Graham's Daily Check In

Counting carbs/calories is a drag. Obsessive scale stepping is a recipe for despair. If you want to count something, "days on habit" is a much better metric. Checking off days on a calendar would do just fine, but if you do it here you get accountability and support. Here's how. Start a new topic in this forum called (say) "Your Name Daily Check In." Then every N day post a "reply" to that topic as to whether you stayed on habit. A simple "<font color="green">SUCCESS</font>" or "<font color="red">FAILURE</font>" (or your preferred euphemism if that's too harsh) is sufficient, but obviously you're welcome to write more if you want. On S-days just register that you're taking an S-day. You don't have to do this forever, just until you're confident you've built the habit. Feel free to check in weekly or monthly or sporadically instead of daily. Feel free also to track other habits besides No-s (I'm keeping this forum under No-s because that's what the vast majority are using it for). See also my <a href="/habitcal/">HabitCal</a> tool for another more formal (and perhaps complementary) way to track habits.

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Graham
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Post by Graham » Thu Jan 15, 2015 12:42 pm

12st 3 1/4lb, 43 7/8", BMI 26.5, WHtR 65%, Body Fat 40.7%, #

My fast-ending meal was unusual: channa dal with broccoli, sweet potato, yoghourt and freshly baked bread rolls. With mixed results: lighter yet fatter. Hmm.

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Post by Graham » Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:01 am

12st 3 1/4lb, 43 7/8", BMI 26.5, WHtR 65%, Body Fat 40.7%, #, Fasting

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Post by Graham » Sat Jan 17, 2015 9:49 am

12st 2 3/4lb, 43 3/4", BMI 26.4, WHtR 64.8%, Body Fat 40.5%, #

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Post by Graham » Sun Jan 18, 2015 10:22 am

12st 2 3/4lb, 43 3/4", BMI 26.4, WHtR 64.8%, Body Fat 40.5%

I wondered if yesterday's hours of tango might impact these figures, they did not. I have a definite post-fast nose/throat thing. The simplest way to interpret this is to assume fasting lowers my immune response. So: do I carry on fasting or not?

Perhaps I should get a new bike. I haven't tried my rower since my cold, but I was having a clicking joint problem that would have stopped rower use anyway.

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Post by Graham » Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:05 am

12st 3 1/4lb, 43 13/16" BMI 26.5, WHtR 64.9%, Body Fat 40.5%

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Post by Graham » Mon Jan 26, 2015 1:10 pm

12st 3 1/2lb 43 7/8" BMI 26.5, WHtR 65%, Body Fat 40.6%

Graham
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Post by Graham » Tue Jan 27, 2015 1:25 pm

12st 4 1/4lb, 43 13/16, BMI 26.6, WHtR 64.9, Body Fat 40.2%, #

Graham
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Post by Graham » Sun Feb 01, 2015 9:33 am

12st 2 1/4lb, 43 3/4", BMI 26.3, WHtR 64.8%, Body Fat 40.6%

Graham
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Post by Graham » Mon Feb 02, 2015 10:16 am

12st 2 1/2lbs, 43 11/16", BMI 26.4, WHtR 64.7%, Body Fat 40.4%

Graham
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Post by Graham » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:36 pm

12st 1 1/2lb, 43 3/4", BMI 26.2, WHtR 64.8%, Body Fat 40.9% #

Tango, snacks and a chocolate.

Graham
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Post by Graham » Thu Feb 05, 2015 2:47 pm

12st 1 3/4lb, 43 5/8", BMI 26.2, WHtR 64.6%, Body Fat 40.5%, #

Graham
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Post by Graham » Fri Feb 06, 2015 1:48 pm

12st 1 3/4lb, 43 3/4", BMI 26.2, WHtR 64.8%, Body Fat 40.8%, #

SO's birthday, tango, chocolates.

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Post by Graham » Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:35 am

12st 3 1/2lb, 43 5/8", BMI 26.5, WHtR 64.6%, Body Fat 40%

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Post by Graham » Tue Feb 10, 2015 1:10 pm

12st 4 1/4lb, 43 5/8", BMI 26.6, WHtR 64.6%, 39.8% #

Graham
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Post by Graham » Fri Feb 20, 2015 9:08 am

12st 2 3/4lb, 43 5/8", BMI 26.4, WHtR 64.6%, Body Fat 40.2% #

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Post by Graham » Fri Mar 06, 2015 7:52 am

12st 4 3/4lb, 44 1/4", BMI 26.7, WHtR 65.6%, Body Fat 41.1% #

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Post by Graham » Wed Mar 11, 2015 11:54 am

12st 6 1/4lb, 44", BMI 26.9, WHtR 65.2%, Body Fat 40.1%, #

Graham
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Post by Graham » Thu Mar 12, 2015 12:47 pm

12st 5 3/4lb, 43 15/16", BMI 26.9, WHtR 65.1%, Body Fat 40.1%, #

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Post by Graham » Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:10 am

12st 5 3/4lb, 44", BMI 26.9, WHtR 65.2%, Body Fat 40.2%, # Fasting

So I'm giving fasting a go once again, with some trepidation. A series of what felt like incipient throat infections and finally a cold apparently precipitated by a fast led me to take a break.

I'm wondering if adding a gram of vitamin C powder to my lemon and ginger tea during the day might be throat and stomach friendly enough to solve this problem. Let's see.

Scheduling a second fast for later in the week is proving tricky: I have a tango class on Thursday evening, and a choir rehearsal on Friday evening, which messes up the timing and content of the fast-ending meal.

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Post by Graham » Mon Apr 13, 2015 9:06 am

12st 8 1/4lb, 44 1/2", BMI 27.3, WHtR 65.9% Body Fat 40.7% Fasting

Fasted on Friday, which went OK, I really needed to, let's see how this one goes, both during and after.

