The Third Annual Silly Season Challenge

This topic contains 326 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by  thinatlast 5 months, 1 week ago.

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  • Monday 3:00 pm

    Happy New Year everyone! It’s great to see the losses or at least not many big gains over the SSC. Thin, it has been a great idea having this challenge over the indigent eating season with all of its temptations. Thank you for doing this each year.

    Cinque, it’s good to hear that the new frig/freezer arrived on time and that you’re happy with it. I hate spending money on appliances, but it sure is nice to have them beware working the way they should, especially when the old one was having problems. You should have lots of fresh veggies for soups and other dishes to save in the freezer part.

    I didn’t weigh myself this morning but I was 60.2 yesterday, two days after my Friday FD. This morning I woke up around 4am feeling strange, took my BP and it was very high. I have an emergency BP med that usually brings it down within an hour or so, so took it and it worked. But I and DH and DS were really concerned. I was relieved when it went down. To make matters worse, I received a letter last week, the day before Christmas, that my primary care doctor had left the practice. This was the doctor I switched to several months ago that I really really liked. There is another doctor in the practice that they’ve scheduled me with for next week who will take over. But he’s a young guy with only 2 years of practice. All my records are there so I guess I’ll see him and hope that he’s a good match. It’s hard to find good doctors around here that are accepting new patients.

    I see that Dr. M has come out with a new book, The Fast 800, which isn’t available here yet. I’m a little curious to read it but from what I hear in the previews, it sounds more like another low calorie diet than the 5:2. The 5:2 has worked so well for me over the past year and 8 months, that I can’t imagine wanting to change it. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

    FM, thank you for the Japanese soup recipe. For how long should the egg be poached? And what distinguishes that method from soft boiling? Is it the inch of water rather than immersing the egg in boiling water? Very interesting about how you manage the cookies although it still seems a massive amount of work to me. But I suppose to someone who loves baking, it’s not considered work.

    Speaking of baking, the neighbour who’s the great baker but doesn’t enjoy eating her spoils arrived with my two favourite things at the picnic. One was a very moist orange cake, the other a rich chocolate slice filled with nuts and other goodies that she slices very thinly (but I never stop at one – or two). In fact, although we were instructed to bring our own dinner, everyone including us took nibbles, salads and desserts to share so I was instantly grateful that my SSC doesn’t end today. Utter carnage on the scales this morning, a number that I can’t even bring myself to write down (hoping my walk will mitigate some of it). I enjoyed one glass of wine during the four hours we were at the river but only because it was already opened on Christmas Day. We all came home around 10.30pm as it got quite cool down at the river. We made it until midnight to see glimpses of the fireworks from our upstairs windows.

    Minka and Merry – great job! FM, that’ll be gone in no time. Eagerly awaiting Penguin’s report.

    Hi CalifD, our posts crossed. So sorry to hear of your BP scare, it’s alarming but glad you got it under control. Is it possible to follow the old (newish) doctor to wherever he’s going? Happy New Year. We’ll compare scales notes on 3rd!

    Thin, I called his office and as far as they know he isn’t in a new practice yet. They did say that he lived over an hour away from the office that I was going to and commuted every day. It’s not in the direction where I live, so probably at least an hour and a half from here. The new doc (same practice) is in an office that is about 15 minutes from where I live. I’m going to keep checking though.

    Thin, your “litter carnage” on the scales will likely be gone in a day or two. I find that it takes sustained overeating to put on permanent weight once you’re at your maintenance weight, just like it takes sustained under eating to lose it.

    Quiet evening at home tonight watching a movie or Outlander. We haven’t decided yet. I hope I can stay awake til midnight.

    Happy New Year,

    The end of our challenge is in sight. I started a few days in so I’ll keep posting here til the very end. My challenge is one I will keep going, but it was so useful to do a daily check in to record and analyse.

    Yesterday I ate 6 serves of vegetables/fruits. So it is several days since I managed 5 and 2. But I feel like I am doing well because my diet has become so veggie based, and I didn’t eat extra serves of non-veggies (except a pork dumpling I snaffled from my daughter’s meal).

    Another 5 veg 2 fruits handy fact sheet:

    Thin, Freezing grated ginger is brilliant! I either do it in thumb size blocks or (more commonly) in a thin sheet that I can then break bits off.

