Wednesday, 28 May 2008

The Finishing Line

Have a look at how the day unfolded...

Also LISTEN AGAIN to our look back on the whole project with Jon Cuthill.

The dark horse...

A final note from my Mum...

"I was talking to Matthew's Nana this morning discussing the race and Matthew's excellent time when she said " Isn't he a dark horse. Running such a good time after he told everyone how slow he was going to be " I thought 'yes, he has pulled the wool over our eyes again' and I was pleased that I wasn't the only one taken in by him. Matthew is very modest and doesn't brag but he often undersells himself as well. He had all of us convinced that he would be lucky to finish the race so we were all surprised by his finishing time.

He doesn't like letting people down, so if he had said he could run the race in 1 hour 20 mins and did it in 1hour 30 mins that would be a failure. So he says he hopes the finish line will still be up by the time he gets there and then on the day rushes through it in 1 hour 6 mins!

Many many thanks to his friend James and to Jono from B.M.F. who kept him going past the 7Km mark.

Just keep the fitness up with the training and work for for a couple of months while we all recover from your/our ordeal.

Congratulations and lots of love,


The Results

WOW - what a day we had on Sunday.

The Big Day!

.. and I did it :)

not only that, but I smashed my expected time. I am over the moon!

I was hoping that if I worked really hard that I would do it in 1h 30m. The official timings have just been posted on the Ropley website and my offically recorded time was 1h 6m!!! AMAZING!

I need to thank everybody who helped me, from the BMF team, to the advice from Portsmouth Uni, to the team at the BBC and of course my friends and family who have been through a fair old bit too.

The future? Well, I certainly want to carry on training and trying to maintain my fitness - the benefits far outweigh the hard work that it requires. I will certainly keep my eyes open for another 10k later in the year and work hard to see if I can equal that time again (and prove it was not a lucky day!).

Thank you for following me for my 10k adventure.

Reporter Matt

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Final Stats

Seems like a long time ago since I first went to Portsmouth University to visit Dr Clare Hencken and her PhD student Nikki Brown in Portsea.

Their weight management programme - BodyMorph - had taken me on as part of their academic study, and they agreed for me to share the results of my tests with the world.

Originally I was almost ashamed of posting my results for the world to see - it's not normal for large people to go around saying how large they are. However, here is the update:

Weight: WAS - 22 stone / NOW - 20 stone 8 pounds
Height: 6ft 4.5in - no change there!
Body Mass Index: WAS - 38.8 / NOW - 36.0 This means that I am still obese, but whereas before I was teetering on the edge of clinically obese, I'm now plain old obese. There's still a long way to go: I need to get nearer to 18stone before I can have the pleasure of being called merely 'overweight'!
Body Type: Endomorphic-Mesomorph (Basically I've got muscle, but also a lot of fat).

However, whilst my body type definition hasn't changed, it does show that I have maintained my muscle mass and that my weight loss is due to a decrease in fat mass. If you don't believe me, have a look:

This diagram shows how I have lost most of my size from my tighs and tummy.
Finally you may have a heard the good luck messages on the show. If not, do LISTEN AGAIN.
So it's Ropley on Sunday.
11am start.
I just hope I make it round before they start taking the finish line down.
Wish me luck.
Reporter Matt

Monday, 19 May 2008

The Final Countdown

So this is it then?

After all those weeks of talking about it the weekend for Matty to actually do it is upon us.

I have to admit I'm slightly nervous for him. It's been a bit of a rollercoaster for the last 10 weeks for all of us. Granted for myself, Lewis and Al it's been very much a mental rollercoaster as opposed any physical sort - but we're shattered nonetheless.

I know Matt's had his ups and downs but as for having to work with the grumpy so and so when he's on a down - talk about draining!!

Newman's taken to his normal role of being chief wind up merchant. He's done his usual teasing for the past 10 weeks despite the fact he's less than half the width of one of Matt's thighs. It just goes to prove what a patient and lovely chap Matt is as he's graciously taken it all in his (quite immense) stride without even the smallest suggestion of physical violence.

