Thursday, 30 August 2012

Here I Go Again........

Week 1 Round 3 – Here I go again. Cue Whitesnake music here!!!!! But I am not on my own as their lyrics state.  I have my wife and my 12WBT family along for the ride.
New round means new goals and new challenges, but we can’t forget the past either.  I have set myself the goal of losing 22.6kgs this round purely so I can see my weight being displayed in double digits.  That would be an amazing achievement for me and something that I would have thought a long way off only 15 weeks ago.  What a great Christmas present to myself. My goals have been re-assessed after my results for the last round which were honestly mind boggling.  I managed to lose 24.5kgs and 86.5cms off my body.  Who would have thought that possible?  Not me that is for sure.
Looking back on what I have achieved I can only really take on board all the comments I have received from friends, family but mostly colleagues.  There are 2 ladies in particular at work that they have been so inspired by my transformation they have signed up for this round.  That is a true reflection of how people can see that this program works and that it is possible if you want to put in the effort to make a change.  One comment that was made to me which I laugh about every time I think of it was from an Asian lady whom obviously did not know how to phrase it.  She said to me “OOH you have lost weight, there is so much room in your clothes now!” which I had to laugh at because it was true.  I had not been out to buy any new clothes, but everyone else would simply say that I had lost a lot of weight and was looking great.
Thinking about this I regretted the fact that I had not taken any photos of myself during the round.  I had nothing to compare myself to moving forward.  My wife then sent me a photo this morning of us at her work Christmas party last year and asked “who is this fat man?”  Looking at it I could not believe the size of me or how bloated I looked.  I then took a photo of myself for you all to see the comparison.  I now do not have a double chin and I have a skinny neck.  Yes there is more to come off but I can now see what others have been talking about.  I am not a vain person, but I do like what I see.  Can’t wait to see the changes in another 12 weeks also, but here is the photo I was referring to. 

Now, one of the most daunting parts of this program is taking a before shot and actually looking at them.  These are not compulsory but if you want to be considered for prizes at the end of each round you need to upload them, but more importantly they are a great tool for really seeing yourself for what you have let yourself become and also for being able to compare at the end of the round and see how far you have come and the amazing changes you have made to your body.  I was always going to upload my photos as it was not going to be seen by anyone except the admins of the site and I jokingly told my wife I wanted to win.  Yes I am competitive, but also realistic.  I was not of the belief that I would win, but used it as fuel to keep me focused and the ultimate end goal of losing as much weight as possible. It seems to have worked for me in order to lose 24.5kgs, so I am not complaining. Now I have to wait until tomorrow to see if my boast comes to fruition as Michelle is sending an email out to the top 20 in the morning.  I looked back at these photos with pride as I could clearly see the change my hard work had produced.  Yes I still have a considerable amount of weight to lose, I am not kidding myself here, but I am determined to do this and become the fit healthy person I WANT to be and DESERVE to be.
I have never been a shy person, but putting yourself out there for the world to see is a very different kettle of fish.  You have to be supremely confident that you can handle the backlash or be honest enough with yourself that this is how you are now, deal with it, and that I am never going back there.  For this reason I have decided that I will put my before and after photos up here.  Yep, that is right here they are for all to see. There is nothing pretty here, so if you have a weak stomach please change the channel now, but this is the old me, which will never be seen again.  Since this photo was taken I have lost another 900grams, so it is technically the old me.  People may be horrified by these pictures and that is fine, I certainly was in the beginning, but this shows me that I am moving in the right direction and they will start to look better over the coming weeks and months.

Part of this journey is about being in the right mindset.  For me I felt that putting these photos out there show that I am proud of where I have come from, where I am now and where I am heading.  I WILL never go back to that point in my life, no matter what.  I have worked far too hard in the last 13 weeks to get rid of the lard, I will not put myself through that again.  I am becoming a new person, I will finish what I have started and I will be fit, healthy and more importantly happy with what I am when I am finished.


Saturday, 25 August 2012

Shrinking Man or Running Man???

This last week of the round has meant a few different things have needed to be done.  Weigh in was on Wednesday and I was over the moon with the results.  24.5kgs is a huge feat and I am extremely proud of that.  We also had to complete our fitness test and measurements for the end of the round.  Now this is something that needs to be done, but as I have mentioned in previous posts, it causes me a little anxiety as I always wonder whether or not I will be able to improve my times and if I have lost any cms.

