BG2: Can belonging to an on-line group provide “just enough” support?

Some, perhaps most of us aren’t geared up to join a gym or weight loss group where we live.  Blubbergeddon might provide a useful halfway house.


I’ve only been selectively reading posts over the break, and didn’t actually pick up on the BG2 challenge until about 5 mins ago. Which fits in nicely because I was told a few days ago by my wife of 30 years that I’d let myself go and that I needed to lose more than a few pounds.

Of course I know that. I’ve known it for years. But I’ve struggled to do anything about it. Short bursts, ok, but normally something happened to make me go back. The Chch earthquake and consequential comfort eating was always a good recent excuse! 4 years is a lot of comfort food…

So now, at age 57, I’m 115kg, and could do with losing about 20 of them at least.

My wife has suggested that I get some help or support. To my mind that just conjures up images of well meaning middle class women telling me what to do without any understand of what the real issues/problems/challenges are. So of course I ignore the idea.

BUT THEN! I see that there’s a support group here! And I think I can be fairly confident that there aren’t any know-it-all middle class do-gooding greenie tree-huggers in it! So can I join? Please? Perhaps the idea of TWP being embarrassed globally on NZ’s leading blog if he can’t stick to it may just be enough to help me achieve my goal!

The Whinging Pom

One of the drivers of being part of a real-world support group is that you can’t cheat.  Either you stop going, or people know you’ve fallen off the wagon.

In my view, if you do end up falling off the wagon with Blubbergeddon, just delete your line from the spreadsheet, and that’s it.

Maybe this time wasn’t the right time for you to get started.  I know you need to have your head in the right space.  No judgements here.   No peer pressure here.

And definitely don’t put in fake weight updates to make it look like you’re doing OK.


I have what people describe as an addictive personality.  Unfortunately that doesn’t mean other people think I’m addictive, instead it means that when I find something I like, I tend to have little self control.

This can have a good side.  Whaleoil is, for example, one of the things I put a ridiculous amount of time into – but I don’t care.  I love doing it.   When it comes to food however, there had to be an end to it.  I knew this for a lot longer than a few weeks ago.   But you wait for the time when you are ready to make a real commitment.

I did it with alcohol, and I’m ready now to do it with food.  I “finally got there”.

Some of you will not be ready yet, and will have a half-hearted attempt at it.   That’s OK with me.  False starts are fine.  It just means you will need to get ready for the day when you make a real commitment and you aren’t just wishing good things for yourself.

One of the reasons people give up is because they make it too hard!   With the initial enthusiasm, they go all out, and set a pace that can’t be sustained.  They actually set themselves up to fail.

It took YEARS to put it on.  Get ready for the idea that it might take YEARS to take it all off again.  There are no easy fixes.   And if it is something that will take years, it means you need to make it part of your normal life.

Not something you “do” for a few months, and then come back to the same bad habits that got you here.

I tried the Atkins diet before, and boy it works really well.  But it is very, very hard to keep up over a long period of time.  It can also be pricey to eat a lot of protein.

I tried protein shakes before, and boy it really works well.  But who the hell wants to be on a liquid diet for the rest of their lives?

This is what attracted me to the 5:2 diet.  It means that out of 5 days of your week, you can eat cream, or chocolate, or have a cake, or whatever it takes to keep your mind committed to the goal of long term, slow and steady health benefits.

Personally I find myself being a little stricter on “normal” days too, as I don’t want to lose the gains I’ve made.  Right now I’m visiting my mum, and to say “no” to all the good food on offer is nearly impossible.   What I do find myself doing is taking small portions.

If you select a method of weight loss you can’t stick to, you need to look for one that you can do for years on end.   You shouldn’t be in a hurry.  If I drop half a kilo a week, I’ll be a happy man, because I’m just fine with weighing 26kg less this time next year.

You need to find something that fits your personality, your body, and your needs.  For me it is 5:2.  What can you do for a year or more without giving up?


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  • Brian Badonde

    Welcome board. Good on you for having the courage to do it.

  • I have lost 24kg in the last year and a half and hope you all stick with it. I have another 7kg to lose to reach my main goal of getting down to 80kg.

    • anonface

      Tricks as to how?

      • I dropped a lot of booze (I have about a standard drink a week now), cut portion size and dropped snacking. Was actually pretty easy. I still eat basically the same stuff as before just less of it.

        • Michael

          I’ve had a very similar path over a similar time frame. I call it the ELF diet – Eat Less Food. It works.

          • I called mine the Excel Diet. I opened an excel spreadsheet and noted down everything I was eating and realised what a fat bastard I had become.

  • Gav

    If your serious about losing weight it’s really simple, I’m 57 and have gone through what many of you are describing. For one reason or another I packed on the weight so I went down the path of calorie restriction and exercise which was fine until injury took it’s toll. By chance I heard Professor Grant Schofield from AUT (he has a site) on the radio promoting LCHF, low carbs high fat, not as a diet but a lifestyle eating plan. So I tried it, not very well at first but once I understood what to eat and what not to eat I lost my excess weight fast. Never hungry and exercise optional, it’s a great plan. There is much information out there but the best and most informative place to visit is Andreas Eenfeldt MD site known as the diet doctor ( This site has it all and can link you in to information from all over the world. His main motivation is the obesity/diabetes epidemic the world faces, do yourself a favor and check it out.

