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!


The views expressed on this blog are not those of the BBC.