Clive Chapman cuts the crap and shows you how to 'flick the switch'

Most people (like me) are fat because they eat too much and are not active enough

Let’s not be all politically correct and dance around the main issues here. At the risk of offending (and sincere apologies if I do) it’s my belief that there are very few people who have a 'condition' that predisposes them to being obese.

Most people (like me) are fat because they eat too much and are not active enough. If you want to lose weight then you really need to address those two points. And I mean “REALLY” address them. Not do the odd pedal here and there or forego the odd pint or curry. You really need to change what you’re doing permanently. I know, I’ve been there and got the clichéd T Shirt.

My program which I designed myself (sounds pretty grand that) is based around the wreckage of all of the half hearted attempts I’ve tried in the past. The key phrase there is half hearted. You need to commit yourself, psyche yourself up, or as I like to put it “Flick your switch” to actually do something about it. I did ten years of being a waster, a kidder, a liar in pretending to do something about it. The only person I was kidding was myself. Anyone with eyes could see I was getting bigger and bigger and bigger. The only person able to do something about it in the end though was me. The lack of support from the NHS is a discussion for another day. I’m sure everyone has opinions on that, which probably covers every bit of the political spectrum.

So make the decision to do something about it. I did, based on Frank Kinlan’s blog. It was reading that as I’ve said on a number of occasions that “flicked my switch”. Once the switch has been flicked start planning. Let’s assume the bike is your chosen weapon of choice. How are going to deploy that weapon? Commuting in my book is the way forward. You have to get to work. How far, how fast, how long is down to you as your circumstances dictate. We’re all different.

My commute is 12 miles, 6 miles along the road, 6 miles along the canal. When I looked at the map I saw an easy progression. For the first 2 months I chucked my bike in my car, parked up at the canal and rode 6 miles in. Then did the reverse on the way home. This I did every other day.

Next progression was do that “park and ride” 5 days a week. That was done for another couple of months. When I felt I was able I pedalled the whole 12 miles in to work and the whole 12 miles home. Again this was done every other day. Now I’m pedalling in every day and sneaking the odd off road ride in at the weekends when family and my rugby coaching allow. I was quite surprised how quickly the improvements came to be honest.

The beauty about the commuting option is that once you’re home, your exercise is done for the day, there’s no need to drag yourself out again after a day at work to do the gym or a separate pedal or whatever. And I am more than aware how hard it is to motivate yourself to go out once you’re home believe me. That way has accounted for a few failures over the years. “I’ve had a hard day love; I’ll do my pedal tomorrow.” Yeah right...

Allied to the pedalling is food intake. Keep it simple is my advice, if you have a memory like mine then complexity is the last thing you need. We’ve always eaten very healthy meals at home when we’ve cooked ourselves, so it wasn’t too much of an effort to cook more and do the take outs less. Also I stopped going anywhere near the sandwich van at work. I now have Shredded Wheat or porridge here at work and one of Wifey’s cooked meals of an evening. Smaller portions obviously. I do have one take out a week with a couple of pints of a Friday night. If nothing else think of the dosh you’re saving, we are in a recession after all!

That’s what I’m doing anyway, none of that is very scientific but it works for me obviously, have a think and work out what will work for you then plan. Keep a record of what you do and the progress you make. Be it in graph form, a diary or even a Blog. My daily Blogs are a real motivation and reading all of the others is a huge help too and believe me when I say, any bit of assistance you can get is massive because I do know how hard this is.

If you have any bright ideas then let me know via my Blog I don’t profess to be the fount of all knowledge and I’m sure I can be doing stuff better or more efficiently. I may be doing something totally wrong for all I know, so please shout up!”

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