The Battle of the Bulge... part one

I have been fighting the good fight for a while now with spectacular results…. spectacular in that I can see absolutely no changes in my body after 10 weeks of running and 3 weeks of yoga!

I am fitter… I am more flexible… but I am not lighter.

This is kinda disappointing, but this week we have started edging towards a cleaner diet - and that will continue. I will complete the C25K program that I have been doing at the end of next week too, and I think I will carry on with the running for the foreseeable, especially since my back and right arm are still far from right post car-crash which is ruling out mountain biking for a while.

Physio starts the end of next week, which hopefully will help, and then the CPAP trial later in the month - I am really hoping that a large part of the problem is hormonal (in that the hunger/fat storeing/satity/repair mechanisms are out of whack due to low sleep quantity and quality). I have been getting increasingly tired to the point that I am not really comfortable with the idea of driving at night for more than about 30 - 40 minutes now.

So this is update 1, we are out the starting blocks on rebuilding my physical body… but not much more than that. I will try and update at the end of February and see how another 6(ish) weeks moves things on. They do say (somewhere) that the first 10 weeks are really foundation, and that differences only really start to become apparent after that. But I guess feeling stronger, fitter and more flexible is not a bad gain to be facing.

I just want the damn lovehandles GONE!


Deeply unflattering illustration taken before today’s run… with a dodgy photoshoped indication of where I had hoped to be by now!!!!

I will get back to proper photography for a bit, updates on progress with a load of stuff coming soon… and keep on plugging away at the fitness in the background!

Turn it around!

This year I had all sorts of plans, dreams and ambitions… it was all very complicated, too complicated. Then I had that moment of clarity and thought… no, lets boil this down to the essence of what is actually important.

My health has not been great over the last few years. Too much stress, too little sleep and too many injuries (mental and physical). I started unpicking this tangle last year with hypnotherapy to try and straighten out my inner demons, which did largely work in that it has taken the edge off and allowed me to start dealing with issues on my own terms rather than letting them control me. Next stage, then, is to start dealing with the physical damage whilst continuing to work on my emotional health.

I have started a lot of this process already, I kicked off a C25K program last year which was due to finish at the end of this month, but having just taken the last week off I am going to push that end point back to the end of the first week of February. I embarked on the RED challenge from Mind this year too, which again I have had a bad week on so may extend this into February… actually… part of me is thinking about extending it for the full year! These will help with physical fitness, and I will bring the mountain biking and fell walking back into the mix as the year progresses. Finally I have started a yoga class to tackle some muscular imbalances and stiffness that have resulted from injuries.

Next month I start physio, and a CPAP trial which may help with some physiological issues that are feeding back into health, fitness and weight.

So, that is the plan. The reason, a few years ago before accident number 1 I was in reasonable shape. I didn’t think things had gone too far awry until I saw a photograph of myself in Utah from back in the spring. Now I can see the deterioration and now I am going to fix it!


There is also going to be an element of cleaning up the diet to double down on the effects of being more active and I have given myself a few goals that I would like to hit, with the ultimate one being a substantial 33kg+ off. What is actually achievable doesn’t matter, but I want to end this year happier and healthier than I have been in a very long time!

Hopefully I will get in the swing of regular updates and progress reports!

Of course, you are wondering how this will impact the photography? Hopefully a lot - a clear mind will help with creativity and improved fitness should get me to new and exciting locations!

Ramping Up

Well things have been progressing a little the last day or two with some freelance opportunities coming along, both of which are pretty exciting propositions to get my work out there and perhaps gain some exposure along the way.  Considering I have been full of the lurgy today (again, I know!) this has given me a bit of a lift!

The heat has finally started to calm down a bit, although this weekend is out as far as any fitness training or preparation goes since I am off on the motorbike for a camping trip to the delights of Dalton-in-Furness!  The weather over the last few days is a worry though, at least in terms of photographic prospects of the autumn.  Everything is dried out with many trees showing browning leaves already... a bit of rain wouldn't go amiss to improve the chances of a good show of autumn colour.  

The week ahead is going to be filled with finishing off a few bits and bobs, putting  a tender in for one of the opportunities and packing ready for some family adventures.  The hill fitness project will be on hold for a couple more weeks, but then I will hopefully be refreshed and ready to throw myself into walking, climbing and biking with something resembling enthusiasm!


Bassenthwaite Lake yesterday - hot sunshine and browning leaves is giving a summer/autumn hybrid look!

Bassenthwaite Lake yesterday - hot sunshine and browning leaves is giving a summer/autumn hybrid look!

The Quest for Fitness

A big part of the plan for this venture is to take people out into the mountain regions of the UK to photograph the scenes that are missed by many.   In so much of our country it feels as though you are placing your tripod in the marks left by many others.  I want to help people break this mould, to find places seldom photographed and get unique images to add to their collections.  I want to teach people to photograph in the mountains and gain new skills and appreciation of our dramatic uplands.

But to do this I need to get fit again.  

Things went wrong a number of year ago.  I moved south to the Lake District and lost my network of friends whom I used to mountain bike with.  I found it difficult to break into a new group and never really settled in to life down here.  Along the way there were family tragedies, injury, illness and, more happily, the commitments of a new family.   My fitness has suffered badly as a result - particularly over the last 3 years following a broken ankle in September 2015 which required surgery to repair and still remains weaker than it once was.  Just as it healed I tore my lower back... more time out of action.  Looking at photographs from before the accident and a recent picture from Utah really hit it home, so now we start the long process of rehabilitation and regaining my health and fitness.

Just as well I have a good window before I need this new venture to take off!  The next 12 to 18 months I will attempt to dedicate most of my efforts to fitness training and preparation for a professional qualification that I intend to gain to facilitate my plans.

I kicked things off 10 days ago with a climb up Pike of Blisco, which was a nice starter.  Hopefully I will get a few more in before the latest addition to our family comes along, and I need to get back on the mountain bike regularly too.  For starters, though, probably just boosting my daily steps would be a start....

So this is a statement of intent.  I need to get back to where I was before it all went wrong, and in half the time it took me to deteriorate to this stage!

Its time to get "hill fit" again!