    And cream! Fasting_me, I use cream in cooking, and only in a few recipes (stews, curries, sauces), so it works best to have it in one or two tbsp portions in the freezer and it goes great for my sort of cooking. I do imagine it wouldn’t do so well to thaw and have with pudding etc.

    Merry, you completed the challenge very nicely. Sending more good wishes.

    Nice work Minka. And yes, babysitting was very special.

    Fasting_me, I wouldn’t count it a bad message if slow motility is affecting your scales. It is just one of things! Hooray that it will sort itself out, and you can weigh again. The long view is always the most important, even at the pointy end of the SSC!
    That’s if you managed to behave yourself last night after all 😉 😉 😉

    Cali, I’m so sorry to hear about your BP scare. Fingers crossed your new doctor is just lovely and up with all the latest research and the better training about respecting patients that they have now.
    I do know the feeling though, my doctor is older than me and I am so worried about her retiring. I just want her to keep on being my excellent doctor for the rest of my life.

    Off to think about all the veggies I can cram into today’s meals. Best wishes all.

    1 Jan and my weight is less than it was when we started this challenge, but I have not achieved my target of a nine pound loss. I will therefore join those who are regarding 3 Jan as the end date and see how it goes. It is now looking unlikely but I may get somewhere near it.

    Some interesting thoughts on freezing in the recent posts. I usually end up with a small piece of past it’s best ginger in the fridge, so that will certainly be frozen.

    Cinque – I love the colour coded pictures of fruit and veg in that fact sheet – so pretty and appealing. Useful too as there is often similarity in the vitamins and minerals based on colour – so eating a range of colours means a wider range of vitamins and minerals.

    Happy New Year!

    I’m feeling a bit mixed about this day arriving because it means the end of the Silly Season Challenge and I enjoyed it so much I just want it to continue!

    penguin, I commend you because you weigh less than you did when you started the SSC. Looking forward to reading your update on 3 Jan.

    fastingme, I actually did work today on New Year’s Day and yesterday (NYE). I was concerned working both days since I knew that even if I went to bed early that I’d be awoken around midnight, which did happen and resulted in less sleep than desired! Anyway, I plodded through the morning and remained pretty spaced out, though got through the day! It is now Tuesday eve and the start of my ‘weekend’!

    Thin, I foresee the enjoyable walk and a FD being perfect balance to the yummy home made cake and slice.

    Cinque, I think you are doing well too! My sense is that Dr Fetke would commend you too!

    Cali, I’m glad your BP episode was short lived. Sorry to read of the loss of a good doctor. I find it very difficult to find health practitioners who are on the same page as I, so I know what a loss that can be. I agree with you about the arrival of Dr M’s new book. I will wait till I see it in the library to check it out! I too am happy with fasting on 500 calories or 1/4 TDEE and works for me. I know that Dr M is attempting to make the program appeal to greater numbers, though I’ve told lots of people who have been frightened of fasting that they can now eat 800 calories on FDs instead of 500 though haven’t had any ‘takers’ on that new option when mentioned.

    Good morning,
    I did get my 7 veggies/fruit in yesterday. And yes they were a lovely rainbow, including zucchini flowers and zucchini, green beans, pumpkin, warrigal greens, chives, thyme, lettuce leaves, celery, onion, carrot, garlic, strawberries, red and green capsicum, sweet potato, potato, in all different proportions, and letting the starchy ones count as one.

    I’m fasting today, so I’ll end the challenge here.

    I’ve learnt that I have to really think about what I eat to make sure I get the count in, and that thinking has meant I have made better choices about what I cook and what I eat.

    The amount of protein, dairy and grains I serve have got a bit smaller to make more room on my plate for vegetables and this has been an improvement that has made me feel physically better.

    My best tips are to have a big stir fry of mixed vegetables a couple of times a week, and a veggie based soup on hand.

    Thanks SSC, you’ve been a big help. See you next time!

    Good morning everyone

    It’s been great to be a part of the SCC this year ( well last year now actually). Today’s weight is 67.4kg and I am happy with that. I’ve managed to stay around the same weight and that is all I wanted to do. I still have a bit of my challenge left as I am off work until the 12th January but I am feeling confident that I can maintain it until I go back to work where I will start my two FDs per week again.

    All the best for the rest of the year and I will be back for the fourth SCC in December.

    Take care all 🙂

    Cali, what an awful scare! Young doctors can be good, as they are up on all the latest. Keep an open mind. I’m with you on any tweeks to 5:2, even if they come from Dr. MM himself. Stick with what works. Watching Outlander, eh? ODH and I are now on Book 7, and enjoy discussing the latest developments at breakfast.

