Warning: Partial Nudity – But Not The Good Kind. 

Last year I set myself a pretty ambitious goal of losing 45kg by my birthday this year to bring me back down to 100kg. Well, my birthday was at the start of the week and while I’m a little disappointed didn’t make my goal, I’d have to say that I’m still happy with the 20kg I have lost to be now 125kg. But I’m even more pleased with all the gains I’ve made.

Weight loss was the main driver for me getting moving again, I was 34 and only heading for troubles. For the first few months last year the kilos seemed to be just melting off, and I thought this was great and that it would continue at the same rate. I should have known better that it was not sustainable but still I set myself the goal of 45kg.

Over the Christmas break there was a marked slow down. I put it down to too many days by the pool drinking beer and having BBQ’s and Tucker Tateys (our family signature dish of deep fried potatoes). But also there was no doubt a degree of muscle building going on, and as it is often said “muscle weighs more than fat”. Working with Chris to get my level of strength and conditioning up to standard will definitely be adding to this muscle mass, but it is much needed especially around my core.

Although the weight has still been dropping this year, it’s no where as fast as it once was. It is also hard to really notice that is even going, sure people are telling you that you’re losing weight but are they just being nice? Things appear to be fitting better, there is a longer tail now on my belt (I should say that it doesn’t have holes, so I can’t gauge it that way), I can do my running watch up another notch, and my belly seems to be more wobbly and less solid(?), my eyes are brighter and my coat shinier.  It wasn’t until I compared a photo I just took to one from last year that I really saw the change:

Along with the weight loss there have been gains. I never started out running thinking it would become anything more than just a form of fitness to help me lose the weight. In the past running had merely been a means to an end; need to be fit for rugby? Go for a run. Need to be fit for rowing? Go for a run. It was never the sport and I didn’t think that it would ever become my sport. Now however I would have to say that trail running has well and truly become my sport and borderline obsession. So I guess it’s lucky that the majority of the mates I see regularly are also trail runners, otherwise they would be sick of me by now.

Not surprisingly, I’m now a lot fitter than before, which I would not have gained by just dieting alone. This means I can keep up with my two daughters at the park, or go up and down the stairs at work with out needing a lie down afterwards. With Chris and Asia from Healthstrive, we have now started to look at the diet side of things (if I can remember to do my food diary, sorry). Shameless (unpaid) plug: Healthstrive offer a 12 week Kiwi Lean diet and training programme that has “equal emphasis on exercise, diet and behaviour change always taking into consideration your unique situation” ie: it covers everything.

I have gained a new found appreciation for our beautiful country and it’s varied scenery, and all the pockets of bush that are so close to Auckland. I guess growing up in New Zealand I had become a little desensitized to what we have on offer. Eskdale bush (my local stomping ground) was little more than a bunch of trees, now I know there are a pile of different sections within the one area; There is the damp dark bits, the open gravel path bits and the “not sure if this is even a path” bits. Okura Bush is a new favourite even though it has so many steps. I now have a real bucket list of areas and trails I want need to run.

I touched on it in my last post, I have gained new friends and a community of like minded people. These people will welcome anyone with open arms that wants to give it a go, regardless of speed, experience, skill or size. My Facebook feed is something like 75% trail running related content these days (I did say borderline obsession). It wasn’t until Mel Law started the Wild Things NZ Trail Running Club on Facebook that I really had a real understanding of how awesome this community really is – in the months since it started there now 3,500 members and there hasn’t once been a shit fight. Sure people disagree on what’s the best shoe brand, which is Icebugs of course (make the cheque out to Brent thanks Tim), but it never gets nasty and that’s a rare thing these days.

So ultimately I set and missed my goal, but I really don’t care. I am enjoying myself, and in my opinion that is the most important thing for any kind of success. If you hate it you’ll look for any reason not to do it. So I will keep on trucking and pushing to knock off my new list of must do runs and I’m going to have a great time doing it too.

This would have been me 18mths ago.

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