Wednesday 16 November 2011

How I lost four stone - without trying

There is so much to say, so much that is mad and magical and sheer fecking fun!  Really. Not really. There is nothing and there is everything. There is reality and unreality. There is sorcery and alchemy and dancing and music and and and…  But I know what you want, what you really really want… (well, so many of you).  Midlifesinglemum said it yesterday:

Could we have the how to lose four stone post quite soon please. Ta

Weight loss eh?  The holy grail of Western society.  It will come of course – mechanically, chemically – at some point. Scientists will develop food that provides taste and bulk and mouth feel with zero calories.  Nanobots will scurry away fat. In the meantime, of course, you can cut it away or you can have a band or a balloon inserted that will make it nigh-on impossible to stuff yourself.   But if you don’t want to wait and you don’t want or can’t afford surgery?  

Okay, so you want to know how I lost weight, right?  Well, there’s good news and bad news.

Good news?  It was really easy.

Bad news? You probably wouldn’t want to do it. 

You really really want to know how I lost weight? How I dropped, what? About three stone in four months, or somewhere about that...(I forget, to be honest) and then another one after that. Easily. Effortlessly.
I stopped eating. 
Okay, I did eat…but not much. Because, simply put, I was eating WAY too much.
But honestly, that was it.  Calories in; calories out. 

But... but... but... but... BUT... BUT!!!…..  

It’s okay, I can hear you. J  I understand.  Cos that was me shouting but but but – for pretty well all my life.  Read back through my old blog posts if you don’t believe me.
What did my ‘buts’ used to say?  I love food! I eat barely anything and still put on weight! It’s my hormones; my metabolism; my bone structure, my ayurvedic prakruti for pity's sake!  I have to cook for other people. Other people cook for me. I take medication which makes me fat. I have a condition which makes me fat.  Etc etc etc.

Yes, there are conditions and foods that will make it harder to lose weight (and we’ll talk about that later) and there are the odd exceptions *flurry of hands waving*.  But, let’s just accept for now that if you have a lot of weight to lose (I'm not talking about the odd few pounds) the vast majority of us could lose it by eating less - if we choose?  If I've lost you here, then that's fine - there are a gazillion sites out there that will talk about hidden reasons and the fine-tuning. I went looking for a good one that would give you all the science and wotnot without charging you for the privilege but that proved tricky. Feel free to post any links in the comments... 

For those still here, shall we assume it
’s mental?  That it’s our minds telling our bodies they need too much food (actually I’d say the two are pretty entangled, but let’s keep it simple right now eh?). So what do you do? 

I have no idea! 

Because I’m not you. And I’m not a diet guru, thank feck!  I can tell you what I did and I will, and - if you’re interested - you're welcome to listen.  But please, it’s what I did. It’s what I thought or didn’t think.  It is different for you. I can’t take responsibility for your body.  Nobody can.  Just you. 

I spent years making excuses for not having a slim healthy fit body. YEARS. DECADES. I blamed my mother. I blamed my childhood. I blamed my school. I blamed my job. I blamed my first father. I blamed my second father. I blamed my friends. I blamed my boss. I blamed my husband. I blamed my child. I blamed boredom. I blamed fear. I blamed magazines. I blamed TV. I blamed celebrities. I blamed my lack of will-power. I blamed..oh shit, I’m bored of listing what and whom I blamed. You get the picture.

One thing I would just say at this point.  Not losing weight takes a lot of energy. A lot. Not losing weight occupies the mind.  It can be another form of distraction. It can be a way of stopping yourself from focusing on other things that May Be Scary.  Sooo… one thing that could be interesting might be possibly, if you like, if you want, to ask yourself – If I weren’t fat, what might I think, what might I have to confront?  Or not. J

I’ll carry on with this tomorrow.  I would like to make one thing really REALLY clear. In fact, preface any comment you make on this with 'Jane, I understand this is you talking about you. You are not talking about me, and I take full responsibility for my own mind, my own body and my own health.'  