    So yesterday morning I was at 108.4 pounds. After a Fast Breakfast and a Linner of 4 oysters and 1 cup of salad and a nap, I weighed 108.0 at 9:00 pm. Barely ate anything at the pot luck [salad, some water chestnuts — one with bacon– no booze, some cucumber sandwiches] or at my dessert [some cheese, some grapes, one little glass of Bubbly]. And this A.M. I weighed 108.3. Grrrr. Counted all my calories today and stayed below my TDEE. Will do so tomorrow too. No Fast Day until Thursday. fingers crossed.

    Thin, the egg is officially called ‘Onsen Tamago’ and here is a website describing it: What is described sound way more complicated than what our son did. He says this:
    bring 1 liter of water to a boil. Take it off the heat and add 200 ml cold tap water. Add 4 eggs, putting them into the water with a slotted spoon. Cover and let sit for 17 minutes. Take the eggs out and set aside for 5 minutes. Then he put them in the fridge overnight for the next morning’s breakfast, but he says you could eat them right away.
    As for my extra weight [which is in fact only 8/10 of a pound, but annoying], I hope you are right.

    Cinque, your veggie-eating is an inspiration. I’m hard-pressed to get 5 in, but I keep working at it. On New Year’s Day, we always eat sauerkraut and sausage for dinner. ODH likes potatoes with that. Today I added what surely was a serving of collard greens to the cabbage/kraut in hopes of getting my “5”. ODH was perplexed but accepting. He did get his mashed as well, but I don’t call potatoes a veg.

    Penguin, if you ended up not gaining, then that is a victory in itself! Well done. how far from the 9# loss are you? When I buy fresh ginger, it always goes into the freezer since I read that is the best way to preserve it.

    LJ, yes! Let the colors be your guide to vegetables!

    Minka, I too will miss this exchange of ideas with this delightful bunch of international people. Thank you, Thin, for getting us going. But don’t give up on protein just to get your veggies in. Protein is very important as we age.

    Last night we had 1″ of snow, and then rain on top of that. Mild today, but cold tonight. I hope some of you will still be on this Thread tomorrow, as we compare weights. Happy Fasting in 2019.

    Since I said I would continue this challenge until 3 Jan I’m again posting! I’m continuing to see that when I am conscious of observing TDEE on NFDs that my weight tends to drop, though I also credit that to prudent food choices for the TDEE. If I were to fill those calories with sugar and refined carbohydrates like white rice, bread and pasta, I would not be reaping the results I’ve been seeing on the scales during this SSC.

    My result from the above is that I’m actually a lower weight today than I was 2 days ago when I broke my fast, which I’m happy about. So I’m back to the lowest end of my wiggle room range. Three cheers for the SSC!

    Late getting here today. It’s my first FD of the year and the last before the challenge ends for me tomorrow. Thank you all for being here; it was a smaller group than before but I enjoyed it more. Really no need to thank me, it was my pleasure and I did nothing that you all didn’t.

    Minka, you continue to find ways to improve yourself! I’m glad you decided to join us and I’ll see you on the ‘other’ side when we finish up here. Three cheers to you too for that amazing result!

    Cinque, you had an interesting goal too. I’m pleased that it helped you make good choices and that all those veggie serves may have squeezed out the opportunity for choices perhaps less healthy.

    LJ, CalifD, are you coming back tomorrow to finish up? It’s cheeky of me to expect so, since not everyone had a FD today.

    Quacka, great job and all the best with the rest of your holidays sans fasting.

    Penguin, look forward to finding out your results tomorrow but there will be no shame in failing to meet that monumental goal. Weighing less than when we started here is success enough. If I meet my goal, I will still weigh more than on 1 December.

    FM, thank you for the egg explanation, the link and then the clarification that it’s not as hard as it sounds as I might have given up. I have copy/pasted what your son wrote, thank you. I think I will use that recipe for a FD as I have all those ingredients on hand. I can’t recall why I bought miren. Annoying that you had that teeny weeny loss after being so virtuous on NYE. But your body thanks you, I’m sure. And you can feel nice and smug that you didn’t overindulge. Which is your regular thread on this forum, assuming you have one?

