Deja-Vu. Pressing lifes reset button for a second time!

Well where do I start? Nearly back to square one but not quite. The weight, high blood pressure and a fondness for alcohol returned with a vengeance.

Not all at once but a gradual regression to the bad old self. This time it was a prescription review and blood test that caught up with me. Raised Liver Function test  after a short time of abstinence had me on a repeat blood test which I had today.

Weight wise it started off good with Dry January kicking in straight away with a few kilo’s of weight loss and then it plateaued. Something had to be done so it was back to the gym after a long absence. It seems to have done the trick and I think I’m back on track.

It’s meant a complete new gym kit and it’s going to be a while before I tackle a spinning class again. I’ve also fallen out of love with the Bike having spent nearly a year off it at least. I’ve stopped using a Garmin, forgone using a helmet (if a car’s got my name on it, a few ounces of polystyrene is going to help me) prefer shoes that I can walk in.

This time I’m on my own and the first target is to loose 10Kg with the second target 20Kg. Today’s stationary cycle was 30 minutes @ 100watts which was 130kCal, it’s a start. Diet wise it’s probably not ideal but I’m not a rabbit.

I’ll post some figures when I get around to it.



What it takes to lose a Pound.

I don’t want to take credit for someone elses information but here is a useful link explaining the difference between body fat and food fat.

The crux of the article is a Kilogramme of body fat is 7,700 calories but a kilo of pure food fat is 9,000 calories.  Any oil fits the latter category even if is a good one.

This is how the discrepancy as I see it occurs, burn 7,700 calories and loose a pound of unpure body fat. Eat 1 kg of pure fat and gain 1.25 kg.  No one has ever explained it to me like that and I stand to be corrected.

I know about the 9,000 calories a litre of oil contain and that is why I avoid crisps like the plague. ( crisps 30% fat) Don’t get back to me saying Walkers crisps are healthy mono fats and good for you fats, they are still high in calories per gramme which ever way you look at it.

Ever see a vending machine with an apple or orange in it?

So from a weight loss point of view I see it as more effective to limit your intake of fats, eat healthily, do some exercise and loose weight naturally. 

Linking this to my recent posts on what it takes to burn off a Mars Bar it makes sense to cut out those fats.

Help Wanted Calories burnt exercising calculation.

Can anybody point me to the calculation that works out how many calories you burn while exercising. The Garmin products do a time /distance calculation but that is no use in the gym where you are essentially static.
I know my weight and average heartrate for a session. The Aldi HRM counts the calories so the formula must be out there.

New Years Resolutions

Rather than end the year on the previous negative post I thought I would try and end it with a positive one.
Throughout the year I’ve had various comments about this site being inspirational to others. 2007 was a challenge year for me, to see what I was made of. It was a truly fabulous year for me in that respect.

So if your looking at a New Years resolution for next year all I can say from personal experience is don’t set your goals too high. I didn’t have a target at the start as I didn’t know how far things would go.  All I can say is don’t put the decision off, the sooner you get started the better.

It’s all about self improvement, once you start seeing an improvement it is important not to let up. The diet is the first thing to get sorted, without sorting your diet  out your not going to get anywhere. I really mean this, for me the British Heart Foundation plan was a winner from the day I started it.

Next up is the 30 minutes a day of exercise you should be doing five times a week. This could be walking (not strolling) but it is important to do it come hell or high water.
Perspiration is the key, if your not breaking into a sweat your not going hard enough.

I’ve been to enough followup classes now to realise that the exercise is the real key to the sustained weightloss. The diet will stop you gaining weight and give you a pound a week weightloss but coupled with the daily exercise this will turbocharge your results.

