So, where were we…?

Boy oh boy

It’s been a while since my last post, hasn’t it? Week 4 of this current season was the last time I posted. After the late May bank holiday, we’ll be going into week 13, with only one week of the season left after this one. Just a bit of a gap between then and now(!)

Last time I posted, we were still dealing with the Beast From The East and playing in sub-zero temperatures because of fffffffuckin’ snow (I hate snow more than anything else in the entire world). Fast forward to now, and we are in the middle of a lovely heatwave, with much brighter and warmer nights. I say this – On the day of starting to write this post, It has rained all day! Although the sun is forecast to make a re-appearance, apparently. Summer is officially here, it would seem. (EDIT – The sun is back! Currently sat in the garden adding to this post…)

Lots of things have happened between now and then. I haven’t written about them due to just not feeling up to it. I’ve been a bit down recently. I *think* the source is work related. It’s been tough recently and it doesn’t look like getting any easier anytime soon. I’ve also been applying round to get myself something better, another reason as to the lack of time to do these posts. It’s taken a lot of might to perk myself back up to get motivated again and get myself back on the straight and narrow. I seem to be back there now, so I’m ready to crack on and remain focused.

So, where were we?

At the end of the last post, I mentioned that myself, Ed, Stuart and Nathan had been interviewed for the Manchester Evening News regarding our weight losses. That article has since been published, and you can read it HERE if you so wish. The interview was a lot of fun, and also not the last one I’ve done between now and then. More on that later on.

I also mentioned that I’d been very up and down across the season so far. Up and down is a more than appropriate term to use for what I got up to in the immediate aftermath of my last post, as in the week afterwards I only went and did a bloody bungee jump didn’t I?!

Oh, man – what an experience that was! I wanted to do something a bit mad to celebrate hitting my overall target weight, and after seeing a bungee jump in aid of The Christie cancer charity advertised on Facebook, I decided to sign up (Like the clown I am) and, well, went for it!

It was SO exhilarating. Scary… Very, very scary. But the rush of adrenaline I got from doing it is something i’ve never experienced before. It was just the most incredible day. Here is some footage of me jumping off a crane 160ft above Salford Quays

As part of the T’s & C’s of signing up, I had to pledge to raise a minimum of £150 for The Christie cancer charity in Manchester. I’m delighted to say that thanks to the generosity of my friends, family and particularly the guys involved with the Man v Fat Manchester league, I managed to double my target and raise £300 in total for The Christie. A HUGE thank you to everyone who donated towards me doing that mad feat

So, what else has happened between then and now?

Well, whilst this blog has seen me get used to writing about my weight loss and the issues I’ve faced on my journey, I was still yet to sit down and really talk about it with anyone. Not properly, anyway. However, I was given the chance to do so by taking part in the wonderful Man v Fat Players Podcast.

Stuart and Roman from OB City in our Manchester league have set up this fantastic Podcast where they will be speaking to Man v Fat Players and the like who are on or have been on weight loss journeys. Taking place in an informal setting – usually a pub – they have already been inundated with requests from other players up and down the country to either be featured, or to ask a question to the next guest.

After the success of the first episode featuring Ross Hunter, a team mate of Stuart and Roman, I was asked to be their second guest.

I joined the guys in a pub near where I live, and we talked about my journey in great detail. Why I started, what motivated me to do well, and how I plan to keep the weight off now I’ve lost it all. I also discussed my team mates, my interests and why I love football so much. Being in the relaxed setting made it a lot easier to talk about, and I hope that if others listen to it, they can take a lot of inspiration and motivation away from it.

You can listen to my episode HERE. Episode Three is also already up, where the lads talk with Man v Fat creator and head honcho Andrew Shanahan (Shan). That episode is in two parts. You can find part one HERE and part two HERE.

Give the Podcast a follow on Twitter to stay up to date with new episodes and updates surrounding it over on @MVFPod. Check out their tweets on the feed below.

Lastly, I am delighted to say after doing this blog for the past few months, I was asked a while ago on the back of it to do some writing for the official Man v Fat website. I started this blog purely to keep my creative juices flowing, and then one evening I received a message off Shan asking me if I’d be interested in writing some articles for the site as he loved my style. Of course, I said yes and after consulting the content team, I was asked to look at doing a piece on “A-List Amazing Loser’s” – Famous fellas that have lost a lot of weight.

There were quite a few famous blokes I could have chose from, to be fair, but in the end I chose one of my favourite actors, Chris Pratt. He lost a considerable amount of weight to go from Andy in Parks and Rec to Peter Quill in Guardians of the Galaxy. Plus, with the new Avengers film having just been released, I thought it’d tie in well.

So lo and behold, here is my first article! I’m really proud of it and if you have a few minutes, I’d love it if you would have a read and tell me what you think.

So, I think that’s brought things back up to date with me… Now, on to the league!