2pm and I have a slight headache and sore throat. I've taken some vitamin C in my ginger and lemon tea, but clearly not enough. Drat.

Weight issues not good, but fitness improving - isometrics every other day and an increasingly elaborate "preparation for tango" regime - addressing balance and core strength, now broadening out to include a short whole-body workout I found via "my fitness pal".

I have to be consistent with balance and exercise, a few days off and I go backwards quickly.

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Post by Graham » Tue Apr 14, 2015 8:10 am

12st 8 1/2lb, 44 1/4", BMI 27.3, WHtR 65.6%, Body Fat 40.1%, #

I enjoyed the fast OK, post fast eating was excessive. No sore throat in the end though, and that's a plus.

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Post by Graham » Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:35 pm

12st 8 1/2lb, 44 1/4", BMI 27.3, WHtR 65.6%, Body Fat 40.1%, Fasting

Between this fast and the last one I briefly hit 12st 11lb. And was rather under the weather. Lost my enthusiasm for my exercise regime too. Wasn't meditating. Now I'm meditating again, perhaps things will come right.

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Post by Graham » Tue Apr 28, 2015 9:31 am

12st 7 1/2lb, 44 1/4", BMI 27.1, WHtR 65.6%, Body Fat 40.4%, #

So, I shed 1lb despite some post meal snacking. Dancing also helps, when I do it: this week that'll be Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday if all goes as expected. Will I do a second fast? Friday, ending in time to feel OK for choir practice at 7:30?

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Post by Graham » Tue May 05, 2015 10:01 am

12st 6 3/4lb, 44 5/16", BMI 27, WHtR 65.6%, Body Fat 40.7%, Fasting

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Post by Graham » Wed May 06, 2015 7:51 am

12st 7 3/4lb, 44 3/4", BMI 27.2, WHtR 66.3%, Body Fat 41.5%, #

interesting...

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Post by Graham » Wed Jun 03, 2015 8:38 am

12st 6 3/4lb, 44 1/2", BMI 27, WHtR 65.9%, Body Fat 41.2%

Weight went up, hit 12st 12lb one day. Not able to control things via fasting, a growing suspicion that twice-weekly fasting was weakening my immune system, contrary to all the proclamations of benefit.

My new experiment: no sugar or sweeteners in my tea and coffee.

I read "Pure, White and Deadly" by John Yudkin. (published in the US as "Sweet and Dangerous"). I felt very angry with the sugar industry's lack of conscience about suppressing the health dangers of their product. I guess I should be glad they didn't just employ a hit-man to take Yudkin out.

Ancel Keys also seems to have been happy to denigrate a major rival rather than joining in an open trusting debate to get to the truth, with public benefit as the highest goal. I get so disappointed by dirty tricks and what lust for money does to integrity.

Years of effort directed at the "lower your saturated fat intake to avoid CHD" message when Sugar was looking more and more like the real villain. How many people die early to keep some businessmen rich and some academics on the top of their dung-pile?

Anyway, I can use that anger to help me try to re-educate my palate. Since Yudkin's book pre-dates the studies suggesting sweeteners might also provoke weight-gain, I can't say whether they are as solid and honest as Yudkin's work (I could easily imagine sugar money behind a "sweeteners don't work" message) but I've grown to suspect using sweeteners was provoking over-consumption in my life and habits.

It has taken me a long time to get round to reading that book, though I knew of it long ago. I don't know if my younger self could have tolerated sugar-free life. I have been addicted to sugar/sweetness, and I recognise a powerful emotional component in that. Sugar seemed to soften the experience of the world's nastiness, and I used it and used it.

So far, on my 9th day of tea and coffee without sweeteners or sugar (and fasting did introduce me to unsweetened drinks, and reveal to me that they were better than no tea or coffee at all). I can't say "it's just as nice" yet. I have been told by a friend that after a fortnight without sugar in hot drinks she didn't miss it any more. I am hoping that will happen to me. The desire for tobacco lingered a lot longer than that.

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Post by Graham » Fri Jun 05, 2015 4:50 pm

12st 8 3/4lb, 44 1/4", BMI 27.3, WHtR 65.6%, Body Fat 40%

I did wonder whether my weight loss owed something to the cold I caught at the beginning of the week from which I'm now recovering.

I'm still hot drink sugar and sweetener free, and will persist with it. There are plenty of good reasons to persist, supported by research. Fructose and Sucrose are especially problematic, glucose isn't so bad, but maybe I have no good reason to add it to my diet either.

I'm on day 11 and not yet at "just as good". I won't get too obsessed with that. I recall Allen Carr's promise that one day I'd wake up and say to myself "thank God I don't need to smoke any more"* and waiting for that day, which never came, got me so angry and made resuming smoking seem justifiable.

*"The easy way to stop smoking" Allen Carr is where I read that promise. I did stop for quite a while, but that gnawing question "when is that day going to come?" never left me, and the dawning realisation that I'd been lied to got me so angry smoking again felt like standing up for the part of me that had been cheated.

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Post by Graham » Mon Jun 08, 2015 7:58 am

12st 7 1/2lb, 44 5/16", BMI 27.1, WHtR 65.6%, Body Fat 40.5%

I'm drinking my unsweetened tea, somewhat adrift. I don't like either tea or coffee so much without sugar or sweeteners. I drink less, I get thirsty, and hungry, my routines are disrupted, I do not know myself. I don't have a really clear set of rules for myself either, and that feels difficult,

I can use re-reading Yudkin to keep me on track. I could use glucose when sugar seems essential - or perhaps seek out a number - so many grams of sugar per day or per week or whatever that could be considered safe, and then I could decide how to use them: saved up for splurges or spread evenly.

