This week’s loss

This week’s loss: 3lb. Total loss: 10lb.

Hopefully I won’t have to title a blog ‘this week’s gain’ anytime soon!

Sorry for the delay in posting this week’s update. No real reason other than having a manic evening after I got weighed on Thursday and then forgetting.

So I was pleased to have a bigger loss this week, and hopefully that’ll inspire me for a decent one this week too – although I have had a quite enjoyable, and not totally healthy, weekend. I do find at times that I’m doing my own version of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde – I stick to my weight loss regime during the week, but transform into an unhealthy boy the second the weekend hits. I guess that just means I need to try harder this week.

I ran twice last week. I’d like to make it at least three times if I can, and I’d like to be a bit quicker when I’m out running too. I’ve also ordered myself a new bike, which I should get in a couple of weeks. I’m looking forward to getting out on it. I want to do the Coast to Coast bike ride at some point, but it’s certainly not an immediate aim. Not least because I’ll need to get used to wearing the cycling lycra shorts first!

One of the first things I was worried about when I started doing more exercise was that people would look at me and laugh – after all I look pretty hot and sweaty, and more like Bambi on ice than anything else. But I soon realised that a) people don’t care, b) I don’t care even if they do and c) I feel pretty self-righteous about the fact I’m out doing exercise anyway. Cycling shorts might stretch that a little bit mind! I apologise in advance to anyone who sees me!

Will blog again later in the week, but before I go, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone for the positive comments on the blog. I do appreciate them, and they do motivate me.

The only man in the room.


A few years ago, I took a bus into town to work. I was carrying a bag with me as I was going to visit a friend after work.

I got off the bus and walked towards work when I realised I no longer had my bag with me, and the bus had already moved on. Queue panic and beads of sweat (more on those to come). My only option was to run after the bus and catch it at the next stop – before it left Whitehaven.

I ran/jogged/walked with pace and managed to catch the bus up at the next stop. However I wasn’t able to speak at this point, and had many more beads of sweat about my person! I can only imagine what the sight of me trying to chase the bus looked like! It was a this point that I really realised that I needed to do more exercise. Strictly speaking, I needed to do some exercise.

Last year I completed a ten mile run and I’ve also done about half a dozen other races. So it’s fair to say that I’ve came quite some distance. Literally, in fact – according to the app on my phone (Runkeeper, for those who are interested) I ran over 120 miles last year. That’s just the runs I logged, too.

An important part of my initial weight loss journey was definitely exercise. In fact, I think part of the reason I put on a bit of weight at Christmas was because for the first time, I wasn’t doing much exercise at all.

So as well as healthy eating, I try to do four or five exercise sessions a week. I also try to vary what I do. From a position four years ago where I did no exercise, I now swim, go to the gym, run, go spinning and go to circuits on a regular basis.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I do sometimes cheat and don’t quite stick to my diet plan. I don’t mind that so much when I am doing lots of exercise.

In the last week I’ve restarted running, having had a few weeks off. I have ran a 6.5 and 4.5 mile run this week. The first was hard, as was the second, but I really enjoyed both. My goal for the next few weeks is to continue the running and try to quicken my pace.

I’d like to go one further than last year’s 10 mile race and compete a half marathon. I feel confident that if I put the effort in, I could do it.

And that’s some step up from trying to catch the bus!

Will feed back on weight loss tomorrow. I’m struggling to get to a group, but will weigh myself somewhere if I don’t make it.

The only man in the room.

This week

Loss this week: 1lb. Total loss: 7lb (half a stone).

So not as big a loss this week. Obviously I would have liked a bigger loss, but I’m not actually disappointed with losing just a pound.
In the past when I have been to class and weighed in, and only lost a pound or so, I have got disheartened – assuming I should have lost more – despite the fact I probably shouldn’t have.
In the past, when I have weighed in and only lost a pound, my reaction has tended towards disappointment, or possibly even annoyance or anger.
But now I just remember the fact that if I lost ‘just’ a pound every week for a year then that’d be the best part of four stone. Which would be amazing!
However, the main reason I am not disappointed is that I went to Leeds at the weekend for a party for my 30th. I had a great night with lots of my friends, and with about ten pints of calorific real ale! The food wasn’t perfectly healthy either – thought it was perfectly delicious.
On top of that, I have been in day long meetings both today and yesterday, where biscuits and buffet were the order of the day. As I’ve mentioned earlier, and I will elaborate on at a later date, I don’t do brilliantly with buffets! 
So considering all of the above, I don’t think I’ve done too bad to have recorded a loss! I suspect the first week I stay the same/gain weight will be less positive mind.
The plan for the next seven days is to do a bit better and keep up the exercise, so that I can hopefully lose a bit more weight next week. Fingers crossed!
Onwards and upwards.
The only man in the room.

