Friday, 24 March 2017

Comic Relief

You've probably not heard of it but there's a young fairly unknown charity called Comic Relief they raise money to fight famine and water hygiene amongst​ many other issues in the third world, as well as issues in the UK also.

I would have thought they would get celebrities to advertise it, but sadly it seems not...so I've had a go.

#RedNoseDay


Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Movember 2016

Previous Movember posts
Movember 2013
Movember 2014
Movember 2015

View my progress by scrolling down

mobro.co/tumourfun
Grow a mo, save a bro

It's that time of year again when you can grow a moustache and no matter how ridiculous you look, nobody can say anything because you're growing it for a good cause.

As I've said before I don't have to go through any training - or basically do anything - apart from letting the hair above my top lip grow as much as possible for thirty days.  Sounds good to me!

Although I need to shave daily so it's obvious I'm growing a moustache - that doesn't sound so good to me.

I don't like my face without some hair covering it, I prefer to have something to hide behind but as it's for charity I'll suck it up - the sacrifices we make for charity!

This is my fourth year of taking part and I've learnt a few things over the previous years.

  1. Taking daily selfies so people can see the progress made, is incredibly dull.  There isn't much change from day to day.  Therefore pictures shouldn't be posted everyday.
  2. I have an easy to remember page on the Movember website for people to donate at - mobro.co/tumourfun - this is more convenient to tell people, I was originally telling people to go to something like mobro.co/2356787621.  Not ideal.
  3. My moustache doesn't grow particularly fast.  It takes about three weeks to grow properly and then it seems to grow at a rate of knots for the final week.  So I'm going to cheat a bit this year and start with a few days growth - I know that's breaking the rules, but I'm a rule breaker! Deal with it! I'm also a bit bored of a standard moustache and being a fan of The Walking Dead I'm going to grow an Abraham (moustache/goatee).  I'm just a maverick me.
Abraham (Michael Cudlitz)
The Walking Dead
I have raised a total of £215 since 2013, not an earth shattering amount but I'm extremely grateful for the donations I have received.  I'm very proud that people have donated money just because I've grown a moustache and taken some pictures.  Some of those donations are from people I haven't met - which is amazing, thank you - but perhaps more amazing is the fact that the majority of donations are from people who have met me, so they know what an idiot I am but have donated anyway.

I've set a target of £100 this year which is almost half of what I've raised in three years! I'm going to look very stupid if I don't achieve it, so please donate and post on your Facebook or Twitter wall that you've donated - mobro.co/tumourfun.

November 1st 
The first of many pictures of my mo.  As I mentioned I'm starting with a bit of growth so I don't have the first few pictures of me without a tache.

Please donate at mobro.co/tumourfun







November 2nd
I've improved these movie stills, see if you can guess what the movies are.

Please donate at mobro.co/tumourfun


























November 3rd
Wearing a body warmer indoors means not having to have the heating on.

Please donate at mobro.co/tumourfun






November 5th
Told ya! It barely grows at first.

Please donate at mobro.co/tumourfun




November 8th
Ah vindication! Proof that having a weeks head start was a good idea.

#CheatingWorks

Please donate at mobro.co/tumourfun


 














 


























November 11th
11 days of growth, or it might be 15 with my head start...let's call it 17...ish. 18 to be safe!

Please donate at mobro.co/tumourfun

#CheatersNeverProsper
#Movember2016




November 12th
I've improved some more movie stills, see if you can guess what they are.


Please donate at mobro.co/tumourfun
#Movember2016























November 14th
I 'accidentally' hit the black & white filter - oopsie.
Please donate at mobro.co/tumourfun

#Movember2016
 
November 21st
I've received 3 donations so far and 2 of those were from family.

*squats in corner, hugging knees, rocking back and forth, muttering "it's not a popularity contest, it's not a popularity contest"

Please donate at mobro.co/tumourfun
#Movember2016




November 22nd
I normally take pictures in front of a white wall, so I've taken a picture in front of a door.

You're welcome!

Please donate at mobro.co/tumourfun
#Movember2016





 "I'm just a chilled out entertainer"


















































November 23rd
Holy chuff! A cooker!

Please donate at mobro.co/tumourfun
#Movember2016






November 27th
When you've shaved off your beard and realise no matter how hard you try you can't make extra chins appear.  GET IN!

Please donate at mobro.co/tumourfun
#Movember2016








November 28th
OK, so I wear a syrup, what of it?

