The 50 for 50 challenge

My friends on facebook will be aware of the challenge my next door neighbour, Pete Flockhart (aka Pete the Meat) and myself set ourselves in the  depressing dog days of 2011.  Both of us had piled on the weight in the last couple of years as a result of lack of exercise, overeating (or eating the wrong stuff to be more precise) and over drinking.

We’re both 50 in May, ten days apart in fact and the prospect of our local GP carrying out rectal examinations whilst lecturing us about our obesity was too much to contemplate.

So we decided to set ourselves a challenge.

We’d both lose 50 lbs by our 50th birthdays.

Our good pal Doug Cook offered to design us a campaign logo. This is it…

And we set up a blog to follow the journey.

We’ve dramatically reduced our alcohol intake (bar a few binges).

We’ve put ourselves on really good diets.  Pete’s a bit heavy on the rabbit food but I’ve been following a food combining approach which consists of Muesli and fresh fruit for breakfast, salad with lots of protein for lunch and a good mix of protein and complex carbs for dinner.

No pies, no crisps, no sweets, very few, virtually none in fact, simple carbs (white rice, white bread, white pasta, potatoes – in fact none of any of them in a month), no butter, reduced fat (the one cal spray you can buy is excellent), no chocolate, no biscuits, no visits to Greggs AT ALL.

And of course, the exercise.  I have a Nike Plus wristband which acts as a GPS device, pedometer and calorie burn measurer which is calibrated (extremely accurately I have to say) for stride length and distance walked plus weight.

Our regime has been walking 2 out of every three days across the Forth Road Bridge and back.  That’s about 5.7miles (9km) and we have a slightly longer route that’s 7 miles (11km).  In January I walked 190km ( 118 miles) and Pete was about the same.  However I’ve also recently bought an amazing, really really amazing, new bike – a Cube Hyde Pro – that’s carried me 200 miles in and out of town this month.

We’re taking the opportunity to raise funds for two very deserving charities as we go and you can pledge your support here if you’d like to help us.  They are the Rachel Appolinari Fund which has been set up on behalf of a young girl, a friend of my family, who died, aged 19, of a brain tumour at Edinburgh neuro-oncology unit at the Western General Hospital.  Her Dad and sisters have already raised £50,000 for the hospital in Rachel’s name.  The other (Pete’s choice) is the Chest, Heart and Stroke Foundation in Scotland for obvious reasons.  I hope you will support us.

The results are encouraging.

In the first month, which ended today, I lost 22lbs and Pete lost 30lbs.  That’s 9% of our combined body weight.  Our BMI’s have tumbled but there’s a long, long way to go and to be honest 50lbs may have set the bar a little too low.

We realise the easiest bit is over and we really do need to dig in now, but we’ve been saying that since the end of week one in which Pete lost a staggering 16.5 lbs, so maybe we’re striking the right balance.

A big thing about this, to my mind, is the value of attempting a challenge like that with others.  Doing it solo is very difficult indeed.  So, to Pete the Meat, Slainte!  Onwards and upwards.  Together we shall prevail!

Anyway, follow our exploits here.  You can sign up for updates on the left hand side of the blog and please support us as best you can.

2 thoughts on “The 50 for 50 challenge

  1. Keep it up Mark great start I had my kick up the arse last year (was almost 94 kg at 5ft 7… Weeble Boy!) and started training properly again. The biggest revelation was how much I loved the bike! Now doing around 100k’s each Sunday. I turn 40 this year and am planning the ultimate challenge.,, Ironman GB in July. Watch this space!


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