As part of the psychological process needed to change my ways I decided to take a look back to see where and when it all went wrong for me.
Surely I could blame someone to take the onus away from me?
Many a time over the years I have uttered the words “I was slim until the age of 23 then god knows what happened! I just started to get bigger and heavier!”
So is that it? Is age 23 when it all went wrong? Lets See!
Born in the 70’s (ouch!) but can only really remember from the 80’s.
I have told my children (a few times) that in my day we never really had many takeaways, there was a Wimpy and a Mister Munch Cafe but it was rare we ever went in one. Kebab vans, pizza places, Mcdonalds & Burger King were to follow a little later and to be honest Tesco’s were not even around for convenience. This would still point to it all going wrong when I was 23 still yeah?
BUT; It was the age of the deep fat fryer!
My earliest nutritional memories are of chucking in sausages, chips and breaded chicken burgers all in the fryer at the same time.. mmmm with an added fried egg on top. I absolutely loved this grub and demolished my piled high plate with gusto every time!
The above soon became the mainstay of my early diet although every Sunday we had a gorgeous roast dinner at which time I would have to ENDURE (take note muvver!!) parsnips, sprouts and all this other weird looking green shit called Veg! blurrgggh!
OK, now 11 – 16. Pretty much the same as above but now we can also add hot doughnuts (mmmmm 15p – bargain) from the school canteen and pancake roll and chips from the Chinese up the road. I also had a job in a bakery before school so also gorged on fresh hot bread, doughnuts (made by me with 5 times the amount of morello cherry pumped in and left to the side especially for moi!! buurrrp!) hot pies & pasties and lardy cakes straight from the oven…… life was goooood baby!
Now moving on. After leaving school I joined a YTS scheme earning £29.50 a week – It was full time so had to give up the bakery job – I moved away from home not long after my 16th birthday and into a hostel where I affectionately became known as “Party Animal” but MOST commonly as “complete knob head!”
During this time I was so consumed with going to nightclubs (sometimes 6 times a week!) that sometimes I would not eat for 2 or 3 days, then when I did eat it would generally be a kebab, a sandwich or a McDonalds….. Come on who can blame me, door prices and mind altering chemical abuse is a very expensive hobby is it not? and everyone needs a hobby!! yep yep I hear you and again direct you to the above comment “complete knob head”.
Throughout all this my waist never went above 30″ and weight stayed around the 11st mark.
The above went on for quite a few years but then I started to settle down and my long suffering girlfriend (Now the delectable Mrs Champion (DA BOSS) who makes me pay on a daily basis!!) We moved in together – I had a decent job and so did she but our cooking skills were to say the least……PANTS!
Although I started having 3 meals a day they were not the best (I loved them though).
To explain, our weekly shopping list consisted of 7 Fray Bentos pies, 6 cans of beans a 20kg sack of tattys, 6 microwave treacle puddings, a big box of Cornflakes, 4 loaves of Thick Cut White Bread, a tub of Ice Cream, a bottle of Vodka and a couple bottles of Scotch!!! <giggle>
It was at this time my “Ickle” pot belly started to appear (age 24!) not only did my belly grow but so did my excuse’s.
- My Metabolism Has Slowed!
- Its Just An Age Thing?
- Its Because “I’m Settled & In a Relationship”
- Its Because I’m Eating 3 Meals A Day!
- Its Because I’m Driving All Day – Not As Active!
- It Was Inevitable Babe! <whilst lifting t-shirt and rubbing belly>
- I have Crappy DNA Because “I’m Not Eating A lot”
Mostly though I just ignored it and kidded myself which made me wince each time I saw a photo or caught a glimpse of myself in a shop window!
More recently I became a lorry driver, away from home for sometimes 2 or 3 weeks then home for a weekend. During this time I was living on a truck stop food, garage snacks or pub grub! I lived on fried food, crisps, chocolate, sweets, coke, cake and pasties! If I ended up parking in a layby nowhere near the shops I had a cupboard full of sausage and beans and Irish stew in tins ready to be mopped up with half a loaf of white bread, thickly spread with margarine! (gotta be healthy right?)
