JOELL-IRELAND.CO.UK | Ramblings and Life Blogging of James Joell-Ireland

Archive for April 17th, 2011

In less than twelve months ago I was staring at a downward spiral. I was fat enough to be considered for a NHS weight reduction operation. I was 22st 12lbs and a complete wreck loose to food. I wasn’t the only person either, my husband was on the same downward journey and both of us have pulled through. Our journey back on the right path was by no means a traditional route. We threw our lives into the public arena and ultimately banked against failure when we appeared on Sky 1′s Fat Families last year. Needless to say we got the help that was needed to get back on the right track and that was from sound advice and common sense, not an extreme dieting regime. We had help from Steve Miller who is an expert weight loss coach and motivator - his work has seen countless successes and it’s at this junction in my blog that I would once again like to thank him for his guidance. It’s also at this point I would like to mention that anyone whom has combated obesity through their own self intervention that I have great admiration for you all. It was ultimately down to our own sheer willpower that got us the results, we were just given the correct path and advice to turn things into a reality.

Weight loss really is mind over matter - it doesn’t require extreme fad diets, starvation or militaresque fitness regimes to provide results. In fact the best diet to go on is one called common sense with a smattering of no excuses. In fact it was the no excuses approach that Steve Miller showed us that really was the key component to the whole success. If you are reading this and aren’t happy with your weight then you are probably at that crossroads yourself where it is time to start reprogramming your mindset. I cannot stress this enough once I stopped ditching the excuses behind the reason I was fat, results started to happen. My personal excuse was that I worked in an office for 8 1/2 hours a day and that was the reason I was overweight - I couldn’t pin it down to the fact I was eating complete crap and leading such a sedatory lifestyle that it could have given a sloth a run for it’s money. The funny thing is, until you start ditching these excuses, until you start looking at yourself from a third person viewpoint, it never really sinks in just how far down the spiral you have gone. It may also come as a surprise for those whom who do not have a weight problem - that when you are big, you don’t have a real grasp on just how big you are - mainly because you see yourself every day and your mind becomes used to that same picture. It wasn’t until after I lost my weight and during the transition just how fat I really was. I look at myself less than a year ago and It looks as though I’ve had an allergic reaction to some shellfish or something given how big I looked.

Most weight related issues are twinned with comfort eating or other elements within your lives that you are not happy about, whether that be past or present. It’s these areas within your life you need to stop using as an excuse too. This area perhaps is the hardest part of the whole process - everything from there on is easy - mainly because your head will be clearer and you’ll see a goal in your mindset. How do you achieve that, well one thing I found was to find peace within yourself, if it’s a memory from the past find peace with it, your past doesn’t reflect whom you are today. Obviously there are many different facets and areas this can effect everyone. At this point I would allow yourself to think about what it could possibly be that caused you to find comfort in food in the first place - if you can realise this then at the very least you can re-attach this comfort to something else, whether it be a certain possession, a place or a piece of music. Food is just a consumable, you can find comfort in many things - it doesn’t have a horrible greasy takeaway!

Me & Steve in July 2010

Get Educated
First you need to get educated. Start reading the labels on foods - takeaways aren’t going to help, ditch them! If you can cook fresh and at home you are in control of not only your portions but also what you put into your food. I personally have cut out cheese from my diet, sugars from my coffee and tea’s and stopped using spreads. Taking an extra few seconds to look at calorie content information what you buy really is going to help you in the long run. Also pin point what could be the cause of your current weight, for some people this could be through irregular eating patterns - I’m surprised by the amount of people that do not eat a breakfast, or sometimes eat nothing at all until they get home from work. The body will start storing unnecessary fats if you do this, eat three meals a day! If your fat because you like getting pissed all the time - cut the alcohol down, if for some oddball reason you can’t give your liver a break then switch what you are drinking - vodka is one of the lowest calorie spirits. If you feel you are overweight because you are particularly sedentary then get outside more often! Like i say - this all broils down to sheer common sense again. If you RSS feed this blog or bookmark it I will probably talk about food in more detail but for now we’ll leave it there.

One of the biggest tools in the weight loss arsenal is the food diary. You cannot underestimate this! I recommend keeping a 7 day food diary prior to making the change. At this point you need to be true to yourself and not modify anything you would have done before reaching this point. Once the seven day period has elapsed you will see in plain view everything you have eaten and drunk and you’ll most likely be startled with the results. Break this diary into Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, Snacks and you’ll also be able to define eating patterns too. You’ll be able to straight away find key areas you can work on and put right, it was without doubt one of the most helpful things in my weight loss journey.

Having a bad day is just a blip!
Everyone has a bad day when it comes to losing weight what you need to remember is that it was just a bad day and providing you get back on track the next day it’ll very unlikely dent your weight loss for that week. One of the things I used to do when I failed dieting was allowing myself to be bad for a few more days so I could start dieting again on a Monday because Monday was a new week and a fresh start, now had hindsight kicked in I would have said “No James, your opening yourself up for actually putting weight on this way”. Having a bad day isn’t necessarily a bad thing either - as long as it is a bad day and not a bad week! Only until you are truly in control of your weight can you have a bad week! I’ll post about it in a future date but i’ve been experimenting recently on ascertaining a weight constant and also seeing what work is required if I wanted to indulge for abit. But for now - do not even think about even thinking of doing this until you’ve mastered the art of willpower and self discipline.

Losing weight isn’t hard but you have to want it badly enough to start making inroads. I will talk about it more in future posts so keep an eye on the weight loss category on this blog. I want to stop it there for the time being but take what I’ve said thus far into consideration. Obviously any questions are welcome and if you’ve had successful weight loss story of your own please share it with me - i’d be keen to know how you went about the adventure yourself! On a final thought - during the process of filming for Fat Families I went to Nando’s thirteen times, still ate tubs of ice cream on two instances and got drunk twice What I am trying to say here is that you can still enjoy the food and drink you like - just in moderation!

Oh and if you read this and are considering weight loss surgery despite you have been told by your doctor that you can lose weight safely - You are F**KING IDIOT!

I was hoping to show my husband the Butterfly greenhouse at Portsmouth History Museum on our walk today - unfortunately it was still under construction. It really is the single most thing making the free experience worthwhile, if you are an adult at least because it’s very fast to walk around otherwise and stupidly boring. It’s good for kids though, this brought back memories of when I went there on a school trip for a Geography project. I captured a little video inside, once again nothing special.

So we decided to go on a long walk today and not only did we see the Gunwharf Quays cannon, we also found that there was a vintage car show taking place. So we decided to take a look. Nothing special to be honest but we shot this video below. Check it out if you like cars!