Sept 2012 – A year has now passed since I decided it was time to take a long hard look at myself, my lifestyle and face the fact that I was heading for an early grave.
I put aside all the bullshit excuses that people give for why they are overweight and why they can’t exercise and it’s not their fault etc etc.. and got just got on with it.
I started running, I ran regardless of how much it hurt, I ran regardless of how many times I wanted to quit, I got on with it and ran. No fad diets, just plain hard work.
After a while I’ve found that I actually don’t hate running any more (believe me I seriously hated it), I eventually found that I quite enjoy it, it’s changed my life for the better.
This is me, PJ, a runner…
It’s really been a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get this far, but was it worth it, oh hell yeah! I’ve got a couple of 10k races and also a couple half marathons under my belt so far, with lots more to come including the Great South Run next month, the Gosport half marathon the month after that, The Grim Challenge in December and then a full marathon in Vienna in April next year.
I’m a different person, and I’m only getting started!
For those that like stats I’ve been tracking all my runs in Runkeeper. This shows the miles I’ve racked up, the time spent running and how many calories I’ve burnt.
I’ve changed my diet, but not obsessively, sustainability is the key. I still have a pizza or a curry most Friday nights, big carvery on a Sunday etc.. I just cut out all the snacky bits I used to eat whilst in the office, the quick sugar fixes, the crisps, the snackbars. I’ve cut out the easy option chips or sandwiches from the works canteen and the like. I know I could have dropped a whole lot more by now, but I wouldn’t have been happy and would probably have rebounded.
The chest hair has gone in the after pictures, as has the stubble, and there has even been a bit of just for men going on as well. Why, because I feel a lot younger, a lot healthier, a lot more confident, I’ve gone through a makeover and the after shots were the ‘reveal’ as such. The missus loves the change I’ve gone through, so do the kids. There was no back hair, in the before pictures I was also suffering with psoriasis, which has now gone completely, but admittedly I am on drugs for that, but the change in diet and lifestyle has been majorly instrumental in my new found well being.
I’ve found that taking photo’s on a month by month basis has really helped as it’s too easy to forget where I started and why, the photo’s are a constant reminder of how bad I let things get before I took action and hopefully will serve as a poignant reminder.
I still have a lot of work to do, but more cutting my % body fat than losing weight. During this process I also have had a few medicals including full blood work ups and monitored blood pressure and all the other important vital statistics. I’ve massively reduced the likely hood or heart attack or diabetes and prolonged my life somewhat. There are still gains to be made, but I’m taking those as they come.
It’s been quite a journey so far but now I feel I’m just at the beginning. I’ve found a passion in something that I previously hated and often mocked others for. Now I’m finding myself a little bit judgemental of people who are in the same state I used to be in, especially when they roll out all the old excuses that I used to, bad I know as who am I to judge, but I’ve had a running epiphany!
What’s even more startling is the fact that I’d already lost close to a stone in the first pictures too, scary eh!!
I do feel 100 times better than I did then, all I need to do now is quit the cigs altogether as I’m still smoking, albeit very lightly, two or three a day, mostly in the evenings.
I’ve totally fallen in love with running, I love the fact I can disappear off for a couple of hours at a time, let the mind wander, forget about all my worries and explore the countryside and take in the nature around me. So much better than wasting my days sat in the pub, all day drinking sessions, watching whatever sport they’ve got on thinking I’m some sort of sporting hero because I can relate back some stats from years gone by!