During WW2 sugar was rationed, the decision was out of the individual's hands, they just had to make the best of it. And health benefitted. It's a bit like stopping smoking. The stuff is out there, all around me, and I have to keep deciding, and remembering why I decided to go to all this trouble, several times a day.

A good effect, some might say: I've found a place for fruit in my life once again: when I'm away from home and hungry, that's what I go for, instead of processed anything. Only now I'm reading "Not on the label" by Felicity Lawrence and finding so much wrong with food production too. Globalisation, factory farming, the inevitable heavy use of insecticides, exploitation of migrant labour - there's toxically shabby behaviour going on all around.

Today I will protest: I'll be outside the Pakistan High Commission this afternoon protesting at the proposed execution of Shafqat Hussain. "confessing" under police torture, and a juvenile sentenced to death - in a system that says both those facts make his execution illegal, yet unable to reverse the decision. He is scheduled to die at 4am on Tuesday. I will be there with who knows how many, hoping that our presence and the efforts of others may help justice prevail.

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Post by Graham » Tue Jun 09, 2015 7:30 am

12st 9 1/4lb, 44 5/8", BMI 27.4, WHtR 66.1%, Body Fat 40.8%

This sudden weight-gain is a puzzle and a disappointment. Decreasing sugar and sweeteners isn't enough, on it's own, to slim me. When I reflect on my eating yesterday, I see nothing to be embarrassed about. Perhaps it's just a change in the weather, getting cooler again, carrying more water?

I am currently too sedentary. What activity is suitable?

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Post by Graham » Wed Jun 10, 2015 7:18 am

12st 9 1/4lb, 44 1/2", BMI 27.4, WHtR 65.9%, Body Fat 40.5%, #

I am too sedentary on non-tango days. Today is a tango day. Biscuits will be on offer. If I don't take an alternate food source, I may succumb, despite a filling breakfast, as I'll be there till 3 or 4pm.

I have no fruit to take, and anyway the other day fruit and cheese snacking when out and about was coupled with weight-gain. One day is too short to be certain of cause and effect, but I'm suspicious.

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Post by Graham » Thu Jun 11, 2015 8:46 am

12st 9 1/4lb, 44 3/8", BMI 27.4, WHtR 65.7%, Body Fat 40.2%, #

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Post by Graham » Fri Jun 12, 2015 11:24 am

12st 8 3/4lb, 44 1/8", BMI 27.3, WHtR 65.4%, 39.7%, #

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Post by Graham » Sat Jun 13, 2015 9:16 am

12st 7 3/4lb, 44", BMI 27.2, WHtR 65.2%, Body Fat 39.7%, #

Went to the allotment, no proper lunch, some biscuits with black tea, then choir, late, simple meal, nowhere near my 5-a-day. Pursuing 5-a-day sometimes leads to eating more.

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Post by Graham » Thu Jun 18, 2015 11:03 am

12st 9 3/4lb, 44 3/4", BMI 27.5, WHtR 66.3%, Body Fat 40.9% #

A week in Southport has been my undoing. Only managed one bike ride. Otherwise a productive trip, necessary things got done. Back to London today, let's see how I progress.

Still no sugar or sweeteners in my hot drinks. It isn't doing magical things for my weight, though I do feel sort of healthier. A few odd symptoms have not been around since I made the change. Not sweetening my hot drinks has also decreased my consumption of them. Probably a good thing.

I decided to empty the Southport freezer - and that's why I've eaten chips (french fries) every day this week. They ARE fattening!

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Post by Graham » Fri Jun 19, 2015 8:08 am

12st 11 1/4lb, 45", BMI 27.7, WHtR 66.7%, Body Fat 41.1% #

I do hope I'll reverse this trend now I'm back in London. I sometimes ate because I'd promised to cook, when I was tired and would rather have slept.

There was a freezer to empty. Both outward and return journeys were lengthened to @ 6 hours by heavy traffic. I snack when I drive - mostly to alleviate boredom or combat tiredness. Crisps and sweets, perhaps some fruit.

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Post by Graham » Sat Jun 20, 2015 8:11 am

12st 10 3/4lb, 44 3/4", BMI 27.6, WHtR 66.3%, Body Fat 40.6%, #

A vegetable rich lunch, an afternoon allotment visit then evening visitors with pulau rice and cream cake.

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Post by Graham » Sun Jun 21, 2015 8:24 am

12st 10 1/2lb, 44 1/2", BMI 27.6, WHtR 65.9%, Body Fat 40.1%

Good meals, some snacks, tango.

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Post by Graham » Mon Jun 22, 2015 7:50 am

12st 8 3/4lb, 44 1/2", BMI 27.3, WHtR 65.9%, Body Fat 40.6%

More tango, less food. Tango from 2 to 7:30pm with some breaks. Didn't get my 5-a-day, but ate as much as I wanted of various leftovers.

I am wanting to improve what I eat. Addressing food quality and how both people and animals are treated in factory farming and "food" manufacture. Both issues will be covered by eating organic or near-organic wherever possible.

It will cost some time and energy to source those foods, and organic or high-welfare meat, fish and dairy aren't the cheapest - but I can't ignore the issues now they've been drawn to my attention. (by Felicity Lawrence's "Not on the Label")

I am nervous about the impact of reading "Eating Animals" by Jon Safran Foer, which is sitting on my shelf, waiting for me...

Oh, yes, It is now 28 days since I stopped putting sweeteners or sugar in my hot drinks. So far the "after a couple of weeks you won't mind a bit" message has turned out to be false. Tea and coffee are still enjoyable, but they're never as "perfect" as an ideally sweetened beverage sometimes was.

I am pretty clear on one thing though - I really do feel healthier since I made the change. Though I'm not deriving the same pleasure from my tea and coffee, I won't go back, it feels somehow that it would be pointless to do that, and I'd be disappointed with myself.

