Andrew 2.0

I was recently talking to a friend about things, and it was suggested that I try writing or blogging – what my friend didn’t know is that I did some thing like this a few years ago, and I sent them the link to this blog. That prompted me to re-read earlier posts and recall what I had posted previously.

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Andrew 2.0

Working out

I decided to look about getting a gym membership.

I’ve done this before, but not in the recent past – I think that the last time I did something like this was in 2007, and that lasted about eight weeks before it got too difficult to keep up (mainly down to the logistics of getting to the gym).
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Working out

Skinny git

I never thought I’d hear myself say this, but I’m turning into a skinny git. It dawned on me yesterday – my wife suggested I go try on some clothes while we were in Southampton, and so we wandered down to the Superdry store to look around. I found the coat that I’m going to buy in London , and it still fits really well. As I walked up to the mirror, I had to smile as I look really good in it. The wife then pointed to a hoodie-cum-knitwear pullover and said that I should try it on. I wasn’t sure as it definitely wasn’t the kind of thing that I would normally buy for myself.

Grabbing it, I pulled it up and over my head and put it on. It was a slim body fitting pullover and when I looked in the mirror it made me look really skinny and also really tall at the same time. Trouble was, it was £110 to buy! That said, it’s a great feeling to be able to walk into a shop like that and be able to try most of the clothes on and look good in them.

What’s more, even my mum commented on how well my new jeans fitted me. That was unexpected, but no less appreciated for it.

Another thing happened while I did my planking on Saturday evening – my wife pointed out my shoulder muscles to my mum, so I decided to take my t shirt off and do a few push-ups just to show them properly. I could see the smile on my wife’s face as I went through the motions, and I felt good.

This getting healthy lark is a good feeling, and I’m more determined than ever to stay at the weight I reach.

So – the weight loss. Well, I had an Indian on Friday night and a small dinner on the Saturday night, as well as some chocolate biscuits (although I didn’t go mad). I stepped on the scales this morning with a bit of trepidation as I thought I would have put on some weight since last week. To my surprise, I had actually dropped 5lbs so I’m now just a sliver under 12st 13lbs – I actually started typing 13st there rather than 12at, which goes to show the disbelief I have that I’m actually at that weight!

My goal is to get down to 12st 7lbs – if I end up a little lower then that’s no bad thing, but that is my target. At that point, I’ll be well within the ideal banding for my height and BMI, and will be able to give myself a buffer when I start the refeed process – a slight weight gain is inevitable, so I want to give myself as much slack as I can. In all honesty, if I can level out at 13st then I’ll be very happy indeed – that’s a good healthy weight for my height, and I’ll be in a good place as I approach my forties.

I also hadn’t exercised over the last few days on account of having very little space at my parents house. I made up for that last night when I did 153 sit-ups, 27 push-ups, 47 squats and all of my weights routine. By the end of all that I was definitely feeling better for doing it. My biceps and shoulders are starting to see results, while I can feel my legs burning a bit after the squats meaning that it’s working. The last piece to the puzzle will be to get to the doctor to see about my shoulder – although I’m able to do push-ups and my shoulder presses, I do still feel that my right shoulder isn’t moving as well as it should do. I’ll give it another month as by then I should have completed at least one milestone on my push-ups journey, and be nearly there on my sit-ups journey.

Things are definitely looking up – I’ve kept all of this up for over a month, so the habit should definitely be forming.

Skinny git

Pushing it

The Runtastic apps have been useful to me so far. I started off with the sit-ups app, and spent a couple of weeks following the programme as set out. Then I realised that there were other apps available that complemented it, namely the Push-ups and Squats apps. Happily they were available as part of a bundle, so I downloaded them along with the pull-ups app for £1.50 figuring that it was cheap enough to try out.

It’s had an interesting effect – the squats app is fairly straight forward and I’m having no real difficulty with doing my daily routine, although my balance isn’t quite right just yet. The more interesting one is the push-ups app as I’ve never really been able to do push-ups as far as I can remember.

The first few days were pretty awful – I could only just manage three push-ups at a time, but yesterday I managed to complete 20 push-ups in total as part of my session, with a one off record of 5 consecutive push-ups. This doesn’t sound like much, but I could really start to feel things getting a bit easier. That said, the last set of three that I had to do were a struggle, but I was determined to complete them. What’s more, my arms are definitely improving – I’m able to do a lot more arm exercises than I used to. The only concern I have is around my shoulder as it’s still not moving as much as it should do. By that, I mean that sometimes I have to manipulate my shoulder to get it to turn or move to a specific angle. I think a doctors appointment is going to be necessary to try and get things going again, but I’m not looking forward to that one.

