Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Good Belly, Bad Brain

Sometimes, events occur which remind you who you are. Sometimes in life, we realise we're not where we thought we were. Sometimes, I forget that I have Bipolar Disorder. It's an horrific infliction, which tears the mind and heart in two. I spend a great deal of time feeling productive, proactive, full of energy and ideas, and unstoppable. This is fantastic and gives me a real glow of vitality, however it can go beyond that point and into manic, impulsive behaviour that can be very destructive. Fortunately, I've been prescribed some very powerful medication, which takes the manic edge off my behaviour, but still allows the huge highs and good feelings that the Bipolar can bring. Of course, to every coin there are two sides. The other side of Bipolar Disorder is one of bleak darkness and seemingly endless doubt and despair. Some people call it Depression, but that is a word that is used far too commonly to describe a bad mood. This is not a bad mood, it's a life-changing and debilitating state of mind that cannot be controlled or altered by any internal means. It fills the mind and heart with doubt, guilt, sadness and gut-wrenching pain, that will not cease until it decides to. Some people are able to ride it out, others aren't. The ones that aren't are not weak and not selfish, they are simply poor souls who simply are not equipped to cope with the overwhelming pain. As for me, there have been times during which I have doubted my capacity to cope, but for now and for the foreseeable future, I will continue to fight with every breath.

My current state of mind is what the professionals call a Depressive Episode. There is nothing I can do about it apart from attempt to continue to make sound decisions and give myself the best possible chance to feel well. This episode could last for six months, six days or six hours. I simply do not know how I will feel and what my mind will allow me to do from one day to the next. All I can do is refuse to give up and do everything in my limited power to remain on the positive path in this life of mine. From my experience, the likelihood is that I will feel fantastic tomorrow, but I have no way of knowing this.

Something wonderful has taken place over the last two days. I've met an astonishingly beautiful and incredible woman, called Sara. We have fallen for each other and are now a couple. This is good news, and I just hope beyond all hope that this relationship works and I continue to make the correct decisions that are conducive to a happy existence for both of us.

In terms of my diet, I'm still doing it. In terms of my weight loss, it's still happening. In terms of my training, it's still happening. As I'm sure you can tell, however, it is now simply a way of life and seems to be taking place naturally, allowing my life to develop around it.

Next week, I will weigh myself and hit you with some vital stats, but for now, enjoy yourselves and I'll see you very soon.


Sunday, 20 November 2011

Listening to Your Body When it Has the Hump With You

Evening, all! Well, it's the end of week fourteen and I've been a busy boy this week, so busy in fact that this is going to have to be a rather brief blog entry and certainly not up to the standard of last week's War and Peace.

I've been painting a lot this week. I've had a few commissions for portraits and consequently, I've spent a lot of time doing those. Now you might not think this to be the case, but painting photo realistic portraits is a seriously knackering process. I'm good at concentrating at the best of times, so it's a real challenge, but I do love it.

For the best part of this week, I've been exhausted, in fact, I'd go as far as to say I've been fatigued. It transpires that I haven't been eating enough. Seriously, pick yourselves off the floor. Me, Big Trev, has not been eating enough. I never thought I'd be saying that! Joking aside, I've been so tired and sluggish this week. In fact I felt faint yesterday and realised I needed to eat more. By no means was I trying to starve myself, but I definitely wasn't consuming enough carbohydrates. So I've reassessed my diet and have starting eating potatoes and rice again. I already feel a hell of a lot better. So this week has been a lesson in listening to the messages my body is giving me and acting accordingly.

Anyway, on to the vital statistics. Here they are:

Start - 12/08/2011                          End of week 14 - 20/11/2011

Weight - 168 kg                             Weight - 132.9 kg                                 
Chest - 53 ins                                         Chest - 47.5 ins                                         
Waist - 57 ins                                 Waist - 47.5 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 - 16.5 ins
Forearm left - 13.5 ins                     Forearm right - 13.6 ins
Thigh left - 34 ins                           Thigh left - 29.1 ins
Calf left - 21 ins                              Calf left - 20 ins
Thigh right - 34 ins                          Thigh right - 29.1 ins
Calf right - 22 ins                            Calf right - 20.9 ins

As always, to see previous results, look at my previous entries (ooh er, missus etc). I've now lost five and a half stone, which is awesome.

