Tag Archives: Self-help

This blog hates you and here’s why

Why do I even bother? Nobody wants me to succeed at this so why try? It all comes down to our society, and the fact we are all bitter cunts.

True success is never really rewarded in the way it deserves to be. Like in design technology at school, when you’d build a 14ft tall sculpture of Lion-O from Thundercats out of four bits of duplo, a plank of wood and a pritt stick but get a lower grade than the kid who made a plastic calendar. Granted the task was probably to make a plastic calendar, but where are the extra points for invention?

Not fucking Lion-O

Charlie Sheen is vilified for getting blasted on drugs and booze every night, partying in possibly the coolest city in the world and having not one but two girlfriends. One is his maid and one is a porn star. You know the old saying “most men want a whore in the bedroom a chef in the kitchen and a cleaner in the house”? Charlie Sheen fucking has that! And he spends the parts of his day when he isn’t drinking something, shagging something or smoking something rubbing his amazingness in millions of people’s faces on talk shows. Compared to that, a wife who looks more like a melted waxwork of the Queen Mother every day, kids who learnt to talk from watching “Rasta Mouse” and a job that is only just subsidising your crawl to the grave sounds a lot like a plastic calendar.

Better than you

To be honest a lot of things about everyday life seem like a plastic calendar to us now. Go in a calendar shop for example. But this is the year 2011, surely the older amongst you will remember the bold propositions for life in the year 2000. We’ll all be living on the moon! Which is ridiculous for a start because the moon is smaller than Earth so if our whole population moved there we’d be cracking each other’s skulls open and eating the goo inside the minute we ran out of cheese. We’ll all be flying around on skateboards! Now most people who are both over 16 and who don’t suffer from drug dependency don’t skateboard anyway. If you’re scared of falling off and hitting your head on the pavement on a normal skateboard why would you suddenly get one when science makes it possible to ride them into the surface of the sun?

 In reality our future is set in stone. I’ve seen it. Stop listening if you don’t want it spoiled. Basically in 2050 it’s exactly the same except we have to download our meals off itunes, Colonel Gadaffi is married to Cheryl Cole, the most-watched reality show is China’s Got Nuclear Weapons and after decades of hard work scientists finally found a reason for James Corden to exist. Luckily they’ve seen his shows so don’t tell anyone and he’s exterminated in the “Great Celebrity Cull” of 2051.

Somebody put this cunt out of my misery please

What does any of this have to do with weightloss? Nothing motherfucker, but you enjoyed it anyway right?


Dare to dream fatty! Dare to dream!

I know what you’re thinking, but I can confirm that your fears are completely unfounded. I am not going to sign for Liverpool to replace Fernando Torres. Just putting that out there. I am writing this at the end of what the Sky Sports hype-sters call “DEADLINE DAY”, where English football clubs do the last of their mid-season transfer deals.

Irreplaceable? There's a 17 stone lump of skill that disagrees.

The thing that amuses me most about this most hyperbolic of sporting days is the reporting, as Sky Sports News shamelessly peddle tiny droplets of information like Justin Bieber naked pictures to a gaggle of tweenage dreamers. While this particular transfer window has been a reasonably exciting and active one, the real interest for me comes from the times when nothing is happening. Nothing at all. The genius behind these lulls in activity, sometimes days at a time over the month-long sales period, is how Sky Sports can quite literally make something out of nothing. There will actually be specifically-designated reporters stationed at locations all over the country whose job it is to reply “Nothing much happening here, back to you” every time the anchorperson tries to coax the slightest glimmer of interesting information from them.

Teh biebs <3<3<3

While previously football fans thirsty for knowledge of potential ins and outs at their club would have to wait until the morning newspapers were dispatched, but now the whole transfer process is fetish-ised. No longer a case of “he’s signed” or “he’s not signed”, now all new stages such as “in talks”, “interested” and “linked” are used to describe just what stage in the emotional tightrope walk of football negotiations we are at. And of course in this 3D, HD, LSD, VD era these psychological minutiae are afforded their own set of natty graphics.

Quieten down! Jason Puncheon has agreed a loan to Blackpool!

