Ten Years Gone: Reflecting on the #10YearChallenge

If you’re on social media, you can’t have failed to miss the recent #10YearChallenge, which has seen people have been posting photos of themselves from 2009 and the present, to compare how much they’ve changed.

I’ve heard some say it’s been popularised so that facial recognition software has more to work with and can develop ways of recognising faces as they age. Which is a bit of a cloud on what was quite an interesting social media fad.

Of course, I got involved but the whole thing prompted a lot of thoughts and I figured better to share them as a single blog than a lengthy barrage of tweets.

Here’s my picture:

10 year challenge

And here are my thoughts:

I think I’m actually heavier now than I was then. But I think I look better in 2019, and I feel better about myself too. It’s telling that there are only half a dozen photos of me from 2009, and a similar number in the years around it. I used to hate having my picture taken, and that’s part of the reason for the middle finger. In fact, most of the pictures I have from them are me pulling dumb faces, so that when I looked daft or bad, I could say it was on purpose.

I still have issues about how I look, but I’m not as hung up on the photo thing. This is the face I got, the body I have for now, and I’d rather have photos to remember the good times and people in my life. Hell, there are even a few photos where I think I look, well, if not good, then alright.

This is why I don’t agree with people who slam selfies. Taking selfies was something I thought was vain for a long time, but now I take a few. I have control of how I look (to an extent) and every time I have one that turns out alright, I feel more comfortable with my looks. I’ll still avoid catching sight of myself naked in a mirror if I can help it, but I don’t hate my body the way I did for a while a few years ago.

I guess it’s just an important reminder that as much as I want to lose weight that I can’t fixate too much on the number on the scales. My happiness and self esteem is tied into a whole lot more than that.

2009 wasn’t a terrible year for me, not long after this photo was taken I started a new job and I’d started doing sports commentary on a local community radio station, which was cool. I wasn’t paid for it, but it was media related and the first thing I’d done since graduating that gave me some feeling of achievement. After graduating in 2007 I’d had a rough time, readjusting to living with my parents and signing on, amassing piles of rejection letters along the way.

But I think mentally I was still in a shaky place. This trip to see a friend in 2009 was fun, but as with a lot of my “good times” then I was hammered for a lot of it. I wasn’t sure what I was doing with my life, or what I wanted, and I felt pretty worthless a lot of the time. The job I was about to start was a step into the unknown and I was a little scared, not wanting to wind up back on the dole again.

Drinking had been a big part of socialising for me, since my late teens and right through uni. Booze gave me a false confidence, drowning out my insecurities and bringing me out of my shell a bit. It also made me say stupid things, make bad choices and wasn’t great for my physical and mental health. I still drink now, but I’ve stopped the regular binges and can now hang out without a pint or four. And it’s been a long time since I had to endure the awkwardness of waking after a night out and fearing that I’d said or done something dumb.

I was single then and felt like this would always be the case. I’d had one girlfriend and we’d split up about a year earlier, and there was a nagging doubt that it had been it for me, that I was going to be one of those people who never found anyone.

And it wasn’t just in this area that nothing was going on. I had daydreams about various things, but nothing came of them. I made no effort to chase them, I just daydreamed and moped that my life was dull. It was a traditional vicious circle- I was bummed out because I wasn’t doing anything with my life, and annoyed that I wasn’t doing anything about it. But I was in too deep a funk to make the effort to change things.

In 2019, I’m definitely in a better place. While the work front is still a bit of a dud, I’m actively trying to achieve my dreams and ambitions. I’ve got back into writing and am planning to send off my first novel in the next month or so, and I’m chasing down a couple of things to help tick off some bucket list items.

I’ve also built a life for myself, a life which I’m very happy with. I’ve got a wife who loves and supports me, and I’m extremely happy to have found her.

I’m working on improving myself. Not just by getting healthier, but by working harder to be nicer, kinder and more considerate. I still fall short, I get angry, I get impatient, I can be tactless, but I try and I’m getting better at checking myself before I do something that might upset someone.