    Yes, I will be here tomorrow revealing whether I’ve met my SSC goal. It’s touch and go to be honest. I’m fasting today and will re-evaluate whether I deserve ‘dinner’ which is Spanish Fideos, 142 cals, closer to the time.

    I am beginning to wish I had ended the challenge on 1 Jan. Today I worked as a guide in the local aircraft museum. In the SH you will not be familiar with this problem, but in cold weather it is colder inside an aircraft hangar than outside. The reverse is true in summer, which you will know. It had been well below zero overnight and only reached 3 C outside by mid afternoon. You may also not be familiar with the concept that cold makes you hungry – the military cold weather ration pack is required to contain at least 5,500 calories per person per day. Even though I spent most of the day standing around doing nothing (first day back at work for most, so very few visitors) I ate unwisely. When I got home I was still cold and continued to eat unwisely. I suspect I have done some damage. I have a busy day tomorrow with a brisk start, so I’ll weigh first thing and check in with a brief report on the results of the challenge. Probably more later in the day.

    Penguin, my OH has a severe weather parka he could lend you. I find it amusing that he insists on keeping it when we live in Perth. He tried it on yesterday. It’s certified to -40C but he has used it in comfort at -70C on occasion (to walk around aircraft). This was when he worked in remote Alaska.

    I’m happy, and a little surprised, that I have saved myself from embarrassment on my SSC. Squeaked in by a hair! But that’s under 60kgs and I did have both feet on the scales.

    I started the month several hundred grams lighter so it’s nothing to brag about. I’m off for my walk now which should help some more. I shall check in later today to find out how the N. Hemispherites fared.

    Hi Thin, i’m Commending you for reaching that number on the scale and enjoying holiday fare and events! You of all of us attended some festive and creative gatherings, I still chuckle about the snake at the outdoor aviation ‘do’!

    Penguin, that’s so interesting about the rations and the challenging cold weather. It makes sense to me and from that I am guessing that the body would genuinely need those calories to stay warm? Look forward to finding out.

    I started SSC weighing 58.4 and finished this final day of challenge ended up at 57.1 kg. This is only a result of this challenge and I am 100% certain the numbers would have gone other way had I not participated since that was the trajectory I was on prior to starting. Cheers!

    Penguin, I’m not at all surprised that cold weather and a slow day with less to keep you busy = more food. Although we don’t have the same level of cold here, my appetite is always higher in colder weather.

    Well done Thin – it’s always good to meet your goal no matter how finely.

    Minka, losing 1.3kg over December is exceptionally well done. I agree that having company and support with these challenges makes a big difference.

    I didn’t weigh again today as I ended my SSC on 31st December and reported then. I just popped back to read about everyone else’s final reckoning. I hope it’s pleasant surprises all round.

    Twas as I feared. I should have checked-out on 1 Jan. A meal with the neighbours on the evening of 1 Jan and a day yesterday cold enough to make me hungry but not cold enough to burn off the calories have un-done much of the progress. My target for the challenge was ambitious and unattained. Overall I am down by a mere 2 pounds. It was more, but it didn’t stay off. It was probably the raspberry vodka I used as anti-freeze when I got home last night. At my age I should know better.

    Well, it looks like I’m the last one to report with my early timezone. I didn’t meet my goal of getting into the 58’s and staying there. My weight was 59.7 this morning, almost the same as thin’s. She and I always seem to be within a kg or two of each other. My weight on this day last year was 58.4, just a few days after I met my overall 5:2 goal, so 1.3 kg up from that. On Dec 1 this year I weighed 60.4, so 700 grams down from there. Considering all the sugar, fat and carbs consumed over the month, my FD’s rescued me and prove that this WOL does work, and it works and it works without a lot of deprivation. 2 days per week is no big deal, and has become a habit I don’t even think much about. So, although I didn’t meet my goal, I consider the SSC a success. Being 800 grams over the 58’s isn’t too bad. I will aim for that this month.

    Penguin, our temps have gotten down near freezing at night, but not as cold as yours during the day. The raspberry vodka sounds like an attractive anti-freeze. 😁 Even if it doesn’t make you warmer, at least you won’t care about being cold.

    Congrats to thin and thank you again for setting up this challenge. Minka, congrats to you as well for surpassing your goal. Cinque, your goal of getting in all your fruit and vegetables was a great one. It made me think about what I was eating and to include more of them, replacing some of the empty carbs. LJ, congrats to you and Intesha too, especially considering all the baking you did and controlling the amount of sweets you consumed. It would have been easy for me to have plowed through all those beautiful cookies and cakes without a second thought.

