The Journey Begins:
Christmas Day 2011, 12 noon and I am standing in front of our Christmas tree having a couple of photos taken by ‘her herself’, my long suffering, beautiful wife.
We have opened our presents, drunk a bottle of champagne and are getting ready to go out to the Falcon Hotel in Painswick for Christmas lunch with friends. This day has been pre planned for months and we are looking forward to it.
We are meeting some good friends, one of whom recently qualified as a Personal Trainer at the age of 65years old. Impressively fit, healthy and active friends, who train and run hard and work out a couple of times every week . These folks have been living this regime for years and years and look really good on it. Their life is a far cry from my current sloathe like life. Embarrassingly bad on my behalf, but reality is reality, so I face the fact head on, as an unfit man!
I seriously gave up strenuous exercise some 13-14 years before 2011. After spending my youth at school and Uni playing rugby, mountain biking and chancing my arm with the odd triathlon in the summer, I walked away from trying to get fit and keeping fit in order to enjoy the company of young ladies, drinking too much beer and munching my way through copious amounts of Indian cuisine. This was a serious lifestyle choice after dedicating so many hours pushing myself hard on the playing fields of the south west, pounding the streets in trainers and thinking that as a ‘twenty something’ I was someone reasonably fit. But without too much persuasion, I chucked my trainers away and sat back, watching my fit life slip from my grasp.
One day, as if by magic, after meeting a girl, I just stopped and made the decision to ‘stop starting’ and to ‘start stopping’, with this idle trend spanning over a decade and more. Even after I met my ‘to be’ future wife, through our engagment and into marriage the idle life continued, to excess most days. The result was an ever increasing waist line, a massive BMI and the impossibility of serious exercise occurring any time soon.
Hitting 40 in September 2011 was a wake up call for me. The fact this fateful day had arrived in my life was quite a shock, given the idle and wild life I had led.
The reality of the day was that I was probably more than half my final ‘death age’. This was depressing enough, but made worse coupled with the fact that those key people who had influenced my life so much in the first half of my life would not be around in my life for the 2nd half of my life !! The thought made me cry, a lot, pretty much all day, even at lunch in a beautiful restaurant with my wife, my age related anguish continued.
Being 40 did get better, quite quickly. I have a gorgeous wife, a decent job, car, house, friends……everything was pretty good, apart from the lack of fitness and personal direction in my life. I felt the need to release the ‘inner me’, which was actually as I remembered a good looking, fit guy. This guy was now covered in flab, hidden under a gut and unable to do anything useful. He also had no idea really what state he was in. Ignorance really was his bliss !
So I took the decision to start at a baseline and see where I could get to. I bought some high tech scales, that I hoped would tell me I was a little over the holy grail of big men’s weights, ’15 stone’.
The reality was that these new high tech scales told me I was close to 25 stone. This, even with rose tinted glasses on and the desire to ignore the results, was an embarrassing and revolting fact for me to swallow, which was quite ironic as I had ‘swallowed’ too much already! I had taken my eyes off myself and fuck me, I really had let myself go, and go and go and go…..to the point of dispair and personal loathing. I hated seeing what I had done to myself and could not bare to look at myself.
So, I now knew I was a big, fat, unfit fucker! (I has been for a long time, but had not appreciated in my own minds eye where I was in myself and what I had done to myself.
One might argue I was in a ‘trough’ and a long way from the peak of fitness and I could not disagree with this appraisal. I needed to take stock and started with food intake. My love for chocolate, biscuits and high trans fat packet food was the dirty and daily kicker in my life. Without too much effort I dropped this crap out of my life and quickly dropped some poundage. Across a month or so the weight was dropping off and I soon lost a stone through cutting out biscuits, which was remarkable on a number of fronts, not least because it must have meant I truly did eat far too many and they were so bad for me.
Before christmas I had dallied with the idea of getting fit. In 2011 I had tried (and failed) to establish a regime for fitness. I had achieved less than 30 occasions or sessions of fitness activity across the whole of 2011. The majority of days after exercise I had DOMS (delayed on set of muscle soreness). The more exercise I did, the more I ached and hurt. The fear of the hurt and the fear of failure was truly off putting and meant that on the odd occasion I put the effort in, the aftermath over the following week meant I was suffering pain and aching. I was also ashamed that I knew I was unable o achieve what I did when I was 21yrs old, but at the same time pertified that if I did more, I would hurt again. I needed to sort my mind and my body out!
I needed an expert who had overcome these aspects and issues before. Could this person be a personal trainer? Probably!
On Christmas Day 2011, I made the decision that 2012 would be a year of change. I would get myself to a gym, I would take stock of my life and make the necessary changes. Determined to make things happen, I sent an email to a local Personal Trainer, Jeremy Bingham and wondered if he would bother replying.
He did reply and we arranged to meet up for a free consultation. I detailed my wants and needs and he agreed to take me on as a project. I told JB that I wanted some major results and wanted to work hard for them. I am a realistic guy, but I wanted to put my faith in this guy’s hands. I needed him to guide me, point me in the right direction and push me.
So it was confirmed, the first session would be on 6th January 2012. This day I would step out into a gym a big, unfit fat 40 yr old man. Jeremy (an extremely fit fellow, as you would imagine) measured me, every where over my body (waist, back, thighs, back, calfs, arms) and of course my weight and mass. All very undignified and now someone else knew my vital, excessive and pathetic personal statistics. Because of this, I felt compelled to put some focus and hard work in, so I did not continue to be a fat loser (in my own mind)