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Journal of Peter Greenwell

Tag: operation 47

Eldath the role model

Mid 2014, I started a program I dubbed Operation 47. The idea was to get down to 100kg by my 47th birthday, which at the time of writing this, was less than a week ago.

It never happened.

I don’t need to soul-search or deeply ponder why it never happened. The whole idea was just too hard. The weight loss component was easy when I applied myself – all I had to do was adhere to a daily limit I tracked through an online application – and it worked; I lost 20 kilograms. I know it can be done.

But too hard an idea or not, I need to improve myself, physically and spiritually. I just do. I could describe it all as a mid-life crisis but I don’t feel like I’ve even gotten to any kind of “mid-life” yet. And yet here I am: forty seven years of age.


So what does the Dungeons and Dragons goddess Eldath have to do with any of this? Well, for some background on who she is/was, I recommend this site which gives a thorough rundown, but the condensed version of it is that she is a goddess of peace. And that’s peace in a tranquil setting, such as waterfalls, pools, rivers, groves and the like. Pastoral or sylvan peace. Pacific introspection and harmony with yourself and all about you, in a natural setting removed from the hubbub of city life.

I’m not a theist or a deist in any way – to be sure, I’m as atheist as they come, but I’m not blind to the benefits religious spirituality can give someone, even if luminaries like Carl Sagan and Richard Dawkins regard such things as delusions. Many religious people live whole and fulfilling lives. Lately, I’ve been keeping track of a website I stumbled upon quite by chance, written by an Irish clergyman named Patrick Comerford.

Eldath's holy symbol

Eldath’s holy symbol

Canon Comerford’s blog is full of inspirational material and though I’ve never met the man, I can tell from his writing – and the passion in his writing – that he lives a meaningful and spiritual life.

Something to emulate, right?

I think so, yes but here’s something: I’m not a Christian – I was christened into the Anglican creed, but as I said above, I’m an atheist. The concept of an invisible divine being watching over us is both illogical and egocentric in my thinking. Plus, what makes a god that derives from desert tribespeople of the Levant the right god compared to say, Svarog of Slavic mythology? Because more people believe in the Abrahamic god therefore he must be true?

I’m getting off track here. No, I have no more belief in Eldath, a goddess invented by a Canadian librarian and role-playing gamer, than I do the god of the Bible, but I can empathise with the comfort and spiritual joy having faith in a supernatural being can bring. So, I’m retooling Operation 47 into something more life-encompassing than just simple weight loss.

I’ve outlined what I intend to do in a page.

Must get back on track

I have been in some sort of diet limbo for a couple of months now and it’s not good. I haven’t weighed myself in a while and I’m not keen about doing it either. There’s no way I’m at 117 kg any more.

I can’t forget the reasons why I started Operation 47 – that’s the initiative. When things waver, go back to the reasons I began this weight loss regime. Health, smaller clothes, fitness…if I can be slim again there’s nothing I can’t achieve. Success is a slippery slope, in spite of that being a logical fallacy. So, I must get Operation 47 back on the rails. Here we go. Let battle commence…again.

operation 47

Halfway there…

operation 47

Alrighty, read this post, if you’re of a mind. It’s the start of my weight loss goals. I wanted to lose 40 kg by the time I’m 47 which is in December 2015. Well, it’s now 8 February, 2015, and I’m just a touch under halfway there. When I weighed myself the other day (Tuesday, 3 February) I was at 116.7 kg. That’s nearly twenty kilograms lighter than when I started this whole calorie counting thing four months ago. My gut feels “caved in” – my arms and legs feel smaller, the shorts almost fall off my hips.

I have no doubt I’ll be 40 kg lighter by December 2015. In fact, the way I’m going, I’ll be even lighter.

Once again, it’s all been too simple. I’ve just counted what I’ve eaten and drank of a day using myfitnesspal.com and stayed at or under the allotted daily kilojoule allowance. No stupid diets, no beans-only main meals or cold showers (like I read in one book on “revolutionary” weight loss), no meal replacement powders, no shakes, no eating only lettuce and spinach. No excuses.

