Another Busy Year….

With the passing of yet another enjoyable Christmas and New Year period, I find myself looking forward to what this year has to offer, certainly in terms of my writing. I’ve always followed a similar regime and it goes something like this.

  1. Release book in mid-December
  2. Enjoy Christmas
  3. Enjoy New Year
  4. Struggle for ideas
  5. Panic
  6. Panic some more
  7. Come up with an idea
  8. Write 10,000 words and then give up and start on another idea
  9. Give up on that idea and go back to the original idea
  10. Panic
  11. Panic some more
  12. Release book in mid-December

2015 was slightly different however, as I ended up getting stuck at number 8, but rather than starting on another idea, I simply gave up altogether. I was worried at first, but then I figured I needed a break. I’ve always written books because it is something that I enjoy doing, but last year it felt different. My books were selling well, they were well received and they had received critical praise and so for the first time ever, I felt under pressure to write. Instead of doing it for me, I felt the pressure of writing to keep other people happy. It felt more like a job than a hobby, which while I’d always secretly hoped it would be my job one day, I also secretly hoped it wouldn’t, for the very reason I’ve explained above.

So rather than writing a book, I spent a lot of 2015 writing for me. I’ve written short stories, poems, memories and much more and I’ve kept it all for myself. It was a very liberating experience and it was very much needed. It’s meant that come 2016 I’m raring to go. It’s one of the many advantages of being a self-published author – being able to do whatever we want; no-one to please but ourselves and I truly believe it’s what can help to ensure our work is as good as, if not better, than published authors, due to the pressures they face to churn out chapter after chapter.

So happy New Year to you all and I hope that 2016 is a memorable year for you. Now please, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some ‘struggling for ideas’ to get on with.

To contact Andy you can email him directly on andyleeksauthor@gmail.com or via his twitter @astheyslept or Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/astheyslept

 

 

The 12 Days For Christmas

It was in September 2014 when I decided that I, Andy Leeks would take on the challenge of writing a book about diets. I felt that I could do a good job of it, what with the 15 years of experience of yo-yo dieting under my belt and having spent every one of those years leaping from one faddy diet to another. I had no interest in writing a conventional diet book however. You know the one I mean, the one that’s written by a pencil-thin bimbo, full of condescending bull-shit about how being over weight isn’t your fault and outrageous claims that you are just a few page-turns away from being a size 6 model. I genuinely couldn’t think of anything worse. I wanted to write an honest book; one that would tell it how it was. I came up with an idea; a silly idea to some; irresponsible to others, but it was an idea that was to turn into a best-selling book that has gone onto receive national and international acclaim, and one that is even recommended by the NHS service in the UK.

I knew that the reason that all of my previous diets had failed was because I got bored. Bored of skipping food groups, counting calories, eating cereal or whatever else I had signed up to on the diet that week. As soon as those first few days of excitement and anticipation had passed, I was on a one way journey to Miseryland, with a very quick stop off at Whyalwaysme along the way.

I wondered if it would be possible to hop quickly from one diet to another, moving on before I got bored and dejected. Could it be possible that I would stand a better chance of success by simply flitting around, like some sort of diet floosy. I decided I would give it a go and it was how the book “Minmize Me – 10 Diets to lose 25 lbs in 50 Days” came about. You can check it out here Minimize Me.

I won’t spoil the book in case you intend to read it, but one thing I learned very quickly is that diets don’t really work, at least not in the long term. The body is a complex thing and often the best advice is to simply have a healthy balanced diet (Kind of obvious, right?) Another thing I learned and something that came as a complete surprise to me is that losing weight just before Christmas is AMAZING!!. It meant that I got to enjoy Christmas and New Year completely guilt free. It gave the festivities an extra lift and I felt like I’d given myself an early Christmas present of my own. Why should losing weight be restricted solely to the New Year and the week before you jet off on holiday? (Ultimately failing and never being able to look at the holiday snaps ever again).

It is exactly why I have developed “The 12 Days For Christmas” campaign. It’s simply a period of 12 days where we can all get together to collectively lose weight in a fun and healthy way just before Christmas. I have created a FREE 12 day course where I will send out an email each day for the 12 days of the campaign. I’ll be providing inspirational advice from health experts, guidance and advice on healthy choices as well as a host of recipe’s and information on how best to enjoy the 12 days we have together. I’ll provide links to the blog where people can get advice, ask questions and help to inspire each other along the way and I’ll be asking everyone to let me know their results at the end of the 12 days, so we can see how much we have lost collectively.