I look at the picture of me in 2009 and I see a guy who was happy, but only in small moment, often just adrift and worried. I see a guy who was still trying to be the guy he’d been at uni, and didn’t see the problems and flaws that I’d developed there. I used to say that university had helped me a lot, and I think it did. It made me more confident in myself, it made me more outgoing. When you move to a new place you have to make the effort to make friends and stuff, but I was blind to the bad habits I’d picked up along the way. A lot of my confidence had come from being seen as funny, and it took a while for me to realise that a lot of the humour I used at this time was quite unpleasant. I was meaner, sarcastic and distinctly more laddish.

I’d see it when my friends from uni interacted with my family or friends from back home. Or when I’d make jokes that wouldn’t go down well elsewhere. It wasn’t my friends that was the problem, it was that I was different people in different places. In between the two was me, but I hadn’t worked out how to figure out who that was. I’d become this loud, laddish guy who drank a lot and it took a while to work out what I liked about the changes from university and the ones I needed to shed.

I still get confronted by it when Facebook throws old status updates and I see my crude, poorly thought out gags and comments. I needed to work out who I was and while I still don’t feel like a real adult at times, I think I’ve definitely grown up since then.

As I said, I’m still working on myself, and who knows, 2029 Chris may cringe at some of the things I say now.

I’m more comfortable with myself, I’m more confident to call things out when I think something’s out of line, not just laugh it off or ignore it. I’m more considerate and thoughtful, less hard line in my stances, willing to listen to other voices and consider things from different perspectives. I’ve changed my mind on things, or realised that while I might disagree with some things, that it doesn’t make them stupid.

I’ve also become a lot happier expressing who I am and what I feel. The laddish costume that covered my insecurities is gone. I don’t mind admitting to crying over things, of being weak and scared. I don’t care if some of the things I like are seen as goofy or lame.

Basically I enjoy being me a lot more now.

Dark Chris is still there, with his negativity and doubts, but I’m more equipped to deal with him now. I can look and think about what he whispers, figure out how to work on them, as opposed to just covering it all up or making it a joke.

Dark Chris will always be there, but I just hope that I can strip him of his weapons one at a time, that I can drown him out with the good stuff. That he’s a mere speck of dirt, barely visible in the glow of Sunshine Chris, who helps me feel good about myself.

Sorry that was a bit of a ramble.

In short, I think I’m better now, and I’m trying to keep being better and don’t I look better with short hair and a beard?

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


Resolutions 2019

I did okay on my resolutions for 2018. I completed three out of eight, and the others are kind of ongoing things which are hard to measure. I’ve decided to try and make it a nice round 10 this year, so here we go.

1. Lose Weight

I managed this in 2018, but it was a bit up and down during the year, I’d like to be more consistent with it, perhaps having it be a steady decline throughout the year. I don’t have a set weight I want to hit, but I’d like to shift a couple of stone at least.

2. Monthly Update on Weight

This worked really well last year, meaning that even when I did badly I had to ‘fess up and also made me think more about my body and my attitude towards it. Will try to make these posts more interesting and dig a bit deeper. They definitely work as a motivational tool as I don’t want to have to write about how crap I’ve done.

3. Complete a Race at Your Pace Challenge Every Month

Since I got my first medal after completing October’s challenge, I’ve got hooked on doing these. I’d love to end 2019 with 12 medals and I’m going to try to do at least 100 miles each month.


4. Try to get published

I had this on the list last year but time ran out on me. I’d finished a novel and edited it, but it was too late to send it to anyone. Gonna have another quick look at it and hopefully send it off in the first quarter of 2018.  If nobody wants it I’ll look into self publishing.

Also want to finish the second book I’ve half written, and send that out. Will try to update more on this as the year goes on.

5. Be Nicer

I’m trying to be a better person. I need to keep trying.

6. Be More Sociable

I have lovely friends and family, and I need to see them more. I owe it to them to stay in touch better, and it makes me feel better. Need to make more effort to get out and not waste my days off.