Cos this is not me being the responsible journalist or health writer or whatever. This is just me telling you about my madcap trip.  That’s all.  I am NOT saying do what I did. Let's be honest, it really isn’t the best or safest or most sensible way to lose weight. There are a million people out there who will tell you how to do that, if you want to be told.  If you really want a guru for this, then Pete Cohen ain’t bad…(hey, he even calls himself a guru! What was I saying yesterday about how I hate gurus?  J  Marek talks about it in Symphonic Bridges too of course. Obliquely of course. And you have to dig around a bit - but it is there, somewhen or other.  ;) 

If my secretary (I kept misspelling that as secretally…lol!) turns up for work, he may choose to take questions on this.  I dunno.  J  Or maybe not. 


F said...

Ah. That's the crux of it, isn't it? We all know *how* to lose weight. Eat less & healthier and exercise more. So simple, right?

Except it completely ignores all the psychological investment in being fat. All the ways it's a cushion... not just physical padding, but emotional.

I can't find a boyfriend (or girlfriend) because I'm fat.

I didn't get the job because I'm fat.

I didn't fail; it's because I'm fat.

That's a powerful emotional protection to let go of.

And then there's the (erroneous) illusion of safety that it gives.

I'm not worth hurting (read: sexually assaulting) because I'm fat.

I'm with you on the entanglement. Our minds and bodies are inextricably linked and without understanding the one it makes it infinitely difficult to change the other. (And I do find it works in the reverse, too; taking care of my body helps unsnarl my head.)

And Jane's caveat stands for my comment, too. Your mileage may vary.

Tee said...

About two years ago, I went to the doctor and she told me I was 38 pounds heavier than I was the previous year. I was fecking devestated. Beyond, really. How did it get to this. Did I not notice my ass growing to the size of a small elephant? Did people not see me packing on the pounds?
Who could I blame? What could I blame? I had a new desk job. My BF kept bringing me treats! I was driving more.

The cycle actually continued for a bit. I got sad, really sad. And ate more and worked out less, but complained more. The complaining was ridiculous. About 9 months ago, I stopped complaining and I looked at myself. Actually looked at my life, my job, my life decisions and I thought, who is this girl?

THe excuses, the complaining, the lack of responsability. That wasn't me. I am in control of my life. And so, I did the only thing I knew how to do. I took ownership of what I'd done to myself. And I decided to do something about it.

Out went the sugar. In came the excercise.

I have as of today dropped 30 of the 38 pounds I gained. And I am not finished. Because I just got to the most important stage of being happy.

Dropping the negativity. This happened only about two months ago. I just let go. I can't control everything and I can't change the past.

Yeah, I'm lighter in weight, but my heart is lighter too. And I'm fucking happy.

Also, I've accepted somethings will never change. My arse and thighs for example are destined to be a certain bulk because I'm a brickhouse. :)

But the first thing that had to go was the excuses. And the first thing I needed to do was accept what I was doing wrong.

Exmoorjane said...

My oh my. All those views and just the two comments. From two of the bravest, most honest, most brilliant bloody women I know. xxx

Rachel Selby said...

Thank you for your prompt reply to my desperate plea. And for your honesty. It's hard to hear the truth about weightloss even if you knew it before. Think of the money I'd save if I stopped eating... don't worry I don't have the character to be anorexic.

I keep trying to live by the 'French Women Don't Get Fat' model which I fully endorse for health and sanity. But sometimes you (I, I mean) just need to do something drastic for a motivating kick-start.

But the biggest problem I have is that tomorrow is always another new day....

I'll try not to let you down mien Guru :)

Anonymous said...

Taking it down to the main root. If you take in more calories than you need to maintain your balance then those calories are stored. It has nothing to do with illnes or any other shite. You can't pluck fat from thin air. It's the balance between input and output.

Word veri =

Anonymous said...

Think about those poor bastards in the concentration camps during WW2. They must've prayed to be fat, imagined being fat, talked about being fat, but they they had a problem. Not enough calories to get fat. Their output was more than their input. They must've had all kinds of illnesses,both mental and physical, but it wasn't those that made them thin.

serendipity_viv said...

I am in denial about my need to lose weight. I shall return on acceptance of situation.

Rachel Selby said...

@Buzz Lightyear - thank you for repeating Jane's very clearly understood point, I found her words entirely adequate.

Re: your second comment, you are 100% right. How lucky we are to have you to provide examples to fill out Jane's already complete article.