How crazy is that?  Who am I competing against?  Only me of course and there is no rewards for beating the last times, or dropping cms other than being happy with yourself.  At the end of the day, if I don't beat my time, who cares?  I have lost weight, improved my fitness and feel like a million dollars.

Well the time came and my wife ripped out the tape measure.  After all was completed the website showed me that I had lost, in 12 weeks, an amazing 86.5cms off this body.  UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!  Who would have thought that is possible in such a short space of time.  I have gone from a size 44-46 pants, down to a 40 (which is in fact nearly too big for me already) and sneakily tried on and purchased a size 38 the other day.  Bit tight at the moment but they can do up and will be perfect in a few weeks.  This was an amazing feeling knowing I had shrunk so much.

Fitness test time, which includes a 1 km time trial.  First time I recorded a time of 7:19 which also included some walking due to my lack of fitness.  After this I was determined to get under 5:30 which is the time Michelle determines as the worst to fit into the advanced bracket.  Who would ever think that the Big Man could ever fit into the advanced runner class.  Not me, but that was my goal.  The last time I did 4 weeks ago was 5:48 which was a great time and nearly killed me as one of my previous posts clearly states.  How was I going to wipe 19 seconds off that.  I had no idea.  I was not feeling that well anyway, as I had over-indulged at dinner, but had to get it done.  Oh well, if I miss the time so be it.

I went to my local park where I do my time trial and decided I was going to go out as hard as I could at a pace I thought I could sustain for the most beneficial time.  That lasted for about 400 metres, then the wall smacked me well and truly between the eyes and the paced started to drop off.  I felt like dinner was going to come back for another visit and the legs were not my friend either.  In fact at that time I think all of my body hated me.  Oh well, you will get over it.  I was not giving up and pushed on.  

When I hit the 750m mark I knew I was going to be able to finish with a bit of a push, but would that push be enough.  I would like to think I was sprinting at the end but it was hardly the sort of finishing kick you see from the Kenyan middle distance runners, more like a wounded elephant trying to escape the grasp of a hungry lion.  Oh well, how many elephants have to run 1 kilometre time trials?  I pushed hard to the end and stopped the watch.  Trying to fight back the dinner that wanted to see the time as well and also work up the strength to look at the time I was gobsmacked to see that it was 5:17 and I had achieved my goal.  Sadly I was to buggered to really savour the mount but now I can sit here and bask in my glory of being able to say that I am in Michelle's elite class of running for the time trial.

Me a runner, who would have thought........

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

My First Round Done and Dusted

Today was the 12th weigh in of the first round I have completed in the 12WBT.  That means I have had to officially log my weight a dozen times (no one includes the sneaky weigh ins done on a regular basis) on the program to account for my progress.  Now this hasn’t always shown the number I had hoped, but I can happily say that every Wednesday I have seen a figure that was less than the one before.  As I have told my wife and numerous others on the program, any loss is still a loss and that is an improvement on where you were last week.  Strangely enough I didn’t always feel that way myself and it was only up until recently when my mindset around this changed.

Now last week I had lost a total of 22.4kgs in 11 weeks, which is amazing and beyond what I initially thought possible when I signed up for this program.  I thought I might be able to lose 15kgs but I was going to give it everything I had to lose as much as possible.  Leading into the last few weeks, I was now hoping I might get to a total of 25kgs for the round as that would be a huge achievement for me.  I had been working pretty hard to ensure that I had been doing enough exercise and knowing that I had to lose 2.6kgs in the last week to reach that goal, was always going to be tough.  I jumped on the scales this morning to show a loss of 2.1kgs and a grand total for the round of 24.5kgs.  Now initially I was disappointed not to have made my target, but then it dawned on me that no one said this was a race and why am I worried about an amount that equates to a bottle of water, or one decent wee.  I will get there and technically the round is not over until Sunday.  I can still make this total, although it won’t be officially recorded as such.    
I am over the moon that I have managed to lose so much weight and how much effort I have put in to do so.  I have had times where I couldn’t be bothered or not feeling well, but these have not stopped me from eating well and exercising.  I have somehow managed to convince myself that I must JFDI (Just F@*KING DO IT) in order to get to my goals.  I am now so much closer that I am even looking at being under 100kgs for the first time in 20 years by Christmas if I continue with this plan of working hard, eating well and being honest and true to myself. 