How not to cheat

A bit of a variation on the subject I touched on in a previous blog.

There are lots of ways that you can cheat a little bit, whilst doing a diet, not least if you throw some (extra) exercise into your routine. However there are lots of ways that I wouldn’t recommend too. I’ve tried most of them as well. Here’s just a few, with the first coming courtesy of my girlfriend.

1. Eating it really fast: You might be surprised and disappointed to learn that chomping that chocolate bar in double-quick time doesn’t help you. All of the calories were still present!

2. Only eating unhealthy food: Well to be fair, this could work, if you only consumed a sensible number of calories worth. Of course we know that its not likely to be the case. Or at least it isn’t for me. So if you fancy a day of only eating chocolate – you’d better prepare yourself for a small amount of food and a day without much joy.

3. Hiding it: We’ve all been to the buffet and helped ourself to a mix of the delicious and tempting items on offer, but hiding six sausage rolls under a serving of salad won’t kid anyone, especially not your body. Again, I know because I’ve tried. I’ll tell you about my addiction to/weak-sport for buffets in a future blog.

4. The exercise off-set promise: Before I started to lose weight, this was the killer for me. I would often leave the office and go for a huge lunch. I’d perhaps have a sandwich and chips in the pub down the road, or go for a pie from the shop formerly known as Birkett’s, or even just feast on a pile of junk from the supermarket.

BUT, it was all ok, because I would do some exercise later. Now the fact that I didn’t do any exercise at this point of my life at all, didn’t seem to matter. The point was that I would allow myself to feast on rubbish because of the invisible exercise. In fact, I’d do the same thing in the evening as well , and the next lunchtime, and well, you get the picture.

I realise the above sounds a bit like your slimming group leader or doctor. However, I really have tried all of the things above, and they really are not the ways to cheat.

So how about you? Got any suggestions of how you cheat at your slimming regime? I’d be interested to hear them.

The only man in the room.

Weigh in!

Just a quick post tonight as promised, to feedback after weigh in.

The first thing I should say is don’t forget your book/card/login etc and go to another group or there is no chance you can weigh in.

So, having gone home for my book, I missed the start of the class, which meant I had to stay till the end.

But anyway, when I got there, I had lost six pounds.

I don’t think that’s not too bad considering I had a weekend in London on the pop.

Long way to go yet mind!

That weigh in feeling

The name of this blog, stems, quite unsurprisingly from the fact that most of the people at my slimming group are women. I suspect that is the case at most slimming groups. I suppose most men do something else/something more masculine!

Because there are more women then men, the group definitely has a different feel about it to how I imagine it’d be if there was a more even split of the sexes.

At some point, I’ll go into the detail of some of the differences and the quirks of a female dominated group, but my blog today is about something that is the same for both sexes, namely the weigh in.

Now I’m quite a level headed and sensible guy. I’ve got a degree, and everything. But when it comes to the weigh in I seem to lose a little bit of my logic and sense of reason.

This means that I start the day by thinking about how I can get lighter by the end of the day. This often involves eating only light items for lunch – i.e. items that literally don’t weigh very much – lettuce, and even air are particularly good for this.

I also think about the best time for bowel movements to take place so that I am not carrying any extra weight – this even goes as far as my own theory that a number one before the weigh is is much more important than a number two!

But it’s when I get to the weigh in that I know men and women aren’t too different. You can see the same fear and nervousness on the faces of everyone there! (as well as lots of people nipping to the toilet!)

When the weigh in has taken place the heartbreak or joy is apparent on every face too. I try to hide my reaction, but always fail!

So, anyway, my first weigh in back to slimming group takes place tomorrow. It should have been Monday but I was busy – this means it’s about a week and a half.

I should have done ok – I’ve stuck to it almost all of the weekdays, but I did enjoy myself in London at the weekend.

Fingers crossed I’ve done ok. But how can I not, if I eat only lettuce? I’ll let you know how I get on.

The only man in the room.

How to cheat…

I always know how well I am doing at slimming club by how closely I stick to the rules.

As a bigger man, I tend to be able to cheat a little bit and get away with it. This means I can have a little bit more of the naughty stuff than the consultant (I don’t really like that title, but group leader and teacher are even worse, if slightly amusing!) suggests.

