Tag Archives: weight loss

Operation De-Lard: 7.3 kilograms and counting…

In my End of Season Review, something that I needed to sort out was the weight that I had put on during the season. It had perhaps been creeping up slowly over a couple of years, but most noticeable over recent times. The end result was that I had gained over 10 kilograms.

This was not good for various reasons:

  1. I was starting to feel sluggish in terms of agility when refereeing.
  2. I was picking up ‘niggly’ injuries, such as to my knees, due to increased loading.
  3. I FELT FAT!

It was time to sort this out.

Now, I’d got down to a good weight for me (78 kilograms) before. Judo and weight training combined with around 2000 calories per day. I tracked that with DailyBurn Tracker which was good at the time, and keeping a record helped to keep me honest. This time around, I went with MyFitnessPal which is an EXCELLENT site with a wonderful community spirit. Its mobile apps are impressive as well, and all for zero cost!

To begin with, I tried 1500 calories per day but this was too low. After a few days, I was feeling lethargic and hungry all the time, so I sensibly upped it to 2000 calories. This is a good level for me. If I want to eat more, I simply ‘earn’ the calories through exercise! My Garmin Forerunner 410 GPS / HR watch is brilliant for tracking those bonus calories. This is much better than the horrible ‘save calories to cheat later’ approach that some eating plans advise.

That’s the nutrition side of things. How about the exercise?

I’m continuing the running: A combination of distance and speed training. I’ve also taken up CrossFit circuit training in order to build a stronger and more balanced body. Running is great but it only helps me from the waist down! I’m really enjoying this mixture of activities at the moment. On the running front, I’m also working on transitioning to minimalist / natural running as heel-striking is a horrible way to treat your knees!

So far, I have lost 7.3 kilograms in just over a month. I’m incredibly happy with this progress as it has been pretty quick but in a controlled and healthy way. I feel like I have my body back again, although there is plenty of work still to do.

To me, none of this feels like a diet, more like how I should be treating my body with respect!

My End of Season Review

My football refereeing season of 2011/2012 is at an end. Now is the time for self-analysis in order to see how well I did, especially in comparison with my goals, and decide where I would like to go in terms of moving forwards.


  1. I GOT MY PROMOTION: I succeeded in going from level 7 to level 5 (a ‘double jump’ promotion) in one season. This required a great deal of commitment and I’m pleased that there was no drama along the way.
  2. CUP FINALS: I was very pleased to be selected for a total of five cup finals. This was nearly six but unfortunately I was away on holiday for the last one. It is always a honour to be considered for a cup final and they were a great way of rounding off the season.
  3. I DIDN’T GET INJURED: Well, kinda. I will touch on this more in the next section. Essentially, I got through the season without any major problems, which was important considering how many games I needed to get in for the promotion.
  4. I ENJOYED IT! Isn’t this the most important thing? I enjoyed my games, the challenges that they presented, and the various people that I met during the season: Players, officials and fellow referees. Some early advice I received was “Enjoy your refereeing” and how true that is!


  1. MY WEIGHT: Despite being so active, I managed to to put on about 10 kilograms during the season. This was down to eating very badly. It started to have an impact on my joints plus how generally nimble I felt when refereeing (twisting and turning, changes of direction and so on). Not only that, I’m not happy with how I was looking towards the end of the season!
  2. INJURY: Linked to my weight. My knees started to play up a bit towards the end of the season due to the repeated impact of the stop/start running. Essentially, a case of Runner’s Knee. Nothing serious as rest abates it but those extra 10 kilograms were hardly helping! Oh, and having an ‘out of balance’ body, but I will come to that later.
  3. LEVEL 4: I’m now going for promotion again, to level 4. I’ve had my first assessment and while it is a commendable result for my first assessment at my new level, it is not as high a mark as I would like.