It's fantastic to hear and read Matty's got all the support of family, friends, workmates and even (although he probably won't admit it) Alun. Don't under estimate the challenge and the commitment MT has shown for the past couple of months. It has been a total change for Matt - and he's been putting everything, and I literally mean everything, in the public spotlight for all to see.

The good bits, the bad bits and the wobbly bits.

When he crosses the finish on Sunday ironically I reckon it could mean the start of something else for him. It's corny but having proved to everyone and more importantly himself that working out of your comfort zone can get big results I'm sure he'll take it further - although not necessarily wearing trainers.

His confidence has rocketted. Let's just hope it lands somewhere near Ropley.

Good luck buddy - we'll all be there to cheer you on come Sunday.

I might even buy you a pint.

You'll have earned it.

Final Week nerves

The final week nerves have certainly hit.

The first thing to hit was my offical race number has been sent through to me. I'll be number 103 - keep an eye out for me... I'll be the one at the back.

I found myself checking the Ropley 10k site this morning, and casting my mind back to my original application form. On that I said my estimated time will be 1h 30m.... A quick check of the 2007 race history shows that the very last person to finish the race then took 1h 14m 06sec - They could have all packed up and gone home by the time I arrive!

Last Minute Man

Listen to my Mum speaking to Jon Cuthill on the radio this morning - LISTEN AGAIN.

Now that my Mum is getting to grips with this blog she's decided to give me a healthy reality check less than until the race...

"Matthew goes through life thinking, " why do it today if it can be put off until tomorrow, or next week! "

This first had an impact on the rest of the family when doing course work for his G.C.S.E.'s. Six weeks for Geography course work? No problem. The first week is fine, filled with enthusiasm and plans and research. In the following weeks work is done and some ideas are put on paper and drafts are written but there is nothing in finished form.The last night sees Matthew hogging the family computer typing out the course work and giving us pages to proof read. Well past bed time we are getting tired and stressed and at midnight the printer is struggling to cope. I lost count of the times the phrase " Why did you leave it so late to finish it " was used over the exam years.

So "10 weeks to 10 K" was always going to be too long a period of time. 10 days to 10K is much more realistic for Matthew and his mind is now concentrated on the task. All of this is not to say Matthew doesn't do things well or doesn't do them at all, it is just that they are done at the last minute. This means that the people around Matthew who know of the deadlines coming up get the stress and worry instead of him. Inspite of not following his lovely training programme ( has he looked at it since he put it on the blog? ) I know Matthew will do the 10K in the time he wants to because he has a stubborn streak as big and broad as he is.

So we will be there at the start and at the finish of the 10K and be very proud of him, but in the meantime he is putting us through it. Now where did I put my blood pressure pills?


Tuesday, 13 May 2008

More from Mother

My Mum emailed me again a little while ago with some more thoughts for the blog...

"First I have to say how proud we are at what you are doing. It is one thing to start diets and exercise but to do it very publicly like you have is very brave, but maybe it will be harder to give up on it.

Talking of giving up, don't get too despondent if training didn't go well this week, you will have ups and downs as the weeks go by. Try to stick to it even if it is blowing a gale and raining, and I can say this because I went to the gym this morning when I could have told myself that mowing the lawn and gardening this afternoon would be enough exercise for today!

That will be the main problem, the time involved to do the training when days are already spoken for time-wise.

Get that old stubborn streak of yours well to the fore and say "I will not be beaten ".

Best of luck and all our love


(p.s. you can read what she wrote last time here...)

Just Keep Pushing

Last night I was a man on a mission.

On my way home I knew I had to get some serrious training done to get me prepared for the 10k, so I decided to just go for it.

I strapped on my headphones, switched on the radio, and thought to myself 'I will keep running til I hear the 6'o'clock news'.

Despite much panting, sweating, and a plenty of funny faces from passers-by I did it.

