By David McVittie
I, LIKE most of the country, if not the world, awoke on January 2 this year filled with my usual annual enthusiasm for losing weight, coming, as it usually does, after a fortnight of sheer gluttony.
A fortnight when, because it is Christmas, we think nothing of having mince pies with full fat cream for breakfast, washed down with a fizzy drink or, for the more outrageous, a beer and thus kickstart yet another day when we feel we are justified in eating the weekly calorific equivalent of a small village in north Wales.
We justify this, or certainly I do, by telling ourselves things like “It’s Christmas” or “I’ll get rid of this in the New Year” or “the diet starts tomorrow”.
Inevitably, the weeks wear on and before we know it, instead of having a beach body, we have a beach-ball body and console ourselves with the thought that, although we may be dragged out to the open ocean by Greenpeace if we sunbathe, at least we won’t freeze during the winter.
This year, however, was different. This year I decided I had to make a start on getting down my weight.
This is because of a number of factors. Health benefits aside, it is my intention to ride the Common Riding next year and, as far as I am aware, no one is hiring out elephants.
So, with a weight limit on hired horses, I thought it best to start now and chip (who mentioned chips) chip away at it for the next 20 months.
With the decision made, I cast my mind back to the 2019 Sport Personality of the Year awards which had been on TV a few days earlier.
There can be very few, if any, of those who watched it who was not deeply touched by the plight of ex-Scotland and British Lion rugby player Doddie Weir who was awarded the Helen Rollason award.
The determination and courage he has shown in the face of such adversity by standing up and refusing to give in to Motor Neuron Disease has been an inspiration to us all and his continued fundraising for a truly horrible illness has been awe-inspiring.
It had been in my mind to get sponsored for the weight loss because this would encourage me to do it and raise money for a good cause so why not Doddie Weir’s charity My Name’5 Doddie?
I floated the idea on that great public service channel Facebook and was inundated with fellow festive feeders who wanted to join in and help raise money for this worthwhile cause.
By the time we weighed in on Monday, January 6 we had two teams: male and female, consisting of 25 members.
It was a truly international affair with my coozeen Allan McVittie taking part in Picklescott, Yorkshire, my auld pal Judith Scott doing her bit in Australia, coozeen Kenny Turk taking part in Spain and my auld freend Keith Scott taking part throu’ the tunnel in Hawick.
There were no set rules on how we had to lose the weight. It was entirely up to the individual but we did have weigh-ins each week to keep an eye on progress.
The final weigh-in was on May 1, giving us all four months to shed the pounds.
So, putting aside all the excuses of “I’m big boned”, “I carry it weel” etc, I opted for the Keto Diet.
This is where you use fat as your energy source instead of carbohydrate and eventually the body starts to burn fat instead of storing it.
This means you have a fat-rich diet and was right up my street as it meant having fry-ups for breakfast, cream in my coffee and salami for snacks; that sort of thing.
There is a science behind it all and if you are thinking “That sounds good, I might give it a go”, please read all the reports on it before trying it.
I found I was getting some terrific results with this diet and, judging by the results coming in each week, everyone else had found a diet which suited them, too.
Together with the weight loss we ran a competition to guess the combined weight loss with a prize of a meal voucher which was very kindly donated by Jason Brockley of the Douglas Hotel.
We had a prize for the most weight lost by both male and female dieters and this was a meal voucher for the Crown Hotel, kindly donated by Hayley Evenden.
There was, of course, some good-natured competition between the teams but ultimately our collective aim was to lose weight and raise some money for the MND charity and this we did.
At the time of writing this the Just Giving page is currently sitting at £3,485 and is still open to anyone who would like to donate.
It is under the heading Muckle Weight Loss Challenge and the link is https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/bigweightloss