Don’t Stop Fat-Fighter!

I’ve had a bit of a mixed experience when it comes to exercise this weekend.

Image courtesy of jesadaphorn /

Image courtesy of jesadaphorn /

Firstly, I went to my normal spinning class on Friday despite me not being that keen on the music now that there’s a new instructor.  When the class started, she announced that she’d be doing a couple of extra tracks at the end of the normal class but gave people the option of leaving after the timetabled 45mins.  I firmly decided “No! It’s Friday night.  I’d only planned on doing the normal 45mins.  At soon as possible, I’m out of here!”.

However, as the class progressed, I started to think, “I’m here now, so I might as well do a little bit extra.  It’s early on a Friday evening after all so I still have the rest of the weekend to do other stuff.”  To my own surprise, I stayed and worked really hard for the extra 13mins.  I left feeling very pleased with myself.

On Saturday morning, I was back to Parkrun after a break of a couple of weeks.  I was running it with two of my cousins – one of whom left her house at 4:45am to drive 140miles to take part (yes she is a bit mental but we love her!).  It was a nice sunny but cold morning so I was thinking it was going to be a lovely run.  However, about 1mile in to the 3mile course, my hip-flexor started to pull.  I tried to ignore it and focus on my music thinking that as I got into my stride a bit more it would probably loosen up a bit.  It didn’t.  By about mile 2 it was really hurting and all I wanted to do was to stop and walk.  But I didn’t.  It took a lot of positive thinking to keep me going including: the amazing challenge completed by Davina McCall for Sport Relief that I’d watched  a programme about last week (Davina: Beyond Breaking Point).  If she could keep going for all than distance, I could manage to complete a 5km run; all those who managed to complete the Coventry Half Marathon last week; and thinking about writing this blog post!  Despite my hip being sore and this having the knock-on effect of making my lower back sore from my altered gait, I managed to keep running all the way around and still run a little bit faster over the last 100 yards (not my usual sprint finish but hey).  I was surprised, and not a little proud, that I managed to dig-in mentally and keep going.  Even more surprisingly, when I checked my time this morning, it was actually only 47 seconds slower than my PB!!

During the run, and reflecting on my mental attitude towards it post-run, I started thinking about how the mind-set needed to complete a physical challenge is mirrored in the challenge of losing and maintaining weight: sometimes it is unexpectedly hard to keep going and obstacles that are not of your own making can slow you down.  But if you keep a positive mental attitude, dig in and keep going, you can achieve your goals.

Thanks for reading.

PS How do you keep going when the going gets tough?


Even The Pros Struggle

Two of my closest friends are personal trainers and they are two of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet.  Over the years as I have struggled with my weight, I have often felt inferior to them in terms of my body

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

image and my self-control and motivation around diet and exercise.  This is not in any way because of anything they have ever done or said: they have only ever been extremely supportive of me and have congratulated me on my successes.  I realise that what lies behind these feelings of inferiority is my own attitude towards myself and my weight-loss journey.

Imagine my delight then when on Saturday, just as my anxiety towards my Monday night weigh-in was starting to build, I read the following blog post by one of these friends:


A dieting downward spiral            

In our private FB coaching group our members post their meal plans,
food choices etc for accountability and support to keep on track
when they feel a little out of control.

Having a group of supportive people who have got your back when
things start to slip can really help, everybody who has ever been
successful with weight watchers or slimming world know this.  The
meetings can really work.

However, sometimes things do slip through no fault of our own,
we're not even really aware that we have made any changes at all.
 Until suddenly you wake up one morning and your clothes feel
tighter and you feel like shit.

You decide that you know what to do and you will get started
straight away.  A day in and you realise that you just haven't got
the energy or inclination to put the effort in to eating well and
making informed choices.

You simply can't be arsed with the effort of it all.

There are many reasons that this happens and I will cover in more
detail over the coming weeks.

One of the reasons is that you can lose sight of the goal or the
importance that looking or more importantly feeling good no longer
floats your boat.

Another is that when you get in to the shit food cycle, it is hard
to break free.  Essentially we are just big test tubes that walk
around and interact with each other.

Every item that you consume will create a chemical reaction in your
body, which in turn affects your bodies chemistry and more
importantly your brain chemistry.

Eating good quality food will reset it but you have to get through
those first few days of change.  When your brain chemistry is
running on crappy processed foods, it is more difficult to make
choices that will put you back on track.

And that's without even starting on the addictive nature of some
additives and ingredients in processed foods.

If you fall off track, don't beat yourself up about it, it doesn't
help you in anyway.  You just end up feeling shit and wanting to
punish yourself.

Do the best you can and surround yourself with like-minded people
(this can be on FB it doesn't have to be in person) who want to
support and help you in your quest for better health.

Darren "Mince is definitely not steak" Checkley

P.S.  Our next Achieve Bootcamp starts on Monday 31st March 2014.

P.P.S. I know I have sent this after my 8.30pm technology
water-shed but we have been out for dinner with friends and I
didn't want to miss a day :)


Reading this made me realise that I am not alone.  Many of us face these diet-demons and the difference between those who succeed and those who fail is that the successful people don’t let the demons win.

If you’d like to read more of Darren’s blogs about nutrition and exercise, you can find them here:

Here’s to fighting your demons!