31 Aug 2007

30 Aug 2007

Mrs Fatbloke lives to tell the tale!

Well, 5k in around 29 minutes (slightly off world record pace maybe but impressive never the less) - full results and times haven't been published yet but we think she finished about 85 out of 200 ish so well in the top half!

So, if you needed any incentive NOT to go running tomorrow, here is a before and after comparison of the good Mrs FB clearly demonstrating that there are better things to be doing than running around a lake (only joking, I started screaming at her down the back straight to go faster, bless her!!).

Next is a 10K for Cancer Research at the end of September 07 - then it's straight to the Olympics in 2012!! Get in there!

Before the ordeal!

After the application of intravenous Evian....

Things to feel good about...

1. I had recently got out of the habit of weighing myself each morning, so imagine my surprise when I weigh myself this morning and find that I am 239.8! This is ALMOST the lowest I have been since the beginning of this weight loss meander.

I had to weigh myself twice just to make sure I wasn't hallucinating! Clearly Tony's inspirational powers are stronger than I thought!

2. I didn't wake up jettisoning blood out of my 'nether regions'! Hope you are feeling better soon Chris!

3. My wife begins her running 'career' tonight! She embarks on a proper 5K run for the first time! Go girl (pictures tomorrow). I am so excited for her!

I am great at encouraging others but not so great at encouraging myself...time to find my own race maybe!

4. My friend AB came second in a writing competition! Whoo! Well done, you richly deserve the recognition. The story is great too - have a read here.

5. I took this photograph a few weeks ago, and every time I look at it, I realise just how damn lucky I am! Nothing else really matters. It's a dad thing, if you don't own one of these, you probably wont understand...

Behold the son of FatBloke!

29 Aug 2007


Weight - 242.3Lbs.
Exercise - 45 minute cardio workout Saturday & Tuesday

I have just stumbled upon this blog. Please take a look - you will NOT be disappointed.

Wow! Tony started at around the high 280's and is now at 239. His goal is 220lbs (nice to see a realistic goal that has nothing to do with BMI - very refreshing). His journey appears to have a very similar genesis to mine - a revelation of our own weight and how it will affect the relationship with our children.

What really shocked and impressed me was the difference in his appearance in photographs from Christmas 2006 and by contrast, now. Blimey!

Don't get me wrong, I am genuinely REALLY happy for Tony and feel really motivated by his efforts but I can't help thinking 'why don't I look that different' - lol!

Sure, he has lost a bit more weight but I have lost around 30 pounds and it has mostly disappeared off my already bony arse and legs (I realise I am built all wrong and that is never going to change, but we are the same damn height and near enough the same damn weight and he looks SO much better than I do) .

I know I have lost weight, I feel so much better and maybe it's vanity, but I wished I LOOKED better (NOT better , I mean Thinner).

Fat is BAD, thin is GOOD - no STOP it, call the acceptance police, quickly!!!

I'm only half joking, we all have our pride and a big part of motivation (for me anyway) is seeing noticeable changes in my body (size of manboobs, belt overhang etc) - in fact, it has been so long since I lost any weight that I really am starting to question whether I can do this.... :(

Well I was, until I read Tony's blog! Bring it on - the man boobs are history!

28 Aug 2007

Stream of unconsciousness...oh and cart horses!

If you are looking for this weeks FBT weigh-in results - scroll down or look at this.

I have just noticed that my previously prolific levels of 'postage' (creating posts not licking stamps you understand - by the way, why DID it take over 160 years to come up with a self-adhesive postage stamp - they've put men on the Moon for pity sake....!), has dissipated somewhat in recent times. I have been mostly thinking about why this has happened.

1. I have the attention span of a gnat that is really preoccupied about something very VERY important that keeps gnawing away at him even when he's not really thinking about it.

2. If I don't get results, I get fed up and change tack very quickly - not big on hobbies, me...

3. This blog has turned into a digital millstone in some ways. I really like to read other peoples blogs and comment about what they are talking about but the act of commenting starts a reciprocal relationship.........