Last few years I have been driving petrol tankers but guess what? DA DA DAAAAA yes that is correct, I deliver to forecourts – lots of access to coke, creme eggs, pies, free Costa coffee with 6 sugars (big cups you know!) and sandwiches!!
SO THERE IT IS!
My nutritional life in a nutshell. During this time I gained over 12 stone (168lb) (76kg) of fat, my waist went from 30in to 46in.
Now the fun part – its where I get to see who or what I can blame!(rubbing hands together with a mischievous grin right now)
So lets place everyone in my “Pantheon Of Blame”
- My Parents for not knowing about nutrition or teaching me!
- My School for not teaching me anything but the basics and supplying crap!
- My Wife for not knowing how to cook nutritional meals (got a black eye from when she proofed this!)
- My Doctors for just supplying medications rather than getting to root causes.
- The Government for their lack of and out of date information.
- My Career choices.
- Myself for partying to hard.
At the risk of making this exercise look completely pointless, the conclusions I came to are as follows:
IT WASN’T THE AGE OF 23 IT ALL WENT WRONG!! I was NEVER healthy!
At first glance this blog could be misconstrued as having negative connotations; WRONG, BLAME etc. Back then I was in a dark place with thoughts of why me? whats the point? nothing works! I’ve tried everything! and even, at my darkest times hoping that my end was not far away.
Even my conclusions seem negative right?“I Was NEVER Healthy” (sniff sniff sob sob) The amount of people in “My Pantheon Of Blame”
BOOM! you would be wrong if you thought that.
The whole exercise seemed to reassign my thinking into a powerfully positive mode!
Let me try to explain.Sure I was slim until 23 but this was Despite Nutrition not because of it. All these years I thought I had crappy DNA, that I was destined to be in pain, fat and very unhealthy and really I had just tired my body out through a lifetime of NON-Nutrition. What did I expect? As regards to blame? Poppycock!! I can blame No One or No Institution, most of all I couldn’t blame myself! No one intentionally embarked on a mission to make Dennis Champion unhealthy and fat. It was just a set of circumstances and situations that is called LIFE! Could I have made better decisions when I was younger if I had the nutritional knowledge? Sure I could BUT I also admit I damn well would not have done – I knew smoking was bad – still did it – knew drink and drugs were bad – still did it! At a young age, consequence is negated by the pure feeling of the invincible infinite life you have! The should’a, would’a could’a game gets you nowhere and blame just completely disempowers you! Its so simple, right in front of my face but until I did this life was bleak but the exercise blew out of the water ANY and EVERY excuse I ever had that allowed me to justify sitting on my big fat ass getting pissed up on the sofa whilst eating complete crap and watching life go by.
Another MAJOR lesson is that from now on; It WOULD be ALL MY FAULT if with my fledgling understanding I did nothing to make my life better!
It gave me a completely blank canvas to move forward, NO negative excuses to fall back on just a whole hearted belief that in fact NOTHING could hold me back – I could now start on my epic quest of awesome. I just wanted a better quality of life – a little bit less pain – a little bit more mobility – a little bit less medication – a little more ability to play with the kids – to make work a little easier and many many more little improvements to my life..
Little did I know that in fact I was going to COMPLETELY change my life!
NOW? The sky’s the limit, I want things that were seemingly impossible a couple of years ago. I have a wonderment at the human body and its almost magical capabilities!
All this might sound like hippy twaddle but to go from wondering how long you can live with the pain I was in to being fit and healthy, pain free and medication free in less than 2 years after the shite I put my body through is just pure wonderment!
Now I did not just wake up the next day and Abracadabra I was healthy and slim! Oh Noooo! to this day I still make bad decisions that do not fit with my desires but there was a definite paradigm shift in my thinking.
To think that it was on a day that I was so blisteringly bored whilst drunk and eating takeout, feeling particularly maudlin and guilty after eating and drinking until I could hardly breath – AGAIN! that I had another half baked, fully pissed thought of “maybe I should try and lose some weight again”
I searched ITunes for a health & fitness podcast to listen to whilst supping another whiskey!!!!
Next : How Boredom Saved My Life!