22 Jun 2007

The glory of technology!

I am on holiday in France for the next week so may be out of touch - I will try to post 'real-time' if I can.

Hope everybody has a good week - keep losing and JoJo, just 'cause I'm not watching, that doesn't mean you can eat what you like!!!

The shoes, oh yes....IT'S THE SHOES!


21 Jun 2007

Scale update & stuff/things that spring to mind...

Weight - 244Lbs (-26lbs)
Exercise - lunchtime walking (45 mins - @2.7miles).

It's been 2 weeks now since I have plateaued at around 245lbs (give or take) - this is clearly my first stage
plateau (this is the weight loss that can easily be achieved without increasing exercise to burn more calories). Basically, my body has grown used to my healthy eating and my metabolic rate is ensuring that my current weight is maintained (not helpful...).

So, tomorrow I am off to test the construction quality of the gait testing equipment at the Running Shop in the quest to get some running shoes.....hopefully I won't wreck the joint!

Historic moment coming up as this is the first time I have even bought anything remotely sporty with the intention of actually using it for it's intended purpose (excluding darts and pool cues)!

News just in, fat bloke buys running shoes....pictures at Eleven!

Share a square!

20 Jun 2007

100 days....

Alan Johnston banner

"Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost" - Thomas Jefferson

Looking for something that isn't there....the birth of the Dharma Diet.

What is it about losing weight that makes so many people ignore the seemingly obvious (Sorry Krissy - I didn't mean to pick on you)?

As I meandered through the blogosphere, I came across this post from Krissy at Curvy-chick.net. Here's an extract....

I went down my Fitroll list a few moments ago looking to learn some more about my fellow-big-bloggers and most of the sites I came across said nothing about what they were doing, or how they were doing it for that matter. Some only mention that what they’ve done has lost them 50+ pounds and while these are the people I envy at the moment, I can only wonder what they’re doing exactly.

'What they were doing' can be described as simple mathematics. Expend more energy than you consume. This does sound deadly simple but maybe it does deserve a little more depth for the sake of clarity.

To start to lose weight, first you have to figure our your BMR - the basal metabolic rate. This is the ESTIMATED amount of calories you body expends purely keeping you alive whilst you are lying in bed all day (ahhh, tempting).

So in theory at least, if you ingest LESS than this BMR calorie figure each day then you should begin to lose weight. Remember that you will need to recalculate this as your age and weight change.

The base BMR is calculated as follows :-


655 + (4.3 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) - (4.7 x age in years)


66 + (6.3 x weight in pounds) + (12.9 x height in inches) - (6.8 x age in years)

It gets a little more interesting when you take exercise into account....

The calories you require to maintain your current weight are obviously affected by exercise (not many people get the chance to lie in bed all day, every day!) and the adjusted BMR can be calculated as follows :-

  • Minimal exercise - multiply the base BMR by 1.2

  • Light exercise - multiply the base BMR by 1.375

  • Moderate exercise - multiply the base BMR by 1.55

  • Heavy exercise - multiply the base BMR by 1.725

  • Extreme exercise - multiply the base BMR by 1.9
The final calculated result is the number of calories you can eat every day and maintain your current weight. Clearly to lose weight, you need to combine calorie reduction and increased exercise.

To take me as an example for illustartion, my calculation is a s follows :-

66 + (6.3 x 245) + (12.9 x 71) - (6.8 x 41) x 1.55 = 3915 Calories

So in theory at least, as long as continue to increase my exercise and I ingest LESS than 3900 calories, I will begin to lose weight.......

So that my friends is the secret of weight loss!

Now, if it is as easy as this, why isn't everybody doing it? Well may I introduce the Dharma Diet.

No pills, no books, no potions (drum roll....) -

As you may know, I am not a big believer in 'diets' per se, I think they pander to our western need to be controlled and negate the need for us to think for ourselves.

I think the secret to weight loss and fitness success is using your spirituality to create a seed change in your life that creates focus and determination to succeed.

This is not hocus-pocus, just common sense eating, exercise and positive thought all wrapped up in a bundle of Buddhist mindfulness.

I feel a free e-book coming on!