Sh*t, I have just bored myself TO DEATH with number 3!

Alright, I admit it, the real reason is that I'm lazy and want to wake up tomorrow weighing 195 pounds and find myself as fit as a butchers dog (not a Gypo's dog, that's something else entirely..) and I KNOW that this is not going to happen.

My eating habits have gone completely to pot since last Wednesday when a Curry and lager was applied to my internal waste management system. Since then there has been wine, BBQ, chocolate, more wine - SUN DRIED TOMATOES (can't someone do some utterly rubbish EU funded research to find that they are carcinogenic and BAN them??), er more wine..etc etc etc.

I went to the dreaded CHAMBER OF GYM 3 times last week and pretty much managed to do everything the evil Frances wanted me to do - except for the unusual cruelty that is the 2nd helping on the Elliptical (I'll swing for the bloke that invented that bloody machine - almost certainly FRENCH if I'm not mistaken!) but the notion that I am going to have to do this FOR EVER is gut wrenchingly dismal is so many ways as I can barely mention...

By the way, the devil that is Frances surpassed herself this time with her thoughtless blunderbuss of perkiness - whilst I am torturing myself on the treadmill on Saturday she bounces up to me and chirps ' How's it going then?' - 'Er OK', I grunt, 'Getting there I suppose...'

She then tells me that it will all be worth it when I go for a riding holiday and 'they don't offer you a cart horse!' - OH NICE ONE - YOU ARE PROPER HILARIOUS! Hey, I'm not exactly sensitive, but really, it that meant to be motivational? Bloody hell!

Anyway, I'm sorry to ramble on like a geriatric old clown who's lost not only his marbles but also his exploding car and bucket of confetti, but I really need to find a way to get going and do what needs to be done! I NEED HELP!

The sad fact is that I wasn't built for hard work - I like to imagine that I'm some poncy pondering thinker of great thoughts and I should be in a log cabin somewhere putting down on paper my unique philosophical creed for the benefit of all mankind but actually I am a professional 'avoider' (both of effort and occasionally responsibility) and this is the biggest single barrier to dealing with my weight loss.

Christmas seemed miles away when I started this journey and now it is looming in the distance like a tip of a very big iceberg.... 40 pounds to go keeps taunting me like the cool kid at school throwing old Biro's at me and calling my lardy!

RIGHT THEN - this weeks resolutions....

Blog more often (and actually mention your weight once in a while, this is meant to be weight loss blog after all...doh!), go to the gym at least 3 times a week, stop eating like it 'doesn't really matter cause you go to the gym now' ( honestly, how spectacularly, heart-stoppingly stupid is that? I should be put down for that alone...!!) stop effing WHINING all the time (you want to be a Buddhist when you grow up, so GROW UP!), visit more blogs and don't mention WAL-MART again (they obviously don't like that...)... well, that's a start then!

Get the kettle on people, I'll be around for a cup of tea tonight and I want to know ALL about it!

Weigh in results - NOW HEAR THIS!

Righto, without further ado.....(drum roll)..the winners of this weeks FatBlokeThin weight loss challenge!

Laura N - another sterling effort from Laura giving her a massive 4.2% weight loss so far!!

Mr Fat - no change this week for Mr F but still basking in previous glories - 3.3%!

Celeste - no change this week either for C, so holding station at 3.2%...watch out Mr Fat!

Tigerlilly - poor Tigerlilly, a little increase but still in the hunt at 2.8% lost so far!

Kathleen Crowley No Blog - another great loss this week, now with an overall loss of 2.2%

Well done everyone and especially to Laura who continues to show us all how it should be done! Get in there (as they say where I come from, well I do anyway....)!!

Remember it's only one week to go to the first ever Monthly FBT weight loss weigh in!!! I have lots of special things planned for this occasion and more will be revealed soon!

Finally, Please commiserate with 2 of my most loyal and supportive blogger-buddies, Jojo and ChrisH - If I had an excess of wooden spoons to hand, they would be in the care of FedEx as we speak...

