Friday, 13 June 2014

June 13th - Black Friday Weigh-in

Day Fifteen : Friday 13th June 2014

In medieval times, they stayed indoors on Friday 13th and they didn't come out until the sun rose on the following Saturday.  

I couldn't afford to do this as I was booked for a weigh in at the leisure centre, two weeks after my first attempt. 

For those of you bumping into this blog, my intention is to lose weight. Why? After packing in smoking in 2007, I ballooned like a Zeppelin and put on around four stone (56lb). By September 1st, I intend to be twelve and a half stone and this (temporary) blog charts that progress. 

Today was my first weigh-in.

On Friday 28th May, I was 14st 12lb (and a bit).
Today, I was 14st 10lb.

I have run, x-trained, lifted weights like a beast for two weeks and I lost 2lbs. To be honest, I feel deflated at that result. 

Yet, I knew it was going to be tough. I have a slow metabolism, difficulty in digesting food, and a history of severe stomach illness that nearly led to my death in 2008. 

Historically, I struggle to lose weight. It happens. Everyone is different. I happen to be one of those people who watch an advert for Dairy Milk and put on 2lb. It happens.

Those people who lose a stone in a fortnight, as if by magic? It's not going to be me, unfortunately, so, on reflection, I have to be pleased with a 2lb loss.

What I am not pleased with is that I have lost muscle, not fat. 

My trainer, Lee, tells me I have been overdoing the cardio exercise and, as he suspected, the regime is eating into the body's muscle. 

I have no idea how this happens. I asked him what I needed to be doing, and he said carry on your usual stuff for another month and we will see.

Lose the weight and - like the Six Million Dollar Man - we shall rebuild you: We have the technology, he might have said.

There are other results, which sweeten the slightly underwhelming facts on the print out in front of me.

I feel much better than I did a month ago. I feel positively coked up compared to how I felt a month ago. 

Simple reason: I don't feel good after completing a book, I never have done, and tend to go into a low like a Pacific trench afterwards. 

Again, it happens.

IMO, if you suffer from D - to whatever degree, forget Prozac, (which disconnects the emotions to a dangerous extent, in my experience, to the point where very strange things happen), and go to the gym, or go running. 

The endorphin release, the sense of achievement, the shower wiping out the hot sweat of your own exertions - you can't buy the feeling, which is why more and more doctors are prescribing discounted gym memberships ("the GP Referral Scheme"), in cases of patient's suffering D.

So, enough preaching: I have another weigh-in Mid-July. I need to get to something like 14st in that time (that would be losing 10lb in a month), in order to maintain the schedule.

I'll keep you posted.

Today is a rest day. I had a terrible nights sleep last night after that horrific vegetable medley I prepared, which was just vile. Truly disgusting. I cannot cook at all. Gosh, I hate vegetables. 

No bread, chips or chocolate...*sigh*

I'm tired and as Lee said, a rest day is sometimes as good as a two hour session.

Day Sixteen : Saturday 14th June 2014

Slept poorly again and suffered with my stomach, as I often do in the mornings.

AM: Mixed weight and cardio session. Approximately an hour and at least 5/600 calories expended. Felt terrific afterward. The rest day yesterday worked wonders. I was genuinely tired after five out of six days of double shifts.

Good performance from England, but once again, the Italians know how to play us and they hold the warning sign over the three lions - that's five in a row.

Mood Rating: 8/10  Keyword: Fun.

Day Seventeen : Sunday 15th June 2014

AM: Treated myself last night and woke up this morning with a bloated stomach that felt like it was carrying a two lb bag of sugar - the bag of sugar I was supposed to have lost last week! (Ngaire/Georgia :-).  

An ex-wife and I spent almost every weekend piling into
the pizza and kebab - but each mouthful had devastating
consequences the next day
If you do fancy a takeaway, always think about the morning after - it's worse than a hangover. 

Bloat, distension,reflux, acid fragmentation, mild nausea, listlessness and vertigo are just some of the symptoms a trayful of sublime badness can inflict upon you.

So, I hung around a bit, tweeted, listened to music (Submarine, the Dark Urban Country band I used to manage back in the nineties) and waited for my stomach to settle.

AM: When it didn't settle at all, I went running anyway.

The highly dangerous Oxton Run. Dangerous because, at any time, on the first segment, you can be mowed down by vintage sports cars, high performance Italian passion wagons, 4 x 4 Chelsea tractors and passing turbo charged combine harvesters on the way in and out of the richest town in the East Midlands. Also, the first three miles are uphill and there is a half mile hill (I call "Pork Chop Hill" after a film I saw when I was a kid and it is just as difficult to climb), at the beginning of the third segment. Map thanks to Googlemaps Satellite.

The trip is only 6.5 miles, but the first three miles are uphill and its a much more arduous run than the one I usually do across the nature trail, which is flat. As I type, my legs are sore. 

I intervalled the last mile - sprinting/jogging/sprinting.

No gym tonight - spectacularly tired...

Day Eighteen : Monday 16th June 2014

AM: 1 hour cardio x-trainer session. 500 calories. Steps 100 calories. Approximately 9km travelled.

PM: Mixed weights programme interspersed with cardio. 45 minutes. 250 calories expended plus whatever I lost through the rapid fire weights. Good session. 

One hour in the sauna.

Not eaten much at all today. Some weightwatchers snacks. Lots of water. Bowl of tomato soup.

Mood Rating: 8/10  Keyword: Calm and contented

Day Nineteen : Tuesday 17th June 2014

Royal Ascot ate into my exercise time (and will continue to do so this week) so this is brief. I couldn't get down to the gym in the daytime so when I returned home, without sitting down for a cup of tea, I went straight out again.

AM: Cardio session. 1 hour. x-trainer and stepper. At least 600 calories expended. It would have been more had I not suffered an upset stomach half way through the stepper exercise.

Watched Brazil vs Mexico (yawn) and "Endeavour". Can anyone tell me who did it?

Day Twenty : Wednesday 18th June 2014

The anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo.

AM: Weight and cardio programme. Expended around 500 calories. Dreadful session that left me a bit flat. I was unable to recover momentum in the evening as I was co-teaching.

Backed Field of Dream at 28/1...the second time I have found the winner of the Royal Hunt Cup in two years #busstories. 

Mood Rating: 6/10  Keyword: Neither here nor there

Day Twenty One: Thursday 19th June 2014

Day off. Football. You all know the score. Here's a brighter memory...#suarezvsengland


  1. Don't beat yourself up ... a loss of 2lbs is brilliant. It is going in the right direction. I believe if you lose weight fast it will go on even faster! Slowly but surely (wow, love my adverbs!!!) that is the best way. And,
    DON'T GIVE UP, what did Churchill say ..... wishing you the best n x

  2. I can understand after everything you have been through that 2lb may not seem like a lot but imagine 2 bags of sugar next to each other and it's actually quite a hefty amount. It is amazing though with the amount of exercise you do that it's not more. I know muscle weighs more that fat so as you workout surely that is what is happening - how can you be losing muscle and not fat?? Anyway I hope you weigh in the same way I do - fully naked and balancing on one foot - or is that frowned upon in the gym??

    Are you able to tolerate stock cubes? My brother who suffers with stomach problems like you can manage the stock pot things and if you cook your vegetables in them it might add a bit more taste. Otherwise use that spray fat stuff and fry off an onion first to caramelise it before adding veg and plenty of seasoning - garlic pepper is good one!

    Anyway enough of my rambling - you are doing very well Mark - keep going and focus on the fact that you are feeling much better!! Gx