Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Milestone Week - For More Than 1 Reason

Today marks the 4th Wednesday of our 12 week journey and it has been one of many surprises for me.  As part of this journey we need to revisit our fitness test and measurements every 4 weeks to see how we have progressed.  For some this can be a scary period as people may be apprehensive to see if they have lost many centimetres or if they have improved in their fitness test results.  For me this week is one that I have been interested in experiencing and also looking forward to.  This may be due to the fact that I can see tangible results and feel the changes to my body and fitness levels. Sadly this is not the case for everyone.

I was also fortunate enough to find out today that due to me starting this Blog and divulging my deepest darkest thoughts about my journey I was one of the weekly winners for the challenge set last week.  That is fantastic and a huge thank you to all those that nominated me and may even read this drivel.  I hope you continue to read it and get some interest out of my ramblings.

Now back to the Milestone week and the results.  I started this journey deciding, after listening to one of Michelle’s videos,  that I wanted to teach myself to run again.  For anyone that knows me or has seen me, they will know that this looks like an impossible task.   A man weighing in excess of 140kgs DOESN”T run.  Well I decided that following Michelle’s advice, which was that running is the best way to burn calories and lose weight, I was going to do it.  I never said I was going to be very quick or very good, but I was going to run.  My first effort at the 1km time trial was interesting to say the least.  I ran for the first 500 metres and then had to walk the next 250m and finished off with a shuffle to record a time of 7 minutes and 19 seconds.  Surprisingly this put me in the intermediate category  on Mich’s scale.  Finding out that I was less than 2 minutes away from the advance time of 5 ½ minutes was a definite carrot for me and now my goal at the end of the 12 weeks. 

As this week was the first time to revisit the Fitness Test, I ran this again on Monday night and did the entire thing at a much quicker pace, without stopping and managed to take over a minute of my time.  WOW!!!! That is unbelievable.  I now have a time of 6minutes and 17 seconds and only 47 seconds to shave off to get to the advanced section.  Add to this I managed to run 3 kilometres last night without stopping which I would have thought impossible after only 3 ½ weeks.  This journey is proving to me on a daily basis that I am more capable than I had imagined of so many things.
Following on the more mundane and less exciting tasks in the Fitness Test, which I managed some improvements on most, we came to the measurements section.  I won’t run through all the individual results, but the important part is that I have lost a total of 45.5cms off my body that is NEVER coming back.  I have managed to lose 9cms of my waist, which means those unworn jeans I have in the cupboard are very close to coming out and a total of 26.5cms combined off my thighs.  All this in only 3 ½ weeks,  how does this happen?
As you can tell I am very proud of myself at the moment, especially with the fact that I set myself some goals for 1 month, 3 months and 6 months as part of this program.  I have managed to hit all of them.  First goal was to train 5 times per week no excuses, which I have managed to train 6 days as stipulated. I wanted to also run 1km non-stop, which was smashed out of the ball park on Tuesday night.  Tuesday the 27th June is a milestone day for me as I proved that I can run a decent distance at my own pace and not worry about falling over, vomiting or more importantly giving up.  Finally I wanted to lose 10kgs in the first month.  This was a revised target after the initial stages as I was only looking to lose 15 kilos all up, but a I found my feet I decided that in order to do myself justice I needed to go as hard as I could.  This morning I weighed in and the scales told me I was exactly 10 kgs lighter than the day I started this.  This means I have now managed to reach all goals I set out for myself and I look forward to reach my next goals.
Bring it on I say, this fat man has a lot to look forward to and I can actually say that I now feel like a thin, fit and healthy man trapped inside a fat man’s body.  Once again the light bulb has been switched on and these little wins will only help me get to where I want to be and that is a lot thinner and healthier before I go to Bali in October for my 40th birthday.  Those Speedos are looking good for the Bali Hyatt pool deck.  You just never know!!!!!

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Raising the Bar!!

This morning was a very important time in my early stages of this journey.  It proved to me that I have been hiding behind my weight for the last 20 years and denying myself the opportunity to improve my quality of life and also that of my family.  If I had found exercise and the feeling I have felt in the last weeks from the exercise I have been doing a lot earlier I would have been a far better husband and father.

Why would this be the case you may ask?  Well in the last 3 weeks alone since starting the Michelle Bridges 12WBT I have been able to change a number of things in my life, but none more important than my mindset.  Now this does not mean that everything is perfect for me, I am sure my wife will surely agree that it is not the case, but a number of things have improved.  My diet for one is drastically better.  I have exercised every day as per my schedule and only taken Sundays off as per Michelle's instruction, which has never been that case in my life even when I was young and fit and playing football.  I also feel that my relationship with my wife has improved as we are both feeling better and more positive about the changes and working together to support each other to reach our goals.

