This crude chart, showing eight years of weight data, says it all. I was at peak fitness (running twice as far as I am now) for three years from age 60, i.e. from 2015 until the middle of 2018. I weighed 76 to 78 kilograms, which for my height means a BMI of 22 to 23. I lost control, then for a few weeks in the middle of 2019, got back into the sweet zone. Then came the last two years of assorted lockdowns.
Now, I’m not saying the pandemic led me to stack on weight from 77 kilograms, to 82 kilograms by the middle of 2020, and 87 kilograms three months ago. No, what did me in was a combination of factors: injuries and resultant lack of exercise; a focus on deskwork; and a general horrible feeling of “why can’t I enjoy myself.” Nor have I let the weight rise unattended. The graph shows that I have made a number of attempts at discipline.
But by October, after our road trip, I could feel my stomach jiggle when I jogged. I wasn’t sleeping well (too much alcohol and calories). For the first time in my life, I’d feel a funny heartburn or indigestion after a big meal. When I crossed the 85-kilogram mark, my BMI exceeded 25, categorizing me as “Overweight.”
So I gave up wine altogether (lapsing a bit now and then) and ate less and avoided the worst of the tasty shit, and, most importantly, adopted the 5:2 regime, eating only a quarter of my usual calories on two days of every week. As can be seen from the extreme right-hand edge of the graph, the diet works. I think I’ll be hovering around 80 kilograms next week.
This time I’m determined to avoid all those oscillations, to maintain weight in a band of +/- 1 kilogram. At this stage I’m not sure whether I’ll be happy enough to stick to 79 to 80 kilograms (I may have put on some upper body muscle mass since 2018), or whether I should keep dieting over the first quarter of 2021. I’ll wait until after the silly season to make that decision!