I am pleased to report that Slimdown are flying onwards and upwards in the Manchester league. We were knocked back a bit to injuries to two key players who we thought would be huge losses – Dude provided us with our much needed playmaker, and Sam was a rock at the back. Sam’s injury in particular is pretty nasty and it looks like he’ll be out for a long time, but we have kept him involved by giving him a role on the sidelines where he can call substitutions and selections. Us guys playing get so caught up in it, we forget to sub ourselves on or off as we just want to help the team at all costs. Having someone there who takes a bit of a backseat and can tell when someone is blowing a bit has so far proved to be a good tool. Dude should be back for season 5, all being well as thankfully his injury isn’t as bad as first feared. We touched really lucky getting really good replacements for the two injured lads, to be fair. Huw and Ryan are both forwards. Ryan is a typical centre forward, I would say. Always wanting the ball and not afraid to shoot on sight. He has 3 goals in 3 games so far, so no complaints! Huw is a very smart player, who holds it up well and has great movement.

Man v Fat has so far never failed in surprising me with what is around the corner during all of this, and when Huw joined our team WhatsApp group he was messaging us for a good few days before he finally said something along the lines of “Can’t wait to finally play footy with you Josh after all these years!” Upon reading that, I was a bit like “huh?” I rattled my brain to see if I remembered someone from my past called Huw and it turned out I did – he used to mind me and my cousin when we were kids! It took me aback so much that here we were all these years later about to be teammates on the same football team. Huw took me to Old Trafford for the first time when I was only 6, and I have him to thank for first introducing me to the seeds of an obsession with Manchester United Football Club. And also for being a bit of a gobshite surrounding them. Cheers mate!

Weight wise… I started the season on 110.6kg, hitting my target weight of 109kg (And 50kg shed) a week later. They say, apparently, that if you can maintain your target weight for six weeks, then you’ll do so for life. So… Quite a few weeks later, I find myself at 104kg, 5kg below my target weight. I’ve been up and down a bit, losing a lot one week, to put that back on the next, but I’m nowhere near going over that target weight and I’m happy to be maintaining and losing and gaining little bits without going totally off the rails. I’m finding it arguably harder to maintain than I did to lose, as not seeing visible progress every week is mentally quite tough for me, due to how rapidly the weight loss happened. However, I know that I need to start enjoying this more now, whilst also working hard to keep the weight off.

Saying that, I’ve still managed to hit 5% for the 4th season running. I wasn’t too fussed about hitting it this season, but then…  St. George’s Park was announced wasn’t it?! The summer tournament is coming up again, and in order to be selected, you need 5% for your current season. Due to being so up and down, and my metabolism balancing itself out, I didn’t think I’d get it this time, but I’m delighted to have hit it once again and put my name in the hat. Fingers crossed I’ll be part of the Manchester team in June.

So I think that just about covers everything that’s happened over the past few weeks. Phew… Mustn’t leave it so long next time!

Keep on keeping on, people.

ONWARDS

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Season 4, Week 4: Up’s and Downs

‘ow do?

I hope everyone is having a good week so far and looking forward to their respective weigh-ins. At Man v Fat Manchester, we are now four weeks into the season, and I’ve already heard about and seen lots of the lads here reaching 5% and 10% targets. There has also been hat tricks all round for many teams in the league which makes every single tie interesting. It’s mighty close in the league at the minute, with the top two teams tied on eight points, and the two teams below them on six points. There’s ten weeks left yet, though, so everything is still to play for!

It’s been a very up and down season for me so far – quite literally! I’ve had a loss to hit my target weight, followed by a gain to go back over that (and over my start weight for the season – D’oh!), followed by an astonishing 4.4kg loss last week. Last time a loss as big as that happened, back in season three, I put on 2kg the week after, and it was a similar story this time around, as I put on 1.8kg yet again this week. Weight now (Week 4): 108.2kg (17st).

Original start weight: 159.2kg (19/02/2017)

Target Weight: 109.2kg (17st 2lb – Reached on 19/02/2018 – One year exactly since starting)

Season 1 start weight: 159.2kg (25st) Season 1 end weight: 144.6kg (22st 10lb)

Season 2 start weight: 140.6kg (22st 1lb) Season 2 end weight: 125.6kg (19st 10lb)

Season 3 start weight: 125kg (19st 9lb) Season 3 end weight: 111.8kg (17st 8lb)

Season 4 start weight: 110.6kg (17st 5lb) Season 4, week 4 weigh in: 108.2kg (17st)

Total loss for the season: 2.4kg (5lb)

Total lost so far: 51kg (8st)

I had a funny feeling I’d gain this week. I didn’t have the best of weeks as it was, and then last Sunday was Mothers Day. I know that one should look to make the right choices when presented with certain scenarios, such as a Mothers Day meal out, but when you end up at an ‘all you can eat’ restaurant in Manchester City Centre surrounded by very little good stuff and lots and lots of bad stuff, it was very hard to hold back. I’ve personally found that a blow out every now and then is sometimes a good thing when you’re on a health kick. You cannot be expected to be good absolutely all of the time. It’ll drive you insane. A little bit of what I fancy has done me no harm up to now. Everything in moderation has proved to be a successful formula, and when gains have happened, I’ve always worked hard the following week to ensure it comes back off. Across the past few days, I’ve worked to shed that gain, and hopefully I’ll see my reward come Monday evening.