(Please regard this reply as fishing to see how thick skinned you are. If you are a sensitive plant just say the word and I'll leave you alone.)

Voodoo Spice said...

I blamed pasta. Dried raw pasta has nearly the same calories for weight as sugar!!! :)

Counting calories always works for me - stick to 1000 a day, and don't eat after 6.30pm. The joy of comfort eating is gradually replaced by the joy of fitting into smaller clothes...

Glad this has come up again as motivation. I get lazy in winter :D xxx

Luschka said...

I lost three stone in two month, but then I was puking my guts out with pregnancy all the time. It sucked. And this time, all I can eat and NOT be sick on is sugar. I expect a huge mind-shift when this baby is born, because while my body cries out for a bowl of veg, when I have it, my stomach rebels and I get to see it all again. Violently. *sigh* I'm trying not to think of the weight gain and just see it as a season, so shall revisit this post once baby is born and my body is willing to play along again! (Does this sound like a long list of justifications? Maybe. I hope not!)

internetg33k said...

I've lost an undetermined amount of weight since starting our camper experiment - I only know I'm smaller because of how my clothes fit, given I sent our bathroom scale to Goodwill.

I recently started walking with a friend a few times a week - we had a very interesting discussion about body image and my theory that some of us who struggle with our size tend to "glamour" ourselves or others, and only the evil camera can see through our veil...I have about a bazillion thoughts on all of this, but suffice to say I agree with your wisdom as always, dear lady.

Zoë said...

is the Dog with a bone qualified medically to make statements like this?

'Taking it down to the main root. If you take in more calories than you need to maintain your balance then those calories are stored. It has nothing to do with illnes or any other shite. You can't pluck fat from thin air. It's the balance between input and output.'

Bud dear, I think you need to do a little light reading on the subject before making such statements.

Start with Steroids, my friend's husband put on 4 stone in 4 weeks whilst terminaly ill from cancer taking them.

Then look up drugs like Tamoxifen and how they affect the endocrine system.

Once you have got your head around how they effect the bodies metabolism and lead to weight gain, you might like to read up on how your thyroid effects your weight, it can cause you to gain or loose depending on whether its hyper, or hypo-active.

You might also find looking into Congestive Heart Failure and how the oedema caused by that and the bodies inability to excrete fluids as a result, leads to weight gain and swelling that can make people look very fat - its not fat though, its fluid.

It might be something as simple as Lymphoedema, either primary (that means you were unlucky enough to be born with it) or like me, its a nasty side effect that cannot be cured of being treated for Breast Cancer.

In fact here are countless relatively common ailments and drugs that massively affect peoples weight and their ability to control it.

My arms aren't fat because I eat to much, they are fat because when I had Breast cancer and they removed the Lymph nodes under my arms and then made me sit through 25 sessions of radiotherapy, which destroyed what was left of my lymphatic system in great tracts of my upper body, the fluid simply builds up, because the mechanism to move it so that it can be excreted from my body has been damaged to such an extent it no longer functions.

Are one of the people that makes unpleasant remarks about others problems with what you perceived as fatness in passing?

I am all for reasoned discussion, but I hate crass generalisations like the one you just made.

Think before you spout such offensive nonsense in future rubbishing people like me and many others who have real health problems that ARE responsible for their weight problems.

Andrew. said...

I 'get it' Jane. You did what you did and that is what you did, not how others should, or that they are bad people if they don't. Strange how this has gone a bit mad here. I lost 34 pounds in three months, I was 'working out' as well, so put some muscle on otherwise I would have lost more. And you are right, it IS all in the mind - if your weight gain is through over eating, which mine was plain and simple. And taking no exercise. I stopped and went back to my old ways about a month and a half ago and already put 8 pounds back on. So I' started in earnest again on Monday. I will be 16 pounds lighter by Xmas, which is a good weight for a man of my build.

Expat mum said...

I have never been more than about 5 pounds heavier than I should be (or want to be, I don't know) but one thing that's always puzzled me is people who say that no diet in the history of the world has ever worked for them, and then they have gastric surgery or a jaw-wiring and Bingo! Which goes to your point - calories in, calories out.
I know there are all sorts of reasons why people have weight problems, but perhaps if we could bear in mind that it's just calories (ie. simple maths) more people might be successful.

