Monday, May 18, 2009

Challenge 2 - Day 17 - Dara

Good evening, well today has been a relaxing recovery day after yesterdays 10km walk/run. Legs/feet a little tender. But keen now to get running again, great sense of achievement. 10km run coming up again in 3 weeks which I think I'll enter for. So will need to step up the training for that.

Diet: good except fir burger at lunch!!
Excercise: rested today
Mind: positive after yesterday, raring to go!
Weight: 14st 10lbs 22% bodyfat.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Challenge 2 - Day 16 - Dara

Good evening.

Well I missed a blog day yesterday...but sure, I've my weekly weigh in details today.

I found my camera charger, so I have better quality photos.

So, in terms of a review of the week. Excercise wise high point was Tuesday's 1km run.

Felt good to kick start running. Weights were non-existent to any extent worth talking about.

finiding it hard to get a good cardio session and good weights session in during the week. It was easier at the start as I used to and could get away with a small amount of cardio. But as my fitness levels improve, I need to do more I find. Maybe need to look at HIIT training to do more speedy cardio. I did 2 sessions of 40mins on treadmill this week, where I used dumbells also to add extra weight. I think this was good for trying to add extra weight / resistence into the treadmill workout, however still not sure thats enough.. I tell you why...

Today was a super success day for me.. I completed a 10km Walk/Run. It was my first time entering such a competition, and it really showed me how much I've improved fitness wise. I think I haven't been pushing myself nearly as much as I can. And probably explains my plateau.

I finished in 1hr 25mins. Which I think is pretty respectable, and 5mins under the time I wanted to complete it in. Plus I ran about 2 -2.5km of the course. The static weight has been driving me a bit bonkers. However I know its not permanent.

I have 2 weeks off work this week so I know I can get some good workouts done this fortnight. So hopefully I will make significant progress. And I will head out for more runs and built up my running stamina.

Target for July 25th
Target weight: 13st 7lbs (189lbs)
Target bodyfat: 16%
Target Fat loss: -15.5lbs

Current weight: 14st 11lbs (208lbs)

Current Bodyfat %: 22%

Week variance : +1lbs

Left to go: 16.5lbs

So weight is showing up, but I believe this is water retention... or something.. well not to worried, going to give it socks this week!


Friday, May 15, 2009

Challenge 2 - Day 14 - Dara

Well quick check in as I'm tired. Busy day at work but good. Have just finnished up for 2 week holiday.

Diet: good today, good frequency, low carb

Excercise: 30min on treadmill with dumbells again. Good but was tired/sleepy so I didn't do more than that. 10km walk on Sunday!! Looking forward to it.

Mind: good but need to figure out way to get weight training and cardio in to busy schedule. Finding that tricky

Weight: 14st 10lbs 21% bodyfat

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Challenge 2 - Day 13 - Dara

Hi there,
Well back in the saddle today. Here is the low down.

Diet: low carb day, did quite well today, but some frequency mid morning was off due to meetings.

Excercise: treadmill 40min with dumbells in hands adding 6kg to effort. Essentialy 12lbs weight I've lost added back in to the mix to help shake things up. Found it helped. Have 10km walk on Sunday so this is a bit of training for that.

Mind: good but very concious I've let weights slip this week and I think it shows. Off for 2 weeks from tomorrow so hope to get a good 2 weeks excercise in at full pace.

Weight: 14st 11lbs. Up a good bit but yesterday was high carb and bday wine had so combined both give a temporary lift. See how we are tomorrow.



Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Challenge 2 -day 12 - dara

Woo hoo. Super quick post. My birthday, taken it easy but 1lb down 14st 9lb weigh in!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Challenge 2 - Day 11 - Dara

Day 11 of Challenge 2 already.. well, I know what I have to do to break this plateau. Simply, need to step up my game. Having said that I didn't get working out today. Slept in and I think that was needed as I feel much less tired today. I had a meeting this evening so I didn't get to work out this evening (not long in). So, I'll take advantage of better sleep, head to bed now, and get up early tomorrow and get a good workout in.


Diet: Good, but volume/frequency wasn't great. Could have had better breakfast and snacks were v. light.

Excercise: non existent

Mind: Mind is actually pretty good. I know what I need to do, I just need to get it done and getting it done is causing a little frustration. So, nights sleep tonight and go kick some ass in workout tomorrow. Need to get weight loss going again.

Weight: 14st 10lbs (stilll) 22% bodyfat. - thinking I might need my own bodyfat calipars or something to properly measure myself.

So, until the am - wish me best to get this plateau broken

Monday, May 11, 2009

Challenge 2 - Day10 - Dara

Good evening fellow flab blasters!
Well, form has picked up a bit today... after a rough start. Another crappy nights sleep with Alex and Christian both not sleeping great.. however I listened to some Tony Robbins to and fro from work and while mowing the lawn this evening. I think it has helped a bit. Also hearing from Andy today gave me a boost too. So, anyway.. here is how we're doing...

Diet: Good, low carb, trying to taper my calories to begining of the day, had big brekkie again.

Excercise: Well, no weights, however I did run 1km . Woo hoo. You see, I would never have considered myself a runner but I ran a whole 1km without stopping. I took a road nearby which Carla had measured herself as being 1km for her running training. So I set out to test my stamina and fitness. So I managed to run the entire 1km to end of this road, and jogged a bit on the way back, but mostly walked the whole way back.. so 2km in total. Not a massive workout but great achievement in my mind. Want to build it up.. note though, I'm wheezing like a 70-a day smoker after that run (still a good hour after). Which reminded me of when I was a kid starting to cycle home from school and cycling up Trees road in Mount Merrion (v. steep hill). I ponder if this is just unfitness or if it is anything related to my son Christian's asthma. I honestly think it is most likely unfitness related and loose mucus (charming I know) but something to keep an eye on. Anyway, I want to try running more and build up my endurance /distance.

Mind: well, as I mentioned at the start of this entry I listened to Anthony Robbins. I did an excercise of his which he calls the Dicken's method.. Which essentially is based on 'Scrooge' and a Christmas Carol. Scrooge is visited by 3 ghosts, of past, present and future, and after experiencing all three aspects of his life and how it could turn out, he changes his actions and becomes a better person.. Well in this shortened method Tony Robbins does on Personal Power 2, he gets you to look at an aspect of your life you wan to change, e.g. in my case my weight loss. He then gets you to look forward 5 years from now, and asks you questions about your life if you don't take the action you should to change (e.g. excercise/diet). Questions like, how would you feel, do you feel the burden of it on your shoulders?, how would look? how would you behave? Then he takes it forward another 5years, so 1o years on, and you haven't made the change.. and ask the same questions and really visualise what you would go through... then he takes it to 20years on, and look at your life as it could be if you don't change... and he then brings you back to current reality...
from there he then takes you forward again, same method, 5, 10, 20 years from now, same questions, but now, visualising clearly how you would be if you did make the change, how great it would be, the feelings you'd have etc. And seeing what a difference it will make years from now.

So I found this this process v. good. Really saw myself in the first instance, getting fat and old and the boys getting fat and unfit, and visiting me in hospital with weight/heart issues. I then also saw the oppposite, I saw myself and the boys going for runs together, Christian and Alex as a good looking young men, obviously fit and active men. That again giving me great pleasure to continue. Still need to keep that momentum up and I'm chatting to Andy later, so hopefully we can get our heads knocked together and step things up. I think we need some short term goals to hit, not just July25th.

Weight: well, this was up again 14st 11lbs (23% bodyfat)... Probaby up after bad nights sleep.

