Now, I've hit that weight before... mainly on the way up. Arguably, I must have hit it an odd number of times - approximately the same number in each directin, because to hit it on the weigh up, I must have either hit it on the way down, or been under it to start with - something that's definitely been the case before.
I was about to write wistfully about the time in my life where I'd never exceeded 18 stone, but I don't think it's appropriate.
I'm pretty sure that I once found I was 16 and a half stone and was shocked into crash dieting, but I was younger, less experienced, had no idea that I could be attractive and fun, and squandered such youthful folly in a series of darkened rooms.
The darkened rooms of my older age are much better. They come with better facilities, more screens, and a more comfortable savings account.
They also come with fears for the future, a deep complex relationship with the tax man and my accountant, and a continuous sense that life would be better if there was less stuff.
It's odd. The desire to have loads, and the desire not to be burdened by it all, seem to go hand in hand. And this is both a metaphor for weight and the actual problem with weight.
My weight has been a heavy part of my life in recent years. Two years ago, weighing a little more than I do today, I was at a waypoint in a weightloss journey that began the previous year with a health scare. I lost a lot of weight while worried that I was doing so to get myself ready for an operation. Then the operation wasn't necessary. But I was healthier and happier, I did a musical, then rehearsed like crazy for another one's dance moves, managed to stay at some helpful weight equilibrium and was generally in good shape.
Since then life's had its way of tossing me about. Each dip or toss of the waves results in a weight reaction, positive or negative. The nature of the weight change isn't entirely related to whether it's a good or bad turn in my fortunes.
I changed job, and my new lifestyle caused me to gain some weight. Then I took control and lost some. Then I changed jobs again, and I got a part in a show, and steadily gained weight, despite feeling I'd be more in control of it. Then, with a job change imminent, I flicked the weightloss switch and steadily and sustainably brought the weight under control... until November last year.
Auditioning for a part I'd not even intended to audition for at first, and then getting hooked on the maybes of getting it, and doing ok in the audition process... that let me to another spike when eventually the part went to someone else. Worse than that, after many successful months (from June) of multiple dance classes a week, I was suddenly unable to do them owing to a knee injury.
Christmas last year was an eating competition - me vs my common sense.
Then January and I went to work, decided I actually couldn't quite bear to use the work kitchen to prepare healthy lunches, so just went without, and I came up with my best invention ever - losing weight by just eating briefly between 5pm and 9pm. I could largely eat what I liked, and the weight was dropping off again.
Fast forward to March and lockdown began. We self-isolated as we were under the impression it might be in our household and supplies waned a bit. I ate even less...
I broke a stone barrier I'd not broken in a while...
.. then things got easier... and I relaxed my regime... and packed weight back on.
At this point, I'd like to state without any fear of disagreeing with myself retrospectively, that eating loads of mashed avocado on sourdough toast is absolutely fantastic from the point of view of how it feels while you're doing it.
I also seemed to crave cereal.
I'm going to call this the lockdown-carb-addiction phase.
And it was a real shame. I'd been looking trimmer and feeling healthier and then things went back to binge eating.
On the up side, the local mobile fish and chip shop provided some very excellent food which me and the kids enjoyed enormously.
Something has to give, and ideally not the waistband of my trousers, or the central post of my office chair.
Before I became too much heavier, I decided to join in with my wife's "Fast 800" diet plan. It combines three things which we know to be effective for weightloss, but I'm not enjoying them and I'm planning to continue not enjoying them, while earnestly giving them a fair old crack of the whip.
- Interval fasting - you could do 8 hours, I'm trying to about 4 (or less). That's the period of the day when you consume calorific food. We're assuming that coffee and fizzy squash don't count.
- Low carbs - where previously I was trying a vague carb avoidance, and low carb works enormously well for me in general, here we're calculating the carbs down to very low numbers... scarily low
- Low calorie - fat not an issue... just keeping the calorie count around 800