I am thinking of perhaps employing my own set of journalists to chart my journey to a socially-acceptable waistline with the barely-contained excitement of the SSN crew. “It has been confirmed by my sources that Joey did spend 13.8 seconds perusing the Kit Kat range at Tesco at around 10:00am but I’m pleased to say he steered well clear. However news is reaching us now that he might have been tempted by the Freddos being sold in the petrol station on the way home. We should have more on that in the next hour. Back to you”

If you have the same jogging route every day, you end up seeing the same collection of sights on a regular basis. Careless motorists, dog walkers, other joggers and of course farmers steering quad bikes with one hand while holding a double-barreled shotgun in the other. I sense your confusion, but to be honest that last sentence is probably the only part of this blog I haven’t embellished.

I seem to have befriended this farmer without ever really trying. Not in a “come round for a drink” way but more a “if I smile at you, will you spare my life?” fashion. Allow me to explain, for those who may not be from Britain. Over here farmers are kind of like drug dealers are in America. They are allowed to shoot anything that infringes on their turf, because it saves the police doing it. You see otherwise the police would have polyester-short wearing blobs of ne’er-do-well waddling through the village under the pretence of exercise to deal with every day. So farmers ride around on their quad bikes with guns, policing their turf and keeping us lard-fests in check. I think they milk animals and stuff as well, but that is just a rumour.

YOU JUST RAN INTO THE WRONG COUNTRY FIELD FAT BOY!

 

I see Tupac Sheepkur on his quad bike pretty much every day, flying down the road with more fingers on the trigger than on the steering wheel. He seems a friendly enough chap actually, like I say he always flashes me a smile and seems mildly amused by the persistence of my running efforts despite the deep shade of purple I have normally turned by the time I meet him. Very friendly actually, for a guy armed to the teeth. I wouldn’t date his daughter though, let’s put it that way. She might have fleas. Oh yeah, and the gun thing.

I was confronted with perhaps my greatest challenge to date yesterday: another jogger. As this athletic-looking middle-ager approached my creaking frame along the winding country road my mind raced with what to do. Are joggers like Eddie Stobart drivers, do we have a ritual? A hug? A fist bump? Maybe we just shout “JOGGERS ASSEMBLE!” at each other? I decided to keep it low key and give him a nod, a little show of solidarity that we together were active people improving ourselves. And he could not have looked more revolted. The look of pure disdain that wracked his face will live with me forever. Then I realised that jogging is an elite sport, and I’m not meant to be here. He was Ted Knight and I was Rodney Dangerfield, and this ladies and gentlemen was Caddyshack.

I have surmised from this that running is not for people who want to get in shape. According to my uppity friend, who turned his nose up so far he looked like Daniella Westbrook pre-op, running is not for the fat. Once we have eaten enough to leave Puppy Fat Station and arrive at Obeseville we are actually no longer allowed to exercise it seems. Think about it, when have you ever seen a jogger who looked like they needed to jog? Fat people don’t jog! They sit at home and get fatter while people who are already in shape make themselves more magnificent on their daily run.

A picture says a thousand words. In this case, "eeeeeeeewwww!" is the only one you really need.

 

Well I will stand for this no more, as perhaps the only real fat person who has ever ran I’m taking a stand. Or at least a very passionate sit down (still very tired from my controversial run).

I have a dream today. A dream that one day, fat people and thin people will run together! I have a dream that fat children will not be mocked for their tight PE kits that make them look like the result of a malfunction at a sausage factory! I have a dream that being a fat runner will be a source of pride! I have a dream today, fat people! Oh I have a dream!

Okay, that might perhaps have been the biggest historical event I have yet compared my fat-fighting antics to. What to go for next? I’m thinking either the Titanic sinking or Apollo 13.


I’m turning into a dog!



I am turning into a dog. It’s all there. The begging at the dinner table, the daily exercise routine, the urinating on the kitchen floor. Okay that is not exactly true, I generally do it in the living room. But I am almost certainly being turned into a dog by my regime.

Luke I am...busting for a piss, open the door or I'm doing it in the Millenium Falcon again

My first inkling to my new-found canine ways struck me when my Dad ate his lunch the other day. Now this was bread and soup, we aren’t talking filet mignon here. Bread and soup is a very nice feed, but there is a good reason Mickey Rourke and Kim Basinger didn’t pour Heinz Tomato over each other in 9 ½ Weeks and it wasn’t just the impracticality of boiling liquid meeting skin. While a serviceable feed, bread and soup is not the stuff dreams are made of. At least not yours. To you bread and soup is the sum of its parts, but to the fat lad on the diet it is so much more. This is when I realised I might be a dog. Watching my Dad eat this suddenly-incredible meal I became convinced that if he had thrown a piece of bread on the floor I would probably have barked at our family dog and eaten the precious morsel for myself. Not normal, I thought to myself.