Finally I really wish everyone success in their weight loss journey and believe me I know it is difficult and failure is always the monkey on your shoulder but I honestly believe that if we practice positive thought and use the Eightfold Path to create mindfulness and ultimately enlightenment.

Questions and or reactions to the e-book idea are very welcome - please comment or e-mail me.

Anyone got Oprah's number???

18 Jun 2007

Noblesse oblige.

Share a square!

There is something very noble going on over at Shelly's place. Click on the image above to find out all about it...

As my crocheting days are over (an old army injury, I don't really like to talk about it...) the next best thing is to spread the word. So here goes!

This project is in support of Camp Sanguinity, in their own words, this is what they do :-
For nearly 25 years, Camp Sanguinity has allowed children being treated for cancer and blood disorders to have a summer camp experience. The camp allows children receiving treatment at Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth to spend a week gaining confidence and determination by challenging themselves, trying new activities, learning new skills and making new friends.
If you can help, or you know someone you can, please pass this on.


Great minds think alike...

Well, thanks go to Karoline over at Karoline in the Morning who appears to have had a rush of blood to her head and tagged me for a Thinking Blogger Award. Wow!

As I am sure you know, this meme started here in February 2007. Whether you agree with memes or not, no-one can deny it is nice to be noticed sometimes.

Karoline had this to say about my humble 'fatblog' :-
'i am presenting you with this little award, the thinking blogger award..for provoking thoughts on spirituality and keeping a healthy sanctuary within ourselves. you are honest and forthright, and more delightfully, human. i hope that this inspires you to continue on, in your quest for a good change.'

and also here on her own blog.

Now, the rules of this game are simply these :-

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,

2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,

3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote.

Now, I have only been at this blogging lark for a few short months so my knowledge of what is out there is fairly limited. I will spend the next week judging the blogs I like now and use this as an opportunity to seek others out there worthy of this recognition.

By the way, the title of this post is one of my favourite English proverbs (is it a proverb or an idiom, maybe just a plain old phase, oxymoron anyone?) but very few people seem to know the rest of it. It concludes...but fools seldom differ! Makes you think, doesn't it!

Anyway, thanks again Karoline, as the greatest thinker I know of once said....

Do not overrate what you have received, nor envy others. He who envies others does not obtain peace of mind. Buddha

17 Jun 2007

Inspired to look around me.

Last Friday I stumbled on a photographic website by Diane Varner. She has some truly remarkable images here - take a look if you get the chance.

Along with Tom Sheehan, Diane has truly inspired me to get back out there and take some photographs!

I have just spent the last 3 hours wandering the bridleways with my son and our dog Eddie - a great way to start fathers day. Enjoy!

See an enlarged version here.

Today, more than ever before, life must be characterized by a sense of Universal responsibility, not only nation to nation and human to human, but also human to other forms of life. Dalai Lama

16 Jun 2007

Up and down, in and out, round and about....

The weekend has been a right old roller coaster in every way so far!

Diet wise, my wife was out of town on Friday which historically was a rare opportunity to stuff my face stupid and get munted on as much alcohol as I had to hand... looking back I think this was more out of boredom than some hedonistic throw-back to 'bachelordom'... This only occurred to me today when I realised that I was totally bored without her at home on Friday and really properly badly missed her and EVERYTHING (all together children ...ahhhhh!).

This time I managed to avoid the temptation and cooked myself some fresh salmon and made a fish salad that was very filling and low fat. I did however have to run the gauntlet of the treacle tart every time I opened the bloody fridge (it was left over from my Birthday meal on the 14Th)....I even got as far as getting the box out of the fridge at one point but managed to get it back again without eating any! I became totally obsessed about it which is more than a bit strange as I know this wouldn't have happen if the wife had been in residence - I find it so much easier to be healthy when I have someone to 'show off to' if you know what I mean?

My general mood and demeanour was not aided by my choice of entertainment. I watched one of the most relentlessly dark and troubled films I think I have ever seen. Bad Lieutenant with Harvey Keitel in the starring role. Regardless of his supposed redemption, I found it accentuated my already dismal mood. It is strange but I used to crave and genuinely enjoy my own space and company for long periods of time - something has recently happened to change this that I can't put my finger on...very odd.

