Sunday, 27 March 2011

Week 5 Is Over

Today marks the end of Week 5 of the 12 Week Transformation Challenge. 35 days gone, or, as I like to think of it, 60 gym sessions or thereabouts now completed.

David on the Life Fitness Gym Treadmill

It's been hard work, and it continues to be that way - but the results make me truly happy. Today I hopped on the scales, thinking my weight loss may have slowed down - but it's actually accelerated. I've lost 2.25Kg this week, meaning I've now lost 9.1Kgs in 5 weeks. That's an average of 1.8Kg lost each week. If I can keep that momentum, I'll be on target to lose the 20Kg I want to get off by the end of the 12 week gym program, and maybe even a little bit more! Time will tell, but right now, I've more focused and determined than ever to see this through.

I know quite a few diabetics around the world are following this blog, because I get emails from them. You'll probably be very happy to hear that my resting blood sugars are now averaging around 5.6 - 5.9 range. That's a big improvement on the 11.5 at the beginning of the challenge. I guess it just goes to show that all of the advice we're given by doctors and diabetic clinics really does work. Do a bit of exercise each day, eat healthily, and drink lots of water, and your blood glucose levels become lower and more stable. It really works! If I keep reducing my weight, maybe, just maybe, I'll be able to get off the diabetes medication in time. That would be awesome!

I've taken a slightly different approach with the photos this week - I'm keeping my clothes on. That's deliberate. I'd like you to see more dramatic changes so I'm thinking a "half nude" shot every 2 or 3 weeks may be better. Hey, some readers might actually be in favour of the clothes staying on! To prove that I really do exercise, here's a photo of me working hard on the treadmill this morning.

Over 9Kgs down - Front On Photo

Next week's update may be delayed by a few days - I'll explain why when I next post. But fear not: the longer between this post and the next one, the more change you should be able to notice. Certainly, by the end of Week 12, I'm expecting to see BIG changes between the before and after photos. I can only look forward to that day!

Thank you all for your emails and comments, and for your donations to Diabetes New Zealand. Your support in all of these ways means a lot: thank you soooooo much!

Sunday, 20 March 2011

One Month Down, One Stone Down

Side On Photo

Today I celebrated the official end of Week 4 of the challenge! That means I'm now one third of the way through the challenge. If you read my earlier blog entries, you'll see I'm aiming to lose 20kg during the 12 weeks, about 3 stone. I'm happy to report that I'm currently on target to do this. The scales this morning showed a weight of 136.15kg. Compared to my start weight of 143kg just 4 weeks ago, that's a 6.85kg reduction overall - or a little over a STONE. And it does feel like a big stone has been lifted off me!

It's hard work keeping motivated on the 12 week transformation challenge sometimes, because the hard slog and pain does all it can to keep you from pushing through. Luckily I have a strong mind, a clear vision of where I want to get to, and a great "support crew" - including my trainer and the gym staff at Club Physical Xpress - who cheer me on and make me feel that the effort is worthwhile. I'm really grateful to them, and also to every reader of this blog. Your support and comments really help to keep me on the straight and narrow - so thank you!

Front On Photo

Measurements now are starting to look encouraging. I've lost 9cm off my hip / butt area to date, along with great movements in my mid waist, chest, and thigh areas. And it's really noticable. I've had to start wearing smaller clothes, because the others are just too baggy now and look sloppy. The clothes I wear are now 1-2 sizes smaller than 4 weeks ago, depending on brand / cut, which is FANTASTIC. I can't wait until the end of week 12, when even these will look like tents! Neck measurement is as good an indicator of progress as any: 4 weeks ago, mine was 47cm. Now its 45cm. That's the difference between an XXXL or XXXXL shirt, and an XXL one. I'm expecting to fit XL within a month or two, but for now, that progress is enough to keep me moving forward.

Keeping the variety in the gym program is important, and today I was running through Albert Park and the beautiful streets of Downtown Auckland. The photo taken by the lights near the end of the run is quite funny: I only noticed the "Gentleman Start Your Showers" text on the billboard behind when I loaded the photo on the blog... but that is very appropriate! After a half hour walk and jog up and down hills, I was more than ready for the shower!

Dave Running On The Road

So, one month has past, and I'm on target to meet my goal. Let's hope this progress continues - I'll be doing all I can to stay focused, and work hard. Don't forget that Diabetes New Zealand would love a donation to help others with Diabetes. Whether it's $1, $5 or more, all donations are greatly appreciated, and tax deductible. You can donate at 12 Week Transformation Challenge Fundraising Page. And, if you're interested in joining a gym that can help you get real results like I am, I can highly recommend Club Physical Auckland Gyms.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

The End Of Week 3

Side On End of Week 3

It's now the end of week 3, of my Club Physical 12 Week Transformation Challenge. It's been a tough week in many ways, but I'm still excited enough to attend my twice daily gym sessions, despite the occasional pain my body is putting me through. I forgot for a while that the body stores toxins in fat cells - and that the release of these toxins can cause short term nausea, tiredness, and pain. I have a LOT of fat cells to burn, so I guess this is just part of the process. But on the bright side of life, I've got more energy on a day to day basis, and as the fat cells burn, there'll be less of them going forward, and thus less pain to endure!

