So…. Take a look at my picture. I don’t look fat (and to be fair, it was taken last year when I’d been going to the gym 4 times a week). Even now, I don’t look fat – just a little more round in the face and a small lump where my abs should be. I do have a lot of muscle in my back, shoulders and legs from years of cycling and a short stint as a milkman (lifting 4 crates at a time to everyone else’s 2). But I’m not fat.
A couple of years ago I went to the doctor complaining of pain in my stomach. Upper right quadrant. They poked, prodded and then sent some bloods off to be tested. What came back rocked me a little.
Firstly, my cholesterol was borderline – not high, just close to becoming high. That wasn’t the problem. Triglycerides… THAT was my problem. Triglycerides are a form of dietary fat found in meats, dairy produce and cooking oils. The liver also makes triglycerides. A normal human reading should be around 1. Mine? Wait for it……… 9! On top of my high blood pressure, this sounded a little more concerning!
My weight had crept up to 13st 7lb at my heaviest and I was eating all the wrong foods – sausages, pizza, burgers, chips, pasties, large bags of Doritos, takeaways – everything that was high in fat and salt. I was pilling up my plate and eating everything as I didn’t want to waste food. The doctor warned me that sausages were the Devil’s doo-dad and I should stay away from them for eternity. To this day, I have only had around 10 sausages since diagnosis.
So, what to do? How about the gym? Of course! So I enrolled at our local gym and started eating healthily. 3-4 nights at the gym… 30 minutes cycling, 20 minutes treadmill, cable weights and free weights. Up to 2 hours in the gym each session. On top of this, I started weighing and measuring my foods and introduced quorn into my diet. I joined the gym in January and by august I was down to 12st 7lb but had a flat stomach and abs!
September came along and there were changes – eldest boy needed to look for a secondary school, youngest boy started reception, wife started evening classes, both boys had after school activities and my wedding photography business was getting busier. I didn’t have time to keep up with the gym. My food intake had started to slip, too. The pizza and crisps were creeping back.
Fast forward to just under a couple of weeks ago when I stood on my scales and stared at the display. Looking back at me was this…. 13st 3lb. Cue sad face, feelings of guilt and a feeling that I wanted to crack this – I have to go to Florida for two weeks in August and I don’t want to be fat, unhealthy, out of shape and unable to walk round. I also want to try all that lovely American food!
So I have a renewed energy for trying to lose weight. What am I doing this time? Well, to kick me off I’m spending two weeks eating the following…
Weetabix for breakfast.
A homemade soup for lunch (a lovely Spicy Tomato Soup with brown rice this week).
Rice crackers and cereal bar for snacks in the day.
A fruit and veg smoothie in the evening.
So far I have shifted 7lb since my 13st 3lb weigh in last week and am down to 12st 10lb. I am under no illusion that this is just water I am shifting at the moment but it is a boost that I need. I will also introduce more exercise. I’m planning on putting my bike into the car and cycling at lunchtimes and reintroducing the gym (which I still pay for).
I also started using the My Fitness Pal app which helps me and gives me a bit of motivation. I’ve asked the wife if “the kids” can get me a Jawbone health tracking wrist band for Father’s Day, too!
It’s gonna be a long haul, but somebody has to do it – i guess it’s my turn to step up to the plate.