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The fanActiv blog: part four

13 April 2017

Mark Chapman from Brentford's media team is taking the fanActiv challenge

My challenge, aided and abetted by the Brentford FC Community Sports Trust via their 2017 fanActiv programme, is to use the power of football fans to turn my overweight body into something more streamline - alongside a dozen or more others - over a 12 week programme.

This is the fourth part of my fanActiv blog - you can also read parts onetwo and three. As you may know, fanActiv is all about bringing rival fans together in order for a common purpose, and that’s to get healthy and lose weight.

It’s been some time since the last update. We are due our final weigh-in on 24 April. Getting in shape is all about honesty, so after coming back from The States, things have plateaued in terms of eating more healthily. However, I’m trying to get back on track and Monday evening’s football session was the first since the holiday. That helped, plus a staff match was thrown in this week at Brentford. Despite me being in goal for the entire time, the exercise has left me in bits. It’s a young man’s game I can tell you. However, despite being 60, Richard O’Kelly still has some tricks up his sleeve as a footballer!

Monday’s healthy eating workshop, taken by Buvana Ailoo, talked about stress. We were given a series of questions to answer and our stress levels were determined thereafter. Among the group, it wasn’t uncommon to see stress levels high. Part of this can be attributed to smart phones and our tendency to check work emails out of hours. This will have a knock-on effect to your health, eating for comfort or perhaps snacking on the go.

The talk then moved on to visceral fat. This is a type of fat that stored in as a gel-like substance that's wrapped around major organs, including the liver, pancreas, and kidneys. This is the dangerous stuff. However, to shift it, weight loss does take time. I shouldn’t expect to lose a large amount of weight overnight, as I didn’t gain it overnight. However, I lost 11 pounds at the last weigh-in and hope to break the stone barrier at the third and final trip to the scales at the end of this month. 

I don’t have a weight target as such, but want have a thinner body shape, and also not wheeze away after a run. It’s claimed doing bursts of hard exercise will improve cardiovascular fitness and the body’s ability to burn fat. But don’t take my word for it, see a professional. Regular exercise is the key and I’m far more active in the past two months than I have been for a long while, and it’s felt good too.

As the weeks have gone on, it’s been great to see the physical improvement in the Brentford participants, some of whom have achieved significant weight loss. I’ll be back later in the month with my final blog so you’ll know how I got on.

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