Anyway, Saturday started much better as my wife had booked me a back massage for my birthday at a local Health Spa (she works in the hotel , 50% discount - back of the net!!). This was the first time I have ever had a massage (yes, really!) and I admit I was a little apprehensive...but it was fantastic! It was only 30 minutes long and I could have one each day, no problem.

Wife and child arrived home just after lunch - tired and miserable x2.... I am not proud of what happened next as we went shopping for food for tonight's meal and ended up having a very public row in the local Waitrose supermarket (not exactly very Buddhist!). This was your average 'something out of nothing' nitshit type argument that I regretted as soon as It started, I can't even be bothered to go into the details really as the day got worse when we got home....

You see, we have mice and the wife 'doesn't do' mice... We came home to find 2 mice incarcerated in the somewhat less than humane traps. One was still alive and attached to the device by his almost severed leg (sorry for the imagery...). Whilst my wife 'doesn't do' mice, she equally 'doesn't do' humane dispatch either so I was told in no uncertain terms that I had to deal with it. In times gone by, this would have not caused an eyelid to batted but the whole Buddhist compassion thing has ridden a horse and cart straight through many of my longest held beliefs. I dispatched the mouse as quickly as I could by drowning it and I took absolutely no pleasure in it (quite the reverse in fact) and I now deeply regret it. I don't want to dwell on this but I felt compelled to watch the creature in its last moments and I know I can never do it again. I honestly wish I had had the courage to have refused to do it.

It is difficult for people to appreciate (those close to me that is) how much in a moral state of flux I really am. I am finding that my moral compass is changing all the time. I felt in some ways that killing that mouse was a watershed for me and I almost had to step over a line to know which side I wanted to be on. Does that make sense?

Blimey, I am not entirely sure where this post is going so I think I'll call it a night at that.

Fathers day tomorrow, dinner out with friends (2 Mums, 2 Dads, 2 Sons) - what can be better than that?

14 Jun 2007

Proof of life!

Following a suggestion from JoJo, I have purchased a heart rate monitor - I chose not to invest too much cash just in case the exertion causes me to expire way before my allotted time! At least I will know the lung popping heart rate accurately when the ambulance turns up to scoop me up....

Anyway I went for the Oregon HR102 for the princely sum of 18.74 of your finest English pounds. I am ridiculously and quite alarmingly excited about this (I am clearly missing something in my life...) and now regret going for the freebie 'slow boat from china' shipping option!

Here she is folks - gasp if you will!
Just the running shoes to get now and death by tarmac will begin!

Neglecting our children?

Weight - 244.8 Lbs (-25.2)
Exercise - fast walking for 45 minutes.

Hello everyone..

This is making fairly big news in the UK today (I guess it must be a slow news day!).

As you may or may not know (depending if you have been paying attention..) I am on this weight loss and fitness journey primarily for the benefit of my young son - he inspires me to do the right thing in every way imaginable.

I want him to grow up in the best environment I can possibly give him - I don't measure 'environment' in terms of how many PlayStations he has or where we go on holiday. I want to help him to be fit, active, happy and generally comfortable in his own skin. In short, equipped to lead a compassionate and meaningful existence. A big part of his well being is his diet (the correct use of this word by the way...).

Whenever I read about childhood obesity I would always immediately think that it is obviously bad parenting and they should be shown by the government how to feed their children properly. But is that it then, problem solved? Move on to world hunger and aids in Africa? Mmmm, maybe not!

I think we are all missing something vital here - children are taught through guidance AND example. It is all very well to tell the parents they are stupid and ask them to cook more veg and ram fruit down their kids throats...but that is only half the job.

Hopefully, a 10 year old child does not pee itself and flash its 'bit's at every opportunity like a certain 3 year old I know... why? Because we teach them through education and example - the child sees that we don't publicly drop our trousers at every chance we get (unless you happen to be George Michael that is) and grows to see this it as unacceptable behaviour.

Hang on in there, my point is slowing steaming into view...really!