My initial embarrassment factor over exercising in front of my wife has now evaporated – she largely doesn’t pay me any attention while I’m exercising, so I’m just carrying on. What this has meant is that I’m now only doing a round of arm exercises in the morning, with the remainder of my exercising being done in the evening.

Typically I’m doing at least 40 dumbbell curls, 40 dumbbell rows and 20 dumbbell shoulder presses, sometimes 40. On top of that, I’m doing at least 25 squats, 20 push-ups and at least 140 sit-ups. All of that takes me around 30 minutes or so, and I don’t need a gym to do any of it as I have all the equipment I need at home.

Perhaps the biggest thing I need now is some extra weights. The ones I have are on loan from my Dad, and I’m starting to reach the limits of what I can do with them. I’d rather have more weight and do fewer reps, than end up doing 60 or more reps across three sets. My goal is to bulk up my arms so I’ve got some muscles rather than the flabby arms I used to have. I don’t necessarily need a barbell as just the dumbbell are proving useful. I guess it’s something to add to my Christmas list!

Pushing it


I’ve been working hard the last few months to lose the weight I’ve lost so far, and I’m in touching distance of finishing my diet for now. That’ll happen at the end of this month, when I officially come off the diet and start to reintroduce regular meals back into my routine.

I have to admit that one of the reasons that I’ve found it so easy is that I’ve been able to plan my meals way in advance, meaning I just have to grab the next two shakes and meal pack, along with a snack bar each day. That takes the decision making away from me and means I can run on auto-pilot. This is helpful, as more often than not I’m up at 5am and just trying to get myself moving each morning!

I’ve got into the routine of having a shake for breakfast, one for lunch followed by a snack bar mid-afternoon and a meal in the evening along with a small pot of jelly afterwards. In between times, I’ve been drinking copious amounts of water to keep me going – in fact I’m probably hitting on average 3 litres of water per day, perhaps even more.

This is in contrast to many other people who appear to mix in regular food with their meal packs in an attempt to thicken them up somewhat. I have to admit that personally it feels a little like cheating, particularly when they say that they’ve not lost anything at all in a given week. My gut feeling is that the 100% Simplicity approach is the one to stick to as it yields the best results – but it’s essential to have the daily water allowance too, as otherwise you’ll feel very dehydrated and probably quite constipated too.

So what are my goals? Well, I’d like to get down to at least 12st 7lbs, if not slightly lower. I know that when I reintroduce regular meals I’ll put on a bit of weight as my body adjusts, but I don’t want to go above 13st again as I feel really comfortable at this weight.

In addition, I’m now wearing 34″ trousers and 16.5″ collar shirts – which was another one of my goals. I’ve now met that, and I don’t wish to wear 36″ or 38″ ever again, never mind an 18″ collar shirt!

I also want to be able to enjoy my new weight – and I’ve been hard at work exercising. I’ve been doing sit-ups, gradually increasing the number I do each day (I did 130 today) and also the dumbbell workouts I’ve been doing. I’ve now increased it to 2 x 20 reps each day of curls and rows, as well as 20 shoulder presses. My arms are getting used to the effort I’m putting in, so another one of my goals is to buy a half-decent cast iron dumbbell and barbell set so I can increase the weight I’m lifting.

Finally I really need to get back out on my bike, but I need to buy some clothes to fit me! I think that will be the real way to keep my weight down – the sit-ups and weights are there to tone my body, whereas the cycling will burn any fat that I put on.

I’d be really interested to get a body fat measurement at some point – I don’t know what it will come out as, because I do still have some fat around my lower stomach and the tops of my legs. However, the bulk of it has burned away, leaving me a very different person underneath!



I’m still on an upward curve when it comes to my sit-ups each day. Today I managed to do 106, reaching 32 consecutive sit-ups and then ramping down as each set progresses. It is getting easier each day and I wouldn’t be surprised to be able to do 60 within a fortnight. The rate I’m going, I’ll be hitting 100 consecutive sit-ups by the end of November all being well.

Continue reading “Hurting”