A Video Of The 39 Stone Cyclist’s Great Escape From Obesity

25 06 2010

England Vs Germany is not far away now, Here is the England Supporters Band with “The Great Escape” and a few piccys of me , to get you in the mood for the big game, turn your soud up and enjoy !





Before And After.Gaz Wearing England Shirts,A MUST SEE !

25 06 2010

You all know I like doing Before and After pics, it keeps my mind focused, so after the England vs Slovenia I decided to take a quick picture and to compair it to one of my first, here we go

The first picture was taken at around 37 stone:

37 Stone San Diego Chargers Fan !

and this one at around 285lbs.

Same Door, Same Pose, New Gaz

I also found this in my old pictures and thought it needs to be in this post:

San Diego Chargers Home Jersey 2008

Amazing Shrinking 39 Stone Cyclist Gaz Wears England Shirt Umbro

Let the 3 Lions ROAR !!!!

Keep the faith and NEVER EVER GIVE UP !

Gaz

C’Mon ENGLAND !!!!!!





In Pictures BHOD (The Big Hill Of Death)

24 06 2010

I got around 90% of the BHOD in pictures this evening, Its around a mile long and 12% in places, Devils Hill is no longer a challenge to me, its just a hump in the road, BHOD however puts me through the ringer every night, I dont need to go home this way…..I WANT TO !!!!!!!!

BHOD 1

BHOD 2

BHOD 3

OK so its not the whole of BHOD, I’ll try and get a video, but you get an idea !!!





Z+5 is 1 Part of 3 Events this week, We shall Call ‘Em, Life Changing !

24 06 2010
I love this picture.

Iconic


In what could turn out to be an iconic picture I snapped the above on Monday Morning. I had just put a smaller stem on the slightly larger Ribble and was about to leave when I thought “That looks great, Time for a piccy”

I started the week on the Ribble, but that’s not how it would end.

Monday:

Took in a couple of great hills in what turned out to be a 22 mile day, while I was nowhere close to the pace I was at before my holiday I was sneaking up to the distance, but weight wasnt the only thing I lost on Holiday, fitness was also lost too, lets hope it returns ASAP.

Tuesday:

Tuesday I kept it to 14 miles due to the fact I got up late and was knackered at the end of a long day training.

Wednesday:

Back up to 20 miles again, and enjoying the hills I was taking on the way home, the 12% 1 Mile hill was turning out to be quite fun, Half way home and in Ashton I stopped at a red light (I know, breaking the stereotype that all cyclists run red lights) I was in the big ring and ready to sprint away, as soon as I stepped on the peddles BOOM I heard a bang and felt a wobble, looked at my rear wheel and it was badly damaged, before I know it there was an almighty noise, the wheel skidded and that was that, the rear derailleur had sheered off and gone into the spokes, had a nice walk home but can’t help thinking I could have done 26.2 miles if it wasnt for the issue.

OUCH

Thursday:

Was back on the Surosa and remembering why I love it so much, finished on 19 miles for the day but whats more is that I stood up for half of the 12% hill I  am now taking in, it was the hottest day of the week and by the top im sure I looked half dead, well that was the impression that the paramedic gave when he took a double take at me, either that or he was thinking “A fat lad shouldnt be able to do that” lol

Here is a pic of the hill, from now on its know as THOD (The Hill Of Death), while it’s not great, it give you an idea of the mile climb.

Looking down the bit I cycle up.

OK so its nothing for you 10 stone cyclists but getting my 290 lbs up there isn’t easy, added to the fact that to get to this point from where I work it’s a gradual hill, im happy enough.

Friday:

Was tired Friday morning, so only did 11 miles BUT in events that shocked me I set an average of 16.5 Mph, Happy nuff, Friday evening took in the above pictured hill and that was that and another 20 miles done.

I then watched th 3 LIONS ROAR !!!! ………..After watching old game highlights I put ITV on to watch the 3 Lions turn into 3 pussy cats, but that’s for another day, Ohh I take the blame as just before kick off I ordered the new England away shirt !! Took optimistic eh.

