The 1 Thing I Have Learned from Losing 3.5 Stone

From August 2018 to date, April 2019, I have lost 3.5 stone weight.  And the most important thing I have learned from the exercise has not been about the food I eat or the exercise I take.

No, these things are important, alright, but they are not the most important thing. The most important thing I will tell you later but first I will tell you how I managed it.

There is no mystery, no huge secret, no fad diet, no ‘Hollywood’ diet; I followed the RTE Operation Transformation programme. I stuck rigidly with the eating plans and the exercise and the weight slowly but inexorably reduced.

The Operation Transformation programme was the tool I used, and I could not recommend it highly enough.

Habit formation

My target is to lose 4 stone and I am confident I will achieve this provided I apply the one lesson I have learned-that is, the weight loss is less about what I eat and all about something else: habit(s).

Habit formation is the key.

Losing bad habits, developing good ones. This is the one critically important lesson I have learned and taken from the exercise.

It is a lesson that is applicable in all parts of life and there have been countless books written about habits, getting rid of destructive ones and creating new, useful ones. Two popular and well-regarded books dealing with habits are:

The takeaway for me is often you must look for the “thing under the thing” to alter your behaviour and win the outcome you are seeking.

In my case it was the development of good habits and the eradication of destructive habits around food that was the primary step in losing the weight, and not an all-consuming focus on calorie counting or other method of score keeping what I was consuming.

Brown Bread

I received a gift of a new Neven Maguire book at Christmas, “Neven Maguire’s Home Economics for Life: The 50 Recipes You Need to Learn” and took it as a hint that I was to finally get my act together in the kitchen.

And so with prodigious enthusiasm, not to mention a tremendous and violent casting about of ingredients such as strong white flour, coarse wholemeal flour, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, golden syrup, some type of black sugar whose name escapes me, buttermilk, sunflower seeds and a teaspoon of salt, I baked my first loaf of brown bread.

And, even if I say so myself, it is most agreeable. It has received a solid thumbs up from she who must be obeyed and all the successors to my overdraft.

I now look forward, at least once a week, to making the bread in the kitchen on a Saturday morning.

It is such a change from the activities I am normally engaged in-things like law business, marketing, making videos, writing blog posts, reading, watching sport-that it has become a form of therapy.

The odour of freshly baked brown bread that wafts from the oven when I open the oven door after 40 minutes or thereabouts causes an explosion of the saliva ducts and gives a great sense of accomplishment and anticipation of what is to come when I let it cool just a little and then slice it and dress it with some real butter.

It may look like a regular loaf of bread to the casual observer, but it is a great deal more than that to me.

Now, onwards to making the dinner…

If Nobody Reads This Blog

If nobody reads this blog I still win.

Don’t get me wrong: I would love to have hundreds, nay, thousands of readers showing up everyday to read what I write.

But if they don’t, if nobody shows, I am not bothered or embarrassed.

Because what I am looking to do by writing here every day is:

  1. Fulfill a commitment I made to myself
  2. Get to play with words and practice writing and, in the process, acquire the tools to improve as a writer

I believe that showing up and practicing something everyday is the most effective way to improve a skill.

Therefore, regardless of what else is going on I intend showing up and writing, and improving as a writer.

If you show up and find anything of value: great, it’s a win for both of us.

If you don’t, it’s just a win for me.

Is there something in your life that would benefit from you showing up every day and practicing? Something that would benefit from the 10,000 hours practice referred to in ‘Outliers’ by Malcolm Gladwell?