I started my journey 4 months ago when I decided to do a charity fundraiser raiser for southern area hospice. I had seen an advert on their Facebook page advertising 2 men in Portadown who has just started the “lose lbs to gain £s” fundraising campaign. I enquired about it and Tania in the hospice came back to me to say Clarke Fitness had said they were willing to meet me.
I was filled with mixed emotions because I was carry a lot of weight and we had just had our 3rd child, my father had died the year previously and I know what’s like not to have a father to turn to to ask advice or just to chat to, I didn’t want this for my 3 children (or well I want it to be as far away as possible) so I seen the challenge as a great chance for me to change my life but also to help the hospice out by raising much need funds to help them continue the great work that the do there.
There was a meeting arranged for the 17th of January in Clarke fitness, I remember sitting in the car in the car park that morning and the thought of even walking up the stairs the meeting was daunting. I had my phone out ready to ring Ronan to say I couldn’t make it and I remembered a video I had watched the the Clarke Fitness Facebook page and Micky Daly was saying how he was going to the back of the rail for big boy jeans and I thought to myself that I’m not even able to go to the back of the rail I’m going to big boy shops to get clothes.
So at that stage on the Wednesday morning in January “I said fuck it Damien it’s really time you done something”. So I went up the stairs into the office and met Ronan and Conor I knew both of them from school and that so I found the was a comfort as I walked in. The boys sat me down we talked and I really can’t remember much about the meeting itself but I remember going out of it and phoning Mari to say I have a target of 4 stone my the 22nd of June.
My first day going to the gym was the following Wednesday. I was sort of expecting a nice we break in but that was wrong I was sore for a week but looking back at that day I feel I have came so far from that. We sat down after that and Ronan went through the nutrition plans, he set out what I was to do over the coming weeks and I was told to record everything that crossed my lips. He also set up a whatsapp group for myself and Leroy and Frankie.
As the weeks have moved on the help, the advice and the drive that I get from everyone at Clarke Fitness is unbelievable, not just the staff. Ronan and Conor are very approachable and the make you believe you can do it. I know it’s been hard over the past 4 months but the changes that have have felt since starting are great. I’m now about to run 5k and I can train for the full hour, looking back at the videos we done at the start I was out of breath just talking to the camera. Everyone one is saying I’m looking younger and to tell you the truth I feel younger as well. People also ask what are you doing? Are you hungry? The answer is just sticking to the nutrition plans that the boys have set out for me for 6 days and have my cheat day on the 7th, just on the note of the cheat day it’s a god send because if you have a craving or fancy something at the end of the week you can I have been on diets before and there was not let up but on this nutrition plan you can give into the craving and not let it mess everything. I know I just the word diet but it’s actually not a diet as much as a re education in nutrition and learning good foods and bad foods good fats and bad fats. I can honestly say that in the past 4 months I have only felt hungry on a handful of occasions and they are normally on the day after a cheat day.
So as my journey towards the 22nd of June goes on I am not sure of exactly what weight I have lost the goal has been changed from 4 stone to 5 so that must be a good sign.
At this 4 month mark I would like to thank Ronan, Conor and Pete for their hard work and dedication to me in helping me keep going and get this far. I would also say to anyone who is thinking about getting up and doing a bit of keep fit but are not sure about it to just do it it’s not scary once you get started and if you need advice, help or guidance give Clarke fitness a shout and the will definitely help you what ever way they can.