If there are any doubters out there in relation to this program, I am proof that it can work.  I was lazy, not accountable to myself for my weight and also making excuses as to why I couldn’t make the changes.  Now I want to help those like the old me and convince them they can do it.  Oh yeah, I tried on a pair of size 38 pants the other day and managed to do them up.  They were to tight around the bum to wear around without fear of them splitting but considering I was in a pair of size 44 and they were tight only 12 weeks ago, I am in a great head space.  I still have a pair of size 56 jeans at home that I wore at my worst as a reminder of where I will not go again.
Bring on round 3 is all I can say and I am heading towards double digits sooner than I ever thought.
I love this little dude. His face is exactly how I feel at the moment

Monday, 20 August 2012

12 Weeks into My New LIfe

Now 12 weeks into this phase of my new life and to look back over this period is really mind blowing.  Besides the fact that I am now 15% lighter, there are so many more positive things that have happened as a result of this journey.  Obviously the weight loss is the most noticeable and the part that everyone comments on, but for me there are so many other differences which others can’t see which are more important.  Without these changes all taking place the weight loss would never have happened.
One of the biggest things Michelle Bridges talks about either in her videos or in her forum posts is about mindset.   If you struggle with getting this right you will always be fighting a tough battle.  Not a losing battle, just making it a lot tougher for yourself and it will also mean you have extra battles along the way.   Who would have thought losing weight was a mind game?  Well from what I have experienced it is ALL a mind game.  Get your head around what you need to do and banish the old demons and this will be a lot easier than you thought.  Of course, we are all in this position battling weight because we have some mental issues that have prevented us from being otherwise.  Mine was not necessarily food, more laziness and how to get out of that funk.  Add to that the fact that I ate to much, even when it was good food as well as the alcohol I consumed and we have a recipe for disaster.  This 12WBT program could not have happened at a better time for me.  With the support of my wife and some hidden desire to achieve, I have jumped into this with both feet and wanted to learn and improve.  So what have I learnt over this 12 weeks?

I have learnt that:

I needed to make drastic changes in my life to ensure I was going to be around to see my 4 kids grow up and I was not in a healthy position at present.
I was not eating bad food but I was eating far too much food each meal and also a lot of packaged and processed food.  These were high carbs and also high GI foods.
I was making far too many excuses about a lot of facets of my life, including reasons for losing weight and doing exercise.
I was a pretty average dad and husband because of my weight and allowing it to hold me back
I was not happy with myself or life because of who I had allowed myself to become

What are the positive things I have learnt in the last 12 weeks:
I have found a love for exercise and do so 6-7 times a week.
I don’t make excuses for not doing exercise now and feel guilty if I have not done it.  Sometimes I even double up on days to cover missed sessions.
I am learning to run again and have proven to myself that it can be done
I now know that the mind doesn’t necessarily control what you do, it makes suggestions as to when you should stop, but the body pushes through the pain if you allow it to.
Healthy food does taste GREAT, just look at the wonderful recipes we have on this program.  YUM Penang Chicken!!!!
Portion control is key as is calorie counting.
Don’t compare your journey to anyone else. You don’t know their circumstances, their physical makeup and it doesn’t help you get to where you need to be.
You control your own destiny, make the choices which are right for you and don’t have any regrets.

All of the above show that in this round it has been mostly a positive experience for me.  I have worked my backside off for the last 11 weeks, lost a heap of weight, dropped 3 pants sizes, look a million bucks compared to where I started from, but most importantly I have found myself again.  Whilst I have never been one to outwardly lack confidence, being an overweight man in this world is always a weary prospect.  People will look at you differently, you wonder what they are thinking and if they are making comments, but I don’t care anymore.  I look at fat people out walking and running and now I say to myself “good on you” and wonder if they are also on the 12WBT.  I hope they are as it means there is more chance for them to succeed and they have the most amazing support from Michelle, her crew and the whole 12WBT family in the forums.

