How I discovered the Diet Groove
I was obese
That was me, in a word, lardy. Or fat. Or obese, even. Which, officially, I was. I was approaching fifty and had spent the past thirty years sitting in an office, eating well, enjoying the odd (ahem) drink and doing all the exercise of a scatter cushion.
And when I say eating well, of course I mean not 'well' in a healthy kind of way, but in a 'well-stuffed' kind of way. Let's face it when I first started cooking for my girlfriend, now my beautiful wife of twenty years, we thought that a big bowl of pasta was a healthy supper. Everybody did back then.
And I still love that stuff, and there’s still a place for it in my diet. But just not something I can now eat every other night.
Of course over the years I'd tried lots of different diets, but all with the same predictably rubbish results, so it was almost inevitable that I'd eventually crossover into the red zone on the obesity chart. If anything I think all the failed diets only made it worse. Each one ratcheting up my weight every time it collapsed.
It was when I bought myself a pair of size 40 jeans that I knew I had to do something serious about it. Talk about love handles, I had grab rails. The weight wasn't good for my health, it was a horrible example to my children and, if I didn't do something, I'd be carrying that bucket of lard to my grave, and getting there sooner too. I weighted seventeen stone nine and could to put on pounds just by walking past McDonalds.
This time it was going to be different. I didn't just launch into the latest diet but started to read up about what made them work. And it turns out that there are just a couple of simple, but very powerful, weight-loss rules that the really popular diets of the past fifty years all boil down to. I started with those, but powerful as they are, we all know they are still hard to stick to.
So then of course I pulled together every scrap of behavioural research I had to make the diet advice work harder.
And finally, I experimented. Ok not scientifically, but I figured out what worked for me. I focused on what I found difficult (chocolate, snacks, cake, pies, er not eating all the stuff I like was pretty well the difficult bit) and I used my research to find helpful ways around it (the grooves).
When something seemed to work, I did it again. When things didn't make a difference I gave up doing them.
Find your natural RESET Point
It worked. And the best thing about it all? It was easy. I never felt hungry, I never had to hold back, I never missed a great meal and I never said no to a pint.
I lost 4½ stone overall. I lost two stone in a month and I've kept it off for three years. I don't say this to brag, and I don't mean it like a cheesy advert. I just want to stress that I know what it's like to be the wrong side of obese but I have still got back to the weight I had before I ever started dieting. In the big scheme of things three years doesn't prove it'll last forever, but I'm so relaxed about my weight control now that I'm confident I can stick at 13st for the rest of my days. I've found my natural Reset Point and I'm in a groove.
And remember this is someone who still loves their food. And who frankly has all the willpower of a Labrador puppy.
If I can do it then so can you. As Mrs Bob Cummings, there, would say.