a day). This was paired with walking, some resistance training, and I was building up running with Couch to 5k.
The table below shows the progress I had made in those 6 weeks. Really significant changes across the board. The last column shows where I am today, and to be honest, it’s not as bad as I thought it might be.
|Measure||6 weeks||vs day 1||Today|
|Mass (kg)||91.9||⬇️ 8.1||94.3|
|Body fat (%)||32.1||⬇️ 2.2||33.4|
|Visceral fat (%)||12||⬇️ 2||13|
|Resting heart rate (bpm)||54||⬇️ 19||61|
|Breathing rate (awake, breaths/min)||13||⬇️ 2||13|
|Active minutes (last full week)||227||⬆️ 213||88|
|Waist (cm)||102||⬇️ 4||103|
|Belly (cm)||108.5||⬇️ 7.5||110|
|Chest (cm)||108||⬇️ 10||109|
The new challenge
I enjoy having a challenge, and it keeps me motivated and driven. But I want to learn from my mistakes. I want to lose weight, that hasn’t changed. I have spent almost no time under 90kg in the last 6 years, so that would be a great place to be. I’d like to be going into Christmas feeling better about myself, feeling fitter and not like i’m bursting out of my clothes, and also having cut out snacks and treats for a month so that they taste all the better at Christmas!
There are 33 days until Christmas Day, just under 5 weeks. I think a 5kg challenge would be great, and get me under that 90kg mark.
I’m going to start with intermittent fasting on an 18:6 basis – eating between 12pm and 6pm, and i’ll mainly be walking for exercise.
Wish me luck!
Thanks, and take care