Sooo, me looking for and attacking hills is event 1 or 3 I talked about in the title, long may it continue.

Event number 2 happened on Saturday Morning:

When I got married my Ring size was “Z+5” I then put more weight on and it wouldn’t fit, it was too tight, that give you an idea of just how HUGE I used to be, the next time I attempted to put it on it was way too big, so we decided to leave it for a bit and allow me to lose more weight, so when I took it in on Saturday AM to get altered both the shop assistant myself and my wife almost passed out when we found out that it will need to be made 10 sizes smaller !!!

Event Number 3 was Saturday afternoon.

I said when I started to lose weight that I wanted a tattoo, well now was the time, I went to

Heart 4 Art (Shameless plug alert)

In Ashton and set about getting my first tattoo, I was a little worried that it would hurt as it was totally new to me, but it didn’t, actually it was enjoyable, so much so that I want me another 😀

Thanks again to the great people at Heart 4 Art who put me totally at ease………….What is it you say ? Well ……….

Touchdown CHARGERS !

That was taken just a few hours after it was done so its gonna take a while to settle down, but not bad for a “First time”

Stay tuned as we will have some excellent videos for you in the coming weeks.

Gaz





Never Been To Turkey You Say ? Want To Know More ? This Review Is For YOU !!!

20 06 2010

This post is intended to be a humours yet factual view on my recent vacation to Turkey, If like me you have (or had) never been to Turkey this is a MUST READ, every detail is laid bare.

Its been a couple of weeks since I have been back in the UK and wanted to let you know what I thought of my first ever trip to Turkey.

We checked in at 5am and Manchester Airport was already very busy. Were given 3 window seats by those nice people at swissport and checked in for our Monarch Flight to Dalaman.

Fill 'Er Up. We are gonna need plenty of fuel.

The Flight was onboard a pretty old Airbus A300 but its one of the best at what it does.

Here are a couple of pictures from the flight.

Back Row Of The Large A300

The AMAZING Alps

After a 4 hour flight we landed in Dalaman airport, The Monarch flight crew had been great and the flight was by far and away the smoothest I had ever been on, we were off the plan quickly and into immigration, there were 2 long queue ’s  for passport control and we join in at the back, once at the front we were told to leave and go to the visa desks around the corner, we knew we needed a visa but there was nothing obvious that we couldn’t get them where we were . Once “round the corner” there was another large queue. We join it, got our £10 visa’s and then went back to the large passport queue.

Dalaman Airport(Check In)

Finally that was over, and we were in the country and could go and get our bags, down the escalators we went and was told by an individual who looked like an Airport official that al “Monarch Manchester Passengers MUST use trolleys” so like good Brits we all trundled to get a trolley only to be told we must pay 2 Turkish Lira (£1) but this was not like trolleys in the UK where you get it back once returned, no, this went into the mans pocket. Interestingly if you were British it was 2 TL and if you were European it was 1.50TL but if you were Turkish it was free !!!!

Ok, our bags were last off as we were one of the first to check in back in Manchester but once we had them all loaded up we headed outside and down the slope to the coaches, what we found was part time shacks in a semi circle with tour operators names on them, we lined up in the COSMOS one only to be told this was NOT the COSMOS one, after being told what one the COSMOS one was we lined up again and FINALLY we headed to our coach, as the last ones on it was a struggle to fit our 4 bags on but with some force myself and the driver did, upon getting onto the coach our part of 5 had only 4 seats so one of our kids was forced to sit on one of our laps, not great for what was a 2 hour driver after a 4 hour flight after a 3 hour pre check in but this is what a holiday is all about isn’t it ?

Coach ...Well !!!!!

Our coach was hot, small (so cramped) and underpowered, so much so that every other coach on the way passed up like we were stood still, but hey that didnt really matter, the rep informed us al that we would be stopping mid transfer for a “rest stop” this was new to all our party who has been travelling abroad for many years and to many different countries. I don’t want to sound like a whinging Brit who expected the lap of luxury but come on this wasn’t a cheap budget holiday now !

