BIGSTEF's SparkPeople Blog BIGSTEF's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Ups & Downs, Depression, Anxiety & Weight Loss I have for quite some time struggled with depression and anxiety, for a lot of time i have tried to soldier on and just keep things bottled up inside. The problem with that is that if you try and fight a disease of the mind in this way all it does is drag you further and further down a deeper darker corridor which makes it even harder for you. I forever in a day struggled to get the motivation to get out of bed and get through the day, this has been worse recently due to issues at work which ... Sun, 7 May 2017 06:03:50 EST First Week Summary My first week back on a exercise and eating plan thus far has been a great success for me. <BR> I have done 4 workouts in the 6 so far with another rest day scheduled for tomorrow. <BR> I have a few aches and pains from doing my sessions but that can only mean i am doing the right thing, It shows my body is beginning to adapt to the new program im putting it through. <BR> <BR> On the food side i have done much better than i hoped i would really, not once have i gone other my daily calorie... Sat, 28 Jan 2017 12:09:23 EST First Rest Day Its been a long week and i have been waiting for this for what seems a lifetime, but finally my rest day is here. The problem is now its here i want to go out and run or do a workout. <BR> That said though i still am aching from workouts earlier in the week so i know i must listen to my body and take this time to rest up before attacking the next two days before i rest again on sunday. Just shows that the exercise bug is real though, i currently don't want to stop for anything but i know sinc... Thu, 26 Jan 2017 03:51:50 EST Still Going Strong So Far Well im still going strong with my plan. I was up bright and early this morning to run, inspite of the fact my legs still hurt from working out. Not my best time on my 4k route but i still got up and got the job done never the less. Ive walked the dogs, had a a nice healthy breakfast (2 poached eggs on 1 toast with grilled tomatoes) and just about have time to catch my breath before its time for my wood delivery to be dropped off which will need chopping and stacking in my shed before sorting... Wed, 25 Jan 2017 03:47:35 EST Day Two - Freshening Up The Workouts I have generally just done the basic same things over and over but decided to try something new this week rather then just heavy weights and running. <BR> I went for the everyday total body workout on here which comprises of 4 videos from Lisa Welchel and Janice Clark. I thought its a great place for me to start as it hits up all major muscle groups which ideal for me who is just getting back into this again. <BR> It was hard because i always try to push myself to the limit but i was unable t... Tue, 24 Jan 2017 06:24:27 EST Day One - Off To A Flyer Day one of kickstarting my fresh program has gone off well, i went to bed early and had a great nights sleep. Then was up bright and early for a run that went slightly over 4km around the area i live in. It was -1 which was more than a little chilly but after a good warm up i managed to get through my first of three planned runs this week. <BR> From there i had a healthy breakfast of porridge made up with two parts water and one part milk. I added sliced banana and a drizzle of honey to sweet... Mon, 23 Jan 2017 04:53:08 EST Keeping Honest With Yourself I not so long ago began using instagram (i know, real late to the party) but as i try to get back on track i have found posting about my workouts alongside my food has helped in keeping myself honest with what i am eating and doing in my every day life. <BR> Its been nice to receive compliments about the weight i lost recently alongside talking to people about foods as well as my exercise program i am using currently using. <BR> I can look back at posts i have made and think little by little... Sun, 22 Jan 2017 10:21:33 EST A Reset & Fresh Start Well i have made a decision to rip up my old program and go a fresh heading into this new week. I have created myself a new plan that dictates everything i need to do on a weekly basis. I work shifts which means i currently do 6-2 mornings followed by 2-10 evening shifts, this combined with the fact i get sporadic shift patterns which mean i work 5 days in 7 makes it very hard to get into a set routine as every single week is different to the one previous. <BR> This job in the last year after... Sun, 22 Jan 2017 10:14:49 EST A year to Forget and Hopes For A New Dawn I suffer from anxiety and depression. I am not ashamed of it anymore and it's not nice. People don't believe me when I tell them because I am always happy and laughing round them and try to make others laugh. It's a war I battle everyday in the arena of my mind and at times I do struggle. When i felt really low my go to move was to just go to my bedroom as an adolescent and just stay there not wanting to see or talk to anyone. Not only that but like so many others on here i began eating foods... Mon, 16 Jan 2017 13:59:24 EST Another Goal Achieved A great day today as i was confirmed to have passed my level 2 nutrition and well-being course which will serve as an entry to me being able to now go into the hunt for a diploma later in this year. Its been a great thing to learn again about a subject which is something that has real deep meaning to