The summary for those that don't like long reads is: I'm fat and I'm fixing it :-)
So that's a bit of an ambiguous title to start with, so let me explain: I'm overweight by a good few stone. I've admitted to myself many times over the years and openly tell people I'm fat. See I think what that means is 'hey I've admitted to it so it's no longer a problem huh?' when really I've been just using it as an excuse to not actually do anything about it.
I'm not on a diet, no - that signifies in my mind a temporary state whereby I would eat rabbit food for a few weeks, lose a pound or two and then revert back to my chocolate gorging / going blind on cheese ways.
I've made a major lifestyle decision to completely re-evaluate the way I look at food. It's all Tim Ferriss' fault; he's a world renowned 'body hacker / human guinea pig' that you may have heard of in a 4 Hour Work Week context. I picked up his book 'The Four Hour Body' (4HB) a couple of years ago, read the parts on weight loss and was wowed into starting a journey that saw me shed 2 stone over the course of a year - great stuff!
Some of the major attractions to Tim's 4HB programme:
- It was simple; eat this, this and this and nothing else
- You don't calorie count, go hungry nor eat tasteless food
- Results are fast
- once every 7 days you have a 'cheat' day where you can eat ANYTHING you like!
All sounds too good to be true but it worked for me just as promised. I followed the (simple) rules and ran my own 'experiment'; found out what worked for me by tweaking the meals until I was happy with the results.
But somehow I slipped back into old habits, made excuses for not sticking to it and found myself at 17 and a half stone by April 1st 2013 - the fattest I've ever been. Buying clothes was a stressful nightmare, I was permanently lethargic and with a 2 year old son that seems to be running off a mini nuclear reactor demanding more and more from daddy I realised (again) that I had to do something about it - and this time it'd better damn work.
So I have revisited the 4HB but this time with one pretty significant change. I failed before because no matter what I did, I always longed for something during the week and despite holding out until cheat day, the longing was there for the other 6 days. It got to the point where I'd get up earlier in the morning on cheat day so I could get more cheating done and when it was time for bed, I'd hit the cupboard for 'one last chocolate bar' - not because I wanted it, but because I could have it - Tim told me I could!
I've made a conscious decision to no longer treat food as a source of pleasure, quite simply:
Food is just fuel.
I eat what I need to eat to not be hungry and follow the programme: that's it. Don't get me wrong, all the food I'm eating I am thoroughly enjoying!
But I am not yearning for chocolate / ice cream any more because I know, as I always have, that these things are bad for me! And I know that unless I make this massive psychological change I will fail again, and that isn't an option!
Will Smith was asked in the MIB 3 film "Do you know the most destructive force in the universe". His answer was sugar - and it's actually spot on. Sugar has become more prevalent in so much food these days that it's hard to avoid it yet we all know how lots of sugar is bad for us. I've been duped into buying 'low fat' alternatives in the past to later find out that they actually contain more sugar than the original 'fat version'!
I started this lifestyle change on the 1st April 2013 at a weight of 110.6KG. This morning I weighed in at 102.8KG. Whilst out shopping earlier, I picked up 8 bags of sugar (try it!) to represent what I'd lost in the past 6 weeks and it really hit home how much extra weight I'm carrying and how much stress it's putting on my body.
Over these 6 weeks alone I have noticed a massive increase in energy and I am positively BUZZING! This is where the connection to my music comes in; I now understand 'healthy body, healthy mind' first hand. I am so much more productive and have tunes forming in my head all the time, recording melodies into my phone, tapping out new drum beats and rolling out monthly mixes regularly now - I'm so much more positive and motivated that I will succeed in this.
Finally after 20 odd years of not worrying about what I eat I've pushed the button.
I will report progress once in a while and one day when I'm no longer embarrassed, I'll share the photos I've taken of myself and compare the difference! I'll also cover a bit more detail about what food I am actually eating and take you through my new cheat day too!
Also keep an eye out on the https://www.facebook.com/mersemusic page for updates too!