6.5km in 44 minutes.

Not bad at all, in my view. I have always said that I want to do the 10km in less than 1h30min, so that would suggest that I may be able to do it.

However, the mental battle was emense. I had an overwhelming urge to stop a few times, and whilst I did keep going - I did find it tough.

BMF training tonight, so plenty more fitness on its way. I'm also booked back in to see the guys at Portsmouth University who are following how my body is changing - I hope they can bring me good news!

Reporter Matt

Monday, 12 May 2008

Back on the wagon...

It's been an odd past few weeks, but let me bring you up to date.

First of all, I was on a course. Very interesting week in London with lots of people sharing how we can all do our jobs better. Very good, and very valuable... but the food was not diet friendly. Cooked breakfasts, ample lunches and then networking over evening meals. It may sound business-like, but it was not doing my waistline any favours.

At this point I can almost hear Alun screaming at his computer screen going "why didn't you have the salad then you twit?" A good point, concisely made.

I buckled. I will end up paying for it.

Then no sooner had I returned but then I was off again - this time some well needed R&R. Me and Babs went up on a no-expense spared holiday to Snowdonia. Gorgeous weather, stunning scenery, and plenty of mountain-fresh air to clear the lungs.

As I'm sure Babs will testify, I was in fine fitness form that week. I was racing up those mountains paths, leaving her somewhat behind on most of the routes.

However, I'm now back at my desk. Piles of post on one side, plenty of emails on the computer, but only one thing has my focus this afternoon. A tiny, ticking clock on the blog. 12 days!?!?!

I am very worried, and actually quite scared. Even lying on my bed last night I knew that out there in cyberspace that clock was counting down every second that I have between now and then!

Finally, as part of my planning for the next few weeks I have come across a flaw. The day before the big run is my friend's stag party. D'oh.

I'll keep you up to date with how I get on over these final 2 weeks. Wish me luck!

Reporter Matt

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Listen to the Pain

It's been all go at Solent towers this week, including plenty of opportunities for me to be out and about.

I was about to log off my computer and head out training in the evening sunshine when I remembered that I need to post the recording of the time Jon and Lewis came along. so here it is:

LISTEN AGAIN to Producer Lewis and Presenter Jon joining in my BMF Training.

And make sure that you check out the pictures and videos from that night.

I've noticed it's been a lot quieter in the office this week. People have been able to get on with their work without being badgered every five minutes, and I've been able to work in the afternoons without being offered a doughnut every 10 minutes... it's no coincidence that it's also Alun Newman's week off!

Friday, 11 April 2008

Common problems

There is only one word to describe the events last night - gasp. Sorry, i couldn't manage any other word as i'm still out of breath. If i had a hat, it would firmly be off at the moment in honour of what Matt is putting himself through.

Having now experienced it for myself i have two thoughts. Firstly, that exercising in an organised group of really friendly people is much more fun than pounding the treadmill.

Secondly, for how long should i expect to walk like John Wayne? My legs are aching more than Billy Ray Cirus' heart! In all seriousness Matt, i think what you're doing is brilliant mate and if you ever need a running partner.... Jon's normally free.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

It's Training Men

Jon and Lewis made the brave effort to accompany me on the BMF training. You can hear how they got on here soon.

Here are some videos of what it looked like:

(a happy, but tired) Reporter Matt

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Back on form

Change to the schedule

Just to keep you up to date to a few changes to my schedule:

- last night I didn't go on the run. I just couldn't - I was waaaay too stiff in the legs. I will do it on Friday night instead.

- Last night I ate the ratatouille that I never had on Tuesday. The stir-fry will have to wait. After work I took Babs to the fish and chip shop, watched her munch her way through cod & chips, cover herself in tomoato sauce, and only after all that did I get home and have some food of my own. I was very good!

So changes, but not defeat. Training tonight with the BMF boys and girls - can't wait for the rest of the team to join me next week... that will be hillarious!

