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Lose 50 pounds and still be better off.

February 3, 2007
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No – it's not spam. NOP, now part of GfK NOP, is 50 years old in 2007. It's a Market Research company and you could argue that Market Research itself is also 50 years old since 2007 is the 50th anniversary of the Market research Society.

I work for GfK NOP and to mark the company's 50th we are boosting our normal charity activity and launching a special campaign. We have a number of selected charities and are aiming to raise at least £50k for them – in which case the company will match this with a further £50k.

There are lots of different activities themed around the number 50. Jokingly I talked about losing 50lbs in weight during the year. To my horror, when I checked the charts I found that I could do so and still be within (in fact near the top of) the correct body mass index. At this point I was 6ft 1" tall and weighed 16st 1lb – that's 225 lbs.

So my target weight is 175lbs by the end of the year. In fact I'm aiming for the end of September – giving me three months to panic if necessary.

I'm going to set up a http://www.justgiving.com page to recruit sponsors for my efforts and to collect money. But I can't do that until GfK NOP have made the campaign fund into a pukka Charitable Trust – which justgiving.com can then list as a beneficiary.

So I'm blogging this here bacause I've already started.

On 2nd January 2007 I was weighed in at 225lbs by the excellent Craig Barkway at the Next Generation gym in Dartford, Kent. We took some photos to make it all official – and Craig is acting as my independent adjudicator. (I'll put some photos etc on here soon – Craig has already proved an essential guide and motivator.) I started on my programme there and then. Meanwhile I'm eating about 2000 calories a day – so I'm not crash dieting or anything. But I'm eating low GI where possible and the whole family is getting into cooking more, using more fresh food, and baking fruit bread, seed bread, flatbread…..

Last Thursday (1st Feb) I had my programme review with Craig. I've lost about 7lbs already. We've upped my routine a bit – rowing intervals look a bit scary – and started looking at body fat. I'm currently 26.8% (probably down a couple of points from Jan 2nd) and aiming for 15% by the end of the year.

So – we'd better get that Trust, and the justgiving.com page, going soon before I lose too much. I'll be looking for my sponsors soon – so watch this page and look out for a link to justgiving.

At least I've got it all on the record now.

One more thing – if the first three months go well I'm going to add a bonus challenge. It will be  a 50 mile static bike ride over a profiled hill course against the clock. Come March I would get a 'learned committee' at the gym to identify an attainable profile/time for me to reach by, again, late September (31st December at the latest). Note – the subtly introduced '50' theme again. I'll be looking for sponsors for that as well.

To the gym….

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