  1. WEIGHT LOSS: This is already going very well, and I’ve lost over 5 kilograms so far. I’m sticking to a 2000 kcal diet, with exercise allowing extra calories! MyFitnessPal is an excellent site for tracking this.
  2. FITNESS: The off-season allows me to be more stuctured in my routine. I’ve been working on a combination of normal running, interval and speed training. This has included working towards my fitness test which needs to be done in August/September (I am well on track for this). I’ve also started CrossFit in order to keep my body in good balance, to aid in flexibility and injury prevention. I’m really enjoying this.
  3. I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO 2012/2013: I’m really looking forward to the new season. I feel like I’m going to be great physical shape when it comes around, and I have a level 4 to earn!

Bring it on 🙂

Eating sensibly again: Avoiding falling off the wagon

I posted yesterday about how I want to lose 10 kilograms in weight. My motivation is to look and feel better plus the obvious health benefits. I do a lot of running and other fitness activities, and reducing the stress on my joints is very important in avoiding injury and promoting recovery.

When I looked more athletic it also promoted a good image when refereeing. A good first impression is very important. You want to LOOK like you are able to keep up with the players before you even have to demonstrate it!

I started my new regime yesterday and it was pretty simple: Just avoid eating too much! I will refine my diet to be better balanced over time.

A lot of this is avoiding temptation as there is a lot of it out there when it comes to food. I remember watching a TV programme about a body builder who used to buy chocolate all the time…. but then just put it in a kitchen cupboard as proof of his discipline. I’m not going that far but it is interesting to consciously note the foods I am avoiding.

For example, yesterday I know I avoided:

  • A bread roll at lunchtime.
  • A chocolate cheesecake pot (went for the apple instead!)
  • A chocolate bar during the afternoon.
  • ‘Fatty’ crisps (I had some low-calorie ones to go with a sandwich instead).
  • Eating when I got back from my evening activities when I really did not need to.

All of those would certainly add up! I was not starving myself either so it became very clear to me how I have managed to put on weight recently. I was just being excessive.

This also helps in thinking ahead. For example, I know tonight I will be offered hospitality after a match I am officiating. Plenty of sandwiches which I would normally just chomp down because they are there. Perhaps with ‘full fat’ cola? By thinking about it NOW I am priming myself to be sensible.

What foods have you successfully managed to avoid recently? Do you have any weaknesses that you have succumbed to? What are your tips?

Time to lose 10 kilograms

I’ve put on some weight over recent times. Over the past few years I’ve been pretty good at exercising regularly but I lack discipline when it comes to a proper diet. I’m not liking recent photographs of me at all.

A few years back, I went through a great phase when I dropped 10 kilograms and I did this in the right way: I kept up the exercise (combination of cardio and weight training) and really monitored my nutrition. With the help of the great site Daily Burn I kept the carb/protein/fat levels in check and shed the weight over a controlled period of time.

It was a real eye opener when getting those levels in balance. I quickly realised just how I was ODing on carbs (bread!) and how hard it is to take in the recommended amount of protein. I definitely started eating my fair share in chicken breast!

Now I get to do it again. I know I will feel a lot better for it by eating properly and none of this is about starving myself.

The Ground Rules to start off with:

  1. NO CHOCOLATE: Sorry, my dear Boost bars and Yorkies. You have to go.
  2. NO EXCESS CARBS: Typically bread. I can really gobble up bread like there is no tomorrow. It tends to be my biggest weakness.
  3. NO DESSERT: Mmm, cheesecake… Let’s stick to lovely fruit.
  4. NO ‘FULL FAT’ SOFT DRINKS: I can work with Pepsi Max. Not exactly nutritious, I know, but not loaded with sugar either.
  5. TARGET THE HEALTHIER OPTIONS: If I have a burger craving, chicken is going to be better than a fatty bit of beef, isn’t it?

Now all I need to do is get a working set of bathroom scales!

There is more to this than how I feel in myself: I don’t want to be carrying extra weight with all the running that I will be doing when refereeing. It puts all my joints under a lot more stress! Plus I have a fitness test to excel in…

Are you trying to eat more healthily at the moment, for whatever reason? Do you have any tips that you would like to share?