Reporter Matt

Alun is not impressed

Operation Hawkeye Update

At approximately 13 hundred hours yesterday, Wednesday 2nd April 2008, a subdued Matt walked into the staff canteen at HQ. After his eyes were initially drawn to the sweet smelling amazingly delectable donuts - our soldier stayed strong and continued past without even the slightest lick of the lips.

He may have won that battle but would he win the lunch-time war? Could he stay strong? Would the Devil Donut eventually have his way?

He sat down and then they appeared! Two identical oranges - the colour of David Dickinson but healthier than Gillian McKeith's p%*. Lunch was served.

It seems Matt is really going for it at the moment and is committed to changing his eating habits. Impressive work soldier. Although, it was quite funny watching you try and peel them with a knife??!

Wednesday, 2 April 2008


As you may have heard, I wasn't please about going out training last night. Came home, showered and went straight to bed.

Today I ache in my legs and I am sore in the middle of my back between my shoulder-blades (I think I did it on the last set of push-ups).

I really couldn't manage any dinner so I simply had a biscuit.

Today Jon's back on the show which means I'll now get twice as much grief than I was getting before from Alun.

I can't tell you how little I want to go out and do my run tonight!

EDIT - to make up for the lack of dinner I think I'll have some bread with my soup this lunchtime.

Reporter Matt

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Babs is in trouble...

I think Matt has started to find going to his twice weekly work outs with the army guys a bit of a chore, maybe the novelty factor has worn off, I'm not sure. What I do know is that the last couple of times he has been he has asked me if he has to go. Why is he asking me when it’s up to him? I don't want to get involved in these decisions and that is where I went wrong tonight!

This evening he came home from work and, after a walk around the common with me, he said he was tired and was going for a lie down. Yep you've guessed it, he fell asleep, so at 6.45pm (15mins before he is meant to be on the common) I wake him (thinking I’m doing the right thing!). He appears from the bedroom 10 minutes later saying he isn’t going to go tonight. All I ask in a concerned tone is “why not?” (knowing full well he doesn’t have a legitimate excuse other than he doesn't want to) and he goes into a bit of a strop saying “fine I’ll go” and stomping off. A few minutes later he was changed and is out the door without even calling out goodbye (which is not like Matt at all!).

I think there are two reasons why he didn’t want to go tonight, the first was that he was genuinely feeling tired (he has been out jogging the last two nights) the second is due to the clock change and the fact that it is still light out. Unlike most who would find this positive and motivating, Matt has got used to exercising under the cover of darkness and feels very self-conscious about exercising in public in the daylight. I'm definitely seeing a change Matt. He is facing up to being over weight, starting to do something about it and dealing with how he feels about it and himself, which I believe is a positive step, but it's making him grumpy! I hope that tonight’s training goes well and he comes home happier than when he went out! If not I fear the dinner of brown rice and vegetables that I have prepared for him will do little to cheer him up!


I'm feeling a little more confident at the moment.

The training schedule has kicked in. I ran 2 miles on Sunday night in 25 minutes. Babs came with me for support which was nice of her.

Last night though I was on my own for my 18 minute run. The best thing about it is that I didn't feel too bad after it.... Tired, out of breath and sweaty, but didn't feel like I was going to die.

Diet is going well too - I've now put my weeks menu online. It's quite a severe reduction for me, but I need to just get some excess weight off to help my running.

As part of his "support" Producer Alun has been offering to get me a chocolate bar every 2 hours, and is constantly eating next to me. I'm sure the bad karma will come around and bite him on the bottom.

Reporter Matt

Monday, 31 March 2008

Note from Mother

My Mum is now emailing me with what can only be described as 'pep talks'. I've decided to post this up on the blog. Enjoy.