'till tomorrow



Sunday, May 10, 2009

Challenge 2 - Day 9 - Dara

Well, definately time to regroup with Andrew. Noticing his absence the last few days. Don't think I realized how much motivation I got from his messages over the last few months. Anyway, Carla has also helped as usual keeping me going also! But at a point in my head where I need to figure out how to break this plateau. Flat on scales for the week and start of the week was brill on the workout front. Slipped for two days there but got a 3km walk in today with kids in tow in the double buggy.

Diet: good today, made a nice monster salad among other things, enjoyed a big brekkie also.

Excercise: enjoyed a 3km walk but should have done weights.

Mind: in need of motivational recharge, time to dig out Anthony Robbins for car journey to work tomorrow. Also need to regroup with mr. Andrew! Peed off I can't find my camera charger and have photos here on iPhone I took today (so appologies for shitty quality, was v. shaky for some reason). Also want to get skinfold test done as not sure how accurate my scales are now with bodyfat %. want to ensure I'm calculating my calories correctly.

Weight: 14st 10lbs 22% bodyfat
Flat with last week.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Challenge 2 - day 8 - Dara

Well today should have been proper photos weigh in etc, but discovered camera battery needs charging and cannot for life of me find the charger. I may just have to photograph tomorrow on iPhone. So I'll do a proper update tomorrow with photos and give a quick update for today.

Well another tough night with alex, didn't sleep great again, tired now and about to hit the sack.

Diet: Ended up a high carb today,and a little off track.

Excercise: null and void

Mind: honestly v tired today and had banging headache most of the afternoon, I felt a bit like dropping the ball, falling of the wagon and nearly blowing it all. Don't know why just a little frustration with progress I guess and tiredness. I wanted to do workout today but feel a bit guilty for not. However this is one day out of many. I'll get back on track tomorrow especially if I get a good sleep tonight.

Weight: 14st 11lbs, 22% bodyfat (yo-yo-ing up and down this week, very annoying)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Challenge 2 - Day 7 - Dara

Evening again... late here Friday night. Feeling quite tired this evening for some reason.
Anyway... here is the update for today...

Diet: Good, egg breakfast again, snacked on fruit, salad lunch, had protein shake and fruit in afternoon, plus a chicken sandwhich, Dinner was white fish on green veg.. I undercooked the veg so i didn't eat it all, finished off the day with toasted tuna sandwhich..was quite hungry later in the evening. So, it was supposed to be low carb, it wasn't too bad, a bit too much bread to be honest about it.

Excercise: took a rest day, was too late getting up to workout this am,then this evening I just was knackered so took time to chill, had a good week so far, so I'll make up tomorrow, which was going to be my rest day.

Mind: Still good, looking forward to weigh in and photos tomorrow to compare with last saturday. First official photo comparisson for day 1. Hoping Andy gets a chance to photograph or weigh in this weekend as he is away in manchester.

Weight: 14st 10lbs, 21% bodyfat - woo hoo, that was water weight..and it seems to have moved on out the bodyfat % going down is v.good in my eyes...lets see it last!

untill tomorrow


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Challenge 2 - Day 6 - Dara

Hmmm water retention on the scales thinks. Looked into it a bit online and found some evidence that u can put on water weight particularly after increased excercise! Which would make sense, I doubt I could go up weight so rapidly when I'm in calorie defecit and excercising my ass off (literally)!

Diet: low carb- good egg brekkie, lunch was sandwiches/roll at work lunch, dinner good with salmon on green veg, then snacked on sardines on toast..probably not the best low carb day.

Excercise: did a 30 min walk on treadmill. Sweat was up but low -med intesity.

Mind: positive, keen to drop that extra weight I'm seeing, even though it's bodyfat% I really should worry about.

Weight: 14st 12lbs(water weight of 2lbs I hope)
Bodyfat was 21.8% (which would appear to be on downward trend). Well we'll see how we are tomorrow morn !

Good night

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Challenge 2 - Day 5 - Dara

So, it's late, been working out, flaked on a bean bag! Really pushed myself tonight. Feeling good for it if wrecked, especially after rough nights sleep with alex having nightmares!

Excercise: weights; shoulders, chest, triceps and abs workout, did great at beating last Sundays weights/reps ensuring progressive resistance. Sure I'll feel it tomorrow. Also did 30 min cardio on treadmill which was also higher intensity than yesterdays cardio. Did nearly same distance in 10mins less time.

Diet: v good, spot on low carb, but did a study of my calories and see I need to eat more calories on my high calorie/carb days. Might help me zig zag more effectively. Increased water intake also.

Mind: still good, v focused on being stricter on my workouts

Weight: 14st11lbs. 22% bodyfat. Showing 1lb up today, not overly worried as that seems to happen when I have bad night sleep so probably water retention combined with previous day being high carb day, which I read today can sometimes give u heavier weigh in next day, which is sign it's working. We'll see if that's true!!!

Now to bed to get some important sleep!!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

12months from now - visualisation


this post is a little bit of fun, keep the spirits up!

These are some pics of how we will look come May 2010! (we hope!!!)

Challenge 2 - Day 4 - Dara

Evening readers (all 2 or 3 of you!! :) )
Well, here is todays progress.
Feeling tender in the muscles all over today, so I must be doing something right the last couple of days with my strength training. So, today been feeling a bit groggy/flabby.. don't know if you know what I mean. Some days you feel super lean, and others you feel flabby! Well today is a flabby day! Think its because last week after challenge 1 I took a break from the cardio I had been doing to do that bootcamp, which in hindsight I think was more a replacement for the weights than the cardio, so this week will be ensuring I have my stregth training to schedule and my cardio at least 3 times this week for 30-40mins min each session. My weigh in this morning threw me off a little, but I'd had a bad nights sleep so could explain it all.

Diet: High carb day today, so was on Oatmeal and protein shake for brekkie and a bananna, snacked on fruit + protein shake, had avocado & tuna in wholemeal pittas for lunch (probably could have been higher carb), and then had Burittos for dinner. Water consumption could have been better during the day, better in evening.

Excercise: Good today, was off day for muscles (no harm they need it), and was in on the treadmill for a 40min walk. Got good sweat up on it. So happy with that.

Mind: Head is getting more focused on the challenge. Feeling like this will be a bigger transformation than challenge I'm going to really step it up a notch and get the remaining weight off. I can feel the muscle underneath now and know that I just burn that layer of fat off it would make a big difference. Not easy, but if I maintain 2lbs a week over the next 12 weeks thats 24lbs, and I only want to lose 15-16lbs of fat at this stage. So I think its quite achievable..and allows for any hickups and plateaus along the way that I need to change my technique about for. Also glad to hear from Andrew via text that he's back in the gym working away. Looking forward to july 25th already!!

Weight: still at 14st 10lbs, bodyfat read at 23%, but I don't know, will probably be down to 22% again tomorrow, not sure why? anyway, weight is static at least, so cardio this week will hopefully push that down. Will try get a good night sleep tonight also and get that fat coming off.
Hoping for some drop in weight for sat. Hoping to see more more come off the bodyfat% each week. I was reading about how much should be possible and 0.5% off a week should be possible, meaning over a 12week period I will be capable of losing 6% bodyfat, bringing me down to my target of 16% bodyfat. I'll keep you posted, that will mean I'd need at 21.5% reading on saturday's weigh in. Still the rest of the week to go, so need to work my butt off.

So, here's looking forward to a good workout week! back in on shoulders, chest, abs tomorrow...but will also try get cardio done in morning prior to work.
good night and thanks for listening!


