Saturday, 7 January 2012

Two Fat Monkeys

Here's how bad it is. I went out to get us some brunch this morning and, as we are both to be dieting, I picked up a nice set of electronic scales from a hardware store. I got our (sort of) calorie controlled food home and showed Mrs Monkey the scales.

"Will it weigh up to our weight?" she asked.

As it happens the scales are good till you're north of 27 stones (it stops at 180 kg or 28.25 stones if you're interested) and neither of us are in that much trouble. Still, the question had to be asked, and that's the disturbing part.

Monkey Shrinks

I've felt in need of a diet for a long time, a bit lethargic, out of sorts and unhappy with my available clothing options. When your trousers need a 52-inch waist it's not a happy time.

Let's be straight here, I've never been a small chap. Since I grew to adulthood I've never been comfortable in a tee shirt smaller than XL. The smallest waistband I've ever had is 36 inches and back then I was fifteen years of age.

For this reason I have always considered myself to be fat. Actually, when I look back at pictures of myself at about eighteen or nineteen I know that I was about as fat as... well, I wasn't fat. But I felt fat. For this reason I have never really bothered to diet or discipline myself because when you give a dog a fat name...

Actually, I believe that by all standard medical metrics not only am I now morbidly obese but I have always been obese. Pictures of me twenty years ago make the whole thing seem academic and silly and that's really one of my bones of contention with medical advice about ideal weight.

The length across my shoulders must be about two feet, I'm six feet tall. I'm a stocky guy. Regular weight metrics are not useful to me. Even so, the irregular weight metrics tell me that right now I am definitely way too fat.

Last year at this time I joined a gym and I really enjoyed it, I did make a token effort at watching my weight as well but mostly I gymmed and swum. The gymming actually seemed a bit better than the swimming because the gym would sometimes be quiet and swimming pools are always massively full. Anyhow the regime fell apart because Mrs Monkey works weekend nights and I work week days so it became increasingly difficult to find times to go.

The Tools To Do The Job

This year Mrs Monkey really wanted to diet and has joined UK Service Weight Watchers, meetings, recipe cards, points values, the works.

Personally it's not something that motivates me. I am a systems developer by trade and as such what motivates me is twiddling with things and exploring problems. Perhaps the best way to explain is to put into the words of another:

The Hacker's Diet by John Walker

That basically sums up my feelings on the whole topic. In short, I have a mentality which demands that I pick apart things, fiddle and tweak. I can't just be given a diet I need to customise it. I think that's a trait shared by those who love to work on cars, or paint model soldiers, or develop role playing characters. So I guess you could generalise out the Hacker's Diet to be a general geek's diet.

So what you can expect to see in this blog is a record of my attempts to triangulate out from reference points in Mrs Monkey's dietary advice versus my own information a real sense of what dieting means. To be plain Mrs Monkey doesn't care in the slightest about what dieting means, she just wants to lose weight. This blog here is strictly for people who want to get inside the mechanics of dieting for practical purposes.

For those same practical purposes I will be recording my own weekly weight and notes about interesting food items as well as comparisons of what various diet trackers tell me/us about our foods. I will not be discussing Mrs Monkey's progress by request as she is taking care of her own programme.

For my part in the beginning I will be using two online trackers the colourful and fairly friendly looking Cronometer and the terser Hacker's Diet Online. I'll see which one proves to be more useful in the long term. I'm also going to be looking at the Hacker's Diet Computer Expert Excel Computer Tools just to see what they add.

I'll be back later with my initial weigh in.

1 comment:

  1. Best of luck, my boy. It's possibly not helpful, but you will also probably have the genetically passed down big bones - yes, I know it's a joke but it's also true. Even when thinner, you will weigh heavier. Sad but true. On the other hand, diets,dieting and food advice in general is a load of bollocks, commercially driven by assorted profiteering food companies. But losing a few stone can only be beneficial to your well being, wardrobe and general happiness, so go for it!