Jojo has been on holiday (we all know what happens there, don't we?) and now leads the bottom of the list (can you lead at the bottom? hmmmm...) with a 3.9% increase! Sorry to blow the whistle but this is about encouragement, right??

And Chris, well what can I say? A full blown detox diet and got herself a 1.7% increase! As she so eloquently put it, 'you do the math?'

So, until next week, remember this is about %age weight lost since the first time you weighed in for the challenge so if you forgot this week or you haven't weighed in since you got all excited and told me you were joining in, you can STILL send me your weight next week for the big monthly 'weigh-a-thon' - everyone is welcome and 'you have to be in it to win it!'

24 Aug 2007

Anyone got a soapbox handy?

I had an e-mail from my friend Jojo a couple of days ago. It was about this. The insanity of the basic premise left me speechless.

This e-mail seemed to crystallize a lot of thoughts that have been rolling around in my head for some time. The future of China can go either way in my view - at the moment we (western democracies) seem hell bent in exploiting every last bit of cheap labour and in part payment we are fairly happy to 'overlook' the horrific way in which they treat their citizens in general and their workers in particular.

China worries me, a lot. But maybe what worries me more, is the way western big business is flooding into China. I get the distinct feeling that we are giving fuel to our own destruction, not today and not tomorrow but nevertheless we are helping to build an economic powerhouse that shares NONE of our values of freedom and democracy (no matter how much they spend on PR, I'm not buying 'China-lite' one bit).

When I get wrapped up in my own problems and preoccupations I try to remind myself that things can ALWAYS be worse... how lucky am I to live in a country where I have pretty much total religious and political freedom. There are lots of things wrong in ALL countries, but we pretty much have the basics taken for granted by now. I live in a country where state and church are for all intents and purposes separate. A country where I can babble on about anything and everything and not fear state persecution.. not everywhere can say this....

For those of you who are new to this blog, I started this journey for 2 reasons. One, to get fit for my family and two, to find a spiritual direction for me to follow The welding of mind and body is central to my philosophy of wellness.

A book by HH The Dalai Lama was the initial motivation for this journey - the Buddhist way seemed right for me and it just 'clicked' into place. A book so simple in its philosophy but so profound in it's affect, it has fundamentally changed every aspect of my life (I haven't flipped out, I just got a bit excited - fear not..)

I am really looking forward to a new film next year about him (trailer below).

Everything he seems to utter makes crystal clear sense to me but by a perverse logic actually makes my situation worse. The WAL-MART Movie is a perfect example of this paradox - the more I grow and develop my Buddhist understanding, the more I get depressed by the suffering and greed around me.

The film shocked me in some ways and not in others. The awful way WAL-MART go about their business in China was to be expected - I am no longer surprised by the ways of international commerce. What did shock me was the way this company treats it's staff and customers in the US - incredible!

In essence, I feel utterly impotent to effect any change in the world - I have neither the time nor the resources to jump off the 'exercise wheel' of corporate life to REALLY make a difference (I also lack the courage if I am honest...).

Perhaps I should just 'GET A GRIP' and heed the great mans words....

'If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them'. HH Dalai Lama.

If only WAL-MART felt the same way!

20 Aug 2007

Weigh in results - NOW HEAR THIS!

Week 2 is upon us already!

So, without further delay, I give you, the winners of this weeks FatBlokeThin weight loss challenge!

Laura N has burst to the top of the leader board with an awesome effort of 3.73%.

Mr Fat is narrowly pipped at the post with a superb 3.33% (so close my friend).

Celeste is in the top 5 for the first time with a superb effort of 3.22%

Groovybabe is snapping at their heels with a solid 2.04% loss

Kathleen Crowley (blog-less but hopefully this will spur her on to get into the blogosphere) - sneaks in with a great first effort of a 1.38% weight loss.

Well done everybody!

So Laura, stand by for the tacky prize!