Monday, May 4, 2009

Challenge 2 - The Goals

Good evening,
I've been a little busy these past few days, it seems every time I sit down to get something posted I get called away to do something. I was also on call so that didn't help too much eother, makes it hard to concentrate, messes up sleep and so on and so forth. Any way, here I am, setting my own personal goals for the coming challenge!

Weigh In Stats:
Below are my stats, here I'm also setting out my goal for challenge 2, which is over the next 12 weeks and brings us up to July 25th!

Target for July 25th:
Target weight: 21.79 st (305lbs)
Target Fat loss: 28lbs

Day 1:
Current weight: 23.94st (335.lbs)

Left to go: 28lbs

Challenge 2 - Day 3 - Dara

Good evening, better day than expected from this challenge point of view.
Had a trip to Dublin for my brothers bday so that's a 2 hr drive. So this usually involves a micky D stop. So I did indulge in a few nuggets but with water no fizzy drinks.

Diet: overall pretty good if u don't count the mcd nuggets,brekkie had scrambled eggs n pitta, had some nice homemade burgers and prawns all BBQ cooked with salad in my brothers and this evening wholemeal pitta with ham. Low enough carbs

Excercise: muscle workout: legs back biceps

Mind: head in good place but know in one way like andy mentioned, complacancy with success so far could easily slip in. Need to stay focused on my motivation and as Anthony Robbins says 'get disturbed' again. Don't let myself feel that where I am is ok or acceptable

Weight: 14st 10lbs , 22% bodyfat

Challenge 2 - Day 2 - Dara

Evening- this is a repost- ultra quick because my original one done yesterday didn't go up using shozu on my iPhone so I'm using a new app.

Excercise: good abs chest shoulders and triceps workout

Diet: good! Low carb day

Mind: good, mentally gearing up for this challenge with shift in focus this time to improve my weight training discipline.

Weight: 14st 10lbs

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Challenge 1 - Final Weigh in 25th April - Andrew

Well, it's been a long journey but not a rough one! As you can tell from the date on this, I'm not blogging on the day of the final weigh in. I had intended to but I was travelling to see Dara for the first time in years and had to get going pretty early in the morning to pick up bits and pieces before travelling. I did, however, take the time to weigh myself and to take the pics.

And the final result was.....drum roll please..........

Weight: 151.1 kg / 23.79 stone / 333.19 lbs

So, not quite the 33 lbs I'd hoped to lose as my stretch goal but still a good result!!

Progress on challenge 1.

Starting Weight: (Feb 21st 2009): 25stone 10lbs (360lbs)
Current Weight: 23.79 stone (333lbs)
Total Loss: 1st 13lb (27lbs)

I have to say that it was an absolute blast going to see Dara and his family, both he and his wife are looking really fit and healthy and their children are amazing - playing with them for 2 days was almost as good as spending time in the gym, I have NO idea where they get their energy from!!

With challenge 2 coming up it's going to be a real challenge for me as I have a weekend away coming up next weekend (leaving Friday, returning Monday), then from the 20th of May until the 30th I have a friend over from the US, I'll be touring Ireland at that point (will try to get as much hiking in as possible though!).

So, challenge 1, all in all a good success for us both.

I would like to add one thing though, it's something that Dara and I discussed and I think that it's something worth mentioning. Complacency. I have found that, in a way, success got to my head and allowed myself "the odd" night out. Thing is, the odd night leads to another odd night, and another and so on. So, bar the 2 exceptions that I have listed above I am going to try my damndest to make sure that there are no "odd nights" and REALLY push myself.

Onwards to challenge 2!!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Challenge 2 - Day 1 - Dara

Good evening,
I'm blogging from bed this evening, just taking a nice easy relaxed night. Its raining outside and I'm tucked up with the laptop. Today is the start of Challenge 2. And I want to take this chance to say, although this is challenge 2 I'm weighing in, and going to give a quick comparrison with last weeks weight to measure progress, and I'll set out my goal for this challenge.

So, as its challenge 2 I've to give you insight into the 4 categories as outlined in the intro to challenge 2, then I'll give stats and photos for Day 1. Daily postings won't be as long as below, but weekly I'll try to give more in depth posts.

Low carb day on my carb cycling..I'd give it a 90% out of a 100% today. Had great breakfast of Scrambled eggs & wholemeal pitta. (3 eggs with only 1 yolk, dash of milk, mixed herbs and black pepper.) Had a great lunch of rye crackers and avocado & tuna salad, dinner then was BBQ steak, salad, vegetable skewer and v. small bit of chips. But why I dock myself 10% is that I had ICECREAM!!!! and a glass of wine! shock horror!

In terms of where my head is today.. its all good. Feeling very positive today and reflecting on progress and Andy and I have made so far brings me great pleasure and enthusiasm. I know we can make it all the way, whatever happens. One thing crossing my mind a lot these days is that I'm not far off my goal now. I'm just over a stone away. And I'm the lightest I've been in over 10years. But people are surprised when I say I have that much left to go. And I know this is why I got to where I was. I listened and accepted that as truth that it was ok for me to get away carrying a extra weight. I think also, that as a society we have become too acustomed to the overweight figure, that we don't recognise a truly fit, healthy body among our peers. My clothes are baggy now, so maybe that hides it more, but I know that I have a layer of fat that needs to go!

Well, today I took it easy... no excercise (if you don't count chasing kids around). I'm heading out walking with Ollie tomorow so that will be one thing, but will also get a session of Billy's Bootcamp done! Have done 2 sessions of it this week so far and it is one hell of a workout!

Weigh In Stats:
Below are my stats, here I'm also setting out my goal for challenge 2, which is over the next 12 weeks and brings us up to July 25th!

Target for July 25th:
Target weight: 13st 7lbs (189lbs)
Target bodyfat: 16%
Target Fat loss: -15.5lbs

Day 1:
Current weight: 14st 10lbs (207lbs)
Current Bodyfat %: 22%
Week variance : -3lbs

Left to go: 15.5lbs

New format now for the photos - using photoshop template, The greyed out figure will be replaced each week with the current weeks photo, comparing it to todays.
Here we go!

Anyway, chuffed with this weeks progress. I'm down 3lbs on last weeks weigh in, though I think really last weeks was artificially high, However it is all good as I thought I was starting to hit a plateau again! But no, its a keepin a comin off! Which I think Carb Cycling has a big thing to answer for.

So, Until tomorrow!!! have to blog daily now! with quick updates .. will keep u posted! :)


Challenge 2 is here - Come Join Us!

Good morning everyone,
Challenge 1 finished last week for myself and Andrew and we both made great progress on our weight loss goal, though we didn't quite hit the initial target set, Andrew wasn't far off it and I still lost a good amount of weight. So, for Challenge 2 we're making a few amendments to how well be blogging and the details we post. We learnt a few things on challenge 1 which we feel will improve the experience and keep us on track better. The outlines of the 'rules' so to speak are outlined below. Secondly, having now found great benefit in doing this process of blogging we're inviting people to join us on challenge 2 and kick start their own weight loss journey and transformation, you can choose to join us on this blog here at and we'll give you blogging access, or b. you can setup your own blog and we'll link to you and you just follow us. I can give you a no-weigh-back graphic to put in your header!

So, quick run down of what's changing in challenge 2 and general requirements for this.

1. 12 weeks challenge instead of 8 in challenge 1 (starts May 2nd ending July 25th)

2. Daily Accountability - quick update on your daily progress - no pics required (optional)
Daily info should include quick notes on 4 things Excercise, Diet, Mind & weight.

4. Weekly Saturday Weigh in as per challenge 1 but with day1 versus current week photo (photoshop template available).

3. Stats reporting each week (saturday) now must show original day 1 weight and 12 week target weight and progress against that target. e.g.

