Several years back, I weighed 154 kg (340 lbs or 24 st. 4 lbs). Curiously, this did not affect my ability to have relationships, since I had discovered that people were far more motivated by a person’s character than by their looks. It did, however, affect my physical performance in all areas of my life, and the threat to that life itself became concerning. I started to lose weight… and very rapidly. I lost 40 kg (88 lbs or 6 st. 4 lbs) in just six weeks, and then over the next year lost another 24 kg. For a couple of years I hovered between 90 kg and 100 kg (198 to 220 lbs) before plunging once again and reaching a meagre 74.5 kg (164 lb or 11 st. 10 lbs). In each of the four major periods of greatest weight-loss, I was employing a technique of “dieting without dieting and exercising without exercising”. In each period when I put weight on, it was because I had given up on those principles. As I embark on this again, I am currently 104 kg (229 lbs or 16 st. 5 lbs). We shall see if it works yet again.
1. There are no mistakes!
One of the biggest problems with dieters is that when they go ‘off the wagon’, they beat themselves up, go ‘Shit, shit, shit,’ and then try to remedy the situation by doing what they think will counteract the slip-up, like skipping a meal or something! If you go off the main highway on one side of the road, you get to where you want to go simply by getting back onto the highway itself. You don’t then take the next off-road on the other side just to balance things out! So, if you bungle, just say, ‘Oh well, that’s the way it goes,’ and carry on as if nothing had happened! If there is no mistake, there is no need to punish yourself!
2. Weigh yourself only once a week (or less)!
Weight bounces around all of the time and will often be influenced by ridiculous things like clothing or the temperature around you or how long since your last meal or even when you had a shit (and, of course, for women their menstrual cycle: even post-menopausal women will retain some of the elements of this cycle). Daily weighing is pointless. It can also produce a psychological disincentive if you think, ‘Oh my god, I am up one kilogram since yesterday.’ So what?! That is also just the way it goes. The decrease will never be smooth!
3. Drink lots of cold water!
The colder the better! Water contains next to zero calories, so in order for the body to raise the temperature of it from 4°C to a body-temperature of 37°C, the body must use up calories from elsewhere. On top of this, the water flushes out impurities in the system which slow down and hinder the metabolism. To lose weight, your whole body must start working together. So-called ‘experts’ have said that we need about eight glasses of water a day, but recent research (from Australia of all places) has shown this to be a load of nonsense. We need to drink what the body needs, and no more; and that for most people is only around five glasses. It is completely irrelevant where we get the water from: tea, coffee, fruit juice, even jelly, all count. But remember, ultimately the colder the better!
4. Clean you mouth in the morning!
Saliva is an important enzyme in the breakdown of food, to get the most nutrition out of it. It also triggers a reaction in the stomach and in the blood that tells the body first that you are eating and second that you have had enough. When we wake up in the morning with fur inside our mouths, this interferes with the production of healthy saliva. So, go to bed with a glass of water beside you, and as soon as you wake up, clean the mouth out, either just by rinsing or with a brush. (You will see how icky the colour of the water is when you spit it back into the glass! All of that would have gone into your stomach!) It does not have to be thorough, like an actual brushing; just wash out what you can.
5. Have breakfast in two phases!
First thing, have a slice of toast with some jam, peanut butter, Vegemite, honey, etc., and a cup of tea or some juice. If it is juice, water it down. One glass of orange juice has the juice from five or six oranges. Would we eat that many in one sitting? If not, why would we drink that many? The purpose here is ‘to warm up the machine’. If you had a car out in the back-yard for two years, you wouldn’t simply jump into it and go for a ride to some far-off place. You would warm it up! The body has been asleep for six to eight hours and also needs warming up… with just a little light stuff. After that, go and have your ‘shit, shower, shave and shampoo’. Get dressed. Then finish off the breakfast with something more substantial. It does not matter at all what you have, as long as each day you vary it as much as possible. It could be muesli, cornflakes, bacon and eggs, sausages, leftover from last night. Make it as broad as possible, for the following reason…
6. Ignore nutritionists’ advice!
Nutritionists wank on about ‘Recommended Daily Intakes’ (RDIs) and levels of sodium and polyunsaturated fats and all the rest. This is a load of bollocks! No animal on earth eats according to RDIs, and most of them seem to be pretty healthy. What happens is that over a period of time, they will tend to obtain all the nutrients that they need by eating broadly. If anything, we should be focusing on a Recommended Weekly Intake. We create an artificial diet by focusing too much on ‘Have we had enough of this, and I have already had my daily dosage of that.’ Ignore it and eat broadly!
