Manifesto: Origins

A while ago I was nominated for one of those blogger recognition awards.

I am not very good a meeting the requirements of those sorts of things, but I thought I would blatantley steal what I was asked to do and turn it into my own post, without doing the hard bit of finding 15 blogs to nominate and subsequently post in, informing that they have been nominated…

The Rules:

So as part of this award I was asked to:

  1. Thank whoever nominated you and include a link to their blog.
  2. Write a post and give a brief story of how your blog started.
  3. Give a piece of advice or two to new bloggers.

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Show em’ what you got

There is a reason they say actions speak louder than words.


And that is because people despise people who talk about what they want to do or what they have done in the past.  That is no good for other people – it may be a combination of envy or just that it is blantant bragging but talking doesn’t produce the results, action do.

So don’t tell them what you can do – show them!

But how do we show off to people what we can do without coming across as a child wanting validation?

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That gym exhaustion feeling

It’s been a hard few weeks at the gym.

I feel that I have really improved over the last few week and as an added bonus it has been good to start have a consistent weight loss.

exhausted I have gone from doing sessions where I was struggling to last more than an hour, to getting carried away at the gym that I have been late a few times for work! Continue reading

Dealing with the negative

I bumped into someone from my old team the other day.  With her was my replacement who had begun the role a month ago.

 I am not rude and didn’t want to blank her, so I began talking to her so that she wasn’t just sat back observing our conversation.  I introduced myself and asked how she was finding the job.  Her response surprised me.

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….And influence people


I find this a useful infographic to remind on all the main lessons in the book How to Win Friends and Influence people. Continue reading

How to win friends and influence people

I have recently read the book How to Win Friends and Influence People – a book that is probably one of the most famous self-improvement books ever published.

From reading a number of self-improvement or business books, at some point How to Win Friends… is usually referenced at some point, but despite this I had never bothered to read it until last week.

And it is very rare I say this, but I feel that some of the ideas in this could change my life for the better…

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Gym Bitches


Following on from my post about fearing the gym, I thought I would share this story of when I did experience the thoughts of sheep.

I had recently finished a graduate placement – because of the recession the market for jobs in the sector I was looking for had dried up.

I had put on weight as I focused all my time making the best impact in my graduate placement, hoping that they would decide to keep me.  As that never happened I was penniless, out-of-shape and feeling low. Continue reading

Race Day Mistakes

From my experience of racing (i.e. running and obstacle races) I have noted a number of mistakes.  Because I am not perfect, I have even done a few myself:

Drinking the night before


This might seem an obvious mistake, but at nearly every obstacle race I have seen someone do this.

I find this surprising because if you read the philosophy of races such as the Spartan race, you would understand that they pride themselves on being self-disciplined, making lifestyle change and maintaining a regular fitness routine.

So I was shocked from seeing and talking to a number of racers who had been out drinking the night before.

There were a number of stag do’s who were treating it as something to complement a boozy night.  Some were even having a pre-race smoke!

These people struggle, coughing up a lung near the back of the wave – the only exception I have seen to this rule was a 6ft 4 marine who had been drinking to the early hours of the morning.  The last I saw of him was storming up the rope climb.  Most do not have the endurance for punishment that a marine has though!


Changing diet before race day


During a 10k warm-up I overheard the complaints of a girl who felt sick during the pre-race warm up.

Her mistake?  She had eaten porridge before race-day, despite never having this normally.  Either she got her portion sizes wrong or the blandness of porridge disagreed with her (even I add a bit of syrup to help it go down).

I would say stick to your normal diet or make changes weeks or months before a race so you get used to exercising with something else in your system.

This includes supplements – quite often on a race day people will try things they don’t normally have such as energy gels.  There is nothing worse than something that leaves a foul taste in the mouth, feeling thirsty or worse of all causes diarrhea because you don’t know the side effects on your own body!

Quite often races will have sponsors who gives out free samples – I recommend sticking to your own tried and tested supplements and trying the free samples another day!