Day 1: 230lbs,
Bodyfat %: 22%
Target weight: 200lbs
Target bodyfat: 16%
Fat loss target: 30lbs

Current weight: 220lbs
Bodyfat %: 20%
Weeks variance : 2lbs
Left to go: 20lbs

4. Day 1 you should weigh in under above headings, setting your target for the 12 weeks and upload your day1 photo, and any other goal as part of the challenge (e.g. to fit in to 32" jeans, get more definition, or just fat loss!). If you are joining us midway, you can adjust your target to suit the deadline date of 25ht July.

5. Enjoy yourself, and do your weight loss healthy - no faddy diets - u must excercise regularly, eat clean, and keep a positive mindset !! :)

6. This is the key for those wanting to lose weight...Get your head in the right place and define your motivation. Most humans are driven by what gives them pleasure or pain! We move towards pleasure and avoid pain! In the past if you haven't successfully lost weight, it is most likely because you have associated more pain with doing excercise than by not doing it, thus avoiding excercise to avoid pain! The avoid pain motivator is the strongest one, as much as we'd like the pleasure motivator to be the key one! So define your motivation on these grounds:
1. Your pain motivation - by not following through, what will be the negative 'pain' consequence.
2. You pleasure motivation - by following through, what will the positive 'pleasure' consquence.

Let me give you an example with my motivation:
1. Pain: I've modelled my weight on my father / parents who are overweight, my father had a heart attack, if I don't excercise and lose weight my kids may model me, and become overweight and could potentially have heart attacks. I don't want to be responsible for that.
2. Pleasure: I'll be fit & healthy and much more confident about my body, and be in best shape of my life. And the sense of achievement will be great.

7. We also reccommend you get your hands on a copy of 'Burn the fat, feed the muscle' by Tom Venuto as a guideline on how to lose weight effectively. This is the basis of how Andrew and I are losing weight.

8. Share your tips! Support each other, keep each other motivated and accountable

Just a side note, please always use the same naming convention for your daily and weekly weigh ins, see how we did that in challenge 1. It helps keep things clearer for all to read and follow.
and, we encourage you to also put up a post under 'The weigh we were' section so you can give readers a more detailed background on your progress.

Also, we will try get together on July 25th to see everyone who's taken part!
If anyone thinks of any ideas for a reward for hitting your target on july 25th, share ideas..

So there it is, if you are up for it, come join us. Just comment below if you want to join or if you know us and have our email, get in touch!!!!!!

Good luck everyone


Monday, April 27, 2009

Dara & Andy - April 26th 2009

Well we finally met up at the end of our 1st Challenge. I've been impressed with Andy's Progress. Had a great weekend and Andy was a great help with the kids :) and they enjoyed his company too!
Well, here we are just after Christian's 5th Birthday party.
In case you don't know, Andy is the tall f**ker in the red!!! :)

12 Months in the making - Before & After

Good Evening,
this is just a special post for I wanted to put up. Yesterday was 26th of April 2009. Exactly 1 year since the photo Christian took of me which is in my before photos, the one which horrified me when I saw it. Well, as a form of retribution for that day, I wanted to take another photo on the same date 1 year on, again taken by Christian, taken in the exact same spot. This is the photo below, and the smile on my face says it all. I was weighing 17stone (probably a bit more) in 1st photo on left, and I weighed in at 14st 11lbs one year later :)

This is comparisson has given me a boost. I still have some weight to get rid of still, but feel great with progress so far! :) yay me!

Details of challenge 2 coming soon!!


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Challenge 1 - Final Weigh in 25th April - Dara

Good morning,

Well its final weigh in day today for Challenge 1. I have to be honest and up front and say I'm a little bit of a grump this morning. multple reasons, mostly due to lack of sleep. 'Alex will you sleep for flips sake'... was late getting to bed (1am), then into his bed to settle him around 3.40am, then up awake at 6.40am... feeling a bit tired...Anyhoo this has been a reflection of how this week has been for me in general.. Alex can be such a light sleeper at times and he goes through bad spells like this where he wakes a lot at night... very frustrating......anyhow.. there's my excuse for this week, for bad mood and bad week of excercising (especially at the start of the week). My weight training went to crap this week as I only got a small bit done and made sure that I at least got some cardio in.

Anyhooo, the start of the week was a total washout from an excercise perspective, with Alex not sleeping I wasn't fit for early morning workouts, and I've been helping Carla out with some Financial Returns for the Pre-School which were due for Quarter 1. So, once those were out of the way I got into some excercise on Wed, thurs and Fri, primarily cardio with small stints of weights.

So having said that, I had been monitoring my weight all week to ensure I wasn't going back up.. and thanksfully it has been going down!!! woo hoo, reason to celebrate... all week I was seeing consistent 14st, 12lb weight !! yahooo!!!! however this morning... here were my stats for my final weigh in of challenge 1 !!!

Weight: 14st 13lbs (-1lb on last week....should have been two!!!!!!)
Bodyfat%: 22% (static)

so, seeing it up to 13lbs was a little annoying this morning, but I guess is due to bad sleep and lack of consistent excercise this week. So, I know I didn't hit my targeted weight by a long shot of 13st 7lbs, but the aggressive goal was great! and still achieveable ...challenge 2 here I come!!!

Diet this week was pretty good, and happy with eating.

So.. I know I said at begining of this post, I was in a bit of a grump.. but it willl be short lived I know..just need to get head in rihgt place and do a workout too, relieve some stress!! Also Andy is coming up here today and that should be good craic..

Progress on challenge 1.

Starting Weight: 16st 2lbs (226lbs) 28% bodyfat
Current Weight: 14st 13lbs (209lbs) 22% bodyfat
Total Loss: 1st 1lb (15lbs)

I think thats not bad for 2 months work!, though the plateau's definately threw me, I had higher expectations, but didn't realise how challenging it would be once I started to get down to this current weight. Lots learnt,..and v. happy I'm at my lightest weight.


So, photos I'm showing this weeks in comparisson to the 1st one blogged here..which was a couple of weeks into challenge 1 when we setup this blog. And I've also shown some comparisson to my november 07 photos when I weighed 16st 12lbs, and I've come a long way since then (over 2st).

Friday, April 24, 2009

eve before end of challenge 1

Good evening,
its the night before challenge 1 ends and final weigh in day! It has been a fantastic 2 months working on the weight loss and doing this accountability blog. Realy motivational when you have to blog each week.

Anyway, with tomorrows final weigh in for challenge 1 coming up, I decided to do a quick recap.
Here is a quick reminder of where we started and first photos from this blog.

When Andy and I agreed challenge 1, which was just a couple of weeks before we started this blog, we set out to meet tomorrow, and see who hit their goal!

here are our original stats again as a reminder..

Dara's Weight loss goal:
Height: 6' 1"
Starting Weight (Feb 21st 2009): 16stone 2lbs (226lbs)
Target by April 25th: 13stone 7lbs. (189lbs)
Total weight loss goal: 37lbs

Andrew's Weight loss goal:
Height: 6' 7" (yes he's one tall fella)
Starting Weight (Feb 21st 2009): 25stone 10lbs (360lbs)
Target by April 25th: 23stone 5lbs.(327)
Total weight loss goal: 33lbs

So here is a reminder of the first pics we posted, here.... So, tomorrow.. all will be revealed and sumarised!

We meet up tomorrow at my house in Monaghan... after we weigh in and blog tomorrow am before we meet. Looking forward to meeting up, it should be fun!! We'll review challenge 1, set challenge 2, and reveal ideas for the future for this blog!!!