At the rest stop, in the middle of nowhere there is a mini market, with lots of things you can buy, or your kids can ask for, the toilet costs you 2 TL each to use but after paying I noticed another sign that said the fee was not mandatory, then as we were about to get on the coach we spotted a “Slush” machine, I wanted one, as did the kids, at 4TL each it wasn’t cheap  (About £2 each) and they were VERY small but on the plus side they were REALLY nice on the hot, stuffy coach.

As we were driving into the resort our rep once again came on the tannoy to give us the gem that Turkey was hot and to use sun cream ohhh and also dont forget the coach driver has a “Tip” basket on his dash so as you leave please give him something.

Driving though Marmaris as we were dropping others off I noticed that the Turkish think they are soooo funny, I witnessed the following shop names:

Primark (2)

Asda (Shoes)

JJB Sports (Wear)

The Restaurant With No Name

The Genuine FAKE Shop (Genuine Fake is used EVERYWHERE)

and the following signs were everywhere:

“Cheaper than falling off the back of a lorry”

“Cheaper than shop lifting”

“Cheaper than Asda-Price”

“Cheaper than a P*KI Shop”

More on this later.

Once FINALLY we pulled up at our hotel more than 12 hours after we left home, we were tired but we were glad to be there.

Pineta Club Hotel

Now I fully intend to review the hotel too as on Trip Advisor I cant help but feel that it gets rating that are far too low, but for now I am gonna continue with Turkey and Turkish culture.

The porter told me to leave our bags, I said its cool I will deal with them but he insisted, OK, 5 mins later he has our 4 cases on a trolley, I unload them and I put them into our 2 rooms, I thank him for half doing what he offered and he just stood there smiling, now I have no issues tipping but his mates at the “Rest Stop” had cleaned me out 5 minutes after telling me the ins and outs of the safe he left, no longer smiling.

WE decided the next day that we all needed to Chilax on the beach so headed out to find the man made single beach that is Marmaris beach.

Shingle City

Couldn’t find any beds, its ok there’s always tomorrow we said.

The next time we looked we found beds no problems, as the kids were in the sea and our party was Chilaxing I noted something just wasn’t quite right here:

Blue Blue Blue

I then noticed everyone around us had Blue Bands on (Ours were Orange) and low and behold 2 mins later a large security guard told us this part of the beach was for the hotel that was next to us (Hence the Blue Bands) we asked if we could go somewhere else and he told us that along this section (where we are based) is owned by the respective hotels and then he said “Right get up and go NOW” ……….nothing like a welcoming country eh ??

So we took the 15-25 min walk back to our hotel and stopped off at one of the MANY restaurants  for some drinks, the following picture was taken while we were at the restaurant….How Random

Nottingham ?

The guy serving us seemed like the owner and he was wearing a fake Real Madrid Shirt, making the Nottingham Forest sicker even more random. Like everywhere else in Turkey there were no prices so I was a little shocked to see a bill totalling £15 for 5x Soft Drinks the size of normal Cans, Yup £3 each for what amounted to a can of coke. Then it all made sense, the guy in the Madrid shirt had said seconds before I was told the price if this was our “First Time In Turkey” I said yes , hoping for some helpful tips, all I got was laughed at and a doubling of the bill.

The next day was spent in the AMAZING grounds of the hotel in a vain attempt to find some more Chilaxing time.

Nice REAL Nice

It started pretty well but before long we received loads of hassle (Yes even inside the hotel grounds) we were asked:

“Do you want Turkish Bath” ? No thanks, Can I give you info ? “No Thanks” Can I give you leaflets ? “No Thanks”

“Tattoo” ?

“Do you need any Hairdressing services “ ?

“Scuba Diving Guys” ?

“Photo” There was one HELL of a sleazy photographer at the hotel who kept taking picture of our kids even after being told NO! So I started taking pics of him (See Below).