What do you mean they didn't have Heinz? Campbell's? Oh for f...

Dog personality trait number two: going for “walkies”. Now in my case “walkies” is actually “runnies” but being as that is slang for diarrhoea, I tend to call it “running”. However I have reached the point where, like a dog, my day is structured around that section of regimented exercise. Granted, I tend to save my bowel movements for indoors but I even tend to run along the same route that we take the dog. I’m actually surprised nobody has seen my hyperventilating-blimp frame jogging towards them and stopped to pat me on the head, saying “what a good boy!” Which is a shame really; because if a man walked up to me, ruffled my hair, looked me in the eye and said “who’s a good boy?” I’d run faster than I ever have before, and I’d probably never stop.

Who's a good boy then? Come here you little chubby scamp!

When I returned from my run I was troubled to find myself hammering the final nail into my dog-coffin. I did this by doing what every dog does when they come back from their walk. I paced up and down, burning excess energy then laid on the sofa chewing a cushion. Transformation complete.

I’ve been a bit lax in writing the blog recently, but fear not. To punish my literary laziness I doubled my weightlifting reps and running distance today and my body is about as happy to see me as American congresswomen are to see Drowning Pool fans (too soon?). There is something about crippling oneself with exercise that actually spurs you on though, as if this is some kind of badge of honour. This is because no amount of exercise seems impressive if there is not an attached degree of physical pain. “I jumped over the Grand Canyon and didn’t feel a thing” inherently sounds nowhere near as awesome as “I walked to the kitchen and back twice today and now I’m dizzy, I can’t feel my legs and I’ve broken two ribs” It is not what you do that matters, it is how racked with excruciating pain you are. Nobody is going to read a blog that just features a variation of “It’s going really well actually, thanks for asking!” every day.

The patient's injuries were caused by blinking? Quite common actually doctor...

I’ll tell you who did read the blog though, Whose Line Is It Anyway? star and all-around comedy legend Greg Proops! I know how name-droppy this must sound, but I’m excited and this is my blog so you have to listen (because clicking that red cross in the corner of the browser window will give you a virus, honest) Mr P wished me luck and congratulated me on the content so far. So if this is your first time reading BvsTB then tell your friends that you were awesome enough to get on board with the blog that the stars are reading. Tell ‘em Greg Proops sent you!


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


Nando’s chicken, Sleeping Beauty and the Second World War

Okay so I ate half a chicken. Now hear me out here guys, for a start it wasn’t alive. At least not recently. Secondly it wasn’t for me, it was for my girlfriend. Okay, so it wasn’t for my girlfriend, it was in honour of my girlfriend. I ate half a chicken because it is what she wanted. Alright, fine! She didn’t specifically mention wanting to watch me swallow half a chicken like a cartoon cat eating a fish. She may have just let me buy her a birthday dinner at Nando’s, which she probably wasn’t aware included a complimentary floor show of me assaulting the half-bird like Pete Doherty going after a peri-peri coated photographer. I am aware that it was technically merely my presence and a token mouthful of something healthy, perhaps something green on a bed of something slightly greener, that was necessary for the festivities. But I am sceptical of this method. Allow me to elaborate.

Peri-peri marinaded photographer out of shot.

 

The same reason I didn’t man up and have something girly is the same reason why I hope never to have to work in a Subway. That is because working in a Subway for me would be like changing the sheets in a brothel. Substitute the crack-whores for a foot-long steak and cheese (which I’ve tried, but Subway only take cash or card) and it is exactly the same. As broken as this thinking must sound, I can’t go out to eat and deprive myself. I’d much rather deprive myself at home, it seems much more British somehow. Deprivation of anything; sleep, sex, food, oxygen, is something discussed only in one’s drawing room when the children have gone to bed, the women have gone to sew and be repressed and the men are taking their snuff and drinking impossibly expensive single malt. It is not just for my own wellbeing I fear either, think of the staff. If someone my size went in to a restaurant and said “I’ll have the salad” the waiter would probably awkwardly pace, awaiting the inevitable addition of “along with three deep-fried turkeys, a vat of chips covered in ground up Malteasers and an oil well of lager please.” If this was not forthcoming it would make the situation very tense for the waiter, what with the long silence and all. Best to save him the embarrassment and have a proper meal, eh?

WARNING: Subway Stores Ltd no longer accept prostitutes in exchange for this sandwich.