I read in interesting quote this morning which used to be me, but not anymore “Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit” and this is true, but I also read one that is more about me now,  “If your mind can CONCIEVE it, and your heart can BELIEVE it, then you can ACHIEVE it”
I have conceived it, I do believe it and now I am ACHIEVING it.  Bring on the next round and a double digit weight.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Still Winning, Small Wins are Still Wins

This has been an interesting week for me with some highs and some lows.  More importantly the lows have taught me some important lessons.  Whilst I think they are lows, they are not really that bad in the grand scheme of things and I am glad I have learnt that now and can focus on the end goal of becoming a healthier and happier version of myself.

The biggest bonus of the week was the weigh in result this week.  I jumped on the scales and found I had dropped another kilogram.  That means I have now lost 22.4kgs in 11 ½ weeks.  That is amazing and something I only thought impossible before starting this journey.  I am over the moon with my results so far, how I have embraced the program (both diet and exercise) and how I am aware now that I am 100% in control of my own destiny.  There are no more excuses and no one else can do it for me.  The weight will only go and I will only be the person I have been dreaming of for a long time if I get off my arse and JFDI NOW!!!!

Add to the good result this morning, I opened up our weekly Wednesday email from Michelle to find that I was selected as one of the weekly winners for last weeks’ weekly surprise.  Whilst this weeks’ winners were randomly selected from all the entries, I am over the moon.  This is my second weekly win, which means I have been lucky enough to get $700 worth of prizes in this 12 week period.  Add to that I have been fortunate enough to have this blog highlighted on Michelle Bridge’s Facebook page and also have some of my tweets Retweeted by Michelle for my weekly weigh in progress.  All in all, I am in a good place with what has come back at me from this program and it encourages me to know that I am heading in the right direction both physically but more importantly mentally.
I have also been fortunate enough this week to have received a number of compliments from people to about my weight loss, of which I rarely speak.  All these kind words, questions about what I have been doing and how good I look are wonderful and let me know that other people are aware of the effort you have made and want to know how you are doing it.  I am more than happy to preach the benefits of Michelle’s program and I have even referred a couple of people as they want to join up and reap the rewards.
With all the fluffy stuff out the way, I suppose I also need to touch on the lessons I have learnt this week also.  Now as I mentioned, none of them are life threatening or end of the road sort of dramas, well not for me anyway, but they are important flashpoints to make the most of before they get bigger.  As mentioned in a previous post, the wines that I had on the weekend were a warning to me.  Don’t get back into old habits.  Did I really need them or did I just feel like I wanted them to make things feel better.  In the past I would have had far too many, felt good at the time and crook the next day.  This is not how I want to be moving forward, especially when it impacts on my ability to get up and exercise.  Why do it?  Secondly I have learnt more so this week than any of the others that this weight loss game is more mental than anything.  If you can control the mind for good and not evil, you will win more than you lose.  I am winning at the moment, but don’t let the dark voices creep in to consume your thoughts or the diet and the exercise will go out the window.

What am I baffling on about?  Well there are 2 examples from this week that jump into my mind.  On Monday I had a full day meeting which was catered for.  I took some fruit, but no lunch.  When morning tea came in and there were some wonderful looking danishes on the plate, the first thing that jumped into my mind was, they are only small, I can have one and include it in my calories for the day.  Why did I have this thought?  It is the first time I have felt like this in 12 weeks.  I am not even a big cake person.  Thankfully the next though that entered my mind killed the first.  I then said to myself, no chance buddy, it is probably 300 calories for that small piece and it is full of butter, custard and sugar.  You don’t need it.  I was so relieved to have stopped myself and then proceeded to eat a pear instead.  One small win for the Shrinking Man.
The second mind battle that I won was on Tuesday night when out for my run.  I tend to push myself a little with everything I do in this program.  I was not sure why initially and I looked at it as being a competition.  I told my wife early on that I intended on being on stage at finale as one of the winners.  Now this is something that realistically I knew was not going to happen, but it was a goal for me to shoot towards.  I need the end goal to keep me motivated.  Whilst out joffling on Tuesday night it dawned on me that this entire journey has fuelled my competitive streak, but who am I competing against.  No one else on the journey is racing me, trying to lose more weight than me, nor am I trying to do that to anyone else.  I have been competing against myself, against my own goals.  Now this is not a bad thing.  It is good to want to beat your targets, to improve on your times, to set new PB’s.  I am improving in every area of my life, I just need to make sure these battles I am having with myself are for positive reasons.  At least at the moment they are to push myself harder and they are not in any way negative.  If I don’t lose the 25kgs I hope to lose for this round (currently at 22.4kgs) so what.  I have lost so much weight so far and I am so proud of the journey I have travelled that I have won already.  Whether I am on stage at finale or not, I am already winning my battle.  I will be able to continue to walk around knowing other people have acknowledged the hard work I have put in and that I am improving on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.  I am setting a good example for my kids, my colleagues and staff and hopefully inspiring them to do something about their weight loss sooner rather than wait like I did until a large portion of your life has passed you by.