The Reps were FULL on when selling Bingo tickets and Raffle tickets and were offended to the point of shouting in Turkish as they walked off if you said no and stood by it.

You DIRTY Sleaze Bag !!!!!!!!!!

Out and about shopping and things got worse, the Turkish are obsessed with blondes, I had read this before but having a blonde daughter who is only 5 I assumed she would be ok, but how wrong was I ? every shop we went in she was mithered , given free sweets, asked how old she was, they were always trying to put their hands on her and asking questions that were just too much, now some of you might say that’s just being nice to kids, but why, if that was the case was my son who was stood next to her totally blanked and NEVER EVER given anything ????

Some of the attention made me feel sick it was just WAY over the top. It was that bad my advice to you , if you have a blonde daughter is to NOT go to Turkey !!!!! (Since we have been home we have heard of story’s WORSE than ours, if you want to know more just ask)

Most of the shops sold the same old tat and fakes, I did ask one shop how much his aftershave was , his reply was that I didn’t really want to buy so he wouldn’t give me a price, as I walked off he shouted 1TL (to take the PI$$) , You couldn’t walk past a single shop without being questioned “how are you” “what team is that shirt” “ Come here, come inside” “You look like a nice family, do you want *Insert product or service here” “Hey big guy, I remember you from last year” the list goes on and on and on, The hassle did lessen the more of a tan we got.

Nothing was CHEAP, a lot of stuff was a decent price but that in the main was because it was fake, if it was genuine it was cheap but the prices of fakes were not as cheap as say eBay, drinks etc (as long as you dont say its your first time) are around the same price as over here, I looked at 12 MP digial camera and was shocked at a price of £130, our 10MP Samsung only costing £69 from good auld Argos.

Marmaris

So after some stressful “Retail Therapy” it was time for us to take in the entertainment that we had paid for in our hotel, but as with EVERYTHING in Turkey , all was not what it seemed, We settled down for “Michael Jackson SHOWWWW” and was greeted with 15 of one man dressed like Jacko dancing, while he was good its not really what almost £3k for, but it gets better, the Hotel entertainment team then came on stage and said we must tip him as its what you must do in Turkey (Not my words) and then held up his hat and said that they were putting 20TL into it and expected everyone else to do the same too………This was the same every night when the inhouse entertainment team we not the ones doing it, there was some “Street Dance” that looked like the guy was having a stroke and yet it was still 20TL

ITS SHOW TIME !!!!

The Dolmus Busses were great, one every few mins and about the only thing you could call cheap at 1.5TL each, while waiting for one we were pestered by the local taxi drivers and on one at an evening we were charged 1.50TL too much, ok not a big deal but added to everything else it just felt like you were being scammed all the time.

Dolmus In Marmaris

The time for this review is almost over, but on our last day Turkey had a few more kicks left for us.

Our transfer coach was about 20 mins late, no big deal but others had been on it for an hour already, we then picked up at 6 more hotels and were on there for abut 50 mins, we thought we were done and headed up the hill out of Marmaris , then without warning we turned around and went back down the hill, and back into the resort, there was uproar on the coach from the people who had been on there 2 hours already, we picked 2 people up who had been waiting for over and hour, on the street in the afternoon heat, they were not happy, it was then worse for them that they couldn’t sit together….but we were off FINALLY …..The rep didn’t really make comment on why were were lost or so late, but the passengers did, we were told that even though we were already 2 hours LATE we had to do the rest stop but it would only be 10 mins not 15, the rep said she phoned her office and they said we HAD to stop, Doesn’t sound like COSMOS to me !!!! half way to Dalaman we almost had a cash while over taking and were all thrown around as the driver swerved back in after overtaking and then we got to the rest stop…..I refused to get off and pay any more money to spend a bloody penny……This didn’t stop the coach driver walking around the coach with his hands cupped asking the passengers “Can I have your lose change” there wasn’t even a please from him FFS !!!!!!!!!!!