me and as i said i now have my sights set on a higher level of education in this area. I was lucky that my local college was offering this course up absolutely free to those whom complete the cou... Fri, 13 May 2016 13:43:00 EST A Major Goal Attained As anyone knows when your on a weight management plan setting goals is a major part of getting started on the road to the new you, i have passed through some such as 20lbs and 50lbs, lost inches off my waist and gone down 2 sizes of clothing from xxxl to xl but a real major goal of mine was to be no longer obese. Today this major goal is mine and in my pocket, i am now officially an overweight man. A total of 86 pounds lost has seen me finally hit this target which i set and i am well and tr... Mon, 28 Mar 2016 09:47:41 EST None Scale Victories As many know none scale victories when changing your lifestyle are just as important as the numbers on the scale. This is because after a while the pounds can be quite stubborn to come off your body. When i began my journey it was all about those numbers and i felt so disheartened if i hadn't hit the numbers which i thought my hard work should receive. As my program has moved along so has my mind set. I am 84 pounds lighter and i now only weight myself once every other week and if im honest i... Thu, 25 Feb 2016 07:06:48 EST Bad Moods & Junk Foods Two things that seem to go hand in hand for me i am afraid. I know its not big and its not clever but i always seem to have issues with food when i am at a low emotionally. <BR> I have a craving for all those bad foods which i normally hold a cross up to like they are dracula. Emotional eating is a very hard thing to overcome and at times you don't even realise your doing it, your brain is switched off and your body is on auto pilot. <BR> Ive not fallen off the band wagon big today because i ... Wed, 24 Feb 2016 12:35:24 EST Freshen Up My Training Regime Well its time to freshen up my training regime again, im nearly two weeks into the 5k walk/jog challenge which has been fantastic for me and im really feeling much better physically for it. <BR> Running has been a great release for me and i think now that im a bit lighter than a year ago when i tried it and was disheartened with poor times and lots of issues with my knees and ankles due to excess weight i was carrying when doing this. <BR> A year and bit on this and i couldn't be farther away... Mon, 22 Feb 2016 07:47:13 EST The 5k Walk/Jog Challenge Day 11 This is the first challenge i have done on spark people and i must say i have really enjoyed this and also really enjoyed running which i never thought i would. <BR> I am currently on day 11 of the program and i truly do feel a lot better in myself that i did nearly 2 weeks ago. This challenge has freshened up my workouts as i never thought running was for me, that said there were times in the first few days that i thought i couldn't do it. <BR> I have stuck at it and have so far shaved about... Sat, 20 Feb 2016 03:07:53 EST Nutrition and Health Certification <img src=""> <BR> About three or four weeks ago i was able to get funding to begin training as a nutritionist, The first stage of this coursework has just come and i am beyond excited to begin this new chapter in my life that will help me understand in greater depth about the way the body works and the important role that nutrition plays in ensuring a healthy body and mind. <BR> Its the higher level course that wor... Wed, 17 Feb 2016 10:20:29 EST The 5k Walk/Jog Challenge So 5 days ago i decided to try something new and challenge myself, i went for the 5k walk/jog challenge. Its been hard to keep on top and keep motivated to keep chugging along especially today after work on a Sunday. I was lest then optimistic and happy about chucking on my running gear. I went out not bothered at all today and did my fastest time in the week which was a pleasant surprise. <BR> I would recommend anyone take on this challenge and try take your fitness to the next level if lik... Sun, 14 Feb 2016 12:18:22 EST Tough Choice, A Leap Of Faith and Big Rewards Last August i made a decision to change careers, having spent more than a decade working in restaurants i believed it was hampering my progress in weight loss. <BR> Many temptations lie around in a restaurant which i over indulged in on a daily basis along with the largely sedentary aspect of my work as a manager it was slowly making me worse and worse. It was not just the lack of physical activity and selections of foods and drinks on tap whenever i wished to have them it was also the mental... Sun, 7 Feb 2016 10:04:38 EST My Two New Arrivals <img src=""> <img src=""> <BR> Say Hello to Milo & Rusty, my new arrivals who now have found they're forever home. <BR> So lucky to have these little monsters to help get me off my booty and have another reason to get out and stay active. Thu, 4 Feb 2016 15:47:29 EST Exciting Times I'm extremely excited that i have been able to get funding towards a new line of education from which i hope to continue my journey towards a better healthier me and possibly further down the line a new career. <BR> I am going to be starting a credited course in nutrition and health that will cover many aspects of healthy living and give me a better understanding on how the body works and the important role foods play in a happy healthy lifestyle. <BR> As many who use this web site i have s... Thu, 4 Feb 2016 