Image by Stig Nygaard
This is guest post from Chris Spann.
Last year, on March 20th, I drove the 4 miles from my house to my best friend Mark’s house. I’d made the journey countless times, but this time was a little bit different.
Why? Because I’d been made homeless. I was driving to his house because I was going to live in his spare room until I found somewhere new to call home.
What had happened was this: my long term relationship (of almost four years) had finally crashed into the ground, despite both of us doggedly ignoring the death knell for months. This meant that I no longer had a house to live in.
That night, I sat in my friend’s spare bed and considered my life. I was overweight, (well, obese), had allowed myself to slip back into being a smoker again, and I slept about 4 hours a night. I was a mess.
“Well”, I thought to myself: “At least things can’t get any worse.”
Obviously I spent the next few days doing very little that wasn’t crying or smoking, but once that was out of the way, I decided that it was time to sort my damn life out.
So what was the plan? Well, first I was going to lose some weight. I’d definitely allowed myself to become Fat and Happy, except without the happy.
The first thing to change was my diet, which at the time essentially consisted of bread, meat and Pringles; not a good combination. I completely re-wrote my day’s food intake, cutting out bread and dairy almost completely. By the time I’d finished, my day basically consisted of eating fruit, lean meat and veg, coupling this with fibre and calcium to help my body process it all. Gone were breakfasts full of sausages and bacon, replaced with fruit salads; lunch became jacket potato with beans or a salad, and my evening meals were now all hand-cooked from scratch from fresh ingredients – it’s amazing what you can do with a few basic things.
I also undertook a rather vigorous exercise schedule: to begin with, I made a point of hitting the exercise bike at least three times a week, thirty minutes a time. Now, that probably sounds like quite a lot, but if you think about the amount of time you spend sat in front of the TV each week, I reckon you could devote an hour and a half to getting a sweat on.
I’ll be honest with you, the first few times I did my half hour on the bike, it was a real struggle to walk to the shower afterwards – that’s how badly my legs were hurting. However, after the first week or two, I found that I was soon looking forward to getting home, sticking my iPod on and working my behind off – if nothing else, it was my opportunity to check out some new tunes.
So, what I’m sure you all want to know is; how did this affect my weight?
Well, after a week of doing all this, I stepped on the scales to discover I had dropped a whopping 5lbs – and over the next 26 weeks I lost an average of 3.5lbs – not bad going, I think you’ll agree.
One question people have asked me time and time again throughout my diet was this: “What’s your secret?”
Well, I’ll be honest: There isn’t one. It’s hard work and conviction that get you through and nothing else unfortunately, but once those numbers start dropping it really helps to motivate you – so you might actually find that the harder you work, the more committed you are to carrying on.
I know it sounds hard, like no fun; but I’m sat here writing this over 100lbs lighter than this time last year; happier and more full of life than I’ve ever been. I managed to quit smoking as well, and shifting the weight has helped my sleeping too – I now sleep like a normal human being again, rather than a few hours here and there every so often, as used to be the case. If you want my advice, it’s this: If you want to lose some weight, DO IT! I waited until my world had completely fallen apart before doing something; and I really don’t recommend doing it that way.