I do still eat things with sugar in them - cakes and biscuits, for example, are often on offer at tango venues. After hours of dancing, far from home, one needs to eat and savoury things are rarely offered. Perhaps it is convenience - but also, when dancing, are we only offered foods that don't taint the breath?

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Post by Graham » Wed Jun 24, 2015 8:04 am

12st 9 3/4lb, 44 1/4", BMI 27.5, WHtR 65.6%, Body Fat 39.7% #

I was 12st 10 1/2lb yesterday and too downcast to measure my waist. I visited the allotment yesterday, watering plants and collecting compost. I also baked a wholemeal loaf, the first bread I've made for many years, the first yeasted loaf in over 15 years. It has a soft crust, weighs 2lb, kept me up till 2am baking it (it rose far faster than I expected)

After breakfast I'll know if I actually like it...

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Post by Graham » Thu Jun 25, 2015 8:40 am

12st 9 1/4lb, 43 7/8", BMI 27.4, WHtR 65%, Body Fat 39%, #

Tango lesson, class, then Mexican meal out (Wahaca in Brixton). Then headache, acid indigestion, last episode of Mad Men series 7 part 1, and a good night's sleep.

And the loaf? It looks great, and is somehow disappointing. SO thinks it's basically fine (for a yeast loaf - she makes sourdough) but to me it smells slightly odd, and has a pasty texture when chewed, it is just wrong, somehow.

I used fast-acting yeast a bit past it's use-by date, the flour was just bought and is well within it's sell-by date. I don't know what it should be like, it's a long time since I ate a "good" wholemeal loaf.

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Post by RAWCOOKIE » Thu Jun 25, 2015 6:47 pm

:wink: I think, with bread, you have to keep practising....is is too wet, do you think? I'm enjoying eating bread again, now that I'd discovered NoS. Who knows, I might even get around to making my own :)
I love Everyday Systems :3

13.6.15 124.25lbs
3.3.19 114.5lbs

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Post by Graham » Fri Jun 26, 2015 9:18 am

12st 10 1/4lb, 44 3/8", BMI 27.6, WHtR 65.7%, Body Fat 39.9%, #

Hi Rawcookie, not sure the dough was over-moist, those who saw and tried it said it looked perfect and weren't sure what I was concerned about, though I too wondered if that might be the problem. I'll try again today, and see how it goes.

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Post by Graham » Sat Jun 27, 2015 7:18 am

12st 11lb, 44 1/2", BMI 27.7, WHtR 65.9%, Body Fat 40%, #

The weather is hot, energy-sapping, I didn't overcome torpor till the evening. My new loaf was excellent. Perhaps a little sweeter than it need be, and the crust is soft, but it is much better than the last one.

I got my 5-a-day, and put on weight. What to do? My diet is more wholesome than ever. I have a couple of opportunities to be more active today: a tango demonstration at a street festival, and the allotment will always love watering on a day like this. I might manage both. A brilliantly blue sky, I just wish it weren't so hot.

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Post by osoniye » Sat Jun 27, 2015 7:42 am

Graham wrote:I got my 5-a-day, and put on weight. What to do?
Hi Graham,
I think the encouraging news is that by getting your 5-a-day, there is more heavy and healthy stuff moving through your system. So it's not gaining fat, just gaining fiber/water weight.
Probably the less encouraging news is that, like for most of us, the 5-a-day needs to replace the portion size or content of some of the "not 5-a-day" stuff.
One of your proir posts left me wondering if you could carry a couple of pieces of fruit to eat on tango evenings?
Pulling for you... we're all in this together.
-Sonya
No Sweets, No Snacks and No Seconds, Except (Sometimes) on days that start with "S".

Graham
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Post by Graham » Sun Jun 28, 2015 8:57 am

12st 9 1/2lb, 44 1/4", BMI 27.4, WHtR 65.6%, Body Fat 39.8%

Paralysed, unable to get going all day - till the cooler evening brought relief. Then off to the allotment, watering, digging. Home to refried beans and dross tv.

@Sonya: I don't think it matters so much what I eat on tango days. I notice a day with a few hours activity of any sort tends to lead to weight loss, regardless of what I eat. I do want a lift from calories when I'm dancing, and now I don't sweeten my drinks any more, it has to be from what I eat.

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Post by Graham » Mon Jun 29, 2015 9:28 am

12st 10 1/2lb, 44 3/8", BMI 27.6, WHtR 65.7%, Body Fat 39.8%

Yesterday I was again industrious at the allotment once the temperature dropped enough to permit it. I watered all fruit trees and bushes generously. I trundled several barrow-loads of compost up the sloping allotment site, I was bitten by hostile insects, I sweated - and yet: I'm heavier today.

This contradicts what I expected, what I have observed, what I declared only yesterday: that sufficient activity prompted weight-loss. Back home around 10:30pm I had a bath, and then, too lazy to cook, I had instant noodles with some added ketchup and grated cheese. I ate a bit more than I needed to be sure, but not enough to explain a 1lb weight-gain from yesterday. Damn it!

And sugar and sweetener-free drinks grow tedious! I have used sugar to sweeten my fresh raspberries as some were less than sweet. Is that the problem, that I cannot have sweetened anything if I want to re-train my palate? Can I never achieve it?

I thought of fasting today - then I thought, if I can't even sweeten my ginger tea, can I bear the miserable drudgery of it? And the answer, apparently, was "No".

On the matter of fruit and sugar consumption: why don't I grow more vegetables instead? Well, it is just easier to grow fruit. You plant a fruit bush, or an apple, plum or pear tree - and you water it, maybe feed it, and wait. With vegetables there is so much more to do, and, if you have an allotment, (and wish to garden organically) the problem of slugs and snails is particularly burdensome.

