Progress so far...

June 30th 2009 - 22 stone 4Ibs. Current weight - 17 stone 1Ib. Weight loss - 5 stone 3Ibs. Commuting miles - 3389.
Non commuting miles - 359. Mileage this week - 101 miles. Total mileage - 3748 miles.

Monday, 30 November 2009

The how and the why...

A bit difficult writing this up as I really can't point to any one event or any set of circumstances that got me being the shameful weight of 22st 4Ibs.

But here goes...

10 years ago I was still pedalling, I had a circle of ex Army mates who would regularly stop by and join in. I'm fortunate enough to live quite literally on the edge of the Worcestershire countryside and if I turn right out of my Crescent then I'm straight into a lane. But I'm digressing, which I'm guessing I'll be doing a lot of.

So, what made me stop? Do you know, I really haven't got a clue, it just seemed to happen. Was it my daughter who was taking up more time? Did I start concentrating on other things? I was still playing Rugby back then, but less and less due to injury and age, but whatever the reason I arrived at 2009 being a fat bastard.

In between then and now, I'd done the usual cycle (excuse the pun) of diet/excercise and then increased weight gain. But stupidly I knew all about "changing your lifestyle", "more excercise", "watch what you eat" etc etc but it just wasn't happening. I decided to go to the Docs to see if they could help, but to cut a long story short of inumerable visits, apart from recommending the local Weight Watchers they did nothing. I did try the Weight Watchers but it was full of middle aged women all talking about periods and fatless chips. All respect to those ladies but it wasn't for me.

I knew I was harming myself, my biggest downfall being the sandwich van at work, the take outs, mainly curry and beer. But I wouldn't or couldn't stop. I still don't know why. I'm not the sharpest tool in the box, but then again I'm not a thicko so why would a reasonably intelligent bloke carry on for all those years quite literally eating and lethargically putting himself into an early grave. I guess the person who can work that one out will make quite a bit of money. That's the key, why?

Anyway early this year I had to see the Doc for a medical to keep my HGV licence current. It's always a good fall back if the job should go tits up so I do keep it going. During the medical the Doc discovered that my blood pressure was dangerously high and immediately prescribed Perindropol which I had to take every day so I wouldn't explode. Permanent medication because I'm fat. Added to the list goes sleep apnea, bad snoring, lack of energy, tiredness, aching joints etc etc. I had to do something but again for reasons I cannot fathom I did nothing. Oh, I always talked a good diet/change to the Missus and the Doc, but I knew nothing would happen. Then in March this year I discovered purely by chance Frank's Blog and again for reasons I cannot fathom it "flicked a switch" in me. I always loved cycling and here was a bloke roughly my age, weight and in the same condition health wise who had seemed to grab hold of his life and kick on from there.

It was decided then, March the 23th would be my first day back as a cyclist...

Then, Sunday March the 22nd happened.

I'm a Rugby Coach, rugby being my first love. (Union for all you Northern Monkeys out there). On Sunday March the 22nd I was taking a scrummaging session with our U17s and without getting all boring and rugby technical, they weren't quite doing it right, so I jumped in at Hooker (Cue all the jokes) my old position and proceeded to demo exactly what they needed to be doing. We set, hit the scrummaging machine really well, then I called a drive. Snap...Snap...Both Achilles tendons let go one after the other. A fat broken 45 year old should not hit a scrummaging machine without warming up.The lads playing second row heard them both go, I was absolutely frozen where I was, the pain was like no other, I couldn't move, I was stuck leaning against the machine. The only positive was, the fact that both tendons let go meant I was scrummaging straight. Sorry, nearly descended into rugby technicalities there.

So to cut a long and very painful story short, after 3 months in plaster I finally started the first day of the rest of my life.

I am under absolutely no illusions that I would not have started this getting my life back thing if I hadn't read Frank's Blog, which lead onto James' and then the now defunct and much missed Gaz's blog. Not forgetting the Jobymeister either!

Obesity is a laugh, look at fatty, check out those moobs, get a move on lard arse! I've had them all shouted at me and still am getting it. I haven't taken my shirt off in public in years, I love swimming, I haven't done that in years, too ashamed of my tits. Baggy clothes are the order of the day, just to cover them up. It'll be a long road back before my self esteem is strong enough to go swimming, but at least I know now I will be going swimming again at some point. There will be low points along the way of that I'm certain and now prepared for. But there will be terrific highs, my first off road pedal last Saturday just being one of many I'm sure. But what a waste of 10 years, it would be very easy to go down the self pity route and reach for the take out menu, go round to the Offy and pick up a few Ales and settle in for the evening, just like I used to. But that won't be happening. That's a promise, not just to you my Gentle Readers, but much more importantly to myself.

