Flirting with obesity focuses attention on Wessex Heartbeat Challenge

Lee Peck Media is taking part in Wessex Heartbeat’s 12 Week Healthy Heart Challenge, a programme which aims to improve cardiac health through achievable weekly challenges. Here, Lee Peck gives an update on how he’s been getting on with the challenge:

The challenge has come at a good time for me.

While I was conscious of being unhealthy and putting weight on (you know the drill: tight trousers, bulging shirt buttons and a slight shortness of breath when climbing stairs) you can’t beat being  presented with the facts.

A wake up call

And so it was, when the three Wessex Heartbeat nurses descended on Lee Peck Media and took my vital statistics, with a BMI of 31, I was declared as clinically obese (the cut off is 30).

I know – it shocked me too. But while we all appreciate there’s statistics, damn lies and a debate about whether or not the BMI classification is too linear, flirting with being obese is not where I wanted to be.  In cold blood I had to lose two stone.

I’d like to be reporting that five weeks in I am making brilliant progress but the truth is less heroic. Nevertheless, I can report there’s good news and bad news. I always prefer the bad first. I fear I shall fall short of my six week target of having lost a stone. The good news is that I am making sufficient progress to justify writing this blog!

I’m delighted to say I have lost eight pounds and gone down a waist size but more importantly I genuinely feel as if I am well on the way to making substantial and crucially sustainable changes to my diet which is, after all, the point of the exercise. Speaking of which I have made a concerted effort to walk more and, as the weather is improving, play more tennis and golf.

Mr Motivator

As part of the challenge – and a great motivator in itself – is the weekly email from Wessex Heartbeat boss John Munro which contains helpful tips and advice.

It really helps on many levels. It makes you feel as if you’re part of something and not struggling alone. John actually has a quirky writing style which makes me smile. The tips are useful – and this is really important – practical. You know that what John is saying is honest and authentic. A regular guy, he’s actually been there, done that, having lost (from memory) about five stone by changing his lifestyle.

Who better to act as mentor. Perfect!

Sweet success

The biggest change surrounds my sugar intake. I’m afraid to say I am one of life’s eternal snackers but however painful it was at the outset, I have all but cut out my daily ration of at least two chocolate bars, a handful of biscuits and the four or five accompanying cups of coffee. The chocolate has been replaced by nuts, blueberries, carrots, celery and I am drinking more water supplemented by a couple of cups of coffee. I do need some caffeine…

With meals I’m consciously eating more salad and vegetables.  I have also stopped having a glass of milk and a piece of cake watching telly at around 9pm – it was my reward for surviving another day (!) but when you add it up I can see it easily being an additional 2,000 or 3,000 extra empty calories a week.

So, I think I can safely say things are heading in the right direction. I’m beginning to see the results which in turn is giving me the feel-good factor and helping me with motivation. It isn’t easy though.  Occasionally, I admit, I do fall off the wagon but climbing back on is getting easier by the day. It is most definitely work in progress but progress I am making!

We’ll speak again in six weeks’ time…

  • Lee Peck

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