Anonymous said... would seem there are some defensive types here masquerading as banter

Anonymous said...

Weight and fat are two different things when talking about water retention. No matter what your metabolism is doing or what drugs you are on, if the calories are not going in over and above what you need to maintain a balance then you won't store fat.

Anonymous said...

Zoe, I've been watching Fatama Whitbread in the jungle and thought of you xxx

Tattieweasle said...

It is a personal thing losing weight and if your weight gain is through over eating only and nothing else then getting your head round that and not kidding yourself should be simple - but it isn't, is it? I used a hypno therapy tape to help me get over that first hump last year and it worked but I couldn't maintain it perhaps becaue I secretly didn't want to enough. II need to get my head round things...;)

Anonymous said...

I did a little body building in my youth in a time before all the fancy gyms and books and mags. I've bulked up and cut down and learned through personal experience how my body worked.

The old way was eat anything to bulk up your weight no matter if it was fat or cakes etc; anything to bulk up and be able to handle heavier weights then cut up on starvation diets, which never worked because you lose the same amount of muscle as fat. Granted, you may be a little stronger at the end, but the shock of a sudden lack of food flicks a swith in your brain and you load water on; that's what happens when you binge diet. You are getting heavier the less you eat and more depressed so not realising that it's only water, you comfort eat. The cyclical behaviour is then king.

People also are slaves to the scales...weight has nothing to do with fat stores and muscle mass when you're retaining water. Lose the scales, exercise and learn to eat a balanced diet with calories that don't exceed your output. We all have a natural body type, be happy with it.

Then you can talk about long and short bellied muscles and how they affect your shape. Some people, no matter how much they spend on fancy promises and pills and supplements and exercise are not going to achieve a body exactly like someone else if they don't possess the same body type.

Anonymous said...

Forgot to mention, Zoe. Have you ever given any thought to self-improvement in the area of self-worth or persecution complexes?

F said...

@Internet Geek

I actually read an interesting theory somewhere (and if someone finds it, please link, because I can't remember & I'd like to read it again) that the reason for this is the dominance of thin/fit body image in media.

Basically, we create a mental image of ourselves based on what we see in media--"This is what people look like! I am people! That is how I must look!"--and photographs are so jarring because they contradict our mental image based on media projections.

I thought it actually went a long way to explaining the "I got so fat, how did I not notice this?!!" phenomena that a lot of people experience.

Anonymous said...

Yes. This type of thing is rife in all areas. The young are brainwashed by the media. It's no wonder we have more and more young people swallowing anti-depressants when they believe that in order to be of any worth, they must conform to what the media says is perfection. The Whinge factor covers this on my blog.

Cait O'Connor said...

This is a topical subject for me at the moment I am on a low fat diet while waiting to have my gall bladder removed. I don't know why this diet is not given to people wanting does this. I am not and never have been overweight but I have suddenly found a waist I never knew I had and lost a tummy! if anyone wants details just ask......perhaps I should blog about it.

Cait O'Connor said...

Sorry it is late at night - my comment had a bit missing and made no sense in the middle - I meant to say that I don't know why this low fat way of eating is not recommended to people wanting to lose weight, as it works.

Frances said...

Jane, you've summoned so many comments before I got here.

Let me congratulate you for losing weight that you wished to lose.

I think that I've previously mentioned to you that I did gain weight in my early 50's, due to changing metabolism and a sedentary bunch of daytime hours. And...that when I took on a much more active daytime I shed those extra pounds without any change to my diet.

That active daytime continues to be mine. Ten years on, I don't eat between meals, love fruit and veg, and pasta features in many a supper menu. The weight stays even.

And all that daytime activity also guarantees that I sleep well each night.

I do think that I am fortunate to have my current health and hope that it continues.


Exmoorjane said...

Huge thanks to everyone who's commented. Whole load of interesting stuff here that I want to digest properly... *sorry*...

internetg33k said...


