Choose a goal. Go on. And ambition is good but “be the next James Bond” is out if you are 45, overweight and not Tom Hiddleston. A year ago mine was “lose half a stone in weight”. For a man who has never met a cake he didn’t like this was a big ask.
One: Have a specific destination. “Lose half a stone” is good, “take some weight off” is not.
I got a clever plastic strap for my right wrist. If I logged them it told me if I was taking on too many calories whilst measuring my activity.
Two: Measure your progress using objective evidence.
The little black band changed my behaviour. Breakfasting healthily on porridge on the South Bank of the Thames last spring I had a meeting in Moorgate: a 38 minute walk, my app said. I walked there and back, shoes in the briefcase, as I burned over 3000 calories that day and only put in 2200.
Three: Change your behaviour. It will take six weeks to make it a habit.
Walking in lieu of taxis and watching the calories I shoved in my face became the norm. My digital scales said I dropped four pounds in a month. A 500 calorie daily deficit results in a pound off every week.
Four: Have short term goals. They are more important than the big picture when it is 7pm and you want to eat your arm off.
After the first half stone I fancied taking another seven pounds off, to get me to what I weighed a decade earlier.
Five: Don’t stop at the first win. Set a new goal.
I confess cheated on two fronts. I have no patience for looking up the exact calories so often guessed them. But when I estimated I would guess a big number, so the scales usually gave me a nice surprise.
Six: Be harder on yourself than anyone else would be.
Being hard on yourself is all very well, but a 500 calorie deficit every day was too tough. So I stopped some weekends and lost only two or three pounds some months.
Seven: Don’t pretend you are moving towards your goal if you are not. Before you quit, adjust the route to your destination.
Changing the settings kept me moving in the right direction. A stone in six months (not four) was the result. But why stop at a stone? Another seven pounds came off, though more slowly, and I am now the weight I was when I stopped playing football two decades ago and feel I could put that number seven Jersey on again. But I can’t: reference James Bond goal above.
Next up? Personal fitness. So far I have done nothing other than the odd run and a few press ups. No goal you see, so no improvement. But fat percentage is an interesting measure to get crackling on. It’s time to get it down two percentage points from 25%.
I know I can do it because I’ve bought the (medium) t shirt.
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about the author
Russell Wardrop is our Chief Executive. If you would like to know more about this subject, drop him an email and we will be in touch.