Life! Don’t talk to me about Life!

Life! Don’t talk to me about Life!

Life is really really tough at the moment.  I won’t talk about why, but this is turning into the most difficult year of my life and I’ve had a few shitty years in the past.

When dieting, it’s so easy for life to get in the way.  Whether it’s a birthday, an office party, depression, stress, trips away, there’s always something lurking ready to sabotage your progress.

Last night I deserved a beer or two.  I really really deserved a beer.  Trust me, I earned those fucking beers.

My plan was a couple of beers, maybe 3 tops.  I knew though, that if I started the evening off with a beer, my Beer Demon would result in DRINK ALL OF THE BEER, OMG NO MORE BEER, GET MORE BEER, DO YOU THINK THAT HOMEBREW IN THE GARAGE FROM 2003 IS DRINKABLE?  So I stuck to my normal routine of wine with dinner, and then had some beers once I was settled in front of the TV.

You’ll be amazed to discover that the Beer Demon still visited, infact the bastard forced me to stay up way past my bedtime and decimate my supply of cold beer.  It was good though, I enjoyed those beers in a sort of “oops, there goes another one” kind of way.  Of course, my head didn’t thank me today!

Deep breath now…. I regret the beers.  There, I said it!  It was a slip that I shouldn’t have made, and whilst I enjoyed them, they weren’t worth it.  I’m mad that life got in the way and convinced me to sabotage progress that I’ve made.

I need to remind myself, I don’t deserve anything, I choose things, and last night I chose to be bad.

What do you do when life throws shit at you?  How do you keep it from interferring with your diet?  Tell me in the comments.

 

Adding to the Epic Weight Loss Spreadsheet

Adding to the Epic Weight Loss Spreadsheet

I use likwidtek’s epic weight loss spreadsheet at least daily.  The routine of adding my weight in each morning helps keep me focused, and the graphs and data are awesome for a nerd like me.

Within a week of using it though, I started making changes and improvements that I still use to this day.  I thought I’d document them for you, and if there’s any demand I’ll release my version for others to utilise.  In fact, I’ve been tempted for some time to turn the principles of it into a website, with more graphs and whatnot, so if that’s something that interests you, badger me and I might just make it.

So, here are my additions…

Columns

Stones and Pounds

As a Britain, we use a combination of metric and imperial, and as a Britain, we do it properly, so Stones are used instead of jumping from Pounds to Tons.  If nothing else it gives me extra areas where I can claim a win.  So I added a Stones column and a Pounds column, the main weight column is then auto calculated based on these values.

Delta

I constantly had to do the mental arithmatic to calculate what I’d lost on a given day (I weigh myself daily), so I added a Delta column that calculates the difference from yesterday.  This isn’t so useful for trends or anything, but it’s a time saver.

Total Loss

Just a running tally of starting weight minus today’s weight. It’s nice to watch this grow :).

Loss

I updated the existing Loss column so that in addition to the standard #faturday deltas, it also shows today’s.  Ideally I’d like today’s to be a delta against last #faturday, but my spreadsheet skills are sorely lacking so it just compares with last week.

If anybody can point me in the right direction, please let me know in the comments.  My current formula is below:

=IF(OR(B59="Sa", C59=TODAY()),IF(ISBLANK(D59),"",D52-D59),"")

BMI

BMI is widely accepted as being a really shitty measure of health and fatness.  However it’s widely accepted as the standard, doctors use it, and insurance companies use it, so meh, let’s all jump on the bandwagon.

I added a BMI column, which requires your height to calculate.  I found the various bands for Normal, Overweight, Moderately Obese, Severely Obese and Very Severely Obese, and I colour code based on those.

I’m really enjoying watching myself get ever closer to the Overweight bracket.

Other

Percentage to Target

Next to the “Pounds to go” cell, I added “% to target” and it’s corresponding “% to go”.  Without these figures, I’d never imagine that I’m over 40% of my weigh to my target.  Figures like these really put your progress into perspective.

Tape Measurements

I added a new sheet for tracking my body tape measurements, which I do each #faturday morning.  The data can only really be used to watch for trends because it’s so difficult to be precise with where you’re measuring.  Still, if the graphs all point down, we’re doing good!

Finally

If you have any suggestions, or you’ve made any changes you’d like to share, let me know in the comments.  I’d love to track more metrics and find more things that I can use as a win!

This isn’t a post about being fat, or losing weight.  It’s not about beans, lentils or chicken.

It’s just because after all the effort I’ve put into writing this blog, somebody showed they cared about the shit that spews from my fingers.

Thanks person that commented. Have an Internet fist bump from me 👊

Weigh yourself every day

Weigh yourself every day

In the 4 Hour Body, Tim Ferriss is very clear that you should only weigh yourself on the morning of your cheatday.  His logic, “that way madness lies” is an entirely reasonable generalisation.