That theory makes sense (and if I had time, I'd do some Googling to see if I could find the article), but I was referring to something slightly different. I've never been thin, and at those times that I've mentioned my actual weight, inevitably people are shocked because (they say) I don't look like I weigh that much. I'd chalk it up to politeness, but I've met other pagan-flavored/friendly women who've surprised me by the discrepancy between their appearance and their scale number. My hypothesis is that sometimes we believe so strongly in how we think we look, that we're able to project that image to other people...oh bother, I don't think I'm making sense, and I need to get dinner started... *sigh*

Anonymous said...

I think another valid point to make is in the area that was commonly known as spot reducing. Many people still believe that you can target areas of fat loss with pills and potions and exercise etc.

The body uses fat stores evenly and fat is not only under your skin but around and in your other organs. Unless you target areas of the body for muscle growth as well, then in losing fat and size, you stay the same shape.

The old wives tales about millions of situps for six pack abs without cutting up is just that and I've seen guys and gals in the gym who have built brilliant ab muscles with monster midriff workouts. The problem being, the muscle growth just pushed the fat further out and increased their waist sizes.

six pack abs is about reducing body fat and it's now a well-known fact that reducing body fat to levels similar to competing body builders is unhealthy and dangerous.

Meer For Beer said...

I have been losing weight this year, not that the other years I didn't try but the mental attitude has changed this year. I' m not doing it to look good in swimwear for a holiday, for a wedding dress or for the party dress for a friends party but for myself. Now I'm lighter I can run faster and longer, I enjoy the feeling of being lighter whereas before I wanted to look thin, the same but very very different.

Anonymous said...

Edited version due to this sticky keyboard that should have gone in the skip years ago, but which I love too

Given the current trend for obesity worldwide,I think this is a post that will grow in comment size. I may do a post on my own blog about gyms in my youth as opposed to the modern day ones....big big difference all around regarding the health scene.

I may also do one about the obscene sickness of mothers who deny child access to fathers and grand parents through revenge and or control and in effect, use their children as

Anonymous said...

Zoe: "is the Dog with a bone qualified medically to make statements like this?"

I think you mean, "Is anybody commenting here qualified medically to make their comments including myself?" don't you?

Your agenda is crystal clear, why disguise it? lol. Thanks for the chuckle, Zoe. xxx

F said...

@ Internet Geek

No, you make perfect sense.

I think it's probably related. We have no real concept of what "weight" looks like. And weight is variable. Muscle weighs more than fat, so two women can be the same weight while one looks fit and the other looks fat. (And of course differences in height, bone structure, where the body stores the fat all feed into that.)

But a big part of the problem, I think, is that self-worth is so tied to an arbitrary number on a scale that people lie.

There's an awesome website trying to correct this:

Anonymous said...

Nice mention on self-worth there. So many problems people have all have their sources from lack of self-worth.

There's a saying: Always work harder on yourself then you do on your problems.xx

F said...

@meer for beer


I think it is because we experience our bodies from the inside that how we feel in them is a much more powerful motivation than how we appear to someone else.

I have had some massive problems recently with stress (& I suspect depression) and exercise has been a boon. I think if I had not started doing yoga again and lifting weights I probably would've just turned into Jabba the Hut on the couch and never moved again until I died there out of pure apathy.

I've been ill recently and not exercising enough and I can feel the difference, both in how my body works and in my mood.

F said...

@Bud Jazzman

"Always work harder on yourself then you do on your problems."


I do think very often our manifest problems are symptoms of something else. Which isn't to say that recognizing and changing the something else will automatically make the problem vanish, but I think it does make it possible to deal with the problem and stop it recurring.

Exmoorjane said...

Yeah, sometimes the debate continues for a while but blog comments by their nature tend not to be conducive to long ongoing conversations as relatively few people return to debate.
Some of the issues in the comments ties in with future posts I've got planned so I ain't gonna comment on it now.
As always, I'd say to people do feel free to take a topic and run with it on your own blog - the more the merrier. If you feel the urge to link back to here, that would be tickety-boo. :) If not, I won't mind - I'll just hold it against you in future incarnations. ;)

Anonymous said...

I think the first place to start if you're having a problem with self-image surrounding body shape is with a single thought.

Everything starts with a thought.

Anonymous said...

Jane, please enjoy the moment and quit with all the SEO experiments; it makes you look like you're only in it for the hits, girl lol xxx

Anonymous said...