11:48:18 EST 2015 - A Year Of Ups & Downs But Of Great Successes As anyone who has used the spark people website knows trying to make life style changes for a healthier longer life is not an easy thing. Many like myself whom have had a food addiction struggle every day and after years of abusing our body's it becomes an unbelievably long road from where we are when we decide enough is enough to the stage where we can be happy with the person staring back at us in the mirror. <BR> My last year has had many ups and downs with the usual things many of us stru... Sat, 2 Jan 2016 16:34:57 EST The Gremlins We Live With So after a long time of fighting gremlins on my back after talking to my Dr he believes that i have some problems mentally which are making me feel anxious over the smallest things and making me struggle to sleep, this gremlin is known as depression. <BR> Its a horrible thing that eats away at you and makes you feel all alone in the world, its the most horrible feeling i ever had these past few months and would not wish it upon my worst enemy. Some days just getting out of bed feels like the... Sat, 26 Dec 2015 07:02:03 EST Closing in on 40lbs <img src=""> <img src=""> <BR> Currently i am riding a massive high, ive lost 37.5 pounds and am closing in on the magic 40 ! Ive struggled so long and have had my highs and lows along the way to to where im currently at but as i look at old photos to new and see my progress i know it was all worth it. <BR> Im not perfect with either my ... Mon, 26 Oct 2015 15:04:55 EST Post Holiday Blues Well I've been back fim my holiday three weeks now, still struggling to get my butt in gear & get back on program. I went away weighing the lowest I have weighed in 8 years at 253 pounds, I returned a shade over 260. It was my girlfriends 21st & we got a cabin at the lake to celebrate. I over indulged in far too many of the wrong food choices & drank far too much alcohol as well. I was more then a little bit upset to say the least when I weighed in & saw a big number. But that's the price for... Sat, 17 May 2014 08:51:51 EST A New Set Back Recently I've been doing really well. I've been strong with my diet & exercise, works been going well & so has my personal life. Little by little I have been getting on with everything falling nicely into place. But last night I was playing soccer for my local team in a pre season game & did something in the first half to my knee & tried to carry on till half time which I managed but then I got my manager to replace me because something wasn't right. I was experiencing a great deal of pain & ... Fri, 9 Aug 2013 08:34:45 EST YOLO - My New Life - My New Girl Ok so after a month from hell that was January I have made positive steps in February through into march to get myself back on track. <BR> I started with baby steps by getting my food plan back on track & steadily building up my workouts to get myself back to working out 6 days a week. <BR> It's been slow but steady & the last month has seen me drop 23 pounds which I must say I feel great about. <BR> I'm not putting time scales on things & I'm not going to weigh my success with whether there... Fri, 15 Mar 2013 08:01:58 EST How Did It Come To This How did it come to this ? Those are the words in my head as I try to sieve through where little by little chipped away at my progress. <BR> Just a few months ago I was celebrating hitting the 50 pound lost mark, I felt good, I was never out of breath, life was simpler. <BR> Then little by little my drive had gone away to exercise, little by little those wrong eating habits crept back into my life and indeed little by little the 50 pounds lost dropped to 40, 30, 20 & finally where I am now 15 ... Fri, 25 Jan 2013 05:02:36 EST A Return To Form Ok so after yo yoing for the last couple months since my holidays i am finally starting to turn the screw a little and make some progress. <BR> In the last few weeks i have got back in the form which helped me shift my initial weight, i have sorted my diet out and got back onto a healthy program but still gave myself like 1 meal a week of my more desired foods (which aren't good for you) as a treat but have kept the portions really low so as to not blow my diet but keep the little voice in my... Thu, 29 Nov 2012 12:34:50 EST The Next Great Test Well yesterday was quite the test, i have just ended my relationship with my girlfriend. <BR> I didn't comfort eat or drink alcohol to get round it, to be fair this was the right decision for me and my future. <BR> We have grown further and further apart with regards to my time and effort spent trying to change my life by losing weight, i had her try Sparkpeople and she lasted a week or so then went back to where she was happy and comfortable with quick fix snacks and meals that are no good f... Mon, 29 Oct 2012 03:34:52 EST Kickstart For The New Week Well after going off my plan for a couple months following my holidays away i am slowly grinding back to where i was pre holiday. <BR> Its been a bit of struggle to get going at the minute, the weather in England is getting worse and worse with snow & rain combigned with near freezing temperatures which is a notch against me that my mind has been saying not today stef, there will be better weather tomoroow to do your workout, problim is with the weather here that isn't often the case and as ... Sat, 27 Oct 2012 09:26:14 EST Hello Old Friend . . . . . . . Well