We need to show our children how to eat and be active not just tell them - how much of what your parents told you actually sunk in? But I bet you talk like them, walk like them and (like it or not) have many of their attitudes and beliefs. This is because children mimic and adapt to the behaviour they witness.

We need to eat healthily and get fit to graphically demonstrate to our children the self-evident advantages of a good diet and exercise. We need to get involved with the educators of our children to ensure that the food they receive whilst in their care meets the highest standards we expect them to have at home.

Instead of blaming everyone from the government, to the schools to food manufacturers, it's time we as parents all stood up and took our own share of the responsibility for the welfare of our children.

Start them young and bring them up right - good food, self respect and an active lifestyle - this is the only way the obesity time-bomb will be diffused.....

Sermon over - carry on about your business!

13 Jun 2007

Celebration and remembrance.

Copyright - Imperial War Museum Image ref002028

25 years ago today, peace returned to the Falkland Islands following a short but bitter conflict that left dead and injured on all sides.

I remember this date every year as it is also my birthday..

Following this UK government statement, I was moved to write to the governor of the Falkland Islands - this exchange sums up the mixture of feelings I have for this period of history...

email to Alan Huckle( Governor, Falklands Island)Tuesday, 3 April, 2007 9:44:01 AM

Subject - Falklands war commemoration - some thoughts expressed.

Good morning,

I am no-one of any consequence in the story of the Falklands war but I felt I needed to express some thoughts to you at this time. I am a British subject, living in the UK.

I neither need nor expect a reply necessarily but I would be grateful if some effort is made to pass this to the Governor for his perusal.

I was at school when the Falklands war began. It was a huge event in my young life and later in life I have read many books on the subject to try to understand its historical and political underpinnings as well as its more obvious military time line.

When war seemed inevitable in 1982, my instinctive reaction as a 14 year old child was overwhelming excitement at the prospect of warfare playing out on my TV screen - a simple naive, almost animal reaction born of watching 60's war films as I grew up. the first challenge to this reaction came from my father (ex Royal Navy minesweepers) who put me straight on the 'glamour' of the war. As the war unfolded with each day, the twists and turns both tragic and glorious started to mould my understanding of warfare. In particular, the tragic pictures of the captured, defeated and dead Argentine conscripts had a profound affect on me.

Now 40 years old I have a much greater understanding of the full cost of war (in every sense of the word) but this understanding is mixed with the absolute moral certainty that war is sometimes both inevitable and just.

I think I understand why Margaret Beckett said what she did - as only a 14 year old boy ignores the immense suffering of both sides in a war - but the comments she made are surely more appropriate to a long forgotten war not one still so vivid in the memory for all concerned. To express regret for the loss of life is human and totally understandable, but to fail to clearly, demonstrably and publicly commend the efforts of British Forces, and the fortitude of the Falkland Islanders themselves is a great shame for the brave Falkland Islanders and the thousands of men and women who went to the South Atlantic 25 years ago to protect British territory.

In my view, it remains an absolute right to go to war to protect subjects of the crown - without exception. The fact that the Falklands islands are many thousands of miles from 'home' make no difference in my view.

I wish all residents of the Falklands islands a peaceful and prosperous future as British subjects for all long as you choose and please remember that there remains many of us in the UK that have nothing but total respect and admiration for the fortitude of the Falkland islanders and will continue to defend their rights should we be called upon now or in the future.

With warmest regards,

He replied as follows :-

I aoplogise(sic) for not replying sooner to your e-mail, but I have only just returned from my first visit as Commissioner to South Georgia (and surfaced from the recce visit for the June commemorations).

I am pleased that you felt moved to write about issues that are still important to Falkland Islanders (and to those involved in the Falklands conflict in 1982).

I must reassure you that the UK Government remains committed to the defence of the Falkland Islands and to the protection of the right of the Islanders to determine their own future. Whilst the UK Government seeks to maintain good bilateral relations with the Argentina, it is always made clear to the Argentine Government that the UK Government will not enter into discussions about the sovereignty of the Falklands Islands unless the Islanders so wish. The UK Government has no doubt about UK sovereignty over the Falkland Islands - and UK policy towards the islands is based firmly on the Islanders' right to self determination, a principle enshrined in the UN Charter.