I will try and get a proper results sheet out along with developing a separate challenge website (yada yada yada...) - I will get there !

One thing though - of the 31 people that have so far registered for the challenge, I only received 14 weigh-in's. Its true what they say, you have to be IN IT to WIN IT!

The biggest of drops...the highest of mountains!

If you get a chance, pop over to a new weight loss buddy just starting out on the road to wellness. He is going for the Big Drop and will need our help to get stuck into it!

He might even join the challenge....

Hell has a face and she answers to Frances....

Weight - 241.6lbs
Exercise - near death gym based shenanigans (see below for gruesome details).

'I'll be gentle' she said. Hmmmm....see what you think....

I arrived for my gym assessment (heath and lifestyle assessment included gratis) right on time. As predicted, I was met by the perkiest, most health obsessed person you are ever likely to meet, her name was Frances. A lovely lady it must be said. What follows is MY intepretation of the the first 45 minutes of our 'relationship'.

After the usual height and weight checks, I had my blood pressure taken and found it smack bang in the middle of 'normal range', this was even better than my recent check-up so things are starting to happen. Next was the realisation that I have shrunk as I appear to be an inch shorter than used to be, hopefully I haven't lost anything too important....

By this time I was starting to enjoy myself, but the black clouds were looming - she asked me 'Which machines DON'T you like' - this was a difficult one as it's like an Islamo-fascist asking me which knife I would prefer he DIDN'T use to hack my head off with live on the inter-web!

To be polite, I picked the worst looking one - the rowing machine. In my previous infrequent gym visits I always seemed to see some fit looking bloke going 'hammer and tongs' on the thing and looking like he was close to death moments after starting - not a good indication of suitability for my purposes...also, lets be honest here, I've tried the soddin' thing before and for ME it's like trying to row a dingy across a lake with all your winter coats on at ONCE! My body was not designed for this type of machine - I look like a bull frog with it's feet stuck to the wall....

Anyway, after deciding what I didn't want to do, I was introduced to my 'pain routine' :

10 minutes warm up on the bike (fitness program L9) - halfway through this, she uttered the fateful phrase 'I'll be gentle on you'. By glorious ironic coincidence, this was the moment my thighs let out a (silent to all but dogs) blood curdling cry and expired - I was trying to be a M A N about it ( i.e ignore the obvious and plough on regardless hoping no-one will notice my tears...) - it was then that she remembered to inform me that 'if you slow down your peddling, the resistance gets higher' - eh? how does that work exactly, just when I need a breather and slow down you turn the treacle up?? Insane! Anyway, I coughed and said I thought I had got the hang of this one and best we move on...I think she bought it..!

Next came the treadmill - ahhh, a nice relaxing walk maybe? She prodded a button called nine hole course and off we went. This innocuous sounding program (surely a gentle amble around the leafy fairways of a golf course??) turned into what can only be described as low level mountaineering - the damn thing started going up in the air! More insanity! Thankfully, she got bored before I did on this one so that was definitely a result as I could stop without further embarrassment. She was obviously getting worried about me by then as she looked at me with a serious 'you're not gonna die on MY watch' look on her face and instructed me to take on water and NOW!

Suitably refreshed, so to the final part of the 'holy trinity of torture', the cross trainer (cue - Phantom of the Opera organ music!). I have NEVER been so out of bodily control as when I used this (drunk or sober sadly...). I cannot begin to explain the complete mess I made of this contraption - legs and arms flailing everywhere totally out of sync with what the machine was doing - NOT helped by some bloke nearly twice my age (I exaggerate only SLIGHTLY...) on the next machine going at it like it it was the Olympic qualifications or something and STILL finding the lung capacity to condescendingly tell me that 'it takes a while to get used to it' - OH REALLY!

And then there were the exercises with some sort of space-hopper ball thing! Dont get me started on that! Things as they say, can only get better...


Finally, if you got this far and you are a member of the FBT Weight loss challenge - PLEASE remember to send me your updated weight as soon as you can today so you get included in the weigh in tonight!
Best of luck everyone.