I think I’m set up to have one of ‘those’ sort of seasons to be honest, but as long as I’m a few kilos below my start weight at the end of it, I’ll be happy. I can’t afford to be 13-15kg below it, as I’ve been for the past three seasons, as I don’t need to lose that much anymore, but if I can have a net loss of around 5kg (and maybe hit 5% again), that’ll do me. It may mean that I do gain some weeks, but if that does happen, I’ll be sure to get it back off as soon as possible. I’ve found maintaining a LOT tougher than consistently losing so far. This is all very new to me, though, and I’m sure with time, I’ll find a method that works.

On to the pitch side of things this week – Slimdown played Inter Mi Scran on Monday evening searching for our first pitch win (And our first overall win, for that matter) of the season.

Inter have been buoyed with new players recently, a far cry from last season where they really struggled to make up the numbers each week. They look like they have a real team bond now, which is always nice to see. However, it was our job to break that bond and try to get the win.

I am pleased to say that I can write this part of the blog with a massive smile on my face, as this week, after over a year with Man v Fat Football – I FINALLY SCORED!

I’ve been really, really enjoying my football the past few weeks, making sure I get to the extra games to improve myself, and also trying to be more aware of what is going on in the game to make myself more involved. I’ve found, week on week, that I’m getting into the spaces a bit better and I’ve very nearly capitalised a couple of times already this season. I missed a sitter in week one (Which I’m still having nightmares over), and I came very, very close last week to scoring against Fatboys, but this week, I had the funniest feeling going into the game that it’d be my week.

A few minutes in, and the ball breaks out to me. I remember to take a touch this time – something I didn’t do when I missed that absolute sitter. I can see the defender closing me down so I knew I had to hit it quick. I remember thinking to just hit it as hard as I could and on target and hope for the best. When I saw it hit the back of the net… I genuinely don’t think I’ve screamed that loudly to celebrate anything before in my life. The OB lads were watching on the sidelines, and they cheered it too. I lost my head for a good 10-20 seconds, before being screamed at by Pete in goals to turn around and defend. No time to celebrate, as we found ourselves level pegging at half time 1-1. A close second half followed where either side could have nicked it, but a goal from Craig which trickled past the Inter ‘keeper was enough to see us win 2-1. First pitch win of the season in the bag, but unfortunately the overall win was out of reach. 12-5 loss. It’ll come, though. Hopefully on Monday, where we’re up against current champions OB City. We know what they’re capable of both on and off the pitch, but at the same time, we know we can match anyone on our day, as we proved against Fatboy Slims the other week.

Also this week – Myself, Ed and Nathan were interviewed about Man v Fat Football by the Manchester Evening News. They are doing a feature on the Manchester League across the weekend, so be sure to keep an eye out for it if you are passing a Newsagent! If the article is posted online, I’ll be sure to post a link to it in the next blog.

NEW TO THE BLOG: Workout Listens.

I love music, and a couple of years back, I was a DJ on local radio. Every week, I’d make a playlist of the songs I was to play out on the show and every so often someone would listen in and ask me to share my choices as they enjoyed my eclectic taste. Whilst I don’t do my radio show any more, I still make playlists for everyday use, including workouts, and I’d like to incorporate this into my weekly blog with the tunes I’m listening to on my workouts – whether that be in the gym, walking to and from work, on the bus on the way to football or whilst on my bike. So, below is a Spotify playlist of the tunes I’m working out to this week. Songs to get the blood pumping and the feet moving. I’ll do my best to update this as often as I can.

I did a tough incline walk this week, climbing 100 odd meters – Proper stomping! So my track of the week is suitably a stomper – Ian Brown’s Stellify. Give it a listen along with my other choices in the player below.

Enjoy!

ONWARDS

Season 4, Weeks 2 and 3: Unchartered Waters

Now I know that in the last blog I wrote, I said I’d do my best to keep it up this season after not really updating it much during Season 3. However, you find me somewhat breaking that promise as I am covering two weeks worth of weigh in’s and games this time around.

I would have written about Week 2 a lot sooner, but honestly speaking, I’m still reeling from it. It was, as they call it in the business, a bad week.

In Week 2, myself and the rest of the boys from Slimdown were up against 17 Stone Roses. We knew that the Roses are an incredibly good football side, and that they are also top performers on the scale, so the discussion in the group chat in the lead up to the game was all about tactics and having a good week weight-wise to try and topple them. We always go into a game confident, no matter who we’re up against, and this week was no different. The week before, I’d managed to weigh in under my target weight so I was feeling great and looking forward to the challenge of maintaining/not having to lose so much whilst still being good. I was hoping to get off to a good start in my new challenge, but upon weighing in, disaster number one struck.

