Sunday, 19 February 2012

Getting Your Arse Off The Sofa

OK. So losing weight is simple. I know that's the last thing any person struggling with obesity wants to hear, but it is.

The simple formula is that you have to burn off more calories than you eat. For the first month or two of my diet, I did no exercise at all. Now I wasn't sitting on my arse all day, I was getting up and going to college, walking in and out of class and being active enough without stepping near a gym.

I lost 16 pounds (just over a stone) in the first two weeks. Nevertheless, my body got to the point where I had to begin to exercise to keep up my significant weight loss.

This wasn't an extreme workout whatsoever. I hopped up on a treadmill and walked at a pretty slow pace for 50 minutes. Now 50 minutes seems like a long time to exercise, but I was one of these people you see on the treadmill reading a book. That's how easy it was. There was no running, sprinting or weights training.

Today's Workout: 400 Calories in 23 Minutes

I ended up burning between 400 and 500 calories by doing this simple exercise. The only difficult thing about working out or starting any form of exercise regime is actually getting off the couch and out the door. I still struggle with this today.

The second I walk out the door of my home I know that I'm going to work out. I used to always make excuses and delay getting off the couch to the point where I could persuade myself not to go.

When you make the decision to go the gym and actually do it, you feel fantastic. There's that feeling when you're showered and dressed after going to the gym that you can take on the world. Compare this feeling to the one of guilt when you've just stayed at home and lounged about the place and there's only one winner.

Just keep going and keep motivated and you can do it.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Pints Without the Punishment

How's it going? First off,  I'd like to say that the kind words expressed by everyone so far on this blog have been such an inspiration. I didn't know if there was a demand for this sort of blog, but all you folk on twitter have been fantastic.

A night on the batter CAN and WILL seriously hamper your weight loss regiment unless you stay strict and follow a couple of things that have worked for me!

First let me say that alcohol IS horribly fattening. It's basically liquid fat. It's full of needless carbohydrates and it's also an appetite stimulant. Ever wondered why you only crave that doner kebab when you've had a few jars? Now you know.

You don't wanna end your night binging! (Yup...that's me alright)

So how have I been able to keep up an active social life and also lose weight? It's pretty simple really. I factor in the night out that I'm planning to have.

For example, it's a Friday night and I'm suited and booted ready to hit a club. Throughout that day, I've significantly cut down on the amount of carbs I have eaten. By the way, 0 carb diets like the Atkins ones are ridiculously unhealthy in my opinion and not worth the effort. 

The diet I've stuck to (See 'Recipe for Success' below) contains 120 grams of carbs a day. A 'balanced diet' comprises of around 200-250. So for the night I plan on hitting the town, I drastically reduce the number of carbs I eat through food. I'd have an egg white omelette for breakfast, cooked chicken salad for lunch and maybe steak with pepper sauce and mushrooms for dinner. At this point I am stuffed and the only amount of carbs I've had all day is in the milk I've drank in my coffee.

Trying Not to Advertise!! Ireland needs more light beers!!

Now you've freed up a hell of a lot of room for a few drinks. Coors Light has to be my drink of choice. It's low-cal and low-carb and doesn't leave you bloated the next day. In one pint you're going to consume around 160 calories and 8 grams of carbs.

Just be careful! I can't stress this enough. You're still going to get manky hangovers and have a horrible next day. Do not make it worse by waking up with the taste of chipper in your mouth and a sense of guilt in your head.

Sadly moderation is the order of the day. But, if you can get up the next day and go for a walk or run or do any exercise, you'll be back to where you were. Sadly with alcohol and weight it's a case of one step forward and two steps back! You're going to get where you're going, it'll just take longer.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Making The Decision to Drop the Weight

Hi guys. Here's the first video diary that I've done on the mindset that I had to adopt to make me drop the weight. I'm going to keep these short and sweet!

Let me know what you think and feel free to follow me at @garmacnamee

P.S. Apologies for the video quality! It'll get better. Just getting the hang of this video-blogging malarky.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Recipe for Success

First off, very sorry for the terrible pun! But anyway, I thought it would be a good idea to put up what I actually eat! (newbie blogging error; my bad)

This diet was given to me by my nutritionist when I first started out trying to lose weight. It has worked like a charm.