Well that's it, as much as my limited vocabulary and prose will allow. I haven't discovered any answers, just tried to recount my story without getting too self absorbed. Reading it back the big thing for me is I still haven't answered "The why" part of the situation I'm in. I'm really struggling with that one. Also why a blog should move me to change my life when bugger all else did. Two questions that I want answers to. Maybe I'll find them further down the road. Or maybe you know the answers and can tell me!


  1. Blimey, you write more than Gaz used to ;) But a really interesting read that must have taken some soul searching. Well done.

    I have asked the "why" too and am sure that Matt, Frank, Joby & Gaz along with every other fatty has at the start of their journey. Personally I'm not going to bother looking for an answer coz there's f**k all I can do about it. I'd rather think about going forwards instead of looking for answers. Then again I don't feel the years I've spent overweight and/or not on a bicycle were ever a waste and maybe that helps.

    I also can't answer what causes the switch to flick and you decide to do something about it. However I too am doing something about it and I'm going to credit more than a little of that to Joby. I think it's because he's a similar height to me and wasn't hugely overweight (he started off about a stone heavier than me) so the similarity struck a cord. Although that's where the similarity ends ;) Hopefully one day your story will have the same effect on someone else.

    Anyway, keep blogging and we'll be here supporting you (especially if you read our blogs too ;)

  2. Ha ha.

    I'm glad I could be of some use to you guys, no matter how minor :)

    We'll be there from the beginning Clive - right to the end - don't you worry about that - and I know Gaz will be lurking on here too :)

  3. Gents, reading everyones blogs is now a set part of my morning over the first cup of coffee. I wouldn't miss them now! :-)

  4. Hi Clive. I like your comment about weight watchers. I tried both weight watchers and slimming world. Both so dull I was nearly in tears by the end of it. "What have you lost this week Deirdre.... 2lbs....well done Deirdre... let's give her a round of applause" x 30. Aaaaargghhhh.
    It is difficult to talk about being overweight, especially in public. Almost as if you feel like your a bad person. Which none of us are. You'll get there in the end. It's tough, but you've been in the army so you'll know how to deal with tough I assume.
    I'm slowly losing weight and it's only successful for me with really cutting back on cals and tons of exercise.
    All the lads (and most of the lasses) are v supportive. It's been really motivational to read their blogs. I wrote a bit about how they can act as motivation on my blog. Basically you need a support group and to publically declare your intentions. And to reflect on your progress.
    Anyway, good luck. I'll watch your rss feed for updates.

  5. Here's a good quote which explains why blogs might be good for motivation (From 59 seconds by Richard Wiseman):
    “To achieve your aims and ambitions, there are four key techniques that will help you succeed: having the right kind of plan; telling your friends and family; focusing on the benefits; and rewarding yourself each step of the way.”
    (Which I have taken to mean spend most of your wages on bike stuff)

  6. Thanks for the kind words Emma. Rewarding myself on bike stuff means asking she who must be obeyed and I'm not that brave! LOL!

    RSS Feed? I'm a bit of a dummy with this stuff, what's that and how do I do it?

  7. Yeah, I get in loads of trouble with him indoors for spending on bike things, but he's just happy I'm getting healthy. It might be cheaper for me to develop a crack habit! Hmmmm... I'd be thin then too...
    RSS feed is usually a little orange square image you click and you can add site to an application such as google reader. You then get an overview of all of the sites you follow and can see new posts. On my site the icon is on the top nav bar on the right where there are links to home/about me/bike rides etc.

  8. Wow, I found that quite a moving read. As well as a humorous one - (LOL @ the fatless chips and periods!!).

    Yeah, it's a mystery why we do this to ourselves. In my own case I think sitting at home and getting fat might have been a bit of self-insulation against the world and life, but why I have needed to do that I don't really know. Who knows!

    Eek! Both achilles tendons at once - owch! Pain or what. I tore a tendon leaping up the stairs last year and couldn't walk properly for weeks. The worst part was feeling it going - it's very disconcerting to feel your own body going wrong.

    Well your story since you began last year is definitely an inspirational one - I am rooting for you too, now!