We got to Dalaman Airport and got inside ASAP as our flight was due to leave in 60 mins, I checked in our bags and was asked how many passengers I had, I said 5, she asked again F I V E I said , she then asked me to point out the FIVE passengers, so I did, she then told me I had an allowance of 80KG and we had baggage of 89KG (That would have been £81) I then explained we have FIVE passengers (you know, in case I hadn’t told her) and that we all had 20KG of an allowance giving us 100KG….Her reply ???? “Ohhhh 5 passengers ? Sorry”  ….Nice try love….. Through passport control my wife was told she hadn’t paid her £10 on arrival for a visa, she then showed the stamp and was allowed though..

I assumed in the airport I wouldn’t get hassle in the shops, WRONG again, I looked at aftershave (I know its the second time , I like to smell AND look beautiful) the assistant jump up and shouted “you buy, you wanna buy, come here” at this point I gave up and walked out, enough was enough.

We headed upstairs for some food for the kids and a drink for myself, we saw MaccyDee’s and though it was ideal with about 30 mins left to departure …This was Turkeys final kick of the tourist before we left

I got a Macdonald’s drink £3.50

The Milkshake was £4.20

Fries were £3.25 each

Hamburger £3.50 each

Meals were £14

Check the picture for proof !!!!!

McDonalds Dalaman Airport

So after spending about £30 to keep the kids happy we were off and it was another really really enjoyable flight on the same A300 back to Manchester. We even had some fun on the plane, as I was watching “Top Gear” on the in flight entertainment we were all reminded not to smoke in the toilets as someone had been caught, this female passenger was warned Monarch would push for the max fine of £2500 ( come on you could have set the plane on fire and killed almost 400 people, i’d say lock her up and throw away the key) and hand her over to the police when we landed and that is just what they did !!!!!

Back Home !!!!

So that was that, we enjoyed our holiday, we all needed the break, that was in spite of the above though, that said  the country of Turkey is beautiful, the weather AMAZING, but overall its not a place I would EVER go back to and if you have a blonde daughter i’d advise you to stay WELL CLEAR !!!!!!!!!

I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing it (It was like therapy for me) Come back at lunch time on Thursday to read my round up of last weeks commute, trust me, its worth it, there are 3 life changing events in it.

In the future I will also do a review of the hotel too, lets hope its as good as this one 🙂

Gaz





Back On The Commute Trail. 2 Goals Achieved On Vacation

14 06 2010

Keep reading for details of the goals I have achieved, I am gonna cover details of my cycling frst.

Phew,  I was only cycling for 2 days but I put myself though the ringer !!

Thursday morning I kept it to a minimum of 6.5 miles, my legs felt weird, not hard work, just strange.

What I did do however, was “ride it like I stole it”, It was my first day back cycling after 2 weeks of 35degree heat and I was battling a head wind, loads of rain and it was about 12 degrees.

I was gonna get close to my PB today. No not because I was super focused, because I was bloody freezing and wanted to get ino the warm office ASAP. I arrived at work with a average speed of 16.9Mph soaked, freezing and glad I was back in the warmth, isnt June summer any more ?

I was greeted by this when I got to work:

Better !

Sooooo its better than what we had but the main issue we had was the fact that  we didnt have enough spaces before, this has only given 2 more spaces, so while I admit it is much better, we just need 2 or 3 more now !

Thrsday evening I decided to ride a hill I have been scared of since I started cycling and have alway avoided.

I HATE hills, I dont enjoy them like I do sprinting !

I dont attack them like I do when I sprint so did I conquer it ?  HELL NO ! did I make it to the top not half dead ? YUP ! I was happy with that.

Friday, feeling strong I added a few extra miles on and did 11.5 miles before I got to work, I also took in a couple of repeats of  Lancy Hill in Stockport (Lancashire Hill) . With a 15mph average I was happy enough.

Friday evening I took in the same hill I  had done on Thrsday evening and finished the day on 20 miles with an average of 14.5 mph and a total elevation gain of just under 1000ft.

Not a bad reintroduction to cycling of the break I had.

OK OK Those goals !!!