Remember, You are in CONTROL of your destiny, JFDI now.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Wake Up Call

The last few days have been interesting at home to say the least. We have had a daughter vomiting, so she stayed home from school for 2 days, a 5 year old that I had to go and pick up frm kindergarten due to spots on his face, which were later diagnosed as school sores, 2 visits to the doctors for both of them, then I had to go to the chiropractor for my back as it needed some attention and then we started the weekend.

I suppose the good part of that was the chiro telling me that the pain in my upper back (usually in my lower back when I get back pain) was partially due to me losing weight and my posture being corrected.  This was pleasing to hear and her encouragement about what I had been doing was also nice to hear especially when this was the first time I had seen this chiro.

Nutrition and exercise has been good for those days so I was not worried about anything, just hoping that I was not going to pick anything up from the sickies in the house.  I must admit that I did have a couple of evenings during the week where I had a couple of glasses of wine and a vodka, lemon and soda.  Seems that the old vino in the cupboard was calling my name after a couple of busy days.  This for me is a huge red flag as I do like a wine, but don't want it being the reason for me not waking up and feeling as good as I have been the last 10 weeks.  It also has the ability to cause me to stay up later than I need to watching crap on Foxtel and therefore depriving me of the good sleep I have been getting whilst not drinking as much as previously.

Saturday started off with a 50 minute session in our garage doing some weights and boxing, which was very beneficial.  Julie went for a bike ride as we had agreed to get some kms in her legs in training for our Conquer Cancer ride in October and I was going to go out after that to try and get between 60-70 kms done for the day.  I got 4kms into my ride and noticed that I had a flat tyre.  After going to the nearest service station and trying to pump up my tyre 3 times it was obvious I had a puncture.  Without any spare tubes the only thing I could do was call Julie and have her come and pick me up.  There goes my ride as Julie had an afternoon engagement and my daughter had her ballet exam.  Let's just say that started my afternoon off in a less than happy fashion.  Add tot hat my little man (3 year old) had informed my wife he was also not feeling well.  Great, now we have 3 sick children in the house.

With all this going on and some extra stuff, I really felt like a wine.  I put a bottle in the fridge and was determined that i was going to enjoy a glass (a big one) whilst watching the football.  My beloved Blues were playing so it was certainly going to be a glass I was going to enjoy.  Now there is no issue here, but the problem is that it was going down to well.  Add to that the almonds that Julie and I decided to nibble on and the second bottle I opened and we are heading down a dangerous path.  Now normally in the past I would have eaten a box of pizza shapes or a large bag of chips, so I can at least be happy that the food choice was healthy, but was it necessary.  Hell NO!!!  Ws the second bottle necessary? Hell NO!!  So why do I do it to myself?

I was supposed to go for a ride this morning before Julie went to work.  We had a visitior into our bed at some ungodly time during the night.  Add to this I had not crawled into bed until just before midnight and there was no hope in hell I was getting up at 7am to ride 50kms.  Not good enough, but I had a slight headache and was not even wanting to get out of bed let alone exercise.  This is how I might have felt regularly only 3-4 months ago.  Now I was not hungover, but I had not been smart about what I had done yesterday.  I had not had the required amount of water during the day, I had more wine than I should have, which put me well over my calorie intake for the day and I had less sleep than I needed.  None of which is what I need to be doing to be honest with myself and the program.  I am now fully aware that I need to be more aware of what I do every minute of every day.  I need to ensure that my water intake is being monitored all day and that I am not leaving it til the evening to make sure I have had it.  I also need to make sure that I am only having the correct calories in my day.  If I want A wine then I need to make sure I can fit it in and then NO MORE!!!!!