I put on 1.8kg in Week 2. It was the second biggest gain I’ve had in all my time with Man v Fat. Gains don’t worry me as much anymore, as I know that they are all part of the parcel of this process, and that weight can and will fluctuate over time. Plus, I now know from experience that I am more than able to work it off the following week. However, I was reeling this week as it meant that for the first time ever, I’d gone over my start weight for the season. I was really frustrated and disappointed with myself. I had people say I could afford a bad week as I’ve had numerous good ones.

No.

One bad week can lead to another and another after that, and I’ve worked too bloody hard to let that happen. I was determined to put it behind me and work hard to get myself not only back under my start weight, but also back around the target I’d set myself, which I was now 800g over. Thankfully, tomorrow was the start of another week.

So, to the pitch. As mentioned, 17 Stone Roses are a brilliant footballing side, so we knew we’d have to be well organised to try and keep them at bay. For the first time in a game, we used the 9v9 nets. Slightly bigger than the nets we were used to, and with that also came a slightly bigger pitch. Slimdown found ourselves a few players down this week, so we only had one sub. Not ideal for a game against a team of Roses ability.

To cut a long story short, we were hammered 13-0. I could blame the fact we only had one sub, or I could blame a lack of organisation, but the fact is, Roses were superb and we were awful.

I spent the next week feeling very disappointed in myself, and everyone else on the team felt the same way about the performance on the pitch, too. We were all determined to rectify it in some way the week after and put it behind us.

And so on to Week 3.

This week, Slimdown found ourselves up against Fatboy Slims. Again, another side who can turn it on in the games and couple it well with scale results. We had a bigger squad this week and went into the game with a clear plan. It seemed to work really well – We frustrated them all game, their top scorer didn’t get a sniff and we were the better side… for 29 minutes! A last minute leveller – an absolute screamer, it must be said – saw us draw 1-1, but regardless of the result, I was so proud of how we played and bounced back from the previous weeks hammering. I also had a couple of opportunities to score which is very rare, so to know that I’m getting ever closer is a massive boost. We came off the pitch with our heads held high and that’s the most important thing.

Scale wise… The team performed well and we genuinely thought we’d pip Fatboys on the scale, as pretty much everyone lost this week, and lost well. However, Fatboys chose the week they played us to see what seemed like half their squad hit 5% targets and hat tricks! Great! 12-6 loss overall, but many signs of improvement in all departments.

Personally with the scale, I most definitely wanted to shift that 1.8kg gain from the week before. I was originally aiming to do it as 1kg or so this week and then get the other 1kg or so the week after to do it, as I knew my losses would probably be slowing down now. However, weighing in this week, I saw 106.4kg, down from 110.8. That was a 4.4kg (9lb) loss. Yep. 4.4kg!

My second biggest gain the week before was followed by my second biggest ever loss (I did 4.6kg in one week in Season 2 – I didn’t know how I did it then, either!). A huge loss which I was delighted with, if a little worried about, as I genuinely don’t need to lose that sort of weight in one week anymore. I’ll happily take it though!

I think this season is going to be a lot of trial and error with looking to maintain instead of losing lots and lots of weight like in previous seasons. I had a method which I devised over a long period of time up to now, and now I have to work out how to revise that method so that I’m losing, but not losing too much or so that I’m staying around the same weight. It’s definitely uncharted waters, as I’ve never ever been at a healthy weight before. I’ve never been in a position where I don’t actually *need* to lose weight, and this is all very new to me, so until I find my feet a little, the scale may be a bit up and down, but as long as I stay around where I am now, I’ll be more than happy. I’m 52.8kg down (8st 4lb) and that is more than enough. I think that extra 4lb will probably be my leeway, where I can put that on and not be too bothered, but as soon as I go over it, I’ll switch back into hell for leather mode to get it back off.

We’ll see how it spans out across the season and the foreseeable future. I’ll keep taking it day by day and week by week, and hopefully that should continue to see me in good stead.

ONWARDS

Season 4, Week 1: Season 3 Recap, Looking Ahead and Setting New Goals

Hey everyone. Long time, no speak, hey?

About that… the Blog took a bit of a back seat in season three, and I really didn’t mean for it to. I think I only did 2/3 posts the whole of last season, which frustrates me as I love writing, and I know a lot of the lads in the league liked reading my musings on the progress I was making and weekly match reports. I found myself massively busy in the lead up to Christmas last year, and also with other things going on, writing blog posts became a less frequent thing. However, ’tis a new season, and I find myself raring to go once again.

So, where are we at? I don’t even know where to begin with that question, to be honest!

I’ll try to bring you all up to date first and foremost.

In season three, I started the season weighing 125kg, having lost 34.2kg across the first two seasons. I was 5st down off my original starting weight, and I found myself going into the third season of Man v Fat Football knowing I could reach a healthy weight by the end of it. I sought advice from a Nurse and Dietician to ask at which weight I should aim to stop losing and start maintaining, and it was agreed that 108-110kg would be an ideal weight for me to be at, taking into account my height and build. So that was my aim for the season – Get as close to that weight, if not, achieve it. I’d lost 15kg+ in each of the first 2 seasons and I knew I’d need lightning to strike for a third time to do it again, but I’d built up a determination, a desire and most definitely a hunger (In all the senses of the word!) to want to do it again.

