I don’t think I’ve ever been as aware of an issue that makes people so stupid as weight-loss does.

I am currently losing weight…and I feel like I can guarantee the types of responses that went through your head just then. Please allow me to just clarify a few things:

1. I like the way I look now, I liked the way I looked six months ago, I liked the way I looked a year ago. I could go on.

2. I was actually overweight, whatever guidelines you suggest I look at, yes, I was overweight and a nurse agreed with me.

3. I wasn’t obese, I didn’t suffer any health issues due to the weight – other than being slightly unfit. (No, seriously, I was not very unfit at all despite the weight gain).

So, why am I losing weight? You actually want to know? Sorry for my surprise but it seems as if everyone wants to make assumptions rather than ask.

I was not totally happy with how I looked and I didn’t like carrying the extra weight around. I still liked it but you may have noted a lessening of how often I would get my kit off – getting naked whilst considering myself overweight was something that I did do, very deliberately, but it was not something I did easily. When a (very thin) nurse told me that I was hideously obese and needed to diet now I looked into things. I was not, according to everything I read, as overweight as she would have had me believe. It will not come as a shock to those who see me regularly to be told that I wasn’t obese.

However, telling people I’m losing weight because I want to be fitter and more healthy tends to result in people telling me how good I look (well actually guys, thanks, but I know!) and how healthy I am (um…well…clinically I’m not as healthy as I could be…) and how I shouldn’t try and injure myself by over-training (…uh…I’m going for a short run daily/I’m doing a bit of yoga…uh…not really injuring myself guys).

Now telling people that I want to lose weight for my sister’s wedding gets a more ‘Oh yeah’ response…what, so it’s better in your opinion for me to want to lose weight because of looks than because of health? Seriously, I have told the same people these two different things over the course of the past two years and apparently it’s ok for me to worry about the way I look but not ok for me to worry about my general health and well-being…I know I don’t believe in the male-gaze but if this had been all men I’d be about to change my mind!
Of course, it wasn’t, a lot of this response came from the girls. Appearance but never anything serious. Or maybe it’s because conversation shouldn’t attend to important matters – another things that annoys me though I admit I wouldn’t want to talk over anything that actually mattered with most of the people I currently interact with.

Seriously you’re apparently supposed to hold down a job, have a hobby you’re passionate about, volunteer charitably and maintain a house in order to be considered a fully functional adult – well I do all of that and frankly I think I’d interact with a better class of person if I stayed at home online all day. No seriously, many people are crap, I want to go back to uni and having interesting and worthwhile conversations at 3am. I’m also weirdly suffering the desire to crawl into Cornish Bloke’s bed…the one in his old rooms on campus…no idea why. The Eyes is a great girlfriend for him btw and there’s no desire to do anything to interefere with that – I just really want to call him up at some ungodly hour and be able to crawl into his bed!
diversion ends

Anyway. It’s not just the assumed responses to why I want to lose weight, or even the assumptions about the very fact of my losing weight (not anorexic – I’m currently ten stone and I was heavier when I started! Again, not obese and am more than capable of going for a thirty minute run so not unfit either) that cause me to state people get stupid around weightloss.

Weightloss isn’t difficult. No, seriously. Now, yes it takes effort and willpower but it’s not actually difficult.
Weightloss isn’t achieved by starving yourself or excercising until you fall over. Also, when you get down to your aimed for weight you do not have to continue ‘starving’ yourself.

Right, now about the not difficult bit – you do need to concentrate on what you’re eating, you need to be aware of how much you’re eating and eat less. One lb is around 3500 calories, in order to lose a pound you need to eat 3500 calories less (this is on a weekly basis!) – not difficult so far. Requiring of concentration though (and preferably a method of keeping track).

Now about the not starving yourself bit, eating 500 or 1000 less calories a day is not starving yourself, no, seriously, it’s perfectly doable to really fill yourself up – fruit and veg have barely any calories…admittedly if you want a chocolate bar then you’ll probably have to go for a run – oh yeah and that’s the other reason you don’t lose weight via starvation – excercise burns up calories thus allowing you choice in what you eat if you do a bit of both.

Oh and the ridiculous notion that you have to keep eating the same amount as whilst your dieting once you reach your goal weight? No because that’s how you *lose* weight. Sure, you’ll want to keep an awareness so you don’t put weight on but you’ll need to eat a maintenance amount of calories to be sure you don’t keep losing weight!
It’s not difficult it’s basic arithmetic!

Now I’m sure it’ll get harder the less weight I have to lose but I’ve got about a stone to go and seriously? It just takes concentration and effort over a matter of months. Stop being stupid about it.

8 thoughts on “Weight-Loss

  1. Just a slight quibble with the maintenance diet thing, the amount of calories required to maintain your weight obviously falls as you get lighter, so if you’re losing weight fairly slowly there may end up not being that much difference between a losing weight diet and a maintenance one. Admittedly I find it hard to tell because I don’t monitor carefully so my weight stabilising can be as much to do with a slight slackening of my self-control. Losing too much weight is never a situation which I’ve encountered.

    Obviously I think on a different scale to you as I think the last time I was 10 stone was when I was 10!

    Ultimately if you’re confident in your perception of your body and decide it needs to change then that’s your call.

  2. I think you’re not correct about the slow weight loss thing. Even if you’re losing weight fairly slowly the amount of calories for a maintenance diet is massively different to that for losing weight. Say you’re losing a pound a week, thats 500 less calories a week less than your maintenance diet by the time you’re reaching your goal weight.
    That’s almost a whole meal!

  3. What I’m getting at is that (to pick numbers out of the air) if you’re 15 stone and eating 1500 calories a day to lose weight at a rate of 1lb a week, then by the time you hit 10 stones those same 1500 calories will be losing you a lot less than 1lb a week, because you don’t use as much energy to move yourself around. 500 calories a week is a fairly tiny amount in the scheme of things – maybe 3-4 squares of chocolate a day.

  4. 500 calories is about a 100g bar of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk.

    You need to look at Calorie deficit. If you are 15 stone then to stay at this weight you’d need to eat about 2700 calories a day.
    To lose a pound a week you need to eat 500 calories less than that (3500 calories roughly equals a pound) – that’s 2200 calories.

    By the time you hit 10 stone you can’t be eating 2200 calories a week because you need 2200 calories a week to *maintain* yourself at 10 stone. You need to make sure you keep the 500 calorie deficit though – so you need to be eating 1700 calories in order to lose the weight at the rate of a pound a week.

    Eating 500 calories less a week will continue to lose you the same amount of weight. But the figure that you need to eat 500 calories less than does continue to shrink.

  5. Sorry my initial ‘thats 500 less calories a week less than your maintenance diet’ should have read ‘that’s 500 less calories a day’ – I now understand your confusion!

  6. Ah, I see. I was assuming a constant "lose weight" number of calories, which would indeed asymptotically approach a maintenance diet as you lost weight, and gradually be lost in my overall "can’t be bothered counting" noise. You’re quite right there’s a big difference if you keep reducing your diet to account for the lost weight.

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