Sunday, 30 October 2011

Progress and Setbacks

Dear World

This week has been a solid mixture of progress and shite. I  had drinking sessions on two occasions this week, both of which resulted in a truly shocking following day. I've found in recent weeks, that the medication I take for my Bipolar Disorder is hitting me a lot harder than it used you, presumably because I'm now four stone lighter than I was eleven weeks ago. There's a lot less of me, so these tablets kick the living shit out of me if I don't take them at the right time of day. I've found it increasingly difficult to wake up in the morning as a result. The combination of the now harsh medication and a few drinkypoos results in feeling abosultely terrible the following day - I can barely function. Therefore I've made a decision to quit alcohol for the foreseeable future. It seems that drinking completely stunts the huge progress I've been making, so that's it, no more booze. I need to focus on myself, my healing and my new life of drive, motivation and ambition. I need to do everything in my power to ensure nothing affects this.

This week I've been busy with job interviews and painting. I curated a cubicle at Ben's Canteen, which was great but took me a solid eleven hours of painting! Also, I painted group portrait of Christian O'Connell and his Absolute Radio Breakfast Show team. I spoke to Christian on Thursday, and after a further discussion with his producer, I'm going to have the opportunity to appear on the show and present my painting/plug my business. this is super exciting and I'll keep you posted on what happens.

I unfortunately received a couple of job rejections this week, which, although disappointing, are just part of life and I'll keep plugging away.

My diet has been really good and I'm continuing to lose weight, the evidence of which will appear on next week's blog. Unfortunately, for a combination of reasons I've only been to the gym once this week, which isn't at all good enough. I've also sacked off a couple of training sessions at Samaritans. Like I said, the booze has a lot to answer for.

Next week, I've promised myself to be more proactive and focussed. This is starting tonight with a chilled out evening and early night. I have a good feeling about the next seven days, so I'll do all I can to make it a good one.

Overall, I'm definitely still on track, thanks to how good my diet has been, but I need to up my game in more than one area. Watch this space, next week's blog will be epic, I promise.

"Progress in life is like driving. Sometimes, you move forward quickly, sometimes slowly and sometimes not at all. Sometimes you even have to move backwards. You have to avoid unexpected obstacles and occasionally take detours. However, what remains constant is your destination. If you keep focussed, you'll always get there eventually".

See you next week.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

The Wounded Demons

Alright? It's the end of week ten and I'm pleased to report that things are going pretty swimmingly. This week has been one of temptation and a genuinely busy diary, but things have not fallen by the wayside. In my last blog post, I told you all I would go to the gym Monday-Friday, but in reality, this simply wasn't possible. I've had portraits to paint, appointments to attend, volunteering to do, plans to make and people to see. I managed to visit the gym three times though, and had three pretty good, old-fashioned workouts. In terms of diet, I've most certainly settled in to that and it now feels like standard procedure to eat three, modest and healthy meals a day. Do I still feel the occasional pinch of tempation? Yes, but hardly ever. A big test this week was preparing my nephew's fifth birthday party with my Sister and Mum. We made Cake Pops, little chocolate cake balls, covered in melted chocolate and decorated with sweets. I can say with some confidence that each cake pop contains approximately 75 million calories, give or take. They the richest and most awesome things in the universe. Making them without drinking pints of melted chocolate was tough, but I'm defeating my demons and am realising that I DON'T HAVE TO EAT EVERYTHING I SEE. Also, I've discussed my unhealthy relationship with food on previous blogs. Sometimes, when I have something to celebrate, or I'm fucked off about something, I still think to myself, 'Right, I'm going home to eat the world and lay in bed'. Sometimes I forget that I don;t do that shit anymore, then I remember and laugh. I'm so proud that I can experience emotions without turning to food. 

I know I write like someone who resents food, but this isn't the case, I LOVE food. I'm forever watching cooking shows and love to cook, neither am I a food fascist. I can occasionally treat myself to certain things, but my desire to eat them in the first place has reduced. I really don't feel like I deprive myself of anything. I eat what I want to eat, and it just so happens that I only really want to eat healthy food. Like I said, I do occasionally get tempted to scoff some shit or other, but I now have faculties in place to say no, which I previously did not possess.

In other news, I now wear my belt at the tightest possible setting and it feels fantastic. The physical trasnformation I'm going through is such that my clothes fit a little better each and every time I wear them. Another of the biggest issues I had when I was at my fattest was the fact I sweated so fucking much. Honestly, I often looked like I'd been caught in a torrential downpour, such was the minging extent of my perspiration. This really has changed now. Evidence of this was yesterday in fact, when I helped set up/clear up Noah's party. I was lugging tables and chairs around, with not so much as a hint of the dreaded sweat.