As I’m sure you all know, the biggest slimming clubs (there are two or three that come to mind for me) coax you on to a healthy eating plan which either controls calories, or balances your diet etc.

After I’ve been doing the slimming club for a while, what tends to happen is I start to have more of the things you’re not really allowed. So this means I might have two or three biscuits after my dinner rather than the one I allow myself.

Or I might not count one meal as cheating because my previous/next was/is super healthy.

Or a snack doesn’t really count because I visited the gym at some point in the vaguely recent past.

Or I have to have an unhealthy meal because there were simply no healthy options/I didn’t have time to make the healthy option.

So this is why I am pleased with myself right now, for thinking ahead and planning for my weekend away – at least in part.

I popped to the supermarket earlier today, bought some lean meat, marinated it, and have cooked it. All ahead of my early morning train down south. So for at least one meal of the weekend, I can go for the healthy option. Hopefully that’ll be the plan for much of the rest my trip.

Will let you know how the rest of the weekend goes next week. But if I do cheat, I promise not to remove this blog saying I’d probably be healthy.

And I promise to also go into more detail of how to cheat, at a later date.

On that front, the important thing for me to remember, is to get the balance right – cheat but just a little.

The only man in the room.

Firsts and lasts

Last non-slimming club meal:

A ‘gourmet burger’ (assumed ironic title) at a well-known bargain pub chain. The meal included burger, bacon, cheese, onion rings and chips, along with a artery-clogging blue cheese sauce for good measure. It was pretty greasy and fairly awful.

First slimming-club meal:

A homemade, light, pasta dish with spaghetti, onion, fresh tomatoes, coriander, lemon, chilli and a sprinkle of cheese. It looked amazing, yet healthy. The perfect start, some might say. ‘Cept it tasted of nothing.

Hmm, lesson to be learned there, methinks.

Last time I was hungry:

This afternoon at work. No snacks prepared, or in stock, to munch on. Vending machine offered nothing I was willing to cheat with.

First time I regretted this regime:

Not yet. Sure it’ll come though. Perhaps at the 30th party I’m attending this weekend, or at least on the long train journey to London, where I’ll want crisps and sweets, but will have crispbread based snackettes and fruit based mouth-sized nibblets (grapes).

Last bit of exercise:

Last night at circuits. First time back for the New Year. It was hard but rewarding. Amazed how quick the fitness abandoned me, but reassured by the end as I got a bit more into my stride.

First kiss:

Nar, don’t think we’ll go there!

The only man in the room.


So if I am going to stick to this, and stick to writing this blog, then I should have some goals.

I won’t bore you with lots of OTT nonsense. But I will say that:

1) I want this blog to encourage me (or shame me) into making sure I stick to the weight loss.

2) Therefore I need to make sure I keep blogging regularly – my current thinking is two or three times enough is probably the right balance between boring you and it being to sparse for anyone to care to look.

3) I want to lose weight – my first goal is to get back down to 15 stone 8 – my lowest recent weight

4) I am toying with registering for the Edinburgh Half Marathon – that would be a major goal and likely a big focus for me.

I think that’s about enough, but is there anything else that I should have included?

The only man in the room

The start

Starting weight: 18 stone.

The only man in the room. It might sound profound, but really just sums the subject of this blog, which will be one man’s quest to lose weight at a slimming club.

I joined tonight. Not for the first time. I’ve been a member a couple of times. And in some ways that is part of my problem. When I first joined, I managed to lose over four stone. I’ve been a member since then as I’ve put a little weight back on, and have hovered around a loss of about three stone.

Well since then I’ve had a enjoyable, but unhealthy Christmas, and a 30th birthday. Now those are over, I’m back in the club, I’ve paid my subs and I’m raring to go.

Or something like that.

The problem with having lost a bit of weight at a slimming group is probably a psychological one – I know it works (I’ve lost up to 9lb in a week before), so at the back of my mind it’s there as an option, even if I am not doing it.

But tonight I went back. I listened to the talk and then I had the weigh in. And I’d put on more weight than I had realised.

I should have realised though. A lot of my clothes aren’t really fitting me at the moment, and I’m wearing the baggier of my options. Not a good luck.

So I do feel spurred on right now. This blog is part of it.

I have decided to chronicle my weight loss (I hope!) and my experiences in doing it.

And the name of the blog just referred to the fact that most of the other people there are women. Of the 60 odd people at ‘class’ tonight, three were men.

Anyway, that’s blog one, come back for more in the near future.

Ian. AKA The only man in the room.