In the pool in Croatia with daughter, August 6th 2006

May 2007

Me with CMCHAPMAN Feb 2005


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I'm James and I guess I'm like very many men in their 30s. I work in an office, doing a job that means I'm sitting down for most of the day.

Around the turn of the year I managed to get a parking space, which meant that instead of a daily 25 minute walk to and from the office, I was driving in to work, and my "morning walk" consisted of the 20 yards from my car to the lift, and then another 20 yards to my desk. It didn't take long for the weight to add on, with the "spare tyre" growing and getting uncomfortable.

By March 2006 I was at 190lbs. The moment I knew I had to make some serious changes was when my ex-wife came into the the office to borrow my car for the day (it's amicable!) and she left her bike for me to ride back to her house after work. It was a 10 minute ride, and when I got back there I felt exhausted and needed a lie down!

That was an awful feeling, but it shocked me into taking steps to lose some weight. At first I just changed my diet a little, reducing the types of food I knew were causing me problems - bread, cheese, pizza, Indian food and salty snacks - and I noticed I was losing a few pounds.

But when I found this site in early May, everything changed. I became much more focussed on what I was eating and drinking, and started to make a daily intake diary, which I've found invaluable for sticking within my daily calorie range. The articles have been interesting, varied and really useful. The forums are a great source of support and information. In short, I love this site, and have recommended it to everyone who's said to me "Wow, how have you lost so much weight?"

I'm now, since May on Spark, feeling healthier and slimmer than I have for many years, having lost around 35lbs, and am even getting into 30-31" waist trousers with room to spare, and I never thought I'd buy another pair of trousers that size!

I want this to stick, as I'm not interested in any short term fix .

Update September 11th 2006: Achieved my medium term goal of a charity 5km run, in a fairly respectable 24mins. My next goal is a half-marathon, for next Spring. There is a half-marathon this coming weekend in Bristol, but I'll giving that a pass!

Update late October: Weight is maintaining around 152-154lbs, which is fine. I've been keeping up with the Body Pump classes, and other classes, but I have taken it a bit easier in the past two weeks, as my body was just feeling fatigued. Just listening to what my body needs. I'm happy with the way I look and feel now, so it's just my overall cardiovascular fitness and stamina I need to work on now, as well as keeping an eye on my weight to make sure it doesn't creep up again due to the winter comfort eating!

Member Since: 5/8/2006

Fitness Minutes: 0

My Goals:
My original goal was to lose my bulging spare tyre, which I was too ashamed of to photograph at the time. Now I wish I''d gritted my teeth and done it, as the difference between then and now is dramatic, and would have been a great reminder of what I don''t ever want to look like again!

My other intiial goals were get fit and healthy, and look OK on the beach in Croatia in August! I managed to achieve that goal (or at least started with regard to fitness), and had a great time there! Signed up for a 5km charity run in September, and I did that and achieved this OK, without too many aches and pains.
My new goal is to maintain my weight and body fat levels where I am now, to keep working on improving my strength, stamina and overall fitness, while working towards running a half-marathon in March 2007. I''ll need all the support I can get on that, as that seems a hugely daunting goal at this stage!

My Program:
I did keep a food journal, tracking everything I ate, as I was losing weight. Now I''m at my goal, I''m aware of the calorie content of the majority of what I eat, and I know within 100-200 calories what my daily intake is.

I weigh myself only once a week, on a Sunday morning, so I don''t get hung up or normal daily variations, to keep an eye on my maintenance weight.

I go to the gym 3-5 times a week, and do a variety of cardio work, all round strength training, swimming and specific abdominal / obliques area exercises in an attempt to end up reasonably "ripped", for once in my life, rather than the "computer geek " look I''ve usually had. I attend a variety of classes at the gym now, including Body Pump, Body Combat and aerobics, but will add cycling and circuits in the coming months.

Personal Information:
Location: Bristol, England

Date of birth: 2nd July 1970

Occupation: Manager of a team of diagnostic engineers, BT Wholesale


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Other Information:
Favourite movies: Sideways. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Downfall. Memento. City of God. The Usual Suspects. The Big Lebowski. Goodfellas. This Is Spinal Tap.

Favourite music:
The Flaming Lips. Radiohead. Beck. Peter Gabriel. Keane. REM. The Polyphonic Spree. The Strokes. Super Furry Animals. Metric.

Favourite books:
The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time: by Mark Haddon
The Time Traveler''s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb
We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

Favourite TV:
Curb Your Enthusiasm, 24, The Shield, Lost, Prison Break, The Wire.

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    Hi James! You really are an inspiration to so many of us here! Great job with your weightloss and reaching your goal, so neat! I hope you have a great spark day!!!

    4207 days ago
    Wow! That latest picture! Nice muscle definition. Well done.
    4255 days ago
    Hi James,

    WTG on reaching your goal, and how! Your Oct. 21 picture is amazing. You should be so proud of what you have achieved.
    4257 days ago
    Hey James! I just read your post on the Negative Comments thread - I've had the same thing when I grab a cookie or small treat - OH, there she goes, she's going to blow it! Ugh. I just wanted to pop in to say that your daughter standing up for you is one of the sweetest things I've heard in a long time! At least the most important person is in your corner!! Keep up the great weight loss - you're inspiring!!
    4271 days ago
  • v ~JENN~
    James~Wow! You look great! What a wonderful inspiration you are to everyone & it's great to have you on the Tight & Toned team. We have so many great members who are very motivational & it will be a great having you there to share all your ideas to reaching success. Good luck to you in reaching your next goals-Jenn
    4284 days ago
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