Imagine going to bed one night with a relatively good 6 pack and waking up with a keg.
This is a common story for many people and one that resonates with me. As a child I could not put weight on. So much so my mum took me to the doctors, and they told her to give me half a Guinness a night (imagine that now). He told her this but what he never said was it would take 30 odd years for the weight to pile on.
Now everything was about to change.
All through my life I have been extremely active and have competed in most sports. This includes, Football, Hockey, Table Tennis, Boxing and much more. Then one day it all stopped, and life took over. I changed my job and started my own business, I worked away from home a lot and could not commit to teams or training. That’s when I was ambushed by the blubber.
I would spend many a day or hour sitting in a car and would eat anything that was not healthy. Working away I was constantly eating good old fashioned pub grub. As I was self employed and starting a business the hours at home and at work were long and hard and that meant neglecting my health and weight.
My stress levels went up and through the roof on certain days. I would normally burn this off by going to the gym or playing sport. I couldn’t get there though and ended up eating my stress away.
It was then time to do something.
I have recently decided to take control of my sporting life and get back to being me again. This year me and my Fiancée walked a marathon for MacMillian.
This was extremely rewarding for the charity and a great achievement for us. Whilst carrying out training walks, I started to notice that I was feeling less stressed about things. I felt that my mind was clearing as I walked. Not only this but as I walked, my trousers started falling down as the weight started to drop.
Once the walk was complete, I started to feel the pressures of the day catching up with me and I noticed I started spending evenings with my old mate Monster Munch. Before you know it, instead of trousers falling down I had trousers stretching out. I needed to do more exercise.
I have always been into sport as I mentioned but I have always gravitated towards football. How does an overweight person join a football team? He joins Man v Fat. This is a league designed to help men who are overweight.
Introducing FC Slimpossible.
The games are played over 1 evening and there are 2 leagues. You are placed into a team and you need to work as a team to win the matches. The scores are worked out on goals scored as in normal football but also on the team’s weight loss. This really helps to gel a team. I was fortunate enough to join FC Slimpossible.
The camaraderie that the group showed was amazing. They helped me settle in and I was placed into a Whatsapp group. The lads in this group really showed they were there for each other. If somebody had had a bad day or week and had put on weight, they didn’t moan even though it was a negative for the team, they basically were there for their teammate and told them not to worry. When they went out on the pitch, they worked hard to overturn the deficit and win the game.
After the first season we decided to get a new kit. Altta Group was lucky enough to sponsor this team. The team has shown and epitomised what Altta Wellbeing is all about. As a company we train in mental health first aid. We talk a lot about the importance of exercise and mental health. Since playing for FC Slimpossible I have noticed that my stress levels have dropped significantly.
If I need to stay away from home, I will look for a healthier alternative with food as I don’t want to let the team down when I get back. The team must send around 50 messages a day via Whatsapp, arranging sporting events, keeping each other informed of any slips in diet, arranging evenings out and we are even arranging next year’s challenge of the Yorkshire 3 Peaks challenge.
Since joining this group I have lost 6% of my body weight and my season goal is 10%. My stress levels are at an all time low and my head feels clearer than ever. I have enjoyed this transition back to my former self so much I even went to the Gym at 06:00.
I am not the only person to feel this way. Below is a write up from one of the players. He asked me to be anonymous:
Mentally, I’ve seen improvements in my self-esteem and body confidence as well as a big increase in my general motivation towards keeping myself healthier.
It’s given me something to focus on and something to look forward to each week, as well as introducing me to a great bunch of people who are all there for the same reasons, going through the same struggles and who all share a similar passion for football. I’d really recommend getting involved in any team-based sport to anyone who is struggling with weight and/or mental health issues.
Having companies like Altta Group sponsor our kit has only increased the feeling of pride and camaraderie within the group so just wanted to say thank you very much for the support.”
So why did I write this blog?
As you can see, their seems to be a correlation between weight, sport and mental health. Also, I want to write this blog to make people more aware that it is not just females who suffer with weight issues.
As per most things with mental health men will try and hide it through laughing and joking. The reality is more men than you think struggle with their weight and are not happy with they way they have ended up. This can have a massive effect on their home, social and work life.
If you can make just a few minor changes it can make a massive difference to both your physical and mental health. This blog has been around weight but look up Mindfulness to see how activities other than sports could help you and your mental health.
So far the team has lost around 80kgs in weight and we have only lost one game this season on the pitch. We are fighting harder than ever as a team to get the weight off but also to win the games on the pitch.
Below is the team that has helped me get fitter slimmer and a lot less stressed. Thanks lads.