17 Aug 2007

Dawn of a new era.

Weight : 242.2Lbs

So, finally I have joined the gym. I could put it off no further. My spangly shoes have twice graced the high-tech torture devices to be found in a very modern gymnasium and I will be going again this evening for gym & swim. The plan is to go 3 times a week.

I have my fitness assessment (groan...) on Saturday (I could save her the trouble and just take my death certificate with me...), so I am getting prepared for the endless perky optimism of the fitness instructor (why can't they have some fat, miserable ones.. not a very good marketing strategy I suppose), I will doubtless be bombarded with countless facts and figures that I will instantly forget as soon as my thighs are made to burn on the step machine (the very cruelest of the torture machines for sure..), about a minute should do it!

I really want to get fit, so fit that I can run when I want for as long as I want (within reason you understand, I am not planning one of those 'uber-iron man' marathon idiocies that last 3 days and you poo & pee yourself uncontrollably when you cross the line as the bit of your brain that controls your bodily functions has joined the rest of the organs and gone completely berserk..) - I just want to be able to do a 5K and not look like a Muppet. This is not too much to ask in my view, is it?

Somebody recently (probably her or her and maybe even her) told me that I will not believe how differently I will feel when I get fit. They are right as I have NEVER been fit, that's the problem. I do not know what I am missing and I often lack the motivation to find out because I have never had any real level of fitness in my life. That is a shocking thing to say and I got depressed during the writing of that last sentence, nice!

The problem that I have is that I FEEL I am in a 'complete gold plated Catch 22 in the first degree with great big knobs on' situation. Basically, I struggle to run because my legs hurt almost instantly and the reason my legs hurt is that :-

a) they were CLEARLY designed for someone else (possibly an Ostrich or very large 'gamma rayed' experimental Chicken) and cannot support the 3 JCB tyres I have metaphorically strapped around my waist....sigh..

and b) I am not fit enough to run.

The reason I am not fit enough is because I can't run, and I can't run because I am not fit - do you get it? Catch 22 or what!

I know what you will say. Do something else, ride a bike, swim, pogo up the Khyber Pass or whatever, anything in fact that does NOT cause impact to my desperately small and spindly legs.... Listen, I know you are right but I cannot help thinking you are wrong!

I want to run, I want to lose weight and I want to be 'normal' ( in my book, slightly better than wanting to be a tree, nice though that might be in the summer with little birds twittering on my branches and children running around beneath me...oh dear I think the medication has worn off again..NURSE!). Before the fat acceptance Gestapo go into attack formation, me wanting to be 'normal' does not imply that being FAT is abnormal (it is life threatening though...stick I LOVE MY BODY on a grave stone and see where that gets you...anyway I'm straying again..) - normalcy for me is being able to run and do 'fit' stuff without feeling a failure.

I weigh 240ish pounds, there are plenty of professional sportsmen of this weight and my height that can easily run a competitive marathon - so it isn't the weight, it's the distribution (back to the JCB tyres again..) and more importantly my general level of fitness.

Basically, this whole post boils down to one word.... 'impatience'.

This has been a FBT mind dump, brought to you as a public service. Please give generously on your way out...

Perhaps there is only one cardinal sin: impatience. Because of impatience we were driven out of Paradise, because of impatience we cannot return.
W. H. Auden

14 Aug 2007

Inspiration & re-dedication!

For all of you that are struggling with weight loss (you KNOW who you are...) and the impasse of the dreaded 'plateau', hopefully this offering will amuse, entertain and maybe re-ignite your journey!

A Buddhist monk on his journey home comes to the banks of a wide river. Staring hopelessly at the great obstacle in front of him, he ponders for hours on just how to cross such a wide barrier.

Just as he is to give up his journey, he sees a great teacher on the other side of the river. The monk yells over to the teacher, "Oh Master, can you tell me how to get to the other side of this river?"

