Here are a few exceprts from my observations in the land of severe dieting.

s hunger simply a construct created in our cerebral cortex, laid bare by our limbic system or simply habituated by thousands of take away pizzas, stir fry green chickens or hommus, smeared liberally across crackers?

Is it simmered into our psyche like tomatoes and red wine and left to reside in a rich stew?

You can probably tell that, six week in to this diet thing and I am craving food.  Anything really, a pious piece of pitta bread or a simple steak (medium rare of course).

But no, I embark on the second shake of the day, a careful decision as to what to have.  Is it the "Flavors of the Forest" or plain "vanilla"?  Both are distinctively different in taste and texture, especially when they are all you can have, you tend to pay attention to such differences.  Is it the flannel familiarity of vanilla with it's plain resonance or the exotic coercion of fruits of the forest with it's decidedly disappointing delivery?

Well you see, I am getting low on the vanilla variety, and it i's a whole week to go before I can refill and  refresh the pantry of shakes.  What will I do?

I am counting out the shakes I have left, 6 vanilla 2 banana , 3 fruits of the forest.  Zero, yes zero vegetable soup but a remarkable 10 sachets of mushroom soup.

Three weeks down and this is serious mum.  How am I going to survive?  Simply managing on four shakes a day is hard enough, but when you are down to the least favoured, the downright ordinary, the test is significant. I will stretch my remaining vanilla over the week savouring one a day and do my best to spice up the mushroom soup, remembering that  there is only so many chilli flakes you can add without creating serious damage.

I continue in the knowledge that my new set of scales proudly declared me over 7 KG's down at my morning weigh in.  I take this seriously, confidently and demonstrably standing on the scales like boxers do, wearing only my jocks.

7. 3 KG's down in just 3 weeks.

Perhaps the presence of hunger and sachets in my life ain't so bad after all.  For now at least.


15th August 2018



Would you choose to eat less than a political prisoner?

I have been told  that at 800 calories a day, my allocation under the Counterweight Weight Management Program is 100 calories less than political prisoners are entitled to as enshrined in the Geneva Convention.

I do feel sorry for the prisoners, at least I am doing this by choice.  I keep reminding myself that I actively positioned to have myself accepted on to the program, having heard a Radio Scotland interview with a former participant last year.  The participant, let's call her Brie talked about how replacing three regular meals per day with four sachets of powdered stuff helped her loose bucket loads of weight.

Brie went on to say that the Counterweight Program helped  her drop diabetes from her list of ailments as if it were a common cold.

I delicately cut across the top of the sachet of vanilla flavoured powder, careful not to spill that tiniest wee drop.  After all, this is all I get to consume, mixed with 200 - 300 mls of water for the next three hours.  It is essential I get every bit of it's nutritionally balanced, dieticianally engineered substance.

In the shaker it goes.  I take my time with the shaking part as if this is part of the consumptive process.  Suitably shaked, I savour the thick substance like a rich Burgundy, going just short of swirling it in its plastic container to let it breathe.

Hunger still creeps in, particularly in the evening.  My chat with a former Buddhist Monk today may provide a solution for dealing with the Hunger Games tonight.  Can I do, as he did, re-frame hunger as habit and stay focused as Brie clearly did on surviving the weight management program.

In short Brie, I am with you, I can do this thing!

You see, in just over five days, already my weight has reduced from 98.6 KG to 94.3 KG, Just in case you don't see the significance of that, it is a hefty 4.3 KG loss already!  Towards motivation indeed.

I am trading three months of manageable pain for potentially a lifetime of fundamentally good health.  Sounds like a sound investment to me, a much better deal than most political prisoners would expect.

I will keep you posted on my progress.


31 July 2018



4 x 7 x 12 = a hell of a lot of shakes

I sorted out the boxes of sachets last night each with its yellowish murky photo of what looks like pea and ham soup.  All are stored in containers ready to be accessed four times a day.

The shaker canisters have been washed and stand proudly, ready to accept their regular contribution of exactly 54 g of powder soup or shake, and ready to help me achieve my health goals.  The sachets list directions for use and advise that I should drink at least 2.25 litres of additional water per day. 

So, here I go, I have absorbed all of the advice and information as the powders will soon absorb water from my tap and I am all systems go at 7.00 am on Wednesday 26th July 2018.

I joke with Elliot that it is time and effort it takes to shake and blend the powder with the water that likely produces the weight loss, yet before long I am drinking my first vanilla shake.  200 mls of food generally put aside for astronauts on their first space mission.  I remind myself of the reasons why I am doing  this and slurp it down, even adding a little more water at the end to soak up all of it.

Current weight, 96.3 kg, goal weight 80 kg.  As Linda jokes with me, this is the real Hunger Games.

One last glance at the sachet and I note the marketing touch, 'The healthcare professional's choice'

This motivates me considerably.

26 July 2018


A Journey of 800 Calories

Only two sleeps to go and my total diet replacement for 12 weeks commences.  You can forgive me for being a wee bit nervous. At the same time, I am beside myself with excitement.

The prospect of leaving 15% of my body weight behind and the possibility of also leaving symptoms of diabetes behind more than justifies forgetting about food for a while.

I will use this site to record my experiences of the journey.  Yes, I do believe that this constitutes a journey.  Three months of meal replacements and a further three introducing food again.  All without alcohol.  Well I knew the job was dangerous when I took it.

The good news is I will have travelling partners on my journey, trained health professionals supporting me all the way to ensure that I stick to the timetable and get to my destination.

Hopefully these posts will find a way to acknowledge the amazing work of these dedicated folks.  Additionally, in my writing and in my weight loss, I hope to contribute to the growing body of research that validates Counter Weight Plus, a non surgical weight management solution as a solution that works.

I am all set for my weigh in on Wednesday, wish me safe travels.

23rd July 2018