Even with my birthday, Christmas and New Year in the mix, I managed to get myself to 111.8kg at the end of Season Three, having lost a total of 13.2kg across the season. Unbelievably, I found myself just 1.8kg away from the top end of my target weight, which would see me have lost nearly eight stone since starting with Man v Fat Football in February last year.

On the pitch, well I ended the season with 0 goals, but I got a fair few assists and was involved in some good play for the old Slimdown Town. We didn’t finish bottom this season either! Some great work off the pitch with the scale victories, coupled with some really good pitch displays saw us finish 5th. OB City were the winners of the League for the second time in three seasons, and deservedly so. Big congratulations to them. In terms of my displays, I am happy with how I’m doing on the pitch. I’ve talked before about finding it difficult sometimes – everything moves at a million miles an hour in the games, and when you can only see part of what is happening it can all pass you by, but I’ve been making an effort to try and get to the extra games that are put on in midweek and weekends, and they have definitely helped me in my performances on the pitch every week. My awareness has improved, as I realise when I have time and space a little more now. I shall aim to keep attending these extra games across season 4, and who knows, maybe I’ll be able to chip in on the pitch a bit more this season.

So overall, a hat trick of brilliant seasons for me with Man v Fat. It was time to look ahead to Season Four, and for the first time I had to reassess my goals…

In the break between seasons, I informed my teammates that I’d be stepping down as Captain of Slimdown Town. I’ve loved being Captain – leading from the front on the weight loss, showing my teammates it can be done and hopefully inspiring them was why I asked to do it in the first place, but with me so, so, so close to my target weight and knowing that I’ll actively NOT be looking to lose lots of weight from this point on, I thought it’d be best if my role within the team changed, and so I passed the baton on to Jordan who has stepped up to Captain, with Mike stepping into his place as Vice Captain. I’m sure they’ll both do a brilliant job, and I have to applaud them both for this weeks weigh in where Jordan lost 3.2kg and Mike 4kg! That’s over a stone just between them two! Well done, boys.

Also in the break between seasons, I could see February creeping up around the corner, which also meant that the first anniversary of me starting with Man v Fat was also creeping up, too. I knew that I could potentially achieve my target weight just one year after I started. It would almost certainly be my greatest ever achievement. Could I do it?

On registration night for season four, one week before my one year anniversary, I weighed in at 110.6kg, losing 1.2kg since the last weigh in of season three. I was now just 0.6kg off my target. I had the funniest of feelings that it was just written in the stars for me to do it. I promised myself I wouldn’t cry if I saw it the next week… but sometimes promises are there to be broken!

19th February 2017 was when I decided to take the ultimate leap of faith and try to tackle my lifelong weight problem by signing up for Man v Fat Football. I’d tried and failed numerous times before, and I genuinely didn’t hold out much hope this time around. But that first day, turning up on my own, nervous and scared beyond belief… It was the start of a wonderful, wonderful journey which I’m so glad to have gone on and to be on. I’ve gotten to know pretty much every person in the league really well. We’ve inspired each other, we motivate each other and we also aim to beat each other! I think that is what I needed, and I also think it’s why it’s worked so well for me. I’m so thankful I found Man v Fat Football when I did. I dread to think where I’d be now, a year on from that day, if I hadn’t have signed up.

Instead, I found myself on 19th February 2018 weighing 48.6kg less than I did on the exact same day just one year before, turning up to get weighed for the umpteenth time. For the first time since my first day, I was terrified of weighing in. I went over to Sven, and told her that it was a year today since I did this for the first time, and she said “You are looking super slim, even if you put on this week. You should be very proud”. As I stepped on the scale and awaited my result for that week, I felt the same nervousness I felt a year ago come back inside of me – that apprehension that no one can prepare you for. I daren’t look. Then, after a moment or two, Sven said “Nope, you haven’t put on… still losing!” I looked to see 109kg on the scale. 1.6kg off. Overall loss of 50.2kg. “Oh my f*cking…I’ve done it! I’ve actually, actually done it!” Some lads were sat in the room with me and they congratulated me, whilst I did my very, very best not to burst into tears! I was beaming with pride. This is my greatest ever achievement. 50.2kg in 12 months. That is absolutely mind blowing! However… The real hard work starts right here and now. I have spent a year getting it off, now I aim to spend the rest of my life keeping it off. I can finally look ahead to an exciting future for the first time in my life. I aim now to get myself a decent career, to get a relationship, to see more of the world and to just enjoy it!

Come a long way in a year, hey?

