Optimising weight, by david jarvis may 2022.

Feeling good. Feeling bad. Feeling ambivalent. Feeling strong. Feeling weak.

These are the kinds of things we all feel!

Your feelings are motivation, but they are not always rational, they will lead us all around and around and may not lead in the most rational observable best pathways forward.

I love exercise, i love eating, i love drinking and I love to write! The reality is that too much of any of those things is not optimal. That “love” is precisely the issue that created my ill health.

two young women having fun
Celebrating eating pizza (note these girls probably don’t eat that pizza off camera!) : Photo by KoolShooters on Pexels.com

If I exercise too much I will get injured and suffer pain. That’ll detract from optimising my health and wellness and place unnecessary stress upon my body and my relationships around me, as when I am in pain I’m not as nice a person to be around as I am when I am comfortable. My love of exercise led towards my pain.

Previously I often ate too much. It used to be easy to eat a pizza and have a six pack on friday night at the end of the week in celebration of the working week being over. For a long time I would literally loose 2kg of weight throughout the working week, and then often put 5 kg of weight on over the weekend. It was something that tracking my weight revealed to me.

three cocktail drinks
Bourbon and coke : Photo by Prem Pal Singh Tanwar on Pexels.com

After some careful analysis using my mathematical skills and the app myfitnesspal, I discovered that it takes about one hour of squash to burn about 600 calories… and it takes about ten minutes to eat and drink 600 calories. I discovered that a six pack of my favourite bourbon and coke premix was an entire days worth of calories.

Metacognitive reflection = (thinking about thinking) helped me realise that after intense exercise I was actually often very hungry! Thus that one hour of squash was itself contributing to my weight gain because afterwards I felt so hungry and was in an environment that facilitated eating and drinking in celebration of the sport I love. I recall one night after a massive five setter at Norwood squash courts I tracked everything I ate and drank at the social gathering afterwards. The total count = 1500 calories. The calories burned from the squash was 600, thus my whole nights’ exercise and socialising actually just contributed a net total of 900 calories to yet more obesity.

A truly vicious cycle that only data analysis enabled me to recognise.

Addiction comes in many forms, some have addictive personalities and that can actually turn them into high achievers. They become addicted to study, work, to community, to the sense of achievement that comes by aiming for achievement and succeeding!

I was a high quality eater and drinker! lol. I was really good at eating and drinking and only average at squash. So my weight kept rising and rising and pretty much nothing I did would stop or redress that cycle of obesity lifestyle.

What did stop it?

A closed mouth : by david jarvis 2022.


I had ended up so sick with diabetes type 2, at 146 kilograms for height 184 cm, that was a massive wake up call. I was literally shortening my lifespan. What i’d been doing was not working.

My own fixation on more exercise was itself contributing to my lessened restraint about eating and drinking. Then along came injuries and illness, and it all added up synergistically towards even more weight gain. I was unrestrained! Do you see the issue wasn’t eating or exercising or drinking, my core issues were a lack of restraint and love.

The stresses of illness and injury (and trauma) became the wake up call that literally saved my life. I became so stressed I just stopped eating, and I stopped exercising and I withdrew from community participation of my beloved sports squash, cycling and weight training. I withdrew from coaching sports and self isolated away from everything.

I didn’t fully realise it, but I was going back into a cocoon. I was a caterpiller inside a cocoon transforming myself into a new being. It did take some time to come to that realisation, but once I noticed, man was I happy about that.

yellow and black butterflies cocoon
Cocoons &/or pupae : Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

It worked.

Since STOPPING exercise, I lost about 25 kilograms of weight! Weight loss is far more about ones eating and drinking habits. Weight loss is about 80% diet and 20% exercise I intuit… but that initial 25 kilograms, truly that was 100% food and drinking restraint i.e. pure healthy diet.

I discovered that getting out of bed was easier as I was lighter. I discovered I had less pain in my body, for there was less stress upon my joints. I had some more energy available. Into that new space came the realisation I wanted to exercise like I had learned in the professional sense, to exercise for high performance, rather than just for fun.

Aiming at high performance made me inclined to think about optimal training, rather than excessive or fun training. Likewise, thinking about high performance made me deeply analyse what I would eat and drink to fuel this wonderful body I have been given by mum and dad.

The light, by david jarvis 2021.

Today I am 43 kilograms lighter than in June of 2020. I am the lightest I have been in the entire 21st century. I take a small sense of satisfaction from that… but I still have 15 kilograms to loose to reach my ideal weight. Thus I remain carefully considerate about optimal training and optimal eating.

I am much more comfortable in my body and I am QUICK to AVOID pain. I don’t train through a little niggle. I don’t spend hours in the bike saddle. I don’t spend two hours on the squash court training and training. And because I don’t do those things, I don’t feel the need to celebrate by over eating and drinking afterwards. I do not deserve the bourbon and coke, I do not deserve the pizza. I deserve a long and healthy lifespan.

I do keep my training aimed at high quality twenty to forty minute sessions and when I am sore the next day, if at all, then I do even less training, i.e. just active recovery on that day and eat less food too!

Fasting is the fast way towards weight loss for obese people. Eat high quality nutritious foods and avoid all the calorie dense industrialised crap that is out there. That icecream will not make me happy, that bourbon and coke does not support my socialising, that chocolate does not gratify, the protein bar does not make my muscles better, the sports drink does not charge our system. All those are marketing b.s. designed to get us to buy products, to support the economy of “healthy” and “fitness”, not to actually make us healthy and fit.

More restraint is needed – how does one sell or profit from restraint? That is a very interesting question! What is going to happen to the personal trainer whom tells their client the simple truth, look this exercise will do sweet fuck all for your weight loss journey but simply not eating today will do much more! Language is highly important. lol.

This exercise is optimal because it’s going to charge up your system without hurting your body, it’s going to be optimal and make you more comfortable about healthy eating.

Pain does not equal gain! Pain = suffering, and suffering makes us inclined to stay the same. Thus, train towards wellness. Be optimal. Be goldilocks, not too much, not too little, juuuuuussst right.

I have a food garden. Thus my gardening contributes to my wellness through physical activity AND healthy eating. The australian government cannot tax my food garden, but they would love to try!

food garden in our backyard by david jarvis 2022

I hand dug that garden with world war 2 era pick, spade and shovel. I put my hands into the soil, ripped out the grass and decided rationally what foods we would plant in the fresh soil I had laboured to uncover. We tend that garden and reap what we have sown.

I do not go to the supermarket, it’s not super, it’s a fucking death trap literally designed to get us to spend spend spend to maximise revenue and minimise expenses for the supermarket industrialist owners.

Heart and Soul food group in south australia is an excellent way to get high quality fruits and vegetables delivered right to your door and Clare and I appreciate that service. Heart and Soul helps me be restrained because I am not tempted by the dazzling lights and blaring music of a supermarket and the tens of thousands of adverts that sap my concentration strength. I pay my monies and the driver drops off the healthy food. Boom, done. Another week working towards optimal human performance.

a food hamper, (not from heart and soul, but similar).

Thank you for reading this essay about optimising a weight journey… this essay is mainly about weight loss for obese people, through sharing just some highlights of my weight optimising journey. If you are at the other end of the scale, suffering from anorexoria nervosa or bulimia nervosa, then you too can metacognitively reconsider the term “restraint”, restrain yourself from eating too little! Restrain yourself from over exercising. Restrain yourself from over tracking. re train ourselves toward healthy life style.

We can be optimal.


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