7. Cross Off at Least One Bucket List Item

I managed to get one done last year (see here) meaning I’ve averaged one a year for the last two years, I’d love to keep this going and I actually have a few plans going towards a couple, so I might tick a couple off, which would be cool.

8. Get New Ink

I have three tattoo ideas that I want to get done, and I’d love to get one at least this year.

9. Go to the Gym More

I joined a gym in 2018, but haven’t used it enough to justify it. Need to change this, will help with the weight loss and make me feel better.

10. Try New Things

There’s a lot out there to experience out there. The bucket list item will cover some of this, but I’d like to try one new thing every month.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

2018: Thank the Gods that’s over

In 2016 and 2017 there was a surprising amount of negativity as the year drew to a close, with high numbers of celebrity deaths, depressing news stories and the ascendancy of the right wing leading many folks to call these the “worst year ever”. I thought this was quite a daft claim, as a cursory glance over the 20th century shows that these probably weren’t the worst years of the last 100, and further back life appears to be have a rather grim slog.

It also highlighted that it’s all relative. While people griped about 2017 I just looked back at is as the year I got married, the year I got my dog, the year I got to go to Walt Disney World. Sure, it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows, but for the most part 2017 was a pretty good year for me personally, one of the better ones of my 33.

2018, however, hasn’t been that great. And yet online it seems to have just been a bit of an average year. All relative, isn’t it?

I can’t say it’s been a horrible, relentlessly dire 12 month slog, and there have been some really good days, some nice events and even some great things happening.

But if I was going to chart this out like Dave Gorman, the highs of the year would only be a few notches over the “Average” line, while there are a couple of bad things which are way below it.

I’m not going to go into it too much. It’s quite personal stuff and while I will probably write about it at some point, I don’t feel in the right head space to do so at the moment. And it would make this post massively long.

This year has thrown some really difficult stuff my way, from health issues, to the return of personal demons I thought I’d vanquished, to some really trying circumstances.

There was a long period where I was struggling with some pretty dark stuff, and depression returned. I spent a long period in a deep funk, and it was only thanks to the support of friends and family that helped me get past it.

Another thing that happened this year is that once again I handled stress badly, and this caused tension with me and WoM, which made me feel like an utter heel because she was going through difficult stuff too. I could see where I’d gone wrong and I’ve talked about how I cope with a few people and have tried to set up better strategies for the future, they appear to have worked and after a long stretch of difficulty, I pulled myself out for the second half of the year.

The health stuff was trickier. I knew I wasn’t fit, but being confronted with evidence and some problems shook me deeply. It’s part of the reason I’ve tried harder with the weight loss stuff and why I’ve cut way back on my drinking. Luckily, the wonderful NHS were great and the treatment I’ve received means that I’m doing a lot better.

One of the problems was that I found out I had sleep apnea, which is basically that because of being a fat bastard my airway was closing while I slept, depriving me of oxygen. Apparently over the long term this can actually damage your brain from oxygen deprivation, the shorter term effects were that I wasn’t sleeping properly, the irregular breathing waking me up throughout the night, meaning that I never got into deep sleep, leaving me groggy and not refreshed even after hours in bed. I also would get tired during the day, and would fall asleep on pretty much every car journey. This is annoying enough in the car, as WoM would have to sit in silence as I dozed next to her, but is even worse on a bus, where I’d wake up confused, miles from where I was meant to have gotten off and drooling on the shoulder of the poor passenger next to me.

I got given a mask and a machine which blows air into my face, keeping my airway open and allowing me to sleep deeply for several hours. It also makes me look like a fat, hairy Bane.

bane portrait

Self portrait of me wearing the mask

The positive change was obvious pretty quick, I felt better when I woke up and wasn’t as tired during the day. I started to feel better within myself, and to have more energy, which meant I was getting out and about more.

This helped immensely, going out for walks gave me a chance to think and clear my head, as I’ve never been someone who does well staying in for days on end. It also made me feel better about myself, helped me lose weight and thanks to joining the Countryfile Ramble made me feel like I was doing something worthwhile.