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Post by osoniye » Mon Jun 29, 2015 10:15 am

I wonder if this is all water balance, like:
"I notice a day with a few hours activity of any sort tends to lead to weight loss, regardless of what I eat."= dehydration and
"I had instant noodles with some added ketchup and grated cheese"= water retention.
-Sonya
No Sweets, No Snacks and No Seconds, Except (Sometimes) on days that start with "S".

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Post by Graham » Tue Jun 30, 2015 8:12 am

12st 11 1/2lb, 44 1/2" BMI 27.8, WHtR 65.9%, Body Fat 39.9%, #

Fruit is evil, all these raspberries and my diet's shot to hell.

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Post by Graham » Wed Jul 01, 2015 8:57 am

12st 11 1/4lb, 44 3/8", BMI 27.7, WHtR 65.7%, Body Fat 39.6%, #

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Post by Graham » Thu Jul 02, 2015 7:24 am

12st 9 1/2lb, 44 1/4", BMI 27.4, WHtR 65.6%, Body Fat 39.8%, #

Too hot to cook much yesterday. More raspberries with cream and sugar* last night, so(?) my unsweetened coffee tasted particularly disappointing today. Sugar is a particularly hard-to-avoid addiction for me (and for many).

Eating sugar is a great way to distract myself from inner discomforts large and small. Can I change, am I ready yet?

*The raspberries just taste too tart without sugar. Some that I picked were ripe and sweet enough, but many weren't.

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Post by Graham » Fri Jul 03, 2015 7:53 am

12st 8 3/4lb, 44 1/4", BMI 27.3, WHtR 65.6%, Body Fat 40%, #

Tango outdoors at Spitalfields. I tried a new loaf recipe yesterday: dough didn't rise a bit. Disappointing. Adding extra yeast now, fingers crossed.

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Post by Graham » Sat Jul 04, 2015 7:45 am

12st 10 3/4lb, 44 3/8", BMI 27.6, WHtR 65.7%, Body Fat 39.8% #

Heat-sponsored lethargy till the evening. Then choir, followed by a really late allotment visit, picking raspberries in the twilight and watering in the dark.

Raspberries need cream and sugar, I find. My rescued loaf is interestingly different from previous efforts: it is denser and has a hard, dry crust. (Less oil in this recipe seems to make the difference)

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Post by RAWCOOKIE » Sat Jul 04, 2015 9:38 am

oh god, I love the crusts on a loaf! I buy a small wholemeal or granary usually and slice all the crusts off first :lol: In the shop they always say 'would you like it sliced?' and I reply, 'no thanks'. Of course, if I make a sandwich I use 'proper' slices.....

I've enjoyed getting back into eating breads and potatoes with my meals.

Those raspberries sound good -you can enjoy your cream and sugar today :)
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Post by Graham » Sun Jul 05, 2015 8:04 am

12st 11 3/4lb, 44 1/4", BMI 27.8, WHtR 65.6%, Body Fat 39.2%

Yesterday's hot weather again interfered with my eating* and sleep. Now it is cooler and raining. If this had started last night, how delightful my sleeping hours might have been. At least I'll be spared a couple of hours watering here and at the allotment if it carries on long enough.

*It is too easy to just cut a few slices of my home-baked bread when I'm too torpid to cook. Probably fattening, well, something is...

I am currently irritated by new knowledge about what cheap food is costing the world. I had thought myself so smart and sorted, knowing where to get the bargains and best-price vegetables and fruit. Reading Felicity Lawrence turned all that on its head - I'm not a good guy, I'm a bad guy.

Being a good consumer is going to cost me more money, avoiding the supermarkets who squeeze every penny out of the people who produce our food. I must spend more to align my shopping with my ethics, and I'm resenting the conflict, resenting feeling the pinch.

I thought I was managing my budget well, but I wasn't seeing who I was hurting* in my pursuit of cheap food. And the retailers and our governments keep all that well hidden - they don't want us to see how they make their money. They keep us feeling well-off by robbing the very poorest people who have no power to fight back. I hate having been sucked into that, taking part in that, I never gave my knowing consent to starving poor farmers, but I played my part just by shopping.

*And I nearly forgot - what about the animals? "Eating Animals" by Jonathan Safran Foer is a distressing but revealing read - again, the worst excesses are driven by the desire for cheap meat. I wish it didn't seem to make a difference to my sense of well-being to eat some poultry from time to time - my compromise is to choose RSPCA "Freedom Food" chicken, or organic when I can get it.

@Rawcookie: If you have the time, home-baked bread with no dodgy additives is just as cheap as shop bought.(they don't tell you when you buy your loaf about all they add, see "Not on the Label" if you want to find out)

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Post by RAWCOOKIE » Sun Jul 05, 2015 5:53 pm

Graham wrote: Being a good consumer is going to cost me more money, avoiding the supermarkets who squeeze every penny out of the people who produce our food. I must spend more to align my shopping with my ethics, and I'm resenting the conflict, resenting feeling the pinch.
Yeah, we're caught between a rock and a hard place on this - I try very hard to only shop local - but I'm also on a low income, and, well, you can only do your best with what you've got. But I really sympathise with that feeling of being conflicted. Another of my conflict areas is clothing - I buy ethically produced clothing when I can, and then I also have stuff from Next as well. I buy local veg, and I buy fruit from my corner shop who gets stuff from Bookers who probably get it from the bucket-shop warehouses :( We have to eat.

I know what you mean about the bread - I buy good stuff from local baker usually, not factory stuff.
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Post by Dandelion » Sun Jul 05, 2015 6:33 pm

I"ve been hearing about your heatwave. Not fun times.