Treat yourself this Christmas to the best Christmas you will ever have; a guilt free and indulgent Christmas that you will never forget. The campaign will run from Monday 30th November to Friday 11th December (Just in time to enjoy the work party)

It is essentially a fun, responsible and wonderfully interactive way to lose weight together, so it would be hugely appreciated if you would consider sharing the campaign on social media. Feel free to copy and paste the following link to your social network site of choice https://andyleeks.wordpress.com/2015/09/18/the-12-days-for-christmas-3/

To sign up for yourself, simply click on the link and fill in the details below (Your information will be kept safe and secure and will never be used for marketing purposes)

Sign Up to “The 12 Days For Christmas” Campaign here

Or use the QR code below

Sign Up

The 12 Days For Christmas

It was in September 2014 when I decided that I, Andy Leeks would take on the challenge of writing a book about diets. I felt that I could do a good job of it, what with the 15 years of experience of yo-yo dieting under my belt and having spent every one of those years leaping from one faddy diet to another. I had no interest in writing a conventional diet book however. You know the one I mean, the one that’s written by a pencil-thin bimbo, full of condescending bull-shit about how being over weight isn’t your fault, outrageous claims that you are just a few page-turns away from being a size 6 model. I genuinely couldn’t think of anything worse. I wanted to write an honest book; one that would tell it how it was. I came up with an idea; a silly idea to some; irresponsible to others, but it was an idea that was to turn into a best-selling book that has gone onto receive national and international acclaim, and one that is even recommended by the NHS service in the UK.

I knew that the reason that all of my previous diets had failed was because I got bored. Bored of skipping food groups, counting calories, eating cereal or whatever else I had signed up to on the diet that week. As soon as those first few days of excitement and anticipation had passed, I was on a one way journey to Miseryland, with a very quick stop off at Whyalwaysme along the way.

I wondered if it would be possible to hop quickly from one diet to another, moving on before I got bored and dejected. Could it be possible that I would stand a better chance of success by simply flitting around, like some sort of diet floosy. I decided I would give it a go and it was how the book “Minmize Me – 10 Diets to lose 25 lbs in 50 Days” came about. You can check it out here Minimize Me.

I won’t spoil the book in case you intend to read it, but one thing I learned very quickly is that diets don’t really work, at least not in the long term. The body is a complex thing and often the best advice is to simply have a healthy balanced diet (Kind of obvious, right?) Another thing I learned and something that came as a complete surprise to me is that losing weight just before Christmas is AMAZING!!. It meant that I got to enjoy Christmas and New Year completely guilt free. It gave the festivities an extra lift and I felt like I’d given myself an early Christmas present of my own. Why should losing weight be restricted solely to the New Year and the week before you jet off on holiday? (Ultimately failing and never being able to look at the holiday snaps ever again).

It is exactly why I have developed “The 12 Days For Christmas” campaign. It’s simply a period of 12 days where we can all get together to collectively lose weight in a fun and healthy way just before Christmas. I have created a FREE 12 day course where I will send out an email each day for the 12 days of the campaign. I’ll be providing inspirational advice from health experts, guidance and advice on healthy choices as well as a host of recipe’s and information on how best to enjoy the 12 days we have together. I’ll provide links to the blog where people can get advice, ask questions and help to inspire each other along the way and I’ll be asking everyone to let me know their results at the end of the 12 days, so we can see how much we have lost collectively.

Treat yourself this Christmas to the best Christmas you will ever have; a guilt free an indulgent Christmas that you will never forget. The campaign will run from Monday 30th November to Friday 11th December (Just in time to enjoy the work party)

It is essentially a fun, responsible and wonderfully interactive way to lose weight together, so it would be hugely appreciated if you would consider sharing the campaign on social media. Feel free to copy and paste the following link to your social network site of choice https://andyleeks.wordpress.com/2015/09/17/the-12-days-for-christmas/

To sign up for yourself, simply click on the link and fill in the details below (Your information will be kept safe and secure and will never be used for marketing purposes)

