My weight loss, lifestyle change and Isle of Wight Challenge 2016!

My weight loss, lifestyle change and Isle of Wight Challenge 2016!

Hi everyone!

My name is Gerard, I’m 33 and from the Steel City, Full Monty country, Sean Bean's back garden - Sheffield! By day I'm a legal adviser for a national charity, volunteer for a local one, amateur photographer and a lover of the great outdoors.

Welcome to my journey as I train in preparation for some serious weight loss, long term lifestyle changes and my mammoth 106km ultra walking challenge, around the Isle of Wight.

Let's get one thing straight here. I'm no ultra-fit athlete or fitness fanatic that regularly enters these competitions, so this is a big thing for me.

I have had my struggles and battles with weight loss and my fitness and their related side effects over the years. However I do like to set myself targets and goals to achieve.

So why do something like this I hear you say!? Well for starters I am fed up of not being able to do anything without feeling out of breath, hot, sweaty, tired and being massively embarrassed because of it. I have has relationships end because of my attitude towards my weight, and I am now in a new relationship. I do not want the same thing to happen again.

I recently caught the bug of challenges in 2013 which you can read about in my blog posts, and I do feel that some moral obligations to raising money for charity as well. This gives me some extra drive, in case I didn't need it in the first place.

Trust me, going to the gym at 6.30am and spin classes at 7.15am are not my idea of fun. I'd much rather be sat in the evening in a cosy real ale pub by the fire with a pint, pie, Henderson's relish and some mildly offensive folk band in the corner of the room. That doesn't get me over the finish line in the time I want though, and it doesn't help me with my long term lifestyle changes.

So please follow my progress and posts as I get ever closer to the big day (April 30th if you're interested).

I will post some links below, I would appreciate anyone taking the time to read them and maybe even commenting, sharing, donating, etc.

Thanks for reading!

Gerard :)

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24 Replies

  • You write so eloquently - I am sure you will do it and I will be following and cheering you on!

  • Thank you! I will make sure I keep the updates coming. It's a good way to keep everything in check, and see the progress made.

  • I'm cheering you on from Nottingham!

  • Thank you! I will make sure I keep the updates coming. It's a good way to keep everything in check, and see the progress made.

  • Wow, what an upbeat post - full of energy! Even I'm now excited about this walk I will not be doing lol

    Spinning classes are crazy, I have tried a few and find it so daunting, everyone around me pumping away increasing resistance, legs moving round and round and the fear of drowning in the pool of sweat the towels struggle to mop up

    In fact, I think the hotel down the road has a spinning class run by a 200yr old woman

    Anyway, good luck with your journey! I will definitely be curious to see how you get on :-)

  • Thank you! I will make sure I keep the updates coming. It's a good way to keep everything in check, and see the progress made.

    As for spin class, I remember my first one in August 2015. I managed a measly 9km in 45 minutes. I was weak, dizzy and out of breath when I got off. I could hardy do anything else during the day.

    This morning I managed 29.2km, 700+ calories burned and then went and did a gym session afterwards.

    It can be daunting, but I closed my eyes during the early days and just imagined being outside on my own, that got me through those tough first months. Now I love going!

  • Hi Gerard,

    Wishing you success with your endeavours. Very positive and inspiring post.

    Wishing you all the best with everything, and will look out for your updates.

    Lowcal :-)

  • Thank you! I will make sure I keep the updates coming. It's a good way to keep everything in check, and see the progress made.

  • Thanks for the positive comments so far everyone!

    Here's my latest blog - which talks a bit about running, which I never do....well until recently that is.

  • I just read your blog about running ...well done! It does become a bit addictive and its great for burning calories. I love the way you write...keep posting...and good luck in your big walk!

  • Thank you very much! It's nice to get these messages of support.

  • Hiya Gerry - how about joining the Around the World in 80 Days challenge? I am always on the lookout for travellers with a sense of adventure. See the latest thread - let me know what you think :) :)


  • Thanks for this. It looks great but I have quite a lot to keep tabs on right now. Plus, most of my training is spin class, I think that would be cheating as I average about 26km per class, and I do about three a week.

  • No spin classes isn't cheating - have a few travellers that also do spin classes. But if you have too much on, don't worry.

    All the best


  • Excellent! Then count me in!! :)

  • Fantastic news Geza! Here's the link to the current thread :)

  • Thank you! :)

  • Good luck

  • Thank you! Much appreciated :)

  • Here is my latest offering

    It's probably going to be the last one for a while as I get stuck into my training. I will keep the posts coming though.

    Happy reading! :)

  • So, a quick update on this post. I am now 2 1/2 stone lighter than when I started my training for this in August. That's also 2 1/2 stone lighter then when I did the last challenge.

    Hopefully this will get me closer to the 24 hours mark that I want to achieve on my challenge!

  • You're doing really well :)

    Lizzy's needing your K's so that she can do the weekly stats :)

  • Update - I smashed 80km today in three spin class sessions! Need to step up the training now as I only have 11 weeks left to go. I may need someone to carry me over the next two days though, ha!

    On another positive note, I have now lost 3st since I started my journey in August/September last year.

    I can tell you there is no secret for me. Good exercise, sensible eating (but not calorie counting) and not living like a monk with regards to it all. I give myself bad days and even bad weeks, as this is lifestyle I'm going for, not a short burst.

    I have had weekends of beer, pizza and fry ups, and I don't put pressure on myself to try and make it up the next week. I'll make it up over time and when I'm good I know I can have these days without guilt.

    Last week I had two really bad days at work and ate nothing but chocolate, biscuits and Greggs, but I still lost 3.4lbs.

    For now, it's a big plate of food and some sleep!

  • Hi everyone!

    Wow, I can't believe it has been so long since I last posted.

    Well, here's a quick update. I managed to get 80km into my challenge, but I went the way of a few others and injured myself by slipping about halfway around (53k). I pulled my groin muscle and by 80k I could hardly walk on it. I had to drop out and get the bus of shame back to the finish.

    I was pretty gutted for a few weeks after as I was making good time to finish in my 24 hour target. Still, I looked back on being able to have walked 80km in 14 hours!

    Now I am concentrating on smaller targets. I have completed a number of 5km runs (Park run on a Saturday) with ever reducing times being run, and I am training to runa 10km in October.

    My new goal is to complete a few 10km runs, and then move onto a half marathon next year.

    I have also lost 4 stone in 12 months. I have levelled off with the weight loss of late, as I have got closer to my target weight. However I am now only 2 1/2 stone from my goal, and I'm not looking to try and lose it fast. If it takes another year, so be it!

    Thanks to everyone who has sent messages of support over the past year or so. Hopefully I'll have more events and challenges to aim for in the future :)

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