Thursday, December 6, 2012

Slippin' and a slidin'


I awoke from my sleep face first on an unfamiliar futon. My head was pounding and my wallet was empty. My mouth was so dry, it was like my lips had been super glued to my gums and my breath caused some low hanging plants to wilt. A sharp pain coursed throughout my hip and lower back whilst a duller, throbbing pain had found a home in my upper back. My t-shirt seemed to be splattered in someone else’s blood.

As though prompted by the pain, my memories started flooding back. I was in Whistler. And Whistler had won.

Alright, to paraphrase Maria Von Trapp, let’s start from the very beginning as it’s a very good place to start.

Having packed up all my stuff from the hostel in Vancouver (where I found neither the loose women or cheap beer as promised to me by a friend), I quickly scurried across town to board my Greyhound - destination Whistler. 2.5 hours later I disembarked the bus to find snow and ice covered roads.

Whistler is a beautiful place. The cool wind cleans out your lungs and the snow over everything adds a magical element to the place, making me feel like I had emerged into a fairy tale world. I have to admit though, for all its beauty, I did feel a little out of my element. I am used to sun and surf. I was lucky enough to have my friend Cara to meet me off the bus to help me get my bearings, which helped immensely.

Something I learned rather quickly is that ice is very slippery. As I have a tendency to be slightly clumsy at times, I quickly became aware this could be a recipe for disaster. Maybe a little more than slightly clumsy. Ok, I am what could be aptly termed, a clumsy oaf. To give you an example, I was out to dinner with a hot young lady a couple of weeks ago. Generally dinner is a pretty safe environment for me – sitting down the whole time gives me precious little chance to display my oafish clumsiness, allowing me instead to exude a façade of detached coolness, which sends the ladies crazy. Whilst attempting to exude the aforementioned aura, I spotted my glass of water through the lenses of my sunglasses and whilst raising it to my lips, I somehow managed to empty the majority of the contents over my carefully selected sleeveless shirt.

Getting back to the point, knowing my clumsy limitations, I was mindful to tread carefully on the slippery ice. That was, of course, until I started to get drunk.

After a couple of drinks it was decided to head into Whistler Village to continue the festivities. Sadly, I felt the jeans with joggers look that I had been rocking with such aplomb may not fly in the clubs of Whistler, so I threw on some leather shoes to ensure I was looking my best for my first foray into this winter wonderland.

Poor choice!

Within two minutes of donning my shoes I attempted to climb the wooden stairs, slipped, nearly did a full backward flip before landing square on my back. In immense pain I checked my right hand to make sure the bottle of vodka I was clutching did not smash before swivelling the head around to see if anyone saw me. Luckily I spotted no one so, gingerly, I returned to my feet and headed up toward the car. Fall one.

The nightlife in Whistler is pretty cool. People from all over the world grow their hair beyond their shoulders, learn proper snowboard lingo and come together to hit the mountain and have fun. I did look a little out with my shaved head however I just had to say words like ‘shred’ and 'gnarly’ every couple of seconds and I was quickly accepted into Whistler's cool embrace. There was a bit of a queue to get into Buffalo Bills so I slipped the bouncer $40 and headed in with my supposed new found Kiwi friend who gave me the slip as soon as we passed the front door.

From here, the rest of a night is a bit of a blur. There were a few more falls, a backhand to someone’s nose on a friendly dare (hence the blood splatter) and later on, some incoherent dribblings to a taxi driver who somehow managed to understand just where it was I needed to go. This was rather lucky as I had no idea where I was headed myself.

My first night out in whistler. Great night, met some new friends, caught up with some old ones however the score card reads:

Whistler – 1
Bails – 0



Monday, November 26, 2012

A Tale of Four Smells

Boarding the plane I was greeted by an old retired Canadian couple who had spent the last 34 days cruising around our vast continent. Paul and Nancy are a wonderful couple of people however there were two things I have to whinge about.

Number one is the first two of the four smells mentioned in the title. Within moments of sitting down and striking up a conversation with the lovely couple beside me, a horrible odour worked its way inside my nostrils and slid deep inside my throat. A smell so thick I could taste it. Old age and death had attached itself to my two travelling companions. It wasn’t their fault, age and/or death will catch will catch up with us all and they were obviously doing their best to hide themselves from these two malingering beasts however being stuck on the window aisle, inside this odour, for an entire 14 hour flight, was a little uncomfortable. The hatred of the smell was due in large part to the fact I have long suspected both of these beasts of stalking me, trying to age me to make me their own. Death even tried to add me on Facebook once.

Well to you, good sir, I say ‘Rage! Rage! Against the dying of the light’. Author’s note - Please imagine me shaking my fist up to almighty heaven whilst yelling that at the top of my lungs on an abandoned beach. I feel it evokes a much more powerful image than a man sitting inside his hostel at 10.30pm on a Sunday night, in another country, as he is still tired from his flight over and fighting jet lag and wants to be fresh for his Bruce Springsteen concert tomorrow night…………

Ok, perhaps old age is making more inroads than I would care to admit.

My second grievance about these two was that they seem to have been born with iron clad bladders. They went to the toilet once in the entire journey. Once! Being on the window seat meant I had to ask these two frail individuals to move every time I wanted to make an evacuation or even get up to stretch my legs. Being the kind soul I am, much to the disappointment of my bowels and kidneys, I ended up holding on for the final few hours not wanting to disturb them and unsure if Paul was sleeping or if Death had finally made its casting call.

Besides that the flight was fine with one of the in-flight meals I have had the pleasure of devouring.

This brings me to smell three of this sordid saga. Despite not having all the required paperwork with me I breezed through customs. When the customs agent asked me for a copy of my heath insurance a couple of brief rummages through my bag came up empty. After some profuse sweating and silent cursing I looked back over the desk and managed to eek out that I didn’t seem to have it. ‘No problems’ she said as she stapled my VISA into my passport. Phew.

So off I went, through the exit doors of Vancouver airport and into a whole new world. I was greeted with a rising sun, casually dipping its head through some huge, what I believe to be, Conifer trees, from which it’s rays stretched out to welcome me to the second largest country in the world. Moments later I was hit with a crisp, cool breeze which contained a sweet smell that reverberated through every fibre of my being. It was as though God had just brushed his teeth and picked that very moment to blow off any residual stench of death from my person (he did however decide to leave some of the old age hanging on). It was an awesome feeling. A lot of the doubts started to melt away and off I swaggered off with my sunnies on, beanie firmly ensconced to my bald head and coolness factor at an all-time high. If I only I smoked the coolness gauge would have been hitting ‘James Dean’.

I caught the skytrain to my hostel , managed to get lost in the three blocks between the station and where I was staying and had to hail down a taxi to get me there anyway. It was during this three blocks (which turned into something more like eight) which I first encountered the fourth and final smell of my journey thus far.

The fourth smell, I have since learned, appears to be the lifeblood of the Vancouver and ‘Bee-See’ way of life.

I was walking past a church. A nice church, it was rather old and very gothic. As I struggled with my luggage past the doors I caught a smell which took me back to the fields of Coachella, the lands of the Big Day Out and a smell which most definitely reminded me of Otto’s jacket. It smelt of adolescence saturated in teen spirit with angst and rebellion mixed in for good luck. I could also detect faint traces of the sixties and seventies working its way finely through my first whiff of ‘Bee-See Bud’.

 I’m not sure where the smell originated from, whether it was inside the church as someone had been sentenced by the father to five hail Mary’s and three joints after confession or if it was from someone sneaking a quick one in down the side but the smell was working its way out into the fair city.

From this point I noticed Bee-See Bud everywhere. It was on the breath of the taxi driver taking me to my hostel, it lingered quietly in the foyer of my hostel, it was even being cut up in my room by my new roommate when I entered.  I ventured downstairs later on that evening to grab a beer and some dinner and the first person I met as I was ordering my drink enquired as to whether I would care to share a joint with her outside. She didn’t even know my name but she had some ‘Bee-See bud maaaaaan!’.

Smells, they say, invoke the strongest memories. Just a hint of a perfume can take you back to a long lost love, the salty sea air always reminds me of Wanda beach and my childhood and it takes the slightest whiff of Dencorub and I am back in the dressing sheds getting ready for a game of football.

I’ve now got four delicious new smells to add to my memory banks. As I get older and settle back into my life I know I have a magic key that will take me all the way back to Canada and BC in an instant. The memories are all we will have at the end of the day and it’s nice to know that all I will have to do to take that trip is walk past a high school, stick my head in the toilets and breathe in deeply. 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Please help by donating what you can!!

