I believe one of the main jewels in the crown at Exeter City Football Club is their outreach work named Football in the Community. Lead by Jamie Vittles, it does have a massive impact around Exeter as a whole. Their mantra is inspiring physical activity, education, health and wellbeing programmes all across the county and for five weeks I have been partaking in their new venture.
But before I go into that lets set the scene. Last March I weighed in at 20 stone and a pound My t-shirts were xxxl and waist was 42. I’m 5 ft 10 inches so from that you can probably tell that I did indeed “eat all the pies!!”
Im a salesman driving around Devon, the diet of quick eats, ease of eating was my staple. Crisps, pasties, doughnuts, full fat coke and coffee – white, two sugars 9 times a day, you can see my downfall coming. Weekends was curry and lager. The fact I was so massive I left my shoes laces tied as I couldn’t tie them without a struggle.. Man Boobs…. Yep I had them, was told I was verging on a C cup. Evenings was take-away as I couldn’t be bothered with cooking, I was so lethargic and tired I knew something had to give.
So back in March I made a change and started Slimming World where I learnt how to cook again, found myself spending two weeks coming off the milk and sugar to drink black coffee which I now love.
I made changes, I drank 2 litres of water a day, I upped my fruit intake, eating 5% fat meat in my Italian food, diet coke instead of full fat coke, I had eggs for breakfast with a banana and cut out bread. Big Big Changes and I have lost over two and a half stone.. But then in November things started to fall flat. You could say I plateaued and actually put some of it back on over Christmas.
So now you can see where I was at..
Then I saw a flyer at SJP where they were offering a new reason to start enjoying a Monday Night. City Fit Club where we would spend 12 weeks learning about diet and choices, warming up, exercise, and warming down, what apps to use to aid your healthy lifestyle, and to boost confidence in getting weight down to changing your lifestyle.
Lead by Peter Ferlie of Iron Bridge Runner fame, with a group of lads and funding from Active Devon, run a club every Monday night where we exercise under the glorious light of the park on the big bank steps (bit like Kill Bill Vol 2 ) and I love it! I turn up in my shorts, City shirt with my trainers and a bottle of water. The people there are amazing and all want to be healthy and fitter so you are most definitely not on your own.
We all meet as a group in the Grecian Centre where we go through the week before, people share their concerns and their little (or big) victories, talking through things they have done, bit of banter here and there thrown in for good measure. It’s a very relaxed atmosphere. First week you are measured and weighed for your records and to have a start point.
There is a ten minute talk by Adam and Pete, each week is a different subject. Sugar is discussed as well as alcohol, making good choices, guidance on exercise. Its crammed with good motivational and inspiring information.
Then its out around the pitch. The group splits in to Beginners, Intermediates and the Advanced. I really wanted to push myself so went for the advanced run by Adam (who really knows his stuff), but that doesn’t necessarily mean you go at it for 45 mins.
You start off slowly and warm your body up and gentle exercises just to get you off the ground, week one was just a walk and walking up the big bank. Each week the tempo gets a bit harder and the thighs feel it (especially the day after, took ten minutes to get back up off the porcelain the first time). I’m almost purple and struggle to talk, some say thats a benefit but it really works you in to a sweat, as unfit as I was I’m still amazed how quickly I am getting fitter!!
We’re on week 5 now, tonight was a mile walk around the hallowed turf, back to the class room for a powerpoint presentation on alcohol, then back out side for steady lunges, squats and air boxing, then run up the Big Bank a few times before we did 10 minutes of 15 step ups, 10 squats and 5 pushups then repeat, I did it 7 times in the time allowed so thats 105 step ups, 70 squats and 35 pushups, never would I have done that 5 weeks ago, in fact I’m amazed how much fitter I feel, I’ve lost more weight and I do feel toned up, all within the first five weeks. Next week we get weighed at the half way point so we can see how we have progressed
Yes I still go Slimming World on a Tuesday as I do like the lifestyle (or diet depending who you talk too) and I do a little bit of exercise everyday, either a walk or if I have time a, jog and squats, I do play 5-a-side too for an hour on a Thursday and I’m finally getting to managing 40 mins of play, not just 20 mins and head back in goal. Im turning into a bit of a machine. Im XL in shirts and 38 waist and man boobs…what mans boobs? (well they are smaller).
Its been a great experience so far and such a learning curve. So when the next City Fit Club starts I recommend you going if you want to have a change of lifestyle or just want to get a bit fitter.
These days it isn’t me who ate all the pies!!!