Port De Soller Mallorca

Port De Soller Mallorca

Thursday 23 June 2011

Mr Fat isn't so Fat anymore (but still has a long way to go)

I have recently just turned 55, and for the last two years I have been walking and cycling everywhere, well cycling really, and only after Steve, my youngest daughters partner and dad to three of my beautiful grand daughters,  has visited and fixed yet another puncture, whether it is / was me being a fat git and too heavy for the bike, or the bike wheels / tyres were not of the quality I thought they were when I got it, or, and this is the culprit that I favour,  that the roads around South Ockendon are in an appalling condition.  

Not only are the road surfaces in the village not maintained by the local authority in the condition that they should be, but it seems you can not cycle, or walk for that matter, for more than a few yards without encountering shards of broken glass as well as the usual array of other discarded litter.

Anyway as a result of any combination of the above I always only seem to be able to get one short ride out of my bike, after Steve has repaired it. Bless him.  I am not very good at any form of DIY whether it be repairing things or decorating, I am, however, not to bad at the ironing and the cooking.

Having driven a car for the last 25 years or so and having sedentary jobs since I left the Army in 1981 I gradually, over the years, began to spread out a little from the lithe handsome chap who got married in 1976 and from the boy to man who was a bit of a fitness fanatic while in the Army.  

Just had my passing out parade in 1973 at Shorncliffe with my mum down for the parade to see me leaving 'boy service' and going on to 'Mans' service' How slim and handsome was I then?
For 10 years, from 1971 to 1981 my weight was constant as was my waistline.  Even after leaving the Army while not doing as much exercise, I remained tollerably fit and healthy, with three kids and a determination not to let them ever beat me at running, mean I know, but there it is.  

Anyway, the weight gain seemed to be a gradual thing over the next few years and while it did not seem to be a major issue, Ishbel did not complain, and apart from increasing the shirt and trouser waist size, it still did not seem like a problem.

So, going from my ideal weight at 5feet 11inches,  of around 11 stone or 154 lbs, I ballooned up to 23.5 stones or 329 lbs.

Ideal Weight Chart for Men

Based on body mass index, optimised for men
in stones
My ideal weight chart for men, over weight based on body mass index 25
Height in feet / inches
KEY:       underweight      ideal weight         overweight

The above image has been borrowed from:


Although my weight gain was gradual, the outcome has/was not been so gradual in its effects...  

At some point I lost the ability to actually run, yes run.  Have you ever seen a morbidly obese person trying to run, you'll probably die laughing at them at the same time we keel over from all that weight we carry about with us, but at least you will die laughing, we will probably just die in pain gasping for breath!

Sweat, the slightest exertion and you could fill a bucket with the sweat we produce, and I do mean the slightest exertion, have a shower and feel refreshed, oh, you have to have a shower, because  your too fat to get into the bath, well maybe you can get in, but you aint getting out again, not without help and pain, so shower it is, and then when you are toweling yourself down, because that does involve the slightest of exertions, you break out in a sweat, no kidding.  Trying to get dressed, pulling on your socks, if you are still lucky enough to get down that far, sweat, walking a few yards, sweat, everything you do causes you to sweat.

Sleeping, your sleeping habits are destroyed by carrying this much weight around you can't breath properly so your lungs are trying to compensate and even although you are lying there doing nothing, because you need to breath and your organs are working in overdrive, in an attempt to keep you breathing, you sweat, you need a towel on your pillow, which doesn't help too much because you produce so much sweat you sometimes wake up thinking  the wife has thrown a bucket of water over you, it can't be much fun for your partner either, having to put up with this, but they do say love conquers all, although I think if the shoe had been on the other foot, I would probably have said something to Ishbel if roles had been reversed!

If your a car driver and you have, say a small car like a Fiesta, or an Astra, anything that is close to the ground, you're stuffed.  You cannot get in and out of it because you are so grotesquely overweight with a bulging stomach that you can not bend down to get in and even if you are lucky enough to get in your driving position is so compromised that you become a danger to other road users because your fat. You get into your seat and you are probably too uncomfortable to be concentrating properly and at junctions you can't turn your neck and head to get a proper view of what's coming from the opposite direction, so taking all of that into account you probably have to get a bigger car, with air conditioning because the exertion of getting into the car has made you break out in an uncontrollable sweat, and, just to be able to get into it with any degree of comfort and without embarrassing you any more than your shape and size already do.

Me at 23.5 stone in 2009 looking like a fat version of Yogi Bears arch nemesis , Ranger Smith.

