Late in 2017, while making resolutions for our upcoming sojourn in the Pilbara, I was struck by the desire to set a specific goal around my ongoing failure to lose weight. At the same time, Luscious and I stumbled across a documentary about the 2015 CrossFit Games. Apart from developing instant envycrushes on Mat Fraser (and in a subsequent doco, Rich Froning) and three athletes we thought of as ‘The Dottirs’ (Annie Thorisdottir, Sara Sigmundsdottir and Katrin Davidsdottir), we were also introduced to a particularly hellish-looking piece of business known as ‘Murph’.
Murph is a competitive routine named after a US Navy Lieutenant and crossfit enthusiast, Michael Murphy, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2005. It consists of the following elements:
- 1 mile (approx. 1500 metre) run
- 100 pull-ups
- 200 push-ups
- 300 squats
- Another 1 mile run
Continue reading “THE FAT MAN MURPH: HOW IS *THIS* MY NEW YEAR’S TRADITION?”
Nearly 4 years ago, we took a family holiday to Bali. On the final day, Erin went shopping and bought us all a gift. For me, who hadn’t found any clothes I wanted, it was this tie-dye tee-shirt in the largest size she could find: a lovely gesture, but one that was two Xs too small for me to actually wear it. It’s hung in my wardrobe ever since, a visual shaming that has pricked at my self-image ever since.
Or, at least, that’s how it feels.
Let’s recap, shall we?
At the start of the year, I was a month away from being released from a job that had turned sour and toxic. I was vastly overweight, crippled by stress, and deeply unhappy. I hadn’t completed a full piece of writing in well over 2 years, and hadn’t completed a novel in closer to four (and that one had been stillborn: a melange of bad writing and awkward choices that simply refused to come to life and be sellable).
Then, of course, we moved to Karratha. Luscious took up a position teaching at the High School. I tra-la-la’d out of the job with nary a look back (How well was I respected? My going away gift was a book of art from the Kimberleys (I was going to the Pilbara, several hundreds of kilometres away), and my Director, who knew me since my first day, could only comment on the fact that I occasionally swore when asked to make a speech about my achievements over the 8 years of my time there). I started teaching relief at Luscious’ school a day or two a week, sat down to write, and opened up my recipe books and my copy of House Husbanding for Dummies.
How’s that worked out for me? Wouldn’t you like to know?
Continue reading “2018: BUY ONE YEAR, GET THREE FOR FREE”
Being fat is a humbling experience, particularly when I was once used to a level of physical fitness that allowed me to pretty much do as I please. Here’s this week’s example:
Luscious and I are taking some time away, soon. You might remember, a few years ago, that we managed a writing weekend away we dubbed Battcon. There was drinking, there was a soupcon of tourism, there were wineries, there was writing, there was hanging out in Margaret River having fun, there was more writing. I wrote a bunch of silly blog posts about the whole thing, that you can re-read here. I also wrote an 8000-word short story in 2 days.
Well, the opportunity to repeat the fun has arisen. Continue reading “TOO FAT FOR CAMELS”
I’ve talked a bit about the effect that moving to Karratha has had on my writing (TLDR: I’m writing again), but the other major life change I needed to address while I am here is my weight: at the start of the year I had ballooned out to over 111kg, which placed me not so much in the morbidly obese category as the look-Mummy-a-barrage-balloon category.
The first step was getting a swim membership at the local Leisureplex and walking/swimming lengths. Initially, I walked 15 lengths, swam four, walked ten, and swam 2.
I also started a routine based on an article in a Men’s Health magazine: five times a day I did some push ups, crunches, and squats. I am a fat, creaky, broken man: I started out doing a set of five each.
Five weeks later, and this is the routine I’ll be doing today:
- 5 sets of nine each: push ups, crunches, oblique crunches, dips, squats.
- 5 sets of fifty skips with a 1kg-weighted rope.
- Pool: walk 25 lengths, swim 5, walk 20, swim 4.
- 3kg weights: 1 set of 20 each of laying dumbbell press, laying dumbell flies, lateral raise, shoulder press, bent over lateral raise.
The rest of the week I’ll do the same except the weight routine will differ:
- Tuesday: Double dumbbell row, single arm row, lying dumbbell extension
- Wednesday: bicep curl, alternative bicep curl, tricep overhead, tricep kickback
- Thursday: goblet squat, Romanian dead lift, dumbbell lunge, Bulgarian split squat, kettlebell swing
- Friday: no weights, but a one mile run/walk.
Next week, I’ll go to five sets of ten, and slowly work my way up until I’m doing sets of 20, using 5kg weights, and extending my walk/swim distances at the pool.
And the result? So far, I’ve gone from 111.6 to 108.9kg. That’s a loss of 2.7kg in five weeks, while only making small changes to my diet– I’ll discuss that side of things tomorrow.
As starts go, it’s not bad.
Length of pool when there with the family on Sunday: 25 metres.
Length of pool this morning, after they removed the thing I thought was a permanent feature and didn’t realise was a temporary wall cutting the pool in two: 50 metres.
Distance I can swim before needing to take a break to gasp and flop about like a dying fish: 25 metres.
Lengths I can swim before I am overcome by dizziness, lack of breath, and all-round symptoms of dying: 5.
God, when did I become so pathetic?
So, yeah, I’ve joined Weight Watchers. In fact, as you’re reading this, I’m sitting outside the meeting room, waiting to start my third meeting.
It’s Luscious’ doing, really. She joined some months ago, swallowed the pill without complaint, and has worked so hard she’s lost a fifth of her body weight and been approached to become a coach.
Faced with that sort of dedication and positive results, what chance did I have?
So, I’ve a fitbit on my wrist and my sneakers packed in my work bag, and all the crisps and choccie bars and pizzas and beer have been banished to the you’ve-had-your-share shelves. And I’m eating lunch at my desk and going for walks at lunch time, and generally just trying to follow in Luscious’ tiny, increasingly-light-on-the-ground footsteps.
I weighed 85 kilograms when I had my car accident, maybe a kilo heavier when Sharon died. What I weigh now is no longer the fault of those experiences. So, no more excuses, or justifications. Tackle the weight, and the pain and lifestyle will fall into line.
First week in I lost 2.6 kilograms, which felt like a good start but also gives you some indication of just how much I have to lose.
I’ll keep you abreast of how I go.