Please donate at mobro.co/tumourfun
#Movember2016







 
November 30th
I'm £30 off my target, so close! Thank you if you donated and sorry for clogging up your Facebook or Twitter timeline. 

Please donate at mobro.co/tumourfun
#Movember2016


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Thursday, 28 July 2016

Throwback Thursday

It's been two months since my last post - as I'm sure you're aware, I hope not having regular posts of mine to read hasn't created to much of a void in your life.

I do look through previous posts and pictures and had completely fooled myself that the pictures I was taking were an accurate representation of me.  I don't use filters - well apart from the black and white one, which always makes you look a lot better than you actually do.  OK, I'll change that - I don't use any filters when I'm NOT using the black and white filter, but when taking a selfie you/one is posing.  It's very rare that you take a selfie without realising it.

We ensure we're in the best light possible, we hold ourselves in a pose/position that we're happy with...basically it's almost impossible to take a bad selfie.

I have been trying to lose weight for a dogs age, but as I've mentioned on here a lot I tend to be satisfied with my progress and so have a bit of chocolate, it doesn't appear to make a difference so I have a bit more, still no noticeable difference so I have some more...and some more...more frequently, until one day I look in the mirror and wish I hadn't had that chocolate.  "It's alright" I think "I'll carry on with my exercise routine and eat less."

That's always been my problem.  Losing weight/getting in shape is miserable if you don't understand how your diet affects how you look.  You think "I exercise a lot, I eat well generally, that small treat won't have any effect.  You're probably right, but with me it never stopped with one small treat and my answer was to eat less so I could have treats.

That's like running on a treadmill while you're eating doughnuts and wondering why all the exercise you're doing is having no effect.

So you stop running while eating the doughnuts as it has no visible benefits...but you carry on eating the doughnuts.  Until one day you realise you're seriously out of shape but you're reluctant to try and lose weight/get in shape because it's utterly miserable and means you can't eat doughnuts any more.

Is this analogy making any sense? In my head it does but I fear it my sound like an analogy that Adam on Love Island might say.


This picture was taken at the cinema on the 22nd June, I was aware it was being taken as my brother said "smile" before it was taken, you can see a slight smile on my face as my attention turns back to the small pot of Ben & Jerry's ice cream on my lap - incidentally this was a Wednesday, I relaxed my exercise routine at the weekend and had some more treats...including a Sunday Roast.  I only had a couple of potatoes, having meat & veg instead.  Come Monday I had the typical Monday blues as I looked in the mirror and was depressed at what I saw looking back.  I'm not sure other people would have thought my concerns were as bad as I thought they were, but I know the effort I put in to how I look, is it worth having the treats and then feeling depressed?

The answer: NO

I still have my weekly treat and I relax my diet at the weekend, but not too much.  I know my limits.  I eat well all week, I exercise all week, I don't eat to the point I feel I can't eat anymore.  If I am ravenous I'll eat something that's designed to be filling and give me energy that I know I'll burn off when I exercise.

I think I'm getting vain in my old age - OK, thirty three isn't exactly old but it's the oldest I've ever been.  No actually, now is the oldest I've ever been.  Sorry my mistake, now is.  Actually no...you get the idea.

I've never really given my appearance any thought, I don't see it every day. Others do.  Looking back at old pictures I am horrified by what I used to look like and what I look like now.

I was never going to look like this again, those days have been and gone and I wasted the opportunity.  While most of this is right, it doesn't hurt to try.

I recently bashed my eye, eyebrow and cheek against the bedside table reaching to turn the alarm off.  Over the next couple of days it was all kinds of interesting colours, browns, yellows, purples and blues and there was a nice cut above my eye.

I thought I would take a snap of it and put it on Facebook with some amusing caption about how I shouldn't annoy my Mum.

I took my glasses off which seem to take away some of the attention from the fact that I look like an extra from The Walking Dead.  There was no way I was going to put this on Facebook.  I think most people wouldn't have noticed my black eye, their focus would have been on the zombie staring back at them.

I could see what people were talking about when they were saying "you need to put on weight."

"Put on weight?" I would think.  "I'm exercising lots, it's taking all my willpower to not eat foods that will make me gain weight, and you're telling me to gain weight? Yea, thanks."

Maybe this is the vain part of me coming out, but I want compliments not criticism.  Gaining weight doesn't mean eating things like chocolate and doughnuts, it means eating things that is easy to burn off and doesn't turn to fat when not burnt off.