Over Exercising


A week before any race I always take it easier.  I go to the gym and have a few short runs to keep the lungs and limbs a bit loose, but the purpose of this week is not to make any final gains.

I have made the mistake of leaving things till the last minute – so push myself too hard.  This did not cause any last minute improvements, I was just tired on race day.

If you have not achieved your intention (i.e. ran the required distance) it is way too late the week before.  Just keep yourself active and on race day pace yourself and hope for the best.

Drinking Caffenine Energy Drinks


I am a drinker of caffeine energy drinks.  Or at least I was – I have cut down and every so often when I am at work doing my desk job, have one to keep my mind active.

But I have never used them as a fitness aid before a race or workout.  The reason is that energy drinks are full of sugar and only have a short term impact.

Ever had an energy drink and felt that crash where you were even more tired than before you drank the energy drink?  That is that sugar spike wearing off – I would never want to create that sensation in a race.

Another thing with energy drinks is they are very sickly to run with – they are very gassy and cause bloating.  Not what you want before racing – stick to water.

Lack of location preparation


I wrote about a run that I did and I was very unprepared – I only looked at where I was supposed to be going the night before (and didn’t really study it in detail).  I had no idea the direction I was going in and had not anticipated the poor parking facilities.  This was not very good in keeping my focus on the race and at the end I even lost my car because I forgot where I parked it!

Running the race is hard enough, therefore spend some time looking at the location – what is the best route?  Is there parking?  How much is it?  Are there any other facilities that make life easier (eg lockers?).

These are my race day mistakes?  Are there any other suggestions?

The danger of Fat Acceptance

With my weight gain, it made me realise how it easy to lose control and gain wait.  More worryingly I could neglect this or have an accident that stops my ability to exercise more than I consume.  Fortunately I have that level of control where I think enough is enough and do something about (usually looking at myself in the mirror and noticing I look fatter).

Surprisingly, not everyone shares these concerns about getting fat and the health implications that come with it.  In fact there are movements such as ‘fat acceptance’ and ‘body positive’ – where they embrace this increasingly worrying issue.

To me you should never accept being fat – getting fat is a sign that you have made many bad choices in your life and should take action to correct this.

The Fat Acceptance movement seems to treat themselves as the victims – those who mock them or merely suggest that they should make changes to their lifestyle get abuse – almost like they didn’t get themselves fat, it’s just they happen to catch fat like it was a disease.

They are in a delusional world where they make out that being fat is something that cannot be changed like the colour of someones skin.  They think people who criticise fat people hate them – here is news for you – we don’t!fatacceptance

Love – it’s not just men judging, everyone does!

The dangerous thing with fat acceptance and being body positive is it teaches people to not take personal responsibility and tell themself “I am fine the way I am, it’s everyone else’s problem”

So even for people like myself, writing something like this makes me feel like I am being mean and slightly shallow – but I shouldn’t because what I am saying is doing them a favour – whether it is avoiding diseases, looking and feeling good about themselves, being able to walk down the road without getting out of breath or even the embarrassment of not being able to fit in a plane seat (and note the author of this story blames others…)

There is no reason why you should not be watching what you eat and doing some sort of exercise regime.

Note that I said exercise – I go to the gym, run, cycle, swim, do obstacle races – but no one expects you to be a crazy bastard or maintain the standard of a fitness magazine cover model.

But you should be observing some sort of exercise and healthy eating regime to be a system of your life and that can be playing tennis, gym or just making more effort to walk to places.

It is worrying that there are people in their 20’s already having health problems – my concern is when they get to their 50’s, 60’s, 70’s or 80’s what sort of nightmarish existence they will live (if they get that far).

If you are fat and are trying to lose the weight – well done, I applaud you and respect you for wanting to make your life better.  If you are fat and do nothing but sit on your backside doing nothing but writing sardonic comments on Twitter while stuffing down Doritos down your fat gullet, then you really need to take a long look in the mirror and think – do you want a life of ill health, depression and feeling second best?

No thought not.

End Note: it too late to throw in the “I used to be fat, so it’s okay for me to say these things”?