I didn’t at the outset back in June 2009 think that I would be here now, a year down the line, typing this on my very own Blog, listing what has happened to me during this very eventful year.
A quick recap is in order I feel.
Before June the 30th 2009, I weighed 22 stones 4Ib. My waist was 50”. I couldn’t walk upstairs without getting out of breath. I had very high blood pressure that needed daily medication to control. I suffered with aching joints. I had sleep apnoea. I snored horrendously. The Doc was worried about diabetes and I thought that I wouldn’t see 50 years of age. Food and inactivity was quite literally killing me.
At the risk of being boring, I then found Frank’s Blog which lead to Gaz’s Blog and James’ Blog and without wishing to go into what it was like before, which I’ve spoken about at length previously, for some reason, these internet sites motivated me to act to save my life after 10 years of promising myself and others that I would act.
So I began pedalling again. After a very slow initial 12 miles per day 3 days per week, I am now banging out around 30 miles per day 5 days a week with good weekend bike rides too. To a total of around 3200 miles in the year.
This had the following effect. I am now just short of 5 stones lighter, my waist is around 38 – 40 inches depending on whose tape measure you believe, I no longer get out of breath doing normal stuff, I can buy off the peg clothes, my blood pressure is no longer dangerously high and much to wifey’s relief I no longer snore!
Me before all this at 22st 4Ibs.
The photos below are me now in the same T Shirt and shorts.
And finally a photo of my me now.
It’s only a start though; I’m still obese, I’m still nowhere near happy with my appearance or fitness and want to carry on. No, I need to carry on. I’m not setting any weight, pedalling or any other kind of target as I don’t do targets (June challenges aside, which was mileage achieved, 5st lost not quite), this is me forever. Well, as much as I can say this is me forever with my mental illness.
I am still I think, mentally ill. I genuinely believe that. I know I bang on about it, but would a “sane” person self harm via food and inactivity. I don’t think so. I know I am only one missed pedal or one pig out on junk food away from my old morbidly obese self. It’s a daily fight that I have and am sure I’ll always have.
That’s as much as I’ll say about that, this is meant to be a celebration!
Highlights, on the pedalling front? Loads, I’ll try and list a few:
1. Making the first pedal all the way to and from work.
2. Getting out of my saddle to stamp all the way up Cock Hill for the first time.
3. Wifey noticing that I could speak normally when I arrived home. That actually made me laugh when she told me.
4. The What Mountain Bike Photo shoot with Joolze.
5. Making it all the way to the top of Beacon Hill in the Lickey’s.
6. Heresy I know for this old MTBer, but (whisper it quietly) getting my road bike.
7. My first road 50 miler to Bridgenorth.
8. My first Monday to Friday full weeks commute.
9. Proud that I pedalled through the worst winter in years.
10. Meeting and pedalling with a few of my fellow cycling Bloggers, all crushingly good fellows!
Highlights off the bike:
1. The moment I cracked the 3 stone lost mark. Proof to me I was in the battle for the long haul.
2. Realising I could climb the stairs at work without getting out of breath.
3. Getting into 40” waist shorts.
4. Climbing a tree with the Spawn of Satan for the first time ever.
5. Starting walking again with wifey.
6. Becoming less (although not) self conscious about how I look.
7. Writing for the Bike Radar website and What Mountain Bike. (Still find that unbelievable).
8. General being less fat, body related stuff. All reformed fatties know what I mean here.
9. Controlling as much as is possible my food abuse.
10. New friends through Blogging.
It is with some regret that I didn’t start blogging about this epic “Journey” (sorry, hate that word) as soon as I started it. But, better late than never as they say.
I’m now going to say a genuinely heartfelt “thank you”, to you my Dear Reader. You know who you are and I’m not going to embarrass you by naming you. But you’ve become my trusted confidant, advisor, supporter but most importantly of all, my friend.
Suffice it to say I am under absolutely no illusions that I would not be here today having achieved what I’ve achieved without your help. That is the simple truth, and I hope you have found my sometimes sporadic support useful too. It is easy to get self obsessed about this to the exclusion of others. But I really do try my best.
It is a team game as well though, and the cycling/blogging community is a fabulous psychological crutch when the demons strike. And they’ve struck me a few times over the year. All obese folk know about the demons.
Looking ahead, I will be continuing this for life. I have to. If I stop I’ll become morbidly obese again and have an early death. Is that fair to my family? Absolutely not.
I’m going to finish this off with a sincere thank you to my lovely wife. She is the most deserving of appreciation and gratitude as she has to deal with my obsession on a daily basis face to face and not through the interweb!
I know this is taking me away from home at weekends and mornings when I’m off work. And I know how hard it is coping with what you have to cope with alone when I’m not there, but I hope (I know) you can see the benefit of this to you and the kids. I do try to get back as soon as humanly possible although it might not seem like it. And I’m also aware I’m not as supportive to you with your troubles as I can be when I’m off doing this stuff, that is something I will try much much harder at from now on I promise. Thanks for being there for me and helping me along the way. I couldn’t have got this far without you.
Luv ya sweetheart xxx.