Whilst I'm on the 12 Week Transformation Challenge, I note that overseas this is also known as the Body For Life challenge, the 12 Week Body Blitz, the gym Transformation Contest, Operation Tighten Up, the 12 week lose fat and gain muscle solution, and a variety of other names. Whatever you call it, this 12 week program gets results - as long as you work hard, and stick to the prescribed formulas. I've been following the Club Physical 12 Week Transformation Challenge guide to the letter - so much so that I joke I'm living like a monk at present! But I am VERY happy with the results so far, and intend to keep going full tilt.

This morning I was weighed in, and I'm happy to report my weight is now 137.65kg, over a kilo down from last week. That's a full 5.35kg below my start weight three weeks ago - or an average weight loss of 1.8kg per week. My goal is to lose 20kg in the 12 weeks - and currently I'm on target to do that. If this rate of weight loss is maintained (although I expect it will slow down at some point), then 12 x 1.8kg would equal a 21.6kg loss. That would be awesome: time will tell the final result. Knowing that goals are best met by breaking targets into smaller chunks, I'm currently congratulating myself on the 11 packets of butter lost to date! Cheers to that (with water of course).

In measurement terms, things are going really well. I've lost inches all over my body, but most noticably in my hips and butt area - which today measure a full 8cm (about 3 inches) smaller than they were just 3 weeks ago. That's basically one clothes size down - which will be why some of my clothes are feeling baggy. Might be time to start looking at new wardrobe items in the next few weeks. Hopefully the photos you're seeing are now showing clear differences. I'm starting this week to show front on photos also, as I'm beginning to notice big transformations happening there - and clear "dimples" on the side of my stomach where fat has burnt off.

Front on End of Week 3

Doing an intensive gym program like this is hard with my size and weight, but I'm grateful for all of the very positive comments people are leaving on this blog. Feel free to join in - the more the merrier! You can leave comments on ALL blog entry pages. I'm also very encouraged to see that we've had our first donation to Diabetes New Zealand (you can also donate here), which touches my heart. I'm keen to raise some money to support their education and research programmes, and to help others with this terrible Diabetes Type 2 disease to overcome it and have a more enjoyable (and healthy) life. Your support is greatly appreciated!

If you're doing a similar challenge at present, drop me a line here. Some tips I'm happy to share already: drink LOTS of water, at least 2-3 litres a day; eat healthily; no complex carbs after 5pm; reduce caffeine; and keep on going. Never lose sight of your goal, no matter how hard things seem. And, if you're on the 12 Week Transformation Challenge, don't waste a single workout! Time is too short - work hard and get the best results you can!

I'm looking forward to keeping you all informed of ongoing process over the coming weeks. Thanks for visiting the blog, and feel free to share the blog address with your friends and colleagues via Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and the like!

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Gym Transformation Challenge Continues

So it's now the last day of my 2nd week of the challenge. 14 days have passed, and I'm pleased to announce the results thus far: I'm now 138.9kgs - that's 4.1kg below my start weight, and my blood sugar has dived from 11.5 at the start of the challenge down to 6.4 already! I'm feeling good, feeling fitter than before, and importantly, I'm optimistic about what the next 10 weeks will bring.

I know I'm not out of the woods yet. My current 138.9kg weight is still a lot higher than I would like. But I really do think that the next ten weeks will bring good results - and I'm already starting to visualise how my new body shape might look.

Measurements were taken again today, and the fat is falling off all over. It's most noticable in my hip and butt area though, where I've lost a significant amount. Certainly my clothes are fitting better than for a long, long time - and if this keeps going, I'll soon be looking for a new wardrobe.

Training wise I'm still spending roughly an hour a day in the gym. This is hard work - but worthwhile. I've got a great personal trainer at Club Physical Xpress Auckland, Sugar, who makes the training fun and full of variety. I'm so impressed with Sugar that I'm placing her photo on this blog!

Sugar, Club Physical Trainer

Today I was restacking the dumbbell rack from a pile of 20 weights on the floor... one at a time. In between the stacking I had to run outside the gym and go up and down stairs. It was a full cardio workout, with the benefit of some strengthening too due to the weights. There's a photo below showing me when I finished the exercise.

That's something I've learnt so far in this challenge: variety is the spice of life. If you can mix up the exercises you do and keep things fresh each day, you've got a much better chance of sticking to the routine - which can get tiring after a while. Certainly, variety has helped me stick to my workout plans - and the results clearly show that it's worth the short term pain for the longer term gain.

I'm going to keep on progressing, so keep reading the blog for updates. And please feel free to donate to Diabetes New Zealand here.