My Happy Zone

Yes, I know I shouldn’t be this obsessed and my mental health would be better if I didn’t beat myself up like this but I am happiest when my mass satisfies the following inequality:

80<= M < 82.5

The units in this are kg. I think that 82.5kg is equivalent to 13 stone. This seems a reasonable target to maintain. In 2011 I was 95kg when I weighed myself, which was once. From 2012 to 2014 I hovered around the 82kg mark and was mostly happy with that. I seemed to add an average of 1kg each summer holiday and that I will put down to excessive alcohol ingestion in Germany! By the end of 2016 I was hitting 88kg and kept telling myself that I was happy with that but I don’t think I was. I know I eat a lot when I am unhappy or stressed or just mentally fucked. While that small amount of enjoyment may be justified the larger scale of things means I am more unhappy at the gaining mass situation that the short term happy gains of stuffing my face. Since 2016 I’ve tried at times to lose the mass and kinda struggled down to 85kg which I could accept.

At the beginning of 2020 I was somewhere around the 88kg mark again. Then we were hit with the lockdown and while I was exercising I was eating a lot and I filed that excess under the “strange times it’s ok to eat” section of my brain. I was also drinking some beer each day. I think I was still physically fit but I was getting heavier. My running became much more effort and I couldn’t run up the Downs without walking some of the way. I went for a run with Smith and I felt embarrassed at how often I needed to stop whereas he didn’t and I think that sunk home that I needed a goal and to lose weight.

I started recording my food and exercise properly and also measuring my mass. Whilst I’m not obsessive about it I do try to be honest and record what I eat. It’s the only way I can lose mass. If I’m in the mood to not record stuff, then that means I’m eating too much. Which in turn mostly means I’m unhappy which causes me to eat which makes me unhappy etc. I will say that losing mass is one of the hardest things I have ever done and it’s not like it’s just a case of stopping eating. At the most basic level it is exactly that, just stop eating. But if it was that easy then people wouldn’t be fat and the world would be healthy. There are a huge number of psychological, social and financial factors which affect people’s ability to lose weight. It’s not a simple thing. There is also a tendency for society to blame those who are fat for their fatness. Again, it’s not that simple.

When I’m happy I can control what I eat and I can exercise and maintain a healthy weight. When I am unhappy I eat a lot, care less about myself and generally put on mass which, in turn, makes me unhappier. This is a hard thing to do. I have learnt over the last ten years how to manage my emotions a little and how to cope through tough times. I consider the current times [lockdown, Covid, not having been anywhere for about a year] as tough times. The stresses on society and the stresses I feel make me more happy that I’ve managed to maintain my mass. I’m currently still trying to shift the two kilograms I added at Xmas and I will. But it’s a slow process and requires me to run. When losing mass I know that once I hit around 85kg the dieting along won’t help much and I need to burn that fat off by exercise. So, I maintain my food intake and I convert the fat into carbon dioxide. As I get fitter my body becomes more efficient at using energy and so annoyingly I have to exercise more to convert the same amount of hydrocarbons. This is why I’ve tried running up the Downs from river level!

Would I be happier ignoring my mass? Do I put too much pressure on myself regarding this single factor and do I deny happiness by eating sensibly [and quite boringly at times]? I do not know. If I am not obsessive about my mass then I will eat too much. I will put on weight and there will be health effects – heartburn etc. Also, certain uniform items for my cadet career will become either too tight or not fit at all and I am not buying another set of mess dress. So, I sigh. I plan my food out. I exercise. I tell myself I’m good at 81kg and I have the control over my impulses. I have pride in my mass. Losing mass is bloody hard work and maintain it is . . . . manageable. Mind you, I still order a kebab every now and then and I eat a packet of biscuits sometimes.