Bring on the Kakapo

This has ended up as a blog, after starting out life as a Facebook group message  thingy, but  Facebook leaves me with an unquiet mind, and I just know that one day they are going to provoke an outbreak of “fuck off and fuck with someone else’s privacy” as I delete all trace of it, so before that happens, best to back up….

So here is, should any of you be interested, a catch up on what has gone before, and where I’m at, in search of the Kakapo…

So 10th May 2010 the initial message: It is not over till the fat man wins

We ultimately become acquainted with ourselves,finding the real self quite different to the imagined self, we are often alarmed at ourselves.” Arthur Schopenhauer

Morning Everyone,

You are receiving this because I need help, help by way of motivation, advice, sarcasm, piss taking, encouragement, to get ready for 13 weeks in the glories of New Zealand in search of the Kakapo.

So why do I need your help? Well, this is embarrassing and if I had any faith in strange gods, I would say has put the fear of God into me. For the first time in 3 years I got on the scales this weekend, I am still in a state of immense shock at the tragic tale they told.

I am currently tipping the scales at a staggering 19stone 8 pounds, yes, read it and weep.

That’s where my mantra of denial, “scales are no good, I can tell by my clothes” reveals its potentially fatal consequence.

Since finishing University I have been aware what 3/4 years of reading writing and sitting down had done, not just physiologically, but psychologically as well. Mental torpor is the driving force for physical sloth. Also, having no one to nag me, no one to argue against the internal dialog,the one that goes” you’ve had a really busy day, you deserve fish and chips” or “you’ve been busy, the dog will wait, even recently “you’ve been ill, take it easy” no one to go ” what more new clothes, why are you buying 42 inch waste pants, you fat bastard?”

So thats where you come in my band of brothers and sisters, you are my naggers, Perk’s comment of “if you turn up in New Zealand looking like that, Carter will rip the piss out of you” is the sort of thing i need! I am committing to sending out a report on a weekly basis, briefly detailing food intake, weight loss, exercise completed, tips, and thoughts, photos, feel free to comment on absolutely any aspect of anything I do, no holds barred, I will then be forced by shame and embarrassment to have some achievements to report to you each week, and let me know what you are doing yourselves, the ups and downs of any exercise or diets if any, so feel free to join in in any way, though two recipients are already on the injury list, so get fit soon.

I know from recent past er… as the young folk say ‘epic fails’ how easily I can injure myself, the winter walking programme was curtailed by a foot sprain, a short attempt at badminton, was stopped by a calf strain, so avoiding injury is paramount to success.

“So what is the plan then lard arse” I hear you ask?
There is only one answer: a mixture of healthy diet and exercise. The only slightly positive thing to come out of this is I am not completely immobile, so ground zero is a 10 minute slow jog, followed by a 20 minutes or so, of speed walking on the soft ground of Sutton PArk. The current target is to exercise for 13 consecutive days as this secures it as a habit, so I am told. First target is to speed walk round the edge of the park, about 8 miles, would like to do this by say, 6th June weekend. Exercise time is probably more important than speed, as weight loss is the real priority, to spare the knees the running will not start in earnest till a couple of stone have disappeared. I hope to use the bike as well but on road is not an option on the busy roads, but will try to get a weekly ride into the plan by June. I am intending to explore Cannock Chase and the new Forrest this summer…

Food is the other challenge, the shock of the scales is suppressing the appetite at the moment, so I am on day three of a fruit only detox diet, and planning to make a tomato chilli and aubergine pasta sauce for tonight, with a little whole wheat pasta. Initial idea is to stick to fruit and salad during the day with lots of water, with pasta or potatoes and fish in the evening, and a glass of white, for the moment…

Long term (the important one) is to be 14 stone by January 1st, this is 36 weeks away (be afraid cart man, be very etc) so just over 2lbs a week (78lbs) is the target weight loss. The other is to fulfil my life’s ambition and to look at the possibility of running a marathon next April in New Zealand, or if it is too hot then, upon my return, as an ongoing fund raising exercise. I have a pair of 32 inch waist Levis in the wardrobe that fitted in 2002, who knows perhaps they are the real challenge!.

Don’t worry this is just the scene setter, consequential updates will be far shorter, but yell if you have not had next weeks by Monday night – please!

The good news is I’m feeling better already, thank you for your support, the battle has commenced.

Off to do some extreme mowing…

feets don’t fail me now…

17 th May 2010 Weak to?

Still here one week on, have to say a few things have fell into place that have had given me great motivational impetus.
As time is short today, I will be as brief as promised.

Week one notable events:

New pair of running shoes, Brooks Beast, yes, I am aware of the suitability of name, great shoes though, and got lots of great advice about starting to train and avoiding injury when as over weight as I am.