Ranger Smith

If you are reading this and you are fat, please do not think, that I am getting at you, or myself, I am just stating the facts, and you like me, before I gave up the car probably were just not aware or willing to admit that all of the weight that we are carrying, is in fact causing us problems, whether you realise it or not YOU HAVE GOT A PROBLEM and you are not being fair to yourself, or your family.

I mentioned I have three gorgeous grand daughters with Jennifer and Steve.  I also have a fourth gorgeously beautiful grand daughter and a grandson with Marie, my eldest daughter and her husband Peter.  Mollie my eldest grand daughter is 8, her sister Shannon and the twins Charlie and Hollie, are 5 and the youngest, Lacey Mae, sister to Mollie and Shannon, is circa 8 weeks.  I enjoy spending time with my grand kids, even when I end up with them on my own, but, and this is a big but, 23.5 stone, how long was I going to have watching these children growing up?  A big question probably with a short answer, which was, not long.

The kids are 8 and 5 now, excluding Lacy Mae, and when they were toddlers it was chronic trying to even get down on the floor or on the grass in the garden.  Mind you getting down wasn't too much of a problem, the weight was helpful then, you got your body started in a downward direction and then let gravity plus obesity take over, and suddenly you are down there with them.  The problem is what to do when you are down there, you can't do much because your puffing and panting like a beached whale, oh! and sweating, don't forget the sweating, in fact your sweating so much that you start to fear that you may get done for infanticide as you drown your grandchildren, not deliberately you understand, you can't help being fat and sweaty, can you?

So, now that we have established that I am the Mr Fat of the title where is the end of the story, I hear you ask, Well there isn't an ending is there.  The story continues, it has to because yo can't just loes 13 stones in two years, that's what I need to lose to get down to my optimum weight, and that's what I want to get to, so, where are we then?

Well, giving up the car was the first stage, and to be perfectly honest it was not all to do with being nominated by my grand kids as the sweaty granddad we don't want to get to close to, but as much to do with a little bit of having a small business I was running and that was also suffering because of my obesity.  And that probably had as much to do with the continual state of tiredness I was in at all times.

There was no energy levels, let alone energy reserves and if you have no energy you really can't be bothered to do anything at all, including traipsing around the home counties doing risk assessments for people when you have completely failed to assess the risk and danger to yourself in allowing yourself to become the winner of 'fat git of the year', honestly I think if there was such an award I would have been in the top three for it.

The car went, and I got a bike, god it was a painful experience, you'd think with that much fat around your bum, sitting on a bike wasn't going to be painful, not so, and bearing in mind the last time I had been on one was probably about 30 years previously, in fact as I write I remember, it was the year I got married,  1976, I was posted away from my Regiment who were in Berlin and Ishbel and I had just got married.  We couldn't get Army married quarters and ended up in an attic flat of a three storey private house in Sennelager in Germany and I would cycle to and from work each day, it wasn't a long ride only about 10 minutes, but I was still doing all my training.  Anyway, back to the present, I gave up the car, got a bike and used it to and from the station.  The bike ride took me 15 minutes for 1.5 miles and to begin with it was a hard slog but not as hard as walking .  To walk to the station when I started it took me almost 50 minutes, yes 50 minutes for a mile and a half.  And then when I got there 15 minutes trying to cool down as I hid around the corner wiping myself down as the proverbial buckets of sweat dripped off me.  They say you can't smell yourself and lets face it would you want to, but I did wonder what I did smell like to people I came into contact with after that journey each day, and then on the return home again.

It was slow, we are talking June 2009 so it is two years.  I had been given a diet sheet but just couldn't get on with it and so it was going to be down to walking and cycling if I was going to achieve anything.  I remember weighing myself and feeling quite depressed at what I saw on the readout, but I was also determined to carry on.  It worked within a couple of months I had lost a couple of pounds but still felt lousy, I had also been diagnosed with arthritis, and that wasn't helpful. Going to the doctors wasn't an option as I had been there and all I wanted to do was take the five foot nothing in height nurse who saw me to discuss my weight and who was also morbidly obese.  Come on how can you enter into a conversation with a health professional on the subject of being a fat git when the person giving you advice and tips is pound for pound as fat as you, and apparently not doing anything to lose weight herself.  In fact I was speaking to someone in the surgery the other day who informed me that she was now a 'stop smoking counsellor', who still smokes like a chimney.  Is it a case of, in both instances, I'm fat, so I know what I'm talking about, and I'm a heavy smoker so you quit on my advice, but I'm ok!  So, I don't bother with that direction either. But perseverance seems to be the key, perseverance and walking more and more.  Marie, my eldest daughter gave me a pedometer for Christmas that year, 2009, for the Nintendo DS.  It does not have a step readout, which I didn't like to begin with, but in retrospect I think it is better that way as I think if you actually saw the steps you were doing you would probably tend to take things easier and slow down.  With The DS version it has a little flashing light that is red, when you reach the step target you have set it to, it turns to green,  
But, you soon get fed up pulling it out of your pocket to look at it, and just get on with the walking and you keep walking and walking until it turns green, and by the time you see that it has, you have normally walked a lot more than the target you have set.

