Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Meditation And Crossing Roads Without Dying

Holy shit, what a week. Firstly, since The Huffington Post wrote a piece on my weight loss, I've received an incredible amount of feedback and gained many blog followers. For this, I'm really very thankful. The purpose of my blog from the outset was two-fold. Firstly, I wanted to write my thoughts and feelings in the public domain in order to keep me motivated. Secondly, I hoped that the blog would serve as a way in which to support and motivate others. I have received many messages from people who have told me I'm an inspiration. This is truly humbling and it means a lot to me that my words have the capacity to give hope to others. This journey is a difficult one, but a possible one. Nothing in this life that means a lot, is simple to achieve.
I started my new job today and it really is brilliant to be back in the world of work, particularly doing something that I care about. It will be interesting to find out how this new career pans out, particularly in combination with my artistic ventures. Maybe the two will mix, who knows. As a result of my new employment, my exercise routine will have to be adjusted accordingly, which is actually convenient as my body has become accustomed to my activity level and my weight loss is consequently at a current stand still. What I intend to do is walk to and from work Monday - Thursday, which is around six and a half miles per day. Additionally to that, I'll try to get to the gym Tuesday - Thursday after work, walking to and from as usual. Consequently, my walking will increase substantially. My work at the gym will mainly be with weights, with a dash of cardio to keep things moving. Walking to work is fantastic, as a three mile walk is usually what it takes for my brain to reach a level of activity and efficiency conducive to functionality, vis a vis blinking, breathing and talking. What is also particularly satisfying, is walking past all the pasty-faced, lard-arsed misery balls on their buses, knowing I'll get to work before them and will be less likely to have a heart attack on my doorstep. Unfortunately, my legendary road-crossing skills will be put to the test on a regular basis. 

Now I'm earning money akin to a real human, I will be able to actually buy things, which is a novel idea. These things will include clothes as I am, in essence, a tramp. I'm still wearing the same clothes I was 95lbs ago and look rather like Josh at the end of Big, when he turns back into a kid. Either that or I look like a sixteen year old, who's borrowed his Dad's suit for his Court hearing. Either way, I need some new shit. I will also now be able to spend my weekends in Haverhill, with my gorgeous Sara. life is good.

I went for a Psychological assessment on Monday, in order to ascertain which type of therapy will be most helpful to me. It was an interesting process and the best quote of the day was this from the Psychologist, in response to my description of my thought process, 'You must be exhausted'. Yep, pretty much, my old mucker! His conclusion was that I would benefit from a form of meditation therapy called Mindfulness, which, although slightly Hippyish, actually does have scientific basis. Awesome, right? I get meditation on the NHS. I'm fully aware that I may become a Buddhist as a result of this.

 In the mean time, I'm going to do my thing and see how much weight I lose. I'll report back next week with some stats.

Later, potater.

Monday, 16 January 2012


A couple of cool things happened today. Firstly, I was offered a job at a wonderful company, starting next week. Secondly, an article was released in the Huffington Post, detailing the story of my weight loss. It can be found here. My favourite part of the article is a cynical comment from a dopey fuck called 'Nitpicker', claiming that one of my photos had been Photoshopped. This was such a back-handed compliment, that I couldn't bring myself to be anything other than flattered. Well, I do feel slightly sorry for his/her gene pool, but it takes all sorts to make a world.

My weight loss is currently hovering around the seven stone mark. I believe, in the trade, this is known as a Gateau, which I assume is a reference to eating cake being a barrier to weight loss. It's slightly irritating. I've discussed this with Sara and a couple of other people and, in all honesty, if it weren't for the fact I previously aimed to lose ten stone, I probably would have stopped trying to lose more by now. I'm at a weight that I reel really comfortable with and I'm happier than I've ever been. I'd quite happily stop trying to lose weight at this point, but I shall push on and see what happens. This, however begs the question: Do I do what I set out to do or do I stop, knowing that I've reached my physical and emotional goals? It's a big question, the answer to which I do not know.