Porridge is going to become your best friend. I know it sounds horrible and the texture might be disgusting. Just look at it as a grown up's 'Ready Brek'.

Breakfast; Porridge (I use Flahavan's but they're generally all the same). So one portion of porridge using water or low fat milk. I like to throw in a couple of artificial sweeteners to give that sweet tooth a kick in the morning. So I have that and then a low fat yogurt. That's breakfast sorted.

Lunch; A run of the mill 'sambo'.. I know this sounds horribly bland, but trust me. Do this for the first 2 weeks and see the difference. You can substitute the porridge later on in your diet as the weight drops off. Add some fruit to this. A banana is good because it's rich in natural sugars. You can substitute this fruit for another low/non fat yogurt.
The mighty porridge!

Dinner is where it gets slightly more interesting. Take a slab of lean steak/chicken/lamb, basically whatever meat floats your boat and add in some veg. I started with broccoli and carrots. To add some flavour to the meal, pop on some pepper sauce or bread sauce etc. Just make sure you make it with water. You don't want to be adding extra carbohydrates to your daily calorie intake.

And for snacking in-between or for that treat at night? Sugar free jelly and strawberries. Simple as. Just try this diet for a while and don't be afraid to nibble on cold meats in-between meals if you are 'starving'. There's sweet feck all calories in these meats and they're loaded with protein.

Try this out and let me know how you're doing and remember; every single day you are getting lighter and tighter.

How I Got There

Right, so here we go. After a routine check up with the doctor, I was told to stand on the scales, something which every massive person avoids like salad. To my surprise, it showed that I was only four stone and change.

With a lovely smug look on my face I turned to the doctor to say "something's wrong with the old scales there, love." Her face wasn't one of confusion, but more disbelief. The scales had done a full circle and that four and a bit stone was my weight on top of the 20 stone maximum to which the scales had been calibrated.

After blood tests a plenty, I received news that my liver was depositing fat at an alarming rate and I was well on the way to Type 2 Diabetes. That wiped the smug look off my face. I had convinced myself that I was big, but not too big. Ignorance was bliss.

I preferred to think I was only a little bit obese!

So what got me to this point? One word; addiction. I got hooked on everything I possibly could. Coca-Cola, chips, biscuits, chicken fillet rolls (with extra taco sauce). At one point I was knocking back 6 litres of Coke a day. Delicious. It was killing me. Simple as that. The idea that I could have liver failure in 18 months scared me straight.

Pints on top of this made it a horrible cycle. I'd eat crap during the day, drink at nighttime with the lads and then have that hungover binge the next day. You know the one? Those nights when you have the guts of ten beers and grab a big dirty kebab on the way home?

Oh, it's delicious at the time! But what happens when you make up from a big party with everyone around? Time for movies, chicken rolls, chocolate and the banter. There's that sense of camaraderie associated with hangovers. You're all in it together. Never leave a dry-heaving man behind; get a breakfast roll into him and he'll power on through.

So a combination of binge drinking, that sense of togetherness with the guys couple with that beautifully demoralising sense of self-loathing created the 24 stone behemoth that didn't care whether he lived or died. Well I'm happy to say he no longer exists and to everyone out there who prefers to live in denial and not care anymore, I say to you; there is hope.

Take things one day at a time and remember; every passing moment is a chance to turn it all around.

An Introduction

Hey there. My name is Garreth MacNamee. I'm 22 years of age and I once weighed a staggering 24 stone (that's a gentleman's 325 pounds in American terms). Alcohol was always the enemy.

The point of this blog is to share my story with anybody interested in finding out how Irish men, in particular, struggle to lose weight.

Now for the obligatory 'before' and 'after' photos! So here we go.

This is me with wine glass in hand at around 21 stone

I've lost over 10 stone (140lbs) over the past two years. I'm not a nutritionist and I'm not a doctor, so anything I advise here isn't backed up by any fancy degree, other than a B.A. in Journalism I hope to receive later this year.

Me at 13 stone 10 (minus the wine glass)

The pub culture in this country has stifled the the attempts of most men in this country to get fit and healthy. According to the various doctors and dietitians I have visited, you can not consume alcohol if you wish to adhere to a weight loss regiment. That is bull. You can, but it just makes the process a hell of a lot slower. 

I'll be placing recipes and general lifestyle tips on this blog. Until then, all the best!