... that was back in February that I saw Paul for the first time. We sat and talked for an hour, about all sorts of things as you'd expect. He explained how he worked, focusing on the calorie content of the food rather than the food itself. I thought I could give that a go.
I wasn't set any "homework" after the first session, but knowing what was going to happen I trotted off and bought myself a small book to start my food diary. The first entry in it is Wednesday 25 February 2009, the day I saw the psychologist.
The second week, he came armed with things to set me going. I needed to purchase a calorie-counting book and a GI (glycemic index) guide - he recommended Calorie Counter (published by Penguin, ISBN 978-0-14-301115-6) and The low GI shopper's guide to GI values 2009 (Hachette, ISBN 978-0-7336-2292-2, also www.glycemicindex.com) and I bought these. I also needed a set of digital kitchen scales, which I also went out and bought.
My homework for the week was to go to a web site (http://www.thelifestylecompany.com/wloss/dcr.asp) where I could work out, by answering questions about my height, weight and physical activity, how many calories I needed per day (it came to 2590 calories per day), and to start recording what I was eating each day. This included what time I ate, but at this stage not calculating calories. Of course, if you've read this far you'll know I'd already been doing that for a week!
Now, unfortunately the Lifestyle Company web site has been taken down - for renovation, Paul discovered from its author - but there are others around that you may find useful. Try a Google search with calorie daily maintenance as your search term.
On 5 March I weighed myself on his scales, and the reading came out at 133.5kg. I'd been a bit hungry all week, but I do not know if that is because I was thinking about food all the time, or because I'd inadvertently cut down on the amount I was eating (which wasn't part of the plan up to this point). Although I didn't like being a bit hungry, I figured it wouldn't hurt me much.
Then I started adding calorie calculations to my daily notes, but still wasn't at this stage trying to cut back - the idea was to record what is "normal" for me. A starting point.
Then I was aiming for about 500 calories less per day than my "maintenance" level - let's round it off and aim for 2000 calories per day.
As well as the calorie-counting book, I was pointed towards Calorie King (http://www.calorieking.com/) for foods that I needed to look up.
[Note: I wrote all of this back in September 2009, but didn't post it until today, 3 January 2010]