The events in June, in both the UK and in the Falklands, will commemorate the courage and sacrifice of the British forces that liberated the Falklands and South Georgia in 1982, as well as the professionalism of the civilians who supported the Task Force in doing so. The anniversary will also allow the Islanders to showcase the socio-economic and developmental progress made since the conflict in the hope that the UK public will feel that the sacrifices made in 1982 and the UK Government's continued commitment to the support of the Falklands since then was and is not in vain.

The Argentine Government was invited to take part in a low key commemorative event in London in June - but they refused. They have since accepted an invitation made on behalf on the Falkland Islands Government for next of kin and family members of Argentine servicemen killed during the conflict in the Falklands to visit the Argentine cemetery in Darwin in November.

Alan Huckle Governor, Falklands

I just wish I could reconcile my commitment to the compassion that is central to Buddhism with the equally strong commitment to self-determination and freedom.

War is wrong but so is barbarism and tyranny - is that still compassion?

Remember 25 years ago here and in particular, the British Forces roll of honour here.

'An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.'
Sir Winston Churchill

12 Jun 2007

Wordless Wednesday - Reflections on life as a tree.

The road to Applecross Scottish Highlands 2005.

Think Like a Tree

by Karen I. Shragg

Soak up the sun
Affirm life's magic
Be graceful in the wind
Stand tall after a storm
Feel refreshed after it rains
Grow strong without notice
Be prepared for each season
Provide shelter to strangers
Hang tough through a cold spell
Emerge renewed at the first signs of spring
Stay deeply rooted while reaching for the sky
Be still long enough to hear your own leaves rustling.

Plateau busting time.

Every weight loss program meets a plateau sooner or later and mine is here right now!

The Internet is full of 'priceless information' about WL plateau's (if you can wade through the endless Google ads and blatant plugs for poxy fad diets that is...).

Thankfully you don't need to be a rocket scientist to work out how to break through the first plateau - EXERCISE! There are plenty of people out there you will happily charge you for the obvious - not here!

The full document can be seen here.

I have decided upon a mixture of the Couch to 5k running program interspersed with some low impact stuff in between. The duration of this program is initially 10 weeks. If I manage to get through the this without doing myself a serious mischief, I will then think about expanding the programme to include swimming and weights.

If anyone has any thoughts on the program, please let me know.

I would also be interested to have any recommendations on running shoes (brands, types to try/avoid - that sort of thing).

I will be starting the program when I return from Holiday in the first week of July. Can't wait!

Every human being is the author of his own health or disease. Buddha

11 Jun 2007

Using the Transtheoretical Model to change your eating habits - Part 1.

The 'what!' you cry?

Where I am mentally and physically is a LONG way from where I started. If you struggle to get started with losing weight and lack the motivation to continue, please read on - this is good stuff! Just ignore the title (it's college for 'getting your sh*t together!).

To successfully lose large amounts of weight takes a huge amount of determination and commitment - this cannot be bought in a store - this needs to be learnt, practiced and perfected over time.

I have searching for a while for something that eloquently explains and expands on my muddled theories of weight loss motivation - looking at this model, I find that it coincides with many of my own recent conclusions and really gets to the root of what needs to be done to achieve successful change in our lives.

The Transtheoretical Model is basically a way to predict and assess the ability of an individual to affect real change in their habits. I am looking at it's suitability to assist people in reaching a mental state whereby they can begin the weight loss journey and succeed in it long term.

This is big subject so I will be breaking it down into 3 parts. This part will deal with the stages of change.

The stages of change break the process down into smaller manageable chunks.

Image - Crown Copyright

They are :-

1. Pre-contemplation - lack of awareness that life can be improved by a change in behavior (I think we can all relate to this. Me, fat? You sure?)

How many of us know people who struggle to admit their destructive habits and additions? I imagine most of us....they need our help!

2. Contemplation - recognizing and understanding the extent of the problem. This is when we start to consider what we need to do to make the changes in our life.

3. Preparation - this is when plans start to be dawn up, diets chosen, fitness regimes discussed, nutritional considerations and made.

