Story Time: “Once upon a time, there was a former fat man from the UK called Chris Brophy. Ok… that’s me! One day, I was walking around MediaCityUK, when a huge gust of wind blew me into the doorway of Pizza Express. I was so traumatised by my embarrassing stumble that I needed to sit down for 90 minutes at a table. Whilst there in the warm restaurant feeling all hot and bothered, I decided to fan myself down with what appeared to be a menu.
I was offered a drink by the waiter and as my stumble occurred at lunchtime it felt rude not to reward my battered body with a little food also. Unfortunately, they didn’t sell health food (I did ask) so I had no option but to order a pizza the size of a car’s wheel trim. As it was fairly greasy, it needed washing away with a brownie and ice cream. I believe that if it wasn’t for the good food served to me today, I may never have gotten through my traumatic weather-related experience. I finished the day by exercising a little (by walking to the toilet, washing my hands and paying the food bill afterwards) then thanked Pizza Express …..and we both lived happily ever after.”
Ah, don’t you love a good story! Joking aside, it was a relative’s birthday so we went out for a meal. That’s my excuse anyway. A man’s allowed a treat ok!
These past few weeks have been interesting. As you’ll recall from my previous post, I started a new workout called Insanity Max:30, which sounds a bit like a dishwasher tablet but actually it’s a half hour sweat pumping HIIT workout from the guys over at Beachbody. I’m a huge fan of Shaun T and achieved great success whilst undertaking his Focus T25 workout programme six months ago. You can read all about that from Part 2 onwards.
Speaking of Focus T25, one of the fitness models in the video is stunning New York fitness model Christina Jensen. She posted a message on Instagram recently where she mentioned how Focus T25 had changed her life, and seeing that she (and Shaun T) had changed mine, I thought I’d do the decent thing and let her know about it.
This is her original message
Followed by my direct message to Christina!
I was delighted to receive a response from Christina herself…
If you’re one of those people like I was 6 months ago, sat on my backside hoping to be fit, healthy and a little slimmer, then I can’t recommend Focus T25 enough as a good starting point in your fitness journey. Is it hard? Not for me anymore, but when I started it yes I’d say it was tough but it’s not supposed to be easy. It’s meant to challenge you, it’s meant to hurt a bit and it’s meant to make you sweat. After a few weeks though you’ll notice a difference in your body shape and you’ll feel awesome too; more energised and focused, and you’ll look forward to the workouts each day.
Over the past six months, I’ve changed my workouts, introduced weights into my routine and eaten reasonably well. One thing I’ve done in the past but never really enjoyed was street running. It just bores the jogging pants off me. Don’t get me wrong, if I lived in Santa Monica I’m sure I’d love running along the Venice Beach doing a spot of bikini inspection, but not round here! I much prefer HIIT training if I’m honest. Personally, I think it’s much harder, but it keeps my mind (and body) interested and engaged throughout the entire workout, as the exercises change every 30 seconds or so.
I’ve really enjoyed the weights element of my training and there is a huge difference in body shape since I started using them six months ago. What you can’t see from this image here is that my upper arms (biceps and triceps) are quite big and extremely toned now. Of course, my face and stomach have changed also, but my overall weight hasn’t moved a great deal since New Year. I’ve lost a little body fat but have gained quite a lot of muscle. This is quite visible “in real life” but it’s not just about how I look, this is about how I feel, and I am much stronger physically, and my mind stays focused for longer nowadays.
I went to London last weekend to visit my good friend Chris Bedwell who is a photographer. Chris was training for a half marathon on Sunday, so I took to the freezing cold streets of Harlow in Essex and ran 2.5 miles with him. Not a huge distance, but that’s what happens when I street run… I lose interest and keep it short! It has to be HIIT for me.
You can see most of the route below in the screenshot from my Garmin Connect app. Yes, it looks like a blindfolded kid was let loose with a crayon, but actually, we ran around a park a couple of times. I found it tough at times, for two reasons; my ankles were quite sore and the weather was atrocious. Storm Doris or Daisy or whatever she’s called had just been and gone and her little brother Storm Derek was blowing his way around.
In fact, the trip nearly didn’t happen because Virgin Trains had cancelled all trains around the UK the day before because of the bad weather. Speaking of which, I should say thanks to Virgin Trains for leaving Manchester Piccadilly station bang on 11:20 am and getting me into London Euston bang on 1:50 pm. The trip home was also right on time and the food in First Class was… well… first class!
As it was Chris’s birthday, we went out for a meal, my second crazy fatty meal this month, but that’s it until June; no more birthday meals until then.
Sadly, I’m a little injured at the moment. Since returning back to Manchester from London, my left leg hamstring has been painful, so I’m taking Ibuprofen at the minute. Don’t worry, I’ll be careful. No more overdoses for me thank you! (See part nine about the Day I Accidentally Overdosed).
Rather than give up on exercise completely for the next few days whilst I recover, I’m doing some weights instead and using my abs toner. I don’t want to lose the motivation! If I take too long away from fitness, that’s it, I’ll slip into my comfort zone, get too busy with other things and never get back into it. I have to keep going, but safely so that I don’t cause further injury.
I’ll be back in a few days with another update on how things are going, but in the meantime why don’t you check out my YouTube channel and watch a brand new cooking video I made with my family; Amanda and Ellie.
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