Tag Archives: Apollo Creed

Further Trials of The Fat Boy

You can breathe out now, I’m alive. I didn’t get eaten by bears, I didn’t shoot a man in Reno just to watch him die and, thankfully, I didn’t sign for Liverpool as King Kenny’s last roll of the dice at saving the dying embers of Britain’s most annoyingly self-congratulatory football club. And guess what else? Go on, guess! No I’m not hosting the next Golden Globes after they ditch Ricky Gervais and I’m 94% sure Holly Willoughby’s baby isn’t mine. I lost weight! Okay, so that wasn’t exactly big news. It was actually rather minute news, seeing as this is a weight loss blog after all. In fact on news terms it was about as unexpected as “Charlie Sheen Likes Booze” or “Haiti Had A Windy Spell Last Year” But still, it’s a start.

Warning: Do not serve this man.

To be precise, I have lost four inches off my waist. At first this puzzled me, but I looked for them on my arse, my face, my neck and my man-boobs (or “moobs”) and these inches could not be located. They’re gone! Now granted, things could have been better. I mean I had a Subway today for the first time since I entered the programme (because making it sound like rehab clearly makes it more appealing), and despite losing six inches off my sandwich by downgrading from my usual foot-long, only four came off my waist. There is no God. Or at least if there is, he wants to keep me plump so the other religious deities don’t start hitting on me. I bet that is how all this started, the Mighty One saw Ganesh giving me the eye and in a fit of jealousy has been throwing kebabs into my mouth ever since.

How YOU doing? 😉

Apologies are in order. Being only the start of week two of this cyber-shindig, I’m still learning the rules myself, never mind having to pass them on to the loyal readership (that’s you). Basically the weekend is going to be my time off from updating you all on my every move. But I promise I won’t let you down. Fat will continue to be fought, calories will continue to be counted and sit-ups will continue to be…sat? Take this weekend for an example. This weekend I headed to a football (soccer to those of you who play football with your hands) match. I thought this would be a really good thing for me; I love watching the sport and would love to get into a shape that would allow me to be a better player and shake off the Emile Heskey comparisons that sadly/thankfully don’t extend to my playing ability. Perhaps I would be inspired by watching the professionals. What I hadn’t considered was my pre-match refreshment. I was absolutely parched as we came up to the ground, and while I was sensible enough not to plump for beer or a glass of food-processed pizza I was troubled to find that I’d passed all the shops. This left only one option. The unthinkable. To go to my favourite burger van and come away without ANYTHING to eat.

Well what did you think the unthinkable was? That I had to offer a human sacrifice for a can of diet Lilt? That I had to reveal myself as Luke Skywalker’s father just to receive the tropical refreshment? The trouble with this particular burger van is it is very visible. What I mean by that is that you, the patron, and those serving you are actually separated by a desert of sizzling hotplate. We aren’t just talking a bit of a slab here, we are talking vast grandiosity. The Sahara. I nearly had to email my order to the woman behind the counter, that is how far away she was. And this whole gargantuan surface is littered, is decorated, is absolutely engulfed in burgers. Burgers and onions and hot dogs. And the smell! If there was a Fat Boy heaven up there, somewhere between doggy heaven and thin people heaven, it would smell like that hot plate did. The overwhelming smell of meat. Meat and the salt of the thousand tears I shed upon it. This was it, my biggest test since I decided to take on the Bulge. This was D-Day and this burger van was the beaches of Normandy. I’ll leave it at one huge moment of historical significance for today, or else I’ll have nothing to compare a fat guy trying to get thin with tomorrow.

Luke...I am your father. Now fetch daddy a Lilt, there's a good lad.

I was so close to watching a display of athletic achievement sure to drive me forwards and cause me to redouble my efforts, only to be slapped in the face with the freshly-fried beef-patty of temptation. I felt like a drug addict being accidentally dropped off at a crack den instead of the Betty Ford Clinic.

Cab drivers beware: This is not a crack den

But did I relent? No! In my head I relented a thousand times over, ordering double, triple, quadruple burgers. Breaking the world record for the amount of onions held between two regulation slices of bread. Drowning into a melted-cheesy grave. But in reality, “that’ll be £1.50 mate” and a chubby little hand handed over the requested amount without so much as a “and six portions of chips please” or a “how bloody much you thieving urchin?” in reply. I had leapt over the hurdle. Or ran around it at least, I don’t really have the figure to be hurdling.

I’m reaching a critical stage now, and it is one I’m very happy to be at. I’m at the stage, after a week, of being too invested in this. If I stopped now, if I ordered a Dominos pizza, cracked open a beer and never saw my running shorts again I’d actually be really annoyed. I haven’t gone crazy here, even writing that sentence was enough to make me drool all over the keyboard. I’d be lying if I said that a life of sloth isn’t still an appealing prospect. But as Cheryl Cole proves every time she tries to hold an adult conversation, being appealing isn’t the same as being worthwhile. At the end of the day I’m doing this because I want to live a rewarding life, and what could be more rewarding than coming on here every night and moaning to you reprobates? See you tomorrow!

Cheryl Cole + Bikini=7 billion blog views


Damn You Rocky Balboa!

This man ruined my life.