The teacher ponders for a moment, looks up and down the river and yells back, "You are already on the other side."

I still believe that EVERY obstacle can be overcome through either thought or deed. I have finally realised (started reading my own message more like....) that I will never lose more weight if I do not exercise more and the running is really not working yet.

I need to recommit to this journey and NOW!

Seeing how well so many of you have done in the FBT Weight loss challenge is both inspiring and depressing at the same time. The days when I could effortlessly lose 2-3 or even 5 pounds in a week are long gone as now the merest thought of lard is likely to pile the pounds on with abandon...

So, it's gym time folks! Yes, I have joined a gym and this time it's personal.

I must admit to being a 'serial gym joiner' - I have been a member of this one at least 3 times before over the last few years.

This time though it REALLY is different, I have a goal and a community to interact with - this is why I think the weight loss challenge is so great - we can all do this together and really start to heal ourselves inside and out.

13 Aug 2007

Weigh in results - NOW HEAR THIS!

Fresh off the press, the results for week one of the FBT weight loss challenge!

1st Tigerlilly with an awesome 3.3% weight loss in week one! Congratulations
2nd Groovybabe chased her all the way down with an equally impressive 2.9% drop.
3rd Lady T gets the bronze medal for a healthy 1.9% weight loss!
4th Mr fat gets first reserve to prove that real men can lose weight too (all 1.85%)!
5th Laura N completes the roll of honour with a great effort at 1.81%.

Well done to everyone that entered and especially to the 5 biggest losers above. Please visit all their blogs and congratulate them on their superb weight loss efforts!

As for the rest of you, I am still missing a few starting weights and some updates. This weeks challenge is over but there is always next week! Anyone can join in at any time - just e-mail me to get the ball rolling.

New recent entrants are :-

Sarah Aarssen http://www.sarahsweightlossjourneyblog.blogspot.com/
Lady Rose http://thedietpulpit.wordpress.com/
John http://www.johnisfit.com/

Welcome aboard and best of luck for next week!

And as for you Tigerlilly, expect an e-mail VERY soon explaining the true delight that awaits you in the form a priceless and timeless prize for your stunning achievement!

12 Aug 2007

Not dead, just thinking!

This weekend is turning into a never ending round of parties and excitement. Thanks for the e-mails and comments. I WILL answer them all as soon as I can and the first weigh in the FBT challenge is tomorrow!

I will be migrating the challenge stuff to a new blog (on blogger)soon - everyone will get a link if you participate and all the weight loss info and stats will be there in one place. I think this is the best way to get the community going. I will let everyone know when this is done. This challenge has never been about bringing traffic to this blog, its about community and supporting each other!

Good luck everyone and speak soon.

Shelly, the book post is coming by the way, I bought some today (Buddha, Rwandan Genocide and Churchill - I sure know how to throw a book party...)!?*

10 Aug 2007

No words necessary...

Thank you Karoline.

View the movie trailer here.

8 Aug 2007

FBT Challenge update

Right then, phasers on stun, the e-mail is out to all participants.

If you want to be involved in the challenge and you DID NOT receive an e-mail a few hours ago, either I don't have your e-mail or I'm stooopid or sumfink!

If you want to get involved, e-mail me (address in LH side bar) with the following information :-

1. URL of blog (if you have one, you DO NOT need one to participate).

2. Your e-mail address for updates etc.

3. Your starting weight in pounds , kilos or stones.

Below is the e-mail sent to today to all registered participants, this should answer any outstanding questions. If not, let me know!

Basic challenge rules.

Anyone can submit their starting weight at any time to join the challenge.

Weights can be submitted in either pounds, Kilos or stones.

Weight loss (gain?) will be judged by %age of weight lost NOT poundage - this will even out every ones performance regardless of starting weight.

Weight updates must be submitted by e-mail to me BEFORE 12.00hrs GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) each Monday.