"Any mother would give her right arm to have a child that isn't a fussy eater, so I thought that I was lucky in that Matthew would eat most things. Maybe he was not that keen on all vegatables and prefered tomato sauce to gravy, but all in all not difficult. The problems began to appear when he was old enough to help himself from the cupboards and fridge and got worse into his teenage years. He had aboslutely no idea of portion control. One glass of milk or orange juice wasn't enough, it had to be nearly the whole bottle or carton. Not content with either a cheese or a ham sandwich, it was a cheese and ham sandwich. I gave up buying biscuits and snack bars and started making cakes for special occasions only.

It got really annoying when I would check the fridge to make sure I had enough milk and food for breakfast and lunches only to find the next day that Matthew had come in and made himself a late night snack and emptied it.

I don't know if you still like a small plate of something before bed but if you cut out anything it ought to be that. You will sleep much better because your body isn't working to digest the food, and you have no chance of using any of the calories up. It isn't a bad thing to go to bed feeling slightly peckish and you can last 12 hours without food. That is why breakfast is called break-fast!

Rather than give you don'ts, I will give you:

  • Eat less food
  • Eat main meals only
  • Eat as early as you can in the evening.

A small rant

So, I read that Madonna has 2 hours a day, 6 days a week in the gym with her trainer, and is said to look half her age ( coming up to 50 ). I bet that her chef, nanny, P.A., cleaner, gardener, Tesco shopper ect. don't look half their age because they don't have the time to spend 2 hours a day in the gym!

Most people would love to have 2 hours to spend on themselves a week. Which brings me to your excelent timetable for training for the 10K. I hope you find the time to follow it, and wish you the very best of luck."

Reporter Matt's Mum

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

The rot has set in

After pride comes a fall....

Having spent the last two weeks being very confident about this whole project (everybody in the building now knows I'm big boned!) I'm now starting to have doubts.

No matter what anybody says to me I am now starting to wonder if I really can do a 10km race!

Three things have caused the doubt:

1 - I sent off the application form yesterday. I've now laid down £12 of my own money (not an easy thing to do for such a penny pincher!) and there's no going back. I'm entered into the Ropley 10km weither I like it or not. They're even going to give me a t-shirt apparently (XXL size of course!)

2 - I had a very hard BMF session last night. I lagged behind the whole time, and I was puffing and panting for ages. No matter how nice anybody was on the session I still know that I was always at the back, and they were always waiting for me. I didn't like that feeling.

3 - I've just put together my running diary for the rest of my time before the race. You can download it here and have a look for yourself. When it's all layed out like that it looks really scary. There's so much to do, and so little time. People in the office as I wrote it will have heard me exclaim "three miles - I can't do that!". Sadly and 10km is just over 6 miles... so I'd better get over that feeling super quick.
Can I call the whole thing off?

Reporter Matt

Why Weight?

Could it be that we're it's down to our genes if we put on weight or not. Some research seems to suggest that it could be. Have a look at this video report - but for me, the most inspiring part is the picture of Jonathan Scott who has slimmed down amazingly, and is now helping others do the same:

It's more about feeling good and feeling fit. I was down at Portsmouth University being poked and measured a bit more and Dr Clare Hencken told me how you shouldn't get obsessed with the number on those scales.

LISTEN: Should we be worried about our weight?

So, remember, it's not about how much you weigh... it's how great you feel.

Reporter Matt

Tuesday, 18 March 2008


It's OK for Lanky Lewis to criticise but as someone whose weight has yo-yoed over the years I know how difficult it is to lose weight...yet how easy it is to pile on. So, I'm going to be Matt's unofficial cheerleader! Go Matt, go Matt, go Matt, go Matt...


Ten Weeks? for 10 K ? No Chance!

It's going to be a challenge Matthew, but let me inspire you with a story of a similar challenge I once took on back in the good old days...

Risin' up, back on the street. I did my time and took my chances. I went the distance, now I'm back on my feet, just a man and his will to survive.
So many times, it happens too fast, you change your passion for glory. Don't lose your grip on the dreams of the past, you must fight just to keep them alive!
It's the eye of the tiger, it's the thrill of the fight. Risin' up to the challenge of our rival. And the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night. And he's watchin' us all in the eye of the tiger.

