Being fat is a humbling experience, particularly when I was once used to a level of physical fitness that allowed me to pretty much do as I please. Here’s this week’s example:

Luscious and I are taking some time away, soon. You might remember, a few years ago, that we managed a writing weekend away we dubbed Battcon. There was drinking, there was a soupcon of tourism, there were wineries, there was writing, there was hanging out in Margaret River having fun, there was more writing. I wrote a bunch of silly blog posts about the whole thing, that you can re-read here. I also wrote an 8000-word short story in 2 days.

Well, the opportunity to repeat the fun has arisen. Soon we’ll be taking off for a few days on what we’re dubbing Battcon 2018, because repetition is fun. Along with the writing, and the drinking, and the writeydrinking, we’ll be heading out to an aquarium, feeding stray children to crocodiles, experiencing the world’s oldest operational outdoor cinema, taking a hovercraft ride to look at the world’s largest dinosaur footprint (and its friends), and experiencing as much of Broome as we possibly can.

One thing we won’t be doing, however, is taking a camel ride along Cable Beach, a key component of every tourism advert Broome has ever put out. Why not? Well, the hint is in the title of this blog. Put simply, I’m too fat. Camels have a weight limit, and I’m not even within shouting distance of being under it.

This hurts.

I’ve been working hard to shift the weight with which I started the year, and a slap in the face like this is the sort of thing that can derail a guy– okay, a guy like me— so it prompted a visit to my numbers, just to see whether there had been any progress at all in the six and a half weeks since I left work. This is what I found:

  • I’ve lost 3.6 kilograms: down to 108.0kg from 111.6kg. Okay, I’m not camel-worthy just yet, but I could probably get on a Diplodocus without causing it undue stress.
  • My chest has increased in size by half a centimetre: 120cm from 119.5cm. Could be down to the vagaries of measuring by hand with a sewing tape, but I’m currently managing 45 push-ups a day plus some small-weight routines, so it could just as easily by loss of fat and muscle gain. I’m going to take it.
  • I’ve lost 3cm from my bicep: 37 cm from 40cm. Definitely a loss of fat– I can see that. Bicep size will increase when I turn my attention to muscle gain. Right now, it’s a pleasing result.
  • Likewise, I’ve lost a whopping 9.5cm from my thigh: down to 54cm from 64.5cm. This isn’t too surprising: back in my sports playing days, the sports I played regularly (association football, basketball, and tennis) all relied heavily on leg strength. The muscles remember. Given that I’m squatting 45 times a day and walking 1100 metres a day through chest-deep water, they’re getting the hardest workout of all.
  • I’ve lost 8 cm from my hips: 118cm from 126cm. Lots of crunches, skipping, and oblique crunches have had an effect.
  • Conversely, my waist measurement has gained 5cm, up to 121cm from 116cm. I’m at a loss to explain this. Measurement error? The straightening of my lumbar from my core getting stronger? Pixies? I have no idea.

So, camels notwithstanding, there is improvement. I’m working to improve my diet– at work, I was drinking nearly 2 litres of Pepsi Max a day to get through; and you know, the snack food machine was right next to the drinks machine, so there was a chocolate bar a day; and some days, well, by the time I got to lunch a warm salad and piece of fruit wasn’t going to fill the depression and there I was, working within walking distance of every fast food option Rockingham had to offer……

I’m lowering the sugar content of my day. Drinking water exclusively as often as I can with one glass of low-sugar cordial at dinner. Making use of the Sugar-Free Kitchen and That Sugar Book recipe books where I can. And the Fats and Figures, and the Weight Watchers cookbooks. And the internet. Replacing bread with wraps. Working to get more vegetables into dinner, and make sure the 25/25/50% proportions of meat/starches/veggies are adhered to. Getting portion sizes down. Trying to eschew the sweeties and the chocolates and the KFC. I’m not at all perfect. I’ve slipped. We’ve slipped as a family. Some days, damage control is the best I manage. But I’m better than I was, and I’ll get better still.

I’ll be honest. Sitting on a camel was not a goal when I got here.

But it is now.




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