Just measured what I eaten and drank. Hell, I still eat stuff like pizzas and McDonalds on occasion.

So, if you need inspiration and you’ve found these posts through Google, look at all the Operation 47 stuff I’ve written. Hopefully, it’s motivating.

Serious progress is serious

operation 47

When I weighed myself this morning I was 119.1 kg. So I’m finally below 120 kg. I haven’t been under that particular target since around 2003-2004, at least. Since I’ve started this counting calories (or kilojoules rather) gig, I’ve shed 17 kg. While I’m not quite a fount of exuberant energy (yet) I do feel lighter. Clothes sit looser on me and it’s easier to get up from a chair or out of bed. That’s when my back doesn’t give me grief, which is a story for another day.

As I’ve said with nearly other Operation 47 entry here, it’s been too easy. All I do is count calories and stay under a certain limit each day. It works. The weight is falling off.

Can write off the holidays

operation 47

Well, I’ve tried to maintain calorie counting and watching what I eat and I’ve been largely successful, but no, I guarantee I’ve put on weight this last week. When I weigh myself tomorrow, that suspicion will be vindicated. No big deal – silly season is coming to an end, 2015 is nearly upon us then it’ll be full steam ahead. I’ve lost 15 Kg since I started Operation 47 and there’s no stopping me now.

Edit: surprise, surprise – I actually managed to lose 500 grams. I’m at 120.1 Kg.

Quite amazing really…

operation 47

It was my birthday yesterday, and we spent some of the day over a friend’s house out in the country. A Christmas party. I’ve been keeping track of what I eat and drink for just over two months now on myfitnesspal and I’ve lost fourteen kgs in about eight weeks, mainly by sticking to (or staying under) my daily kilojoule allowance, which is currently at 7800 kJ. But yesterday, I relaxed things a little and ate stuff I ordinarily don’t touch any more like chips (crisps), marshmallows, gummy lollies, cake, crackers, dip and so on.

You know, I felt blah afterward. I’m so accustomed to eating healthier food that reverting to processed sugary stuff even for a day did my body no good. It was like being poisoned. In return for my splurging on garbage yesterday, I’m having a light one today, aiming for about 5000 kilojoule maximum.

The moral of this story? If you train yourself to eat and drink healthier, your mind and body will readily tell you what isn’t so crash hot for you.

Weight and the losing thereof

operation 47

I’ve been at it for six weeks now, and I’m down to 125.9 kg. When I started to get serious about weight loss, I was 136 kg. Just by counting calories (or kilojoules if you like) and staying at or under my prescribed daily limit (8159 kJ), I’m losing weight steadily. 10.2 kg in six weeks to be precise. And guess what? I feel good doing it. I’m not starving or eating nothing but rabbit food. I’m just not eating the processed stuff I was before – salami, cabanossi, et al. No cereal either and I try to reduce my bread and pasta intake. Nothing to do with ketogenic or Atkins diets or anything; they’re chocker block full of kilojoules. Your average plain bread roll has about 750 kJ in it.

I’m aiming to eat good quantities of fruit and vegetables too. Most days I’m successful at it. At Christmas time this year, I’ll be at or around 120 kg, which will be the lightest I’ve been in probably a decade.

All because I decided to count calories using myfitnesspal. Too easy.

Operation 47 updated

operation 47

Since I started with Operation 47, I’ll be frank and say I’ve made generally zero progress. Up until a week ago. Why? Simple – I wasn’t paying attention to what I was eating and drinking.

For the last week, I’ve subscribed to a site called myfitnesspal. This place allows you to set a goal – such I’ve done with Operation 47 – and then log everything you’re doing to reach that goal, i.e, everything you eat and drink, and the exercise you’re doing. It has an exhaustive list of foods and drink, and the best thing about it all? You can record packaging barcodes with your mobile phone which saves a lot of manual data entry.

phone screenshot

In the week I’ve been using it, I’ve encountered one product that had no listing and I had to enter it manually, which ended up being a cinch anyway.