That reminds me; I must go check my stats.....I have a hard job working it all out from my 2 followers....

Now if that comment doesn't attract a snarky snipe then I don't know what will. Where have all the banter hounds gone these days?

Anonymous said...

I love returning to old posts and resurrecting them. I'm like a dog with a bone.....oh hang on....I am a dog with a bone....Ha!

Exmoorjane said...

Oh FFS, shuddup!!! Or I'll get on the dog and bone to your other follower and we'll decamp...(yeah yeah, I know) :D
Anyone would think you were running counter-interference on my cunning plan. :)

Now then, where's my tea and biscuits?

Exmoorjane said...

btw, any more dreams Bud? :)

Anonymous said...

I'd love for you to dump me; it would say so much. lol

Biscuits? Did I hear junk food? Did I hear comfort food?

Yes, indeed, both lucid and even a trip out through the in door.

Exmoorjane said...

In your dreams, Bud! lol.
Nah, you heard 'Here boy!'
Yeah you gotta watch those dog flaps. :)

You know, maybe you're right. Let's just hang out and shoot the breeze, eh? I'll pop over to your place...

F said...


That's true. On the other hand, sometimes they do come back. (Imagine I said that in a really creepy voice, okay?)

But, I'll just leave this last thought and save some for future discussions.

For most people (barring those with real medical issues like Zoe) it is just calories in-calories out. There's a lot of nutrition science to determine how many calories an individual needs, and it's good to know how much you need to eat to maintain your body.

I think that people focus on the food part because it seems easier. There's less sweating, anyway. I think that's also why so many people have the yo-yo weight issues--diet, lose some weight, stop diet, get even fatter--because starving your body can actually trigger it to store more fat when it gets the opportunity because you never know when another famine is coming. (I'm talking about the starvation diets people put themselves on, not just eating less.)

God, I am such a wordy bitch.

This is all by way of saying I agree with @Frances, and creating an active lifestyle is super important.

Also I think exercising is actually the easier way to change your body, when compared to food journals and calorie counting and working out meal planning exchanges and crap. Changing how you eat is still important, but people have a lot of really complex food relationships, and a lot of that is tied to weight. So obsessing even more over food may just not work. (It doesn't for me.)

Also, my experience is that exercise, actually using my body, makes me enjoy being in my body. It also makes me way more in tune with my physical self and that changes my relationship with food--like, when I'm not working out regularly, I'll get mad cravings for crisps and coca-cola. When I am working out, I'll get mad cravings for boiled eggs and raw broccoli with yogurt dip. The first one is looking for a quick sugar-fat rush for a burst of energy (and there's a psychological component too, but that would be digressing. The second is my body telling me that it needs this stuff to keep operating the way I'm using it.

So I guess this is my really roundabout way of saying, if you can't change your food relationships starting on the calories-in side, maybe try going round the back.

Okay, I lied. I've got one more comment. But I've gotta go find something first.

Anonymous said...

Woof woof woof.....that's my other dog impersonation....xxword veri = bustop....

Anonymous said...

Building muscle and exercising actually increases your metabolic rate so that even when you are resting, your metabolic rate is up.

Getting out of the 3 meals a day routine is also good because small more often of the right foods maintain blood sugar levels.

Eating just before bed and sleep is a no no. You don't digest properly.

Exmoorjane said...

Will you two stop the feck up writing my next blog posts... *grrrrr*

Yeah, that's my dog impersonation. :)

Anonymous said...

Balanced meals. 30% fats 12% protein 58% carbs. Unless you'r a competeing bodybuilder.

Too much protein creates uric acid...don't go giving yourself kidney stones, they really do smart when they're coming out. I've only ever had two bouts.

I got rid of one the size of a marrowfat pea with a special drink that I used over four days and on my next Xray the consultant couldn't believe it was gone. The last piece decided it was going to hurt me and boy, did it hurt...

Anonymous said...

"Will you two stop the feck up writing my next blog posts... *grrrrr*"

I'm hovering again....I must stop that....

Anonymous said...

If anyone is interested in how I got rid of my stone and how I stay stone free then they can get in touch or watch my blog...another great idea for a post.

Ps: I'm not here to give advice btw...I'm a dog, FFS.....