A goal that meant more than most of the others was achieved almost 3 weeks ago !

In my original goal list  I stated

Goal: To be able to fit into an airline seat without the need for a “Fat boy” belt extender!


Monarch Airlines A300 - Manchester Airport

As we boarded the Monarch A300 – a 380 seat pane (No not an Airbus A380, I wish) it became clear that we had been seated in the very back row – Excellent I thought, you get so much more sensation at the back ! . I wanted to enjoy every second of this 4 hour flight, I always liked to fly but was always so big that I couldnt ENJOY it !

Sitting down I was suprized at just how comfortable I was in the seat vs how bad It used to be when I flew, I got the belt and was preying to myself  “please fit , please fit , please fit”  but it didnt, it was MILES too small, I was GUTTED.

“How can something that small, ever fit me ?”

However thats not the end of this tale because in my nervous excitement I had totaly forgot that the belt was set to its smallest size and that even my kids would have had issues making fit LOL

So I recomposed  myself and extented it to the maximum size and BOOM it fit !!!!!!! Well thats not true ,  it was now too big !!! so I made it a little smaller, grinning like an idiot and sat back and enjoyed the 4 hour flght. I kept the belt on all the way….Just because I could LOL.  Unfortunately I didnt get a picture, there would have been 379 people looking at me thinking WTF !!!!!

GOAL ACHIEVED !!!!


Goal No 2: To take a vacation and not gain any weight.

It was never gonna be an easy this one as the holiday was 14 nights, all inclusive but I took my workout stuff and promised myself to get to the gym….that was issue number 1 , I couldnt find the gym in the hotel, when I thought I had found it and went back the next day, it wasnt the gy. I did however swim every single day and took many long walks but by th 10th day I was convinced that I had gained weight, so much so that I said to myself  2anything under a 6 lbs gain and I will be happy”, I hadnt eaten great, nor had I been very good with drinks, upon getting back home I dragged our 90kg of luggage out of the car, checked the post and then sprinted upstairs to get my fat arse on the scales !!!!!

TICK TICK TICK TICK -” COME on will you and just bloody tell me what it is” !!!!!!, Like a demented foot I screamed to the scales.

Then BOOM !!!!! …..I was scared to look “I cant look” I said to myself, peering down I saw the following !


MNUS 1 LBS !!!!!!


“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, Thats wrong” I said

I jumped off and back on, -1lbs, I got on and off, Minus 1lbs, I did this twice more,In total I weighed myself 5 times and it kept saying MINUS ONE POUND !!!!!! . Guess it was right then !

GOAL ACHEVED !!!!

You can now view my goal list on the following link:

https://theamazing39stonecyclist.wordpress.com/goals/

Random - o - Vacaion Piccy

Well well well, 2 goals (Get the picture link ? GOALS ?, Never mind)  I didnt think i’d get till my next vacation !  Guess I am getting better at this losing weight thing !

You only get once chance at life and thankfully I learnt that before it was too late (Just) !

Keep tuned as on either Tuesday or Wednesday I will upload footage of the 2009 Manchester Be Proud awards where I collected the “Sporting Achievement” Award.

I am also writing what I hope will turn out to be a informative and funny review of Turkey, if like us you have never been and are considering a visit it will be a MUST READ, it is gonna take me a while though, so if your going tomorrow I cant help, sorry 🙂

Gaz






Stand Up And Finish What You Started

10 06 2010

My road is and has been  a VERY long one, but I am now around 4/5 stone away from my “Total” Goal and as such I wanted to take a quick look at where I have come from.

at over 550lbs this is where I started:

NEVER EVER AGAIN

At around 400lbs this was the last time I took a vacation:

Proof, it it were needed how long my road is, after losing 150lbs I still looked this bad.

and finally, after my vacation last week I am now around 290lbs, I am getting there, but I can’t ever forget where I came from !

Getting There !

My next goal is to have lost another 2.5-3 stone by Dec 31st this year, if I do that then I am in touching distance !!!!

Wish me luck !

Gaz








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