Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Special Edition. Read All About It!

I'm bucking the trend this week, by posting on a Wednesday. I contacted the local press last week, to see if they'd be interested in writing about my weight-loss mission, in the hope that it would not only help keep me motivated, but also reach out to others who want to make a change in their lives. 

A journalist from the Bromley Times called me and told me she was interested in writing a piece on me, for this week's paper. The online article can be found here.

The article mentions this blog and has the URL at the bottom, so this blog entry is for any new readers who have discovered the blog through the paper and want to learn more. Hi!

I'm just over six weeks into my journey and I'm doing well at the moment, although it's still early days. Please feel free to read the blog from the first entry in August, it's a good read!

I wouldn't be very good at my job if I didn't take this opportunity to show you what I do for a living. The article mentions that I'm an Artist. Click here to see my website!

I'd love to have people's feedback on the blog. It means a lot to me that I'm able to create this journal and tell the world what I'm doing. I hope I can inspire others to change their lives for the better.

Anyway, I'll be back on Sunday, with my usual weekly summary. See you then!

Sunday, 25 September 2011

A Solo Mission

It's the end of week six already. It really has flown by. In this short period of time, so many changes have taken place that I can barely remember the wobbly shadow of a man I was, back in mid-August.

Going to the gym and eating well have become part of the furniture and each day, I plug away and slowly chip away at the flabby oak tree. My mood is still generally very good and I'm becoming much more productive, with my new-found energy levels.

I've been watching a bit of Biggest Loser on Sky and have a great deal of respect for the men and women on there, desperate to change their lives for the better. Before I started this journey, I was actually tempted to apply as a contestant, but I'm glad I didn't. I think I'll gain a far greater feeling of achievement if I set a goal for myself and go it alone. Losing weight and getting in shape is hugely important to me, but it's more symbolic of a personal journey for me. If I'm able to decide to make a change, follow it through and stick at it til the end, it will mean that for me, anything is possible and it will prove to me that I have the tools and resources to achieve whatever I choose to in life.

I'm still conscious that I don't have a regular income at the moment. My business is at a standstill and although I have projects I'm working on, my lack of 'job' is irritating. Saying that, I'm not sitting on my laurels. I'm actually incredibly busy every day and I know that if I continue to apply myself, my financial situation will inevitably improve. I've contacted local press in the hope that they will publish my blog. It's important to me that my journey will help inspire others to make a change in their lives. I'll keep you updated with this.

Anyway, I digress. On to the facts and figures. It's the week six weigh in and measure. Here are the results:

Start - 12/08/2011                          End of week 6 - 25/09/2011

Weight - 168 kg                             Weight - 152.6 kg                                 
Chest - 53 ins                                         Chest - 50.5 ins                                         
Waist - 57 ins                                 Waist - 53 ins
Upper Arm left - 18 ins                    Upper Arm left - 18.2 ins
Forearm left - 14 ins                        Forearm left - 14.2 ins
Upper Arm right - 17 ins                  Upper Arm right - 17.2 ins
Forearm left - 13.5 ins                     Forearm right - 13.8 ins
Thigh left - 34 ins                           Thigh left - 32.1 ins
Calf left - 21 ins                              Calf left - 21.1 ins
Thigh right - 34 ins                          Thigh right - 31.6 ins
Calf right - 22 ins                            Calf right - 21.7 ins

For a recap of weeks two and four's results, have a look: Week two. Week four.

There are fluctuations with some of the measurements, but the important ones are going in the right direction.

I've found that my strength is improving a great deal and I'm now starting to lift some pretty serious weights at the gym. This is really starting to show and I'm sure my weight will begin to reflect this, if it isn't already.

I will continue on this path and very much look forward to next August. I'll be a new man in more ways than one.

'Change is easy, but making that change a part of your daily life in the long term is the real challenge'.

See you next week. 

Sunday, 18 September 2011


I sit at my keyboard, wondering what to write this week, the end of week five. last week, I showed you all the fruits of my labour. I truly am astonished by the rate at which my body is dropping weight. It really does reinforce the work I do on a daily basis.

Today, I woke up in a bad mood and could think of hundreds of places I'd rather have gone than the gym. Despite this, I grudgingly put on my gym clothes and went, leaving the house with a face like a smacked arse as I did so. 2.5 miles later, I arrived, did my time and walked home. Did I enjoy my workout? Not really. Did the workout release a torrent of endorphins into my system? Not particularly. Did I get home, feeling proud that I've made enough progress to still go to the gym, even when I really don't want to? Definitely. I think this is the most important element of what I'm doing, the strength to keep going, even though the novelty has worn off.

A few weeks ago, I asked my Psychiatrist how I could maintain momentum, even when my desire to train began to diminish. His answer was simple: 'When the novelty wears off and you no longer possess the explosive energy and enthusiasm to train, you must employ the part of your mind that remembers where you started from and why you're doing it in the first place', or words to that effect. This couldn't be more true. What is my reason for eating so well, resisting the urge to gorge myself and instead bust my arse at the gym, day in and day out? The reason is reason itself. How fucking miserable have I been over the last few years? To an unquantifiable extent. To what extent did I resent myself for allowing myself to turn into such a waste of space? Very much so. How much better do I feel now? Exponentially. How excited am I at the prospect of reaching my goal and achieving what I set out to do? I'm as excited as a four year old on Christmas Eve. 