As I said earlier, I must dash, but I'll be back next Sunday with more fun and games.

Oh, yes, a quote, erm....

'Try to think of your body and you mind as separate entities. You must take action to take care of your body and make sound decisions. If you do this, your body has a way of returning the favour'.

See you next week. 

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Hung, Drawn and Quartered

It's the end of week thirteen and today marks three months since I began this new life of mine, so it seems fitting to take this opportunity to reflect upon the last three months and the changes that have taken place, both externally and internally, to belly and brain.

Three months ago, I was monumentally miserable and made excuses for it. In fact, so unhappy was I that I actually didn't think I was. I had lost the gift of insight and was living in denial. Yes, I have underlying mental health difficulties, but what I failed to realise was that the buck stopped with me. I could either choose to accept my circumstances and work around them, or live a life of excuses and endlessly searching for something or someone to blame for my unhappiness. I had run out of things to blame...

I had lived my life in a bubble for the four years that preceded my decision to change things forever. I had failed to truly accept how terribly I'd let myself go and indeed, let myself down. After Dad was taken from me, my life changed. I had lost the one person I really listened to and who had the ability to make me think twice about my actions. However, I was a man and should have possessed the ability to be accountable for my own actions and to take responsibility for myself. Over a period of four years, I gained weight. Why did I gain weight? I developed a relationship with food that was dangerously unhealthy. If I had something to celebrate, I would eat. If I had something to commiserate, I would eat. If I was worried about something, I would eat. I wasn't even eating socially. I became a secret eater. I would prepare food and eat when I knew no one would see me ans see the mammoth portions I was consuming. I would shut myself away and be alone, with food filling my stomach, but not the void in my heart. Unfortunately, I was only able to keep my eating a secret for so long. Eventually, the weight began to pile on and it was obvious to everyone who saw me that I was eating a lot. I then changed my image accordingly. I became Big Trev, the bug guy with the big appetite. I tried to accept the fact I was a fat man and tried in vain to show the world that I was comfortable with this and content.

The weight continued to pile on and I became unable to wear the flamboyant clothes I loved so much. I became Big Trev in the T Shirt and jeans.

Not only was I now fat, but the strain my eating had on my body rendered me unable to perform physically as I previously could. I became a sweaty, breathless, lethargic waster. Once I realised I couldn't run and be physically active, I stopped trying to. My energy levels diminished to the point of finding it difficult to even leave the house.

One day, I bent over to put my shoes on and realised I couldn't breath. My gut was now so large that when I bent over, it would push against my lungs. I was now beginning to realise what I'd done to myself.

As the weight continued to increase, I started finding it difficult to buy clothes that fitted, so I started buying my garments from Jacamo, or as I prefer to call it, 'fatfucks.co.uk'. I was now too fat for the biggest sizes available on the high street. However, Jacamo was there for the larger man, so I felt it was acceptable.

I was now so lazy and so miserable that I was doing nothing with my life apart from sleep, eat, shit and play X Box. That was the extent of my sorry existence for many months.

One day, after around ten stone of weight gain and at least four years of misery, the penny dropped. I was no longer willing to accept the person I had become. I was tired. Tired of being so fat that my penis was on the missing persons register. Tired of being so lazy that I only left the house to stock up on food. Tired of being so unhealthy that I perspired as if I lived in a Sauna. Tired of my lack of ambition. I had completely lost my identity. I had lost the will to carry on. I'd almost resigned myself to the fact I'd be like this for the rest of my days. No more. No more procrastination. I was a fat fucking loser and the only person who could change that was me. I wanted to be happy, I'd have to make it happen for myself and stop blaming the world for my misery. Yes, the world can be a cruel and nasty place but it can also be a beautiful place. If I wanted to experience this beauty once again, I'd have to stand tall and tell the world that it couldn't beat me. I wanted happiness, so I was going to fight tooth and nail to get it. I had a long journey ahead, but it was my right to be happy and my responsibility to do everything in my power to make it happen.

It is now three months later and today I can say I'm as happy as I can ever remember being. Is my life perfect? No, but I'm now in a position to accept life's imperfections and strive to make life happen. Will I be happy tomorrow? Maybe, maybe not, but I'll be making the right decisions and making sure I have the best chance possible to be.