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Saturday, 28 May 2016

The Penny Finally Drops

It's been about six weeks since my last post.  I was struggling to think of anything to write about, which hasn't stopped me from posting any old rubbish before.  It was different though this time.

OK so judging by the amount of page views my posts get, it's quite obvious that what I'm writing is any old rubbish that enters my head, hence virtually nobody is reading.

I thought "why bother? Nobody's reading so why do you write it?"
"It gives me something to do" I answered.  "Besides what I write now will be viewable by people many years from now.  There's no telling what the future will hold, what you write now might matter in the future."

The last time I wrote a post I posted a picture of my weight loss progress and I was initially pleased with the fact I'd lost weight and my double chin was disappearing - not gone but I understand that it's a marathon not a sprint and you can't cut corners.  If you do it will become obvious because your physical appearance will deteriorate.

The odd bit of feedback I got though was that I looked too thin, a few people even saying I looked ill.  At first I was encouraged by this as it meant the effort I'd put in hadn't gone un-noticed. I started to look at the picture in a different light though and I could see what people were saying.

I'm obsessed with not having a double chin and a podgy face, these areas seem to be the first areas to gain weight (for me) and take a very long time and loooots of effort to lose again.

I was mainly focussed on this though and oblivious to the fact that losing my double chin and podgy face meant that the rest of me was wasting away.

What I saw in the picture isn't what I see when I look in the mirror, which shouldn't come as a surprise as I'm normally sitting in my wheelchair and holding myself in a way that I'm happy with what's looking back at me - conveniently ignoring the fact that I tweaked my head position, smile/no smile, expression, hair etc.  Oh not forgetting that most of my pictures are in black & white - and pictures always look better in black and white.

I immediately cut my hair as it looked I was wearing an oversized wig, I've grown some facial hair again - which I've always had and immediately felt better once I'd let it grow again.

I said in a previous post that I'd spoken about being clean shaven and with the words #SayingIsntDoing echoing in my head I shaved...but I was horrified and embarrassed at what I saw and immediately grew some facial hair again.

I shaved again a few weeks later and I told myself to stick at it this time (as in shave regularly and not just shave once and let it grow again).  I don't stick at anything so I forced myself to stick at this no matter how it looked.

For the record I thought it looked awful, but I felt I should show some commitment.  These are the errors in judgement I always seem to make and other people's opinions once again showed that #IMakeBadDecisions.  Maybe having nobody around and only listening to my own advice isn't ideal?

I recently saw a Vlog from Amelia Goodhead which shows how quick and easy it is to modify photos on your phone and improve the way you look.

You can see this video by going to http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/features/7160308/Woman-slams-Facetune-app-that-makes-people-appear-slimmer-than-they-are-in-a-bid-to-encourage-girls-to-accept-bikini-bods.html.

I have always wondered why people edit photos to remove these imperfections when they can't hide their imperfections.  Fortunately my imperfections are rarely seen by others, although now Amelia has brought this to people's attention I feel I should show the real me.

#JustAsIAm

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Tuesday, 19 April 2016

New Year's Resolutions - Easter weekend but no chocolate!

Previous New Year's Resolution Posts
New Year's Resolutions
New Year's Resolutions Progress
New Year's Resolutions - A Bit More Progress
New Year's Resolutions - Morerer Progress
New Year's Resolutions - The Fifth Month

No chocolate is the way forward, I think I'll give it up for good.  No, no I didn't mean that! I take it back, it was a joke, A JOKE! DELETE, DELETE.

It was Easter a few weeks ago (Sunday 27th March) yet another thing that has become a commercial holiday and has become a way to make money - by selling chocolate eggs.  I'm not religious but find it easier to be a 'bah humbug' this year as I vowed I wasn't going to have any chocolate...and I didn't!

#SayingIsntDoing

I actually did something I said I was going to!

On Good Friday I went with my parents to see Hobson's Choice at the Theater Royal in Nottingham.  It was fantastic - very funny.

I'm not a big theater goer - in fact the first and only time I've been was back in 2013 to see my Uncle and Cousin in Twelve Angry Men - also excellent.

Oh did I mention my Uncle plays Hobson in Hobson's Choice as well? Having actors in the family certainly has its perks.

As you might accuse me of being biased with my "fantastic" review, a special mention has to go to the set which my Uncle had nothing to do with.

It rotates in front of your eyes so the actors can be in different environments without a quick intermission to change the set.