On the 11th October 2011 God or the universe or whatever you would like to call the cosmic sentence took pity on my Dad after his long battle with cancer and gently leaned over and blew out the flame containing his life. I can remember sitting in the small room at Calvary, which seemed unseasonably cold and grey, as we waited and waited for Dad to finally let go and move on.

It was horrible to see what this disease had done to my Dad’s once strong body. A body which brought me life. A body which had clutched me to it’s hairy chest. A body which had hauled me clear from waves when near drowning. A body which had cared for me when I was ill. A body which was now a shell of it’s former self - frail and emaciated. A body only tethered to this life by the strong spirit of the man within. With every laboured breath, the murky greyness in the room seemed to increase as we all sat in silence wondering if that was the last one. Eventually it was. I can distinctly remember emerging from the room after this and looking out into a spectacular sunset, the sun’s golden rays spreading out over Botany Bay as though they were arms welcoming back Dad’s spirit, and realising that greyness in the room was nothing more than my imagination. A reflection of the collective grief welling up in us all.

During Dad's battle I can remember the worst part for me was being unable to do anything to make him better. I felt completely impotent. It made me feel a little worthless. Here was this man, my Dad, who had given me life and done so much for me and when he needed it most there was nothing I could do. Of course I could be there for him and let him know I loved him. These things would help him and support him but they wouldn’t make him better. I’m ashamed to admit that these feelings of inadequacy did lead to me probably not doing as much as I could as seeing him brought these feelings on. I mean I was there for him but I could have done more. I found a little solace in the bottle even at times. Selfish I know - it’s as though I was making his illness about me - but these were the feelings that it conjured up. My stepmum Kim was a rock of support for him.

Two days after the first anniversary of Dad’s death (the 13-14th October 2012 which coincidently falls on what would have been Dad’s 62nd birthday) my sisters and I are embarking on a 200km ride over the two days as part of SunSuper’s ride to conquer cancer. We are raising funds for the Dr Chris O’Brien Lifehouse which is a leading cancer research and treatment clinic who will hopefully produce a cure for this insidious disease soon, so no one else will have to watch it eat away at their loved one’s.

My sister Jodi has recently had her own bout with Cancer. She is still recovering well from her radical hysterectomy which she had a couple of weeks ago and is going to do this ride with me. Strong woman!

This is where all you guys come in.

 This ride is about raising funds to allow for continued research into beating this disease. We were lucky, Dad didn’t suffer a great deal compared to some people. Everyone out there will know someone that has been affected by this disease and chances are someone very close to you will be affected soon too, unless we can stamp it out of existence. Mothers, children, wives, girlfriends, fathers, brothers, sisters, young, old no one is immune. For me personally I see this as my opportunity to offer something that I couldn’t when Dad was ill assistance in making other people better.

 The minimum expected amount of funds each rider is expected to earn is $2,500 We are aiming to get to double that each so $5,000 for each of us three meaning a total of $15,000. This is not going to happen without all your support. Please please give generously and help us, Team Bailey, achieve the fundraising goals we have set for ourselves.

Please show your support by donating and sharing this story and this page on your facebook walls or amongst your friends. You can donate through here - http://cfrau.convio.net/site/TR/Events/Sydney2012?px=1149766&pg=personal&fr_id=1070

We will also be conducting some raffles and possibly an event prior to the ride too for funds so please all of you who have a business out there and can contribute something to be raffled off or put into a prize pool please do so.

Anyone who feels they are up to the challenge and wishes to join me for the ride get in there - the more the merrier - the rego is $50. Bear in mind though that everyone is expected to do fundraising to hit the minimum individual rider amount of $2,500.00 (don’t worry we will be fundraising together and splitting proceeds between each other evenly for raffle proceeds and events its just that SunSuper needs every rider to hit that minimum). Join through this website - join as a team member of “Team Bailey!” using the password “bails” and join us on this challenege!!!

Thanks so much to everyone who helps out, it really means a lot to us.

Team Bailey-
John
Cassie
Jodi
You????

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

After the deluge

I'm sitting here chomping on a Boost (I took the fact that Woolies had my old mate on sale for $1 just as I finish the Blitzkrieg as a sign the universe wanted me to partake of one) and gazing at my side on after shot. How I love that shot. I might print it up and post it around the city so other people can gaze upon my beauty and brighten their day.

Thanks to everyone for the positive feedback, comments and questions. It really is appreciated. I was going to do this follow up with just a few key points I had picked up in case anyone was wanting to do their own challenge but following on from the feedback I'll go into a little more detail about my eating and training plan as well. To anyone that is thinking about it, my advice is do it. You will surprise yourself with how quickly things change!

The main things I took from the challenge that really helped me along the way to achieve my goal, in no particular order, are:

1. Accountability

I actually know a few people who have done a similar challenge now and all achieved unreal results. They all said the same thing - having someone or something that you are accountable to was instrumental in pushing them through the inevitable troughs. I have to agree. For me, having this blog and knowing that if I failed it would be on the world wide web for all to see kept me going, as did having Scotty Capelin there to report to. He would have called me out if he knew Ii wasn't putting in any effort or seeing any results. I suggest if you are going to give it a crack to write down your goals on a piece of paper and give it to a friend that you respect and that will be honest with you in how they think you are going. Report in to them each week with your exercising and food intake for the week which leads in to my next piont.....

2. Honesty

There are many things that will affect how you train and eat and what results you actually see. Honesty is key in making sure you achieve the results you want. If you are doing it so you have a better chance of nailing the hot bird on the train then don't try and tell yourself or anyone else that you "just want to get fitter" or "just be healthy". If you fell off the wagon last night and ploughed through 2 pizzas and a 1.25 ltr coke then washed it down with half a chocolate cake, say so. Don't write down in your food journal "grilled chick breast and half a cup of broccoli". Firstly, if you are not honest with why you are doing it (this goes for training in general and not just any challenge that you may have set yourself) then you are unlikely to get the results you want. Training to attract a girls attention would take a different path then training for sport or just general healthiness. If you have a blow out one night (and it will likely happen) own it, dont try and hide it and dont't feel bad (unless you are doing it every day). Make up for it by burning the extra calories the following day.

3. Preparation

Failing to prepare is preparing for failure. Taking the time to plan training sessions ahead of time will lead to a healthy progress in the right direction. Arriving at the gym and pottering around for half an hour while deciding what to do will likely result in doing very little and the little you do do will likely be just those exercises you like doing. Preparation is vitally important when it comes to food too. It takes a little extra effort to get up and make your lunch for the day but is well worth it. Where possible you will want to carry all your food for the day with you. You don't want to rely on shops for buying what you might think is healthy food as you don't know what they have put in it when preparing. Sometimes you may get caught out without food. In these cases make as healthy option as possible, if you have to eat a sandwich then go for multigrain bread or wholemeal. Make sure there is some lean protein in there and avoid butter, mayo or added salt.

4. Goals

If you don't have any specific goals set then you don't know where your heading and the only way you will get there is by pure luck - much like me when trying to pleasure a woman. Setting goals allows you to plot your path to success. Your goals should abide by the SMART principal - Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic Timely


5. Prescence

Be present in your training. Don't just go through the motions. This will bring you more in tune with your body as well as helping you push through those days where you really can't be bothered (which will come, believe me). It's the pushing through these moments where you really feel your best. Like shares in a bull market, its easy to make money when everything is going good. It's when your feeling like shit that having the ability to push yourself through a quality training session can leave you feeling on top of the world. This also helps you to listen to your body. While at times it is good to push through those tired moments you need to listen to when your body is telling you to take a rest. Recovery is vital for growing stronger and leaner so even though you are training at a high volume and intensity, allow time for recovery. you can even work some active recovery in there with a few light training days - a light swim instead of boxing for instance.

6. Tracking / Training diary

I strongly suggest keeping a training and food diary. This allows you to keep track of how your progress with everything as well as preventing things like unconscious eating. For me personally, every time I entered in a good meal I felt like I had a little victory. I was just using an excel template I created, it doesn't have to be anything fancy. When it got deleted from my computer I don't think my eating was as good. Knowing that if and when I ate something that I wasn't supposed to that I would have to write it down really kept me from gonig to the biscuit tin or hitting 1 in my speed dial and ordering some Thai home delivery. Then after I had finished with my Thai lady going down the road for a feed of Macca's.

7. Education

I remember when I was younger we had a fellow signed up for footy from Cairns. Let's call him Bob. Bob came down and about halfway through the season broke his leg. Unable to run for 6 weeks Bob set about throwing himself into the gym to try and keep his health as much as he could. When he came back the trainer found out he had put on 10kg and his skinfolds had gone through the roof. Bob was stunned. His face scrunched up and his chins wobbled more than Harold Bishop's doing the Macarena. "I really don't know what could have gone wrong" Bob cried "I've been eating really well - Steaks for dinner, a lot of fruit through the day". When questioned further it turns out Bob had been eating about 2 cakes a day. Bob thought, because they were carrot cakes and banana cakes, they were filled with fruity goodness. Now granted that Bob wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed but education is key in making right decisions in both food and exercise selection.