Damn you Rocky Balboa. Damn you to hell. This is no misguided vendetta against the popular Rocky movie series, which for all its ups and downs remains one of my all-time favourites. This is for the film’s famous Bill Conti-penned theme tune, and the ridiculous ideas it has put into my head.

You see the lethal combination of Stallone’s mono-syllabic screen pugilist and the iconic series theme has led me down a painful road, both literally and figuratively. Allow me to elaborate. If you’d have been driving through a particular rural Bedfordshire village at around 2pm today you’d have seen what from a distance looked like an alarmingly red-faced bear. It was in fact myself, in shorts covering just enough of my lower extremities to avoid classification as underwear. I personally would identify my activity at the time as running, depending on your kindness-levels you may choose to term it “brisk walking” (very kind), “shuffling” (less kind), or “staggering” (ooh, sick burn!). You see I have embarked on a New Year’s fitness regime, and this blog is here to tell you about it.

So what is so special about some fat computer nerd losing weight then moaning about it? Because, my fellow computer nerd (and you’ll have to have been to find this, WordPress isn’t exactly Google is it?) I’m a real person. Not a real person like on cynical advertising campaigns or reality shows, the men who only have a four pack instead of a six pack or the girls who have to make do with being a size 2. I’m too real. I don’t want this to turn into a self-hating rant, the sort of thing people only read after you’ve either committed a crime or gone on X Factor (look for me at the 2011 auditions!). In truth I’m average, or at the very least I have a series of attributes, some good and some bad, that add up to average. Below-average fitness. Decent personality.  Disappointing hair. Varied music tastes. Constantly hungry. Extremely ambitious. Oversized waist. Obscure general knowledge (scraping the barrel, but I have won the odd quid on a quiz machine). What I’m getting at is this isn’t a pity party, this is a genuine attempt to put a normal 21st century male’s perspective on weight loss out into the world.

You see some of us can’t do the celebrity diets. I mean for a start, smack is really expensive and certainly not the healthiest way to get stick thin. And workout DVDs are simply bizarre, I mean who legitimately dances in front of their TV screaming “pump it!” while wearing a spandex one-piece that would make Mr Motivator blush? The only people I’ve met who’ve bought workout DVDs only did so because Kelly Brook hasn’t done porn yet, and while I’m sure they sweated I doubt it was in the interest of getting in shape. Pump it indeed.

He's pumped it, have you?

 Now that you’ve all suffered through a literary tangent that took in tiny shorts, celebrity smack addictions and masturbation, I will return to my original point. Why I am so annoyed at Rocky Balboa? The “Italian Stallion” has provided me with some of my favourite cinematic moments. When he did the impossible and went the distance with Apollo in the Oscar-winning debut, vanquished Hulk Hogan and Mr T in III, solved communism in IV and taught us all not to fuck with pensioners in Balboa he did so to the sound of me yelping in vicarious delight. But he has also led me to a future of joint pain, starvation and disillusionment. This is because of the cinematic technique that Rocky popularised, the musical training montage.

The musical training montage is simple. Take someone who is good at something, but doesn’t believe in them self. It could be because the task ahead is simply too hard, because their trainer died after Mr T screamed at them, or their scantily-clad African-American friend got battered by a Russian. Then have them work out. Lift weights, run, chop wood, chase chickens, hug said African-American chum all to the sound of an incredibly inspiring 3 minute song. Then, possibly with the aid of a new-found beard, have them take on the fucking world and win. This makes for great cinema…and a really rubbish workout plan.

You see no matter the task, Rocky Balboa can go from gibbering wreck to clobbering wrecking ball in three minutes, accompanied by nothing but that damn music. So I loaded up the track, titled “Gonna Fly Now”, on my iPod and I hit the road. I staggered up that hill like a seal that had been punched in the spine. Nothing. No sudden sense of purpose, no desire to take on the heavyweight champion of the world (it is still Apollo Creed isn’t it?), no desire to kick the snot out of Hulk Hogan. It can’t all happen at once I thought, so I threw on “Gonna Fly Now” again and pumped some iron. I even tried to put myself in Rocky’s shoes, picturing myself winning a boxing match and screaming ”Yo Adrian!” like a brain-damaged air-raid siren. Nothing. My arms still look like those cuts of chicken the butcher puts right at the front of the counter because they look like deflated balloons and nobody wants to buy them. One last try I thought, without the aid of an African-American guy to hug maybe even Sylvester Stallone would have needed one more montage before bludgeoning B.A Baracus. So I took to my sit-ups like a duck to concrete, and had a horrible realisation. My hunched posture, craving for Dairy Milk and stalling-car wheeze weren’t going to disappear over the course of one song, no matter how punch-a-rhino-in-the-face inspiring it was.

Give us a cuddle mate. Go on.

It is a disappointing revelation, even for a 21 year-old Journalism graduate (you didn’t think I taught myself to talk this much bollocks, did you?) who should really know better. Life isn’t a film. Mine though, is now a blog. The thrilling part about a blog is that nobody, not even the writer, knows how it is going to end. I could get washboard abs and a best-selling book out of this. I could get ligament damage and four page views. One thing is for sure, that this exercise lark is going to take more thought. Maybe if I try Eye Of The Tiger?