Another interesting development is the fact my life is about to get a lot busier. As well as all this working out bollocks, I'm juggling my business and a new venture, the aforementioned new job. It will be interesting to see what impact this has on my development.

I have an appointment at the Polar bear hospital on Monday, which will involve a full psychological assessment, in order to ascertain the sort of Psycho therapy I need. I hope they're ready, because opening this particular box of tricks should be an interesting experience for all involved. I may be feeling immeasurably better than I ever have, but my brain is an unpredictable mistress, which still surprises me daily. I'll let y'all know how that shit goes down. Sorry, I went all Ghetto then.

One thing I need to overcome is the psychological relationship between exercise and mood. Sometimes, life gets in the way and I may go a few days without going to the gym. When this happens, my mind tells me that I no longer look like my 'after' photos and have instead reverted to my previous physical state, that of Jabba the Hut, in a Sauna, eating Jupiter because it looks a bit like a pizza. This is bollocks, clearly, but it's not unheard of to feel awfully guilty. I need to teach my mind that it's not only OK to take it easy and rest, but a very important element in general health.

Anyway, I'm off to Photoshop some pictures of my gut. Laters.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Fleeting Visit

Well, it's the end of week twenty two and as promised, I'm here. I weighed and measured myself yesterday, to mark five months since the beginning of my new life.

Start - 12/08/2011                          End of week 22 - 14/01/2012

Weight - 168 kg                             Weight - 125 kg                                 
Chest - 53 ins                                         Chest - 46 ins                                         
Waist - 57 ins                                 Waist - 44.5 ins

So, in the space of five months, I've lost 43kg, which equates to around 95lbs. I've also lost a total of 12.5 inches from my waist and 12.5 units from my BMI. I still have a way to go, but the changes to my life are immeasurable. The scales and the tape measure only tell you so much....

Anyway, this is but a fleeting visit to blog land, as I'm off to the pub. Tomorrow I'll write something proper.


Sunday, 8 January 2012

Learning How To Use A See Saw Properly

It's the end of week twenty one and I feel my last entry (fnarr) was a bit angry, so I'm sorry about that that. I still maintain the sentiment that I resent the media's representation of what it is to be healthy and the opinion that food is evil and must be avoided, unless it's green and 90% water. I'm a firm believer in the notion that a healthy body and mind can be achieved by balance.

Christmas/New Year was an interesting experience and, although I didn't entirely go arse over tit off the wagon, I did indulge in a way that the only the festive period can bring. This is my point: I indulged when the occasion called for it, but now it's over, I'm back to eating a healthy, balanced diet, with tasty goodness in moderation. Learning how to control portions and the frequency of treats is imperative to changing my life permanently. I can't maintain a Nazi regime of eating nothing but super healthy food and I can't let my old demons come back and make me lose control. The key is balance and this is something I'm learning to better manage every day.

The festive season coupled with time away from the gym has meant that, for the first time since this began, I haven't lost any weight. in fact, I've gained a whole pound. This doesn't concern me, partly because it is part of the bigger picture and partly because my morning shit tomorrow will probably weight double that. Here are the facts and figures:

Start - 12/08/2011                          End of week 21 - 08/01/2012

Weight - 168 kg                             Weight - 127 kg                                 
Chest - 53 ins                                         Chest - 46 ins                                         
Waist - 57 ins                                 Waist - 45 ins

The usual applies. for previous results, check the previous entries (again, fnarr). You might notice I've left out the measurements of my vital appendages, well, most of them. I've decided that the changes with these are negligible, so will only measure those on a monthly basis.

As this is a special occasion, and the weight has moved marginally in the wrong direction, I will conduct a special weigh in this Friday, 13th January. It will mark my five months in this new life. I will ignore the fact that it's Friday 13th and assume nothing mental will happen, like me falling off the scales and breaking my neck, or decapitating myself on a wayward dumbbell.

'in the playground of life, the best we can hope for is finding someone who's good on a see saw'.

See you next week.