I have been experimenting with sourdough bread lately. I haven't found the 'perfect' loaf for my family, but some of them have been very good. It's a little hot to be baking bread, but we have a cooler, and I do it early in the morning or late at night so I don't heat the house during the day.
'I do think the way to a full and healthy life is to adopt the sensible system of small helpings, no seconds, no snacking, and a little bit of everything. Above all, have a good time.' Julia Child

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Post by Graham » Mon Jul 06, 2015 7:09 am

12st 9 1/4lb, 44 3/16", BMI 27.4, WHtR 65.5%, Body Fat 39.7%

Hours of tango yesterday, mostly happy. Praised and damned by different partners in the same afternoon.

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Post by Graham » Tue Jul 07, 2015 7:43 am

12st 10 1/4lb, 44 3/8", BMI 27.6, WHtR 65.7%, Body Fat 39.9% #

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Post by Graham » Wed Jul 08, 2015 7:48 am

12st 10 1/4lb, 44 3/8", BMI 27.6, WHtR 65.7%, Body Fat 39.9%

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Post by Graham » Thu Jul 09, 2015 8:19 am

12st 9 3/4lb, 44 1/4" BMI 27.5, WHtR 65.6%, Body Fat 39.7%, #

3 hours tango, some cake, some chocolate.

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Post by lpearlmom » Thu Jul 09, 2015 1:45 pm

I'm really impressed with all your tango. Really enjoy your thread as well--I like your writing style!

I always try to buy organic, free-range food too but only because technically I can afford it. I don't think you should feel guilty about trying to keep within your budget as it's not directly your fault. Instead maybe you could take political action instead to make changes from the ground up if this is something about which you feel passionate.

Just a thought!

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Post by Graham » Fri Jul 10, 2015 8:54 am

12st 9 3/4lb, 44 3/8", BMI 27.5, WHtR 65.7%, Body Fat 40% #

Thank you for the kind remarks about my writing Linda.

On the "guilt" issue: I happened to watch an animal welfare video a few days ago, and budget issues can't absolve me from my part in it all. I have to somehow weigh convenience against conscience.

I think it is ok to wrangle with an ethical dilemma, part of being human, and proper guilt is no malady.

I would ideally be a vegan, but past experience tells me I have to be in a particular physiological state to cope with that diet. Long ago, when I followed healing and other spiritual practices diligently, veganism was a good fit, but when I dropped those practices the need for eggs, cheese, milk and flesh returned.

I must bear with my conflict to find answers from it. I can pursue political activism too, but I feel change has to start at home.

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Post by lpearlmom » Fri Jul 10, 2015 3:37 pm

Yeah I guess that does make sense. I think about being vegan too but the latest research seems to suggest our bodies could do with some animal products. I did do Mark Bittmans VB6 (vegan b4 6pm) and enjoyed it.

Anyway good luck with figuring all this out!

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Post by Graham » Sat Jul 11, 2015 8:33 am

12st 11 3/4lb, 44 1/4", BMI 27.8, WHtR 65.6%, Body Fat 39.2% #

Puzzling weight surge. I wasn't massively active yesterday, but walked for at least an hour during travel and shopping. I drink more milk since I stopped having sugar and sweeteners in my beverages. I get just as many drink calories as hitherto, just better ones.

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Post by Graham » Sun Jul 12, 2015 8:06 am

12st 9 1/2lb, 44 5/16", BMI 27.4, WHtR 65.6%, Body Fat 40%

3 hours tango, 2 hours allotment. Nice day.

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Post by Graham » Mon Jul 13, 2015 9:38 am

12st 8 3/4lb, 44", BMI 27.3, WHtR 65.2%, Body Fat 39.4%

Choir then tango. A mixed experience, I was noticing just how skillful some dancers are, and got a little depressed. I lose myself somewhere, and my partner, the music is a factor.

Some tangos invite connection, savouring, other music prompts flashy moves and I lose myself and partner in competition, comparison. There is pressure, inner and outer, real and imagined.

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Post by Graham » Tue Jul 14, 2015 2:53 pm

12st 9 1/2lb, 44 1/8", BMI 27.4, WHtR 65.4%, Body Fat 39.5%, #

I had raspberries with sugar and cream for dessert last night. I noticed how the lack of sugar in my coffee this morning seemed more annoying than on days when I've not had a sugary dessert. It was a new coffee though, stronger, so that bitterness needs to be noted too. Lets see how I like it tomorrow.

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Post by Graham » Wed Jul 15, 2015 8:45 am

12st 10 1/4lb, 44 1/8", BMI 27.6, WHtR 65.4%, Body Fat 39.3% #

Didn't eat much or do much yesterday. I did try making chicken stock. Today I've got tango, and tidying.

As I predicted my coffee's bitterness is not so annoying today, following a lower-sugar day yesterday. (the raspberries have run out) There does seem to be a sort of sugar-setting involved here. So, if I am to enjoy my coffee and tea more, I'd better avoid sugary food in general. This is not too difficult so far.

Managing my sugar intake at home is easy, it becomes trickier when I'm out and about. Most snacks are processed, dubious. Maybe I'll take nuts and raisins with me today? Not exactly low-calorie, but wholesome.

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Post by lpearlmom » Thu Jul 16, 2015 4:05 am

How'd the chicken stock come out? Ive made it a few times but wish I could get in the habit of doing it regularly.
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Post by Graham » Thu Jul 16, 2015 12:58 pm

12st 9 3/4lb, 44 5/16", BMI 27.5, WHtR 65.6%, Body Fat 39.9%, #

Two demanding tango classes yesterday. Who would guess walking to music could be such hard work?