With all this in place, I believe that we have started to show our children that being overweight (which is the only way they know me) is no way to go through life and only through making the correct choices and sacrifices will we change that.  The most important thing to me is being a good role model to my children and a good husband as well.

So why would this boring be so important after reading all this.  Well I have today taken another step forward in my fitness and weight loss journey.  My wife and I got up at 6:15 this morning for our personal training session.  Yes it is a Saturday morning and we are getting up before the sun, but it needs to be done to fit into our schedule and the trainers as well.  Thankfully this is done in our garage so we don't have to travel and our 4 kids can watch out the window when they get up.  It is only our second session so we were not sure what to expect, but I can only say that it was a quality 45 minutes that had everyone huffing, puffing and also swearing to some extent.  This little session allowed me to burn 450 calories, which was nearly half of what I had to burn today.

This is the point where I would normally finish my work out in the first 2 weeks but not anymore and especially not on Saturday when we need to burn at least 1000 calories.  This week has seen me start to push myself a little more to try and burn at least 700 calories each weekday session and obviously at least 1000 on Saturday.  Now my training on Saturdays has meant that I need to go for a bike ride in preparation for my Ride to Conquer Cancer in October, so this morning I was very happy to see clear skies as I jumped on my trusty Trek and headed out into the chilly morning.

Whilst I was a little tired after the PT session, I knew I still had to get some mms into my legs and was going to try for at least 35 kilometres or more in the time I had.  I was watching my heart rate monitor and the distance travelled and when I finally made it home after 36.4 kilometres I had burnt a total of 1621 calories for the morning.  This is 400 more than I have burnt in the previous Saturday Super Sessions or SSS as Michelle calls them.  WOW was my initial response, as I did not in my wildest dreams think that I could do that and still be able to walk after it or not have vomited.

Now sessions like this are the norm for a lot of people I know, but none of them are over 130 kgs either so I might add I am extremely proud of myself this week and I am looking forward to the next 9 weeks to see what I am capable of.  I might add that my wife's efforts this morning considering it was her first boxing session were brilliant. She never stopped no matter how hard it got and she is losing heaps of weight as well which is a credit to her considering she is not able to do the level of intensity I am with training due to her ankle condition.  She is an inspiration to me as she battles this whilst also doing her daily task of looking after the family and still working 20 hours per week.

I can't even imagine how good both of us will look when we go to Bali in October to celebrate our 40th birthdays.  I can't wait.  I have threatened my wife that I will be looking that good i will be wearing Speedos when we go to the pool.  She has said she will not be hanging around me.  Not very nice at all, but i don't blame her.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Why I Now Love Wednesdays

Alarm goes off at 6:30am and I immediately jump out of bed like any other week day to start my morning off.  This is not any normal work day though, this is Wednesday and that means weigh in day.  Why would Wednesday be weigh in day I hear you ask?  That is because Mich says so!  Strangely enough this is the one morning of the week I do look forward to as I get to see what my weeks work in counting and burning calories has amounted to.

Now weighing yourself seems like an easy enough task, but after following the forums and reading the posts by the seasoned campaigners there is a process to follow here.  You need to get straight out of bed, have a tinkle (at least) and then jump on the scales butt naked.  Nothing major you might think, but then the all important numbers need to have dropped in order for you to start the day off with a smile and a glow about what you have achieved. 

Thankfully for me, this morning showed a great number.  First thing I could see was that I had lost weight in the last week. BONUS!!!! Second I had lost 2.3kgs for the week, which gives me a total of 8.3kgs in 16 days.  BONUS!!!! Third and most importantly to me is that I am now under 140kgs in such a short time.  This is a huge watershed moment for me as I intended to break my weight loss into bite size chunks (probably not the appropriate term for a fat guy on a diet) but I had never envisaged losing this amount so quickly.  I have been so excited about this time of the week the last 3 Wednesdays because I have been confident that the changes my wife and I have made and the work I have put in would show me results.  This is sadly not the same for everyone.

I have read numerous posts on facebook and the 12WBT forums, where people have not lost and some gained and they are not able to comprehend why or what they have done wrong.  I know if this happened to me and it may well at some point, I would be heartbroken about the lost week but it would not deter me.  That is what I like to say now, but the realisation of the whole week being supposedly wasted may cause a different reaction. 