i have just been tagged in some photo's from last weekend while i was out with friends in my local village. As i looked through them i also looked at some of my older pictures from in the last twelve months. Browsing through i can vissably see the changes my body has gone through, one main change is in my face. I have lost lots of weight there and more specifically around my neck, so much so in fact i can actually see the outline of my neck rather than just a continuation of my shoulders... Thu, 11 Oct 2012 12:21:12 EST Success & Failure - A Cookbook Away Well for sometime now i have have had my succes and failures with my weight, i think alot of it has been from being young. I never ever ate vegetables or fruit and my parents never really looked at ways to get me to eat them by sneaking them into other foods or indeed just percerviering with me until i ate them. <BR> My sister was the same and i have massive respect for the way she is raising them with their food choices and makes sure they eat ample amounts of fruit and veg daily, if they do... Wed, 10 Oct 2012 14:23:24 EST A Strike Back Well i have finally fought my way through the holiday blues and have started getting back in the rhythm of my program once again. Its been a very big struggle after my holidays to get myself motivated for both exercise and also more importantly after the great food i had while away going back on the diet. <BR> Its taken its time but little by little i have been hitting it up to get back to how i was pre holiday last month. I have slowly but surely gotten back on course with my goals and i am ... Fri, 28 Sep 2012 09:15:34 EST pffft . . . . . . . . Well i am truly fed up with my life at the minute. I have fallen out with my program in a big way, since my holiday a few weeks back and just haven't got myself back into the routine i had going for myself which saw me lose my first 50 pounds of weight. Its now frustrating as their has been a total of 13 pounds gained while on holiday and since getting back. <BR> It's weird how just a month ago i was up six out of seven days working out and now i struggle to get up before 9am and when i do i... Sat, 15 Sep 2012 11:34:30 EST Back In The Game Ok so its 5 days since i returned from my holidays and i haven't probably hit the plan back up like i should have in the last few days. My diet has been great but with working i haven't had time to workout, in the last 5 days i clocked up a colossal 68 hours and i must say im truly knackered, but this week i have 3 days off so starting with today i can get my butt in gear once again. <BR> Today was also weigh in day and after putting the pounds on during my holiday today was much better readi... Mon, 3 Sep 2012 05:43:13 EST Great Holiday - Bad Results Ok so i am now home from my holidays with the boys and had an absolute scream, i enjoyed every day away with the lads and did a lot of great things. <BR> Unfortunately the amount of fun i had transferred itself into a colossal gain of 11 pounds. :( <BR> I know it was me who made all decisions with regards to food and more so alcohol while away but i'll tell, very bad reading hitting the scales yesterday. <BR> I was expecting a gain but maybe was a bit disappointing about how much of a gain wa... Thu, 30 Aug 2012 09:16:59 EST Freshen Up - Kettlebells Well after struggling for motivation to get going on my program and finding myself in a real rut i had decided it was time to freshen up and try something new. <BR> I decided to give kettlebells a go, after seeing many people saying they are great and also seeing them used extensively in articles in magazines etc. i thought why not . . . . <BR> So i bought a book called Ultimate Kettlebells by Dave Randolph, 4 sets of differant weighted kettlebells and when they all arrived after a little re... Fri, 3 Aug 2012 13:15:08 EST Motivation Motivation, the word of the day. Recently i have really struggled to get myself geed up and ready to go and blast out my workouts and cook good healthy food. <BR> This hasn't happened to me overnight, i have little by little been losing my grip on the game which a month ago i was beating to a bloody pulp and owning all the way. <BR> Now its almost like im the prizefighter who's punched out in the final stages of a fight and he has an opponent who just won't stop coming forward and cannot be b... Wed, 25 Jul 2012 08:30:46 EST A Bad Week Well i well and truly fell off the train this week, my dog Lady has been unwell and i have been back and forth to vets, she's had an operation and i have been working as many extra shifts as i could to help pay for the vets bill. <BR> It has also knocked me out of my routine with how i was working out and preparing fresh healthy meals daily for myself. I know its all my fault and yesterday when i stepped on the scales it showed. :-( <BR> Not a massive gain but enough to put me on a bit of a ... Tue, 17 Jul 2012 11:25:39 EST :-( A Poorly Dog Yesterday i found that overnigt a large lump had appeared on my dog ladys neck, she has struggled with eating and drinking as it seems to have swelled around her tongue too. <BR> My vet though isnt sure what it is, she has advised me to have her looked at right away and after giving her a jab of antibiotics and anti inflammatory i have now got her home for the night before they put her under to get a better look at what it is. <BR> Im just praying for the best and hope its nothing serious