Monday, 2 January 2012


It's the end of week twenty. Lessons have been learned over the last four months and I wish to share these with you. It's the New Year, and many, many people out there will have decided to to lose some weight and increase their general health, but the majority of these people will fail:

Christmas is done and dusted for another year. Did I eat like a saint over this period? No. Did I gain weight as a result? No. In fact, I don't eat like a saint at all any more. Making the decision to change my life for the better has indeed brought with it a sharp learning curve. The mistake that so many dieters make is self-explanatory – they're dieting. Dieting brings with it deprivation and, ultimately, resentment. The vast majority of people who crash diet, end up gaining all the weight they've lost and then some. This is a trap that many, many people fall into. Why? Because as a species, we seek quick fixes and magic spells in order to reach the goals we create for ourselves. I'm determined not to fall into this trap. If I completely deny myself the pleasures that food can provide, I will resent the process and it won't take long at all for me to quit and go back to my old ways. If you dangle a chocolate carrot in front of my face for long enough, I'll bite your fucking hand off and probably eat you for pudding. I need to allow myself to eat the food I enjoy, in moderation. What is moderation? For me, it's eating one bag of hula hoops a couple of times a week, rather than an Irish Potato Famine -inducing warehouse of Pringles. My problem has never been the types of food I've eaten, but the sheer volume of it. I cannot pretend to myself that I don't have an addiction to food, one that has manifested from emotional emptiness.

It angers me a great deal, well not a great deal, in fact, I couldn't really give that much of a fuck, but I don't like the preachy bullshit that swamps the media about food being the ultimate evil. We're being taught to see pleasure as something to feel guilty about. 'Don't eat that cake, or you'll hate yourself'. Fuck that. Eat the bloody cake but go to the gym afterwards. 'Take this pill and you'll lose weight'. Again, fuck that. There are plenty of liquids under my kitchen sink that will make me shit my lungs out, but why would I want that?

This entire process of changing my relationship with food has taught me a lot. I want to be able to maintain this for the rest of my life and the only way I will be able to do this is by eating a balanced diet, with a moderate amount of the foods I enjoy. Combined with decent levels of physical activity, that's all I need to reduce my weight to a healthy level and keep it there. I've learned that lesson well and am beginning to forgive myself for the occasional piece of chocolate or bag of crisps. There's absolutely no way I can live my life as a food Nazi. Some people can, and good for them, but I will not be one of them. I want quality of life as well as quantity. The method I adopted at the beginning of this process was the right one, but what I've come to realise is that the goal posts ultimately need to be moved in order for the change to be a permanent one.

Consequently, my weight loss will slow down and I'm prepared for this. This has long since stopped being a race for numbers for me. I lost an obscene amount of weight in the first four months of this exercise and I'm exceptionally proud of myself for doing so, but now I see the bigger picture and am feeling better about myself than I ever have. I'm here to make and attempt to fix the problems in my life one by one, and have realised how one problem solved, solves many more by default. I'm here to control the amount of food I eat, simple as. I'm here to maintain an active lifestyle, which is no longer a chore but something I truly enjoy, as the benefits are so huge. The bottom line is that I feel fantastic. I'm energetic, productive and feel a tranquillity in my previously storm-riddled mind that surprises me every day.

When I first decided that I wanted to change my life, as expected, I went in all guns blazing and made major changes to my lifestyle that were necessary for me to facilitate a healthier lifestyle, but things have changed and I've come to realise that I can enjoy life, food and things that might not be the most healthy in the world and still have a healthy lifestyle. This is somewhat of a revelation to me, as things have taken a turn. This is me now and this is how I will remain. I will continue to lose weight until I reach a point at which the charts tell me I'm not going to die of a heart attack imminently.

This no nonsense approach makes a great deal more sense to me than the calorie-counting, portion-measuring bullshit. This method will work and I will show the world that they can ignore of the propaganda in the media about weight loss and instead do it my way, which is much more fun.