In truth, from August onwards the year improved, but it’ll be the bad times that came before it that will define this year in my memory. The good moments lacked the power to topple the bad ones, and while I feel like I’m in a better place as the year comes to an end, I’m glad to see the back of 2018, and to start a clean slate in the new year.

But I don’t want to end on a downer. And so, here’s a short list of the things I’m happy about from 2018:

  1. That I did quite well on the year’s resolutions. I achieved three and worked towards the other five.
  2. I’m feeling a bit better about my body and my health. Adopting the Race for Your Pace challenges has really helped me, providing motivation and a feeling of accomplishment.
  3. Speaking of accomplishment, I’m proud that over the last 12 months I raised £381.86 for charities. It feels good to help others and means I am slowly chipping away at my bucket list item to raise a million over my life time. Only £999,618.14 to go!
  4. Going forward there’s a lot to look forward to. I’ve already started making some plans for 2019, and hopefully these will help it be a much better year.
  5. My wonderful wife, family and friends. I’m extremely lucky to have so many loving, caring people in my life, who I share joy with and who provide comfort during the difficult times. I must try not to take this for granted and to ensure that I show them my gratitude and appreciation for everything they do for me

So, hopefully in 12 months my annual recap will be a lot more positive, and I hope that you haven’t had too rough of a 2018, reader, and that 2019 brings you happiness, good times and fun.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

Fat Boy on a Diet: December and 2018 Update

Let’s be honest with each other folks, while November ended on a positive note, with a consistent run of weight loss, none of us expected December to go well. I resolved to try my best, but with advent ticking away and Christmas looming ever larger on the horizon temptations began to pile up.

Family events, chocolates at work, chocolates at home, Christmas parties. And then the big day itself, December was a gauntlet I had to run, and like many a contender on Gladiators, I was about to get wiped out.

The first half of the month went quite well, as I resisted temptation and kept up my walking. I lost four and a half pounds over the opening fortnight, and was feeling pretty good.

What a fool I was.

Week three of advent kicked my arse, and getting on the scales revealed that I’d lost pretty much gained what I’d lost. And that was before Christmas.

Like every year I over indulged, with a couple of monster meals and grazing on selection boxes and snacks, although I did only have the one alcoholic drink, a double Jack and coke, so there was some self control at least.

Two days after Christmas was the final weigh in, and I’d decided that in the interests of honesty I would share the results here, having previously planned not to include Christmas. I thought this was a bit of a cop out, and a bit of a faff continuity-wise. So, feeling a bit guilty for not being better, I hopped on the scale.

A gain of 2.5 lbs. Not the best, meaning that I end December two pounds heavier than I started it. Which is a bit shit. I mean, not as bad as I feared, but still, a pretty crap way to end the year.

Or at least it would be, if I didn’t consider the rest of the year.

My weight loss campaign in 2018 wasn’t a massive success, but I have come out at around half a stone lighter than I started. This is largely thanks to me making more of an effort for the last couple of months, and since September I’ve lost a decent amount.

Unfortunately, while I had hoped for a continuous downward slope on the scale, that hasn’t been the case. In fact, around the halfway point, I was heavier than I’d started in January. It’s been a stop start journey through the year, and I have to accept the blame for that. A couple of times this year I’ve just stopped bothering and taken lazy, unhealthy options. This has usually been at times when I’ve been feeling down or bad about myself anyway, but it’s a vicious circle as it just makes me more down on myself as I feel lazy, greedy and ugly.

I’m proud of the effort I put it, but there’s definite room for improvement. I need to resist using food as a comfort mechanism, it just doesn’t help.

I don’t equate my value to what’s on the scale, but I do frequently feel uncomfortable and unhappy with what I see in the mirror and how I feel within my own body. I’m not saying I’m on some quest to end up looking like a white, pale Jason Mamoa or anything, but I just want to feel more comfortable.