So, that is my reason: My refusal to lose control and return to the feelings of abject misery that haunted me for so long. I will keep pushing, every day, and I won't stop until I've done what I set out to do. It's going to be tough, but It's so important to me that I finish what I've started this time, otherwise the eternal whirlpool of failure will capture me once more.

Tomorrow is the start of a new week, and it brings with it the opportunity to prove to myself yet again, that I'm worth something.

'It is said that life is defined by cause and effect, but this formula lacks the most important element, choice. Without choice, we cannot understand the cause, and thus, cannot justify the effect.'

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Forgotten Resources

It's the end of week four and, holy shit, my body has gone through some serious changes. I say changes, but they're not knew as much as rediscovered. Four weeks ago, when I first went to the gym, I got a bus there and literally couldn't manage five minutes on the Cross Trainer. Today, I walked there and blasted a full hour on the Cross Trainer, and then walked home.

Before all this lard malarkey took place, I was always able to rely on a good level of general fitness and a good recovery rate. Simply put, my body was a well-oiled machine. Of course, that all changed when I put all the weight on. I could barely walk to the shops for my daily heart attack banquet without sweating like a Yokozuna, wearing a fur coat, doing star jumps, in a sauna. But now, well I still sweat as I'm not exactly a wafer, but I can make my body do some pretty cool things and I don't feel like I'm going to die afterwards. I feel that the recovery rate and general fitness levels are making a welcomed return. I feel like a proper person, with proper energy levels.

The last week hasn't been all sunshine and unicorns though. Thursday was my 28th birthday and I went out for dinner with some close friends. Luckily, I was able to eat healthily and skip dessert without too much trouble, but I got through several glasses of wine during the meal. This, in itself wasn't a problem, but I hardly ever drink these days, so the next day, my mind took a kicking. The medication I take for Bipolar Disorder doesn't agree with alcohol, so I felt awful all day, depressed and angry. Consequently, I didn't go to the gym that day. However, the next day (Saturday) I felt great and went to the gym as normal. I just need to be careful when I drink in future.

Also, my weight loss has slowed down, albeit only slightly. I've taken the decision to not count my walking as part of my training. As I mentioned earlier, my general fitness has improved, so I'm able to do more. Therefore, my new routine will be as follows:

I'll train with weights every other day and on the days in between I'll have a cardio session. I'll still walk to and from the gym, but the walking isn't enough as I need to get my heart rate up to a sufficient level to promote weight loss.

So, on to more pressing issues, the big weigh-in and measure! Here are my end of week four stats:

Start - 12/08/2011                          End of week 4 - 11/09/2011

Weight - 168 kg                             Weight - 157.6 kg                                 
Chest - 53 ins                                         Chest - 51 ins                                         
Waist - 57 ins                                 Waist - 54 ins
Upper Arm left - 18 ins                    Upper Arm left - 18.2 ins
Forearm left - 14 ins                        Forearm left - 13.7 ins
Upper Arm right - 17 ins                  Upper Arm right - 17.5 ins
Forearm left - 13.5 ins                     Forearm right - 13.6 ins
Thigh left - 34 ins                           Thigh left - 32.5 ins
Calf left - 21 ins                              Calf left - 21.2 ins
Thigh right - 34 ins                          Thigh right - 32.6 ins
Calf right - 22 ins                            Calf right - 22 ins

If you want to see my week 2 results again, they can be found here: 

I'm delighted with the results so far. In all honesty, the only statistics I really care about are my weight and my waistline. So far, I've lost 10.4 kg and 3 inches from my waist. For you gym-goers out there, next time you go, find a 10 kg weight plate and pick it up. Pretty heavy, right? 

I may have said that my weight and waistline are of paramount importance to me, but that's not strictly true. Far more important than those things are how I feel, my state of mind, my emotional balance. There aren't any quantifiable statistics for that, but I can tell you with some conviction that I haven't felt this contented in a long time.

"The metric system is flawed, in that there isn't a unit of measurement for happiness. However, happiness can be measured by both the sincerity of a person's smile and the effect that person's presence has on another".

See you next week.

Sunday, 4 September 2011


It's the end of week three and I don't have an awful lot to report. Perhaps this is a good thing. I'm eating well, training well and feeling the benefits of my work.

I'm finding that I'm not having to call upon my will power as much as I expected to. My desire to eat has been reduced to literally eating three healthy meals a day. I have no desire to snack and certainly no desire to snack on lard bites.

Another thing I've noticed is the return of my swagger. Before I became a sack of marshmallows, I used to walk with swagger and confidence, with my head held high and smirk on my face. Now, although I still possess many a marshmallow, I find myself returning to this confident gait. I give women I see a cheeky smile and have started remembering what it's like to feel good about myself. This has reinforced my theory that much of one's confidence is in the mind. Of course, having a healthy body is important, but in combination with a healthy mind, a person is unstoppable, ergo, this new life of mine brings with it by-products I didn't previously consider. The more I train, the looser my clothes get and the more snacks I say no to, the more contented I become. I am achieving a clarity of mind that I had previously forgotten was possible. My psychological clouds are clearing and the sunrise is beautiful.

I'm more determined than ever to make this new life a permanent fixture. My hope is that once my goals have been met, I'll be able to help and inspire others to reach their goals. If this serial quitter can do it, anyone can.

'If you're not standing on the shoulders of giants, then you yourself are the giant, upon  whose shoulders people stand.'

See you next week for the weigh in.