Anonymous said...

Apart from a very small minority most people are fat because they are lazy and greedy.

F said...


"Eating just before bed and sleep is a no no. You don't digest properly."

I've seen advice on this go both ways--some says it may not really matter when you eat, as long as you get the calories and nutrients you need. Personally, I think it's not one size fits all because, like you said, there are metabolic differences.

For myself, I just try and be in tune with how my body works best and be aware of when I need food and to meet that need sensibly. (A few almonds rather than a chocolate bar, for instance. :) Also, when I get very hungry, that is when I make poor food choices, so I try and avoid that situation.

But that is not what I was going to talk about!


I scrounged up a group invite to the Fitocracy beta for anybody that wants.

Invite link:
If it asks for a code: SMGSQ

It's sort of like an exercise focused Twitter that uses a video game style reward system with points, levels, unlocking achievements, etc. and challenges and quests to introduce you to new things. You enter the exercise you do and it awards you points.

I know it sounds kind of stupid at first, but exercise and fitness can be a slow process and it can be really hard to stay motivated when you can't see any change, so I think it's actually kind of brilliant to use the same reward response mechanism that works in video games to create an immediate sense of achievement.

So, you know, if anyone is trying to find a way to stay motivated, maybe it will work for you.

Anonymous said...

During sleep we grow and repair. Different hormones and other chemicals are released. It's during sleep for instance that we normally make cholesterol. The digestive system does what it does if you also exercise on a full stomach, it slows to an almost standstill. Not good to have food sitting there without the right enzymes present.

Anonymous said...

I'm gonna stop now because I can feel Jane boiling over....woof woof xx

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Apart from a very small minority most people are fat because they are lazy and greedy.


Why are most anonymous people anonymous then?

Anonymous said...

No one has talked about anorexia yet.....

Anonymous said...

I'll start then:

How to know when you're an anorexic and what to do about it.

When your knees get fatter than your thighs, eat cake!

F said...


Digestion slows when we're sleeping, but it doesn't stop. There's some new studies from the past couple years saying it may not matter, that it's the total calories consumed, not when in the day you eat them.


Correlation may not be causation, but sometimes there is a link, just not the one we thought. There's some interesting stuff here about eating habits:

It makes sense to me that people who skip meals would overeat later. I know I make poor food choices when I'm hungry. (I think almost everyone must've had that experience of going to the shop when they were famished and ending up with a bunch of junk. :) And I know when I am tired my body communicates that lack of energy in a way that feels like "I need food!" when really what I need is sleep.

(Also I have read some interesting articles linking sleep deprivation with obesity recently.)

So it makes a lot of sense to me that there's a correlation between eating late (especially eating a lot) and weight problems. It just may not be entirely (or even primarily) down to a difference in how we digest when we're asleep vs. awake.


Anonymous said...

Yes of course, but slow digestion proves one thing by the very fact it's not the optimum time for it to take place.

Statistics are fine, but you can't test the whole world's population, only a cross section. Take for example testosterone levels in men. What is normal?

There isn't a hard and fast answer because everyone is different and there are other things to take into consideration so when doctors say that a level is within the ball park, it may actually be either high or low for any particular individual.

Totally agree with you that we are all different and also stick to my guns on intake output so I guess it's just a case of "suck it and see."

Anonymous said...

So in saying that, my food is well digested and I'm well hydrated. I'm off to chuck some weights about....

F said...


"No one has talked about anorexia yet...."

We should. I think starving yourself to death is the flip side of eating yourself to death. They're both the same coin.

F said...


"So in saying that, my food is well digested and I'm well hydrated."

OMG. I'm so glad you mentioned hydration. Thirst is another one of those body signals that gets confused for me--sometimes it feels like I'm hungry if I'm not paying attention.

F said...


Really, I meant to shut up. It just didn't happen.

(So funny, most people bemoan the silence in their comments. Here, you can't get us to shut up.)

Exmoorjane said...