Other news this week is that I've been painting a few portraits and loving it. Also, I'm curating a cubicle at Ben's Canteen, a wonderful bar/restaurant in Clapham. I'll be painting an awesome mural for the lovely people who run it, which should get me some more gigs. I also have an interview as a shop manager at Marie Curie Cancer Care on Wednesday. If I can get that job, it will be an awesomw way to pay the bills and support my other projects. Wish me luck....

Right, I can't put this off any further. It's time for my bi-weekly weight and measurement report. Here goes:

Start - 12/08/2011                          End of week 10 - 23/10/2011

Weight - 168 kg                             Weight - 141.9 kg                                 
Chest - 53 ins                                         Chest - 49.5 ins                                         
Waist - 57 ins                                 Waist - 50 ins
Upper Arm left - 18 ins                    Upper Arm left - 17 ins
Forearm left - 14 ins                        Forearm left - 13.8 ins
Upper Arm right - 17 ins                  Upper Arm right - 16.5 ins
Forearm left - 13.5 ins                     Forearm right - 13.2 ins
Thigh left - 34 ins                           Thigh left - 30.7 ins
Calf left - 21 ins                              Calf left - 20.5 ins
Thigh right - 34 ins                          Thigh right - 29.5 ins
Calf right - 22 ins                            Calf right - 21.2 ins

Well, what do you think? I'm chuffed to bits, especially considering my limited time for the gym this week. I've now officially passed the four stone mark, which is huge. I'm almost feeling like a proper person again!

Again, if you want to see previous results, have a look at my previous entries, blah blah.

In conclusion, I'm becoming increasingly busy, which is testament to my increased energy levels, I'm still training hard when I go to the gym, I'm still eating well, I'm still losing weight and still feeling better with every day that passes. If I can keep this up, my target is well within my reach. Ahead of me is another busy week, but I promise I'll be a good boy.

'It is said that time is the best healer, I disagree. You can have all the time in the world, but without being honest and communicative with yourself and possessing insight, you'll never heal'.

See you next week, you lovely lot. x

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Wardrobes, Paranoia, Doubts and Renewed Determination

Evening, all! We've officially passed the two month mark of my new life and I love it. I can now fit into everything in my wardrobe and I believe I'm right in saying I'm the thinnest I've been in a good two or three years. I'm so proud of how far I've come and how much my life has changed already. However, I have a massive journey ahead of me and feel that I've barely scratched the surface. Yes, it's been two months, but I have another ten to go and I worry that I won't be able to maintain this pace. I'm scared that I'll quit.

I've been training well this week, but not quite to my usual standard, as I'm actually getting increasingly busy and having to juggle a lot more. My volunteering is taking time, my job search and arty farty endeavours are increasing and feel that my gym-going will inevitably suffer for it. I'm pleased to report that my diet is as good as ever. I can now allow myself to eat like a normal person occasionally and not be the food fascist I've become. Generally, I'm delighted with how my relationship with food has changed and how my desire to eat shite has diminished.

I think I'm in danger of becoming too obsessed with this and consequently punishing myself too much. It's important that I continue to work hard and eat well, but I'm reaching a stage at which I get really annoyed with myself if I feel I'm not working as hard as I should be. I need to be careful or I'll end up miserable.

I think I'm going to wipe the slate clean and focus. Tomorrow is Monday. I have a few things to do but I'll hit the gym hard Monday to Friday. I'll eat like an angel and train like a bull. I'll work like a Japanese prisoner of war and sleep like a corpse. That should do it.

Next Sunday is the weigh in and I want a good result, to prove to myself that I haven't started slacking. Bring it the fuck on.

Sunday, 9 October 2011


Well well well, it's the end of week eight. Week EIGHT! I've been on this journey of mine for nearly two months already. Actually, on reflection, 12th August 2010 already feels like a lifetime ago. The man I was on that day is not the man I am this day. On that fateful day, eight weeks ago, I gave a bingo-winged wave goodbye to the monster I had created. I'm determined to never see that sweaty mess of a man ever again and every day is a step closer to becoming the pysical manifestation of the man I want to and SHOULD be. In the last eight weeks, my Belly and Brain have gone through some profound changes. I see progress every day and every day brings with it excitement and energy. If I can continue on this path, I can only imagine what I will look and feel like in fourty six weeks. I cannot wait.

Some pretty cool things have happened this week. I tightened the belt on my jeans by yet another notch. In fact, I only have one notch left before I have to either buy a new belt or make a new hole in this one (I had to make a hole in it at the other end when I bought it, as it was too small). 

My dear sibling bought me a T Shirt for Christmas last year. It was size Large. I was utterly chuffed that my sister was blind enough to think it would fit me at that size but, alas, my actual size was XXXL. Yesterday, I wore that T Shirt and it fits perfectly. This is just one of the lovely bonuses of the weight loss. I cannot begin to describe the feeling of satisfaction at being able to wear previously ill-fitting clothes for the first time, that look and feel perfect. I'm looking forward to blowing the cobwebs from a few more of the clothes in the deepest, darkest recesses of my wardrobe, as the weeks progress.

