Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Weight loss challenge

In the 2010 and 2011 I was good shape, eating healthy and exercising loads.  Back in Oct 2011, I ran the Snowdonia marathon in a respectable time of 4 hrs 1 min (good indicator of my level of fitness).  This ended up being my final race as for the next 12 months I had to endure writing up my PhD thesis.  During the thesis write up, I suffered many low points.  During the time period I was pretty much permanently stationed in front of a computer.  I wasn't exercising and my diet pretty much consisted of very sugary energy drinks, sugary snacks and ready meals.  Needless to say I soon piled the weight on and got really out of shape.  Post submission I found myself working three jobs, amassing 70 hrs or so per week, this didn't help my addiction to sugary energy drinks.  My next job I was based in Canada for 3 months, it sounds great with the brilliant outdoors with a great opportunity of doing loads of exercise.  Sadly, out there we regularly worked 70 hrs a week which limited any opportunities.  I returned back to the UK completely out of shape.
Since the end of November I have been pretty focused in getting healthy again.  It was at that point I had just returned from a short holiday in Iceland.  My friend Jason invited me to run with him on Thursday evenings and I really struggled to keep up.  It was at this point I became a parkrun regular.   AIthough, I had ran at Hanley before, I really found it to be quite challenging.  It was this point I was determined to sort out my lifestyle.  From this point I started to weigh myself every Wednesday morning.  I was pretty determined to get lighter with every weigh in.
I completely stopped altogether eating sugary foods (sugar is the enemy), when I was doing computer work I decided to graze on a bowl of salad instead of annihilating a large bag of haribo.   Sugary energy drinks was replaced with green tea (red bull gives you bingo wings).  I also made sure I never skipped breakfast and now religiously I have 2 weetabix biscuits with either skimmed or semi slimmed milk.  I also targeted my daily calorie intake to 2000 and continued to increase the regular running. Almost, immediately, the weight began drop off me.  As I started to become lighter I found that the running got easier and my parkrun times drastically improved.  I have been losing weight at a consistent rate of 1-2 lb per week.  Now 4 months on from this initial lifestyle change I can report that I am now 35 lb lighter.  I have had to remained focused and challenging temptation.  I was difficult at times especially when there was always plenty of chocolate, cake and crisps available in the house.  When I started this lifestyle change back last November, I was struggling to fit in jeans with a waist size of 36 and now I fit into size 32 jeans. 

This summer, I am going to the Canadian Arctic to carryout research on thawing permafrost (I will write up more about this in another blog post).  The long days in the field collecting samples are going to be easier now I am now no longer carrying an extra 34 lb with me anymore.

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