I'm not certain about this chicken stock, it smelled a little odd when I was cooking it, though now it seems pleasant enough. I will use it to make soup, and then decide whether the experiment was worth the effort and ingredients (onion, carrot and celery added to the carcass)

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Post by Graham » Fri Jul 17, 2015 8:37 am

12st 12lb, 44 1/4", BMI 27.8, WHtR 65.6%, Body Fat 39.1%, #

Despite no snacks, no sweets, no sugar, another day staying at home, reluctant or resistant, and my weight climbs. I had a pleasant evening meal, chicken with fruit, vegetables and linguine. I got my 5 a day, and a beer, and achieved nothing.

Today SO returns, I'll be tidying, cleaning. I did a little yesterday, but so many projects that were "waiting till I had time to myself" didn't get done even when I did have time. I seek inspiration, and I don't despair of finding it.

I have one modest plan: next time I go to Southport, I'm bringing back a working bicycle. I think that might lure me out to the tow path alongside the River Lea, muggers permitting.

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Post by Graham » Sat Jul 18, 2015 11:23 am

12st 10 1/4lb, 44 3/8" BMI 27.6, WHtR 65.7%, Body Fat 39.9%

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Post by Graham » Sun Jul 19, 2015 8:46 am

12st 10 1/4lb, 44 1/4", BMI 27.6, 65.6%, Body Fat 39.6%

Not so much tango and 2 excess eating invitations: - a birthday, then Eid. Lots of carbs.

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Post by Graham » Mon Jul 20, 2015 8:47 am

12st 8 1/2lb, 43 11/16", BMI 27.3, WHtR 64.7%, Body Fat 38.8%

Choir, tango, allotment.

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Post by Graham » Tue Jul 21, 2015 10:26 am

12st 9 1/4lb, 44 1/4", BMI 27.4, WHtR 65.6%, Body Fat 39.9%, #

Tango practice and shopping, plus home-made bread, home-grown salad, and finally, blackberry crumble with cream..

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Post by Graham » Wed Jul 22, 2015 8:21 am

12st 9 3/4lb, 44 3/16", BMI 27.5, WHtR 65.5%, Body Fat 39.6% #

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Post by Graham » Thu Jul 23, 2015 8:40 am

12st 9 1/2lb, 44 1/16", BMI 27.4, WHtR 65.3%, Body Fat 39.4%, #

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Post by Graham » Fri Jul 24, 2015 10:56 pm

12st 8lb, 44 1/4"

Southport scales: trustworthy?

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Post by Graham » Sat Jul 25, 2015 10:35 am

12st 8 1/4lb, 44 1/4", BMI 27.3, WHtR 65.6%, Body Fat 40.2% #

Does Merseyside have tango? I thought not till I finally discovered "tango timetable", a website listing events and classes in the Northwest. But, though listed, Liverpool tango didn't happen last night. I hope Preston on Wednesday proves more reliable.

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Post by Graham » Sun Jul 26, 2015 9:23 am

12st 9 3/4lb, 44 3/8", BMI 27.5, WHtR 65.7%, Body Fat 40%

Mostly busy indoors.

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Post by Graham » Tue Jul 28, 2015 11:18 am

12st 9 1/4lb, 44 1/4", BMI 27.4, WHtR 65.6%, Body Fat 39.9%

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Post by Graham » Wed Jul 29, 2015 6:33 am

12st 10 1/4lb, 44 1/2", BMI 27.6, WHtR 65.9%, Body Fat 40.1%, #

A little over 2 months since I stopped having sweeteners or sugar in my hot drinks. I recently tried unsweetened porridge too. All tolerable, not as much fun as with added sweetness, but I'm not inclined to go back.

A nice surprise has been an improvement in my digestion. I hadn't expected that, though Yudkin noticed the same thing when he drastically reduced his sugar intake.

No change in weight, waist or general energy level.

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Post by Graham » Thu Jul 30, 2015 7:20 am

12st 6 3/4lb, 44 1/8", BMI 27, WHtR 65.4%, Body Fat 40,3%, #

Tango class and milonga in Leyland.

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Post by Graham » Fri Jul 31, 2015 8:46 am

12st 8 1/2lb*, 44 9/16", BMI 27.3, WHtR 66%, Body Fat 40.8% #

*London scale: it doesn't show fractions always, and gets stuck at the same weight even if I pick up an article to change the figure. But I think this is right after many re-weighings.

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Post by Graham » Sat Aug 01, 2015 8:35 am

12st 9 3/4lb, 44 1/4", BMI 27.5, WHtR 65.6%, Body Fat 39.7%, #

Despite an hour digging on the allotment. Too much starch and too few vegetables. No tango today.

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Post by Graham » Mon Aug 03, 2015 9:14 am

12st 9lb, 43 3/4", BMI 27.4, WHtR 64.8%, Body Fat 38.8%

Lots of tango yesterday, I creaked a bit afterwards.

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Post by Graham » Tue Aug 04, 2015 9:34 am

12st 9 3/4lb, 43 3/4", BMI 27.5, WHtR 64.8%, Body Fat 38.6% #

Despite the efforts of Reprieve and others, Pakistan executed Shafqat Hussein in the early hours today. I signed several petitions, attended demonstrations, did a little bit, cared about it. The injustice was so glaring, a proper outcome still seemed possible - but execution - state killing, cold and cruel, brought hope to an end.

How are we all going to change?

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Post by Graham » Wed Aug 05, 2015 7:57 am

12st 8 3/4lb, 44 1/4", BMI 27.3, WHtR 65.6%, Body Fat 40%, #

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Post by Graham » Thu Aug 06, 2015 1:54 pm

12st 8 3/4lb, 44 1/4", BMI 27.3, WHtR 65.6%, Body Fat 40%, #

So, despite some hours of tango, demanding to brain and body, corpulence unaltered.

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Post by Graham » Fri Aug 07, 2015 11:42 am

12st 8 1/2lb, 44 1/16", BMI 27.3, WHtR 65.3%, Body Fat 39.6%, #

I have started reading "Eating Animals" by Jonathan Safran Foer. Very well written, intelligent, at times very distressing.