It may seem to you that I'm being flippant about health, but this is not the case. I respect the need for a healthy lifestyle but have learned to pay attention to my body and recondition the way I think. Eating excessively is not good for you. Being a lazy fuck and doing no exercise is also bad for you. Therefore, a little less lard and a little more movement is all that's needed. I'm nearly three quarters of the way to my weight target and much of it has been achieved by exercising. I changed the way I ate but people around me were seeing my dinners and wondered how I was losing weight at all. The truth is, with a bit of savvy about nutrition and some common sense, it's pretty straight forward. I won't deny that I've worked hard to achieve what I have. I've worked fucking hard. I've rewired my brain and this cannot be done over night. The first couple of weeks of this lifestyle change were spent in agony from the gym and with my stomach doing somersaults of psychosomatic hunger. It was a shock tactic and it paid off. You have to listen to your body but your body also needs to listen to you. 'Oi, stomach, fuck off and get used to it. Oi, body, get a grip. This is how we're doing things from now on.' It worked.

I feel I have been offensive enough for one blog. Rest assured, I'm still taking my lifestyle seriously and the benefits are still evident for all to see, but more importantly, my body and brain both like me these days. We're getting along swimmingly. I'll be back in a week with some stats.


Saturday, 24 December 2011


It's Christmas Eve in Belly and Brain land and all is well with both. I've been working very hard over the last four months and fully intend to continue doing so, however, no one likes a Nazi, so I intend to do what humans are meant to do during this period and that is to eat and drink til the cows come home, or Boxing day, whichever comes first. Life is about being realistic. I will enjoy myself as I deserve to and give the gym a good spanking, once I'm full of Turkey and wine.

The last week or so has been great. I've been spending a lot of time, although not enough, with my Sara, who is wonderful. I've been training hard, eating well and feeling positive.

Here are some Christmas stats:

Start - 12/08/2011                          End of week 19 - 24/12/2011

Weight - 168 kg                             Weight - 126.4 kg                                 
Chest - 53 ins                                         Chest - 46 ins                                         
Waist - 57 ins                                 Waist - 45 ins
Upper Arm left - 18 ins                    Upper Arm left - 16.4 ins
Forearm left - 14 ins                        Forearm left - 13 ins
Upper Arm right - 17 ins                  Upper Arm right - 16 ins
Forearm left - 13.5 ins                     Forearm right - 13 ins
Thigh left - 34 ins                           Thigh left - 28 ins
Calf left - 21 ins                              Calf left - 19.5 ins
Thigh right - 34 ins                          Thigh right - 27.5 ins
Calf right - 22 ins                            Calf right - 20 ins

So, my weight loss is slowing down significantly, which is to be expected, but it's continues to travel in the right direction. I've reached a landmark, in that my weight has fallen below the twenty stone mark for the first time in around five years. I've lost six and a half stone in just over four months, which leaves me with three and a half stone to lose in the next eight months. With hard work and sensible decisions, it's definitely achievable.

For those who haven't yet seen it, check out the article about me in the latest Bromley Times. Click here to give it a look.

So, for now, enjoy your Christmas. Eat, drink and enjoy being with your families.


Monday, 12 December 2011

Easy Peasy

I bear good news: I have made a full and swift recovery from my man flu. Unfortunately, I have infected my Sara. I think she'll make a recovery, but it's touch and go.

I have very little to report this week, other than a feeling of general happiness and contentment, thanks to the beautiful Sara, who inspires me every day.

I saw my Psychiatrist last week, who has amended my medication again. I'll keep you updated with how mental this will make me.

I'm so accustomed to this new lifestyle of mine, that it barely enters my mind any more. I just continue to make sensible decisions with food and continue to wobble my arse in the gym. I'm still enjoying the exercise and feel the benefits after each and every work out.

I'm still aiming to have lost seven stone by Christmas. Due to this, I won't be weighing in this weekend. Instead I'll have a special festive weigh in on Christmas Eve. Can you contain your excitement until then?

I really would like to write something profound tonight, but it's difficult to do so when everything is ship shape and shiny in Belly and Brain. Who knows, maybe next week I'll have a nervous breakdown or gain half a stone. Otherwise, I'll just have to think of something entertaining to say.

Until next time, have fun and don't miss me too much.