They say the camera adds 10Ibs.
I thought they only meant
video cameras, but looking at this pic
they clearly meant all cameras.
*I've found a few pictures that coincidentally were also taken in the kitchen with similar poses.  My changing appearance is, erm, let's say interesting.

Highway to the Comfort Zone
Badababam badababam dow dow dow dow dow highway to the dan...

I've just realised the words to the Kenny Loggins song are highway to the danger zone, not comfort zone.  That's embarrassing.

I know I need to step outside of my comfort zone and my comfort zone involves spending most of my time behind closed doors where people can't see or hear me, which isn't a good way to exist.

As I said in a previous post I'm very happy with my speech, I don't think it's going to get any better, I just need to maintain it and not follow past examples and just stop my speech exercises because I'm bored of doing them.


My appearance suddenly became
a priority, so I starved myself and did
no exercise.  Unbelievably this wasn't
sustainable and my weight kept yo-yoing.
My appearance I'm extremely embarrassed by and have said for a long time I'm working on changing and then don't.

#SayingIsntDoing

I'm sure people who know me aren't surprised I don't do what I say, but keeping this blog means there are people I'll never meet who will also have this opinion and I don't like the idea of that.

So I won't state my intentions again, as it requires me to actually do what I said.  I'll just do it, rather than announce it first.  That way if I don't do something I intended, I don't look like an arse.  Nobody apart from me will know.

Besides there is no need to tell people, if you're losing weight you don't need to tell them, they'll notice.  If I need to tell people because they haven't noticed, I'm probably not losing weight.

In truth it's very boring and living a solitary life means I crack and troff chocolate.  I've been cracking less often and consuming less, but I was still having too much judging by my appearance.

I realised that not being seen by others meant I had little desire to get into shape.  I would only go out on the odd occasion and I could handle the embarrassment of my appearance for this short time.  I would only have this embarrassment for a short time until I would retreat back to my comfort zone...and eat...CHOCOLATE.  Can you spot the problem?

I've vastly cut down on pastry, bread and portion sizes - I haven't completely cut bread and pastry out because I know what I'm like and I'll binge on it, but I know that it isn't worth having much because it's so hard to work off.  I have completely cut out fatty foods though as I know I won't binge on those because my past experience of "it'll take forever to lose the weight" reminds me it's not worth it.  As well as my diet I exercise a lot as well.

All of this means every few months I start to feel good about my appearance, so I tell myself I can have a bit of chocolate.  It doesn't make any difference to my appearance, so the next time I have a bit more.  Still no difference so I have a bit more next time and more often.  Until one day I look in the mirror and have that familiar feeling of "why did I keep having more and more? Why couldn't I be satisfied with only having a bit? Why do I have to test the boundaries?"

Therefore I'm extremely proud I managed to not have chocolate this Easter.

#ItsAllAboutTheDiet
#LoseThePodge

Wear A Hat Day March 27th 2015.
I do at least have a jawline now and my face isn't as podgy as it was, but my neck under my chin still hangs down.

It's going in the right direction though, I know if I want to keep it off I need to do it slowly.  It will take time.

Good Friday
We ate out before we went to the theater and had some snacks after - quite late at night - and I try to not eat any later than 22:30, so I thought it best not to have any chocolate on Sunday as I usually do.  I didn't want to look in the mirror on Monday and see a podgy face staring back.  I realise I could have probably got away with having a bit of chocolate, but I don't trust myself to only have a bit.  So I thought it best not to have any.

I love eating out, but I am super embarrassed being pushed around in my wheelchair, I feel like a baby being pushed around in his pushchair.  It's my problem though and it's up to me to deal with it.  It's something I used to have a huge complex over until I realised that nobody could care less that I'm in a wheelchair, it's probably not even a thought that enters anybody's mind.

I was at least doing some exercise
which meant I could actually eat
more...of the right foods...
NOT CHOCOLATE!
To get into the restaurant there was a small step that Dad had to lift the chair onto.  When we left one of the waiters carefully wheeled me back down, which I was a little uneasy about but I grinned and beared it.

I had Chicken Tikka Masala and steamed rice but no naan bread as that would have been harder to work off - well again, just a small amount of naan wouldn't have made much of a difference, but I don't trust myself to only have a small amount.  In the future I may develop some will power, but for now I want to break the back of weight loss.  In the future I can trust myself to have an impromptu treat, but for now I won't.

It was absolutely gorgeous and we received excellent service.

If people are in Nottingham I highly recommend the Mogel E Azam restaurant.