I wish he had gone into whatever differences there are between the UK and US. US state laws exempt farm animals from welfare requirements. I think the rules are better here, but I suspect enforcement is woeful, with under-manned, under-financed inspection the chief culprit.

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Post by Graham » Sat Aug 08, 2015 11:59 am

12st 10 3/4lb, 44 1/4", BMI 27.6, WHtR 65.6%, Body Fat 39.5%, #

A painful surprise. So what did I do yesterday to deserve these figures? I can't figure it out. I walked a fair bit, danced for at least an hour. Plus an isometric work-out, and yoga.

Oddly, the first day in years when I ate more fruit than vegetables: banana, currants and raisins, cherries, blueberries, blackberries - sweet potato, broccoli, vegetable soup with grated cheese and bread. A little cream, but not much. And breakfast was a boiled egg with toasted buttered wholemeal bread.

Could be natural fluctuation, could be the fruit, could be the scales - but the waist increase makes the weight-gain plausible.

Safran Foer's "Eating Animals" is giving impetus to once again reconsider my consumption of animal products - but a high starch diet hasn't been a good option for me in the past, not sure where to turn! (green smoothies, perhaps?)

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Post by Graham » Sun Aug 09, 2015 8:26 pm

12st 9 1/4lb 44 1/8", BMI, 27.4, WHtR 65.4%, Body Fat 39.6%

Yesterday 3 hours at Tango Garden, evening meal roast organic chicken with salad. Today 5 hours at La Mariposa.

We will have chicken and salad again, and maybe my new spelt bread. I hope it recovers from several hours in the fridge, rising slowly and then collapsing as I had no time to bake it this morning. I've knocked it back and hope to see it rise once more as it reaches room temperature.

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Post by Graham » Mon Aug 10, 2015 9:13 am

12st 7 1/2lb, 43 7/8", BMI 27.1, WHtR 65%, Body Fat 39.5%

Spelt loaf turned out OK. 3/4 through "Eating Animals" - I'm glad I'm not that fond of fish - cruelty free fish doesn't seem to exist. Meat.., poultry..eggs.. dairy.. it all depends. Nothing cheap, that's for sure.

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Post by Graham » Tue Aug 11, 2015 10:28 am

12st 9lb, 44 1/8", BMI 27.4, WHtR 65.4%, Body Fat 39.7%, #

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Post by Graham » Wed Aug 12, 2015 8:29 am

12st 7 1/2lb, 43 3/4"*, BMI 27.1, WHtR 64.8%, Body Fat 39.2%, #

*Southport scales and tape measure. Snacks aplenty during a 5-hour drive, but what else to do? Crisps, a few very sour Haribo and a very aged Fry's Turkish Delight that emerged from the glove compartment. Kept me going - and I'm slimmer! Must do it every day..

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Post by Graham » Thu Aug 13, 2015 8:10 am

12st 7lb, 44 3/4". BMI 27.1, WHtR 66.3%, Body Fat 41.7% #

I ate fruit yesterday, and starch, some fat, not so much protein. Breakfast: buttered spelt toast and a boiled egg. Later I had asparagus, sweetcorn, passion fruit, plum tart with cream and sugar. Attended tango class and dance from 7:30 to 11. Home, had blackberries with cream and sugar.

And today I'm 1/2lb lighter, but a whopping inch fatter around my waist! Horrible.

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Post by Graham » Fri Aug 14, 2015 10:24 am

12st 6 3/4lb, 44 1/4", BMI 27, WHtR 65.6%, Body Fat 40.6% #

2 hours tango in Preston last night. A bit less fruit, a bit more veg.

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Post by lpearlmom » Sat Aug 15, 2015 5:45 am

Well at least your active and eating healthy which is more than most of us can say!
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Post by Graham » Mon Aug 17, 2015 9:02 am

12st 7 1/4lb, 44 1/2", BMI 27.1, WHtR 65.9%, Body Fat 41%

Tango and biscuits, then a beer with friends. Home to fresh bread and Match of the Day. I didn't eat many healthy calories yesterday. Back in London, time to restock the larder.

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Post by Graham » Tue Aug 18, 2015 8:24 am

12st 8lb, 44 1/4", BMI 27.2, WHtR 65.6%, Body Fat 40.2%, #

Still not getting my 5-a-day - and yesterday I saw a New Scientist* article cited claiming 10-a-day was what it took "to make a difference". Personally, I notice clearly the difference between 5 and, say just one or two, and feel the effort to get 5 or more is worthwhile, feel it in myself - and I'm not there.

I am eating very nice white bread, which I baked myself. Next loaf ought to be wholemeal, but the white is tempting. Today I will try for more veg. Fruit is easily acquired, the blackberries and apples being plentiful. There are some plums, many with a worm in them, but not my problem, I'm not a plum fan. SO will resist me, just by her indifference to government-endorsed anything.

*OK, I did some digging: no New Scientist article to be found, but two from the Telegraph: one UCL study endorsing "up to" 10 a day, with an interesting sideline - frozen or canned fruit was shown as somewhat life-shortening! And fruit juice conferred scant benefit. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science ... -five.html. Then a larger study, a meta-analysis, carried out by Chinese and American researchers says more than 5-a-day confers no extra benefit. One caveat is the subjects were all Chinese, whereas the UCL study was on English subjects. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/ ... finds.html

Other reading I've done backs the idea that vegetables are more beneficial than fruit, probably fruit's fructose content being responsible for that. And the more veg I eat, the less room there is for other foods. No direct discussion of the food displaced - which clouds the subject. Do foods other than fruit and vegetables the Chinese eat differ much from those the English eat? Quite possibly. Do they yet factory farm their meat, dairy, fish and poultry? A confounding factor if they don't.

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