Until the morning..


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Challenge 1 - Weigh in 18th April - Andrew

Well, it's been a good week with good progress. I went back to the drawing board, so to speak, and looked at everything that I was doing compared to everything that I am doing now to identify any areas that I could improve on. The results were surprising to me.

Generally, dietary matters are fine, the odd slip up here and there in the past but certainly nothing major. The main area to improve on was exercise. I don't think that I've been pushing myself as much as I used to, every week I'd try to do a slightly harder workout, building it up over time. I found that I'd been largely ignoring my core workouts (crunches and curls), my cardio, although good, was at a setting that I've been at for a while. So, this week, I went all out. Shifted up the cardio a difficulty setting, really mixed it up too by using machines that I don't normally use (and here's a piece of advise from bitter experience this week, if you've never used a machine before, get lessons on how to set the difficulty setting first, I pushed myself to the point of collapse on Wednesday as I was using the rowing machine for the first time and didn't realise it was on the highest setting - ouch!). I also started my core exercises too, for the time being they will be every second day (Mon, Wed, Fri) until I can get them all done, then I'll push them up again.

Right, enough talking, here are my results for this week!

Weight: 151.1 kg /333.11 lbs /23.79 stone

So, just over a 2 kg loss! Not bad eh - worth the sore muscles!!

A few more stats according to my scales:
Body Fat % : 32.6
Visceral Fat : 17
BMI : 37.4
Musle Mass % : 34.9

My BMI is still very high, BUT when I started my weight loss journey (before Dara and I got in contact), I was 45.1. So I'm tickled pink to see that figure fall as well, plus my trousers seem to be getting looser all the time and as I type this I'm wearing a t-shirt that a well meaning friend bought me last year that was just way too small to wear, fits me just right now!

Challenge 1 - Weigh in 18th April - Dara

Ah man,
this is tough..I have to say serious weight loss and lifestyle changes are not for those who don't have their head in the right place. Let me cut to the chase...

Weight: 15st 0lbs (210lbs) - no change
Bodyfat: 22% - minus 2 percentage points

Once again it would appear on the surface I'm hitting a weight loss plateau. Maybe I'm losing fat though going by the fat% on the scales. I've dropped from 24% last week to 22% this week. Which in the end of the day, losing fat is the aim of the game here. But for me to lose 2% points of fat, and still be same weight it would mean I have put on weight in the form of lean muscle/body mass.

E.g. Last weeks data:
24% bodyfat

breaks out as:
50.4lbs of body fat
159.6lbs Lean mass

This weeks data:
22% bodyfat

breaks out as:
46.2lbs of bodyfat
163.8lbs of lean mass

So you can see from above example, if the scales bodyfat % is right I have lost just under 4lbs of bodyfat, and put on just under 4lbs of lean mass. Where have I lost this and gained this, I don't.
So, from my perspective, I would have loved to have seen even 1lb down on overall body weight to see me move into the 14stone mark...but hey, that will hopefully be next week (final weigh in for challenge 1).

On the workout front this week, I had a very good week, I did Cardio every day except thursday and I got 2 good strength training sessions in, and another smaller one. Although I missed cardio on thursday I made up for it yesterday (friday). I did 20mins in the morning when I got up and I did 60mins cardio on treadmill yesterday evening.

In terms of nutrition and eating this week. Well, it was pretty good. I have had better weeks. I did have some take away foods this week, but best choices I could make. No big creamy sauces, and lean chicken where possible. but I'd still score it around 90% on target. (though I did have a slice of birthday cake yesterday for Alex's birthday - tut tut - it was too nice!!)

Well here are the photos for this weeks results. I think my frustration is reflected a little in my expression this week! look a little grumpy!!

So, In general, I'm still very happy with how I'm progressing. I've had a good week getting on track with workouts, but wish I had made more progress on overall weight loss front. Today was last weigh in before final Challenge 1 weight loss. My goal was 13st 7lbs, which now I think I was overly ambitious..however I have learnt an awful lot, and at same time I have still lost weight and feeling great. I had a trip to the attic this week to pull down a bag of old clothes I hadn't worn in years, and found a whole new wardrobe! I also retired all my old 42" and some other 38" trousers to the attic also. So that was theraputic. On a daily basis I notice small things that remind me of my progress... trousers loser, my watch needed a link removed, my wedding ring is nearly falling off me because my fingers are skinnier, and even my shoes are loser. So although the scales may not be showing as massive drop yet, I'm feeling it.
I have to take a visit to My sister in law and get her to take some measurements again and see how I've progressed with skin fold test. I think that will give a good indication also.
But for this final week. I'm going to really have to review my diet, and turn my cardio workouts completely and utterly on their head. I think I thought it would be much easier to lose the remaining weight. But it has been a really good learning experience.
I'm looking forward to next week when Andrew and I meet up for the first time in 5 or 6 years. It will be a laugh as always.. :)
Until next week and final weigh in..

Monday, April 13, 2009

Challenge 1 - Weigh in 11th April - Andrew

Well hello there!

Firstly, my compliments to Dara on his artistic work on the blog, I especially love the before/after pictures at the top of the screen AND his most recent pictures look awesome, way to go buddy!

It's been a funny week, I've been pushing harder with the cardio, pushing up the intensity and getting a good sweat going. I usually do resistance training twice a week , Mondays and Fridays but as the gym was closed for the long weekend (Thursday - Monday), I didn't get any done on Friday and won't get any done today. So I'll make up for it tomorrow, with a nice long workout, hit the gym around 6 and finish up around 8pm.

Sadly, I appear to have hit my own plateau in terms of weight loss but I'm not discouraged. I know that after being sick I was weak getting back into the gym and I wonder if there was a little muscle loss during the few weeks that I was unwell. On the brighter side of things I bought a brand spanking new pair of jeans last week and they were a little tight around the waist, today I tried them on for the laugh and they're much looser so it's all good!

So, here's the stats for this week, very little in terms of actual weight loss but as Dara and I know the scales can be deceptive, as muscle is denser than fat, if you're building up muscle and losing fat the net result can be 0 weight loss. Perhaps it's time to start utilising other body measurements until this plateau has been broken. It also means that I'll revisit my workouts, determine what areas I can improve/increase and take a good look at diet as well to see where I can improve. So, with a little luck and some hard work I hope to have better results next week!

Weight: 153.3 kg /24.09 stone /337.3 lbs

So there's little actual weight loss as mentioned but my jeans and other clothes are looser and, at the end of the day, while your weight is useful for a little bit of feedback, it's not the be all and end all of things! I found it quite funny to receive an email from a friend in London during the week (titled "Hello you skinny mofo!") who noticed my most recent photo and when you compare it to my pictures from Michigan in July, where he last saw me, there is one hell of a difference. So, best foot forward as usual, will start keeping a food diary again and we'll see how we get on.

Until next week!


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Challenge 1 - Weigh in 11th April - Dara

Good morning!
well, last week I said I broke my plateau, so did that continue? This week, I didn't get nearly enough work outs done. I usualy work out before work, but last week my eldest son has been bad with his Asthma and I've not been getting enough sleep to be fit to get out of bed in the morning...however I did finish up my week with a couple of good sessions in the evenings.

Having said my workouts weren't great this week, I did well with my eating. I've been trying carb cycling as I've mentioned before, and I think its paying off, really noticed it yesterday when I was on v. low carbs, was really craving carbs. Today willbe high carbs again, yum!