Sign Up to “The 12 Days For Christmas” Campaign here

Or use the QR code below

Sign Up

The 12 Days For Christmas

It was in September 2014 when I decided that I, Andy Leeks would take on the challenge of writing a book about diets. I felt that I could do a good job of it, what with the 15 years of experience of yo-yo dieting under my belt and having spent every one of those years leaping from one faddy diet to another. I had no interest in writing a conventional diet book however. You know the one I mean, the one that’s written by a pencil-thin bimbo, full of condescending bull-shit about how being over weight isn’t your fault, outrageous claims that you are just a few page-turns away from being a size 6 model. I genuinely couldn’t think of anything worse. I wanted to write an honest book; one that would tell it how it was. I came up with an idea; a silly idea to some; irresponsible to others, but it was an idea that was to turn into a best-selling book that has gone onto receive national and international acclaim, and one that is even recommended by the NHS service in the UK.

I knew that the reason that all of my previous diets had failed was because I got bored. Bored of skipping food groups, counting calories, eating cereal or whatever else I had signed up to on the diet that week. As soon as those first few days of excitement and anticipation had passed, I was on a one way journey to Miseryland, with a very quick stop off at Whyalwaysme along the way.

I wondered if it would be possible to hop quickly from one diet to another, moving on before I got bored and dejected. Could it be possible that I would stand a better chance of success by simply flitting around, like some sort of diet floosy. I decided I would give it a go and it was how the book “Minmize Me – 10 Diets to lose 25 lbs in 50 Days” came about. You can check it out here Minimize Me.

I won’t spoil the book in case you intend to read it, but one thing I learned very quickly is that diets don’t really work, at least not in the long term. The body is a complex thing and often the best advice is to simply have a healthy balanced diet (Kind of obvious, right?) Another thing I learned and something that came as a complete surprise to me is that losing weight just before Christmas is AMAZING!!. It meant that I got to enjoy Christmas and New Year completely guilt free. It gave the festivities an extra lift and I felt like I’d given myself an early Christmas present of my own. Why should losing weight be restricted solely to the New Year and the week before you jet off on holiday? (Ultimately failing and never being able to look at the holiday snaps ever again).

It is exactly why I have developed “The 12 Days For Christmas” campaign. It’s simply a period of 12 days where we can all get together to collectively lose weight in a fun and healthy way just before Christmas. I have created a FREE 12 day course where I will send out an email each day for the 12 days of the campaign. I’ll be providing inspirational advice from health experts, guidance and advice on healthy choices as well as a host of recipe’s and information on how best to enjoy the 12 days we have together. I’ll provide links to the blog where people can get advice, ask questions and help to inspire each other along the way and I’ll be asking everyone to let me know their results at the end of the 12 days, so we can see how much we have lost collectively.

Treat yourself this Christmas to the best Christmas you will ever have; a guilt free an indulgent Christmas that you will never forget. The campaign will run from Monday 30th November to Friday 11th December (Just in time to enjoy the work party)

It is essentially a fun, responsible and wonderfully interactive way to lose weight together, so it would be hugely appreciated if you would consider sharing the campaign on social media. Feel free to copy and paste the following link to your social network site of choice https://andyleeks.wordpress.com/2015/09/17/the-12-days-for-christmas/

To sign up for yourself, simply click on the link and fill in the details below (Your information will be kept safe and secure and will never be used for marketing purposes)

Sign Up to “The 12 Days For Christmas” Campaign here

Or use the QR code below

Sign Up

Minimize Me

image

I’ve been on so many diets in the past and I always seem to fail due to boredom, so it struck me one day that I may have a better chance of success if I were to keep things interesting, by changing diet plans every few days.

The result? A self imposed challenge to try out 10 different diets, in an effort to lose 25 lbs in just 50 days.

With the help of a long suffering wife and a truly inspirational young nutritionist, the book describes the ups and downs of a serial crash dieter. It is a ‘warts and all’ account that focuses on the funnier side of dieting. Think of it as the reverse of ‘Supersize Me’.

The book provides an interesting twist on the conventional new year diet and the whole idea is to prove that people can lose weight without the need for expensive memberships and subscriptions.

Minimize Me – 10 Diets to Lose 25 lbs in 50 Days is out now and available at just £1.99

Click here to buy the book

The Resolution to the “New Years Resolution”

New Year's Resolutions

I have to say that I was incredibly organised last Christmas. While most people were still no doubt franticly googling “Christmas gifts for her” and “What the hell do I buy an eighty year old that doesn’t involve lavender or slippers?” I was amazed to discover that Christmas in the Leeks household was done and dusted by early December. The gifts had been bought, the turkey had been ordered and I even found time to lie to our distant relatives as to why we wouldn’t be able to host them this year.