This morning was a great lesson to me as I am still a long way from where I want to be both mentally and weight wise.  I am not going to beat myself up over it, no point.   But I am going to learn from this and make sure that I correct these errors and continue to lose great numbers on the scales, continue dropping cms off my body and continue to show everyone that I control my destiny and if you want something bad enough you have to go and get it as it will not be handed to you.

Now I have 8 weeks to go until i go to Bali, I am hoping to drop another 15 or 16 kgs and I need to find a good pair of speedos for the pool at the Bali Hyatt.

That is me on the right.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

We Never Stop Learning or Achieving

Another Wednesday morning means another weigh in day.  As I have previously posted, I love Wednesdays because of this.  I now get to see how far I have come on this journey, how much the hard work has paid off and how close to the ultimate goal I am now compared to 10 weeks ago.  This week has been interesting to say the least.  We had a bit of a blow out on Friday night with a few too many wines.  This caused some concern as we did not know (my wife and I) if this would cause a weight loss.  I decided that the only way to try and beat that is to work my arse off between Saturday and today.  The subsequent training sessions were carried out ensuring I burnt as many calories as I could at high intensity.  Saturday was 2000 calories gone, Sunday (no rest for me) was 600 calories, Monday was 1056 calories and last night I smashed out 600 in 45 minutes. 

These workouts for me show a huge change in my mindset and a commitment to myself and the program that I WILL become a different person and the person I want and need to be.  Thankfully this morning showed a 2.1kg loss on the scales, bring my total weight loss up to 21.4kgs in 9 ½ weeks.  This is just mind blowing for me.  I started this journey with a goal of 5-15kgs, not really knowing what to expect.  I now want to lose another 4kgs at least to get me over the 25kgs lost, but would love to lose 5kgs to have me under 120kgs.  I haven’t been there since I was 23 years of age.  So I am committed to working my backside off for the next few weeks to try and reach this mini goal before launching into the next round of the 12WBT.
One of the things I am enjoying about this program is the lessons it is also teaching my children.  On Monday night I picked my daughter up from ballet and she posed a question to me about dinner.  When I mentioned that I was having something different to her, she said to me “Oh that’s because you are on your diet.”  When I explained to her that this was not a diet and something that her mother and I were going to finish at the end of the 12 weeks, her response was hilarious.  “But dad, when will you be allowed to eat junk food again?”  I had to laugh as she obviously sees the change as something that is restricting us and not a choice we are making to ensure we are making life improving changes.  When I explained to her that I can have junk food if I choose to, but I don’t want it, she was okay.  My children have been great during this 10 weeks, trying all the food and actually enjoying most.  My little ones even ate a fish stew last night (which to my surprise wasn’t bad) and have embraced healthier versions of tacos, nachos, burgers etc.  This is priceless for me as they are learning that you can still have these wonderful meals, but a few subtle changes can make them more enjoyable and healthy.

The kids now understand that exercise is non-negotiable and that mum and I will be working out every Saturday morning together with a couple of friends in the garage for an hour.  They see us going on our bike rides for training and have seen us doing the Michelle Bridges dvd’s and other workouts in the lounge and have even got involved on occasions.  This is instilling in them a positive outlook to exercise and hopefully the benefits will be ongoing for them throughout their lives.  Without all of this change, I fear our kids will have looked at us as 2 overweight parents that weren’t truly happy in their own skin.  Now we are all heading in the right direction and it is only going to get better.
I am also going to have to re-do my goals for the next 3 months.  First one will be to ultimately get under 100kgs by Christmas.  This will be huge, need a lot of hard work and commitment but I have the support of my family, my 12WBT family and also some colleagues at work (one whom has joined the 12WBT family also) but after that I am a bit lost for goals.  Perhaps I will need to build some around some physical activity, running or swimming perhaps.  I think I need to start looking at this pretty quickly to get some things in place.  Oh well, only 7 days until the next weigh in, best I get cracking.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

What Inspires you and WHY???

