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A little over four years ago, I was 11 stones heavier than I am now. My general fitness was terrible and I could physically feel myself sliding down an endless slope into poor health, low self-esteem and probably the onset of diabetes, heart disease and all the other deadly ailments that we associate with modern life. Being a normal ‘Bloke’ I simply brushed aside my wife’s comments about my weight. If I’m honest, I think also that the mental picture I had of myself was very different from reality – in my mind, I was a robust, manly built individual; the reality was, however, somewhat different.
At 23.5 stone, I was far from a healthy weight. Many years of business travel, fast food, comfort eating and general lack of interest in my health had taken their toll on me – heavily (and I mean that quite literally). Simple tasks, such as bending over to tie a shoe lace or unlock my garage were each like a labour of Hercules and I was becoming increasingly conscious that train seats, airline seats – even car seats did not fit properly anymore. Equally, I was amazed at how my clothes were shrinking – I kept saying to my wife, “we won’t buy that brand of T Shirt again because they shrink after the first wash!” Actually, it wasn’t just T shirts that were shrinking; jeans, trousers, shirts – you name it; it was all getting tighter on me. In fact, I was even overjoyed after discovering a major high street chain that stocked stretch waist suit trousers!!! YE GODS – Why weren’t there alarm bells ringing loudly right there and then!!!
Through all of this, I always found a way to pin the issue on anything other than me; they are making clothes smaller or cheaper and they shrink too easily: I’m bound to struggle with simple tasks at my age: my job is tough and leaves me no time to feel good about myself!!! But, even the most blinkered individual can only do that for so long and, one day, there came a turning point.
A Moment of Truth….
My personal epiphany happened during a break from work. Being away from the office and spending a week or so back in Civvy Street gave me some much needed clarity. It took away many of the excuses I had been using to justify how I looked and felt. At work, it’s easy to blame the environment for the fact that you exist mainly on fast food lunches and vending machine snacks and that you have to cram yourself into ill-fitting clothes, which are not what you would wear; given the choice.
Contrast that with a week spent wearing the stuff that you would choose to wear and eating what you would choose to eat. If you still look or feel bad, you really know that you have a problem that is fully of your own making.
The general feeling of poor fitness and lack of energy was playing on my mind heavily at this point. One evening, toward the end of our first week of annual leave, I took a look at myself in the mirror and suddenly saw myself without the rose-tinted spectacles I had been wearing for the last 10 years. Here was the sort of person I would have happily ridiculed just 10 or so years before; fat, unfit, lethargic and hiding behind a victim mentality that attributed everything that was wrong with his life to something other than the actual cause. At that moment, I knew I was headed down a road that would lead somewhere terrible and needed to do something about it.
Turning it Around….
The following day, my wife and I re-joined a local gym, booked an induction and agreed that we both needed to make some changes.
What followed has (so far) been a journey that has seen me change from another statistic-in-waiting into a fit, healthy, happy person. My energy amazes people and the journey that both my wife and I have been on has inspired others to do something about their health and fitness.
I built this website to share this journey with you and hopefully inspire you - if you need inspiration, that is.
But let’s not forget the main message behind SprocketWaffle……it’s all about the ride. Cycling has changed me (metaphorically and physically). It has given me back a life that I had almost forgotten about and arguably added a good few years to it.
Through cycling (and now Triathlon), I have connected with old friends, made new friends, been to places I may never have been, done things I never dreamed I could do and genuinely discovered a passion for health and fitness.
Trust me, there is no better way to start the day than cresting a killer hill after an hours riding with a few good mates; watching the rising paint a Christmas card scene as it casts long shadows across frost-covered fields. Try it - and tell me I’m not right!!!
I hope that you enjoy using this site and, genuinely, I hope that you benefit from what we share here.
NOW - GET OUT AND RIDE YOUR BIKE!!!