8. Ongoing plans

Whilst doing the challenge it is easy to get caught up staring squarely at the donut and not at the hole. You put in all this effort and get the results you were after then once it's done bang. you sit back on the lounge and start eating some macca's. You need to remember that health is a lifelong journey and not just for the time that the challenge is set. With this in mind it's a good idea to set some goals for post challenge or at the very least a plan to ensure a smooth transition. When doing a challenge like this you are going to have to make a few sacrifices as well as devote a fair amount of time to obtaining your goals. This isn't viable for the long term and you will need to come back to a plan with greater longevity to increase your own longevity.

9. Enjoyment / making it easy on yourself

Try to do exercise and eat food you actually enjoy. Some of you there will feel that is an oxymoron but seriously, there are that many activities out there just about everyone can find something that they like. If you can find somewhere near your work or home that will also help. It's an effort to get there, especially initially and so you want to cut down any excuses your mind may use to justify not going. Making it seem like less of an effort to get there will increase your likelihood for sticking to it.

10. Weights

Not a lot of people like them but resistance work needs to form part of any weight loss plan. Some people are worried about blowing up like Arnie but trust me, unless you eat 7000 calories a day, lift weights twice a day and inject 4 chicken farms worth of steroids into you every hour that isnt going to happen. Resistance and load bearing work can burn calories for twice the amount of time as cardio after the exercise is finished. Muscle mass also increases your metabolism as it costs the body more energy to maintain muscle mass than fat. Besides this, added muscle gives you a better look - the wafer look went out with Lara Flynn Boyle. Lara Flynn who you ask?? Exactly.

11. Personification

Something that really helped me push through at times was this blog - personifying the fat into a little army that I was doing battle with drove me to really fight them. I found myself picturing little white pieces of fat tissue with big Arab style beards and AK-47's and army helmets firing fat filled bullets at me. I had to set my troops onto them by eating healthily and exercising super hard. This weird little trick worked in my weirdly wired mind but you need to find what works for you. Is it picturing that hot bird from the train naked, shaved and presenting?? Or perhaps it's seeing yourself in that slinky dress you bought on Rodeo Drive 2 years ago but haven't been able to wear yet. Whatever it is, having something to focus on that pushes you through when your in the hurt locker can really help.

12. Sacrifice

There is inevitably going to have to be some sacrifices made by you if you want to be successful in a challenge like this. Mainly socially. Going out to dinner, going out for a beer. These are both big no no's. This could possibly lead to some negativity about your challenge from those around you. If you have a partner and/or a family it might be a good idea to sit down and discuss just what you will be doing beforehand so hopefully you can get them on board. Another big sacrifice that will have to be made is time. Training and planning meals etc is going to take up large portions of your day. For me, I don't have a family (at least not until after the court cases) so it wasn't so bad giving up 2-3 hours a day to train. I was only missing out on my daily television and porn time. If I had a family, I wouldn't have been able to devote as much time to it. That's not to say I couldn't do it, it just means I would have to adjust my expectations and training regime accordingly. I was seeing friends of mine down the gym at 5am who would train then go to work all day so they were home in time to see their kids. that's commitment.

Again, I can't stress enough just how great I feel having finished this challenge I set myself. It's helped to put me back onto a path again with re-discovering my passion for fitness and also giving me the courage and clarity to make a career change into the fitness industry, which I am really excited about. I'll be making the change about August, just as its coming into the warmer months, to try and help people get ready for summer! Bring it on!!!

As far as where to from here for me - well I'll be training for my fight coming up in about 10 weeks and after that 200km charity ride. I'll update in about 6 weeks to show how I'm travelling with my fitness and explain how i have changed up my training and eating to be more boxing specific.

Now in response to those that wanted to know, my eating looked like this:

Meal 1 (about 6am) - Yoghurt (yoplait forme brand - low-ish sugar, fat free) with almonds and small amount of oats sprinkled over it meal

Meal 2 (about 9am) - Protein shake with milk

Meal 3 (about 12pm) - Baby spinach leaves, 185gm tin tuna in springwater, 1/4 avocado, chickpeas and lentils (from a can)

Meal 4 (about 3pm) - 2 boiled eggs (generally only eat the white sometimesd I might eat a yolk)

Meal 5 (about 7pm) - (Post training) protein shake with water

Meal 6 (about 8.30pm) - Grilled chick breast with vegies (broccolli, cauliflour, carrot, asparagus)

On days I train in the morning as well as arvo I would train on an empty stomach, have my protein shake after training and yoghurt with the almonds but without the oats as meal 2.

I would stick to this basic plan most days, sometimes mix it up a little. Generally I would be sticking to keeping down carbs and fat and keeping up protein (to allow me to burn fat faster - by restricting carb intake the body will use fat stores for energy more readily). Cause fruits tend to contain carbs, especially things like bananas I would stay away but have been taking a multivitamin.

Once a week (I did Thursdays) I would have a protein only day. Protein only days I would eat something like this:

Meal 1 - steak

Meal 2 - Shake

Meal 3 - chick breast

Meal 4 - 2 x Egg whites

Meal 5 - shake

Meal 6 - kangaroo steak

I have to stress that I am not a dietician or nutritionist. This eating plan was made based on a basic model that I came up with from my own knowledge then tweaked a little based on feedback from Scotty Capelin. It worked for me but may or may not work for you. I wasn't counting calories or anything but did take into account percentage of protein, fat and carbs of each item.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!!!!!!

DEBRIEFING

 MISSION: Operation Blitzkrieg

 MISSION SUMMARY: Attack Fat occupied strangleholds on my body in an strategically co-ordinated incursion consisting of a collaborated effort between the three troops Cardio, Weights and Nutrition, effecting mass lipicide and overthrowing the current military dictatorship led by General O’Sumwans Bin Eating and Commander in Chief Morbid Obesity

 SPECIFIC GOALS: Over the space of 8 weeks remove 12-15kg of Fat occupied territory effectively halving my bodyfat and growing back three quarters of my hair to allow a proper comb over that no longer stands up on end in defiance of any wind as though it were shaking its fist yelling “you’ll never take me alive you bastard”.

 START WEIGHT: 98.3KG

 FINISH WEIGHT: 85.6kg

 TOTAL LOSS: 12.7kg

 MUSCLE GAINED: App 2-3kg

 HAIR GAIN: None however I did acquire a mullet wig (actually made from real mullets so you know it’s good) that will allow me to do both business and party with equal aplomb without the necessity of changing wigs. I am classing this as a win.

 FINAL RESULT: A whopping 15-16kg of fat has been removed from the host belly. I have also gained a reasonable amount of muscle along with an enormous sense of accomplishment and lingering glances. 

STATUS: Accomplished

At 0600 hours on the 19th March 2012 the first incursion into Fat occupied territory was launched. Since then it has been a constant battle with the infidels attempting to spoil all attempts at clean and healthy living even going so far as poisoning my food leading to a horrible 4 days of illness which gave me a new appreciation of the terms “2 ply” and “soft and fluffy”. During the course of the mission I was also hit with some devastating personal tragedies along with other occurrences which could have easily led to a de-railment of the operation however the forces of good have prevailed and the mission objective has been accomplished.

 “Vini, vidi, vici” is a latin phrase. It is a quote attributed to Julius Ceasar, emperor of Rome and means “We came, we saw, we conquered”. A poignant line and well known historical quote. I learnt it from the same place I have learnt a lot of hard lessons in life – A poker machine at Caringbah pub. It has been used throughout time by many important historical figures and leaders however I think Bill Murray said it best in the classic 80’s movie Ghostbusters when emerging triumphant into the function room of a ritzy hotel, their grey uniforms covered in green ectoplasm from their first encounter with “Slimer” he announced to the stunned crowd “We came, we saw, we kicked it’s ass!”

Whatever way you look at it operation blitzkrieg has been a resounding success. Looking back to my first blog I have come a long way. The whole fitness thing has not just helped to re-shape my body closer to what it once was but as I have mentioned a few times throughout the blog, helped in focusing my mind to make some decisions regarding just where it is I am heading in this mortal coil.

Before I go any further I have to send a huge thankyou to Colonel Ketosis – Scotty Capelin. After reading my first blog and seeing the plan I had set out Scotty contacted me to offer his assistance in the way of a facility (www.tribesocialfitness.com.au) along with advice on exercise and nutrition. With my hand on my heart I can say that, without Scotty, I would have faltered within the first week. His advice on my eating plan and how to tweak it a little for better gains (eating specifically for fat loss rather than performance was a big thing) and his little tips along the way really helped me in getting my game face on.

