I was fat. No possibility of denying it in the end. I looked in the mirror and noted the increasing barrel around my middle. It wasn’t really there. I ate a bit less. Nothing changed. Middle aged spread. I didn’t like it but I wasn’t gross. Really.
Well lockdown changed that. I had an interesting few weeks around the start of lockdown, car crash on the motorway, lockdown before I could get a new car, holiday interrupted, girlfriend of six months dumped me and I had to furlough three quarters of my team at the day job. So mid-March to mid-April was a bitch. When the dust settled I was working from home, trying to do three people’s jobs to keep the show on the road and with none of my usual hobbies to help keep me sane and no means of getting out of town except on my bike. A single walk a day allowed. And yet, it was an opportunity to change. I had to have something to control where all the other things in life were suddenly out of control so what I ate became one of the things I could manage.
When I am at home I eat less. I had always only really eaten two meals a day at the weekends, brunch and supper. Office stress and office cake (the currency of success in our place) were no longer there. So I began eating only two meals a day at home, all the time. Nothing much changed except a little more rigorous portion control and a three mile walk every day. I still drank plenty of wine, still ate pasta. I started at almost exactly sixteen stone, 224lbs or 101.8kg, which is plenty for a six foot two man. Between early April and the end of June I lost 17lbs, I got to 207lbs (14st 11lbs or 94kg). Which felt like a huge achievement. But I was still clearly overweight and at this point I stuck.
I stayed about that level for three weeks, even gaining a little. Weight loss had not initially been a clearly thought through goal, it came about as a result of that need for some control. Now it was a goal and I wanted to continue. I had realised that I had been seriously overweight and while a little better I still had some way to go – when I was a competitive rower I weighed 13st and carried a lot more muscle. I visited my parents for the first time since Christmas as soon as the government let us out of solitary. On the way back on the Sunday evening I was listening to the radio and I heard an interview with Michael Mosley talking about his new diet book. The logic was compelling so I bought a copy and read it cover to cover….