Saucepan of beans



It is 8:45pm on Thursday 22nd of February and I am not impressed. It is day one of Diabetes UK’s Swim22 challenge and I’ve decided to show the kind of ambition I normally reserve for drinking, by rocking up at the first opportunity and getting stuck in. However my enthusiasm has been replaced by disappointment, and whilst that is not an unusual feeling for yours truly, this is different. I have just walked out of the changing room, all the while sucking my belly in and trying to look as cool as you can with half of your body hanging out and goggles wrapped round your head, and the sight before me makes me want to weep. “For. Pete’s. Sake” I mutter to myself, or words to that effect. In front of me is a scene that all swimmers (I guess I’m one of them now) will no doubt relate to and ultimately fear; The swimming pool is packed. And by packed I mean it looks like a saucepan of baked beans. My disappointment has taken over and forced me to forget about my gravity defining gut suck as my cursing under my breath turns into a heavy sigh.

The swimming pool itself is 30 metres long and has been divided up. In one half of the pool there is a congregation of about 20 people, all in swimming hats bobbing up and down in the shallow end and doing, well frankly, not a lot. In the rest of this side of the pool there are some causal swimmers who are having a chat as they go up and down. They don’t swim full lengths, they reach the outskirts of said congregation, turn around and head back from where they came, but because there are a fair few of them this means they end up taking pretty much the width of this side of the pool up.  The other half of the pool is divided into three lanes. Two of which are being used for Adult swimming lessons/coaching , leaving the one remaining lane for anyone who wants to swim lengths. This of course means that this lane is busy. I swear under my breath and vow to never come to the pool at this time of night again.

After speaking to a lifeguard to confirm that I can use this one lane (they also advise that the congregation is in fact a triathlon club), I get in the lane, pull the googles down and press play on my MP3 player (quick note about this – underwater MP3 players are the pooch’s plums. If you haven’t got one, then get one). ‘Moonage Daydream’ by David Bowie comes on and I sink my dome into the water and push off. The tranquillity of listening to Bowie underwater is soon replaced by frustration as a flaw in this one lane system soon becomes rather apparent. Everyone is at different speeds. This means I spend the majority of my session either up someone’s chuff or someone up mine. To top this off, by the end of the session my back was giving me some serious grief.

You see, I signed up to Swim 22, not just for the good cause and to support the work that Diabetes UK do, but also to shift some serious timber and get fitter. I am not a regular swimmer. I am not a gym fanatic, I am a 38-year-old bloke with middle age spread, the stamina levels of an asthmatic flea and the athletic physique of a tub of play dough. Because of this I took the lazy so n’ so’s way out and swam breaststroke for 30 lengths, which my iffy back is now painfully telling me off for. I am hoping as this challenge goes along to improve said pathetic fitness levels and be able to swim the majority of these lengths front crawl. I only (just) managed one length of it and even then I thought I was gonna sink halfway through and was cream crackered when I reached the end.

Still, I huffed and puffed and managed to get 30 lengths done and in the bag and you know what? I felt bloody proud of myself.  Despite all of the above, I felt really pleased that I hadn’t given into the temptation to sack it off and start another day when I saw the crowd. The truth is, if I wasn’t part of Swim 22, if I had just gone to the pool myself I would have about-turned and headed home, but because I am part of something, because people have sponsored me and because people will ultimately benefit from that sponsorship, it made me get my chunky backside in the water and get on with it and I am really pleased I did. 30 lengths down, only another 1150 to go…

Once again, thank you to those of you who have sponsored me. If you want to sponsor me and help support Diabetes UK as well as motivate my lazy backside, you can so here. If you are interested in how I am getting on you can track the lengths I’ve done here.


Fatman Begins

Not all heroes wear capes

pexels-photo-261403.jpegIt has been a while since my last post, but I am back with, frankly, a bloody good reason. And that reason is ‘The Farley Weight Loss Masterplan’™ version 317.

Like many, my goal for 2018 is to lose weight and in my case that translates into 3 stone I need to get shot of. Unfortunately, my body is not the ripped athletic specimen of awesome that it once/never was and thanks to a knackered Achilles and an iffy back, I need to do something that is low impact but high in intensity. Normally shouting at my kids whilst sitting on the sofa ticked this box but alas, that is not going to get it done. I have therefore signed up to take part in “Swim 22”, a challenge set up by Diabetes UK.

The premise is simple – Swim the equivalent of the English Channel (22 miles) in your local pool between 22nd February – 22nd May 2018 (12 weeks).  The pool I will be using is 30 metres long which means to rack up the 22 miles, I’ll need to swim a fat bloke sinking 1180 lengths, which works out at just under 99 lengths a week.

The reason for this is that by signing up for a challenge, I have to do it. I have to get my arse out of bed early three mornings a week and get down the pool, because I have only a certain amount of time to do the lengths required. I can’t afford to miss a session. Another reason is that despite my willpower being absolute shite when it comes to food or exercise, if people have sponsored or are counting on me I will do it. I will bitch and moan and cry but I will do it. This is the boot up the backside that I need.

So there we have it. I’ve set up my fundraising page, sorted myself a swimming membership, purchased some voodoo MP3 player that works under water and practiced sucking my belly in for the walk from the changing room to the water. I. Am. Ready…….ish.

Before the challenge gets underway proper on 22nd Feb, I will be heading to the pool in the lead up this week before work to get some practice in. There is good reason for this. I can swim breast stroke (the lazy bastard’s stroke of choice) all day long but I can only do about half a length of front crawl before I run out of breath and start to sink. My goal is to shift some timber and breast stroke is not gonna get that done. Plus doing breast stroke 30+ lengths a time, 3 times a week for 12 weeks will kick the seven bells out of my already iffy back. I refuse to do backstroke as people who do for any reason other than a swimming lesson are the most inconsiderate fuckers in the world – they are the cyclists of the swimming pool world, therefore front crawl is the only option.