Tribe is an awesome place to train and I am now an official member. The lads are aiming to take the best of both worlds – personal training and health clubs – and effectively fuse them together so you get the benefits of working out in a large health club with the accountability, friendliness and of a small studio. I think they have nailed it pretty sweetly too. Everyone there - members and trainers alike - are all really friendly and get along with each other giving it a real team atmosphere.

Anyway, enough of thanking Scotty, his head is big enough already. Let’s get back to the real hero of this journey - me. Over the next few days I will be posting a few of the key things I found and discovered during this operation for anyone else that might be considering doing their own challenge.

I’ve made great headway in getting back to my old body, which is what my ultimate goal is. Next challenge will be my second fight – July 27th at Cronulla Leagues club. This should be a great night. Contact me for further ticket info. I will need as much support as possible on site for the night!

Now, the part you have all been waiting for. The photos. Any girls and gays that are reading this I suggest you quickly run and grab a handkerchief or some other form of towel to wipe all the drool which will no doubt be running freely from your mouth at the sight of my freshly hewn torso. You may also find yourself compelled to lock the door, light some candles and play some Barry White. If it happens, it happens, run with it. I won't tell anyone.




Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Weigh in this morning - 88.25kg.

This represents a total loss of weight of 10.05kg. I have added approximately 2-3kg of muscle in this time so that represents a turn around of approximately 12-13kg of muscle which is the goal I was aiming for and I still have 2 weeks to go.

Really looking forward to seeing how far I can get in these last 2 weeks to really bring it home.

Just a quick update today to let you know how it's all going. Stay posted for some more shortly.

On the back foot

Writers Note: This is for my weigh in on Tuesday 1st May 2012. I typed it up and thought I published it to my blog however went in tonight to find it still sitting there.

I've come through this offensive with a fantastic win ratio thus far. Every week we have seen the allied forces remove more Fat occupied territory from the host nation. This week, surprisingly, was no exception. The allied troops came through victorious once again with a weight loss of 700 grams weighing in at 90.2kg. This gives us a grand total so far of 8.1kg of Fat that has been bombarded with brutal allied bludgeoning. The forces of Fat are back-peddling faster than a dyslexic reading a how to book on bike riding.

I say surprisingly for this week as my body is still bouncing back from being sick where I lost, what I assume to be, a lot of water weight which would have come straight back. On top of that, with me still recovering I didn't push myself as hard as I would have liked so I am ecstatic that I have come away with another win.

I was looking over my earlier posts for when I started the blitzkrieg and can see I've come quite a ways. Initially I just thought I'd get in and rip into a bit of training. I didn't think I was that unfit or overweight. My first blog says that I am looking for an 8-10kg reduction in fat.

By the second week I had already increased that to 10-12kg of fat. I can remember that I was already getting that old love of training back. Having a set goal and structured program I had devised was incredibly helpful as was having Colonel Ketosis Scotty Capelin helping out too and holding me to further accountability. His advice along this journey has been priceless and had me remembering things I used to know and even learning stuff that I should have already known.

I've found my love of exercise again and along with it that "kick inside".  I haven't pushed myself like this for years and am loving every moment. Not long to go now and the offensive will be concluded with victory a certainty. With victory assured it would be easy just to rest on our laurels now and coast to the finish line but instead I plan to push harder and harder for these last few weeks to see how far I can get.

Sorry, I've just been busy lately

"Sorry I haven't been in touch, I've been really busy lately"

"I meant to call you back but I've just been run off my feet" 

"I was going to get to the gym today but I just don't have the time"

Do these sentences sound familiar to you?

Sit back and have a think. How busy are you? Really? What are all these things you are doing that are so important you can't pick up a phone to ring a loved one to see how they are. What is so incredibly essential that  it doesn't allow you to spare half an hour to an hour a day a couple of times a week to dedicate to working on your health and wellbeing?

I'm not saying that none of us are busy. There are obviously important things that require our utmost attention, such as raising kids. What I am saying is that we shouldn't let ourselves get caught up in the pace of the 21st century to the detriment of our health and our relationships. 

In the end, the only things that are going to matter are the relationships and experiences we cultivate throughout our time on this earth. The rest is just bullshit. 

Sit back and have a think. Is there someone you could be calling right now, just to see how they are doing?  Do it. Don't put it off any longer. 

Really, your not too busy......




Thursday, April 26, 2012

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may


I've been somewhat distracted of late with illness and haven't posted my latest results. I was going to go on with a bit of a whinge about my stomach bug but something has happened just in the past few days to put that into perspective. My 26 yr old cousin had a bike accident. She wasn't wearing a helmet, came off the bike and banged her head.

She didn't survive.

This is a tragedy in every sense of the word. Nikki was a beautiful vibrant young woman who loved life and engaged herself at every opportunity. She had overcome some not inconsiderable hurdles throughout her young life and had so much left to offer the world. It's left our family, in particular her dad and grandma, reeling.

I hadn't spoken to Nikki for a while but we were pretty close. I'm still in a bit of shock to be honest. The shock and numbness is strange, it was so sudden and unexpected that it all still seems somewhat surreal.

Our family has had it's fair share of death and illness in the last few months and it has inevitably got me thinking about my own mortality. What do I want from life? What sort of legacy will I leave? I have been guilty of putting things off, making plans and not following through because "I can always do it later". Truth is it's easier just to stay in your own little comfort zone where you are not pushed or tested. Nikki's accident just goes to show that we never know when our number might be up and we have to take full advantage of each and every opportunity that we have. Every day you draw breath is a good day and full of new opportunities to embrace.

Throughout this challenge I have noticed some unexpected transformations taking place within myself. It's not just my body that is changing but my mind and my approach to life. I haven't had a dedicated goal that I have been striving toward for a while and I had forgotten how much this can really affect you. I feel stronger mentally for pushing myself through this and, whilst I can't claim victory yet, I have put in the hard yards so far so I am really primed for a strong run home. I had forgotten how great it feels to push and test yourself (mentally and physically). I have found at times in the midst of a hard session with the lactic burning through my muscles, my lungs gasping for breath and sweat free falling from my pores, that I am grinning from ear to ear like an idiot. My mind, being freed temporarily from the ills of alcohol, sugar and other insidious substances and instead treated to 2-3 hours of substantial exercise a day, is functioning with a clarity I have not possessed for ages. This has has allowed me to assess what it is I really want from life in both short and longer term and start planning some solid achievable steps to attain these goals.

The wheels are already in motionwith another fight scheduled for July (possibly one before then as well) and the Sunsuper 200km ride against cancer in October this year. Coincidently the ride falls on Dad's birthday and 2 days after the first anniversary of his death. I will be looking for donations from all of you in the coming months - all funds are going toward Chris O'Brien Lifehouse at RPA which is a cancer research and treatment facility currently treating another very close family member for this insidious disease. I'll be posting details shortly about how to donate and will also be doing some fundraising activities as well.

Before I go my latest weigh in results:
Tuesday 17th April 2012 – 92.6kg – Weight loss for the week of 1kg
Tuesday 24th April 2012 – 90.9kg – Weight loss for the week of 1.7kg (this is mainly from illness – I was at home on the lounge for almost a week)

Due to the illness I’ll be extending the challenge by a week to make up for the time lost training.

The purpose of this post is not so anyone can feel sorry for me or console me or ask me how I'm going but rather to re-enforce the million clichés that are floating around out there to "seize the day". Life truly is precious and as we have seen, can be tragically cut down in its prime all too soon. I'll leave you now with one of my favourite inspirational poems. It was written by Robert Herrick and made famous by the movie Dead Poets Society. Its message is timeless.

To the Virgins, to make much of Time
 
GATHER ye rosebuds while ye may,       
  Old Time is still a-flying:              
And this same flower that smiles to-day               
  To-morrow will be dying.           

The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,             5
  The higher he 's a-getting,        
The sooner will his race be run,
  And nearer he 's to setting.      

That age is best which is the first,            
  When youth and blood are warmer;       10
But being spent, the worse, and worst 
  Times still succeed the former.               

Then be not coy, but use your time,       
  And while ye may, go marry:   
For having lost but once your prime,         15
  You may for ever tarry.

RIP Nikki. Love you.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Don't let go, you've got the music in you.....

Music is a powerful beast. It can capture the soul of an entire generation or capture the fragments of a single broken heart. In the blink of an eye it can transport you through time and space to your first kiss or when you were standing in the back of your school hall in your best denim jacket trying to work up the courage to ask a girl for your first slow dance or even, as Cher's iconic 90's breakup hit believe does to this humble blogger, to the first time you found yourself shirtless on a podium in DCM's strangely fascinated by the laser light show happening not just around you but, thanks to the funny shaped panadols you consumed earlier, inexplicably inside you.