The pop group 'Survivor' apparently recorded a song about my physical challenge back in the 80s. I have yet to hear this hit record, but thought the story may inspire you during the hard times.


Sunday, 16 March 2008

Call me Thomas... but 10k is a long way!

Not one, not two, not three, but TEN! That's double figures and a distance that my car struggles with let alone Matt's legs! Now, before you say i should be more supportive, don't get me wrong i really hope Matt can pull this out of the bag quicker than the crisps that i saw him eat at lunch, but i thought id bring a sense of reality to the situation. It's ok saying, yeah i could do that, give me ten weeks and a few trips to see the health specialists and ill be able to skip round the course. Ive got news for you Matt you should be prepared to go to hell and back and you're going to need the support of your friends and family behind you. So i hereby declare that Operation Hawkeye is under way and that Matt's friends at work are going to help him through the dark times of non-chocolate, fizzy drink, crisp and chip dinners. You can do it Matt, but you've got to start thinking more Special K than Special Chow Mein.


Saturday, 15 March 2008

Meet Matt's Girlfriend...

Hi I’m Bab’s and I’m Matthew’s girlfriend. We’ve been together almost 3 years and I moved in with Matt in early January this year.

I love Matthew whatever his weight and fitness but I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t like him to loose a bit of weight and be a bit fitter. At 5ft7” and 8 and half stone I sometimes feel like we are little and large, but that’s not my concern. My main concern with Matt’s weight is his health and wellbeing, which will affect both his and our future.

I love watching health programmes like ‘you are what you eat’, etc. on TV while Matt hates them! Now I can only presume that it’s not only because of the bossy nature of the programmes that Matt complains to me about, but also perhaps because I can watch them with the peace of mind that I am careful about what I eat and am a healthy weight, while Matt is thinking differently about himself and his eating habits. Not only is it the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease, etc. that I am concerned about for Matthew, but having been through a period of ill health when I was younger and having had to completely change my eating habits to become well again, I am hugely aware of how what I eat and how much exercise I get affects the way that I feel. A concept that I feel Matt doesn’t yet fully understand – but hopefully soon will!

Matthew has a couple of current health issues that I think need to be addressed, let alone what his weight and lack of exercise is doing to his body on a longterm basis. The first is tiredness. I would say that for a 24 year old his levels of energy and concentration should be higher. Since I met him Matthew has also suffered from a bad back, on one occasion it was bad for 6 months, at the beginning of which he could hardly walk. As I am sure many of you can understand, this was a very difficult and frustrating time not only for him, but also put a big strain on our relationship. But even when his osteopath told him that exercise and loosing some of the weight he is carrying around would help his back he has never really followed that advice. The one thing I have most definitely learnt about Matthew is that he isn’t very good at helping himself. I’m not sure if it is the way that this advice is given to him, but whatever it is, he is unlikely to follow the recommendations for more than a week before giving up.

I already knew this, but having moved in with him has reaffirmed this, I can have all the desire in the world (along with his very concerned Mother) to help Matt get, fitter and eat healthy to loose weight. Buying healthy food, making him nice salads for lunch and encouraging him to go swimming\walking, but it doesn’t matter how strong that desire is to help him, nothing is going to change until he has the desire and willpower to help himself. Living with him I now have more influence over what he eats at home, but I have no impact over his eating habits during the day or for his love of beer!

There is also the aspect that I am too close to him to make the changes and have a positive influence. My advice and help are seen as offensive and only cause to hurt and so I have got to the stage where I try not to say anything – which is not always easy when I see him tucking into too much food and downing those beers as if they are water, and know what harm it is doing to him.

