March 2015 Update – wow it has been a year since I started my fitness journey!

Well, time has flown! Cannot believe that I have not updated this since January and so much has happened. For a start I missed my February one-year Gymiversary. What a year it has been as well.

I have now hit the 5 stone total weight loss limit which was a great milestone to reach in just three years. Obviously, there have been ups and downs but overall I am happy with how things have gone.

I had that one serious calf injury over the year and this is despite me doing much more exercise and fitness in the previous twelve months than I have probably done in the last ten years. As i repeatedly go on about, I have also started boxing and it is really good fun. My biggest regret in life, as I approach the scary age of 40, is that I never had the guts to start boxing earlier. I love it and I really would have loved to have done in more competitively.

Of course, one of the main reasons I started all of this was for a comeback football match, to be fair, it was massively over-hyped but I have really enjoyed playing six and seven a side football during the week, far more rewarding. One new thing I have started doing which is boring but very rewarding in terms of faster weight loss is running.

I now start every gym work out with a 1 mile run instead of a 50 calorie warm up on the cross-ski-ing machine. It is really paying off in terms of helping me get to my target fat-ratio which is ideally around 16-17%. I am currently at 19% and hit a high of 22% after a holiday and a low of 18% just before the aforementioned holiday.

The biggest change has been in my mindset. I am now addicted to the gym and go every weekday before work. It is great for clearing the mind and makes me hit the working day running. I am also more conscious of what I eat and drink more than I ever have been before. I drink less beer (discovered the far more calorie friendly vodka and cranberry juice) and eat far less take aways or junk food. Well, crisps are still my dynamite.

In terms of cold hard facts and results, my weight has kind of stayed around the 12st10lbs-13st.5lbs mark but my body shape has changed loads. I have gone from XL in clothes when I started to medium in most brands and even a small in some of my favourite brands.

My strength has grown significantly as well, along with stamina and overall fitness.

I have also realised that you are never happy when it comes to fitness. Despite the obvious weight loss and positive change in my body shape I still see a little fat man in the mirror. I think the mind always spots the flaws over the wins. I am hoping that this changes with time but everyone I speak to pretty much says the same.

So that’s that then, a year of being a fitness wanker is complete and I bloody loved it. Right now, I cannot imagine not gyming and trying to keep fit. I hope that my next post is writing up my second full on sparring session. As I said, I had my first competitive full-on sparring session (it hurts but feels awesome) with a fellow newbie a few weeks ago and I cannot wait for the next one.

ps, I need to update my “after” pic, but here are the obligatory Before and After shots of my journey over the last year…

andy barr pre and after gym

me before fitness and 6 months into it

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