I love music. I'm unfortunately rather talentless when it comes to playing or singing but I love it. My tastes vary from punk rock to classic rock, from country to electro, from heavy to bluegrass. Basically I will listen to anything though The Boss will always be my greatest musical love.The digital revolution has allowed us to pack more music into a tiny portable player than most of our descendants would have heard in their lifetime. This is both a good and bad thing. The good is it allows us to carry music anywhere. I've nearly always got my ipod with me listening to music and preaching to people about why my tastes are better then theirs. The downside is that this means we will often take it for granted. We will hear the music, we won't listen to it.

As the line from the movie who's name I cannot quite recall at this moment goes "Your asking me if I like music? That's kind of like saying do you like stuff". Everyone has their own musical tastes and to most of these people seeing music performed live is where the real power emerges forth and this brings me to my point......

At this moment some 70,000 people are gathering in Indio California for 3 days of sex and drugs and rock n roll and a whole lot more with some of the world's biggest and best musicians. I attended last year  at what I like to call a coming together of a musical consciousness because the word festival doesn't quite seem to cut it. I made some great friends, saw some great music, saw a Jewish hippy rap about poo, fried some previously great brain cells and nearly killed myself falling asleep behind the wheel on the ride home. Unfortunately I was a late cancellation for this years event but I just want to wish Cass, Storesy, Jade, Lauren, Thisso, Woodsy, The Wilsons and the rest of my Coachella family (apart from Ed obviously who can go Gosh himself as he is making a sweaty goshdamn mess of himself for 3 days straight in The Sahara tent) an awesome time. Wish I could be there getting amongst it with you but I will hopefully be back next year for this and some other festivals.

And on the third day he rose again

Easter long weekend was always going to be hard on the troops. It's a break from routine, the Fat infidels hired stealth mercenary assassins from the Easter Bunny guild to attack us with loads of chocolate bombs, gyms are closed and worst of all Colonel Ketosis was not available for the regular super Saturday insurgence however it was again some wise words from him that aided the good guys in avoiding a possible turning of the tide. He advised me that I seem to have things mixed up. Easter, he said, is not actually a celebration of JT's departure from N'Sync to live again as a global mega-star but rather an adaptation of the Christian church from various pagan rituals involving the solstice or re-birth of the sun. The Christians found it easier to convert pagans if they combined certain aspects of pagan beliefs into their own doctrine which was based on a collection of short stories written thousands of years ago about some Mexican fellow named Jesus Christ - So it's JC, no JT and this is where I got confused.

Fascinated by Scott's rebuke and possessing a healthy thirst for knowledge I sought out these books and I must say I was flabbergasted. JC is possibly the greatest literary hero of all time. He's certainly the first action hero. He's kind of like a mixture Harry Potter and The Rock wearing  the beard of Chuck Norris. As I read these books I started to realise some stark similarities between JC and myself. For starters we both appreciate the company of prostitutes, we both like to mix red cordial with water at parties and pretend we are wine connoisseurs and at some point or another, we have both been called the saviour of all mankind.

Inspired by these stories I thought I would set myself some challenges over the Easter break based on this great character (please remember these challenges are obviously just representations of the challenges JC faced and only loosely based). Firstly on Friday I did a 15km walk fully laden with a stacked backpack to represent his carrying the cross up the hill. After that I did 30 mins static hold on the chin bar, basically holding myself at the halfway point of a chin up. I couldn't hold myself like that for the full 30mins in one go but I timed it every time I was faltering so it was 30 mins in total. This was representative of his hanging on the cross. I did some squats for the hot cross buns although I couldn't see any mention of them in the book. I did some tyre pushes representing moving the rock opening to his tomb. I did 4 rounds of 3 minutes of continuous burpees with 30 sec break in between (doesn't sound like much but I found it bloody hard, I did the first set with a medicine ball then shafted that for the rest) being his ascension into heaven from the Earth. I sparred ex-socceroo great Mark Bosnich. I'm not sure how this relates back to Easter but I felt it worth a mention. I also did a Pilates session representing the founder of this type of exercise Pontious Pilate who apparently needed some core strengthening as his spine was very weak.

So I trained pretty hard for 2 days however I had planned on doing an overnight hike Sunday and Monday but as it was threatening to rain I put it off and didn't end up doing anything more. I ate heaps but only good stuff - stayed away from chocolate and the only two allowances I made were a banana flavoured Goulbern Valley skim milk and a BSC cookies and cream protein bar. They aren't all that bad but a little high in sugar. The protein bar was absolutely the best tasting protein bar I've ever had and the sugar content is far less than most comparable bars!

So given I had 2 days off and had consumed a fair amount of food I was a little nervous when it came time to weigh in on Tuesday. I gingerly stepped on the scales and wondered if standing on my tippy toes might somehow lessen the weight on the sensors. I was fretting. Like the biggest loser the numbers went up and then down then up and then down then finally settled at.........drum roll please........now the trumpet.........93.5kg - a weight loss of 1.1kg for the week. I guess it goes to show how important recovery is in your training regime.

All in all another successful week for the Fatwa on Fat. Good weight/fat loss, I found a kindred spirit in JC, I learnt the true meaning of Easter and I did it all without the guidance of Colonel Ketosis.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

When the snack attack hits you, you know you got it bad 'cause nothin's gunna do you like a snack pack

Week 2 proved another successful incursion into Fat occupied territory wiping another 900gms off the total with my weight now coming in at 94.6kg. It's a much smaller loss than last week which is affected by a few things including the fact that a lot of the first weeks weight loss was water weight,  we had a family bbq on sunday where I overate (stuck to only really good food but ate too much of it) and also the fact that there has been definite muscle gains which will, to a small part, negate overall weight loss. I can see pretty big differences in my body already, it's getting back to the Bargeworth of old and there is a big difference in fat which is what I  however I am somewhat disappointed that the my hair - I haven't counted as much as one extra follicle as yet.

This week saw Fat taking a more strategic line of defence resulting in our sides first casualty - Fat moles managed to infiltrate my computer and wiped out all the spreadsheets I have been keeping chronicling my food intake and exercise. These spreadsheets are fantastic, every time I write in there I can see myself getting closer to my goals. This was a sad loss for the good guys. They also managed to line up someone to bring in cakes, custard, pies and all other sorts of goodies each day this week which attacked me on two fronts - firstly there was fresh sweet sugary treats under my nose every day and secondly, because everyone filled up on these sugary surprises, there was no one eating the bloody iced vovos. They just sat there like orphans, staring out of their glass prison, pleading with anyone who walked past to give them a home. I have to admit I was very tempted however the alliance did not buckle.

One of the big things I really need to work on is finding that fifth gear when training. A main reason the weight had started to creep back was complacency. Complacency in my eating habits and complacency in my training. When you just start going through the motions during training it becomes a habit and it's hard to break that habit straight away. While I don't need to kill myself every session it's important to really push through when your tired. It can make a big difference both to your physical gains and mental well being - pushing through a pain barrier can give you a big sense of accomplishment. Although I am pushing harder I know I am not at that point yet so I have to make like Salt'n'Pepa and push it real good till I am.

Colonel Ketosis, otherwise known s Scotty Capelin, was on hand again to lend some great advice about training on an empty stomach if training first thing in the morning. This way you are burning from your fat stores sooner. Remember though not to skip breakfast if you aren't training straight away as your metabolism will start to slow down. I sometimes think Scotty's head is so full of fun fitness facts it pushes out other things, for example clothes washing. His shirts seem to have shrunk to a point where they would fit snugly onto a small toddler.

Max Brenner is not the only bald guy who loves chocolate. I love chocolate in all its forms - white, black, dark, chocolate mixed with milk, chocolate mixed with coconut, chocolate mixed with nuts, chocolate half eaten and scrunched up in its wrapper mixed with a half eaten pie in a bin........just give me chocolate! This year I aim to avoid chocolate altogether and instead, in honour of the occasion of Easter where JT died for his sin of leaving N'Sync only to rise later to become the global mega star he is today, put myself through a gruelling 4 days of intense training (like a blitz within the blitz) where I nearly kill myself only to emerge alive and better than ever at the end. Albeit extremely sore and in desperate need of a massage.

On that note I am off to do some stretches to limber the body up for the painstaking days ahead.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The first week

The first assault of operation blitzkrieg has prevailed, even in the face of some morale depleting comments on my body from Fat sympathiser Jason Barnes. In the first week allied forces have managed to wipe out 2.8kg of Fat strongholds across the host nation. There is no doubt that some of these numbers include some water weight however it is a great start to the offensive and has general O'Somwans Bin Eating shaking in his lipid boots.