I wrote a post recently called The Sound of Silence which explains how I'm quite quiet in these situations.  I wasn't completely mute, I think I did contribute to the conversation to remind people I was there, but not so much as to disturb the flow of conversation...much.

Before we went into the theater I went to the disabled toilet at the Theater Royal.  I hate, hate, hate having to ask to be taken to the toilet.  The person who takes you has to wait outside the door, I feel the need for urgency, so as not to make the person wait around for too long.  I try to time my request for when there are less people around and there is something else going on to distract their attention, otherwise I feel people are checking their watches to see how long I've been and I half expect them to clap and cheer on my return.

Again though, this is my problem and I'll deal with it.

We had some snacks quite late, I had an Onion Bhaji, two Samosas, a packet of crisps and two Quiche type things that were about two to three centimetres in diameter and were gorgeous! I could have had another one but managed to show some restraint.

I learnt from the last time I was in the car for a long journey (see post New Year's Resolutions) not to binge on chocolate and - as I would do some exercise over the weekend - I for once wasn't feeling low about what I'd eaten and wondering "why did I eat so much?"

It's a good feeling.

You don't have to eat food just because it's available.

#ItsAllAboutTheDiet

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Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Bad Back = Positive Outcome

I woke up on Friday 18th March with a slight twinge on the lower left hand side of my back, I didn't think anything of it but decided not to do my usual morning sit ups while sitting on the side of the bed.

I continued my usual routine - doing some exercise with the dumbbells before doing a bit of writing sat at my computer which would be followed by changing into my exercise clothes and doing half an hour interval training on the Medimotion Leg Bike.

My back got significantly worse.  Normally my back is always in use as I'm sitting down all the time, but lifting weights also means that my back is supporting extra weight.

I have a backrest on my wheelchair that gives me some lumbar support, so at least my back isn't completely straight while sitting, it's curved so it's spreading the load.

I was about to change into my exercise gear but thought I would give it a miss as I didn't think exercising was a good idea.

I thought I would have my lunch instead which would give me the opportunity to get out of my chair and sit on the sofa - which I thought would be the best course of action.  It wasn't.

My wheelchair has a gel cushion on it as well as the backrest and even though it becomes uncomfortable, I think sitting in the same position on any surface for a long time is going to be uncomfortable.  I now realise the wheelchair is the better option than most, it holds me in an upright position, when I sit somewhere other than the chair I tend to lean to the right - which is bad for my back - the wheelchair arms prevent me from doing this.

After I finished my lunch my back was hurting quite a lot so I took some painkillers and lay on my front on the bed.

This gave me the opportunity to think and whereas in the past I would have given up all forms of exercise to preserve my back - I would have given no thought to the benefits I get from exercising and the many negatives from stopping exercise - I am reasonably happy with the progress I am making with getting into shape.

This time was different though, I realised I had to continue exercising and actually wanted to - it gives me a sense of achievement and is a good way to clear my head.  I've learnt from my past mistakes and know that I have to maintain my diet and exercise if I want to maintain this look.  I can't just stop exercising and eat and drink what I want.

#LearnFromYourMistakes.

This bad back could have been a lot worse, put me out of action for a long time and taken a lot more than some Anadin and rest to remedy.

This was a warning sign and gave me an insight into what it would be like if I injured my back.  I didn't like it and decided to see this as an opportunity to make changes to try and ensure I don't injure my back.

Injuring my back has always been a big fear of mine and I thought I was doing all I could to protect it, but as always happens we pick up bad habits.

Generally these bad habits come from convenience and speed.  As it's generally quicker to do something the wrong way as opposed to the right way, we opt for the quicker.  Well I say WE maybe it would be more accurate to say I.

I have always rushed everything, rushing to get it done rather than doing it right - meaning that I did nothing well.  I've carried that on and have been putting unnecessary strain on my back by over-reaching or twisting simply because it's quicker than moving my wheelchair into the required position.

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Thursday, 24 March 2016

Wear a Hat Day - Thursday 24th March 2016

Previous Wear a Hat Day posts
Wear A Hat Day – Friday 27th March 2015

It's that time of year again where we show our support for Brain Tumour Research by wearing a hat for a day.

Granted I'm not raising money for the cause but I can at least raise awareness and turn people's attention to this day that happens each year.

If I can make just one person aware of this day, then I am at least spreading the word...and that can't be a bad thing.

Brain Tumour Research encourage people to send pictures of themselves wearing a hat to their twitter - @braintumourrsch - with the hashtag #hattastic.

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