Updated: Sep 28, 2019
To start with, a list of personal bests.
10km - 39m 54s
5km - 18m 48s
100km cycle - 5h 22m
100 mile cycle - 8h 18m
Half marathon - 1h 46m
Marathon - 5h 30m
I think it's safe to say that I've got a lot to be proud of when it comes to my achievements in sport, particularly when you add in that I've played competitive football and cricket for around 15 years.
I also think it's safe to say that with all of these achievements that at 29 years old, you wouldn't expect me to look this.
But that's me. From semi-talented athlete and gym lover to 19 stone and 9lbs. I'd be lying if I was to say this was the first time I've struggled with my weight and physical fitness, I've yo-yoed for the past 12 years from being aged 16 and 11 stone
aged 18 and 18 stone
aged 20 and 11 stone
aged 23 and 18 stone
aged 25 and 12 stone
and once again 26 (to age 29) fluctuating between 16 and 20 stone.
It's obvious that my physical health isn't what it should be, but it's more than that. My mental health has yo-yoed too. Currently, my lack of confidence in my appearance causes anxiety, I fear doing things I enjoy as I think that people will laugh at me, and I obviously suffer from the fact that a lack of exercise and poor eating impacts upon endorphin and serotonin production. Essentially, my weight and physical health aren't only moving me closer to cancer and heart failure, it's impacting upon my ability to have stable moods.
That first picture in the article was me this morning and the more I look at it, the more I recognise just how far I am from being the athlete that achieved those personal bests, and how it seems almost impossible to ever get close again. But I'm not ready to give up.
Today is my fresh start. I'm putting the fast food, sweets, and beer binges of the past 3 years behind me, and I'm going to come back fighting to be as strong as my body will physically allow. I am currently 29 and I have a few years left of tapping my potential before I start to lose the ability to compete at the standards I know I can.
It has pained me over the last few years, having been reduced to part-time goalkeeper from midfielder and wing back at football, failing to score a single 50 playing cricket in the past 2 seasons, and knowing that I could barely run 5k in an hour, let alone in under 20 minutes.
I miss it. I miss being good at sport. I miss fitting in my nicest clothes. I miss feeling confident and happy in my own skin.
Follow this blog to follow my journey as I change my habits, improve my fitness, lose weight, and improve my mental health. I've done it before, so I know a thing or two about health and self-improvement, and hopefully this can become a space where people can learn about how to start their own journeys, and share their tips with others.
I know that Saul also has an exceptional knowledge of nutrition, but also is a great motivator. His advice and support has been key in me making this decision, and I can't stress enough how beneficial his support could be to you too. I'll be sharing food and exercise diaries and we'll be working together to involve some of the science as to why I eat certain foods and do certain exercises to help with my current aims. After 3 years on the tomorrow diet, the time for change is today.
Starting weight : 19st 9lbs
Starting waist: 46.5 inches
Starting neck: 17.8 inches
Starting chest: 47.6 inches
Starting resting heart rate: 72 BPM
Matthew Burgess is writing for The Black Dog Blog, a journal which focuses upon the impact of physical health upon mental health and wellbeing. Follow us or make contact on Twitter: @BlogBlackDog
If you require immediate support regarding your mental health and wellbeing, the following options are available:
Samaritans: email - email@example.com
Call - 116 123
CALM: Call - 0800 58 58 58
Mind: Visit here to find information about various support services - https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/guides-to-support-and-services/crisis-services/useful-contacts/#.XQFvFCXTUlQ