Miniaturized Keyboard
Miniaturized Keyboard

Miniaturized KeyboardAs you may have noticed I have had a bit of a break from blogging recently. I’ll go into the reasons in a bit more details in a minute but you’ll be glad to hear that I’m back and I plan to start writing regularly again.

I’ve had some time to take a new look at what’s important to me. I have been slacking off a bit recently and after a bit of thought on the subject I realised that I didn’t have as much energy as I should have. This led me to look at my health and one thing that did come to light was that I had put on a bit of weight again…

I’m determined to get my energy levels back up so it’s time to start a new diet. After some searching I decided on Diet Chef. The idea of pre-prepared meals seems great as I think portion control can be one of my downfalls.

It’s not exactly cheap, but at under £6 per day it’s over the top either. The costs involved may even help as when you invest in something you take it a bit more seriously…


In the past I was writing posts on the morning of the day I intended to post and I never managed to get ahead of myself with posts that I could schedule ahead of time. So when Shirley and I took a trip up to Scotland for a couple of weeks I had nothing ready.

I didn’t think a couple of weeks would matter so I wasn’t too bothered about it. Unfortunately soon after returning my Dad fell very ill and passed away shortly afterwards.

Those couple of weeks turned into a couple of months without me even thinking about this blog…

It has taken me a while to come to terms with things. Luckily I am back in full time employment now so I just threw myself into the job and let my personal work mount up until I felt ready to tackle it. This included my business, which I basically stopped completely for a few months, as well as this blog.

Outside of the office I seemed to just be going through the motions. Even things like cooking became a bit of a chore and so we started having a few more take-aways than usual…

Grief always seem to lead to introspection. This gave me the time to re-evaluate everything, giving me the courage to say ‘No’ to a few things that I didn’t feel were worth my time and effort.

I had to decide whether or not this blog was of benefit to me. Some of the posts do have direct benefits for me personally as simply ordering my thoughts into words can help solidify my ideas. Others I feel I have written just because it’s Friday…

Even though I include some affiliate links throughout the site I still haven’t received a single penny from this site so I am certainly not benefitting financially from it. The most important factor though is whether or not I enjoy it, which is a resounding ‘Yes’. If I want to carry on posting though I need to try and set a realistic amount of time aside rather than just trying to get something together at the last minute each week.

There are other things that I have decided to stop. Web design is the main one. When I set up business for myself I thought this would be a simple side income while working on other projects. Right from the outset I realised that it wasn’t really for me and so I never really pushed it.

Even though I am back in the 9–5 (ish) I still plan to keep my small business going. Web design will not be part of it though as it takes up so much time, and I am never fully satisfied with the results. Knowing a lot about web technologies is useful but the design side of things is not my strong suit, which really slows things down. So there is not any real benefit for me…

Time For Action

Now it’s time to start getting some posts together ready to cover any more breaks, whether planned or not. There are lots of posts rattling around my head, not least is an update to my photo workflow as I get my system nailed down for the Mac. There are also a load of photos from Scotland and many other places that I still haven’t got around to editing so this should help my personal photo collection as well as provide some great images for some more gallery posts.

One factor about getting back into action was motivation. I was finding a bit harder than usual to get into things…

I had just attributed this to grief but a big part of this was probably my weight. It wasn’t hard to see that my weight had crept back up again without me noticing. It was time to find out how much I had put on.

The scales told me that I was 20st 3lbs (which is 283lbs or 128kg). This extra weight just seems to slow me down a bit. I know from past experience that I would have a lot more energy if I lost some weight so I decided I needed to try something drastic…

It was time to start a diet. I’ve tried quite a few over the years and most seem to work, for a while. I soon lose interset when I’ve lost just enough to start feeling better and I’ve got some energy back. This time I’m determined to stick with it and get back down to a decent weight.

After going through all of the old diets I’ve tried and then doing a bit of online research I came across Diet Chef. The advantage with this diet is that the food comes ready prepared. They provide you with breakfast, lunch, dinner and even a snack. All you have to do is add some fruit and vegetables. Because of my height and weight I also get to have an extra snack every day and I can even add a few calories myself like a slice of bread with my lunchtime soup or a small handful of rice with my evening meal along with the vegetables.

You simply select which meals appeal to you and then you get a months supply delivered to your door. It works out cheaper if you sign up for a few months in advance. I’ve signed up for 3 months so I’ll update you along the way. If you are thinking of giving them a try then you can use the offer code MYAA@DGI to get £10 off.

After the first week I have liked pretty much everything I’ve tried. The portions are a little small compared to what I’m used to but that is a good thing. Hopefully this will teach me how much I should be eating even when the diet is over…

I haven’t felt hungry at any stage yet, unless it’s nearly time for a meal or a snack…

As an added bonus I lost 7lbs in the first week. Yes ½st!

Now I’m not sure I believe in the BMI (Body Mass Index) as a true measure of your expected weight. In fact I saw something recently suggesting that a waist measurement is a much better health indicator that weight. According to the BMI scale, to be in the ‘Normal’ range I am supposed to be about 14½st. I weighed a stone more than that at 18 when I was seriously into sport!

Anyway I am currently well into the ‘Obese’ category which is quite scary. I want to get down to about 17½st and see where we go from there. That would put me well into the next category down, called ‘Overweight’…

If you want to find out which bracket you fall in there is a BMI checker on the Diet Chef site, just go to the ‘FREE Personal Profile’ link at the top of the page and enter your details. Untick the box if you do not want to receive follow up emails.

In case you are interested this ticker will show my progress over the next few months:

Image: Pete O’Shea


Gary Crompton

Hi Pete, glad to see you’re back writing your blog. Sorry to hear about your dad. We all deal with grief in different ways but if you can get through to the other side you’ll be ok. Good luck with the weight loss.

    Pete O'Shea

    Thanks Gary, glad to see you are still reading…

Michael Ludgate

Likewise, good to see you’re posting again.

Not sure about paying for portion control, I’d rather spend the money on non-food treats, so that I’m feeling the benefit instead of a double punishment. Have you explored other approaches, eating really slowly and having a small sweet at the end of a meal; Actions acting on the brain positively rather than negatively on the stomach.

At 26.78 BMI I’m ‘overweight’ not something I’d dispute, but it doesn’t really give much perspective. Disproportionate stomach fat is far worse for health than being overall heavier – even ignoring the muscle/fat argument. I’m sure my uni-breast with inverted nipple is far more damaging to general health than my near normal BMI suggests. I like this calculator and already follow it’s advice on a daily basis – ‘0.51 Consider action’.

    Pete O'Shea

    It’s not just portion control there is a lot less cooking required as all the meals just go in the microwave for a few minutes. All you have to do is add some vegetables or salad with your evening meal. With all your snacks ready packaged it makes it much easier to stick to the diet.

    I have tried all sorts of different diets in the past and I have tried eating slowly, having a drink in between each mouthful and all sorts of other ideas but they just don’t feel natural and so it’s not long before I slip back into old routines.

    I think that the cost is actually an incentive as I feel heavily invested in the diet and so I would feel like I am wasting money if I start cheating!

    Luckily I don’t have much of a sweet tooth so I don’t really need a pudding. That hasn’t usually stopped me in the past though…

    My waist to height ratio is much higher than yours so I’m glad I am actively doing something about it…

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