Anyway, this morning, weigh in day. I was anxious this week that with the not so great workouts that I wouldn't make any progress, or just marginal. I really wanted to get down to 15st2lbs, make some progress. Well, I had a pleasant surpise this are my stats for this week:

Weight: 15st 0lbs (210lbs) (-3lbs on last week WOOHOO!!!)
bodyfat: 24%

So, I'm really chuffed with the progress, still not so sure about the body fat % reading on the scales. this mornings reading on the scales was a genuine surprise and must be related to keeping the eating on straight and narrow, even if training was not 100%. This has given me a boost.

As for photos, here we go... (using my digital camera instead of iphone camera so should be better quality from now on)

So, its been a bit of a crappy in terms of workouts, but I really think I need to get back to daily cardio in the mornings before work. I think if I don't do daily, I run risk of not getting anything done. I need to focus on my motivation to do this.
I don't have a large amount of weight to lose now. My goal is 13st. 7lbs. thats 1.5stone to go. the last stone is usually the most tricky/stubborn to lose. So some people may think I might not look like I have to lose weight, but its spread out over my body at moment, and there are pockets of areas that still have a good bit of fat that need to be shifted. Still on my belly, ass, thighs, a bit around the chest... I think when I get down to my target weight and look back at these photos and it will be clearer where that weight had to go. Time will tell!! :)
Until next week.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Challenge 1 - Weigh in 4th April - Dara

So, has the plateau I was facing last week been broken?

well, good news is, it appears to be!! I double checked my daily calorie intake this week for what I should be taking in daily for maintenance levels, and for calorie defecit and I was in the right bracket for 15-20% calorie defecit to keep weight loss up. However I did change my cardio this week, I changed it about a bit. Instead of only doing treadmill I did a mix of treadmill, stepper and rope in quick successsion. I probably could have done it more frequently this week, but I still got that in and working on my new resistance training routine, where I'm doing a 2 day split where I work half of my body one day, and then work the other half the next workout session. Allowing me to really target each muscle group effectively.

Well, so weight stats!! here we go:

Weight: 15st 3lbs (213lbs) (down 1lb on last week)
Bodyfat: 23% (down from 26% last week)

I'm not sure how accurate the bodyfat % is on our scales, but it is indicating the right trend at least. So I'm happy with inital 1lb loss and I think some muscle growth is happening. So, I'm happy with progress. I'll try increasing the frequency of my cardio this week as that seems to be making the biggest difference, new routine, new frequency. Shake it up a bit more!!! I think the trick is to step in to the gym each day and try make your body feel like it is the first time it was in the gym. i.e. push yourself!

Now, for photos:

Well, this weekend I was in Dublin so didn't get working out as I'd hoped, but did get a long walk in on Sunday (today) as Carla was doing the Bupa 10km Run in the Phoenix park, so I got a good 30mins walk around the park today, even if it wasn't high intensity, it was moving! Plus I kept my food/eating as good as possible, if frequency of eating wasn't what I've been used to lately. Anyway, back on track tomorrow!

Until next week.


P.s. Might use a different camera next week as the pics were quite fuzzy this week.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Challenge 1 - Weigh in 4th April - Andrew

This will be a lightning fast blog as I am running out the door to get some clothes for my sisters 40th tonight. More accurately, I am getting some new clothes because everything I own now is starting to make me look like MC Hammer, that's how baggy everything has become! A few weeks back I had to punch new holes in my belts to make them tight enough to actually keep my trousers on! I kind of like the idea of holding onto one of these belts, marking the date on each new hole, as a little reminder to myself when all this is done, a trophy almost.

Anyway, enough rambling from me on this, let's get down to business!

Weight: 153.3 kg /24.14 stone /337.97 lbs

So, not a huge loss this week.....or so it would seem on the surface. I've been a little "bunged up" the last few days so there might be a HUGE weight loss by next weekend!! I hope that Dara, or anyone else for that matter, isn't eating as they read this!

Just as a side note, before I forget it, I've been seeing these tickers pop up on various sites, looks like it might be a laugh although I haven't looked into them yet, as in the "how to" aspect of them. Can't be all that hard to do though!!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Challenge 1 - Weigh in 28th March - Andrew

This weekend has been a bad one, I've slipped a few times. Mainly because of the consumption of alcohol. On Friday night I was coerced (albeit quite easily) by my colleagues to go for "a pint" after work. This turned into a session in which I consumed a lot of beer, and at least 2 vodkas. All on a pretty empty stomach which lead, in turn, to junk food on the way home, as well as some little scumbag trying to pick a fight with me on Westmoreland Street. My stress levels from work are quite high with the pending audit and the preparation going into it, as well as relationship issues. all making me feel quite wound up.

It didn't help either that I went to the movies yesterday (was good at the cinema, just had a small scoop of sorbet and water) and then went out for drinks afterwards. A lot of empty calories this weekend, not good at all. On a more positive note, the weight loss so far has become noticeable to me, my confidence has increased, I'm walking taller, I was approached several times in the bars last night and though I didn't do anything about it, it WAS a huge boost to my self confidence.

Anyway, the lesson to be learned here is that drink is the devil when it comes to weight loss. So, lesson learned, while I might go to the pub after work again, I'll stick to non alcoholic drinks for the time being.

Weight: 154.3 kg / 24.29 stone / 340.17 lbs

The rest of the week was quite good in terms of both diet and workout. Skipped one day of the gym due to fatigue, completely overdid it with the resistance training on the Monday, was wiped out by the time that Wednesday came around. I'll take the weights down a little next time, I seem to forget that I've been out of the gym from that flu thingy I had and I can't really just expect to go back in, all guns blazing. My cardio on Monday was low enough but by Thursday I had it back up to normal levels. So that's coming along nicely!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Challenge 1 - Weigh in 28th March - Dara

Good evening,
well, its saturday again... and I've mixed emotions today. After last weeks weigh in I was a little dissapointed that I'd only lost 1lb. Knowing I was hitting a plateau. So, I tried to shake things up a little with my workout and diet this week, but weigh in this morning, still placed me at same as last week. :(

Weight: 15st 4lbs. (214lbs)
bodyfat: 26%

I havea tanita scales which gives bodyfat %, but I don't know how accurate it is. Anyway.I'll include from now on and see how it progresses.

I had taken a sneak peek at my weight during the week and I though I had been breaking the plateau as I was down at 15st 3lbs and 22% bodyfat... so I was hoping for a better result weighin in this morning. Maybe its water weight or something.. hmm.. anyhoo I'm grateful all the same that it hasn't gone higher than last week. I just need to focus now on really doing a cross check on my diet and excercise. On the diet front I'm going to try Carb Cycling (zig zag method) I eat reduced carbs and increased protein for 3 days, then on the 4th day I increase the carbs & reduce the protein to normal levels. This zig zag method is meant to be great for sustaining weight loss and for plateau breaking. The reduced carbs are supposed to trigger weight loss and adding the higher carbs every 4th day fools the body that it isn't going to be without carbs for long time, and as a result you don't trigger starvation mode in your body (when body goes into fat retention mode).

Also, I think my body has got used to my cardio routine on the treadmill. So, I'm going to see what I can do there to shake it up. I have a skipping rope and a stepper, I may try alternating between the three and confuse my body!! :)

However, at begining of this post I had mixed emotions...I remembered some more 'before' shots I had taken at the end of 2007, when I first really started to look at trying to tackle my weight. I had taken some shots of myself when I was reading Paul McKenna's 'I can make you thin' program. In these photos I was 16st 12lbs. I didn't do so good on the Paul McKenna program, and i may have lost some weight (I can't recall) but in the long run I ended up by May 2008, weighing 17st +. (as per my post - the weigh I was - Dara)

I decided to post these photos along with todays weight in photos. And when I put them together, I really see the progress I've made so far in my weight loss goals. I still have some more to go on my own goals to get lean. But this gave me a lift as I can see ok, this week I may have hit a plateau, but in the long run, if I keep at it, I'll hit my goal and transform my physique.