Don’t be under the illusion that weights and exercise is just a bloke thing. The likes of Slimming World and Weight Watchers  promote dieting but only encourage exercise.
This is because the consultant is not trained in exercise.I’ve been told that the Rosemary Conley classes may be different. ( the instructors are trained to run a fitness class, geared towards women. I’m getting in the neck about the geared towards comment. If it is wrong tell me.)
The difference is marked. If I go to Ron with a fitness problem it is sorted all care of the NHS.(Ron is my mentor and it all rings true)

Now for the hard bit you have to want to do this 167 hours a week. The other hour will be spent in a weigh in  or other form  of class. For gods sake don’t cheat on yourself, this is not rocket science. Just  burn off more calories than you consume.

Now it is a lifelong  mission not  to go back to the way I was, I’m sure I was for shortening it by decades the way I was.

Have a great 2008


The Times, Dr Copperfield, Inside the mind of a GP.

 I take “The Times ” as they say  and read the Body and Soul section on a Saturday.
The inside the mind of a GP articles get read now and again but this one really struck home about your visit to the quacks.

This one touched a lot of nerves in me partly because I see so much of the article in me. Maybe its because The Lifestyle and Weight Management Course run by Wirral Area Health Authority has been able to turn me around.  The only way to get on it is a referal from your GP or practice nurse.

Now nobody goes to their GP because they are overweight. Men don’t want to go fullstop. I only went because work had discovered I had high blood pressure. Once trapped in the system they start treating the symtoms. High blood pressure, high cholesterol and a lot of the other ailments of obesity they can prescribe a pill for.

Now throughout my visits to the GP and the nurse everybody was incredibly nice to me. The real cause of my visits wasn’t being addressed but skirted around mainly my morbid obesity. Maybe the Dr House bedside manner would be more effective on someone like me. If I’d been blunty told diet or die early from a long list of obesity related illnesses I wouldn’t have waited 15 months to do something about it.

I’d had the diet sheet off the nurse like the article but it didn’t do me much good. Like the article says there is no pill for a lifestyle change, that has to come from within.

Comments wellcome on this post. 

Oat Cluster Comparison (Quaker Oats, Tesco, Lidl, Jordans Superfoods)

Thought I would post a comparison on Oat Clusters. I have these most days topped off with at least three types of fruit or berries. The only time I won’t have this breakfast is when I ride out to the Eureka Cafe for Franks Breakfast. The Tesco and Lidl (Goody) brands are called Strawberry Crisp as they contain freeze dried strawberries, the Quaker Oat Granola contains Raisins instead. There is nothing taste wise between the Tesco and Goody strawberry crisp, I would swear they were the same thing until I saw the nutrition information.

I’ll list the nutrition information first as thats what I now first look at when I pick the packet up. All figures are for 100g and off the packets.

        Quaker Oat Granola      Tesco Strawberry Crisp    Goody (Lidl)Strawberry Crisp    Jordans Superfood
Energy       411 kcal                   405 kcal                              436 kcal                  415 kcal
Protein       8.6g                       10.2g                                    6.7g                    9.0g
Carb           73g                       66.2g                                   68.8g                  64.7g
Fat            8.8g                       10.5g                                   14.9g                  13.4g
Fibre          5.2g                       10.2g                                    4.9g                    8.6g
Salt           trace                        0.2g                                   0.01g                    trace

Cost       £1.99                        £1.58                                   £1.29                 £3.68 !!!

On the Tesco box it also breaks the information down into a 50g serving with the three different types of milk. The Quaker Oats Granola 50g serving doesn’t contain any calorie or fat information regarding it being served with milk. The Quaker Oat Granola box does say it has typically 50% less fat than other similar products  and from the figures I would tend to agree with them.

I’ve only weighed the portion I pour into the bowl once and it came out at 60g. As the plan I am following is portion based thats what I did, I weighed what looked like a portion.

From the above figures it looks like you get what you pay for on the more is less scale. I wouldn’t rule the Goody Strawberry Crisp out in future just because it has a relativly high fat content, it had a better texture than the other two as the cluster size was bigger. For some the 80p saving may swing it, and even with 10g of fat in a normal portion it probably a hell of a lot better than what most people eat.

I’ll leave it at that unless somebody wants a list of ingredients. There is not that much to choose between any of the products, the costs mount up when you are trying to use out of season fruit and berries. 