So that is the plan, I’ll post updates on here from time to time to let you know how I am getting on (there may be some industrial language) and you guys get to hear my legendary tales of me…erm… swimming up and down a pool. You lucky people.

If you are interested in keeping track of how I’m doing you can do by checking out my online length tracker thingy. If you haven’t sponsored me and you would like to can do so by visiting my Just Giving page. The target is to try and raise £1000 for Diabetes UK. Not only do you get to support a very good cause, you also get the added benefit of seeing me suffer and moan about how much I ache and how other swimmers have the audacity to swim in the same lane as me. On their back. Bastards. Personally, if I don’t come out of these 12 weeks even slightly buff or with the shoulders of a shot-putter then frankly there is no helping me.

Finally I just want to say a big thank you to all of you who have sponsored me. I really appreciate your contributions to what is a very good cause, so again thank you so much.

Farley out.

Grabbing exercise by the balls and…erm…shaft

A good walk spoilt...

Week 4 – 15st 13.6lbs

Week 5 – 15st 12.8lbs

Following my blow out at the tail end of Week 3, it is fair to say that I was dreading the weigh in at the start of Week 4. With that in mind I was delighted when I got on the scales and saw that I had still made a loss, a very, very small loss but still, it could’ve been a shite load worse.

Relieved that the weight was still heading in the right direction, I turned my attention to making sure Week 4 would go better. You will notice I said “better” rather than “perfectly” or “far in undoing last week’s damage”. There’s good reason for this, because I knew in the back of my mind that:

A) I had a work do coming up on the Friday and best will in the world (to be honest my best will isn’t all that) I knew I was going to drink like a goldfish and eat shit on Friday evening (guess what, I was right).

B) I also, for the next two weeks, had a lot of travelling to do for work, which has a knock on effect on how much swimming I can do as well as the battering my diet gets because, as per my last post, I can’t say no to an all day breakfast.

“In my defence they didn’t have any Shreddies…”

Breakfast of Champions

Week 2 – 6th March 2017 – 16st 2.6lbs

Week 3 – 13th March 2017 – 16st o.4lbs

Well, this is a welcome surprise. Despite my gluttony during the Haye vs Bellew fight, I’ve managed to shift 3lbs in my first week and another 2lbs the week after. Naturally I think that I’ve clearly cracked this weight loss lark and it is only a matter of time before men want to be me and women want to be with me. Probably. Trouble is since my last post and the weigh in at the start of Week 3 things feel like they have gone a bit tits up.

Firstly you will notice that my weekly blog has already skipped a week and I have copped out and cobbled together two weeks in one. There are reasons for this.

  1. Work’s been manic.
  2. Kids have been manic.
  3. Absolutely fuck all to write about.

Basically, in week 2 I was geed up by the 3lb’s weight loss so I stuck to the same formula –  eat around 1500 calories and go swimming before work a couple of times a week, then chuck in the odd lunchtime stroll for good measure. I’d also behaved myself food wise and aside from a day out at the football where I might have had 1 or 2 or 7 pints and some pub grub, I survived week 2 with my weight loss halo intact. Slightly pissed but intact nonetheless. It is week 3 where it has gone to shit.

Backstroke Wankers


Week 1 – 27th February 2017 – 16st 5.4lbs.

Sixteen and a half stone. Shit. Funny how the number shocks but doesn’t surprise you isn’t it? I was shocked to see the number appear on the scales, but when I played back in my mind the crap I had funnelled down my throat over the weekend, I wasn’t surprised. Prior to the weigh in, I knew I was going to start some sort of diet/lifestyle choice/culinary punishment this week, so in preparation I spent the weekend filling my face with food that you think you’ll never taste again. Nothing better for a new start than indulging on everything that has has prompted this change in the first place.

I said previously that I wasn’t going to do a fad diet and instead concentrate on just trying to eat sensibly and moving more, and with that in mind I’ve opted to swim my way to fitness. This is because, apparently, floating around a bit with a dodgy breaststroke technique shifts a serious amount of calories. Well, according to the MyFitnessPal app on my phone is does and that is good enough for me. Besides, I’ve always enjoyed swimming, it has been the motivation to get out of bed early in the morning to go that has always been my problem, so this felt like a good place to start. However within every swimming pool lurks a type of person who who just specialises in pissing you off through their absolute disregard for other people. The Backstroke Wanker.

“No, that can’t be right…”

Bloody scales


We’ve all done it. That one morning when you stare into the mirror, then down to the number staring at you on the scales and then back to mirror again. The reflection returns an expression of someone trying to find the square root of infinity. Trouble is, you are not a mathematical genius searching for the answer to the impossible question, you’re just a fat bloke standing bollock naked on a set of scales in front of a mirror, and the only puzzle you are trying to work out is “How the fuck has that happened?”. “That”, to which you are referring, is the blatant lie/technical malfunction staring up at you from between your feet. It is then that the denial starts. “I can’t be that much”, “But I’ve eaten really well recently” (this means that you didn’t eat a chocolate bar yesterday for the first time in a week/fortnight/month).

Denial is then interrupted by pride. “That’s it” the motivational voice on your shoulder shouts in your ear. “Enough is enough”. With the sound of your motivation echoing around your mind, you decide to do what everyone does when they have made the decision to lose weight. Eat a salad, lace up the running shoes and hit the treadmill? Fuck no. You consult the internet.