So, here we go, here are current weigh in photos, with my November 2007 pics.

Well, wish me look breaking this plateau, and hopefully next week I'll have some good progress to report!! By the way, breaking this plateau of 15st 4lb is important to me, as I have got to this weight in past once before and I'm sure I plateaued at it, but my head wasn't in same place, and obviously put weight back on when I didn't see progress or gave up. Anyway, this time, No weigh back.. head down, keep going. :)

till next week

Dara :)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

There's no Gym like home!

I Just wanted to drop in a quick post to the blog today. I was thinking about times in the past where I tried to lose weight and Gym memberships and all that wasted money!!! Anyhoo... one of the things that I've found invaluble to getting on top of my weight is our home gym.

We are fortunate to be living in a big enough house that we can devote a room to it. But equally a garage or similar space could do.

I say it has been invaluble because of time constraints really, and having 2 kids to look after and busy lives!! :) And the accountability factor that I have absolutely no excuse that I can't make it to the gym...its right there!!!

Anyway, you might be thinking...ooh rich "Baxter" with his home gym...but the purpose of this post is to show you how we did it...and how little it cost us (when compared with gym memberships for 2 people).

Above is a rough panorama shot of our little home gym. Here's what you'll find!
  • Treadmill
  • Cross Trainer
  • Multi-Gym - weights machine
  • Stepper
  • Punch Bag
  • Dumbells
  • Skipping Rope

Anyway, what may be surprising is all that only cost us a grand total of €534
Here's the breakdown of each item and where we got it!

Between all those items we have enough for a real good workout, and again it doesn't cost thousands upon thousands to do and less than many gym membership fees that people are paying.

Anyway as I say, if you can find the space, I'd reccommend it!

Take it easy!


Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Weigh I Was - Dara

Over the last 9-10months approx, I've made some progress on my weight loss, but especially in the last month. I had seen Andrew's post here on his 'before' photos. So I started to dig out mine. There is one photo in particular that I had to put up here, because it was one of those photos that was a defining moment for me. Below is that photo. The picture was taken in our Kitchen 26th April 2008 when I was hitting my heaviest of around 17stone. The thing that got me most about this photos was that it was taken by my son Christian. I remember just looking at the photo and thinking, 'Oh god, is that how he sees me'. It was around this time Carla was starting to lose weight also. So that summer is when I made my first attempts to lose weight and I did lose over a stone.

However, here is that picture:

(note jeans in above shot are the ones in my last weigh in pics: see Dara - 21st March).

Below now, is some shots of me when i tried to get started with losing weight at the end of 2007.
These were taken on November 16th 2007. I weighed 16st. 12lbs in these shots. My attempt was short lived as I went on to weigh 17st+ my May 2008 (as per above photo).

Anyway, below I have a few other random photos from last year or two. My face is quite heavy and double chin quite noticeable. Anyhoo.. this might give you an idea for where I've come from so far.

So, I hope in maybe 6 months time I can get Christian to take a new photo of me which will be the complete opposite of that photo above he took.. Something we can both be proud of! :)

'No Weigh Back' to this.. :)


Challenge 1 - Weigh in 21st March - Dara

this week has been a bit slow on the excercise front for me. I let things slip a bit. However for the best part of the week I kept on top of my good eating habbits. This weekend being mothers day did present me with two meals out where I had to make the best choices possible for food (while still enjoying myself!!).

I'm writing this entry, sunday night, but my weigh in info is from yesterday morning.
So, Mothers Day is drawing to a close.. I went for lunch with Carla's Family and I managed to go for fairly healthy options for lunch.. Melon, Grilled salmon, and fruit salad! :)

Anyway..on excecise front, I had a busy week in work which had me up late a few nights. And usually I get my excecise before I head out to work..however late worknights and Alex being sick and not sleeping well (and us in turn), I favoured my bed in the mornings this week instead of the gym! So, I've no-one to blame but myself. I did get out though for 4km walk Friday night, and I was back training again this morning in my gym.

Having said all that, I did make a little progress on my weight loss!

This week I'm 1 pound down, not massive loss, but something.

weight: 15st 4lbs. (214lbs)

So, above, I know I'm seeing some results which is great, keeps me going. My hips/bum area is where I have bulk of my weight and where I can see in the 'lumpy' bits in the above photos! But I'm making progress nonethless.. bit by bit!
My sister in Law is helping me monitor my weight. She is a dietician and is performing skin fold test on me. I checked in with her on Saturday and my waist measurement has gone down by 1 inch in the last 2 weeks. My waist fat % is a bit higher than last time, and my arm fat % is still the same (above average fat%).

I have some extra photos today. I put on a pair of Jeans I used to wear less than 12months ago. They're 42" waist. I've another post going up tonight with my before picks, so you will see these feature a lot! They were my comfy Jeans. Now far too big for me. I'm wearing a 36" waist at the moment. It was nice doing this.

Anyway.. well I learnt this week I need my sleep, and without it, I'll throw things out completely, and B. I know that I can still keep on top of my good eating habbits.

I've been eating so much clean food, and with my juicing the other week, my pallette has become very sensitive. I haven't really had any wine in the last month. So last night when I was out for dinner with Carla. I tried a glass of wine. It tasted like pure neat vodka. I couldn't drink it. So, I guess in a round about way thats good news for my weigh loss that I can keep away from fattening alcohol. (also tummy felt a bit off after all the rich food last night, but it soon passed after the workout I had).

till next week


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Challenge 1 - Weigh in 21st March - Andrew

Still sick this week but the end is in sight, only need to blow my nose 100 times a day at the moment, instead of 1000 times a day! Got back into the gym too, pushed too hard on the first night even though I could only manage 25 minutes and felt terrible afterwards, the following day though I was there for 35 and felt better. So, next week I'll keep building it back up until I'm back to an hour of cardio and a few days of resistance training per week.

Weight: 155.7kg (24.52 stone)

So, a good result! I bought a scales this week as I was convinced that the scales in the pharmacy must be wrong to be giving me these impressive results each week but nope, the new scales agrees with the pharmacy one. It's a pretty cool scales too, has a USB port in it, remembers your last 20 weights (including BMI, etc), you stick a USB memory stick (supplied) into it, upload it to the computer and their software graphs it all for you! Sweet!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Challenge 1 - Weigh in 14th March - Andrew

After a week sick last week and various disruptions this week (won't get in to them!), I'm back on track. Weighed in yesterday and was pleased to see that despite the temporary reduction in exercise I've still lost weight in the last few weeks. Having said that, it's not as good as it could or should be so it's time to get back on track 100% and get back into the swing of things. So, back to proper work outs tomorrow, getting to bed at a reasonable time, nutrition I have maintained over the past few weeks -with the odd exception such as a staff night out and my Dad's birthday- so I'm pretty pleased with that.

Weight: 158 kg (24.88) stone.

The below pictures were taken today (15th) and as shocking as they are they actually help me to see that I have lost weight, am kind of glad I don't have pictures like these from when I was very overweight!

As embarrassed as I am by these pictures, there are good reasons for posting them:-
  1. Forces me to really see myself as others do
  2. Makes me see the progress I have made
  3. Wouldn't be fair to Dara to not match what he's doing
  4. Helps to keep me motivated!

