Fuel for the Fire: My Body is a Machine

Whenever I bump into an old friend from the past they usually have to perform some kind of double-take…

It’s understandable I suppose, considering how much I’ve changed over the years.

As I’ve mentioned before, I was an overweight child who then became an overweight man. Luckily, I was able to transition from this state to a healthy weight by following a few simple rules that I had to lay down for myself right at the start of my weight loss journey. In this post I’m going to detail the first of these rules that I learned to live by and how I came up with it in the first place. If you happen to be an overweight person (just like I was) and are thinking of embarking on your own weight loss journey, then you should definitely take what I’m saying with a pinch of salt.

[Please remember that when I started trying to lose weight I was doing so without the help of the internet. I made up my program as I went along and I certainly struggled on my road to success. The important thing to remember with taking advice from sources online is that everyone is different. We all have different bodies which all work in their own ways, so although it might be tempting to think that we could all follow the same program and magically get in shape, the reality is far, far from the truth.]

So with no further ado, here is Oscar’s Golden Rule for Weightloss in 90s Stockholm:

Your body is a sports car.

Back in 1995 the only car that I wanted to own was a Porsche 928 GTS. Although many Porsche purists might well scoff at this choice, 90s Owen (and 10s Owen, for that matter) was utterly besotted with this vehicle. Sleek, smooth lines, a killer 350bhp engine and enough space for a few lady companions in the rear seats. Unfortunately, at a whopping 24 stone, I don’t think I would have fit in there if I’d even tried.

I remember seeing one of these beautiful machines cruise by one day and thinking how much cars are like people. You put fuel (food) in them and they burn energy. Put too much of the wrong fuel (junk food) into your body and you’ll soon find that your car starts to break down (illness or weight gain) until you’re left with a fat, bloated wreck of a body that’s only good for the scrap heap. Put the good stuff in (balanced diet) and drive regularly (cycle!) and you can get the kind of body (Porsche 928) that you always dreamed of!

If you’re considering committing to a new healthier lifestyle, why not try thinking of yourself as a car. Put the right fuel in, drive the miles and you could turn into a hot model, just like the 928!

How I Lost Weight and Won Back My Life in the 90s

Imagine for a moment that you didn’t have access to the device that you’re using right now.

There was a time when the internet didn’t stretch it’s invisible fingers out to every corner of the world.

It’s hard to think of a time that we didn’t wake up with a whole world of information at our finger tips, but there was such a time and it was very different to what it is now. This was a time where video was well and truly killing the radio star – in 1995 the internet was simply a concept, an idea that had been created but not proven to be anything more than tech babble to the lay man. I was working for IBM in Stockholm after graduating from university and was desperately in need of some exercise

There were plenty of overweight people in 90s era Stockholm, unfortunately the TV screens and the advertising boards didn’t reflect that. All around me were building-sized images of perfectly tanned and toned individuals – this was a world that enjoyed showing you what you could have, but not showing you how you could get it: it was a little depressing to say the least. I didn’t need a billboard to tell me that I was overweight, I already knew that, I needed to be told how I could get back in shape.

My days back then were a little monotonous. After acquiring my first job, I’d slipped into the kind of 9-5 monotony that I assume thousands of others were also mired in. The fact of the matter is that there wasn’t really that much to do back then. TV was the only consistent form of easy entertainment worth a damn and even then you could accidentally find yourself watching something horrifying like this:

Between mind-numbingly weird television, microwave meals and working in the office – my life was quickly becoming a demoralising montage, where the only way you could perceive the passage of time was through my expanding waistline.

Thankfully, I managed to dig myself out of this hole.

When I bought my first bike I had no idea what I was doing. Well, I knew how to ride the thing but beyond that I didn’t know what gears to use, what equipment to wear or how to maintain my new toy.

I’ve no doubt that the sight of a man as heavy as I was puffing and panting on this bike was a real laugh for drivers on the same commute, but had they followed my progress over the course of the four years that followed they would have noticed that fat, struggling man was slowly getting slimmer…and faster.

I’m going to be recording my journey from fat to fit in this blog, starting with my first days on the bike leading all the way up to my current life as it is today.

I hope you enjoy reading my story as much as I (kind of) enjoyed living it!