    FM, your loss may have been small, but it was still a loss.

    Quacka, managing to maintain around the same weight this time of year is no small feat. Onward and downward for this next year!

    Minka, those rations are for active young military people. Usually supplemented with chocolate and biscuits. A combination of cold and high levels of physical activity burns the calories.

    Thin, Keeping the parka is what I would have done. Rule One: never get rid of good kit, you won’t be able to replace it when you need it. I still have my Norwegian winter clothing and next week I will be wearing it!

    Cali, Raspberry vodka is not my usual tipple, we were given a bottle by the neighbour who made it. Or more accurately turned the vodka into raspberry vodka – making your own vodka is frowned upon here. You are correct, warming and who cares?

    Penguin, I think flavoring vodka is probably frowned upon here too, although I remember some sort of recipe from the 60’s or 70 where it was combined with instant coffee and sugar to make something akin to Kalua. It never sounded like something that I wanted to try when one could buy perfectly good Kalua.

    I’m cold again today. I think even a pound of fat helps to insulate. 😀 It’s been aroun 5 – 10c today and OS and I are fighting the thermostat wars, with him not wanting to turn it above 20c. Open floor plans and high ceilings are not conducive to cozy rooms. All of the heat is up near the ceiling in the entryway. 🤨

    Now that the challenge is over my perverse body has decided to lose weight. I made no effort yesterday and this morning it is down a pound.

    Reading the last few posts made me smile. You are an entertaining lot.

    Thank you Minka and LJ. Stating my goal out loud definitely made me accountable.

    CalifD, congratulations on your result. You pipped me by 250g. Yes, we are always within a few hundred grams to a kg of each other, either above or below. Maybe now that the SS is over, we can get on with trying to get closer to 58kg?

    Penguin, that’s a win all round then.

    I used to drink a lot of Kahlúa when we lived on the border of Mexico. It’s pretty expensive here by comparison. The last time I had some, I found it a bit too sweet. I stole some vodka from my mother when I was about 15. It gave me a terrible headache which my mother said was ‘God’s punishment’. I’ve never been able to drink it since.

    Thanks again for being here all of you. It was fun. And well done. See you next time.

    Well some might call it cheating…but I wanted to get in an official Fast Day to end the SSC, and that was yesterday. On Jan 1 the weight was 108.4. On Jan 2 it was 109!!!! on Jan 3 it was 108. After yesterday’s VGF [Very Good Fast], I am now at 107.0/48 kg/7.6 stones which is less than what I weighed on Dec 1. [happy dance] Granted, it took me 4 days to get there, but I am very pleased with that. Would have been happy to get back to the 107.6 that I weighed on Dec 1, but to be below that is super.
    Last year at this time I was at 107.2 so I guess this is par for the course. My average for the past year = my target weight, so I don’t have much to complain about, do I?

    Thanks to the SSC for keeping me mindful: of my TDEE, of my intake of ver/fruit.
    What great fun it was to chat with so many interesting people over the month! I will look for this in 2019.

    Well done on your final SSC weight FastingMe. It’s great that you are staring the new year at a weight you are so happy with.

    Hi Everyone,

    Happy New Year!

    My apologies for not being part of the discussion and support since Dec 1. Life continues and it feels odd to post but read the briefest of a couple of posts.

    Thin, thanks again for the SS Challenge.

    penguin, living up to your chilly, flightless name, and the scales and body doing their silly up/down arbitary thing.

    Sounds weird but in a few days I’ll go from daily overload to ‘what do I do with myself’ for a day or so , as visitors leave, decorations will be packed away, and Mr M heads off for some time in wilderness with a family member for awhile. I hope to catch up on reading here then.

    Check-in: up a bit after New Year’s Day, up to 65.4kg, and today I’m 65.1kgs after 1 FD on Thursday.

    So 65.1kgs is my final SIlly Season weight.started at 66.3kgs, down 1.2kgs, and my goal was to stay even. Goal achieved and bettered a little. Very happy dancer😀

    Hope everyone has achieved their goal or has come close.

    Onwards and Downwards,
    If you fall off the horse get back on.

    Well done Merry. No apologies needed. So pleased to read that Mr M is well enough to head into the wilderness. Yay! Enjoy your time alone.

    Well done FM! Great result.

    I think we all deserve a collective pat on the back. Hurray for 5:2.

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