and... Mon, 9 Jul 2012 13:40:41 EST A Hard Weekend Well its been a damn hard weekend for me this week, i was celebrating my birthday with family and friends and went of the rails with my diet and also for two days did,t get my exercises in. <BR> While i did enjoy my weekend it was a dread today when i needed to step on the scales and see the damage of two days of partying. <BR> The number was 2lbs, two pounds gained in two days. Upto Saturday i had done everything right with my program but massively overindulged in the not so great for you fo... Mon, 25 Jun 2012 12:06:52 EST A Monumental Day - Bye Bye To The Fifty Pounds Well this is me starting week 15 of my grand transformation and it has brought around a monumental day for me, todays weigh in has seen me clear the 50lb mark of lost weight. <BR> Not sure if there is an emoticon on here with a big enough smile to compare to my mine im wearing right now. <BR> <em>334</em> <BR> But it just makes me feel overwhelmingly great this, the last 14 weeks have been the hardest weeks of my life with the training and dieting. <BR> I have have a great deal of aches and... Tue, 19 Jun 2012 06:28:35 EST Very Mad Well a few weeks ago i took a bad hit at training and i ended up going to the hospital where they took an x-ray and told me there was nothing to worry about but after the pain hadn't subsided i decided to return and would you have guessed it. They actually missed the fact that i have a fracture in my left arm. To say i was a little mad would be an understatement, i have continued full contact training, boxing and my weight lifting routines and have tried to work through the pain so my progres... Fri, 8 Jun 2012 16:10:13 EST The Week Of Temptation This has been the first week since i started dieting in March that i have found hard for a number of reasons, they all intertwine and have a knock on effect to what has been my general daily routine of the past few months. <BR> This week has been surrounded by temptation and will continue to be so for a couple of days as tomorrow is the queens diamond jubilee in England which means partys everywhere with all the wrong food and drinks for what i am trying to accomplish. <BR> But lets start ear... Mon, 4 Jun 2012 07:56:56 EST A Night Of Regret Well yesterday was my best friends birthday and as is customary with all our big events it means were going to be tanking the alcohol. I definitely overindulged and feel pretty turd all in all. after being up for 12 hours i am only now just beginning to feel like myself, earlier i felt and looked like an extra out of the walking dead. This reaffirms my reason for stopping with the beers, im tired, didn't workout as i overlayed so i had to make sure i got the dogs out before work. <BR> While i... Sat, 2 Jun 2012 14:23:08 EST 14 Weeks Big Summary Well yesterday was the end of my 14th week on the weight loss trail and today heralds in the weekly weigh in and also the monthly measuring to see if anything has been lost inch wise throughout the body. Well looking at the summary on here from March when i began to today i must say after waking up a bit miffed it really has put a smile on my face. <BR> Start Current Loss <BR> Weight 282 lbs... Mon, 28 May 2012 05:33:34 EST Another Little Victory Well today was our first pre season training session at football, it ushers in degrees of excitement and dread in equal measure. Excitement towards the fact that we are back together as a group to put the prep work in for the new season after two promotions in two years since we founded our club and also dread, the dread is the hard work like running sprints, jogging drills etc. for conditioning. <BR> Well this is the first time that after training i am not tired, don't have any aches or pai... Sun, 20 May 2012 08:43:15 EST Back To The Grind Well today has heralded the end of my magical two days free of work, its back to the grinder today and to be fair i just plain can't be bothered. The last couple days have been great as i have had all the time in the world to eat right and work out which is always easier when you have no work. <BR> Today though i was up early and have got a lot done. I have been out with the dogs, eaten a nice breakfast and been for a walk to get some fish from a super market a couple miles away for lunch. <B... Fri, 18 May 2012 09:08:38 EST It Really May Be Insanity Ok so since i have made great progress in the last few months with my fitness and am not really feeling it when i do cardio i thought i would step things up and make things more intense. <BR> So my friend said if your serious about upping the intensity there is a great program called INSANITY, well i have never tried things like this but i thought why not. <BR> Well i am on day two of the program and must say my friend was right, its ridiculous ! I have never felt so a great burn. I am strug... Thu, 17 May 2012 17:17:25 EST Wasted Weekend Well i have just got ready for work and am writing this before i leave. Its been a very very long and very tiring. I have spent more time at work this weekend as were are busy and short staffed which has meant i have had to pick up the slack and its meant that i am really tired and have struggled to get proper workouts in. All i have managed are quick stints on the rower and bike in my house plus walks with my dogs. <BR> I feel awful really, its all become part of my routine now and when i c... Sun, 13 May 2012 08:39:51 EST