In this picture I was on shirt 3 of the day and I had only walked up a flight of stairs!
I was 54″ waist and plus 25 stone.
My wife and children were all in awe of my ability to still get off the bed in the morning let alone roll down stairs…
How had I been able to do this to myself?
One Bite at a time is how.
As I said in the previous blog I finally admitted to myself that I had a problem …
I could see Arthur could achieve more and he started with far greater disadvantages than I did.
Yes OK I had had a couple of industrial injuries, in the past… but nothing on Arthurs scale.
I Knew in June 2016 that I had to change.
I was due to fly to Las Vegas in October and I was never going to use the seat belt extension EVER AGAIN …
I asked my wife for help.
I got her to try and keep me accountable
Judi Called A Family Meeting
My Daughter is getting married in August 2017, and so we established some pretty tough goals for Dad to achieve.
NOW what you have to understand is that all these targets have been set by myself …
I have never been relaxed with other people imposing their choices on me… so with something this personal, I had to call the shots other wise I would never have got started.
But by sharing these targets with the family I was able to be kept very much on track.
Not surprisingly I had to cut back on my drink intake, I was really dreading this as I was pretty sure I was verging on full blown alcoholism… well I reckon I skipped that by a whisker…
Quitting the heavy stuff was nothing like as bad as I had feared… it was and is tough to have a pint of Vimto when I finish work… As opposed to 1/2 a dozen cans of Stella!
But that is far easier than being strapped into an aisle seat of a Jumbo Jet, believe me!
Have I stopped drinking ?
No… don't be fucking stupid! Of course I haven't…
BUT and this truly matters ~ When I drink now …
- it is pleasurable,
- I enjoy the taste,
- I savour the flavours,
- truly enjoy the refreshment,
- and yes
- I still get a tingle from the booze
I am no longer drinking to forget, or to blot out a bad day… and this truly makes a huge difference.
I now drink on family occasions, or when Judi and I are out for a dance night, ( Not Tuesdays That is learning and regular, I stick to soda those nights) and I kerb my snack intake too …For years a pint of Stella or some other 5% Leveller had to be accompanied by salty snacks … peanuts was my downfall … normally added to a “squashed” pack of Salt n Vinegar crisps… consumed on a ratio of 1 snack to a pint! yes You read that right
1 pint of beer was always accompanied by a pack of salted peanuts normally added to a pack of crisps.
Standard Night? minimum 6 pints! Are you getting the picture, and believe me I would be rock steady after that lot add a couple more pints and I would still be fine
Average intake would be 4 > 6 pints an hour… this is just a NORMAL NIGHT FFS … Can you imagine when it got messy!
OK we covered Drink … but what about the rest
I needed to curb my calorie intake
To put it bluntly … I was shoving more in my gob than could ever come out of my arse… I needed to get in control.
So we looked at meal planning and getting smaller portions organised, and we also took care to make sure we reduced the amount of food / snacks that we kept in the house… seriously I can demolish a pack of ‘Jaffa Cakes' in under 10 minutes.
It is Not something I am proud of … it just is…
I remember Judi giving me a double pack of “Jaffa Cakes”, on a Sunday night ready for work Monday…
“They should last till you start for home on Wednesday!” She would say…
By Trowell Services … both packets … GONE … and that was me setting off from Loughborough!
Regular meals is an essential, but I have found I also need something to occupy my hands when I am bored… I have a very low boredom threshold, seriously low.
We looked at my “Daily Intake” at work, well Judi thought she had
I have always packed for myself … and now I spend my time doing more day runs I pack each night for the next day.
- 4 Buttered ( real butter only) ham and mustard / brown sauce rolls.
- (White rolls obviously.)
- Occasionally I would waft a lettuce leaf at them to show willing.
- 4 two finger kitkats
- a pack of quavers and
- a pack of salted crisps
- A pint mug of Strong sweet Coffee
- A Flask of the same
- Litre of strong Vimto
- carry a pint of blue milk everyday to make brews in the cab
- ( Always Drunk even if the coffee not made!)
Now in all this, Coffee, was sacred in my eyes …
“You Can Change what you want … But I am NOT missing out on my Coffee … If I cannot have a simple pleasure what is the point of living?”
I have to say I was pretty determined about this and shunned all the herbal bollocks and mint shite there was on offer… they just did nothing for me
OK that little list is the stuff Judi saw
What she did not see or know off was the extras
- McDonalds Breakfasts
- Roadside Cobs and Breakfast Baps
- (who would not kill for a four pack of sausage rolls and winter time … well
- mince pies are the only way to go)
- Greggs is heaven ‘steak slice', ‘cinnamon whirls'… Oh God It gives me the shivers even now…
Route planning… How often can I refuel with a Greggs available on the forecourt so I can refill me too…
Every day is how often… I planned routes with Greggs at every via point …
If not Greggs I would know a great road-sider ( Hi ya Duncan on The A10 What a lay-by eatery that was/is)
I was so regular there, I did not even have to order. Duncan would have it ready for me…
Remember THIS WAS AS WELL AS THE FOOD I TOOK WITH ME…
My Duncan special was
- double sausage
- double bacon
- raw onion
- smothered in cheddar cheese
- Black pepper and
- Brown sauce…
- On 2 doorsteps of fresh bread
- Er no butter Duncan thanks … Diet!
The no butter rule was of course Bollocks ~ I just hate Marg!
Just Who Do You Think You Are Kidding?
So even under the new regime I was kidding myself, obviously.
But we agreed to reduce the calories …
- I went from rolls to wraps,
- I took 1 pack of crisps a day
- 1 kitkat and
- 2 bananas
Now we come back to coffee, I wanted this by now, so I binned sugar and went sweetex, I went from Blue Milk to Green. BUT I felt as though I sacrificing so much, I really resisted…
BUT we got there… and as we went forward with support and encouragement. things improved.
I started Working with my son Max, and he was able to keep me on track a lot…
Trust, Honesty and The Big Deal
We shall NOT lie to ourselves… and we must be open to accountability
Basically what I mean here is I had to be willing to have my 20 year old lad say …
“Hey Dad, you really Do NOT need another McDonalds Breakfast this week,”
that is tough shit to take I can tell you …
especially on a Saturday morning, you have just tipped a caravan at Killingholme, and you have to drive past the best value Road-sider in the country.
It was tough … but I was getting there…
How Were We Getting On
As October loomed, I was determined to be able to get into the seat to Las Vegas, and be able to do the seat belt up, without the need for the extension.
I wasn't doing this by weight … I was doing it by belt holes!
I know sounds weird but it was a measure I was comfortable with… I could really see the improvements… Did I get on the Plane?