IT would be fair to say that humiliating myself in public by ripping off my top for a photographer to shoot my rolls of flab wasn’t exactly the way I expected, nor would have hoped, to end 2010.
Far less having the spoils plastered across the banner of a website for all my friends, relations, colleagues and contacts to see, laughing at my mini man boobs.
When you stand less than 6ft in your socks, wear a baggy jumper or two and sit behind a desk, it’s far easier than you think to hide the shame of being a right fat laddie.
Sure, folk notice you’re a big bloke, but then move on. They don’t dwell on the fact overly. Not unless they want to make a fat joke.
Which is good for someone who doesn’t crave a spotlight or want to hold centre stage. You get to wear your black outfit (slimming) and blend away into the background for a bit.
So yes, it would be much, much easier – and clearly less embarrassing – to revert to form and quietly, meekly join a gym.
There at least I could pay my money, hit the treadmill a few times, and in a month or so stop going back.
My gym of choice would continue to take my cash as I’d be too ashamed to cancel my membership so soon.
But ultimately, nothing would be achieved.
I’d still be a 17 stone fat laddie living in a 12 stone man’s body.
My knees would still ache, my shirts would sit too tight and I’d be about as attractive to the opposite sex as stepping on discarded gum.
So, why make an idiot of myself?
Quite simply, what’s the worst than can happen? Someone laughs, points a finger, calls me names? Talks about me behind my back?
Could be happening anyway for all I know.
So a chance conversation about rowing machines, of all things, with Iain led to another and then another.
It was clear we both wanted to change, for the better. Had to get fit, or frankly, be like this or worse forever.
So we thought, why not.
Why not make it a New Year’s resolution to get fitter, not fatter?
And blog about it, talk about it. Share it.
After all, we can see that 40th birthday in the distance there; we’ve both got children, responsibilities.
In January my son turns one. Whatever life brings, whatever role I play, I hope to be healthy enough to at least be there for him.
My own dad died too soon, in his fifties, cancer from his always smoking.
I miss him every day. I don’t want that for my lad.
For my own sake too, I want to be able to run for that bus, not decide to wait on the next one because it’s easier.
I’d like for shop assistants to want to help me choose a bitching hot shirt, not cast a disapproving look that would wither willow.
Vampires cast no reflection in mirrors, fat blokes think “if only”.
Although it is clear that when you become XXXL you appear invisible to the opposite sex, when you want the illusion of at least feeling attractive, regardless of status.
There is more that can be achieved by this project also.
The potential to raise money for charity too.
By sending ourselves up like this, we hope to raise a bucketful of cash for our nominated causes, details of which are to come in later blog posts.
Which should say as much about our friends, relations, colleagues and contacts as us – depending on the amount we pull in.
But ultimately, for me at least, there is one overriding reason to do this.
I want to.
I crave the challenge. But then, I crave bacon rolls too.
I’m looking forward to the places we plan to see, the people we’ll meet, the things we’ll do on this journey.
In reality I can’t wait for those friendships which will be forged, the pain that will be overcome, the things we’ll learn – about ourselves, each other, our team.
Twelve months is an awful long time to keep at this, especially after so many years of neglect. There will be lows as well as high. Probabably more than we expect.
But I want that sense of achievement.
I want to run up that last Munro, cycle that last mile, swim that last length and say do you know what, I’ve done it.
And then come back in a year, meet the same photographer and maybe then laugh at that photograph at the top of the page too.
Plus, the small matter of a forfeit, which maybe I’ll let Iain explain ….