This is where I believe the mindset tasks are so important.  I have watched my wife lose a heap of weight on Weight Watchers only to put a lot of it back on.  She was committed and for whatever reason, which possibly could have been me, she stopped.  This time we have evaluated what we both want and we have found this program to be brilliant for us.  We do not look at this as a 12 week program but a lifestyle change which will enable us to continue the process of healthy living and not being obese anymore so we are more active and better role models for our 4 wonderful children. 

For me one of the saddest parts of my life before this journey, which I only thought about whilst reading the 12WBT forums is that my 4 kids have not known me as anything else other than a fat dad.  How sad is that?  Why have I not done this earlier?  I can only put this down to not having the right mindset or motivation.  I have previously had the motivation otherwise I would not have been able to finish the Kokoda trail in just over 6 days, so what happened to it?  

Now I have that motivation, thanks to Mich, her crew and the awesome people that allow my wife and I to feed off the inspiration of the other members.  Strangely I now look forward to the exercise and I can’t wait until I fit into the size 38 shorts I bought 2 years ago (with every intention of wearing them soon after I bought them) and have never worn.  More importantly I love Wednesday mornings as it sets me up for a day with a smile on face and the energy to start the next weeks work to see another great number in 7 days time, providing I see what I want to see on the scales.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Journey into a New World

Well last night was another watershed moment in this journey or transformation for me and there are a couple of reasons for this.  It was with a little trepidation that I went to my first ever gym class.  Now I have not as yet joined a gym but managed to buy a pass of one of these voucher websites for $19 that entitled me to attend 15 classes within a month of the first visit.  Both my wife and I thought this might be a good way to check out some of these classes and see if it suited what we were looking for.  Worst case scenario, if we only got to 4-5 classes it only cost us $5 per class.

Now being seriously overweight and entering the domain of the meathead is not something that makes anyone feel good about themselves, especially when all these guys that spend more time looking in the mirror at the gym than they do at home, sneer at you because you are not the perfect specimen of human flesh (in their mind) and then of course there are also the women that also look at you with 2 heads, because you are overweight.  I decided to hell with it.  This is my journey and I WANT and NEED to do this. 

My first class of choice was a Thump Boxing class.  I had no idea what to expect and even had to ask when I called up to make my appointment if I needed any gear.  NEWBIE!!!!!  Well after being shown around the gym, which was set out well with the free weights and machines in a separate section to keep the animals away from the public, I was pleasantly surprised to see a few overweight people attempting to bust out a workout on various pieces of equipment and of varying ages.  Good on them I thought, they obviously don’t care what anyone else thinks so why should I.

The clock ticked over to 8:15 and the Body Pump class finished with about 40+ people filing out of the room.  I had no idea how many would be in the Boxing class but I was hoping it wouldn’t be to many looking at the fat guy with no idea.  It turned out there were only 16 of us in the class and a couple of other guys who were attending their first class.  Amber our masochistic trainer (she was actually lovely, but I didn’t think it during the workout) decided to pair me up with a guy named Steve whom I could tell was not new to this class.  The warm up started and by the end of it I was wondering if I was going to be able to make the end of the class.  It was brutal.  Maybe that just proves that my warm ups are crap.  We go into the first exercise and Steve was great making sure I understood what was needed and doing it correctly.  This was a pattern that continued throughout the workout and made it very easy for me to relax and just work my backside off.

The workout was a good mix of boxing and running which constantly kept the heart rate high, which I need and allowed me to burn heaps of calories.  I had no idea how many I would burn but I wanted to go as hard as I could.  Thankfully Steve was fit and was driving me to keep up with him, or maybe that was me not wanting to let him down.  As the clock approached the 40 minute mark, I thought great only 5 minutes to go, but Amber was not slowing down and looking like she was going to get us to cool down and stretch.  She walked past as we were changing our gloves and I asked how long it went for.  When she told me it was an hour long class I almost keeled over there.  The last 15 or so minutes was in fact cruel and brutal.  My arms were like lead my stomach was not feeling the best, but I was determined to finish this class as best I could and prov to myself that I can do this.  When Amber said that we were to grab a mat and hit the floor I thought great.  I was looking forward to doing some ab work just as Michelle bridges always does at the end of the workouts for core strength.  Well this was a little different.  Not only were we doing crunches but we were punching out combinations at the top of the crunch.  Okay, only a second or so extra at the top, but with arms of lead and not really being able to punch any more it was tough, especially when she asked us to hold the crunch at the top for 30 seconds and punch non- stop.  Who designs these work outs?