My goal for 2019 is to keep up a consistent weight loss regimen, resist junk food and to stop eating when I’m sated, not completely stuffed. I’m going to try to string 12 Race at Your Pace challenges together, and I’ve also got a few other things planned which I need to be a bit fitter for.

So, at the end of the year I feel a bit better about myself, happy with the efforts I’m making, if a little disappointed that I let myself down at times and didn’t do as well as I’d hoped. I’m going to have to keep what works and change what doesn’t. Anyway, I’ll see you at the end of the January, as the monthly updates will continue.

  1. Week 1 6/12- No change
  2. Week 2 13/12- down 4.5 lbs
  3. Week 3 20/12- gain 4 lbs
  4. Week 4 27/12- gain 2.5 lbs.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

Fat Boy on a Diet: November Update: November to Remember

After October proved to be a bit of a mixed bag in terms of my weight loss journey, I was hoping to go forward making a few small changes and resisting temptation better.

While I have had a few indulgences over the last five weeks, I have taken a few healthier choices and thanks to Race at Your Pace and the Children in Need Countryfile Ramble I’ve been pushing myself to get out of the house a bit more, and not spend so much time on the couch.

It’s worked well, and I’m on course for my 2nd Race at Your Pace medal and smashed my first goal in the Ramble (am now aiming for 250 miles by the end of the year, and still taking sponsorship here).

I was still keeping my 2 lbs a week goal in mind, and was a little disappointed when I kicked off the month by falling short again. I lost half a pound, which meant in four weeks I’d lost half a pound, having lost, regained and then lost again the same weight.

The first week of November saw me really going for the miles, and making some good food choices. I thought I’d had a decent week but was pleasantly surprised when I stepped onto the scales at Chub Club to discover I’d lost 4.5 lbs, which put me over the half stone mark since I joined up a few months back. It also meant that I was three pounds off hitting a full stone.

The next week I missed weigh in, and going back the following week I was hopeful I could pass the half stone mark. Unfortunately, I’d only shed a solitary pound, but I was happy that I was continuing in the right direction.

Last night was the final weigh in for the month, and I wasn’t that confident. I’ve had a stinking cold the last week, which has left me pretty knackered. Exercise has been slower on several days, and I did give in to temptation a couple of times, buying chocolate and going for desserts when I possibly could have resisted. However, WoM has started a new gym trial which comes with some nutrition advice, and this turned out to be a big help.

Stepping on the scales I was hoping for a small loss at best, but was pretty surprised when it turned out I’d dropped another three pounds and was now a stone lighter.

I’m extremely pleased with how this month has gone, and while I know December will see increased temptation (family meet up and birthdays, mince pies), I’m planning to stay strong and not indulge, with Christmas as a reward/binge at the finishing line. I doubt I’ll reach the 24 lbs loss that I set as a vague goal in September, but I’m already 10.5 pounds down, and I’d like to keep up a streak of continuous losses for a second month.

I’m still in a better place emotionally too, not as negative on my body or my self, and I think this is down to the fact that I know I’m actively trying to do better rather than just going through the motions. It also helps that I’m seeing results, and that the folks at Chub Club have been really great.

Here’s hoping this cold is finally on the way out and that the weather stays nice enough for me to get in regular walks. See you in a month!

  1. Nov 1st- Down 0.5 lbs
  2. Nov 8th- Down 4.5 lbs
  3. Nov 15th- No weigh in
  4. Nov 22nd- Down 1 lbs
  5. Nov 29th- Down 3 lbs

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

Bucket List #42: Eat Scorpions

I’m not sure why this is on my Bucket List anymore.

I think I saw scorpions on skewers on a travel show and was curious to try them, it got added to the list and here we are.

When I added it I probably imagined being in a far off land and buying some crispy crawlies off a street vendor, but with travel plans on hold due to being absolutely skint, this didn’t seem likely. So, the scorpion would have to come to me.

Thankfully, I’m clearly not alone in being curious about bug munching and you can get hold of some edible bugs quite easily. Hell, I ordered mine from Amazon.


