Back From The Wilderness
This post is for anyone who is fatter than they once were and have let it impact the quality of your life. You can come back and change and become stronger than you once were in the memory of how bad things were.
In January 2018 I weighed myself in Hounslow, London at a branch of The Gym. I was 15 stone 13. I had put on almost 40lbs in 3 months after returning home from my big run of 2017. I was not expecting it to be that bad. Instead of actually doing something about it I walked straight back out of the gym and bought myself a consolation pie.
Yesterday I weighed in at 13 stone 4 which represents a loss of 2 stone 9lbs which puts me at my weight at the halfway point of LEJOG. After many months in the wilderness, I’m back you cunts. I thought I’d share some observations I’ve made in the intervening period which will hopefully help someone out there.
- The regret will only make it harder to escape – I thought back to what I’d achieved at LEJOG and it seemed a complete fucking waste. I’d put on more weight than I ever did as a boozer so naturally my first thought was “why not just become a boozer again?” Fortunately I did not and have not picked up the piss and hopefully never will again. Comparing yourself to yourself can be incredibly toxic. It’s too easy to assume that we were always better at some other point. I stopped doing long runs as I remembered how bad they felt when I was actually fit, so as a podgy man they were gonna feel 100 times worse so I didn’t need to put myself through that shit. I just waited until tomorrow and as Bernard Sumner once wrote: “that’s what they all say, just before they cave in and buy 12 Bargain Buckets in Salford KFC.”
- You change – I vowed to myself that I’d never let this happen again and in the last few months I’ve been possessed by a tireless energy which has stopped me accepting decline any more. I am 34 years old, I cannot do what I did last year again and spend life yo-yo dieting. I’ve always gotta put in some level of graft and have some level of discipline with food. It is not feasible to keep running 1000 miles every time I’m feeling a little porky. But the truth is I achieved something big with LEJOG and it will always stay with me. I’d rather be in this situation now than be in one where I never attempted it, even if it did lead to monumental short term weight gain.
- Hope exists even if you can’t see it on the horizon – My last bad run was around Wanstead Park in a blizzard on St Patrick’s Day. It was so fucking cold and slippery. I was running with my headlamp like a full on special case and could see the light of the eyes of the animals staring back at me from the hedges. I felt embarrassed for myself and all I could think was “You’re acting like a cunt and now whatever the fuck is staring back at you in the hedges is laughing at you and rightly so”. When that first hint of self-belief comes, get moving fucker. Inspiration doesn’t magically fucking appear. It arrives with momentum. Eat better today to put yourself in a better position tomorrow and keep moving forward. Fortunately, running became easier again after that experience on Wanstead Flats and the nights became longer as spring arrived. Now is your best ever chance of success. If you’re a negative cunt like me then you’ll only focus on that but each time you try again, you give yourself the best opportunity for success provided you are learning from your mistakes.
One last go
- Diets where you try to put together a lengthy period of restrictive eating and overexercise, are ineffective – At least for me. I achieved the weight loss with persistent small deficits, sometimes even 50 calories at a time per day. 2 steps forward, 1 step back. 3 ‘cheat’ days a week versus 4 on-plan to keep moving forward.