    • la la land

      That’s exactly my plan – thanks for the link

    • Mags

      What happens to cholesterol levels and atherosclerosis with this high fat diet?

      • la la land

        They improve! Check out the Paleo way Facebook page with Aussie chef Pete Evans too for some great stories about improved blood pressure and cholesterol etc. he drops the dairy too but many Paleo eaters do not.

      • Gav

        They improve

      • Mags

        Looked gav’s link. Think the best bit of advice there was “eat real food”.

      • Gav

        Check out ‘The Great Cholesterol Con’ by Dr Malcolm Kendricks.

  • Wallace Westland

    I’m loving this.
    Seeing people keep joining and sharing their stories.
    It’s keeping me getting on the exercycle and sweating like a trougher in a parliamentary inquiry. Having a ball. But the damn thing is a bit of a nuisance when I’m not on it so I’ve been trying to think of somewhere to keep it.
    Yesterday as I opened the fridge door out of reflex it came to me….(pic)

    • mommadog

      Great place to keep the cycle. What got me exercising today was putting on a pair of bike shorts and looking in the mirror. Boy was it an ugly site as they don’t leave anything to the imagination. Wanting to report at least a little weight loss in a week was the other part.

  • mommadog

    Its not uncommon. I’d look at what else you are eating.

    “Unfortunately, diet soda has been linked to weight gain, negating the very reason that most people consume it. This occurs for several reasons, but the two most common reasons for weight gain in diet cola drinkers is the sugar craving already mentioned and the tendency for diet soda drinkers to consume more calories due to the calories they’re not consuming when drinking diet soda. Because they are drinking diet soda, some people will convince themselves that having a calorie-laden treat or fatty food won’t be so bad, since they’re not getting calories from their beverages”.

    • Nige.

      im not bothered by it at all. its just an observation. i just liked the idea of giving up something i didnt really need so did.

  • la la land

    Well it’s been a great first day – no sweet stuff at all today and feel good – no cravings as yet… Power walked with a friend for an hour this morning. I have no idea if I am going to lose weight with my eating plan but will actually just be really happy if I feel a lot healthier…

    • Wallace Westland

      Ya know I reckon if we don’t place unachievable expectations on ourselves we can make a difference to our lives and our health.
      I think that’s Pete’s point.

  • Caprice

    I like reading this segment, even though I do not need to lose weight.
    Seems very sensible to go for the long game.
    I have a close friend who for most of his life has chosen the full bore approach, but even from the outset it is obviously unsustainable, and never lasts beyond two months. I worry for him and I hear his story with some of you.
    With you in spirit.
    PS.I feel bad commenting here as a lean person – you probably do not need or want my input. But I will continue following your quest, and wish you all well.

  • Wendy

    I haven’t owned any scales for about ten years and had no idea of my weight except that my clothes fit and Im still happy to wear a bikini at the beach. The no scales thing was deliberate since I became a bit obsessive about diet/exercise/weight. I had resolved to never worry about “the number” again.

    I decided to join the BG gang because I feel stagnant, idle and I forget my words mid sentence. As well as that, although I wasn’t terribly concerned about my weight, I have a pretty heavy duty (for me) fitness test coming up in a few months and thought it would give me a push to make a coordinated effort at some meaningful exercise. I looked at an outline of the fitness test and saw there is a BMI component. Great.

    “Sign me up” I said to Pete, then in a rash moment I went to a friends house to weigh myself. As they say, De Nile is more than just a river. I discovered that to get from the BMI “meh…” zone to the “hot” zone I have to lose about 9kg.

    I don’t eat terribly badly…I never drink soft drinks, I don’t snack between meals, I don’t add sugar to anything, I don’t eat dairy and I rarely eat chocolate or sweets. My problem is that I just eat too much carbohydrate…rice, toast, pasta etc, because they are cheap and quick, and not enough protein. Ive just become lazy.

    So my plan is no carbohydrate for dinner or after dinner, knock the beersies on the head (except in emergencies), increase fresh fruit and vegetables and protein, and get exercising.

  • Wendy

    And yes, I think joining groups like this is good for a couple of reasons. It gives you some external accountability when you have to front up with some results, and support and encouragement is great as well as sharing ideas and stories.

  • Mags

    I am wondering if anyone has thought of getting some baseline data other than the scales? Eg: BP, cholesterol, bmi, waist circumference and anything else a doctor might deem important? (Pre- diabetic indicators which I don’t know what they actually are as I don’t watch day time tv)

    Often we just look at the scales to see whether we have succeeded but the weight gain/loss is just one symptom of health. There might be other key indicators that we should be monitoring that will tell us we are on the right track. There might be other ways to measure our success rather than just the scales.
    It would also really interesting.