Well here it is, the picture that is the source of my motivation to get in shape which I saw in Oct 2009. I won't lie to you, it's not pretty....
OK sure, I wasn't 25 stone, not even 15, but at 14 1/2 stone this was the heaviest I had ever been. During my youth I was very sporty and mid-to-late teens saw me taking part in multiple forms of martial arts for which I trained 5-6 nights a week. I was never huge and muscly but didn't (and still don't!) want to be. I was lean and toned however, and had a 6-pack to be proud of.
Then came a new, high profile job. Gradually over the space of 2 years the amount of time I could dedicate to training diminished, and the amount of convenience food increased.
The worst thing is that I didn't even notice this coming- it was only on return from honeymoon that I saw this picture and thought to myself, WTF happened?!? Moobs, keg and general chubbiness. This was not the person that my wife met, it certainly isn't the body that I was once so proud of.
It had to go.
At the time I was living in Swindon and commuting approx 3 hours a day to and from work which left little time for family life let alone training. I began to sort my diet as a priority, only from a fat reduction point of view and did very little about organising anything to do with muscle building. I took up very short bursts of running, reignited a long lost love for mountain biking and did as much of the martial arts based training as I could in whatever time I could.
The move back to my hometown of Salisbury meant that after a few years of working on our new home, I found the time to study in MMA. From my standup fighting background it seemed like the best choice; partly because of its popularity at the time, partly because of the intensity of the training and partly because I felt too old to start learning a new martial art.
From starting in MMA at Strike and Submit in Salisbury, I gained a new sense of purpose with both health and fitness and the excitement around my first ever cage fight in May 2010. I started to look into my diet and with the help of my fellow fighters, the expert instructors and a friend in the supplements industry, I started to change my body for the better.
In April 2011 my first child was born and I decided it was time to give up the MMA. I continued to train and exercise at home with no end goal or purpose, other than the motivation of never looking like that bloody picture again. A few months later (August 2011) I received a Facebook invite from one of the MMA coaches about Tough Mudder 2012. Not really knowing anything about it other than it was a 12 mile run with some obstacles, I signed up. How hard could it be?