From here on in all troops need to be on guard as we no longer have the element of surprise up our sleeve. The first week it's something new and different to keep you occupied - you see the results and get excited and from there it is easy to slip into some complacency and succumb to the little voice that says "Go on, have just one beer, you deserve it" as your walking past the pub or "Go on, grab that chocolate as a reward" as you pass Haighs chocolates with their delightful golden wrapped chocolate bunnies swimming in a sea of coconut rough......I digress. 

My diet this week has looked basically like this:

Meal 1: Weet-bix or oats with skim milk and either a banana or some almonds

Meal 2 (Post morning workout): Protein shake with skim

Meal 3: Brown rice with tuna and avocado plus sometimes a little sweet chilli sauce (bloody beautiful this is)

Meal 4: 2 boiled eggs

Meal 5: (Post arvo workout): Protein shake with water

Meal 6: Grilled chick breast with vegies

Training wise I've generally been doing weights in the morning and boxercise or swimming in the afternoon for an hour or two plus trying to get about 20 mins stretching in each evening. I want to increase effort and intensity of the training I do each week culminating in a huge 8th week and then offloading for the week after that.

My super Saturday session was enormous. Such a great way to start the weekend but I honestly didn't have any confidence in myself that I was going to get up to do it all until it was done. I was up at 4.45am Saturday morning to eat breakfast - I am generally jumping into a taxi to discuss racial relations with our friendly multi lingual cabbies on the haul into the city at this hour. The world looks strange when your sober. 

I started with a 6.5km run (I actually passed one happy camper taking some lucky lady by the hand as he led her back to his domicile for what no doubt consisted of 15-20 mins of beer burping, grunting, excessive sweating, snoring and ultimately a large amount of shame and awkwardness the next morning - I was extremely jealous) down to www.tribesocialfitness.com.au for 50mins boxercise and 50mins of spin. I was effin spent by the end but feeling a million dollars and it was only 8:00am.

Tribe is a great gym and again Scotty Capelin has provided me with some sage advice. Being that I have generally only trained for sport before, I set out to eat that same way with things like brown rice, oats and even fruit taking up a large amount of of my daily intake. These are great foods and healthy but reducing carbs will expedite fat loss as the body will have to dig into it's fat stores for energy instead of the readily available energy from the carbs. So going forward I'll be looking at tweaking my diet a little and even including a protein only day once a week and see how this goes.

Before I go, I should note that, with my body back to it's former glory combining with my rugged yet radiant good looks and my Seinfeld like wit I will no doubt be overwhelmed at the end of operation blitzkrieg with females trying to jump on board the Bailey train. Being that I will be severely lacking a social life throughout the next 7.5 weeks will mean that I will only be too willing to allow you ladies to have a crack however I must insist on a heavy screening process for all you Bargeworth hungry females out there. I can't just be seen with anyone. Please send me a 5 minute tape of yourselves telling me why I should select you. The tape should include your waist, hip and bust measurements and at some stage some footage of you performing the splits. I will be selecting the lucky ladies based my normal decision making process I use in most facets of my life - I will weigh up the pros and cons of each applicant, I will consider what obstacles they have overcome to get where they are, their professions, their motivations and then I will be choosing the seven girls with the biggest tits.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The fatwā on Fat

Operation Blitzkrieg  is underway. Fitness guru General Scott Capelin of Tribe Social Fitness (https://www.tribesocialfitness.com/) inspired by my heroic and legendary efforts has offered his services as field marshall to ensure all my troops are working at maximum capacity to rid this scourge. Scott is no stranger to Fat - has has waged a personal war against Fat for years after losing a few ex-girlfriends to the infidels. He will be reviewing weekly food intake and training schedules to make sure I stay on track. Tribe is a new gym in the Shire that is a great place to train and I urge everyone to get down there and check it out.

From the pictures below you can see why I am doing the blitz. It's actually quite confronting putting your fat belly onto the Internet like this. I didn't realise how bad I was actually going till I saw these photos. I'm blaming the light. Very poor lighting in these picture and they are also a little grainy.

I've noticed in just these first few days how much I unconsciously put into my body.Couple of iced vovo's from the community biscuit jar at work, can of coke and a chocolate from the vending machine for an afternoon pick me up, bottle of jack at lunch time, quick hit of golden brown with it's texture like sun to relax in the afternoon. It all adds up. I noticed myself going for the biscuit jar each morning and had to pull myself up just short. Already that voice was at work inside my head saying "It's only a couple of biscuits, you've only just started, it will be alright". It's that voice I have to block out. He's the same voice that works in everyone's head saying things like "One more rep won't matter", "skip training tonight and you can make up for it tomorrow" or "Kill all humans".

So my first weigh in was 98.3kg. Body fat is about 22% (according to Tanita). The goals, ideally, are:

                        1.  Halve my bodyfat which means about a 10-12kg loss and;

                        2. Grow approximately three quarters of my hair back - just enough for a decent comb over.

I will be lifting weights through the operation so that may affect actual body weight dropped and I don't know how accurate the Tanita measurements are so I will be judging mainly from look and feel - How I look and who I'm feeling.






As you can see there is a tough slog in front of me and 8 weeks isn't a very long time. I will post again shortly regarding my eating and training schedule. Still after some allied forces to join me in operation Blitzkrieg. Oh, and faithful readers relax - I will still be posting my normal nonsensical drivel about nothing in particular. 

Just so you know, the ultimate goal would be to get back looking like I did a few years back - I have actually found an old picture. It's a little embarrassing really but I thought I would put it out there so you know I wasn't always a lard ass.....

Monday, March 19, 2012

Operation Blitzkrieg

Blitzkrieg: An offensive conducted with speed and force, specifically to quickly overwhelm the enemy with a combination of massed air forces and mobile mechanized ground troops working in close co-ordination.

At 0600 hours today I launched an offensive against Fat. The plan is simple - conduct an eight week Blitzkrieg style attack on Fat with the aim of greatly diminishing Fat occupied strangleholds within my body and stop the uprising currently being conducted by General O'Somwans Bin Eatin under strict orders from their commander in chief, President Morbid Obesity.

The attack will see three troops - cardio, weights and nutrition - working together in a closely co-ordinated effort. It will be a quick, calculated raid which, if successful, will greatly diminish the enemy's capabilities allowing simple patrols to maintain the peace across the host belly.

I am an all or nothing type of person. I seem to struggle finding middle ground - this is true for most things in my life and as such I am almost as well acquainted with fitness benders as I am with drinking benders. The idea of blogging about it though is new. It came to me recently after seeing the dramatic results Nick Chapman, co-owner and founder of Shift 60 training systems - achieved with his own 56 day challenge - http://shift60.com.au/56-days/. One of the points he made at the end of it was the accountability involved with blogging about it really helped him to maintain motivation throughout.

I won't be going to quite as much trouble as Chappo but I'm not looking for such extreme results either. I am not so focused on weight loss as I am fat loss and making a nice big dent into the burgeoning belly that is currently my mid-section just to give me a shove along back in the right direction.

I'll have some before photos posted (hopefully by tomorrow) but I wanted to get this down so I have committed myself to the project.

My current weight is 98.3kg. I would like to drop about 8-10 kg which is really quite achievable however as I said I'm not concentrating so much on weight loss as I am on fat loss. I will be lifting weights throughout so I expect some fat to be replaced by muscle which would lessen the amount of weight lost but I will put more in later of my training regime and food and such suffice to say no drinking for 2 months will result in one hell of a bender at the end!!

I'll be conducting weekly debriefings as to the progress of the blitz.

I'd like to put an open call out for any allied forces to join me in this 8-week offensive. To quote one of the greatest moments in cinematic history (link below) - "Who's going to go home and who's going to come with me?"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOvJ3J-1Qik


Thursday, March 15, 2012

The 3.5 hr work week: Escape 9-5, spend money and live on your mum's floor

Everyone here has no doubt heard of Timothy Ferriss' worldwide bestselling book "The 4 hour work week: Escape 9-5, live anywhere and join the new rich". Well, I have come up with a revolutionary new concept that is going to blow this out of the water. Ready?

Drum roll please…..

The 3.5hr work week!

The 3.5 work week is all about being smarter to free up more time for laziness. I would say working smarter however the term "work" is a word I want to avoid as much as possible.

Work is all about appearances. You want to appear as a valuable employee while not actually doing any work or, as the case may be, no more than 42 mins of work per day. There are certain things you will need to achieve this - a packet of breath mints, a shiny water bottle, a large coffee cup and if you don't already, you will need to take up smoking. Something else that may come in handy is a smart phone if you don't have facebook access at work.