Counting calories (or kilojoules, if you like) – that’s what it’s all about. Heretofore, I wasn’t counting anything, just logging what I ate, which didn’t serve much of a purpose save bookkeeping. With myfitnesspal, I can accurately record everything that goes down my gullet. I’ve not gone over my daily calorie allocation (8494 kJ or 2030 calories).

So, my optimism that I will succeed with Operation 47 has returned.

Edit 14 October, 2014 I am at 133.2 kg. That’s a loss of about three kilograms. 

Sixteen months from now

operation 47

As I write this, I am exactly 16 months away from my 47th birthday. That’s 68 weeks. I just weighed myself, and I’m 135 kg. Take away the clothes I had on, and the fact that I’ve eaten/drank and that’s more realistically about 133 Kg. All right, but let’s use 135 kg as a baseline, as it makes the maths a tad cleaner. I’d like to be 100 kg minimum by Dec 7, 2015.

35 ÷ 68 = 0.515.

So, that’s a weight loss of about 500 grams a week. That’s a touch over one pound to you folks who lean that way. That’s readily achievable, even without doing drastic things.

OK, this is me right now. Scary stuff. Not just to look at either – it’s scary for health reasons too. I’m shaving years off my life by carrying weight like this.



I’m still planning on what to do in regards to exercise, but with food, I’m already eating less, and eating more sensibly. I’ve eliminated processed stuff from my diet and am trying very hard to make my own snacks and so on. So, in a future update, I’ll post here precisely what I’ve been doing with food and activity.

I’ll leave this video here. This guy was 47 at the time he made this. If I could do some of these exercise routines right now, I’d be happy. It truly is inspiring stuff. Something to work towards.

He’s disabled embedding, so click to watch.

An intro to Operation 47

operation 47

To put it in simple terms, I’m a big person and I have been for years. At least (on and off) since my early 30s. I’m currently 45.

What do I mean by big? I’m 186 cm tall and I weigh about 130 Kg. [Edit 19 Nov 2014: I probably weighed closer to 136-7 kg] I have a significantly big gut, though I’m not really fat anywhere else. I don’t have a fat face and I don’t have a “fat” look at all.

The reasons why I’m fat (I’m not shy about calling myself that – I’m not in denial about my size at all) – the reason why I’m fat is ludicrously simple. I eat too much relative to my energy output. That is, the same reason as anyone else plus-sized. I love my food. I have an undying admiration for certain kinds of smallgoods – you know, salamis, silverside – factually most meats. I like the savoury taste of meat. As much I’d like to go full vegetarian I know I’d miss that taste and I’m not clever enough with my food choices to conjure up a palatable substitute in a hurry.

And I eat too much of everything. It’s not what I eat, it’s how much of it. I struggle with portion sizes, I usually finish off what my kids won’t eat and so on. I’m the garbage guts of the household.
too hard basket
I know why I’m fat and I know what it takes to reduce my weight. So why haven’t I? Well, it’s called the Couldn’t Be Assed Syndrome, or also known as the Too Hard Basket Syndrome. There’s quite a bit of not finishing what I started too.

So I’ve come up with Operation 47. I’m currently 45 as I said (45 and 7/12 to be precise) and I turn 47 in December 2015. Can I lose 40 kilograms between now and then? I’m sure I could. That’s about 70 weeks away. 40 kilograms in 70 weeks is about 0.57 kilograms a week weight loss. Which is neither particularly difficult to do nor injurious to one’s health.

Not only do I want to lose weight, but I want to become stronger. I have what’s called an endomorphic build according to constitutional psychology theory (which see) and so I’m “big-boned” and have a proclivity to pack it on. So I want to start pumping iron. I’m aware that I’m probably going to put on weight due to muscle mass being heavier, but once the fat starts coming off, it’ll balance itself out.

I don’t currently have a diet plan or anything like that in mind, but I have a better than fair idea of what works. So that’s covered. So when does Operation 47 start? Right now.

Let battle commence.