All I can say is that once we had completed this and the stretching component of the workout I felt an overwhelming sense of achievement that not only had I completed it, but I had pushed myself to keep up with Steve.  I thoroughly enjoyed the night, even if I can’t move my arms a lot today and am struggling to type, drive, drink or anything that involves arm movement.  This moment for me highlighted that I have perhaps not been pushing myself as hard as I thought I had or needed to and that in my home/individual workouts I need to step it up.  Mich quoted in one of her videos that the “Our  body can a lot more than we think it can” which is exactly what I found out last night and with a little grit, determination and will we can achieve huge feats.  This was my first step in starting that and I now need to take that into every workout I do.

Maybe, just maybe there is a boxer trapped in this fat man’s body?  I doubt it but the thought is a nice one to hold onto at the moment.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Light Bulb Moment

I can only assume there has been a power shortage for the last 20 years preventing messages travelling up the information highway from my body to my brain.  Why else would I have let myself get into the state I am right now.  I know I can make excuses and say that it was injury, travelling and enjoying myself and living the party life or even more recently blame my family but plain and simple it has been laziness.  Why else would a seemingly healthy and fit young man allow himself to being seriously obese and stop looking after himself.  It wasn’t the injury, I could have found a way to do some exercise, it wasn’t the travelling as plenty of others kept fit whilst I was living abroad and it isn’t my families fault either.

Plain and simple I have made a multitude of poor life choices over the last 20 odd years that have amounted to me becoming what I was 4 weeks ago.  Thanks to my wife, who has also battled the bulge so to speak n the last 12 years (might be a pattern forming here) she decided that enough was enough and she didn’t want to be like this anymore.  I can only say good on her for drawing a line in the sand and wanting to finally do something about it.  When she TOLD me she had spent $200 on the Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation Program I was a little sceptical as to whether this would be another whim that she would give up on and more money down the drain. 

Don’t get me wrong, my wife has amazing willpower when she puts her mind to things and she has succeeded in the past, but she has also allowed herself to fall back into the traps of old habits and regain the weight.  Part of this is her own fault, but I will also take part of the blame here.  Whilst I believe I have been supportive of her efforts to lose weight in the past, it is a struggle for anyone to do things like this take a firm commitment if those around them are not 100% on board.   I wanted to see what this was all about, so did a bit of reading on the website and decided that it was about time I made some changes as well and told her that I was going to sign up also. 
Now this is a huge change for me, not that I don’t mind exercising, but it meant a lifestyle change for not only us but our 4 children as well.  They were going to have to start eating new foods, not having some of their foods in the house that they had previously eaten and also accommodate changes in the routine to fit in mum and dad’s exercise.  Admittedly the younger of the 4 children at 5 & 3 ½ years of age will fit in with what is going on but the older 2 need to make some changes as they are capable of helping us out with the younger 2 if needed.

All I can say is that we are excited by what we have experienced up until now with the program, which includes the menus, workout plan and results.  Wilst I was sceptical about the sort of food that we would be asked to eat, I must admit that the recipes have been mostly fantastic.  I appreciate that there is always going to be things that are not to your liking, but overall it has been flavoursome and a really good mix. 
The support of all those other participants in the forums is inspiring and infectious and it is one place that you can feel comfortable about asking a question or voicing your feelings without any worries of people slagging you off.  I noticed this at its best when people were saying that they had gone off the wagon on the first weekend.  My initial response was how the hell can you not last a week, that is weak as p!ss, but then my wife mentioned that we do not know of their issues and circumstances and everyone has to get through this battle in their own way.  This was echoed in the forums by the amazing support dished out and encouragement for all of these people to get back on track and not give up.

Now please don’t think that my comment above symbolises that I am immune to doubts and periods of wanting something from the past. I have had many of those thoughts in the last few weeks, but I am determined to make this change for the benefit of my own life, that of my wife and children and also my friends and broader family.  If I don’t do it now when will I and how much more damage will happen to me.

The power shortage has been fixed, the switch is now on and the light bulb moment was in one of Michelle’s preseason tasks when she asked about the roadblocks we have put in front us.  Didn’t matter what excuses I had made in the past it all came down to one thing, LAZINESS and I now need to follow her mantra of JFDI – “Just F*@King Do It” and we will see the amazing results in another 10 weeks and beyond.