Injury appears to be the major cause of people not keeping their fitness level after they have got fit, so I am trying to make the avoidance of it my central focus. Got through the first week with 2 small heel blisters and a tiny niggle in a lower stomach muscle.

Email invitation to the 10 k walk I’m doing tonight was the 2nd significant event.

The premier event was the wonderful pressie of a Garmin forerunner 305, an awesome training device, you can even watch the run/walk you have just done on 3d google maps when you get home, plus all the other information it gathers. Invaluable motivational tool, and lets you know how your heart is getting fitter with accurate recovery rates.

Penultimate event was the honour nonpareil of becoming one of the legendary Flying Kakapo brothers cycling team.

Final event was Ben realising my bike was totally the wrong size for me (16″ frame”) so that has become Nat’s new bike, and I’m on the trail of a hybrid to start off this summers cycling, can’t wait to get on those fire trails in the New Forrest. This is of such great importance because I used to live on a bike, and it was my favourite pastime, so I have always been mystified why I never enjoyed riding that bike: not any more, this Kakapo is now getting ready for take off…

So other stuff:

Weight loss: 6lbs, now 19.2.

Been out every morning for 9 consecutive days, covered about 20 miles.

Never felt better, still wondering why the Lithium of exercise has never felt like this before, but I’m sold, better than druqs, and free!! Whats not to like?

hopefully you can all have a look at this the link below and see where I’m at, I think I am going to start posting this to a blog, that should be even more motivational than this mail out, and maybe we can all share our progress….

Love and fitness to you all.

Till next week

24 May 2010

An eye made quiet by the power of harmony

This weeks conclusion is walk don’t run, having realised every niggle so far has been as a result of raising the pace to a jog or faster, even if the reason for the increase in pace was to get away from other dogs: two staffs who were like a canine equivalent of the Kray twins and a mastiff the size of a small bison. Fortunately neither niggle has progressed to injury needing rest. I now focus on speed walking, or doing 15 minute or quicker miles. Doing a 6 miler (10k) this a.m. I was able to do the first 2 at this pace and then just missed finishing the 3rd at 30 seconds over 45 minutes. So there is still competitive element to it, and by the end I was just as fatigued as if I had been jogging for 100 minutes. The bike is provisionally ordered so hoping to have a weekend on the fire trails of the New Forest in a fortnight.

This is a quick over view of the weeks training, Tuesday thru Monday, with Sunday as a rest day( 14 consecutive mornings now done):
Distance =24.22 miles, 3,528 calories burnt,

This a.m. 6 miler:

So if the overarching goal is weight loss where are we at? This morning’s weigh in, which was after the 10k walk, before re-hydration was 18st 5lbs, a total loss of 17 lbs in 16 days, though the true figure is probably closer to 15 bs, but this is the world of motivation, so you gotta take every boost you can.

The other great help this week has been the park itself, an inspirational place to be on a bright May morning, interesting that the gloomy muttered “morning” of the winter dog walkers customary interchange has now been upgraded to a cheery “ morning, absolutely beautiful isn’t it ?” as if everyone needs some confirmation that the world really is as a beautiful as they are perceiving it, as they smile obviously filled with a sense of wonder. The facebook pictures from last friday give you a flavour of the natural sylvan glory that always has me reaching for the Wordsworth when I get back home:

These beauteous forms,
Through a long absence, have not been to me
As is a landscape to a blind man’s eye:
But oft, in lonely rooms, and ‘mid the din
Of towns and cities, I have owed to them
In hours of weariness, sensations sweet,
Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart;
And passing even into my purer mind,
With tranquil restoration: — feelings too
Of unremembered pleasure: such, perhaps,
As have no slight or trivial influence
On that best portion of a good man’s life,
His little, nameless, unremembered, acts
Of kindness and of love. Nor less, I trust,
To them I may have owed another gift,
Of aspect more sublime; that blessed mood,
In which the burthen of the mystery,
In which the heavy and the weary weight
Of all this unintelligible world,
Is lightened: — that serene and blessed mood,
In which the affections gently lead us on, —
Until, the breath of this corporeal frame
And even the motion of our human blood
Almost suspended, we are laid asleep
In body, and become a living soul:
While with an eye made quiet by the power
Of harmony, and the deep power of joy,
We see into the life of things.

Till the next time,

31 May 2010 Heart of Parkness

Things life has taught me this week:

1) No matter how much you spend on a pair of cutting edge state of the art running shoes, or triple layer socks, they will not afford you any protection whatsoever when your ageing prostrate awakes you from deep slumber for a nocturnal micturition, and your right foot (for reasons never entirely clear) decides it would be a good idea to try to drop kick the Dyson across the landing.

