Running a food and drink blog come app over the last few years has made it challenging to keep fit. When it’s your job to eat out the weight realllllly packs on. It’s a problem that I hear so many Twenty-Somethings complain about regardless of their profession. Sitting for 10+ hours behind a computer munching on snacks takes its toll too. Once we leave uni and head into the working world we don’t have the same time to keep up with sports and just generally keeping active.
From fad diets to new years resolutions; we all get a moment of inspiration to drop a few pounds for it all just to fall apart when we hit that wall. There was a moment of reckoning for me at the end of 2015. I’d been talked into trying the ridiculous lemonade diet - fucking awful. Two weeks of eating nothing and just drinking lemonade with chilli and maple syrup (don’t know what I was thinking) led me to dropping just over a stone (yeah, a fucking stone). Fast forward a month and that stone was back plus an extra one as punishment for my stupidity. At 211 pounds I was officially the heaviest I’d ever been. For me, being fit was not so much about looking good but feeling good and I felt horrible. That was it for me, I had to do something.
I started researching and read about 6-week transformations that various trainers were doing in London. The basic concept - rather than seeing a trainer once a week endlessly or killing yourself at a gym without a goal you train intensely for a finite period of time to reach a goal that you’ll be proud to maintain. With a trainer pushing you through that breaking point the hope is that fitness becomes a part of your being. You’ll get to a point where you look like you’ve always wanted to and that will be enough to keep you going. Sounds good right? After scoping out loads of trainers and programs I found one that I clicked with, Tirrel Grant at Square Mile Fitness. In our first session he went into my lifestyle and what had held me back. We went into what I wanted to achieve and how hard I was willing to work. He also looked into my current physical state to see what kind of intensity I could handle. Once he had all that he came up with a bespoke bat-shit crazy program just for me. Over the next 6-weeks I would be training with him 4 times a week. During that time I wasn’t allowed alcohol, bread, pasta, root vegetables, sugar, fruit, dairy, and pretty much anything else that is awesome.
It was hard. Really really fucking hard. I definitely fell off the diet a couple times (hey Meatliquor, fuck you - jokes, love you). Each session at the gym kept getting harder and harder and my appetite was growing and growing, then something happened. That wall that we all hit, the one that breaks us and sends us face first into a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Cookie Dough Ice Cream - Tirrel dragged me through that fucking wall. I couldn’t bear the shame on his face when he could smell the Walkers on my breath or when I didn’t hit that last rep flipping the tire. That’s when it all changed. I started asking him for more. I wanted to push myself harder. Something had changed inside me. If I didn’t workout each day I’d feel restless. If I ate something bad I felt it. Could this be different? Could this be the time I cracked it?
Faster than I thought, the 6 weeks were over. I had dropped over a stone just like the lemonade diet but what I felt was unreal. It wasn’t just the weight that was gone, there was muscle, a lot of muscle. I was astounded. I looked good, real good, but it wasn’t enough - and that’s what was different this time. I’ve waited writing this article for three months since my training finished with Tirrel. I wanted to see if I could keep the weight off. The result? Oh yeeeeeah. The last three months I’ve gone on a hell bent mission to keep going. I’ve dropped another 15 pounds and I’m loving it. I wake up each day stoked to be active in some way. It’s not just going to the gym; I run, I swim, I box, and even I started learning kung fu. Recently, a friend sent me a photo from just before I started with Tirrel and I was stunned. Who I am now and who I was then couldn’t be further apart. Not just in appearance but in a profound internal change. That 6 weeks with Tirrel has set me on a path of growth that is mental and spiritual. Now, I eat what I want but I moderate it and keep healthy. There is no going back. Final result: starting weight - 211 pounds, final weight, - 183 pounds. Goodbye chubby cheeks.