When it finally dawned on me that I needed to lose weight I had reached 105kg or 16.5 stone. I was at least a 38″ waist if not more and my thighs rubbed together meaning any trousers I wore eventually wore holes in them. It was the heaviest I’d ever been, it came with its health problems too, I snored like a freight train, I had regular sinus infections and I was constantly lethargic. I had been the guy on the team that would buy 2 sandwiches from tescos, the biggest full English breakfast, a large kebab and a large iced coffee with cream.
When friends saw old pictures of me in my army days they look surprised, when old army friends saw me they would comment how I’d “filled out”. I was at a point where 6.3 on the jobs bleep test was achievable but I was very glad it when it was over. Something needed to change.
I came into work in January to an email from my guv’nor: “you are my nomination for a place on EG selection, don’t let me down” to become a public order evidence gatherer in my force means 10.2 on the bleep test, a kit up circuit, a shield run and all just for starters. I had 16 weeks.
That evening I dug out my old trainers and trackies and went for a jog. I just wanted to last 30 minutes and not stop. I managed… Just. I went out the next 2 days but my knees were too painful to run for more than 10 minutes. It was obvious that the extra weight was going to damage my joints if I did extended high impact training. So I found a route of 3km and ran it every other day. In between days I would do insanity, for those who have never tried it I would highly recommend it. I love it and still use it a lot when I have limited time or am house bound for a good workout.
The next and probably most important thing was my diet. I am a firm believer in the body builder mantra “your body is built only 20% in the gym but 80% in the kitchen” I had heard a lot of good things about Paleo eating. Also referred to as the caveman diet it basically consists of only eating meat, fish, eggs, fruit, vegetables and nuts. It sounds dreadful I know, but it’s surprisingly easy when you get into it, and there is a lot of tasty food on it – you can still eat in nandos!
Overnight I had given up dairy, gluten, potatoes, most carbs, sugar and processed food. I felt better within days of eating like that. I had more energy, my snoring calmed down and I felt generally healthier. I will add that I don’t stick to this diet religiously: I do use protein shakes made of whey, I’m not a breakfast person when I wake up and a protein shake in the morning is my preferred start to the day.
The combination of diet and exercise worked quickly, I lost a minimum of 3lbs a week. I was still eating plenty and not going hungry I was just eating healthy. I replaced lattes with green tea, coke with water and crisps with cashews.
In future blogs I shall try and put my training into some sort of plan for people, should they wish to try it. I kept it simple: no expensive gyms, no expensive equipment. Apart from the insanity DVDs all I used was a pair of trainers and a old tracksuit. I believe in training the way I did in the army – often when deployed we had nothing, our gym in Afghanistan was made up of ammo tins filled with sand. You don’t need to spend a fortune, you don’t need the most expensive trainers or compression running tops. You just need dedication and the drive to become a better you. I let others negativity fuel me, drive me on, whilst being grateful for everyone cheering me on. You can do it to, just stop finding excuses and stop putting it off.
Always remember it’s about progress, slow progress is still progress. It doesn’t happen overnight.