Just like a good breakfast, the start of the day is the most important. A good employee is a punctual employee. Be sure to be on time every day  although be careful not to be a second early as this may result in precious minutes being wasted on actual work.

Announce yourself upon arrival. You want everyone, especially your boss, to know you are there on time. A big loud good morning is always a good head turner but anyone can do that. You will want to make yours distinctive so that people will know it is you even if they can't see you. You can try putting a melody to it like when greeting a teacher at school (as our old principal Mr Paton liked to say, "Put some effort into it and really make it feel as though it were coming out of the top of your head"). If you don't quite have the capacity to formulate speech from the top of your head then try saying it in a different language - "selamat pagi everyone” or “Guten morgen everyone” are good starting points.

Now you will need to make sure your computer is set up in an area with a good view of the office. As you will be accessing non-work related stuff online for a good portion of your day you need to be able to keep an eye on things around you to ensure you do not get caught. Set up your shiny water bottle in a position that reflects the area behind you so a manager cannot creep up behind you whilst you are surveying “bigboobsmonthly.com”.

Log into your computer – with a bit of luck this will take up to 10 minutes. There is your first piece of work related activity completed.

Once your presence is known you can then escape out of the office for your first coffee of the day. This should take anywhere between 30-45 minutes. You should find a nice little coffee place that is about 10 minutes walk from your office and dawdle down there, buy your coffee and dawdle back. If you don't drink coffee, that's fine. You will still need to purchase the coffee so you have the cup - pour out the coffee and replace it with warm water. It would help to also learn a little about the beaning process and coffee in general so if you are ever quizzed about excessive coffee breaks you can claim to be a coffee freak and bamboozle the interrogator with your obvious coffee knowledge and then claim that this particular place is the only one that makes decent coffee in the city. With a bit of luck they will agree with you so as not to seem ignorant to the ways of coffee and you now have someone to back up your claims.

Once back in the office it is time for your second piece of work for the day. You will want to sift through your work to find a particularly complex task. Once a suitably complex task has been located (this should take no more than 15 minutes) you should start cringing your face and cursing lightly under your breath - basically making a subtle but noticeable song and dance about how you always get the hard ones.

Please feel free, whilst making this song and dance, to otherwise engage yourself in some facebooking, reading this blog online, emailing people or any other activity that can be conducted at your computer. Be sure to type loudly to show your frustration. Once your distaste for this particular task is obvious to your colleagues you will then leave for your first smoke break of the day. This should take approximately half an hour and if questioned about your disappearance, summon a sheepish grin to your face, turn your head slightly to the side and state that you "needed two after the morning you have had".

You will notice now that your morning is nearly over and you have achieved no more than 25 minutes of working. You are well on your way to that dream of a 3.5 hour working week. You should now spend the rest of the morning tapping furiously at your keyboard and occasionally massaging your temples with your eyes closed (all the while facebooking, catching up on the latest celebrity scandals at new weekly online).

Lunch time is important. You want to duck off for lunch 5-10 mins early but be sure to get back on time. You have set yourself up for a nice easy run home now and don't want to ruin it with tardiness that will bring extra scrutiny upon yourself.
Once back from lunch (be sure to eat some breath mints to cover the smell of alcohol on the breath) grab your complex task and wander over to your boss to discuss. Start of the conversation about your work however be sure not to let this work type conversation to last for longer than 15 minutes. You want to steer the conversation around to something your boss is passionate about - football, fishing, skydiving, fashion. Whatever it is, make sure you are knowledgeable and up to date on the topic as well. Pretend you love it as much as your boss does. This works in your favour for two reasons - it endears you to your boss thus making you semm more of a valuable employee than you really are plus, if you work it right, you can get an hour or so in just talking to your boss about unrelated work matters.

Once the conversation is finished go back to your desk and start working on, what I like to call, the Penski file (so named after that great slacker george Costanza). It involves grabbing a folder (or just some blank sheets) and wandering aimlessly around the office. Be sure, though, to walk with purpose. The folder in your hand and your purposeful walking will make people believe that you are actually on your way to do something. You should take this time to wander around the office and perve on all the attractive people. Possibly even rate them all from most doable to least doable in your mind. You can also strike up a conversation with other like minded individuals around the office.

Working on the Penski file can take up a good part of your afternoon. Once you have established relationships with various people in all the far flung corners of the office you can really take your time getting around visiting each one. This is a great way to get through another hour and a half of your afternoon.

Once the Penski file has been updated you are then getting onto my favourite part of the day. The afternoon sabbatical.

The toilet is a vastly undervalued resource in an office. It is one of the last bastions of personal freedom where one can really be alone with their thoughts without fear of reprimand or prying eyes. Be sure to be seen by the boss before taking off for your afternoon sabbatical, then grab your phone and saddle up for a 45 minute solo journey. The smartphone is especially handy here. It allows you to keep in contact with the outside world and also works as an alarm to wake you from your slumber. NOTE - be careful when getting up. It is not uncommon for your legs to go to sleep in this situation and you don’t want anyone coming in to investigate what that thud in the toilet was and finding you on the ground with your pants around your ankles trying to get up.

This should just about see you through your "working" day. From here you will duck off for another smoke or two and surf the net some more. For those more adventurous amongst you who might like to duck off for a quick afternoon beer, that option is also available. Just be sure to walk past the boss's desk before leaving and upon return so it doesn't look as though you have gone anywhere. Possibly toss a compliment his way in the process.

If you look at the clock then that is only about 35 mins of actual work time completed. This allows for those other times when it might take you a little longer to get through certain tasks.

You will sometimes find there are unavoidable work related activities - long boring meetings for example. This is what sick days were made for. I would suggest attending the meetings as there is normally food there however make up for it by calling in sick the following day.

Aim to complete this day in day out and you have now been freed from the tyranny of the working week. Embrace your new life!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Turn and face the strange

Ah, the digital age. We can converse face to face with people on the other side of the world or screen to screen with people the other side of the room. We can carry more music on our person than we could listen to in a lifetime. We are undergoing a paradigm shift in the world economy (really a turning back of the clock) as China and India strive to reclaim their spot as the planets economic superpowers. The Internet has granted us unparalleled 24/7 access to information from across the seas - bombings in Turkey, uprisings and starvation in Africa, celebrity arrests in America......

Everything seems to be going so fast now. The speed of change is increasing exponentially as we slip into 5th gear and impatiently race toward our unknown and uncertain destination. Just what does this mean for us? Where are we heading? Another inquisitive mind by the name of Michel de Nostredame once asked himself these very same questions back in the 1500's and, just like him, I ingested a bucketful of wild mushrooms in search of answers. This is what I saw......

- With no further need of hair to warm our heads, we evolve past this crude and redundant body mutation until all humans on the planet bear a shiny smooth dome-like head. The earlier examples of this evolution are heralded as the first step in our race's advancement as a species and placed upon pedestals for all to worship.

- After hundreds of years and millions of dollars worth of research, scientists from Facebook's Harvard university beat Coca-Cola's MIT university to win the race to discover what it was Willis was talking 'bout

- Tasmania secede from the mainland and rename themselves "Williams". This name happens to be the surname of each inhabitant of the island

- The teddy bears strike back, delivering their pyjama clad oppressors a beating they will never forget then feeding them to their wartime allies - the monkeys.

- The biggest film of the 2100's is the digitally remastered 4-d directors cut version of "Weekend at Bernies"

- Heart attacks and cancer are no longer the biggest health risks facing us - the no.1 killer amongst men aged 13-23 is starvation and malnutrition due to prolonged gaming

- Books will have gone the way of the Bieber (a commonly used expression of the time meaning to die out without a trace). The worlds biggest authors are all on twitter where they release a book one line at a time

- We will no longer have to live with the burden of carrying around wallets, money, keys, phones or remote controls. These things will all be encoded into a microchip placed underneath the skin of our right hands, created and sold by Beelzebub industries. Studies will show 93.2% of people of people will still forget where they put their wallet and keys

- America will squander its chance to regain its position as an economic heavyweight after a multi-billion dollar out of court settlement it received for tripping over a mat at China's wedding to Paraguay. Instead president Kardashian consulted finance minister Hilton and they put the money into genetic research to create the world's biggest chihuahua. This in itself would not have been too bad however the multi billion dollar debt incurred for then commissioning Gucci to create the world's biggest handbag to carry it in broke the back of the once powerful nation with most of it's inhabitants fleeing to Mexico.

- Scientists in Geneva finally get the Large Hedron Collider back up and functioning and it opened up a portal to God allowing time enough for one question. We now know God's favourite spice girl was sporty spice (before she put the weight on)

- Genetic research is all the rage for a while in the mid 2150's and scientists actually put together all the best genes from everywhere to create the perfect man. He looked like this.......