Each Monday by 23.00hrs GMT after submission the blog http://www.fatblokethin.co.uk/ will be updated with the 5 biggest losers for that week and special mentions for anyone else that takes my fancy..(i.e anyone consuming a large piece of furniture by accident etc). The biggest loser will receive a trivial and probably quite insultingly tacky prize of my choosing.

On the First Monday of each month, the blog update will include a list of ALL participants and their respective weight loss performance. The biggest loser on these occasions will receive a marginally less tacky prize of my choosing.

First weigh in.

Now I have (nearly every ones) initial weight - the games have begun. As only a very few of you have given me Monday weigh-ins this week, I propose to begin the challenge with the first official weight loss weigh in on Monday 13th August 2007.

Please e-mail me before 12.00hrs GMT on that and each subsequent Monday.

Kirk out!

7 Aug 2007

Flat out like a lizard drinking....

Weight - 240 (-30lbs)
Exercise - 8 hours marching around Kew Gardens in 29 degree heat - hi karumba!

I have had a rather full head this last week and have consequently been neglecting my 'blogular' duties. I'm now back with stories to tell and pictures to show.

The short version is that I have my gotten my head straightened and the diet is fully back on track (the graph is now heading in the right direction - i.e. down...!).

More soon dear reader..!

3 Aug 2007

The black dog has passed.....

Weight - 244 (-26lbs)
Exercise - loads (eh?, how does that work...)

Well, thanks for all the shouting through the letterbox recently, you'll be pleased to learn that I'm not slumped in a crusty armchair decomposing with a half-eaten pizza balancing on my chest and the TV blaring away to itself. I'm not feral cat-fodder quite yet!

I have however been 'proper out of sorts' this last week, without the decency to have a particularly good reason either, but then black dogs seldom need a reason...anyway that was then and this is now (hhmmm, name the eighties popster that sang that, answers on a postcard to the usual address...).

Sadly I must point out, the only thing I share with my hero, Winston Churchill is his propensity for 'black dog days' - more's the pity...

Right, the reason I started this whole malarkey was a lady called Pam - she is the Asthma nurse I see every month or so and she is also the lady that metaphorically kicked me out of my slumber and made me determined to lose weight and get fit. I saw her yesterday, and more than anything, she is the reason I am posting today.

It's a fairly obvious given that our achievements are usually best judged by others and she did not let me down...she was delighted to see that I had lost around 30 pounds and that my Asthma symptoms were improving. Some days it's just really hard to see how far I have come when I'm too damn busy looking to see how far it is to go....(blimey, that deserves a T shirt..).

One of the more obvious effects of obesity is raised blood pressure and I was shocked back in April to learn that I had very high blood pressure as this had never been a problem before.

In April my BP was 145/93

In May my BP was 135/98

Yesterday my BP was 119/86

I don't have the first idea what the hell these figures mean but its lower, so that's good, isn't it??

My wife and son have been out of town for the last 3 days and as normal, my diet self control went with them. I have been fairly good on the food but I have had a bottle of wine each night (my nemesis along with crisps and sun dried tomatoes in olive oil... - damn I'm hungry!!!!).

Also we are off to visit family for the weekend and they are incredibly generous hosts so I will struggle to avoid the vino there as well, I am resigned to putting everything on hold until Monday and then it's time to be deadly serious.

Anyway, I have nearly gotten every ones starting weight so I will be 'kicking ass and taking names' for the weight loss challenge tonight with an e-mail to everyone in the game. I'm sorry it has hiccuped before it really began but I'm back on it today and for the rest of the year.

No Buddha quotes today, as one of my jobs to do whilst the 'boss' was away was to sort out the figurative mountain of letters, documents and bills etc that needed filing... amongst them all was a very interesting little booklet that I had completely forgotten I had.

It is Dale Carnegie's Golden Book - and in it he lists some of the most obvious and simple techniques to stop worrying and to start living - so obvious that I (and most of humanity) had forgotten all about them....

You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you. Dale Carnegie.

I will try and visit all of you soon who have left comments and e-mailed me over the last few days - thank-you for your friendship!