4. Action - once plans are finalised, this is when they are implemented, calories are counted, gyms are frequented and support groups are joined.

5. Maintenance - this is the time when constant vigilance is required to prevent relapse. This is why diets don't work - they are unsustainable periods of sacrifice not a consentful life change.

6. Termination - the final destination, former eating and exercise habits are no longer perceived as desirable and make us uncomfortable.

The above graphic depicts the cyclic nature of the weight loss journey. We are all obviously desperate to get to no 6 straight away but this is simply not possible. All the other 5 have to be totally secure before we will reach Termination (this has nothing to do with Arnie by the way!) - this is the point where over eating or emotional eating becomes undesirable and we have the strength to stop ourselves before relapse occurs.

The difficult one is 3 - this is the point where you start putting thoughts into action. I believe this is the single most difficult aspect of weight loss. We can all talk about it and even join a gym but to fully mentally 'sign-on' for the journey is very difficult and should not be underestimated.

Repeated hiccups at this point are no disgrace.

To fully progress along this journey takes incredibly levels of perseverance and a distinct and complex set of processes, methods and techniques. These are known as the Processes of Change.

If you are still reading this, you are either very boring indeed or you have a clearly identified weight and/or fitness issue, so for us fat blokes and girls, we can safely say that most of us are at least at no 2 already. Right?

To get to 3 we need to start using some of the processes of change - this will be part 2 of this series. Coming soon!

Let me know your thoughts on this, if you have any!

No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk
the path. Buddha

Denial is more than just a river in Africa it seems!

Weight - 245.6Lbs (-24.4)
Exercise - mind is becoming straighter - the plan is a' coming!

First off, a weekend update. These are my worst times as I now associate them with the mild possibility of a 'sniff' of wine (which continues to be my nemesis sadly) - I managed to get through Saturday 'dry' and had a couple of glasses of white with Sunday lunch to be social. In the process of typing this I realise that I am a stinking liar! I had a glass of red on Friday night (I think...) and definitely Saturday night....oh the shame of it!

Anyway, regardless of these weaknesses the weight has stayed fairly static over the weekend and I am happy with that as most of my best efforts are achieved during the week. The weekday lunchtime walking took a nose dive last week as my walking partner went on holiday (he seems he packed my motivation as well) but he is back today and now all systems are go!

I know that this next weight loss push will require a lot more physical effort from me and over the weekend, when i wasn't drinking and stuffing my face, I have been mulling over the Couch to 5K running programme. I have modified it slightly to extend the training period as I am starting off from under the couch (from a weight point of view if you know what I mean...).

I am a little concerned about running at the weight I am now (I have skinny chicken legs - see above) but we'll see how it goes... I will post a spreadsheet of my proposed fitness schedule as soon as possible if you're interested. In the meanwhile, if you are already considering following the standard Couch to 5K running programme then check out this resource that may help you graphically log your advancement through the program using a Java application that uses cookies to monitor how many sections of the programme you have completed (whatever the hell that means!). Have a look - whatever!

In a couple of weeks I will be in France for my holidays so I am planning a big push on the weight loss front to give me a 'buffer' for any excess on holiday (hopefully I can still keep to a minimum) but surrender monkeys or not, they do make the best cheese, bread and wine!

Today is a new day - we begin again refreshed!

9 Jun 2007

I don't care who you are - we ALL need a hug sometimes!

I have just found this via Karolines' site and am utterly 'gob smacked'! This is one of the most uplifting and life affirming things I have seen in a very long time!

If you manage to get through this without a tear in your eye, get someone to dig a BIG hole in the garden and throw you in - 'CAUSE YOU'RE DEAD MY FRIEND!!


Check out official info about the campaign here and Wikipedia info on this world wide phenomenon here.

7 Jun 2007

Blowing my own trumpet (ooh er missus!)...

Via technorati, I have just come across this post. Call it vanity, but it seems we (fatbloggers I mean) have some recognition out there!

Amongst the list of highlighted blogs is this little old one along with a few of my favourites as well - Bonita Gordita is there (as she should, her blog is a GREAT read - pop along and have a look if you get the chance).