Today, these isn't a single item of clothing in my wardrobe that doesn't fit, in fact, much of it is too large. My penis has now been removed from the missing persons register and is safe and well, where it belongs. I can now tie my shoes without having a near death experience. I can now walk to the shops without looking and feeling like I've run a marathon. my joints no longer hurt. My feet no longer hurt. I now have the energy to go out and see the world for all its beauty. My mind now has the kind of clarity necessary for me to think and create and plan. I now possess a largely positive attitude and look forward to the challenges and opportunities each day brings. Exercise and healthy eating are now a part of my life and not a sacrifice. I'm no longer Big Trev, I'm now A Bit Smaller Trev.

I now remember what it feels like to be happy. My life has changed, hopefully forever and although I still have a long way to go until I'm the size and level of fitness I want to be, I'm over half way there. In three months I've lost over five stone in weight, weight that I never want to see again.

Life is difficult and full of hurdles, but I ready to take these on, head-on. I will not be beaten by life.

Next week, I weigh myself and measure my vitals. I'll be another step closer. I've taken control of my life, and it feels incredible. If anyone reads this and has something in their life they want to change, but doubt their ability to do so, don't. You have strength and reserves you're not even aware of. Anything is possible. You don't have to accept a life of unhappiness. Make a change and you'll achieve things you never knew were possible.

Here's to the next nine months. Bring it the fuck on.

'If something comes easily to you, it's not important to you. The important things in life and those that matter the most, are the things you have to fight to get and fight to keep. Never stop fighting for your right to pursue happiness'.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Radio Gaga and The Lardarse Express

Evening, all!

It's the end of week twelve. Next week's blog will fall on the three month mark of this journey of mine, which is really rather cool.

This week has been pretty good. In terms of diet, I'm still well on track and still desire shitty food much less than I used to, although I do still experience the occasional sensation that I should have a blow out and stuff my face, like when I have something to celebrate, for example. I just have to remember that that person is not me anymore and give myself a mental slap round the chops and all is well.

In terms of exercise, I've been to the gym three times this week and had a couple of other exercise sessions outside of that.

It's been another relatively busy week, in which I've really begun to push my business forward. It turns out that losing weight makes you more productive. Who's have thunk it, eh? All those years as a lazy fuck were partially down to my being a fat fuck. Wonders will never cease.

I've been relentlessly hounding Facebook and Twitter with news of my Radio appearance, which was an awesome experience and evidence of my new proactive attitude. I won't bore you to tears with the details, so have a look on my Facebook profile for details, if you haven't done so already.

I have to mention, that emotionally I've been up and down this week and after the huge high of being on the radio, I suffered somewhat of a fall out over the following day or so. I sometimes forget that I have Bipolar Disorder, because the last few months have been so good. Perhaps I'm having a Hypomanic episode. Fuck knows. All I can do is ride the waves and see where they take me. 

As I'm sure you're aware, it's weigh and measure week, so here are the stats:

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

Weight - 168 kg                             Weight - 137.2 kg                                 
Chest - 53 ins                                         Chest - 48 ins                                         
Waist - 57 ins                                 Waist - 48.5 ins
Upper Arm left - 18 ins                    Upper Arm left - 17.2 ins
Forearm left - 14 ins                        Forearm left - 13.4 ins
Upper Arm right - 17 ins                  Upper Arm right - 16.6 ins
Forearm left - 13.5 ins                     Forearm right - 13 ins
Thigh left - 34 ins                           Thigh left - 29.6 ins
Calf left - 21 ins                              Calf left - 20 ins
Thigh right - 34 ins                          Thigh right - 29.1 ins
Calf right - 22 ins                            Calf right - 20.9 ins

I'm really happy with these results. I've passed the all important 30kg weight loss mark, which equates to around 67lbs. Next time you gym-goers go to the gym, pick up 30kg. That shit is pretty hefty. It's hard to believe that 30kg has left my body. How the fuck was I managing to lift my fat arse off the sofa?

These results also mean that I'm around 2lbs away from my Christmas target of 5st. Therefore, my new Christmas target is 6st. Let's see if I can nail it.

I'm fully aware that although the halfway mark looms near, it makes me realise that I have to do it all over again. Although if I can do it once, I can do it twice!

So, in summary, this week was a good one. I'm still on track and starting to actually get myself out there and live my life! Join me next week for the big three month blog!

'Anything is possible in life. Never say never, apart from those two times'.