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A Tiger Calls

Terry the Tiger (Galway United). Photo: Sean Ryan | sportsphoto.ie

When I started my Fast800 journey, it was in some way a very personal journey but also one which I decided to put in the public domain so that it would force me to stick with it. What I didn’t expect was the somewhat overwhelming response I got from people reading this blog and just generally stopping me asking about Fast800 and commented on its obvious success with me. What I really didn’t expect was that I would in some way become an inspiration to other people for them to change their own lives and travel a similar road.

A few weeks ago I received an email from Terry the Tiger (Galway United mascot) aka Francis Kelly, and I don’t think he will mind me sharing part of the email he sent to me:

My girlfriends mother is over weight and she had lost all hope that it would be possible for her to lose weight. She’s following your blog (like I am), and it has given her the boast (sic) she’s needed to try and loss some weight (and me too)!).” 

That was a truly fantastic email to read, and for me somewhat humbling that I have given these two people inspiration to do this. I have had similar emails / texts from a dozen other people saying that they will use Fast800 to try and improve their health, and for that I have to applaud you. Fast800 is not easy, you are going to hate it at times, particularly in the first two weeks, but stick in there, it will make a difference. If you stray for a day, remember the most important thing about straying – it doesn’t matter we are playing the long game.

For those embarking on the journey I offer one big bit of advice, probably the most motivating bit of advice I think I can offer. At the start take photographs of yourself, front on and side on. Take them on your smartphone (assuming you have one) and keep them with you. Every two weeks do the same, keep them with you and flick back and forth between your pre-Fast800 self and your current self. The change happens quickly and at the worst moments when you are staring at that chocolate bar or have the packet of biscuits in your hand, just take a look at your photos and remember where you are going. Also remember, you are doing this for a maximum of 16 weeks, most likely less. Can you remember what you were doing 16 weeks ago ? That was middle of March and I bet it seemed like it was just yesterday. In 16 weeks time you will be saying the same thing, except by then you will be a much slimmer, healthier person reflecting back on 16 weeks.

Maybe one other bit of advice I can give is not to tell people you are ‘on a diet’. This may sound a strange bit of advice to give someone embarking on what is mainly a weight loss programme – but please hear me out. There is a lot of stigma around dieting and you will always have people say ‘Oh I heard that was a fad’, ‘why are you bothering’, ‘you will put it all back on just as quick’, ‘its not good for you’ etc. These are all quite demotivating statements and can quickly make you question yourself. Instead, tell people you are trying to get your blood sugar under control, tell them you are following a temporary calorie restriction programme (remember, 16 weeks max.). If you really get backed into a corner on the ‘diet’ word, mention it is a clinical diet, which it is, used in clinical practice for improving health outcomes in people who really need it. Finally, a very important thing to remember, you are NOT ‘on a diet’ you are on a journey to significantly improve your health. That’s not a fad – that is just a clever thing to do.

As we turn into July I am now 8 weeks into the journey, halfway house. This morning I stepped on the scales, and the figure that stared back at me was 104.6Kg. This is a total weight loss of 20.8Kg, 46 pounds in Imperial measure. At the start I was 19 stone 10, now I am 16 stone 6. My body fat comes in at 24.6%, down from 31.8%. BMI has reduced from 37.4 to 31.2, I have taken myself from deep in the waistlands (sic) of obesity to the precipice of just being ‘overweight’ a place that at the start of May I really didn’t think I would ever see again. Oh yeah, just to leave you with one final comment – my trousers keep falling down as I have gone from a 40+ inch waist to 36 inch.

P.S. To the Tiger: If that Tiger suit gets too lose on you, I will personally pay for it to be altered / replaced.

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