Oh and the t-shirts and mugs are on sale - get 'em while their hot, they're lovely! All profits to the Dharamsala-or-Bust 2008 Asthma charity trek.

Fathers day is coming after all!

Buy Fat Bloke Stuff HERE

Thank you and good-night.

Lose weight or die!

Weight - 245.8lbs ( -24.2lbs)
Exercise - I tried some wishful shrinking instead...

I am struggling today. I struggled with the fast this time and think I came off it to quick - the result of this was a very uncomfortable digestive situation (don't make me spell it out!)...

I think i need inspiration, I know what I want to do and I know why I am doing it and I can see from you all out there, that my situation is neither unique nor exceptional. Nevertheless, I need a kick up the arse to get me going again.

I found it at the font of all knowledge, The British Broadcorping Castration ! Whilst browsing their excellent health website I stumbled upon this little gem (see graphic below).

Not that is what I call motivation, a whole hospital full of illnesses and ailments, all because we like the smell of donuts too much!

If anyone else is struggling with motivation and felling down for any weight related reason - think about it - is a pizza worth TEN extra years on this planet?? I think not.

Time for a salad and a brisk walk!

6 Jun 2007

Thursday 13 #004

Thirteen things we can all do individually to make our world a better place right NOW!

1. Greet everyone you meet cheerily and sincerely no matter how you feel (this may really confuse them but they will get used to it....).

2. Pick up someone else’s litter in the street (be an outstanding example to others in as many ways as you can as often as you can).

3. Pay someone you barely know a sincere compliment (it just might start spreading!).

4. Tell family and friends WHY you love them and keep telling them (this is far more important that whether you love them or not).

5. Help someone you haven’t met before (start to breakdown mistrust in your community by showing that we care about each other).

6. Write a hand written letter to someone you know (like a friendly virus, this might be catching).

7. Turn off the TV and read a book that challenges your thoughts and beliefs (ignorance, in every sense of the word, is the root of so much pain and hostility).

8. Cook a meal for your family or friends with entirely locally produced fresh ingredients (show your support for your community and reward your guests).

9. Trust someone at every opportunity (they will often repay it ten-fold).

10. Volunteer to do something that scares you as often as you can (the conquering of fear makes us all stronger).

11. Spend a small amount of every day alone thinking about what you can do to help those around you (relax your brain and your body will surely follow).

12. Once a week, do something entirely for the benefit of another person (this is truly good for the soul).

13. Finally, make all of the above habitual and pass it on to everyone you meet (they will only think you’re mad for the first month or two – trust me!)

With realization of one's own potential and self-confidence in one's ability, one can build a better world. Dalai Lama

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

5 Jun 2007

Where's the peace globe? An explanation....whether you want it or not!

As I have meandered across the Blogosphere looking at all the great WW posts, I notice that many of you have answered the call to add a Peace Globe. I have chosen a different route to the same destination, I hope....

I want to be a Buddhist (when I grow up...) so I am fully committed to peace, but peace is like happiness in that it can only come from within - we cannot arbitrarily declare peace, we must find it in ourselves and show the rest of humanity by example what can be achieved on an individual basis.

My post reflects the conflicts and conversations going on in my own mind - peace is the goal but sometimes aggression must be met with force and force is destructive but then so is tyranny....anyway my head hurts now...

I wish everyone peace but please look inside yourself and see what you can do to change yourself before you demand world peace from our nations leaders.

We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.
HH the Dalai Lama

Wordless Wednesday - Peace & Courage

The Royal Marine Commando memorial at Spean Bridge near Fort William, Scottish Highlands. Picture taken by me on 11th November 2005, Remembrance Sunday.

The Soldier
by Rupert Brooke

If I should die, think only this of me:
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware:
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England's, breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.
And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.

Beau Geste and the attack of the Yorkshire Puddings

Weight - 246 Lbs ( -24lbs)
Exercise - too weak and feeble to even raise an objection...

Following the recent 'pie abuse', I have definitely climbed back on the wagon. My weight this morning is the lowest since beginning this journey. I have completed day one of my 3 day fast and feel great!

