My Story

So here goes, fuelled by my own attention seeking disorder, I am dipping my proverbial toe into the 'pool' of self determined importance that is blog writing under the misguided perception that I have something to say that others can actually be bothered to read.

As you can see I am slightly cynical about how successful I will be in convincing the world what a witty, informative and intelligent person I really am (tongue firmly in cheek!) rather than just filling hours that I will never recover, writing for my own amusement. My pessimism has not been helped by the views of my equally cynical pals and family who've told me "who do you think's interested in you?".

Cynicism and 'banter-buddies' aside, and again probably driven by that need for attention I alluded to earlier,  I am ploughing forward with the belief that I do have something witty, interesting and dare I say it, informative to say.

So, how did I get to this point? Well firstly I wouldn't want anyone to think that I see myself as the finished article, far from it! I still have some stubborn fat I want to shift, I still have the odd disaster day where temptation gets the better of me and I reach for the chocolate cake and I definitely have a lot more work to do to get the body shape and definition I am craving! However I have come a very long way in a very short period of time;

On the morning of 1st January 2012 (or thereabouts, poetic licence applied for effect), as I rubbed the early morning sleep from my eyes in unison with popping another daily high blood pressure tablet, I stepped on the scales in my bathroom to be met with the eye watering statistic that I now weighed in at 17 stone & 2 pounds.

Introducing the Heavy Weight Champion of the World! December 2011

That in itself, along with my official BMI classification of 'Obese' would have been motivation enough to make a change but in addition the acute awareness that just 12 months earlier I had been completing 125 mile road cycle races and riding mountain bikes from the west coast of England all the way to the east, at 2 whole stones lighter and a much higher level of overall fitness, only served further to highlight my own personal cataclysmic fall from grace.

So determined to make a change, the only question was how?

A few days later, a friend of mine mentioned to me that there was a free taster session coming up for a local fitness bootcamp. The appeal of 'something for nothing' and being able to address my new life objective in parallel saw me registering for and subsequently taking part in that session.

My first thoughts on that bright January Saturday morning as I met my new young fit punisher from Kesgrave Bootcamps was "What the hell am I doing here?". Sadly my need for attention is not matched with an extrovert personality that thrives in the presence of others and the whole experience of sweating and puffing away with a very large (numbers not weight!) predominantly female group was about as comfortable as poking oneself in the eye with one of the Chocolate Eclairs I was desperate to give up!

When I left the taster session that morning, I was pretty convinced that I wouldn't be taking up the offer of an extended attendance at Kesgrave Bootcamps. However and thank goodness! my 'new punisher' had other ideas and proceeded to send me a barrage of guilt provoking SMS messages kindly pointing out that my route to salvation was only blocked by a bit of form filling-in and fee-paying.

Racked with guilt and accepting that change could only come from placing myself outside my very large chocolate lined comfort zone, I proceeded to fill in the desired forms and wave goodbye to what little funds remained in my bank account in early January and started my journey.

Just 4 weeks later, having sweated my knackers off, but now more comfortable around my still predominantly female group of fellow sub-missives and armed with some very basic and simple nutritional principles that I had religiously abided to - I was crowned the King of Bootcamp (alongside the Queen!)

Halfway! This was the transformation after Bootcamp at the end of January

Now if you've been paying attention you will be thinking that's probably not very hard given the ratio of male to females in the group that I have mentioned several times previous, but the real result was the fact that in just 4 weeks I had reduced my 'Jabba the Hut' like presence by a whopping 18lbs!

So what reward for being crowned King of Bootcamp? A nice big fat bar of chocolate? A few pints of lager? Sadly none of the above, the marketing geniuses at Grange Fitness who run the Kesgrave Bootcamps instead awarded me with one months free Gym membership!

A further 6 months on from that free trial month as I write this blog, having adapted and continued to live those original nutritional principles passed on to me and having now happily had a drip surgically inserted between my bank account and that of Grange Fitness' to ensure a steady flow of monthly gym subscription fees, I am still living the dream!

The only difference now is that instead of being 18lbs lighter than I was on the 1st January, I'm now maintaining my weight around 42lbs lighter and I no longer have a daily dependency on a small tablet to stop me dying from a sudden unexpected heart attack!

So all that's left for you to know about my story for now is 'why the blog?'

I wouldn't want to suggest for a minute in an entirely conceited fashion, that my intention is to 'inspire' others. Far from it, instead my intentions are entirely self-serving as always!

Despite my reformed habits, I am and always will be what I and others would describe as a 'foodie'. I love food! I grew up in a mediterranean family where food was centric to everything we did and that is a value I have also instilled in my own family.

My biggest fear in adopting a new healthier lifestyle was that I would no longer enjoy my food. I now know that being a 'foodie' doesn't have to be compromised by living healthy and eating 'clean'.

Sometimes however following my new strategy requires external inspiration still, that might be in the form of shared recipes, new fitness ideas or the warmth felt from the comments of amazement at my progression that you will all undoubtedly express when you read my ongoing story making this whole blog an entirely worthwhile experience - again 'tongue firmly in cheek' or perhaps at least only partially so, given my love of attention ; )

Competing in Spartan Race - July 2012


  1. Read with a smile on my face and a sense of guilt looking down at what can only be described as a 'paunch'.

  2. Arron I love this... You have done so well and, like me, are clearly becoming quite obsessed (in a good way) with the whole fitness thing. A very honest appraisal of your journey. I am not so keen to share my starting weight or pictures, (it's a girl thing) but can relate to so much of your story. Matt and Alex at Grange Fitness have been the most inspiring PT's I have worked with. They have created a real positive, friendly and supportive environment and this has been a big factor for me. I have played team sports in the past, (hockey - mixed and ladies) so I love the whole 'we're in it together' thing. That's what has been so great about the journey so far; we're all in it together, after the same goal and loving every minute and each new challenge, Spartan is just the start..............
    WELL DONE :)

  3. Thanks Jo, enjoying being on your team too! Keep up the hard work Dave ;)