Health & Wellbeing

An accountability update

Since I so publically committed to shedding some of my inappropriately acquired flab, I thought it would be useful to provide a bit of an update. Accountability and all that…

Things I’m happy with

I’m less fat! In terms of shedding weight, I’ve gone from 68.8 to 66.6 kilos since I started the year. Not bad, seeing as we’re only two weeks in and I’m now back in the swing of business – and business travel. Which always makes eating well more of a challenge.

I’ve managed to keep up a vaguely healthy eating habit. (But…see below). More to the point, I’ve been happy with my willpower in turning down opportunities to gorge on cake, fries, beer etc.

I’ve not touched any booze, which is great on a number of levels, but also probably due to the fact that people don’t tend to party as much in the first two weeks of January! I’m going to keep it firmly in the ‘special occasions’ bucket. December really was the outlier when it comes to the last few years. Cocktails when on holidays, bubbles for birthdays. Tonic water at all other times.

For example, last night, I had an hour to kill in an airport lounge in Dublin. There was temptation all around me, but I stuck to a single Diet Coke and avoided the mountains of Tayto crisps. Actually, I’m extremely proud of this, as I usually can’t stop at a single pack and tend to eat three or four in one sitting.


I also managed to avoid the delicious cakes on offer at the workshop I was facilitating in Dublin. I stuck to soup and had some coffee. And I did not go hungry. I just had to keep the cakes out of my direct line of sight!

And last time we went to Wagamama, I opted for the very delicious chicken chili ramen and avoided the Chicken Katsu curry which has about three times the calories.


Again, I did not go hungry and really enjoyed every mouthful. It’s really about making good choices from what’s available, not necessarily depriving yourself.

I’ve maintained a healthy activity habit, combining runs with trips to our gym, where I watch ‘The Crown’ while on the cross-trainer. This allows me to watch something entertaining (I know I’m late to the party) while burning about 600 calories per visit. Fun and fit!

Things I’m less happy with

Well, since the last update with my neurologist, I’ve had to up my meds. In practice, this means taking anti-seizure medication every night and then a further, smaller dose first thing in the morning. I won’t go into all the side-effects, but it leaves me so very tired. And a bit dazed. So I’m not really a morning person anymore.

Not that I ever was.

This makes it harder than ever to sneak in a bit of exercise in the morning. Almost impossible. I just need to work around it.

This afternoon, after a nice long walk around the Isle of Dogs, we went to Shake Shack for lunch. It’s just opened here in Canary Wharf, so I was keen to try it out. This was a mixed experience, as I went for a double cheeseburger (boo!) but stopped myself ordering the usual fries (yay!) and had a diet coke instead.


I’m glad I had the experience, but also a bit disappointed at the temporary failure in my willpower. I’m not saying I was dragged into the Shake Shack and had the burger forced into me and I’m not saying I walked in mindlessly and ‘accidentally’ ate 740 calories of oh-so-delicious cheeseburger.

I did it of my own volition, but now I have some regrets. It’s good to own this, to remember this and to use the memory next time I’m tempted to eat like this on a day I’m not going to the gym.

All in all?

All in all, I’m pleased. It hasn’t been too much of a chore and I haven’t ‘suffered’. Not a jot. It’s been a pleasure seeing the weighing scales give me good news for a while, but also enjoying exercise in the gym again.

I don’t want to do extremes. I want to do everything in moderation: exercise, eating, thinking about eating…

So what’s been a help?

The things that have helped me so far are:

  1. Having a gym in my apartment building, where I can go to exercise in relative privacy. I can go there any evening and even during the day if I’m working from home. It takes me no time at all and I have everything I need. No barrier to exercise!
  2. I’m using My Fitness Pal to track what I’m eating and drinking. I’m not obsessing over calories – really, I’m not! – but I find that the act of writing in what I eat makes me both more mindful of what I’m consuming, but also more aware of how it makes me feel when I eat at different times of the day.
  3. Huel has also been a life-saver in terms of making quick meal replacement shakes easy and tasty. I don’t suffer from spikes in blood sugar or sudden urges to snack anymore. And the Huel bars really are brilliant for taking in your bag when out and about.
  4. My Apple Watch and the Apple Fitness and Health Apps keep me up to date on weight, exercise and general movement. I have exercise goals to meet every single day and the watch keeps me on track. Without that, I’d be using my memory and that’s about as reliable as a chocolate teapot these days.
  5. Doing all of this with @FrankDJS has been fantastic. We don’t have any ‘tempting treats’ in the apartment, having donated a ton of post-Christmas chocolate and other stuff to the concierge team in our apartment building. If it’s not here, it can’t be eaten.

What’s next?

More of the same, with a goal of getting my weight down to something a lot more reasonable before we go to Spain in April (no way of hiding love handles on the beach!) while also increasing my regular exercise. Hopefully, this will include some longer runs, once I get my shoulder sorted out.

I’m also going to build in a cheat day each week, where I’ll allow myself to have a meal that wold normally be verboten.

I won’t obsess, I’ll just enjoy every mouthful.

I’m good at that.



4 comments on “An accountability update

  1. You seem to be working hard enough that you deserve a good cheeseburger 🙂


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