They did also attempt to create the perfect women however found it an insurmountable task.

The mushrooms powers are now fading and I am settling back to my normal state of mind however the green pixie sitting next to me feels strongly that I should try this again sometime soon to see what other secrets the future may hold. Until then, dear readers, I bid you adieu.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Interview with Maxi From The Shire for his birthday

Big Maxi McKernan or "Maxi from The Shire" as he is known in the blogosphere, celebrates his 31st birthday today.  Max is somewhat of a local legend around the Cronulla / Engadine area so I felt, as a tribute to the man, I would interview him for my blog so everyone can see just what it is that makes the great man tick.

For those of you who do not know him, Maxi is a man with many notches on his belt. Not all of those notches have been made with a steak knife for extra room either. He is an accomplished rugby league player, indeed one of the finest talents Super League unearthered. He would no doubt be a household name if not for politics involved in the super league war. He is a life member of the Cronulla Sharks and the Engadine Dragons No.1 supporter, establishing their fan army "The Hill". He is a preferred consultant to Lightman Industries, has been headhunted by several international companies and is in current talks with the next season of dancing with the stars (he is just waiting to see if there will be any scheduling or contractual conflicts with his contract as he has signed on with Shine TV as the Australian "the Situation" on the shire's answer to Jersey Shore)..

Me: First of all let me say a big happy birthday to you Maxi. How are you celebrating this event?

Maxi: Thanks Bails. I am planning on an early morning breakfast down at Cronulla so I can have a perve on all the mothers pushing their strollers. There is just something about a mother that really does it for me. I would really like to be a mother myself one day.

Me: Now Maxi, you are very well known throughout the Sutherland Shire and possess a vast array of talents. How would you describe yourself to our readers?

Maxi: Your right Bails, the Big Max is a layered character. I am one part rockstar, one part pornstar and all man. I am extremely competitive and hate losing, as you can see from my waistline. I don't think I can sum myself up in only a few words as for every layer that is peeled an even more inspiring one flows forth.

Me: We first met on the football field as youngsters when you were playing for Engadine and me for De La. I recall after one encounter your dad approached me asking me to go easy on you. I had apparently tackled you and sent you off crying. Talk me through this traumatic experience.

Maxi: I'd rather not talk about that thanks John. My ribs are still rather sore and the mental anguish has not faded.

Me: Understandable. You did recover from this to go on and become the great man that you are today though the super league war wasn't very kind to you. You have been quoted as describing it as being torn between two parents, with both the ARL and Super League vying heavily for your services. Your eventual decision to run with Super League ultimately sounded the death knell for your football career. Do you have any regrets?


Maxi: No real regrets Bails. I flew high and touched the moon. I achieved things the majority of people only dream about. I guess my biggest regret in my footballing career was never being able to really get the best of De La. They just always had our measure.

Me: Maxi, before we go on, one of your fans has emailed through a fan question. Mitch from Engadine has said "Hi Maxi, Mr Mitch here with a quick question on your footy career. How did you manage to keep your feet planted on the ground during your magnificent career and do you now sometimes sit back and watch your career highlights and reflect on a great period in your life?"


Maxi: I'll be honest with you Mitchell, it wasn't easy. I was the king of Carmens with girls throwing themselves at me all over the place. I would have 2, sometimes 3 girls approach me all within the the space of a year and let me tell you they weren't after directions to the nearest service station. Ok, maybe 2 of them were but they were still heady days. It was lucky I had an good strong head on my shoulders that kept me above all that sort of garbage. In respect to my highlights, yes I will quite often sit back and reflect on my days at the top of the rugby league pecking order bulldozing all those in my path with a quiet ale in my hands. I was a God amongst men. 

Me: Well Maxi, we are just about out of time. I really appreciate you talking with me today. Is there anything you would like to say to your sea of fans before departing?

Maxi: Thanks Bails, I really admire you and having the chance to get on this blog has been the best birthday present I could ask for. To my fans, I'd just like to leave you with my standard motto - live life to the Max!


Monday, January 9, 2012

Outgoing tide

This little piece gives a clear and precise insight into the mind of a young Mr Bargeworth. I came across this emo poem I wrote no doubt after some lost love eons ago. I can't believe I didn't walk around with a black fringe (ok I guess my follicly challenged scalp had a say in that), white face makeup and razors to cut myself with.

Outgoing Tide

I'll hold you in my arms tonight
I want to cherish this moment forever
After we say goodbye
You know we’ll never be together

Words are passed, deals are done
In our heart we know the truth
One more night is all we have
Just the sun inside of june

We were but a moment in time
A happy memory
Now we fade away
To our  lives of anonymity

Think about each other now and then
As the memory fades to black
Sometime when we are old
We’ll smile and remember back

To that night under the moon
We promised all our lies
To that moment lost in time
Beside the outgoing tide

The art of the pick up

It has come to my attention that many males seem to have trouble initiating conversation with women and picking them up. I have never understood this. I guess being born with perfect genetics allows one a certain amount of confidence that is not present with other "normal" people however it does not just come down to my good looks and perfect bone structure.

Being the benevolent soul that I am, I thought I might share with you some of my finer points in this.

Please note this guide is intended for use in clubs and pubs however the same principles will apply no matter where you are, supermarkets, laundromats, a co-ed dorm pillow fight etc.....

The first thing you need to do, once you have spied the object of your affection, is to gain their attention. This can be done a number of ways, the more traditional of which being to approach them to start a conversation. Boring! No one wants to be traditional in the mating game - you need to set yourself apart from the pack.

One of my favourite methods to accomplish this is via "Peacocking". Much like the male peacock will use his feathers and dance to attract the female peacock's attention, so should you . Find some bright clothing, preferably a light blue or canary yellow suit along with some peacock feathers protruding from the matching pork pie hat. When in the near vicinity of the object of desire, start laughing loudly and then pretend to fall over allowing hundred dollar notes to fall out of your pocket and onto the floor (note if you do not have access to a number of $100 notes then photocopy one in colour and do this numerous times). This will certainly get their attention and let them know you mean business.

So now you have their attention, what is the next step? You need to engage them in conversation idiot. Seriously, what a stupid question. Remember you want to stand out from all the others that are hitting on what is rightfully yours so rather than starting out with a mundane "Hi, how are you?" you will want to break the ice with a witty one liner. I can't give away all my goods however one of my favourites is "Would you like to come back to my place for some coffee and some sex?". The beauty of this line is either she will often accept (well sometimes accept) and you are already in (well so far none have accepted but it will happen) or they will set you up for the joke by saying "No" to which you will reply "What? Don't you like coffee?".

Please note it is very important when saying this to look the female up and down heavily, pausing and staring obviously at their cleavage and lick your lips. This will let them know you are interested and it is really very flattering for them.

Now, the most common response to the above line is a slap across the face. This is when you know you are in. Other sure fire methods of knowing you are in is if they throw their drink at you, call you a name or call over their "boyfriend". The thing to remember here is the female mind is a complex and fragile thing that has been wired for certain subservient duties such as cooking and cleaning, hence their response is not measured, logical or tied to their actual thoughts. Trust me, they are into you, this happens to me all the time and with a face like mine, how could they not?

So you have broken the ice, now comes the easy part, reeling them in. As mentioned above, women are wired in a strange way. Tell them how you have a sweet pad in your mothers basement where you have a lock for the door and everything and invite her back there for a sherry from your mother's own collection. She will love this, it shows you value family. You may find though she has turned her head to ignore you. Again, she is just playing hard to get and wants to see that you really want it. It's merely a test. Do not be above grovelling, even cry if you have to. This is all a negotiation, you start at inviting her back, she ignores you, you counter offer with some grovelling, she ignores you some more, you get on your knees crying, she can see how serious you are so she will normally give you her number.

Just like Charlie Sheen you are now WINNING!!!!

Score one for yourself. Now this is a numbers game and the hooters, excuse the pun, haven't sounded as yet. You will need to go round and repeat the above as many times as possible in one night. Once you get home you can start sifting through the various numbers you have. Do not wait to call, call straight away.  This will allow you to get a head start on anyone else she has met that night as well as sift through any false numbers you may have been given.......sometimes, on the rarest of occasions you will find that the females, due to their aforementioned inferior wiring, will like to continue playing hard to get by giving out false names and numbers.........OK, so you may find ALL the women have given you false names and numbers as they wish to continue playing hard to get, this is again part of their play to reel you in. At this point you may need to start facebook, myspace and google stalking but that is a different edition suffice to say you will need to invest in a good pair of binoculars

Now there you have it, my lacklustre readers, you are now a chick magnet (albeit genetically inferior). Use this guide and the world is your (bearded) oyster.