2015 – Time to fight the flab and get healthy.

This time last year, I had just moved to Portsmouth from Leeds. I didn’t know this at the time but 2014 was about to be one of the worst years of my life for health.

I lived in the middle of nowhere, there were no gyms nearby (not even on a direct bus route) and Portsmouth has a terrible transport infrastructure. My life was incredibly sedentary and as I couldn’t even get to a decent quality market regularly, my diet also suffered. On top of that, 2014 was a highly stressful year for me and although I’m very good at not showing signs of stress, one of the biggest signs that I am not as calm as I could me is that I stop taking care of myself. Out were the trips to the gym, out were the lighter lunches and regular intake of water and in were the daily fry-ups, the sausage roll snacks and increased consumption of fizzy drinks (a habit which I’d managed to almost kick only 18 months earlier).

Today I live in London, there are fantastic markets on my doorstep, the transport links are excellent and there is a great culture of walking here, which I have already begun to embrace. My life is a hell of a lot less stressful and is a great deal more enjoyable than the life I had in Pompey. What’s more, there is a gym less than 5 minutes walk from my front door.

I joined today and one of the first things I did when I went was to step on the scales – something which I hadn’t done for a good 8-9 months – I was mortified to see the scales at 250lb (17.8st), that was over 20lbs (1.4st) than the 228lb (16.2st) I weighed back then.

Something has to be done. I’m 33 years old now and my body isn’t going to tolerate this abuse for much longer.

This is my formal declaration that I am going to sort this out. I have formulated a plan, which I believe I can stick to.

I will restart the 5:2 diet:

A few years ago I started this diet and found fantastic results with it, I managed to maintain it for almost 6 months before falling off the wagon.  It was actually a lot easier than I expected it to be and after about 3-4 weeks, I managed to get through a fast day with relative ease. However I broke the chain once or twice and when I found myself ill with Swine Flu, I spent weeks feeling like I had no will, whatsoever and ended up going so far off track that I found it too hard to get back on.

I will go to the gym for at least one hour every weekday:

I’ve formulated a workout routine, which I believe I can stick to:

  • 45 mins on the cross trainer
  • 3 x 10 reps on the bicep machine
  • 3 x 10 reps on the leg extension machine
  • 3 x 10 reps on the lat machine
  • 3 x 10 reps on the calf extension machine
  • 3 x 10 reps on the back extension machine
  • 10 mins on the rowing machine
  • 10 mins on the exercise bike

The cross trainer will be the start of my workout each day and then I will do a combination of each of the other workouts, varying them throughout the week. Eventually I hope to increase the cross trainer to a full hour and up the reps on the machines to 15-20.

Embrace a healthier diet:

It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I like my food. Hell, you only need to look at me to see that. Unfortunately, my tastes have always veered towards high-fat and carb-heavy foods in rather large portions. In fact, I’m more likely to eat a take-away than cook a proper meal at home.

My diet has improved over the years but as I get older, this is starting to become too little, too late. Luckily for me, my wonderful girlfriend, Colette is a big fan of healthy food and over the last few years has slowly started to open my palate up to it too, whilst I’d still much rather have a massive curry with plenty of rice, chips and naan bread. I’ll also not say no to an aubergine pasta salad, or a chilli made with a lot of spinach and kale.

2015 is going to be the year I stop turning my nose up at my girlfriends diet and really try to appreciate the health benefits it gives me, provided it still tastes good, of course 🙂

I also need to drink a lot more water, I was really good at this a few years ago but once again, lifestyle and apathy moved me away from water and towards sugary drinks. I actually really like drinking a lot of water, I really feel its benefits when I am well hydrated so I am keen to get this one underway immediately.

Walk more:

The last step is hopefully going to take care of itself by virtue of living in London and that is to spend more time walking. I will get off a tube stop early and if I can, I will walk around central London, rather than taking public transport.

My Goals:

Reach 210lb (15st) by 1st July 2015.

This will mean I need to consistently lose 2lb a week, it will be a stretch but I believe that I can achieve this. Ideally I’d like to reach 200lb (14.2st), however this is perhaps slightly less realistic

Reach 160lb (11.4st) by my 34th Birthday (2nd December).

Again this assumes a consistent weight loss of 2lb a week, if I can achieve this then I will be at the upper end of my ideal weight for my height. Anything I manage to lose after that will just be bonus weight. I’d gladly stay at that weight for the rest of my life.

I’ve tried this before and failed spectacularly but it really is starting to feel like this is something that I NEED to do in order to live a healthy and happy life. I really do hope I can do it this year.

Wish me luck!

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Alex Ward
Freelance UI Developer at
Freelance User Interface Developer, Aspiring novelist and ill-informed political writer from Sevenoaks, UK.

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