Nah, I love it really. :) You guys are making some great points and it's all really useful for anyone trying to think their way through this malarkey.
Interesting thing I read recently discussed how you may be best to work out on an empty stomach as you will promote release of growth hormone (not just promoting lean muscle growth but also longevity...) (not) food for thought. Not all the 'experts' I've talked to agree but it's interesting.
And yes, I thought anorexia would appear - and yes, it is the flipside (at base is it really a sense of not wanting to be here?)..indeed another attempt to kill oneself with food. However it's not something I have studied and don't really feel qualified to comment.
As you were...

F said...

I flirted with anorexia in my youth. Not hardcore lock-her-in-a-hospital-and-force-feed-her anorexic, though I knew some girls who were. I was in the 3-5 days at a time without eating category. It was surprisingly easy to get away with; no one in my family even questioned it. I loaded a Tic-Tac box up with over the counter diet pills to minimize the hunger pains and suppress my appetite, and I lied a lot. "I had dinner at Heather's." "We got pizza earlier." That kind of thing. The thing that made me change was one of those other girls--the anorexic girls, we all knew each other, the way true obsessives always do. She was hospitalized weighing 67 pounds at 5'8" and she knew she was killing herself and she still couldn't force herself to eat.

I can't really speak to anyone else's reasons, but I can talk about my own experience with it.

I thought for a long time that control--the need to exert control over something, and being powerless to control most other aspects of my life--was at the heart of it. And that was a part of it.

It's much more recent, as I've been working on fixing my mind/body relationship, that I've realized that there's a hefty component of self-hatred in my relationship with food and my body. Fat, ugly body... thin pretty body... it doesn't matter. I think maybe I've used my physical body as a whipping post for all the things I hate in myself.

I think that's part of the problem with diet-culture. We set ourselves up in opposition to our bodies. It becomes a war. And biological drives are some serious shit; for a lot of people this is a losing battle and they are never going to be able to change their body by fighting it. (For anorexics, I guess we can say they "win" in that they've subjugated their biological needs to their will, but it's a Pyrrhic victory.)

Anonymous said...

Apologies for going on about this, but I think it's important. Although I slag off the Chopras of this world, they did contribute to the lofty position I now perch on and something that Wayne Dyer said really struck a chord with me, it was "What other people think of me is none of my business." It's the basis of developing a healthy sense of self-worth and bomb-proof self-worth is the key to most issues surrounding feelings.

F said...

Oh, Jane's enjoying it. She's probably got enough material to cull to keep her blog posts until Christmas. :)


"What other people think of me is none of my business."

I have a very similar mantra that I use in moments of self-doubt and social anxiety: "Fuck it."

"It's the basis of developing a healthy sense of self-worth and bomb-proof self-worth is the key to most issues surrounding feelings."

Yes, I think so too! Self-worth is very tricky though. For a long time, I thought I had some pretty rocking self-esteem. You know, because I usually made good choices and I could recognize and let go of my unhealthy relationships.

Except with myself. God, I was so mean to myself, you know? Sometimes I still am, but I am getting better. I would call myself names in my head. Like I'd look at myself in the mirror and just think, "Hello, muffin top!" The kind of abusive shit I would never, ever tolerate from someone else. But I did it to myself all. the. time.

The thing that made me realize my self-esteem was actually somewhere south of sewage wasn't actually weight related, so I'll skip over that, but the negative self-worth definitely came into play with weight, both in how I treated my body and how I talked to myself about it.

Like, today I had this dialog with myself in the store:

Body: "I am hungry! I would really like a candy bar!"
Me: Yes, we really haven't eaten much today. Are you sure you want a candy bar though? What about a banana?
Body: Yes! I would like a banana! Yum!

So I got a banana.

A couple years ago, it would've gone like this:

Body: "I'm hungry. Want candy bar."
Me: Like you need a candy bar, lardo.
Body: "Fuck it, if you're gonna talk to me like that, I may as well have the candy bar and the ice cream and that bag of Doritos over there."
Me: Go ahead fatass. See if I care if you make yourself even fatter.

And I'd have gone home with a bunch of crap and eaten it just to spite myself and then hated me for it.

Isn't there a quote about how the common element in all your dysfunctional relationships is yourself?

Anonymous said...

Tanks for mansion... :o)

Anonymous said...

I'm mean... Transformation! Butt seriously (you know where), what you have in your stomach is so much less important than what you've got in your heart... (copyright © Marek Stefanowicz 1911 :o)