I also need to mention the absolutely mental way in which I’m celebrating hitting my target weight – I’m doing a bungee jump! Yep, on March 25th 160ft in the air above Salford’s MediaCityUK, I’ll be throwing myself off the edge of a platform to dangle over Salford Quays, all in the name of Charity. I am shittin’ it. It is actually something I’ve always wanted to do, but I’d always been way too heavy. It’s being organised by The Christie Cancer Charity right here in Manchester, and I kept seeing adverts for it on The Christie’s Facebook page, and once I read the rules and regulations and saw that I was now well under the maximum weight limit allowed, I thought “Sod it!” and have gone for it. I’m terrified beyond belief, but The Christie is a great charity and I’d love to raise a lot of money for them by doing this. If you’re feeling generous and would like to donate, you can do so HERE.

Anyway, to the pitch side of Week 1 of Season Four – We have some ace new players: Sam, Darren and Peter, as well as Joe who signed up at the end of season three but finds himself unfortunately injured. I’m hoping we can gel well and get some cracking results on the pitch over the coming season. In our first game, we came up against Purple Gorillas, who seemed largely unchanged from the previous season, which is nice to see as it shows a good level of commitment from those lads. We were the first game of the new season and what a way to start it – 3-3 the final score in a thoroughly entertaining match. I have to admit, I’ve been having sleepless nights over this game. With the score tied, I had the most golden of golden opportunities to win it at the end. The ball was played to me on the edge of the area where I found myself completely unmarked with bags of time and, like an idiot, I tried hitting it first time instead of taking a touch and missed the bloody thing completely as the ball went out for a kick-in. Gutted! That’ll haunt me all season now!

We’re up against the runners-up from last time around 17 Stone Roses next week, who are a great side, so we’ll have to be on our A-game against those – both on the scale and on the pitch.

Keep on keeping on everyone and who knows – in a years time you too could be looking back and saying “Smashed it!”

ONWARDS

Season Three update…

Yes Comrades

Long time no see, hey? Happy Christmas, Happy New Year etc. etc. Yes, yes – I know. I should have kept this up, shouldn’t I? Soz.

The last time I did one of these blogs was back in November. What was once part of a weekly routine has now become very sporadic, and I don’t like that fact. I am going to do my best to start this up properly again, though. However, saying that, there is good reason – or so I think there is –  as to why these blogs have been less frequent. Quite simply, with increased activity comes less time to sit on my ass and write a blog! More on this later…

Anyway – what is there to report in the progress stakes between the last blog and this one? Well, quite a lot, actually. I’ll try and do it in time order so as I don’t confuse you, the reader. Or myself, for that matter!

So shortly after writing the last blog, I managed to tick off yet another goal on this crazy journey of mine. I’ve now reached seven stone off since starting Man v Fat Football little under a year ago. To get to that point by the end of last year was such a fantastic end to 2017. It’s been a crazy, crazy year. Looking back through this blog and seeing just how far I’ve come this past 12 months proves that. Knowing that I can do anything if I put my mind to it is a mindset I would like to stick to in 2018 and beyond. Seeing that hard work really can get you somewhere is refreshing to know. Seven stone down leaves me with around one more to get off until I will be at a weight I believe I’ll truly be happy at. Already, I’m the lightest I’ve been probably since I was 14/15. I’ve never looked like this before. I’ve never felt like this before. This is all very, very new to me, and sometimes it has felt a little overwhelming. I don’t really know how to deal with it all, other than to take it day by day. I’ve spoke to some of the other lads in the league about it. Having such a good group of lads and a good community has been a massive bonus whilst losing weight. Any fears or worries I have are quickly calmed, sometimes just through having an impromptu conversation. Being able to pass on advice and calming other lads nerves or answering questions about weight loss is why I do this blog.

Speaking of day by day, I work in a customer facing job, and on a daily basis for, I would say, the past 3 months, I’ve had the question “Have you lost loads of weight?” be asked to me at least 3 times a day. As I say, it’s all very new to me, so I just sort of shrug and go “Er… yeah, just a bit” and then, of course, I get a lot more questions. Some of which I don’t know how to answer. Others I don’t necessarily want to answer to someone who is essentially a stranger – “How have you done it?” “What weight were you when you started, and what are you now?” “How much have you lost?” “What’s your secret?” At least the questions about my height have stopped!

Also in December, MvF Football Manchester was invited to St. George’s Park in Burton Upon Trent – Training centre for the England National Football Team. Representatives from each Man v Fat Football league up and down the country gathered at the centre to battle it out in a tournament to be crowned the best team in the country. Lads who hit their 5% or 10% goals this season or last were eligible for selection. I was eligible for selection, but had to pull out of being selected due to being at a concert the evening of the tournament, which I didn’t want to miss. Gutted to have missed out, but hopefully next time I can be there. Manchester did the league so, so proud, reaching the final and knocking the Scousers out in the process! Unfortunately, they were beaten 1-0 in the final by Bristol, but everybody in the Manchester league was so proud of the lads who represented us that day. We’ll win it next time 😉

December also saw what I considered to be the biggest challenge yet in testing our resolve with food, as the festive season was upon us. It comes but once a year, yes, but having come so damn far, I wanted to be careful not to ruin a lot of hard work by being silly just “because it’s Christmas”. It’s an attitude that is easy to fall into. Saying that, if you can’t indulge at Christmas, when can you, hey? I had my fair share of, well, shite… but I was sure to keep focused and thanks to the extra games put on by the lads over the festive period (Massive thanks for organising those!) I got my physical activity fix, too. I even did leg day on my birthday – Something which if you’d have said on my 25th birthday I’d have been doing on my 26th, I’d have had you sectioned for. See? More activity, less time to write! That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it…