I felt like Beau Geste last night as I struggled to get to sleep due to the constant 'mirage' visions of food tantalizingly appearing before my eyes. Particularly graphic was the smell of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding.......mmmmm, I think I'm having a relapse!.

My fast allows me fruit this morning (I managed to avoid preparing a bucket full!) and vegetables and Salad at lunchtime (yippee!)...

I will be restarting the exercise as well tonight to keep the weight coming off - not too much as I will probably keel over due to a lack of sugar...!

If you are thinking of fasting - think deeply before you do - it is not for everyone and you MUST consult a doctor before starting if you decide to go ahead. I am neither a doctor not a nutritionist so don't just take my word for it!

Controlled and strict fasting is good for the body and the soul. It allows your digestive system to relax and recover - natural healing processes begin to happen during this fasting period. If you find the hunger pangs difficult to cope with, take hot fruit teas when the hunger is at its worst and it will soon pass.

During the fast, slowly re-introduce non-citrus fruits, vegetables and salad during the second and third day and thereafter add protein in the following order : fish, eggs, white meat, red meat - this regime will ensure your digestive system has time to adapt and cope with the higher protein levels.

I am happy to go into further detail and provide recipes for the second the third days if anyone is interested - if so just shout through the letterbox!

3 Jun 2007

Back on track with added inspiration from Manuel Uribe!

Weight - 250.0 Lbs (-20 lbs)
Exercise - never slept so much in my life....

I am utterly shocked at the weight gain I managed in one night of excess (3.2 Lbs !!!) - it is always my aim to take a positive outlook from a negative situation and this is no exception. I managed to break one of my cardinal rules - not using food as a reward for diet success. It was a ridiculous thing to do and it has shown me graphically why I am not going to live that way anymore.

I am now fully 'back with the program' and have learnt a very valuable lesson about myself. On Monday I will start a strict 3 day fast following the guidelines laid down in Dr Ali's book (I aim to do this once a month from now on). You will be pleased to know that Dr Ali is a real doctor unlike some others (thanks for the reminder dietgirl...). I will return to this subject in the future, but I am infuriated by the barrage of rubbish that is on the market to supposedly help us lose weight - often, the actual primary purpose seems to be to help us lose money not weight!

Anyway and now for the inspiration, my old friend, Manuel Uribe is back in the news this week and it is a massive (no pun intended) reminder of what can be achieved through dedication and application. You can read and hear about his latest news here courtesy of the BBC in the UK.

Manuel has lost over 400 lbs without surgery - a remarkable feat by any standards and regardless of how he got where he is, he should be applauded for his achievements and provide inspiration for all of us on our weight loss journeys - big or small.

My next target remains a loss of 27 pounds (10% of my starting weight) - I have 7 pounds to go and I intend to do this before I go on holiday at the end of June. Holiday...now there's a thing, France, mmmm what are they famous for? Oh dear.....

1 Jun 2007

Flying off the rails!

Weight - 247.6 Lbs (-22.4 Lbs )
Exercise - On reflection, I believe exercise to be highly overrated - sleeping is the new exercise (thanks Shelly)!

You may have noticed that -22Lbs is the most I have lost since this whole malarkey started - I celebrated this fact with a box (the shame of it!) of Waitrose 2005 Bordeaux Reserve - by god, it was good, but how weak is that! I compounded this dietary idiocy by buying a host of other delicacies that my waistline can ill-afford and tucking into my sons party leftovers..... treble bugger!

Oh well, at least I get the chance to post tonight as the consequence of the wine is this my dear sainted wife is fast asleep snoring like a proverbial wounded rhino on its last legs... every cloud has a silver lining I guess!

I didn't get a chance to catch up with many Thursday Thirteen participants this week but I will rectify that over the weekend. I think my list was a bit lame - I 'uum'd' and 'Ahhh'd' for ages and got precisely nowhere....must plan ahead!

Finally, thanks for all your comments, I have big but humble plans for this blog as a support mechanism for fat blokes who want to lose some weight so your encouragement is very appreciated - particularly, Shelly, JoJo and BG. Cheers!

And hey JoJo - don't let the side down this weekend - no beer 'n' 'dogs with those hairy bikers!