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fanActiv blog: The final weigh in

Mark Chapman from the media department takes part in the fanActiv challenge

11 May 2017

This is the final part of my fanActiv blog. As you may know from earlier articles, fanActiv is all about bringing rival fans together in order for a common purpose, and that’s to get healthy and lose weight.

My challenge, in conjunction with the Brentford FC Community Sports Trust via their 2017 fanActiv programme, was to turn my overweight body into something more streamline. The scheme uses the power of football fans across London to lose weight and be healthier. I did this alongside a dozen or so other Brentford fans - over a 12 week programme. Well, what happened?

Yes, I lost weight: that was the main goal and I’m pleased I did. I also had healthy eating habits re-enforced to me. Working within a sporting environment should give you the tools to refine your diet automatically but they needed reminding.

I also met up with some great people, most of them Brentford fans, determined to do something about their lifestyle and general fitness. We got to bond along the way and friendships have been formed. None of this would have been possible without fanActiv.

As Sven-Göran Eriksson once said in 2010, for me, losing weight on this programme was “first half good, second half not so good”. Going on holiday for a week, half way through 12 week schedule, did not do my weight goals any favours, and neither did the portions state-side. Having said that, I did continue to exercise and lost weight, but lost a little focus on my return from the pond.

Others did a lot better than me and to see the physical appearance of some fanActiv colleagues change their body shape for the better before my eyes was inspiring. I won’t name names, but you know who you are: well done.

We were all invited to a fanActiv football tournament at Fulham FC’s Training Ground in Motspur Park. Alongside Crystal Palace, AFC Wimbledon, and Fulham, a motley crew of Bees made their way to Surrey to contest in indoor football, plus an impromptu American football session [Fuham’s owner, Shavid khan, also controls Jacksonville Jaguars NFL franchise]. We played two games, a 1-1 draw with AFC Wimbledon, but lost 2-0 to Fulham in our final match.

All the games were played in a friendly spirit, despite me scraping my knee in the warm-up, which meant me limping for the duration. Being in goal was probably the best place for me and although we didn’t win any matches, it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

Having a Fitbit strapped to my wrist over the past three months, monitoring my step count, was a revelation and welcome. I would encourage anyone to try and record their physical activity, regardless of brand or app, for their own wellbeing. Even though for me, fanActiv has ended, I will continue to use it.

It was great to see everyone coming together and if football can be used as a tool for good, then that’s all the better. Neil Young of the Brentford FC Community Sports Trust, deserves great credit in co-ordinating the sessions and he must be delighted that the weekly kick about by his former pupils are to continue.

You can follow the fanActiv programme on twitter.

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