Things are also looking up in other areas of my life. My training with Samaritans is going well and I've just signed up to become a volunteer for Mind, the mental health charity. Also, I'm attending an open day at Bromley College in a few weeks, with a view to training to become a Counsellor. This sums up the progress I've made, that I'm now able to draw upon my experiences to help others deal with teir difficulties. I'm still applying for lots of jobs and have a good feeling about one of them. Watch this space. Lastly, I've had a couple of orders for portraits, so maybe my beloved business is in with a chance after all!

Right, on to the facts and figures of the week eight weigh and measure:

Start - 12/08/2011                          End of week 8 - 09/10/2011

Weight - 168 kg                             Weight - 146.5 kg                                 
Chest - 53 ins                                         Chest - 49 ins                                         
Waist - 57 ins                                 Waist - 51.5 ins
Upper Arm left - 18 ins                    Upper Arm left - 17.2 ins
Forearm left - 14 ins                        Forearm left - 13.8 ins
Upper Arm right - 17 ins                  Upper Arm right - 16.8 ins
Forearm left - 13.5 ins                     Forearm right - 13.6 ins
Thigh left - 34 ins                           Thigh left - 31 ins
Calf left - 21 ins                              Calf left - 20.8 ins
Thigh right - 34 ins                          Thigh right - 31 ins
Calf right - 22 ins                            Calf right - 21.1 ins

As per usual, if you want to be reacquainted with my previous results, have a look back at my previous blogs.

I'm delighted with my results so far. So much so, here's a double photo of me. The image on the right was taken on 12th August and the one on the right was taken this very evening.

I hope you can see the results as much as I can feel them. I'm going to see if I can lose a total of five stone by Christmas. If I can manage to do that, I'll be delighted.

Finally, Tuesday 11th October will mark the four year anniversary of my Father's passing. For those of you who have lost one of both parents, my heart goes out to you. For anyone out there who has as least one of their parents left, please do me a favour and give them a huge hug this week.

'Apparently, beauty is only skin deep. This is not the case. Beauty truly lives in every atom of every cell.'

Monday, 3 October 2011

The Balance

This post comes a day late, as I was having some technological issues last night. Apologies to all those who's weekends were empty and devoid of meaning as a result.

Week seven has been and gone. I would be a liar if I said it had been the perfect week of training. This week, I've been in a rather unusual position, I've actually been genuinely busy. I've started my training with The Samaritans, which is great and I've actually had a real, living, breathing social life. I went out on Saturday and spent some quality time on Blackheath with old friends. On Saturday night, I went out for a monumental drink up in Clapham, to celebrate my oldest and dearest friend's birthday. Consequently, I didn't to to the gym on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. The intention was to take a few, well-deserved days off, socialise, enjoy myself and start a heavy week at the gym today (Monday).

I fear I may have a reached a level of obsession with my new life. I felt monumentally guilty for the fact I drank beer at the weekend and took three days off from the gym, even though I still ate really well. I need to remind myself that I still need to live my life and if I obsess about the gym too much, it's going to do more harm than good.

In all honesty, I almost didn't go to the gym today either. My hangover from Saturday night rolled over to a second day and I felt utterly knackered, and frankly, pretty depressed this morning. I managed to fight these feelings and went to the gym, hitting it harder than ever. I am well and truly back in the swing of things and have learnt a valuable lesson in balancing fun and responsibility.

I kicked the living shit out of the cross trainer today, as you can see from the photo. I dominated 1210 calories in 60 minutes. I was pushing hard all the way and it was a phenomenal feeling when I finished. I'm back, and loving every second. I know that I'll have days like today, in which I really, REALLY don't want to go to the gym, but I will fight these feelings and remind myself of why I'm going. I'm changing my life for the better and doing something to make myself, my family, my friends and my darling Dad proud. It's so important that I feel I'm finally doing something that my Dad, wherever he is, will be proud of. Dad always knew I had unrealised potential and I'm sure he was frustrated. Well, Dad, no more. I'm doing this for you, old man! I love you and miss you every day.

I also want to give a special mention to two lovely men whom, before Saturday, I had no idea cared. Matt and Fraz Gilbert. These two gentlemen were out on Saturday night and they told me how impressed and inspired by my blog and progress they were. Their words truly resonated within me and I can't sufficiently articulate how much those kind words meant to me. Thanks, boys!

Anyway, to summarise, life will not always encourage you to continue with personal aspirations, but what's important is learning to balance the things you enjoy with the things that you may not enjoy, but are important all the same.

'Every repetition I perform, every step I walk, every drop of sweat make, is one step closer to making my dreams come true and finally showing my demons that I cannot and will not be beaten'.

See you next week for the weigh in.