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


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