Crap-oholic to Crap Cutting Fiend

22 Jan

My wonderful husband, Oliver Weetch (@ollyweetch) was the principal case-study for my new book, Cut The Crap. He sent me this when I recently asked him for a guest blog post. I think its rather brilliant. Like him really. And the ‘before’ photo was the very one taken from his 20 year school reunion: his catalyst for losing weight. The ‘after’ one was taken last week.

Cutting the Crap

OLLY BEFORE AND AFTER

I spent my entire childhood and teenage years running around after a ball, but from the moment I went to University that all changed. Sport, unless you count snooker and darts, was relegated to an activity which I talked about rather than practiced. By the time I got to my late twenties and thirties other than the occasional bout of football, the position remained the same. I was, as Jane Gardam once put it, running to fat. For a time, just before my twins were born and under the strict order of my wife’s alter ego – the Gritdoctor – I started running and losing weight, but as soon as we returned from France to England the running ground to a halt and the weight, especially concentrated around the middle, returned. Then I went to my 20 year school reunion, catching up with people whose main or only memory of me was of the boy at school who was always playing sport – be it tennis, squash, badminton, football or rugby. That is what I was known for – that and a degree of obstinacy which no-one was surprised had led me into my eventual career as a barrister. After the reunion, photos of the event were sent round on social media: and it was then that I saw it. The group shot, me standing one in from the left, pint in hand, flanked on either side by guys who hadn’t added an ounce of weight since the age of sixteen. I looked vast. It looked like my belly was making a bid to detach itself from the rest of my body and head for freedom.

The photo came as a shock. Although my wife had insisted on telling me I was morbidly obese on a regular basis, I hadn’t really taken much notice (that’s par for the course if you’re married to someone called the Gritdoctor). As far as I was concerned, although I might have got a bit out of shape over the years I was still looking pretty good, in fact I’d managed to convince myself that any weight I may have added over the years was a good thing – I was one of those people who actually looked better with a bit more flesh on his bones. Sadly, after seeing the reunion photo my delusions of thinneur (see ‘Run Fat Bitch Run’) were exposed for what they were: delusions. When I got on the scales shortly afterwards – something I’d avoided for a very long time (‘I know what sort of weight I am without standing on a set of scales for God’s sake’) I was fifteen-and-a-half stone. I double checked. It was accurate.

The reunion photo was taken around the end of July 2013. Ever since then with the help of my wife I’ve been trying to Cut the Crap. This hasn’t proved easy because I love, and have always loved, crap. In particular, confectionary – what I don’t know about the history of chocolate bars both in this country and Australia (where my mum hails from) isn’t worth knowing – oh, and I also love sweets, especially chewy ones (Cola-bottles, Wham bars, Refreshers, the list is endless and brightly coloured). What was apparent from the very start of my attempts to cut the crap was that – annoyingly – my wife was right about the only real way to lose weight. All diets are by their very nature unsustainable, they require you to artificially eat only this or that, and come the end of the diet you end up rebounding to right where you began. I knew what she was telling me was right (even if hearing it so often was a touch aggravating): the only way to really deal with my weight was to get more exercise and to cut the crap – in other words to change the way I approached food.

I am now thirteen-and-a-half stone. I play football and squash two to three times a week. I’ve lost two stone since that school reunion photo, and I feel fitter – and better – than I have done since I left school for University. The thing is – it has taken a long time. It hasn’t happened over a few weeks, or a month, because changing ingrained habits and ways of thinking about food (portion size, calories etc.) takes a long time. Diets don’t tend to tell you that. I’ve shouted at my wife, eaten secret packets of chips and Haribos, lost some weight only to put it all back on, but finally after eighteen months or so I’ve finally settled at my new, right weight, I’ve become accustomed to what to eat and when, I’ve found new food from new places which I love and which is good for me. And now, like a dog, I’m back to chasing a ball.

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4 Responses to “Crap-oholic to Crap Cutting Fiend”

  1. rachesunny January 22, 2015 at 11:56 am #

    Sorry, I can’t see the photos. Would love to see what Mr Gritdoctor looks like now 🙂

  2. Kate Turnbull January 23, 2015 at 6:36 pm #

    I have read Cut the Crap, as that is exactly what is needed in my diet overall. I have my CCC list on the fridge, but like the idea of addressing them one at a time. This month it is cutting out processed food and cooking everything from scratch. (going quite well, the home ‘baked’ beans are in the slow cooker as I type!). This will actually address a few things on my list, so result!

    I do have a question though, how do you work out 80% healthy? Can’t be calories, as that is way too much faff, but I can’t quite decide how to go about it. Any suggestions?

    Thanks, Kate

    • gritdoctor January 26, 2015 at 10:36 am #

      Hi Kate,
      Well done on getting started! Tbh I don’t work it out as an exact science at all but tend to eat healthily as much as I can. The healthier your eating becomes the easier or better those percentages get quite effortlessly. Just stick with those CCCs for now and try not to get bogged down in the 80/20 thing. It will come naturally in time. For now though if you are managing healthy eating 6 days out of 7 each week, you are on the right track… but keep me posted and updated on here and any qts just fire away! All the best, Ruth

  3. Sofia January 24, 2015 at 2:59 am #

    “”” It looked like my belly was making a bid to detach itself from the rest of my body and head for freedom.”””

    🙂 where do you guys get these ideas from… thats so funny

    Nice post… and congrats for your body transformation

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