Weight loss, then, as you can imagine has been slow.  It seemed that some weeks I would lose a pound or two but over the next couple of weeks I would put it back on.  So, I again looked at the diet.  I have to say that we eat fairly healthily.  If we eat meat it is grilled or roasted, but if the latter with as little oil as possible.  Vegetables are steamed or if fresh plunged into boiling water for six or so minutes until just tender and while I do tend to do sauces and gravy they are all home made and as healthy as I can make them.  The problem was that I was still eating some unhealthy things, and I don't mean tatties, or for the more refined of you out there, potatoes, cooked properly and in moderation they are fine.

No, the other big love in my life apart from proper food, Oh! and Ishbel, kids and grandkids, [nearly dropped myself right in it there] was bread and butter and soft drinks.  For almost two years I was walking and cycling and losing the odd pound and ounce here and there and up until Christmas 2010 I had come down from 23.5 stone to 21 stone. So 2.5 stone lost, not a lot and not as much as I would have liked.

Don't get me wrong, results were getting better,  I was beginning to lose the permanent wheeze that accompanied my efforts to breathe.  I was beginning to walk better, almost with a straight back beginning to lose the continual stoop caused by the heavy gut always trying to pull me towards the pavement and lo and behold the kangaroo pouch of my gut hanging down and covering you know who..........was beginning to shrink, not by much, but I noticed.

Then the big decision, stop eating mountains of bread and proper butter, oh god that was a hard decision, slightly cold toast with butter that you could sink your teeth through, and sometimes with a mountain of jam or marmalade, it was hard, believe me, and no cola arghhhh!  But, it worked.  I bought two pairs of slacks at Christmas that were waist size 44.  I was a 48 inch waist when I made the purchase which meant I had to drop two full sizes to get into them.

Well, on 1st June 20011, I managed it, two new pairs of slacks that were a comfortable fit, which was just as well as the bum had just ripped on two other pairs that I had been wearing, and I'm sure on one pair it happened as I was walking home, I thought I could feel a breeze and sure enough when I got home... and do you know what, I don't feel embarrassed about that or my weight any more,  purely because I now recognise what a tit I've been and I am now doing something about it.

I weighed myself today and for the first time in god knows how many years the scales came in at 19 stone 13 3/4 lbs that's about 283 lbs American.  I am not going to believe that I am under 20 stone until the readout tells me that at the top and tail of the day, but hopefully that will be the case by Saturday.

I know that to achieve my target weight I have a long way to go, but as I said earlier, perseverance is the key, and I will get there.  If you are reading this and you are overweight all I can say is that it is not easy to lose the weight, it isn't easy to admit to yourself that you need to lose weight, but you need to take a good hard look at yourself and those around you and start by taking small steps, down to the bottom of the road an back again for a week, on to the next street and back again the following week and just increase your walking a week or a day at a time, it does get easier, and the sweating, that horrible sweating gradually gets less and less......

I was out for a walk on Sunday with Mollie and Shannon  and the girls were in front of me, I decided to take a photo of them and ran past them to get ahead of them and the smile on Mollies face when she realised that for the first time in years granddad had actually run, made it all worth it, and made me determined to keep doing it.


  1. Well done on your achievements so far. I know how tough it can be as I've been there (http://www.fatcyclerider.co.uk).

    keep up the good work and if you need a kick up the backside from time to time, let me know ;-)

  2. I loved reading this, you are one funny guy-good luck with your continued weight loss-you can do it!

  3. I was gripped to your every word. You have a strong will and a witty, direct attitude that will help you succeed in maintaining your weight loss, and then some. Keep it up!!! Who cares about gallons of sweat, even if it stinks :) I love seeing sweaty people.

  4. Thanks guys, if you read my latest post you will know that I sort of lost my mojo and was slipping a bit. But feeling much better now and just down one of my usual walking routes that normally tales up To 90 minutes and did it in 60!


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