 

Elsewhere it has been an up and down day. Nutritionally I’ve done well, bar “The Great Nando’s Massacre”, however my usual fifty sit-ups were reduced to a pathetic three by a searing stomach pain. This must be down my body’s recent discovery that the muscles I used to inhabit the space where I keep my fat were not, in fact, stolen when I was 11 but are still there and holy hell are they angry! My stomach muscles have been woken up, and they are not enjoying the morning! Imagine a slumbering princess from the fairy stories of your childhood, needing a kiss from a noble prince to wake her up. Now imagine that the prince decided that setting fire to the curtains and headbutting the princess in the face was a better away to awaken the sleeping beauty. My decade of physical slumber has ended, and Princess Stomach would have much preferred the kiss than fifty sit-ups a day, a run, weight-lifting, lunges and less food than she has had since I was in the womb.   

Wake up love, its time to do your sit-ups!

 

I’m pleased to say I didn’t yield, and rallied with more lunges and running than usual to compensate for my inability to bend at the waist. I’d love to seamlessly segue into my next point by saying “it got me thinking why I decided to do this” but as anyone who read yesterday’s column will know, I planned to talk about that today anyway. What I’m looking for on this journey is achievement. I’m kind of in the lower-middle category for achievements by a 21 year old. I’ve got a university degree, which granted isn’t the hardest thing in the world to do, but with the government’s plans to raise tuition fees, it is pretty much the only thing in this economy that will increase in value over the next few years. I’ve had three part-time jobs and managed not to get sacked from any of them. I’ve had a lot of articles published on a range of topics including music, film, sports and news. I’ve won the League Cup and Premier League on Fifa 11 (not the proudest moment, but you’d be scared to hear just where it would rank in order of importance) These all came easily in a way, I’m not bragging but I didn’t have to push hard for these things. Perhaps including the degree in that isn’t fair, as it was a struggle but writing is something I’ve always found enjoyable. And I needed a last minute winner in the League Cup. But I guess I’ve always felt like I haven’t tried hard enough, that I haven’t reached for anything.

Hold up ref, you mean I CAN'T put the League Cup on my monster.co.uk CV?

 

My generation is one that has had to make its own achievements in a way. So was the 90s generation, but they at least managed to write books such as High Fidelity and Fight Club or make films, like…erm…High Fidelity and Fight Club about being a generation defined by being undefined. Other generations have had wars, or cultural uprisings such as flower power or punk, but the Noughties kid doesn’t really have anything tangible. With other eras, you earn credibility just for being there and rightfully so. I was at a university full of people who threw on Abbey Road or Electric Ladyland and wished it was the 60s. Admittedly less of my friends dug trenches in the floor, ate Kendal Mint Cake, rationed their butter and waited for Hitler to bomb us, but still the underlying envy that other generations were part of something, anything, was always there.

Nobody who hit adulthood in the noughties looks like this. Nobody.

To compare my struggle to shed an unwanted stone or three to the Second World War is a little bit over the top, and certainly not a direct comparison. But I’m doing this because I didn’t want to spend my life ducking out of things, of being happy to stand in a crowd of people walking in the right direction, wearing the right clothes, saying the right things and living the right life without trying. I’ve known I need to lose weight for a long time, but actually doing it is something I’ve only ever paid lip-service to. There have been other runs, previous sit-ups and dozens of brief diets. That is where this blog comes in. This is the padlock for my trap door, I’m boarding up the fire exit guys. Because I’ve quit diets before and not told a soul, most people I know probably don’t know or care how many times I’ve gone for runs then been too “tired” to follow it up with more exercise the next day. This blog is culpability. If this blog dries up, then this little corner of the universe will think I’m a quitter. So keep reading, and please comment. And if you come on here one day and there is no blog, get on my case and ask me why not. Make me do this people, because I can say no to myself but if this experiment has shown us anything so far, it’s that I’m probably too lazy to say no to you all. Until next time, where I will unveil the virtues and pitfalls of jogging to death metal, tell the tale of the drive-by shooting farmer and possibly even get to the Rocky V story I promised you yesterday. Possibly.


Save Me Davina!