I’ve recently tried Jordans Superfoods Granola. It is Oat based but also contains dried Blueberries, Cranberries, Almonds and Pumpkin seeds. 415 cals per 100g and 13.4 grams of fat put it around the Goody (Lidl) Granola. The problem is although it’s a good product it’s very expensive.

I’ve bought some from Tesco,s but it was £1.84 on a half price offer. With a full price of £3.68 this just isn’t going to sell.

Whatever Oat Granola I have these days I put at least three berries or fruits on top of it. Fresh berries are expensive and their fridge life is about three days. I can’t  see myself buying this product at full price, at half price it is lined up with the Quaker Oat Granola. I still prefer the Quaker Oat Granola with the fresh berries rather than freeze dried versions.  Superfoods might be the latest buzzword healthy eating wise but I can’t see the need for a 100% premium for it. A bag of pumpkin seeds doesn’t cost a lot and would go a long way if you added it to one of the other granola,s.

I’ll post this link about the cholesterol lowering effects of oats as mine is now down to 3.4 without any medication.

Lidl Body Fat Monitor (Scales)

I’ve been using these scales now since  September last year. They are excellent value at £17.99 comparable to £50 ones elsewhere.

This year Liddl have dropped the price to £9.99 which is superb value.
I’ve been doing a morning weigh-in everyday so if there were any problems with them they would have shown up by now. They are accurate and repeatable.

Some may dispute the body fat measurements but the important thing with all of them is the trend. Mine is still around 27% the lowest it has been is 26.5 %. Your not going to see wild swings in body fat measurement or muscle mass for that matter but this shouldn’t put you off.

Highly reccomended.

The Ninth and Final Followup Class

Next Wednesday is the ninth and final followup class for me.  It was a year ago when I started on the Lifestyle and Weight management course, what a year it’s been.
This time last year I was 122 Kg (268 lb) now I\’m around 85 Kg (187 lb) at the peak I was 132 Kg (291 lb)

This weekend I’m tackling my longest ride to date a 200Km Audax (120 odd miles).
I’m not super human but it would be nigh on impossible at my old weight.
I’ve seen a lot of people struggling with weightloss and I would think its all down to exercise or the lack of it.

As you can see from this site I log all the exercise I do. Now I\’m still on the (balanced) diet, I don\’t starve myself, haven\’t felt hungry I just follow the British Heart Foundation book. The only variable is the exerise, the more I\’ve done the more weight I\’ve lost, the more weight I\’ve lost the more exercise I can do. The opposite of the viscious circle.

Limits, most people don\’t know what theirs is, I know what mine is and try to test it once a week. It might be on a ride, on the rowing machine or in a spinning class you\’ll know when your up for it.

Contary to what we are all told I weigh myself every day. Same time same place, I\’ve now got figures going back to September. It helps me remain focused. 85.3 Kg this morning, fat and muscle percentage get measured too. There is no point going to a weighin not knowing what you weigh and coming out with a lame excuse if you\’ve put weight on. Don\’t forget one pound of fat equals 3500 calories. 

Monday: 84.6 Kg the morning after an epic ride. Mind you according to the Garmin I did burn 7584 calories on the ride. Unbeleivable numbers even if you do beleive the fact that they overestimate the number of calories burnt.

Wednesday:This is the start of another milestone in my life. It\’s the end of my Lifestyle and weight management course. I\’ve been on it just one year and what a year it has been. The highs haven\’t stopped coming the lows are a distant memory, it was a low that had me saying yes to getting on the course.

It starts off we with a trip to the dentist for a checkup. Now I was going to go out for a ride with the CTC and give some of them a thrashing up the hills but it was going to be tight for time and I need a breakfast in me before. Instead it was a trip to Tesco,s to exchange two shirts I had bought the week before, mediums for small, a year ago I was extra large, the year before extra extra large.

