Ever-So-Shrinking Dan (Part 1)

So it’s time to blog about something different for a change, but something that is having a big impact on my life. After many years of feeling sad and down about the way I look, it is time to take matters in to my own hands and trim down to a healthier weight.

My weight has always ballooned, I remember when I was younger being bigger than the other guys at school, which used to get me down a lot. It was in my final years at school that I decided to do something about this and I joined the gym, and I lost a lot of weight in a very small amount of time. I was a lot more happier around this time and this was also the same time that I started exploring who I was, and I remember many a night out with my friends. I met a lot of people, some of which I am happy to say are still around today. I then started college and had some of the most amazing years of my life, all whilst still being slim and healthy.

It all started going wrong when college ended, the weight started creeping up on me and I started to balloon up again in size. I was happy, don’t get me wrong, but it felt like every now and again I would have to buy bigger clothes in order to fit me, and eventually it was like trying to find clothes that were comfortable instead of looking good on me.

fat-guy-bradying-cartoon
Sad and Depressed

For a few years now, I have stuck around the same weight, which I suppose is good in some respects, but bad in others. You see, I know I had reached a weight where my BMI was awful and I had to something about it. Years have gone by, different gym routines were tried and tested, but it would always be the case that I would go back up in size, or I would lose interest. Nothing seemed to work for me, and that was the bit that was upsetting. I seemed to be doomed in this never-ending spiral downwards and my dreams of getting back to my slender self seemed to be dashed.

I have noticed in the last couple of years or so that my health had started to get worse, I was getting ill all the time and started suffering with breathing problems. I knew this was related somehow to the weight that I was and also what I chose to eat. Something had to be done. At the beginning of this year, I started doing the LighterLife diets, where you essentially starve yourself for two days and then for five days you are back to normal food. The food you were eating on the days “on” were so bland though, that eventually my interest sank and I just wanted to stay on normal food, all the time. I didn’t end up losing any weight at all.

Elevated low section view of woman standing on weighing scales
My weight never seemed to be going down.

The mistake I think that I have made throughout all of my years of going to the gym and attempting to tone up, is that I didn’t match my diet to how I was exercising. Back in the days where I lost a lot of weight in a short amount of time, I did the very unhealthy method by essentially hardly eating anything, yet still exercising. I became bulimic eventually, a different story that I might cover another day, but my food struggles began at that time. I never ate good things, only very small amounts of bad stuff, or very big amounts of bad stuff. I should have seen that doom awaited me back then, but I was very young and didn’t grasp that, all I knew was that I wanted to be thin.

Roll on June 2015, the month that probably changed my life, forever. I became very ill towards the end of June 2015, suffering with a strong bout of food poisoning. I still to this day don’t know where I had picked up the food poisoning, but that doesn’t matter. What matters, is that, I got ill, probably because of some unhealthy food that I had been eating and for two weeks of my life I just felt so ill and wanted to get back to healthy Dan as soon as possible. Of course, I did get better, but this time it was going to be different, so much different.

The time I was ill, I lost a lot of weight, I guess through just loss of fluids. I dropped to about a stone off in weight, just by doing nothing, my body seemed to repel everything and I pretty much survived on water only for two weeks. Inside, I was happy with this, why wouldn’t I be? I had been trying for years to lose weight like that and then it just happens because my body wanted to do so. I thought, well this is the perfect time to keep going. My body is essentially learning to be healthy now and so I need to keep this going and adapt my ways.

So off I went, I have become a keen cyclist in recent months due to getting a new bike through the Cycle to Work scheme, and this has kept me going. I always wish to push myself harder and harder and would take longer routes every time I go out. I also then started going back to the gym again, this time, taking it seriously and having set workouts that I do every time I go.

The biggest change for me was learning how to eat healthy food again, I started eating a lot more fruit, which I now favour over chocolate. There is nothing better than a lovely juicy mango over a Dairy Milk bar any day. I am very pleased to say that I have stuck to my methods, exercising on my days off from work and eating well, and the results are showing drastically. I have lost 2 stone and 3 pounds since that time I got sick. I don’t want to get sick like that again, and I want my body to be healthy, so this is more of an education than just simple weight loss, but it’s great to have results back too.

If I can lose 5 stone in total by the end of this year (which is totally do-able!) then I would be much more happier and essentially would be back down to my ideal weight, albeit maybe with just a bit more to lose. No more excuses, no more yo-yo dieting or on/off exercising, this is here to stay. I am a very competitive person and the fact that I have a lost a significant amount of weight already has made me wanted to keep pushing on and on, bettering myself each time.

The next step I am taking is going swimming again, which I will be doing this morning, after a light workout at the gym. It’s taken me a while to get my courage back to do this, so let’s see how it goes.

This is not the end of my blog on this, I will post updates on how I am getting on now and again, but I wanted to give you all an insight on what is driving me at the moment, and to hopefully inspire others to push for themselves and take the first step. The way I was going, I probably would have ended up with having diabetes, I was eating so many sugary treats, but now it’s about teaching myself to come away from that and try something better for me.

Stay tuned for the next chapter.

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A recent picture of me, still a long way to go but happier times.

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