I’m not at all implying that making the changes to his lifestyle that he needs to are easy, but I am pleased to say that over the last two weeks, for the first time since I met him I am now witnessing Matt’s desire to change. The input of some external advice in the correct way is making a difference. The ladies at Portsmouth are great and I’m sure are going to make a huge difference to Matt’s attitude, they seem to have been able to communicate in way no-one else has before, or perhaps it is just that Matt is finally ready to accept that help and take on board what he needs to do to help himself. Plus with his new exercise plan he has actually found a form of exercise he enjoys. I know for many it sounds like a very scary and un-enjoyable form of exercising, but I have seen the big smile matt has had when he has come back from their sessions. For the first time I actually have the belief that things are going to change, and I am excited about where that might take Matthew.


Thursday, 13 March 2008

Listen again to the launch

Have a listen again to how I got on at Portsmouth, and also my first fitness session with the boys and girls from BMF.

Click here to listen again.

Reporter Matt

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Matty Fatty Stats

So I spent yesterday at Portsmouth University where I had a full body M.O.T - I wanted to have as many measures taken as possible to find out exactly what in my body will change over the next ten weeks as I prepare to run a 10km race.

I met up with Dr Clare Hencken and her PhD student Nikki Brown at the John Pounds Centre in Portsea. They are working on a study called BodyMorph, which is a study into a weight management programme to support people who want to improve their health.
They're not interested in how much you weigh, or analysing things that only Gillian McKeith would want to touch... no - they're simply interested in the quality of your body, and how they can improve it.

Portsmouth has an obesity problem - in 2005, 52% of people asked by the city's Primary Care Trust were either overweight or obese (Source: Public Health Annual Report 2006).

Anyway - here are some of the stats I found out about me... I'm not proud of any of them to be honest, and posting them up on the web for all to see is a very humbling experience:

Weight: 22 stone

Height: 6ft 4.5in

Body Type: Endomorphic-Mesomorph (Basically I've got muscle, but also a lot of fat)

I've also had all of my maped out to see where I'm storing my fat....

There you go, a lot of it in my tighs, and plenty in my hips. Like a typical man I'm storing my fat in my tummy (unlike women who burrow it away in their tighs and bottom).

So that is me...

I'm off to be fit...

- but just to make sure that you're getting the whole truth on this blog I will also be getting other members of the mid-morning team to post up what they are seeing and hearing, mostly it will be positive stories of motivation and fitness... and not too many candid shots from producer Alun of me at the vending machine!!!


Monday, 10 March 2008

Oi... Fatty!

Overweight, fat, obese… however you put it, I’m more cuddly than doctors would like me to be.

I’m certainly not alone - 22% of Britons are obese and three-quarters are overweight. In many ways those stats are quite surprising… it’s been almost impossible to avoid the health drive that we’ve experience recently: 5-a-day, exercise this, gym-that… and yet, obesity seems to carry on growing! (no pun intended).

It’s not just the obvious shortness of breath that I can identify with, it’s the loads of the following common obesity-linked symptoms:

* problems with the joints and bones (such as slipped femoral epiphysis and bow legs),
* headaches and strained vision
* hypoventilation (leading to drowsiness during the day, snoring and even heart failure)
* gall bladder disease
* high blood pressure
* high levels of blood fats and diabetes.
* There are also marked psychological effects leading to low self-esteem.

(Source: BBC Health)

The Challenge

I want to see if it’s possible to put a lot of this behind me. I want to feel better, to lose the headaches, to reduce the risk of high blood pressure and to be able to jog up the stairs and not start sweating.

So, it’s time to make a change… and there’s no motivation like setting yourself a tough goal.

I am going to run the Ropley 10k Road Race on Sunday, 25th May 2008 – I’ve never run that kind of distance before (the last run of this kind I did would be a blue peter fun run when I was a nipper).

I am going to knuckle down and see what it takes to improve your fitness. Will having a firm target work? I have no idea.

Over the coming weeks I will post photos, comments and audio on here so you can follow my progress. Other members of the mid-morning team will also post their thoughts and encouragement here too, and you can join in as well by posting a comment on any post you fancy.

So, with a little over 10 weeks to go, I must admit I’m actually quite nervous…. Wish me luck!


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