2) Man who walks dog for miles every morning has lawn totally free of dog shit

3) Dietary thought for the week, bread of any type could be the devils work. Excluding it from the diet seems to rope in the appetite and banish the crash and burn of the carb roller coaster.

Well the Kakapo has taken off, the bike is here, and what a joy it is, only been for two rides so far and it is immediately clear quite how far there is to go. Even a small hillock in the park seems like an alpine climb, but you gotta start some where, and the beginning is usually the right place. It is now dawning on me that I am not really an off road cyclist, the smooth black top of the park roads is where the bike comes into its own. A long weekend in the forest planned for next week so next weeks figures might be a little down to this week figures, again the weigh in took place after a 10k speed walk and before rehydration, so possibly a little favorable, but when I saw 17.13 I was so pleased I decided to over look the caveats. That gives me a total weight loss of 23 lbs in 23 days, way over above anything I thought possible, if an unsustainable long term rate. His is very much the golden period of the weight loss part of the campaign, I have a gym induction on Thursday, so with the bike now in the picture the fat loss will be counterbalanced by muscle building, but you gotta take what you can when you can in this life.

23.26 miles on foot
10.94 on bike
4803 calories
7 hours and 45 minutes of exercise.

As it is one year since I was trying (unsuccessfully) to find something to say about T.S. Eliot apart from what a vile anti-Semitic, racist, elitist, pious, pseudo-pedophile he was I give you this wonderful pisstake from Wendy Cope:

Love and fitness to you all, till next Tuesday


A Nursery Rhyme as if it might have been written byT.S. Eliot
Because time will not run backwards Because time Because time will not run Hickory dickory
In the last minute of the first hour I saw the mouse ascend the ancient timepiece, Claws whispering like wind in dry hyacinths.
One o’clock, The street lamp said, ‘Remark the mouse that races toward the carpet.’
And the unstilled wheel still turning Hickory dickory Hickory dickory dock

8th June 2010

Running very late this week, due to a splendid weekend in that there New Forest, perhaps the most ironically named place in England.

So two days of off road cycling has broken both me and the bike in!

I have just come back from the Gym as well, feeling the burn, no pain, no gain, but this is only a twice a week thing just to make sure I don’t resemble the elephant man in 6 months time!

Very interesting induction by a female weight lifter, lots of interesting tips, but the main one was that you should only eat your body weight in Kilos in grams of carbohydrate if you are trying to burn fat. Her husband who lifts 500 kilos someway only eats an Atkins style diet, and has done for 4 years…

So not such a focused week as 2 days were spent travelling, but still some progress….

Weight now 17st 11lbs, another 4 lbs to go to get to a 2 stone loss.
And I had beer or two (lovely, cheers Ben) at the weekend!

So on foot 13.27 miles

On bike 43.16

270 reps in the gym…

till next week

14 th June 2010 Why is there never any pot in a pot hole?

A very short update this week, but firstly what life has taught me this week:

A) If you want to find out the real cost of petrol, take a small can to the pump, fill with enough petrol to keep the strimmer going for a couple of hours, be gobsmacked that tiny amount of golden fluid has just cost you a fiver, f.f.s.!

B) If you want to know just how fucked the roads are, yes those roads that all that tax you have just paid for the petrol to strim the garden might in a fair world go in some way to maintain, get on yer bike. After 15 miles of Sutton roads on Sunday morning I was amazed not to have some internal prolapse. Some suburban roads are completely screwed, and will need totally resurfacing, realised there were a few potholes, but not to the extent evident.

Ok, retired colonel persona now retired.

As trailed on fb weight now 17st 8lbs, making a total loss of 2 stone in 5 weeks, which is very pleasing, but I am also mindful that I should slow it down a bit, but as I hit that weight last Thursday it has probably slowed down naturally.

Now got the gym in the schedule twice a week, so long since I did any weights, weird how it took 3 days before they started aching…

Also realised doing power walking in the morning and 10 miles on the bike at night is just too much too soon, leading to fatigue, so now tinkering with the schedule – will report as soon as I get a settled routine…

Cycled 34 miles, power walked 11.2 miles, 540 reps in gym + cross trainer

Love and fitness


A little bottled optimism that might come in handy, even if the video is unintelligible …play it LOUD

So you are all up to speed now, I have lost 2 St 1lb (29 pounds) since the 9th of May, by the simple method of healthy eating and exercise, the improvement in my health, my mental outlook and my all round world view is simply colossal, perhaps best encapsulated by the following FB status:

To knock 5 minutes of your time for 3 miles, while running through acres of sun burnished heather ‘neath a cloudless blue crystal sky; makes your heart sing like Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.


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