I’m a bit of a rebel though, I weigh myself every day.  I’ve only skipped 7 days since I started slow carb back in March, I’m so anal about it, I’ve taken my scales to hotels, and even camping.

What can’t be measured, can’t be understood, so I measure obsessively.  I found that it was particularly helpful in the early weeks, especially when combined with the Epic Weight Loss Spreadsheet.  I weigh myself before my shower in the morning, and then update the spreadsheet at some point during the day.  This routine keeps my diet in my mind throughout the day and keeps me focused.

I’m fortunate that my weight loss pattern during the week is very very predictable.  Obviously I put on weight post #faturday, but I also put on weight on Monday as well.  Tuesday and Wednesday I lose and by either Thursday or Friday I’m back to pre-cheatday weight.  Friday and Saturday tend to be the days when I drop weight for the week.

Of course, Tim’s right.  For many people weighing yourself every day and seeing the peaks and troughs would be a real mind fuck.  I won’t lie, seeing a peak on a Friday when I’m on course for a really great week can be soul destroying, but I’m able to rationalise that as “eh, life, fuckit” and move past it.  So for me, the benefits of daily weight tracking far outweigh the infrequent downsides.

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Maximise your odds of WINNING Slow Carb

Maximise your odds of WINNING Slow Carb

I found the first 9 weeks of Slow Carb frankly rather easy… or maybe I should say, the losses week to week were so predictable that motivation was easy.  Every week saw an average loss of 2.5lbs (~1kg), so the obvious benefits kept me totally focused on what I could and should eat.

Summer, and more importantly excuses to celebrate over summer (long weekends, camping trips away, birthdays) saw predictable blips and my tragectory slowed as what seemed like infrequent “bad” weeks had to be recovered from.

This is where I started to struggle mentally.  I still believed in the Slow Carb approach, but a week with a couple of extra cheat days thrown in can easily end up with you feeling you’ve been stuck at a weight for months.  In fact, it took me 10 weeks to shift my last stone, so it’s not even “a feeling”, it’s reality.

I felt really down about that, I was trying really hard and being generally good, but I just didn’t feel like I was getting anywhere, because the metric that I was measuring my success by wasn’t moving quickly.

How did I change that feeling?  By measuring more things of course! The more metrics I record, the more chance that one will show something good.  I might be disappointed that I only lost 0.5lbs this week, but if I lost an inch off my beer gut, that totally changes how I feel about the week.  That makes the week a WIN!

The Epic Weight Loss Spreadsheet that I complete daily gives me other areas that can give me a win too.  I added a BMI column, which is colour coded to “Very Severely Obese”, “Severely Obese”, “Moderately Obese”, “Overweight” (OMG I CAN’T WAIT UNTIL I’M OVERWEIGHT!!!), and “Normal”.  OK, I only get a couple of these wins over the whole course of losing weight, but I’ve got my eye on that Overweight BMI and I want it so BAD!  I was over the moon when I became Moderately Obese, because, that’s just like… “a bit” fat not “holy shit where did all the swimming pool water go” fat.  Even dropping a whole BMI digit can feel like a win, “woop woop, 31.97 BMI, 1 closer to Overweight!”.

epic_weight_loss_spreadsheet_-_google_sheetsI also gave myself a few fist bumps when I got the “Current Trend” line back below the “Goal Loss” line a couple of times.  Unfortunately that little shit doesn’t look like coming back down any time soon :(.

My starting weight was 21st 0.3lbs, so this mini win doesn’t work so great for me, but you can give yourself a fist bump when you hit a stone lost, AND, “OMG I’M IN A NEW STONE BRACKET! MY WEIGHT NOW STARTS WITH 17 NOT 18 FUCK YEAH!”.  That week’s a win for sure!

You can also keep an eye on your % to target.  I noticed today that I’m 41% of the way there, the last time I looked was 33% so that leaves me feeling pretty awesome.

…and finally for the weight based wins, if you weigh yourself every day (and you need to be a certain sort of person to be able to cope with doing that), any day that you hit a new low is a win.

I don’t track fat percentage, but I should.  Every 1% fat loss is a huge win, fist bump time!

Don’t forget about clothes.  My sister bought me a couple of t-shirts for my birthday, they are an XL.  HAVE YOU ANY IDEA HOW LONG IT’S BEEN SINCE I WORE AN XL ANYTHING?!?!  I even had to get my mum to alter all my shirts because they looked like tents.

Track all these (and it’s easy!) barely a week goes by without some sort of BOOYA moment.

  • Tape Measurements
  • Weight
  • New ALL TIME LOW (Weight)
  • BMI
  • Spreadsheet Trend Lines
  • Stone, 10lb or 5kg Brackets
  • Fat Percentage
  • Clothing Sizes

I’ve not touched on exercise, it’s just not something I’m doing at the moment, so I would just be rehashing other people’s words.

I really want to hear your suggestions (including specific exercise wins), let me know in the comments (or Reddit comments) and I’ll add them to the post and give you credit and a high five.