So we’re in week 11 officially  – even though we’ve had like 4 weeks off because of Christmas and New Year – of Season Three. I’m 11.8kg down for the season, and 46kg spot on down since starting. I’ll do 4 more I think, take it to 50kg, and then that’s it. I’ll be done. I’ll just be looking to maintain every week now instead of going hell for leather trying to get away from last weeks figure on the scale. Hopefully I can do it before the end of this current season. If I do, I’ll have done it in under a year. Absolute madness

Keep on keeping on. ONWARDS

He’s back with the blog! Season Three so far…

Evening comrades

I’m well aware that I haven’t done one of these in a fair few weeks. I’ve been quite busy recently and put writing a blog for the week right at the back of my ‘to do’ list, but I was asked today by one of my teammates if I’d stopped doing them, and that he hoped I hadn’t as he enjoyed reading them, as it spurs him on. That’s all the motivation I needed to start it up again, so I promised him and myself I’d write one up tonight, with the aim of hopefully spurring some of the other and newer lads in the league on. So… here we are.

So how are things going for the season so far? Pretty bloody good, I’d say!

On week eight’s weigh in, I’m 9.2KG down for the season – Just under a stone and half. I hit my 5% in week seven’s weigh in, and now I’m just 3.3kg off hitting 10%, which I’d love to do by week ten (10% in 10 weeks). I’m really happy with that. I’m well on track to achieve what I wanted to lose by the seasons end, and with 6 weigh in’s left of the season, I’m on track to beat my total weight lost in season two (15.6kg)

For the first time, I’m about to reveal where I am and where I was, as I’m now – for the first time ever in my life – at peace with my weight. I’d say I’m finally ready to “admit” how I was before, having come so damn far and KNOWING that I’ll never, ever, ever go back that way. Mark my fucking words. So I weigh in now at 115.8kg (18st 3lb). I’ve lost 43.4kg (6stone 11lb) since starting Man v Fat Football on 22nd February 2017, where I weighed in at 159.2kg (25st… Yes, really). I swear to god, that first weigh in scared me like you’ll never believe. I was scared anyway, just of starting a new venture and whether I’d actually stick with it. For me to have done so, and for this to have actually fucking worked has blown my tiny little mind. In the words of Take That, “We’ve come a long way, but we’re not too sure where we’ve been” – and I’m honestly not too sure how I’ve done it, as I’ve winged it day by day, but it’s bloody well worked, and I’m so glad it has. In the words of a better Mancunian band, Oasis – “There we were, now here we are…”.

Looking at pictures like these really gives me that push that I sometimes need during tough weeks. If you’ve not been taking Progress Pics, then I thoroughly recommend you do so, as every time you hit a goal, you can look back and see just how far you’ve actually come.

My overall target weight is now, believe it or not, well in sight. I went to see a specialist a few weeks back to ask about what sort of weight I should be aiming for, and I was told that for someone of my height and build, I should be aiming for around 110-108kg. That would put me around the 17st mark, and eight stone lost overall. I can realistically get to this weight by the end of the season, and that is 100% the aim. I’m fully prepared to more than likely break down in tears once I see 110kg on those scales. Get this tissues ready!

Anyway, back to this season – As a league, we all have the obstacle of Christmas to try and deal with this time around. I know that staying focused around the festive season will be hard, especially with no games or weigh ins for three weeks due the Armitage shutting for Xmas and New Year, but I think everyone in the league will be doing their best to stay on track, although if you can’t indulge a little at Christmas, when can you? Just before Christmas, the league has a trip to St. George’s Park to look forward to – the squad for which is to be announced imminently. People who hit 5 or 10% last season or this are eligible to play, and I would like to say a huge good luck to whoever is selected for this. I wish I could be there myself, but work commitments say otherwise.

For me, as well as Christmas and New Year to deal with, I have a birthday too! This time last year, I was dreading – and I mean DREADING – Turning 25. In my head, I viewed it as being a quarter of the way through my life, mentally unstable and in a physical state that was horrific. I honestly thought that my life was heading nowhere and didn’t see the point of waking up in the morning. With my 26th birthday fast approaching, the way I am in myself now couldn’t be any further away from how I felt this time last year. I look good, I feel amazing, I have a new lease of life and my outlook on everything has changed completely. I’m looking to train to be a teacher next year, something I’d have never have had the confidence to do if I’d remained the way I was. Everything’s coming up Milhouse! Seriously though, to see how far I’ve come in the space of 12 months has shown me that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

On the pitch, the past few weeks has been a bit of a mixed bag, really. Slimdown has recently been hit by a couple of injuries to our striker Tom and midfield general David, who are big losses to the side. However, we have a good squad with good players. Everyone in the squad has remained committed and focused and as captain, that is really pleasing to see. We’ve really stepped up the weight loss as a team this season, and we’ve seen the rewards for that when not winning on the pitch. We’ve tipped results in our favour with the scale goals three times already this season before this weeks round of fixtures, where finally, eight games in, we got our first pitch win! 3-2 victors against Weapons Of Mass Reduction in a game which was thoroughly entertaining to play in – probably the best game I’ve played in all season so far. a 10-6 win overall this week sees Slimdown currently lying in 4th place on goal difference, which I’m very happy with, as I really don’t want to finish last for the 3rd season running!