Admit it, you’re impressed. It’s okay to be impressed. You read yesterday’s column and thought “this idiot won’t last the night without a KFC family bucket and a medical drip filled with milkshake” But thankfully, and partly because the Colonel hasn’t deemed my sleepy rural village worthy of an extension to his poultry juggernaut, I have survived. I say survived like I’m someone who went down with that plane full of Uruguayan rugby players in Alive!, or someone who at least fended off the hormonal front-row crush at a Justin Bieber gig (mentioning Biebs will surely get me some extra page views as well, score!). My ordeal however is at best meagre, at worst ridiculous. Yes, for the first time in a good year or two I ate like a normal person.

He'll be fat one day too.

Now I’m no candidate for a Channel 5 documentary along with all those bed-ridden, liquid-muscled gargantuans with legs that look like Godzilla’s testicles. Until I procure some scales you’ll all just have to picture me as looking like Jack Black if he’d ate Christmas dinner every two days since the actual festive day had passed. Not a floppy, sofa-engorging testicle-legger, but not quite on the right side of the puppy fat/fat fat scale when compared to the loveable School of Rock star. I think this may be the first time Jack Black has ever been a role model for a diet and workout plan. If you’re reading this Jack, feel free to endorse my plight preferably by offering to star in the screenplay I’m writing. Atta’ boy!

He better hope Godzilla doesn't come looking for those.

I’ve never quite understood how the bollock-limbed neck-beards on those shows actually got so big that the only way to contact them is by removing the roof of their house. How did they miss the signs? The lower halves of our bodies are actually a unique measuring stick gauging how in-shape we are. This works best for men, for instance if you strip below the waist (please don’t do it now, neither of us want you to have to wash the keyboard) and look down you should notice three things immediately. I don’t want this thing to get any cruder than it has to, but essentially if you have to move your stomach in order to steer when you go for a slash then something is wrong. Your officer and his gentlemen should be visible from a standing position. Call this sign one. If you can’t see the wedding tackle then you have been warned.

If that isn’t enough to scare you straight, and many teste-thighed blobs will dismiss a loss of contact with their commanding officer with twaddle like “it’s cold in here!” and “I can find it when I need it!”, then this next warning might. Now your legs take less coordination to operate than your unmentionables, but if you can’t see them then Chubston, we have a problem. Think how long your legs are, they are generally around half your height. If this lengthy surface area is swallowed by stomach then surely it would be time to pick up something that isn’t either a) fried or b) the TV remote.

Luckily for me I haven’t mislaid any parts of my anatomy underneath my admittedly sizeable stomach, and I like to think if I ever did I wouldn’t just hit the Milk Tray until Davina McCall came round with a camera crew and a crane. Perhaps I’ve pre-empted the signs, because here I am running, sitting up, lifting stuff and eating like a real person. I used to put food away in ridiculous quantities (“used to” meaning two days ago), but for the purposes of giving fitness a chance and giving you lot something to read I’m calorie-counting. This means trying to keep somewhere in the ballpark of the 1500-2000 calories a man needs a day. I also aim to hit this intake by being sensible, as tempting as Dad’s offer to eat 75 cream crackers was.

Even now, she's seeking out the big brothers.

So far I’m holding up well, the physical exercise being the most gruelling part. I hit the road again today for my daily run/jog/bouncy limp. Mr Balboa and his wonderful but ultimately misleading theme tune did not get an airing today though. I thought after my struggle yesterday I would attempt to be unconventional and did my road work to the album The Clash by the sneering Brit-punkers of the same name. Joe Strummer’ss band of rag-tag musical misfits, I hoped, failing any physical success would at least give me the strength to curl my lip and spit at speeding motorists. Sadly I’m not of the disposition to pull off the raucous rebellion of The Clash, and instead I nodded at the motorists I did encounter as if their decision not to commit vehicular manslaughter was common courtesy rather than obeying the law. Looking at it from there point of view, it must be alarming. They’re nipping out at 2pm on a Tuesday afternoon, perhaps to get a few bits from Tesco or to tell someone how good their grandchildren are at stuff that nobody cares about. Then, what’s that coming over the hill? Is it a monster? No, it’s what appears to be a dark-haired Vanessa Feltz in a Superman hoodie looking like she’s about to be sick. I am in fact a man, but the rest of their fleeting impression would be accurate.

Me earlier.

Now I’ve deposited some more weight off my mind, and hopefully an incremental amount from my waist, I will leave you good people until tomorrow. In day 3’s column I’ll reveal more about why I’m doing this, why I am avoiding re-watching Rocky V and whatever happens tomorrow. Keep reading, or I’ll have to binge-eat to a point where not even Davina can save me.


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?