7. Eat a varied lunch!
For the same reason, create as much variety as you can manage. It might be a pie one day, sandwiches the next, a filled roll, a quiche, a salad, mainly fruit, etc.
8. Do not eat on the run!
You should never eat when you are walking. We then tend to take larger bites and chew our food far less, creating more of a strain on the digestive system and less saliva (which as mentioned above, is essential for digestion). If you are active and have to eat ‘on the go’, just make sure that at the time that you are doing the actual eating itself, you are standing still or sitting, so that you chew more thoroughly and slowly.
9. Eat a varied dinner!
For exactly the same reasons mentioned already. You do not need to cut out meat, but try to cut back on it. Our problem is not that we eat meat, but that we eat far too much of it. It is our first thought and only thought: Breakfast – bacon or sausages, Lunch – ham rolls, steak sandwiches, meat pies, Dinner – roast beef, chicken fish, etc. We would have meat for dessert if we could (oh yes, of course, pâté). Dinner is the wrong time of day: if anything, we should eat our meat earlier, basically at lunch, and only lightly at dinner. Avoid eating fruit and meat in the same meal. They both require completely different enzymes in the body to break them down, and these enzymes will often work against each other, meaning that both do not get digested properly. If you have a dessert after a meat meal, it is all right if it is a light meat (i.e. not steak) and not too much of it and if you give yourself about a quarter of an hour after the meal before the dessert is served. In other words, take your time!
10. There is nothing wrong with snacking in itself!
If your body says that it is hungry, then it is hungry! Don’t be a martyr! The thing is to discern whether you are hungry or just ‘peckish’. Often being peckish is the result of sitting too much and not getting enough air into the system or blood flowing. But if you truly are hungry, eat something. If you decide that you want a chocolate bar, try to get a fruit and nut variety: not only are the fruits and nuts healthy, but logically for every gram that they take up, that is one less gram of chocolate itself. It makes sense! After you have snacked, minimise the damage with another glass of cold water. Do not kick yourself over it: it is what your body needed. Carry on as normal.
11. Exercise without exercising!
You are standing at the bench, chopping some veges. You turn to get something from the cupboard. What did you do? Probably, you shuffled your feet a little in one direction and raised your arms to the cupboard door. That’s it! Stiff and pointless! And you have scarcely engaged your body one bit! Go back to the start! This time, keep your feet anchored on the spot. Instead, turn your body – the legs, waist and chest – and raise the arms that way. What you have done is a type of ‘exercise’. To get something from below the bench, don’t bend over, but bend your knees and go down vertically (it’s all right to use your hand for a little stability). Make it an ‘exercise’. Someone knocks at the door while you are sitting down, or the phone rings. The habit is to put your hands on the arm-rests of the chair and virtually push yourself up. Don’t! Get up without using anything but your legs and the momentum of your body. Don’t shuffle, don’t drag yourself there – walk with purpose and with energy! In other words, if you get your whole body in on these ordinary, daily activities, then you can go through around a hundred ‘exercises’ a day and not even know it!
12. Be honest!
I don’t know how much you weigh, but I started the whole process by saying to myself honestly, “You are fat.” For some people, it might just be “You are overweight” or “You are too heavy.” Whatever it is, it should be honest and it should not be said with any sense of negativity. It is simply a reality: “I am such and such!” Say, “I want to lose weight to be healthier” or “…to look more attractive” or “…to get more guys”. Just be honest, but with kindness to yourself! Say, “I won’t get to a model’s weight (if that is true and if you even want to), but I want to feel comfortable in my own skin.” Many people feel that losing weight and getting fitter is a burden. It is, without a doubt. They say, ‘No pain, no gain!’ For us it is ‘No pain, no loss!’ But we can ease that discomfort with a good psychological disposition to ourselves, devoid of any sense of punishment or judgementalism!
I do not know if this process will work again, as it did in the past, but there is no reason not to try it. Unlike so many of the courses you will find advertised, it will cost you nothing. Let us not forget that this does not mean that you must not exercise, only that if the body is working well as a whole, exercise is less important than we have been told, because that ‘working as a whole’ is an exercise in itself. But if you feel like some, do it!
Week 00 105.0 kg (231.5 lbs)
Week 01 102.5 kg (226.0 lbs); lost 2.5 kg (5.5 lbs)
Week 02 101.0 kg (222.7 lbs); lost 4.0 kg (8.8 lbs)
Week 03 100.0 kg (220.5 lbs); lost 5.0 kg (11.0 lbs) – two parties this week