I feel as though my pitch efforts are improving week by week, helped massively by the extra games midweek and at weekends. If you are free on any of the days advertised in the extra game group, do make sure you attend, as they are cracking kickarounds, and they do nothing but help you with your fitness on the pitch and your weight off it. Here is a recent picture of an 11-a-side game organised by the Manchester league. Just look at that turnout!

Keep on keeping on, everyone, and together I’m sure we’ll achieve our goals soon enough.

ONWARDS

Josh

Season Three, Week Two: Hitting Fat For Six!

Hey everyone

It’s been a happy week overall for Slimdown Town, I would say.

Monday evening in the UK saw it receive the arse end of hurricane Ophelia, meaning conditions on the pitch this week were bloody windy to say the least!

Slimdown’s game on Monday evening was the late 9.30pm kick off. These revised times aren’t exactly ideal when you’re not allowed to drive (I’ve explained why before), but I’m lucky in the sense that I don’t need to be up mega early for work on Tuesday mornings, and I’m simply loving these football sessions every week. When you like doing something a lot and you’re very passionate about it, you stick with it through thick and thin.

I’d had a good warm-up prior to the league games this week, taking part in an extra game on Saturday morning for the first time. I’ve done a couple of midweek extra games, but as I normally work Saturday’s, I’d never been able to get myself down to those sessions at the weekend before. I really enjoyed myself in what was an excellent hour of football and exercise. We were spread out across two pitches and every team from the league was represented by at least one player – Myself and Jordan representing Slindown Town. We split the hour up into two games of 30 mins, winner stays on. Loser heads to the other pitch to play the winners. My team won the first game, but lost the second. I think everyone’s legs had gone by then – I know mine had! It was a great run out, though. I can tell that my on the pitch form is improving, especially my awareness, as I set up a couple of goals on Saturday, and once again hit that damn post! It’s nice to see that the work I’m putting into improving on the pitch is starting to pay off.

Being the late kick off on Monday evening gave us chance to warm-up – quite literally – in the elements and also catch a couple of the games on before us. I saw most of the Fatboy Slims v Weapons of Mass Reduction game. Weapons narrowly beat us on the pitch last week, and were very unlucky to come away from this game with a 2-1 loss on Monday evening, but Fatboys scored two very good goals to take the win. I also saw a little of OB City v 17 Stone Roses, Roses fresh from winning 7-0 on the pitch last week. I only managed to catch the very end of that game, so can’t say how close it was, but a 4-2 scoreline in OB’s favour suggests it was a belter of a game.

Our time was then up, and this week Slimdown found ourselves up against a very good Inter Mi Scran side. We were slightly wounded this week, a couple of players out with injuries, another with a chest infection and one enjoying the warmth of the crowd at a gig, but we managed 7 players, including new player David, and put up a good battle on the pitch. We created some good chances, and I got a nice assist, but ultimately we didn’t take enough of our those chances that came our way wheras Inter did, meaning we succumbed to the second 4-2 scoreline of the evening. Disappointing, but hopefully once scale goals are in, the result may, like last week, go in our favour.

Also like last week, every player present lost weight this week, which is really pleasing to see – not just because it can help the overall result, but also because it will make all the difference week in week out if the squad as a whole are getting lighter and lighter. Our players have been sharing recipes and asking what everyone had for their dinners this week, and it’s nice to see that be rewarded at the weigh in.

This week saw me record a 2.2kg loss, adding to last weeks 2kg loss meaning I’m on 4.2kg already for the season. I only need to lose another 2.1kg and that’s 5% done for the season already! I was surprised to have lost that much over the past week, in all honesty, as I went to Blackpool on Tuesday night and of course, when in Blackpool one MUST have Fish and Chips for tea – it’s the law! It was my first “Chippy Tea” for months and months and months, and I have to say… It was delightful! Not having it come back to haunt me taught me though, that as long as I do those sort of things in moderation and don’t let it distract me from the task at hand, it is alright to blow out like that every now and then. That 2.2kg loss this week took me to, get on this, SIX STONE off overall since starting Man v Fat in February. It’s taken me less than eight months, no fad diets or extreme weight loss solutions. My own way on my own terms, with a lot of hard work, determination and motivation thrown in. Just a little bit more to go now, and then what will probably be the hardest part of all this will begin – maintaining.

I’ll just keep playing it by ear and take it week by week. It’s worked so far, hey?!

Keep on keeping on. Til next time.

ONWARDS