With London and the world currently in the grips of Olympic fever, it is interesting to think what flow on effect this has to people getting up and about and being inspired by these amazing athletes.  We have all seen reports of how sporting activities popularity increase after successful games.  Soccer took off after 2006 World Cup and participation in swimming, cycling and running is always increased after Olympic and Commonwealth games, but is this because people are inspired or just reminded that they want to get out and be fit. 
What is inspiration anyway?  I read umpteen posts on a daily basis how people respond to a post and state how inspiring they find the person.  Why?  What makes them so inspiring?  Is it because they have decided that they want to get up and finally do something about their life which they have been too lazy to do in the past?  Sorry, but for me that is a crock and I don’t find those people inspiring at all.  They are no different to me and if you find me inspiring I am sorry but find someone that has done something worthy of it.  For long periods of our lives we have been lazy and stuffed our face with whatever went past our nose.  I have no one to blame but myself for being a fat, lazy, grumpy man.  Likewise I have no one to thank now being a slimming, active happier man.  No one forced me to eat the crap, just like no one is forcing me to change my diet, my exercise regime and also me mindset now.    
Yes I know this is a little different from previous posts, but it goes back to the post I wrote a couple of weeks back about people needing to gain perspective.  I am happy for every single person currently doing the 12WBT as they have made a choice to do something positive in their life.  This can never be underestimated and is a valuable lesson for all of us to carry with us through this journey.  You may struggle, you may fail at times, but so long as you keep moving in the right direction you will get to where you want to go.  If this means you need to have some inspiration along the way, go and find it somewhere from someone that truly inspires you, not just a few words in a forum.  You might ask then what inspires me considering I have thrown this little snippet out there.  Well I have 3 people that inspire me.  Two of which I know quite well and 1 of them I have never met.  How can someone I have never met inspire me you may ask?  Well that person is amazing and the feats they have accomplished prove to me that you can do anything you want.
The first person that inspires me is a true battler.  They have proven to me on numerous occasions that anything is possible and even though they complain, bitch and moan sometimes (feels like a lot at times) they still battle on.  This person is my wife.  For those that don’t know Julie, she had a serious car accident 6 years ago and ended up in hospital for 10 or so days.  Her injuries meant that she had 3 plates and 22 screws inserted in her left leg.  The next few years were a constant struggle with learning to cope, having a 3 small children and learning to live life whilst not being able to do what you normally could have in the past.  Add to this, she is doing the 12WBT on a lot less training than me (simply due to her physical incapacity) and is killing it with over 14kgs lost in 8 weeks.  She has had her ups and downs but this is proof that you can do it if you want to badly enough.  Well done sweetheart, you are a legend.

The second person is my father-in-law.  Eddie is amazing.  He is the most positive person I have ever met.  He has his own health issues, which I will not go into on here as I have not asked him for permission to openly speak about, but he has never let that stop him from living life to the full.  He is making sure that his life and time spent with his wife, kids and grandkids is being done to the fullest.  Whilst Eddie is doing well with his treatment and will probably be around to haunt us all for quite a while yet, it amazes me how he can be so positive and no-one would know he had health issues.  For me that is truly inspiring and I look to those sorts of people and wonder why others, including myself, complain about silly things and also take life for granted.  I have done this for quite some time and thankfully now have realised that unless I get up and do something about it I might be having very different health issues of my own which I have caused.

The 3rd person that I find truly inspiring is the one person I have never met, but would someday truly love to if I ever had the chance.  This person has competed in marathons all over the world, been a finalist on the Laureus World Sports awards, is a world champion, finished the Kokoda Trail and all this with no legs.   This person is Kurt Fearnley.  As someone that has done Kokoda, I found it the toughest thing I have ever done in my life.  Admittedly I was overweight, but mentally and emotionally it was more draining for me.  That is easy enough to say when you have legs and can walk it.  Kurt dragged himself the entire way using his arms.  Yes it was tough for him and he thought about giving up, but did he?  Hell no, this guy finished what he started and no one was going to stop him.  If there isn’t a lesson in that for everyone in life, especially all of the fellow members of the 12WBT then we are all missing something.  I know now that it will need to be a truly special story for me to tell someone they inspire me, hell I haven’t even told my wife until I wrote this, so I will need to remedy that. 

I don’t care how many gold medals we win, how many athletes that have work their backsides off for the entire life to get to where we expect them to be, they don’t inspire me.  I appreciate them and support them but I am not inspired by them.  It is those people that have done extraordinary things that you don’t expect and have battled the hard fight and won that inspire me.   I will learn more from the three people above more than I will most others and for that I am grateful, now I just need to use that inspiration to fuel my needs to get to my gold medal.  That is a fitter, healthier and happier version of ME!!!!