I also tried on some trousers, 34inch waist, they fitted!!!. they go in the trolley for £4 I can’t go wrong. When I was at my heaviest clothes were a huge problem, I’d be paying £35 for a pair of M&S trousers because they went up to a 48in waist and had elastic in them. The elastic is to stop them bursting when you lean forward as all that extra fat has to go somewhere. I’ve been there and I don’t want to go back. M&S sizes are generous at the top end of the sizes too. A bottle of champagne goes in the trolley too a cellibration is due.

A bit later its time for a haircut at Rachel John , they’ve noticed the difference in my size as a lot of people don’t recognise me these days. Not much to cut these days though.

As I didn’t make the start for a CTC ride it’s a session at the Oval, weights as usual, rowing 2km in just over 8 minutes and then I’m left wondering what to do next. Cross trainer is out I feel up for something. Treadmill it is. Now I’ve only done 2.5 miles before and that was the other week. So I set off at 9.1 mph which seems a steady pace with the idea of doing 2.5 miles again. Oh, I’ve got my headphones on watching a music channel, well time flies when your having fun and I’m slowly watching the mileometer tick round in hundreths of a mile.
Now the furthest Ive EVER done is 3.25miles at school on the cross-country run.
That comes and goes and I’m into unknown territory, but the thing is I feel good. The pulse is steady at about 150 bpm, the next milestone is 4 miles. Some where around 3 1/2 miles I up the pace to 11.1 mph this is new territory for me but as I know what my maximum effort is it doesn’t bother me.

Well at 4 miles I’ve got a daft grin on my face and call it a day after 4 1/2 miles. I could have push on to a new record of 5 miles if I hadn’t of upped the speed but I am more than satisfied with what I have done. I get off the machine and feel like I’m walking on air. More rowing and a bit more cycling and I’m done. 900 calories worth.

Now onto the class, eight of us turned up.  Gordon didn’t make it from my class so it was just me out of a class of 25 that completed the course. This is a dissapointment as I consider missing a class as missing a medical appointment which is in effect what it is. It’s an opportunity to get some one to one advice off Ron which I consider priceless.
Today it was who to see about running shoes, I followed his advice and went to see Julie at Runners Sports and came out with a pair after trying on about 5 pairs.
Chocolate was one of the themes tonight that and the obesity hospital that was on TV the night before. I watched it for 10 minutes but had to turn it off, I just don’t like watching this sort of thing anymore.

I clocked the other class going out as it was their final week, now there were about ten to a dozen  leaving and only one bloke from memory. Not good odds for them making it to the end of the year. It’s a pity really, I’ve got so much out of it.

Now to the weighin  83.4 kg  a year ago I was 122 kg so the final weight loss was 38.6 Kg or 85 lbs or  6 stone depending on how you like your units. Ron says it’s exceptional and announces it to the class as this is the end of the line for me. There are no more boxes on the sheet to fill in and I’m sorted. Thanks Ron, I’ve listened to everything you’ve told me over the last 12 months, haven’t cheated as I’m only cheating myself and am still on the BHF diet.

I took a before picture in to show the others what I looked like and some had difficulty making out which one was me. I now look nothing like the photograph. It may make it onto the site but it’s not mine to publish. I’ll mention Andy before I finish this post, comments keep me blogging and Andy is still the only one on the course that has had the guts to comment, thanks Andy, this blog was set up for the likes of us to keep in touch. So its been a partial success. I still want to help others achieve what I have, my life has literally been transformed in the space of one year.

Next weighin 2nd May This time as a guest. There,s another 25 that need telling that the course doesn’t end after 12 weeks and the long term gains contine by sticking to it. 


The eighth followup class

I’ve another followup class coming up tommorow and I’m coming up to the end of my year on the course. Saturday was the anniversary of my making the decision to do something with my life and sign up for this course.
For those on the course at the moment the course doesn’t finish after the 12 week classroom sessions. You should be looking to do this for the rest of your natural born.

