A-List Amazing Loser: Tyson Fury

Name: Tyson Fury

Age: 29

Occupation: Boxer

Known for: Being the former Heavyweight Champion Of The World after beating Vladimir Klitschko in November 2015

Highest reported weight: 171.4kg (27st 0lb)

Current weight: 119.2kg (18st 11)

Weight lost: 122lb

As one of the most controversial Heavyweight Champions in history, Tyson Fury’s place as the Marmite man of the division (some love him, most hate him) is definitely secured. Whatever your own opinion on him, there is no denying that he is one of the most interesting and entertaining characters in the world of boxing today.

With a mouth as big as his height (He’s 6ft 9!), Tyson loves a bit of controversy. However, having defeated Ukrainian powerhouse Vladimir Klitschko in 2015 to become Heavyweight champion of the world, Fury threatened to let controversy get the better of him, and almost let it become a fight he wasn’t going to win.

The past three years has seen Tyson battle drug addiction, severe depression and a dangerously unhealthy weight gain, which led him to give up his titles and be stripped of his boxing license. After admitting to tipping the scales at a whopping 27 and a half stone, many thought he’d never fight again. Despite this, and against all odds, he has managed to turn all of that around and is now well and truly on the comeback trail after dropping an incredible 122lbs in just EIGHT MONTHS to get back to a fighting weight and reclaim a winning mentality.

Here, we profile just how he went about doing it.

Wait, wait, wait – Don’t Boxers gain and lose weight between fights all the time? Ricky Hatton was known for it, and even a well-oiled machine like Anthony Joshua piles on the pounds between fights!

Well, yes, whilst that statement is true, most boxers don’t gain quite as much as Tyson did. Whilst you can’t excuse massive weight gain and an unhealthy lifestyle, Tyson had other things going on mentally which I think definitely contributed towards gaining so much weight. It’s well known that binge eating is sometimes used as a coping mechanism, and it could be argued that this was the case with Fury.

In 2016, two weeks before a rematch with Klitshcko was due to take place, Fury asked for it to be postponed due to a supposed injury to his ankle. On 23rd September 2016, the rematch was then officially cancelled by Fury’s camp, after a doctor declared him “medically unfit”. At the time, the promoters did not disclose full details, only saying that the condition was “too severe to allow him to participate”

It later transpired that Fury was suffering from drug abuse brought on by severe depression. As a result, he vacated his WBA Super, WBO and IBO Titles. Not knowing how to properly cope with personal issues, coupled with a ban from fighting meant that Fury piled on the pounds.

In September 2017, just a year after the scheduled rematch with Klitschko was due to take place, he was seen in public for the first time in months, sporting an unhealthy gut and was rumoured to be around the 25 stone mark.

Despite this, he would still regularly declare himself fit and say he’d be back in the ring soon. If he was serious about a comeback, he needed to lose weight – and fast.
So how did he begin his comeback? Did he have to totally start again?

 

Even under normal circumstances, when a boxer enters a training camp, one of the most important things to get right is the diet, as ensuring a fighter can recover from brutal training regimes is essential. For Tyson, however, shifting the excess weight was the number one focus.

 

At his heaviest weight of 27 and a half stone, there was no way he was fit enough to fight. He weighed only 17st 8lb for the Klitschko fight, and getting him back down to as near that figure as possible was a task handed to nutritionist Greg Marriot. Greg has worked with Kell Brook in the past, helping him with intense weight cuts, so he was no stranger to getting boxers back on their feet and into the ring.

 

Greg put Tyson on seven (That’s SEVEN) meals a day totalling 3500 calories. When I read that, I wondered how on earth he was managing to consume that many calories and still lose weight, but as Greg explained to Sky Sports, it actually makes sense:

“He’s on 3,500 calories per day. For example, if you have 1,000 calories but you expend 1,000 calories in the gym, you’re on nil. When you try to cut weight [without enough calories] then you hit the wall, and you fatigue. This is where lots of fighters come unstuck. Tyson needs to be on 3,500 calories a day but, when he’s expending 2,000 calories in the gym, he will need to be on 5,500 calories a day. You can then start cutting weight – this is the healthy way to do it.”

Tyson’s workouts at first were low intensity, and in keeping with that, a Ketogenic diet was put in place. A Ketogenic diet consists of high fats, minimal carbs and some protein. He wasn’t training hard whilst he was heavy, as he was prone to injury, and this was reflected in the diet. Changing Tyson’s mentality was also high on Greg’s list of things to do before he got back in the ring, as, in his own words “You have to be mentally right as well. A happy fighter is a dangerous fighter”

 

 

So the diet was fixed and the weight was coming off. What about the training?

 

During the initial training camp with Greg Marriot, Tyson’s close friend and fellow boxer Billy Joe Saunders introduced him to trainer Ben Davison. The pair instantly hit it off, so much so that Davison has actually moved in with Fury!

Davison has spent every day of the last six months with the heavyweight fighter, and has worked extensively to shift the weight he gained

 

Because his body was so deprived of carbs on the Ketogenic diet, training had to be kept pretty light. Lots of shadow boxing and swimming noodles were involved in a bid to regain Fury’s speed and movement. The pair flew to Marbella (Alright for some, hey?) to step up the training. Speaking to the Telegraph, Davison explained this decision: “Out in Marbella, I tightened the screws a little bit. The diet got a little bit stricter, the sessions got a little more stricter. I threw in a few more sessions that weren’t so enjoyable. I tested where he was mentally and physically. This was January, February [2018]. After that, we got the majority of the weight off.”

 

Fury began sparring again shortly afterwards, firstly against former British heavyweight Dave Allen before moving on to a more experienced opponent in Mariusz Wach (Who fought Klitschko himself in 2012). Impressing in sparring and with him getting back to a healthy weight, a headline fight was announced for June this year.

How did that go?

Ending a two-year exodus from anything is never easy. It took massive balls from Fury to even think about stepping back into the ring after so long away and with all the personal problems that went with it.

An opponent for the comeback fight was found in Sefer Seferi, a 39-year-old Albanian with a record of 23-1 (with 21KO’s).

Fury weighed in for the fight at a weight of 19st 10lbs and 2oz – nearly 5 stone heavier than his opponent! More importantly, though, he was more than seven stone lighter than when he started his training. Regardless of the result, that was a massive win for Fury.

The fight itself wasn’t a spectacle by anyone’s standards. A fight in the crowd gathered more attention than what was going on in the ring! However, Fury did win the fight, after Seferi’s camp ended the fight in the fourth round. A huge step in the right direction.

So what next for Fury?

Immediately after the Seferi fight ended, promoter Frank Warren announced that Tyson would fight again in Belfast on August 18th against an unknown opponent (later confirmed to be Francesco Pianeta). There is now also talk of him fighting Deontay Wilder, a huge match that could potentially see Fury reclaim his former Heavyweight Champion Of The World status.

Tyson continues to train and update fans on his weight loss progress via social media. With Tyson back in the ring, back fighting fit both physically and mentally and back as the centre of attention once again, I’m sure the fights will keep coming. Will he reclaim those titles he had to give up? We’ll have to wait and see.

 

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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

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