Apologies for my scruffiness, but it was my day off

When it arrived, WoM was distinctly unimpressed and I was told that I wasn’t allowed to eat it in front of her. So, with the house to myself on Friday it was time to cross off this rather odd Bucket List item.

I was a little disappointed by the size of my scorpion, and the fact that it was more chocolate than arachnid.


Finger for scale

But what can you do?

I won’t lie, I was a little apprehensive. I’m not a fan of most critters with more than four legs, and it wasn’t the most appetising thing I’ve ever seen, even if it’s stinger had been removed. But, I’d paid for the damn thing and I’m unlikely to have the chance to cross any of the other list items off this year, so to hell with it.


Bon appetit!

It wasn’t bad.

The scorpion wasn’t the most flavourful thing ever, and was overpowered by the chocolate and the chillies that were in it, and aside from a bit of crunch it was barely noticeable. I don’t know what the contestants on I’m A Celebrity.. are making such a fuss about, if bugs are like this then there’s no big deal.

I’m not saying that these scorpion bars will be a regular feature in the house, but I’ve eaten worse.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

Fat Boy on a Diet: September Update: Good News and Goals

I’ve been trying to be good the last couple of weeks, and have exercised more regularly, routinely breaking my 10,000 steps target for each day. I’ve also taken some steps towards eating healthier, mainly by just not stuffing myself like a pig and switching to buying fruit instead of chocolate at work.

I’ve felt like I’ve lost weight and while I feared this was just my mind playing tricks on me, I’ve definitely felt better in myself over the last week or so. And I’ve actually been feeling better about myself, I mean, I’m not going to be going topless on the beach anytime soon, and not just because with autumn starting and it’ll be too damn cold. I’m a long way from being happy with what I see staring back from the mirror, but I feel more energised and less down on myself.

The weight loss wasn’t massive, but last night the scales delivered some good news and the numbers are slowly creeping back down. I don’t think that 2018 will be the roaring success I had hoped for back in January, but I should finish lighter than I started.

Now the question is, how much lighter? While reaching the weight I was before I took my second tilt at student life might take a while longer (possible target for 2019?), I should be able to shift a decent amount before Christmas.

I’ve set myself a new target, and rather than set a massive target for the end of the year, I’ve decided to be a bit more realistic. I’ve decided that my last weigh of the year will be on the 20th of December, because I want to enjoy my usual yuletide gluttony without guilt or calorie counting.

This leaves me twelve weeks. So, I’m going to hope to average a loss of 2 lbs a week. This is feasible enough, especially if I continue to exercise and resist temptation and should I be successful will mean that by December I could lose 24 lbs, which would be a little under two stone, and would mean I am successful in my resolution.

So, from now on these monthly updates won’t just be my usual ramblings, but will include a week by week breakdown of how my weigh-ins go. I’m not going to reveal any exact figures of what I weigh, because I’m not comfortable with doing that.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

Fat Boy on a Diet: August Update Part 2: Saw That Coming

So, yesterday I finally climbed onto the scales for the first time in a while.

It didn’t make for good reading.

I’ve put back a bit of weight and the gains I made a couple of months back have been wiped out.

There’s no excuses, this is all on me. While I have been getting a fair amount of exercise in the form of walking more, I’ve also been guilty of snacking and overindulgence. This shit has got to stop.

It’s like I’m sabotaging myself, and when I do then check in on the scales my confidence takes a knock and I feel crappy. This cycle needs to stop, I joined the gym a while back and haven’t been yet, which speaks to my laziness, and frankly isn’t good enough. I don’t have the money to throw away, and so starting from the next payday I’m going to set aside some cash to ensure I can bus to the gym a few times every month.

Also, wasting days off on the sofa is out, and every day I’m free I will take the dog for a walk and try to eat better.

I really need to lose weight, doing so will not only help my physical health, but it will also help me mentally and curb the self loathing that strikes now and then. Dark Chris has had a field day over this news, and I was pretty low yesterday.

Time to stop talking and get doing. Hopefully the September update will show some improvement.