If you’re not getting results have a good look in the mirror and try and take control of your life. Out of 25 that started the class I’m the only one left that regulary attends followups, these figures really shock me. This probably goes a long way to explain why I get so little feedback from other Lifestyle and Weight Management Course  participants.

I’m still of the opinion that women drift back to Slimming World and Weight Watchers, men generally don’t do either but only see their doctor when they think they are terminally ill. Which brings me back to the very reason you are on this course in the first place. You are in bad shape and need do something about it.

Nine of us turned up the followup class and the major theme of this class was exercise and food labelling (GDA, Traffic lights and the standard labels) Gordon from the class that I attended was there so that makes two of us that are going the full term. There was discussion from the September class about numbers coming back. They think they are good, I think they are pretty poor. The course runs for 12 months, half the class will have dropped out by week 12 and of the remainder most will have dropped out by the third followup class.
Once you have missed a followup it will be very hard to get back on track. Depending on how you  look at it the course may be judged as succesfull, if you take the figures at the end of the 12 months it might be judged less so. I intended to do the full 12 months, its been an outstanding success for me. Way way beyond what I thought could be acheived.

See you next month Andy, I passed the message on to Ron.


The Seventh Followup Class

Wednesday 24th Jan sees me attending the seventh followup class. The classroom sessions were once a week for 12 weeks and then there is a monthly followup class and weighin. The idea for this site came shortly after finishing the classes.
As you may or may not have gathered I’m still on the scheme, it won’t have finished for me until March.
Very few of the class I attended have made it this far, Andy,s class is fairing better and hopefully the class we saw before Christmas will be better again. I don’t know what people are afraid of, most on the class I attended lost a fair amount of weight and were feeling better for it.

The beauty of the followup classes  is that because of the lower numbers there is more time to sort out individual problems and go into more detail on things that may have not been fully grasped in the weekly classes. For me it’s important that I finish the course and show that I can maintain a steady weight.

The BHF booklet is titled “So you want to loose weight for good”, well thats the plan, it’s worked brilliantly for me and I intend to stick with it.  

Update: A good turn out for the followup classes, just moi from mine, four from Andy,s class and about five from the last class to finish the year. I have to admit I didn’t recognise any of them but that will probably change next month, one or two that I had expected to turn up were no shows.
Plenty to talk about before we were introduced to the new class on their fourth week.

Ron brought us in and introduced us to the class, it started off with a few general questions that the others answered. There was a question about exercise were Andy said this is the chap to ask about exercise(me). This was picked up by the chap at the front nearest me. (If your from the class and reading this bear in mind I’ve been on the course the longest, so this was the tenth month Andy,s seventh etc) I think I must have talked for a good ten minutes or more after that explaining how I’ve done, the site, Google, spinning, exercise, the diet,etc. I think I managed to cover most things. This was an opportunity to give out the cards that provide the only link to the site, all other methods seem to have been closed off by various officials in the NHS.
The cards went down well, about 75% I would say took one, the rest were probably too reserved to ask. I made a mental note of those that went out of their way to ask for one. 

If you were in that class and managed to make it this far leave me a comment or a question. They all get answered, there are going to be very few more opportunities to meet me face to face, two at most and then we will be passing in the corridor.
That’s how I met Andy (my only LifeStyle and weight Management contributor, go on make me wrong!), thanks for that interjection Andy, I didn’t want to barge in on anyone.

Have a good hard look at the site, there is a lot of information on here now that you can relate to. Ten months ago I was in the same situation as yourselves, my life has literally been transformed and a lot of it has happened after the classroom sessions finished. Have a look at the weightloss diary, the weights are the same ones that Ron writes in your Personal Record Booklet.

Tonight was one of the few opportunities I’ve had to make a difference to other peoples future lives, if I’ve just inspired one it’s been worth the effort. Don’t let this category wither and die, drop me a comment, one on the Lifestyle and Weight Management  Course is worth ten others.

First names will do, email address optional,(it doesn’t get published, a bit like mine)not just a blokes site weightloss crosses the divide. Comments complete the circle.


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