Thursday, 26 July 2012


Yesterday was once again weigh in day, but this week is also a mini milestone week.  This requires us to do our measurements again to see how we have progressed and also our fitness test.   Whilst I was confident that my measurements were going to be okay due to the weight I had lost over the last 4 weeks, I had mentioned to my wife that I was not going to have a huge loss this week (call it a gut feeling, it is big enough still to know).  I was also not looking forward to the 1km time trial, which is a part of the fitness test.  I have progressed a great deal in terms of fitness level, but I had not been for a run for the last 2 weeks and was not confident that I would be able to reduce my time as I had planned 8 weeks ago.  These two things alone made me anxious about my results this week.
Looking back at this it seems very silly that I felt like this about my weight and fitness after 8 weeks of the journey.  I have been very strict with my training, pretty much spot on with my nutrition and the weight has been coming off a lot quicker than I ever expected.  I have had so many positive experiences so far in relation to my fitness levels and achievements, which I would have deemed impossible 10 weeks ago, yet I still had concerns over this weeks results.  The way the human mind works is a baffling concept and the simple fact that I have been doing as well as I have should be enough to rid my mind of any doubts.  Still they were there.  Why am I worried if I don’t lose a big number on the scales?  Any loss is still an improvement, isn’t it?  Why do I need to beat my time on the time trial?  I had been a little injured and concentrating on my cycling, so I know I have been working hard, just not at running.  Is that the end of the world?  The answer is one that I had pushed to the back of my mind.  Why?  Was the old competitive me coming back to the forefront?  I like to win when playing sport and games, but this competition is against no one other than myself and at the end of the day I am winning with everything I do on this journey, so why do I need to be the best?

There are so many things there that a psychologist could have a field day with, hence the reason I have never visited one.  At the end of the day, these tasks just had to be completed, so suck it up princess and do it.  First things first, I jumped out of bed and weighed myself.  Had to have a second look at the scales and noticed I had lost 2.8kgs.   OMG that is amazing.  That has taken me just over 18kgs lost in 7 ½ weeks.  I am gobsmacked by that and it was the best way to start off the day.  At least I was on a high for the morning, until I thought about the fitness test later that night.  Why was I still worrying about the fitness test?  I knew I was going to lose cms and that the Wall Sit, and flexibility exercise should be okay, even the push ups should be fine, but it was that dreaded time trial.
We completed the first part being measurements and I found that whilst I had lost further cms on my body, totalling 52.5cms since the start of the program, my thighs and arms had increased in size slightly due to muscle being built.  As I said to Julie, it is my guns getting bigger.  I know I have cap guns.  They are a work in progress people. I have to start somewhere. In the wall sit I almost doubled my time when I hit 2 minutes and my flexibility has increased.  I have dropped a couple of sizes in pants and now fit into some XL shirts, which was a long way off 10 weeks ago. 

It was now time for the time trial.  I headed out and was going to the spot where I run this 1km and it dawned on me.  Who cares what time I run?  I don’t to be honest.  I have been working my ar$e off to lose weight, I am a million times fitter than I have been in a number of years and if I don’t beat my time so what.  I am still out running which I have not done in 20 years and that means more to me than a few seconds here or there.  I turned the timer on and off I went.  Where I run is a little track that is 250 metres long.  Perfect, as it means it is only 4 laps and I am done.  I had decided that I would go out hard (my version of hard people) and try to maintain that pace for as long as I could and see where I ended up.  The time I last set was 6:17 for 1 kilometre, which was an improvement on the 7:19 I set 4 weeks earlier (not all run either) so it was going to be hard to beat. 
After 1 lap I was feeling okay, but my left buttock was tight from squats and lunges the night before.  After 2 laps I was thinking that I might have gone out a little too hard as I was feeling a bit yuck in the stomach and now my right buttock had come to the party.  So, I was half way there with an average stomach and 2 sore butt cheeks.  Don’t stop, just 500m to go, keep running you big mongrel.  Don’t give up now.  Third lap down, 2 screaming buttocks and a stomach that wanted to get rid of the lasagne it had consumed 2 hours earlier, but these legs kept pumping and the mind screaming internally not to stop yet.  By this time I was thinking that the time was well and truly beyond me but it didn’t matter, I just needed to keep running and try to finish as strong as I could and that in itself was going to be a win for me.  More parts of the body started to join in and scream out to stop at this point, but I couldn’t stop now.  No way, that would be admitting defeat and I hate that. Run Forrest Run!!!!!!  I managed to keep running to the finish line and stop the clock.  I was apprehensive about looking at it, but delaying it was not going to change anything.  When I glanced down and the first number was a 5 I had to have a second look.  The time actually said that I had completed the 1 km time trial in 5:48 which is a full 29 seconds faster than my last item.  I could not believe it.  I had broken the 6 minute mark, which was a goal of mine and I was only 18 seconds away from the advanced running time, which is where I wanted (more like hoped) to be at the end of the 12 weeks.
What an amazing feeling, knowing that I had progressed enough that I could run that much faster without concentrating on my running.  My fitness level is improving every day and for me that is the catalyst for changing my life.  It has given me the impetus to want to get out and do things, think about taking part in activities that previously were nothing more than fanciful, but with work could be a reality and to enjoy life to the full.  The simple fact that I had allowed my mind to clutter my thoughts of not being happy with the work I had put in was utterly ridiculous.  Nothing I have done in the last 8 weeks could be seen as a failure.  Every step has been a positive one forward and to think of a loss not being big enough or a run not being fast enough is foolish.  I will conquer these mind games in time, I will also need to train that competitive beast inside me and realise that every day I stay on this path, eat correctly and train correctly I am a winner.  This is helping me become a better version of me and can only be a good thing for my wife, kids and everyone else I know.


  1. Well Done Greg. Your mental toughness is proving to be your biggest strength on this journey. It is easier to quit, but takes great strength not to! You have a gun of a brain!!!

    Keep it up!!

  2. I had the same thing with my time trial and I was stunned to see 5:30! I thought I'd only just make the same time as before, and I smashed it without knowing. I was on a different course as I am traveling so it will be interesting to see the week 12 result. Half the battle is our minds!

  3. Can I just say, I have just discovered your Blog Spot thing (never heard of this before and wouldn't mind one myself) and this particular story of yours I have thoroughly enjoyed! You are an absolute inspiration! You've got so much courage and will and determination and I'm just gob smacked at your tenacity, the bulldog fight in you. I admire your spirit. Looking forward to many more great success stories. Julie