Not a fun post to write, and probably not that fun to read. Apologies, but still in a bit of a funk over this.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

Fat Boy on a Diet: August Update: The Great Unknown

I realise that this weight update is a couple of days late, but I was away at the end of last week, and Monday was the date with the scales.


Unfortunately, I couldn’t make Chub Club on Monday evening, and so, I have no idea what my current weight is. You’d think that this would render this update pointless, but I did make it one of my resolutions to have a monthly update. So, technically I’m keeping that going.

I’m not sure how I feel about not weighing on Monday, as obviously it was bad, but on the other hand kinda good.

I say kinda good, because I’m worried that August hasn’t been a great month for me, diet-wise. I’ve stuck to it for the most part, but WoM went away last week for a few days, and my eating there wasn’t great.

Similarly, while I have done a decent amount of exercise this month, it was less than I’d intended. Thanks in part to work getting on top of me again, and the whole cramp issue. So, while I’d been hopeful for August, I don’t think I’ve made much progress.

Of course, not weighing does have it’s negatives.

I have no idea how I’ve done.

This leaves it up to my mind to make wild guesses.

Logically I know it can only have swung a little bit, but I will admit to not knowing which way it has gone. Unfortunately, logic doesn’t help silence the inner voice that tells me I’m a failure and that I’ve probably gained heaps this month.

This negative voice, who I’ll call Dark Chris (or DC), is always there in the background. Much of the time, I can silence him or defeat him with common sense. But the realm of body image and weight issues is where he shines. It’s DC who offers the unhelpful commentary when I catch sight of myself in a mirror, who tells me I’m gross when I’m all sweaty through exertion.

I weigh on Monday and hopefully will be able to shut DC up then. At least I’ll have an accurate sign of how I’m doing. There’ll be an update after that, but I’m trying really hard to be good this week.

Whether this pays off will be revealed next week for the more accurate August update.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

Couch to 5K: Stoppable

Written on Sunday morning.

A little over a week ago I wrote about starting running again. I was pretty excited about it and the next day I dug out my old trainers, and grabbed my mobile. I’ve downloaded a new C25K app, which features Sarah Millican as one of the guides, which I think is pretty cool having a familiar and friendly voice with you along the way.

sarah millican

I cued up some tunes and got under way, following the instructions of beginning with a five minute walk. Then I had the first run, which only lasts a minute. It’s been a while since I ran and I was struggling to find my rhythm and my old trainers (bought for work, not running) were massively uncomfortable.

By the third run I felt I was struggling, but I remembered that back when I did this in 2011 I’d found it hard at first. This along, with the shoes was probably the problem, I told myself and once I got back into the swing of it things would be better.

On the fourth run I had to stop.

I was starting to get twinges in my calves and I knew these were the early stages of cramp. I hate cramp. I’m a bit of a wimp, and I knew if I cramped up I would be in trouble.

And so, I limped back home.

This was a low point, and I felt really crappy about it. All those positive things that I got from running before weren’t happening. I felt weaker, tired and like a failure. And was nowhere near the Juggernaut Zone.

juggernaut stopped

In all fairness, I’d not really laid the foundations for success. For starters, I’d started the run in the evening, after doing a shift at work, and foolishly, I forgot to do any stretching beforehand. I think this was what caused the cramp.

I intended to get right back on the horse, but as I was working five consecutive days, and work has been especially draining, I couldn’t get the mojo to hit the road again.

In truth, my confidence had taken a bit of a kicking and I was scared of cramping up again, and worried I wouldn’t be able to finish again. Of course, the more I put it off the more nervous I got. On Friday, my first day off of the week, I’d intended to go but woke up with a killer headache, and wound up going back to sleep for two hours hoping to shift it.

I then wasted the weekend, so my plan is to go out tomorrow (Monday) and run then. I’m posting this to explain why the Couch to 5K update was delayed, but also because I think sharing that I’m going to run tomorrow will push me more to do it. I’ll update further about how it goes later in the week. Hopefully, by then, I’ll have got a few runs under my belt and be moving back towards the JZ.


Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.