I’m Matt a 29-year old software developer from Northern Ireland. I turned my life around in January 2010 after hitting just under 280 pounds (20 stone).
I’d become a recluse and more alarmingly my piss stank like Sugar Puffs. I hated feeling like shit all the time so I resolved to change this time and for good.
2 years previously I’d lost 40 pounds and put it all back on and more. I can’t describe how frustrated I felt when I stepped on the scales for the first time. It was terrifying and sobering.
But once you have that moment behind you, then you can begin to move forward.
2011 was a year of moving forward.
In 2011 I trained for and completed the Belfast Marathon and ran 3 half marathons.
In 2012 I did the Belfast Marathon again and ran 7 half marathons.
In 2013 the plan is to run Paris, Belfast, Dublin and possibly another European marathon as well as 10 half marathons.
What was the turning point in your life?
There were several.
In the winter of 2009 I was drinking and eating far too much and felt out of control.
My worst ever night was at the work Christmas party where I got very drunk on wine and made a fool of myself at the bar. I put my leg up on the table and farted like an exhibitionist after a disagreement and this almost got us thrown out.
The smell from the fart was fucking terrible. Tables of revellers were remonstrating with members of our team because of me.
I’d become so much of a mess that my own form of protest or resistance in life was to fucking gas the customers of JD Wetherspoon in Belfast.
Why do you call yourself Angry Jogger?
In my first few months of outdoor running I felt so self conscious that I thought everyone was looking at me. I got paranoid that drivers were deliberately going out of their way to sabotage my runs and would even throw them the bird for no reason.
I’m nowhere near as bad these days and I try to be pleasant to people. For a while I was having recurring nightmares where I was outside jogging and would then get arrested for pushing old women in front of buses.
I still have those “what if” moments where I will see a granny with a zimmer frame and think of throwing her in front of the 4:30pm to Lisburn. These thoughts fucking kill me. I’d never do it, but my brain likes to entertain itself.
Why do you keep running?
I keep myself motivated by regularly entering races in the UK and Ireland.
It’s not just about running anymore, it’s become part of my lifestyle to spend weekends away in new places. Besides it’s easier to continue with the running than it is to stop and start all over again. Running tomorrow will always be easier than running some time next week.
Once you build some momentum with it, then it becomes less of a challenge.
Why start a running blog?
I was really starting to bore my friends with talk of running, so I thought I’d put all of my energy into a website.
There are 1,000s of websites out there dedicated to the sport, so I’ve tried to make it different by targeting mainly fat beginners who want to still live a conventional lifestyle whilst jogging.
I started the blog properly in January 2012 and ever since then interest in the site has increased quite rapidly with little to no publicity.
In March 2013 the site finally hit 100,000 visits.
Hopefully it will continue growing but it depends largely on word of mouth!
What is the purpose of this website?
I want to convince as many overweight people to take up running as possible. It can really change your life.
My ultimate aim is to create a website that would have convinced myself at my fattest to start running.
I think people tend to over complicate running and that puts beginners off. The key to getting more people to run is to lower the entry bar and encourage newbies rather than discourage them.
The main idea behind the site is for me to tell you that if I can do it, you can too.
When did you start running?
Indoors – September 2010. Outdoors – December 2010.
I started off running on the treadmill at the gym in the Autumn of 2010. I began by walking for half an hour, then that turned into an hour. Eventually I just started running for short bursts.
I put it off for so long because I was so self conscious of slipping off the back of the machine and looking like an idiot.
What was your best ever run?
Definitely my run the day after my dad died. I just didn’t know what to do at the time, so I lived up to the Forrest Gump stereotype and just went out and ran as far as I could.
I managed 14 miles and the run ended with a group of kids hitting the back of my legs with sticks. I wanted to fucking kill them but I felt tired and numb. 2 weeks after that I ran my first half marathon. I was still in shock.
Do you run for charity?
I have done in the past and I want to continue to do so in future. I tend to get disheartened by it times though if I don’t raise as much as expected. I’m running the Paris and Belfast marathons in aid of Northern Ireland Hospice.