My incredible Weight Health and Lifestyle journey begins, Aaaggh!

By DAvid Looby

Published 19/03/2016 | 00:00

Robbie Farrell and Keeley Louise Clayden checking David's BMI and waistline
Robbie Farrell and Keeley Louise Clayden checking David's BMI and waistline

A four-year-old's drawing of me as a sumo sized, obese 'Daddy' has prompted me to join a get fit 12 week course.

The picture of 'me' with my mouth agape, beside a stick thin Good Woman and the artist, The Whirlwind Princess, troubled me, shaking me from my complacency.

Around the same time Robbie Farrell, a weight, health and lifestyle consultant based in New Ross, ambled into my office and offered me the opportunity to partake in his 12 week programme. This was moments after an optician had recommended large sunglasses for me as they looked great 'on people with massive heads'.

Having hummed and hawed, I resolved to give Robbie a call. As a foodie who has never joined a gym or committed to any regular exercise beyond five-a-side football on a week-night, I was daunted by the prospect.

I rang Robbie up and met him for an assessment which involved a little paperwork in which I outlined certain aspects of my physical health. My blood pressure was taken and came in perfect and my weight, 174 lbs, was good also.

Robbie, who works with his business partner Keeley Louise Clayden, said my weight may not decrease substantially by the time I complete the programme, but I would lose body fat, providing I commit myself to do more exercise and eat better. The idea was about making me happier and that sounded good to me. His very affordable one-on-one programme involves me filling out a diary every day, in which I outline what I have eaten, drank, what exercise I have undertaken, my urine colour, what is stressing me out and what snacks I have munched on.

As someone with a sweet tooth who enjoys wine, beer and anything that has sugar in it, I was terrified.

Like many people I always wanted to commit myself to a fitness programme. I developed a gut in my late twenties and despite getting into tennis, soccer, running and ground hurling in fits and starts, I never managed to shake it. It's not that I'm vain, (OK I am a bit), but it's more that I want to do this for me to prove that I can do it. It's easy when you have children to say you're too busy all the time. I've said it so much that my two-year-old has started repeating it when I ask him to do something.

There is always a window, be it first thing in the morning, on a lunch break, late at night, or on the weekend, when exercise can be achieved.

I have made a start by walking the kids to creche every morning. My next challenge is to start availing of the windows aforementioned.

As someone who can be like a sloth on Valium on weekends, it will take the effort of my life to stick to my new routine over the coming weeks. Robbie assures me that it won't be too taxing and his easy manner has me convinced, but I worry.

In terms of getting happier, this is something I need to work on. The first thing that needs changing, temporarily, is my playlist. Listening to shoe-gazing music á la John Grant, Protomartyr, Neil Finn and Jeff Buckley, needs to be replaced by more exercise-appropriate music by Curtis Mayfield, Bruno Mars, anything with a beat. I heard Tina Turner's Simply the Best while in the bank earlier. That would work. Or Eye of the Tiger!

Weight Health Lifestyle

WHL Consultants, Northgate Medical Centre, John Street, New Ross,

Contact Robbie at: 087 7759716 email:

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