The Weigh I Was - Andrew

Sorry for posting so late but I ended up working later than I thought today! I think that Dara has done a pretty excellent job of explaining where we are both coming from though, I'll write more myself tomorrow (including up to date pictures), just wanted to get started now before I fall asleep. I thought I'd start by posting a picture taken just about a week before Christmas, I would have been close enough to my heaviest at that point, 182.2kg was my weight when I weighed myself on 21/11/2008. So, here's where I am coming from!!

Yikes! So, as you can see a lot to go at that point, I'll post my weigh in for this week and pictures tomorrow, not sure I'll be as brave as Dara with the pictures though!

Muesli Smoothie Recipe!

Yummmy recipe for a smoothie I just had to kick off my day! You will need the following:

2 Royal Gala Apples

1/4 pineapple

3 Strawberries

2 tablespoons of Natural Yoghurt

1/2 bannana

Small Handfull of Muesli

ice cubes

To make:

Juice the apples, and pineapple. Add the strawberries, yoghurt and bananna, and the freshly juiced apple/pineapple mixture to a blender/smoothie maker, along with the ice and muesli. Blend for 30seconds until smooth. and YUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMm.

Nice filling smoothie.

Challenge 1 - Weigh in 14th March - DARA

Well, its first official posting of my progress to this blog. Photos 'n all. I'm on my last day of the 7lbs in 7days program I've been doing this week. I have made some good progress. I technically should be weighing in tomorrow for the final weigh in for that. However for this blog, here is my current status!!

Weight: 15st. 5lbs.

So I have dropped 7lbs so far this week! yay. A bit closer to my target weight, but still a bit to go, I put on a lot of my weight on my waist/hips/bum which may not be totally clear from photos below.

Friday, March 13, 2009

7lbs in 7days Personal Challenge

Well, as the title might suggest. I'm looking for some rapid weight loss!! Some might think I'm mad and some may think it unhealthy. But that's assuming for the worst! For the last 6 days I've been on Jason Vale's ( 7lbs in 7 Days program. (i stress this is not a diet!).
This is a total detox week for me. I did this last summer and was where I made my first significant bit of weight loss and how my wife kickstarted here transformation to lose a total of 48lbs.

Essentially over the 7days you only consume juices & smoothies, extracted from fresh vegetables and fruit. Creating extremly nutrient dense drinks which flush out your system, giving your body a break, nourishing your cells with the raw nutrients it needs to function. Jason Vale himself went from being overweight, smoker, and with Asthama & sever psoriasis, to a very healthy weight, clearer skin and his asthma under control once he got into juicing. It makes a lot of sense. I'm not starving myself, as I take one of these juices or smoothies every 3hours. Its an amazing detox experience as you come off all the artificial highs of caffines and processed sugars. You get tons of energy and feel very cleansed! And most importantly.. i'm slimming down.

So, in conjunction with the juices, you also have to MOVE! Excecise every day. This wasn't too hard for me this week, as I'd already made the decision to excercise everyday, prior to this. I'm up most morning with my Sons, so I hop in to the home Gym, myself and Carla created last summer and work out before work. Managing to do 40mins on the treadmill and weight training also. So happy with that at the moment.

So, 7lbs in 7 days, is it achievable? Yes. Last summer I did it and I lost 9lbs in the 7 days. I know some of this will be water weight, some lean body mass and fat combined..and not pure fat loss. But I know for me it will kick start me on the road to getting to my target weight of 13.5 stone.

Tomorrow is my last full day of the program. I'm not meant to weigh in until day 8 according to the book. However Saturday is our weigh in day, so I'll be weighing in tomrrow morning anyway, for a sneak peek on my progress.

Last Sunday Morning I weighed, 15st. 12lbs. Lets see how I progress this week. Noticing the difference already, so is Carla. My stomach is a lot flatter, and my tracksuit pants were starting to slip down me this morning when training on the treadmill. Yay!

So, I plan to finnish reading Burn the Fat, Feed the muscle, by Tom Venuto, and look at how I can incorporate his methods into my lifestyle going forward and to get into shape past these 7days.

keep you updated on my juicing progress!


Challenge 1 - Deadline April 25th

So, to give you a little background on the first challenge and how it arose. Well, Andrew and I had been good friends for many years, but in the last 5-6 years we had drifted apart for one reason or another. I was off married having kids, and had moved down the country out of Dublin from where I was originally from. Andrew stayed in the City. This year, we got back in touch, and we've both been following a similar journey, where we are both on the path to end being overweight.

I'll allow Andrew post his story seperately, but here is an overview of my where my weight has been. I had always been a bit overweight (which I accepted), but in the last few years after the kids were born, I really started to pile on the weight. At my heaviest in May 2008, I was over 17stone (238lbs). Like many of you, in the past I'd made many failed, or average atempts to lose weight, each short lived, and weight put back on. Over the same period my Wife had also gained weight, especially after having 2 kids. But in 2008 my wife made some great leaps forward when she knocked her weight on the head and lost a staggering 48lbs in less than 6months. This inspired me to lose weight, and I made some inital progress last year to lose weight. I managed to get down to below 16stone by September 2008, but by Feb this year I had gone back up to 16stone, 4lbs, and I was letting things slide again.

For me though, I'd been listening to Anthony Robbins Audio books recently, and it finally clicked with me what I had to do to lose weight, which I'll discuss in more detail in another post, but I set my mind to burn my bridges and lose the weight once and for all.

So, Andrew and I hadn't seen each other in over 5 years. We'd talked briefly on occassion. But now that we were back in touch and knew we were on a similar path and mindset for losing weight, we decided to set eachother a challenge, and a goal. To finally meet up again, but we couldn't do so, without having lost a certain amount of weight first. And this has become 'Challenge 1' of this blog!

Ok, The first challenge. Andrew and I have set ourselves our first challenge. We started this blog after the challenge was set, so some progress has been made so far, but essentially, here is the details of the challenge. Both of us have set a weight loss goal for a set date. We will meet up on that date (as we will with every challenge deadline we set), and we must meet that weight loss goal.

Dara's Weight loss goal:
Height: 6' 1"
Starting Weight (Feb 21st 2009): 16stone 2lbs (226lbs)
Target by April 25th: 13stone 7lbs. (189lbs)
Total weight loss goal: 37lbs

Andrew's Weight loss goal:
Height: 6' 7" (yes he's one tall fella)
Starting Weight (Feb 21st 2009): 25stone 10lbs (360lbs)
Target by April 25th: 23stone 5lbs.(327)
Total weight loss goal: 33lbs

Can we do it... track our progress here!!! :)

We weigh in every Saturday, so we'll post our progress photos and stats weekly, though we may post on this blog more frequently that weekly.

No weigh back... only forward!!

Dara :)

Welcome & About this Blog

Hello all who may stumble upon this blog of ours.
My name is Dara Walsh, and I'm here with my good friend Andrew Reynolds. We're here to share our journey with you as we aim to shed the extra weight we have been carrying with us for many years. We've finally 'snapped!!', this is, this is the time we once and for all lose it. Get fit, and get the bodies we deserve. In this blog we will be setting out mile stones/challenges for ourselves, weighing in and photograping weekly and posting it here, and sharing the ups and downs of the process as we make our way.

So what is the purpose of this blog. Primarily Accountability. To keep each other motivated, but to also know that people may follow our story and see how we get on. And in doing so, we'll be accountable to you, our followers (if there are any!!!).

We'll also be sharing our thoughts/mindset, nutrition & recipes, excercise routines, and as mentioned above our weigh ins & challenges.

So, we look forward to this journey, and I hope you will join us on the way.

Dara & Andrew