Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Half Way Up My Everest

This week has been one of ups and downs, a bit like climbing Everest so to speak.  When I read Bear Grylls book, he explained that when he climbed Everest they had to aclimatise themselves with the altitude and lack of oxygen prior to trying to push higher. This would mean they would climb up and get used to the height and then come back down to allow their body to recover prior to heading back up.  This took him a total of 3 months from the time he arrived at base camp until he reached the summit.  Well this is similar to how I have been travelling this round and especially this week.

Some may find the fact that I am comparing Everest to my weight loss journey a little dramatic, but in actual fact my weight loss journey is my Everest and in my opinion a lot harder in my mind to conquer.  Whilst I am never going to reach the summit of Everest, through multiple reasons (finances, want/need, or capability) I WILL conquer this summit, but it is going to take time, work and the desire to reach the top.  This journey is one that I have struggled with on a number of occasions over the course of the last 12 or so years, trying numerous things to get to the top of this weight loss world, but always stopping half way up the summit and believing it to be too hard and finding myself back at base camp an unhappy, obese person, wondering if I would ever be able to get to the top.  I am not sure what happened this time, but the sun must have been shining one morning as I poked my head out of my base camp tent and I decided that this was going to be the time.  My wife had signed up for the 12WBT and I was going to jump on-board with here and get to where I wanted to be.  I was not sure how long it would take, how I would manage or even if it would work, but I had to try and I had to make sure I was doing the right thing by her and myself.

My story and journey up the mountain is well documented in this blog (which I won another 12WBT prize for this week, thank you everyone for your nominations) but what I have not yet written about is the fact that this current round has found me struggling a little.  I am still committed to losing my weight.  I am still eating as cleanly as possible and I am probably doing more exercise than I was last round.  The worst part for me is that I feel I have hit the wall metaphorically.   Yes there have been a couple of celebrations in this time with the Perth Finale and my wife’s 40th birthday, but I am not using them for reasons why I have hit the wall.  I think in part I am just tired.  I have never been this committed to anything in my life, even when I was training for Kokoda and I have not stopped.  Add to this I have not seen as much weight falling off me the last 4 weeks as I did last round and it makes you wonder what is happening. 
Receiving my Blogger award from Michelle at Perth Finale

Me and the Guru at Finale
I equate this to stories I have heard about people doing Tough Mudder and how they have struggled when they get to the walls.  The walls are so high you need assistance to get over them.  I have felt the last couple of weeks that is exactly what I need.  Either someone to boost me up over the wall or someone to drag me up by the arm so I can scramble to the top.  I have been very lucky that I have this support network and it comes in 2 parts.  Firstly there is my wife.  She is always encouraging me, telling me I am a weight loss machine and giving me the time to go for a run and bike ride.  Thankfully she sees how much I am enjoying my exercise and the small wins I am having with my fitness and this is something that keeps me going.  If I didn’t have that support I would plain and simply be stuffed.  The second part is the amazing people I have met at the finale and have befriended on facebook as well as the rest of the Facebook group and Twitter families.  Everyone is so supportive of my efforts, runs, cycles etc and this small little bit of feedback, praise and encouragement means that every time I question my ability to get that little bit further up the mountain, they are behind me with their hands planted on my rather large still (but shrinking) backside pushing me up to the summit.  This sort of support is undoubtedly one of the key factors in helping me and obviously a lot of others get to the top or to their own summit and is an undervalued part of the program. Find your own network in whatever forum, social media you can and make the most of us.

I am proud to say that with this morning’s weigh in I am now over half way to the summit of my own personal Everest.  I started this climb with 56kgs to lose and after losing 500 grams this last week (where I honestly expected to put on) I now have 27.9kgs to lose.  This is a huge milestone for me because every step I take now I have less weight to lose than I have already lost.  The numbers to goal are getting smaller than those on the left hand side of my tracker and I am going to be there some time in the new year.  I had hoped this would be the case in Round 4, but realistically I think it might take until Round 2 next year.  As Pink says “So What, I am a Rock Star!” at least I feel like one with my wins so far and as it takes climbers 3 months to climb Everest, it makes no difference how long I take to climb my own, so long as this time I don’t go back to base camp and I stay on the side of the mountain and regain my focus and energy to continue the climb all the way to the top and complete this journey.


  1. Leitchy, you totally rock! :-)


  2. Thanks for this post Greg. I can really relate, I too feel like I've been hitting that wall this round. With two Red Flag weeks the weight hasn't dropped as it did in Round 2 but I guess it is confirmation that this is a lifestyle change and life does happen...
    Really looking forward to playing out the rest of the round with less challenging circumstances and seeing the improvement of numbers on scales, tape measure & stopwatch...
    I've got no doubts in my mind that you will reach your peak. As in the words of Sir Edmund Hillary - It is not the mountain me conquer but ourselves...

  3. You are welcome Dayna, I try to please and if it means you get a bit of help out of it the better. Yes it is all about the lifestyle change, I think a lot of us forget that with the weekly weigh ins and prizes etc.

    I like the quote from Sir Edmund as well.

  4. I feel like I've hit a wall this week and this is my first round!! So hang in there and keep climbing :)

  5. Great post great analogy and great quote.
    I've been up and down this round more times than granddads pants so thank you.