In fact, I was so organised last Christmas, that by the middle of December, I had already started to think about my new years resolutions. For me, a new years resolution should be something that is truly going to change your life. It’s the one time of the year where you can make a decision and stick to it.

Joining Gyms, losing weight, saving money, being nice; these are all lovely ideas in principle, but we all know that within a few weeks you’ll be reading the small print of that gym contract, you’ll be stuffing your face with half price selection boxes, you’ll have spent any meagre savings on that perfect dress in the January sales and you’ll be back to being your same old grumpy self again in no time. In fact, that time has already come for most of us.

Why not instead, make a resolution this year to fulfil your full potential? Instead of trying and failing to lose that half a stone and feeling more miserable than you did in the first place, why not take those art lessons you’d never found the time to have? How about that time you tried out archery on holiday and realised that you not only enjoyed it, but you were pretty good at it too; why don’t you go ahead and join an archery club? Instead of doing things this year that you think you should be doing, why not have a go at something you know you’d LIKE to be doing?

A little over a year ago I found that writing came incredibly naturally to me. I started to write an autobiographical tale of my daily commute to London and while I only initially started doing it in order to prove a point, I soon found that I had indeed stumbled across a hidden talent. That “hidden talent” has gone on to provide me with hours of joy, a bestselling book and amazingly, a credible second income.

So instead of signing up to a gym you won’t use or a diet where you find it impossible to lose, why don’t you, just for this year, do something for you?

New Year, New Me…. Same old Facebook!

Facebook

There are times when I love Facebook and there are times when I hate it. I hate Facebook when I get constant updates from people asking me to play tedious online games and when people upload pictures of their food. I hate Facebook when people leave statuses that are clearly designed to initiate a response. You know the ones I mean, theres probably one sitting on your newsfeed right now. “Why do I bother” “I can’t believe he’s done it again” “Is it really supposed to double in size” that kind of thing. People are lured into responding, not because they care about the person, they’re just plain nosey!

There are also times when I love Facebook and the period around Christmas and New Year is when I fall back in love with it. Christmas is great because there is so much positivity and everyone just seems happy to be off of work and relaxing with their family and friends. The New Year is even better because the twenty four hours either side of midnight, you often get to see the very best of people and the very worst of them. As I scrolled through my news feed leading up to and then entering the New Year last year, it was the perfect mix of hope and excitement, followed by the dawn of realisation.

My book “As They Slept – A Year in the Life of a Commuter” was born from an argument on Facebook and the chapter posted below took the form of a poem, created solely from the status updates on my news feed in a twenty four hour period, between New Years Eve and New Years Day.

Overworked and underpaid
Congratulations on getting engaged
Ok I’m drunk, I confess!
Work tomorrow, so depressed!
Think it’s time to clear out the loft
Watching season 5 of lost!
Housework done, time for beer
Look out people, this is my year
Surely it’s got to be gin o’clock?
Chris would like to play lucky slots
Sorry about my drunken post
Looking forward to a big fat roast
Wake me up when it’s all over
It’s 2 in the morning and I’m still sober
Chips are ready! Ketchup or Gravy?
Kim and Kanye are having a baby
Time to lose my Christmas gut!
Anyone know what time Tesco shuts?
Haven’t been this drunk in a while
Time to party gangnam style
Time to lose the Movember tash
Mosie would like to play Bingo bash
Oh my god I look like a goth
2012 can piss right off
Time to weigh in
I’m laying off gin
Lovely weather!
Yeah whatever
Ouch my head
Time for bed
Here come the tears
Happy New Year

If you want to hear more about the book, check out the You Tube video below where I talk to Vanessa Feltz on BBC Radio London

As They Slept – A Year in the Life of a Commuter is Out Now

As They Slept 1-4 cover design (ebook)

Why travelling is like peeling an Orange!

orange-peel-man-body

Travelling for me has always been just an annoying necessity. It’s the bit in the middle between having to go somewhere and actually being somewhere.

I liken it to an orange. (bear with me) Eating a fresh orange is one of life’s little pleasures, but in order to eat an orange, you first have to peel one. That annoying bit in the middle between wanting an orange and eating an orange. Don’t even get me started on the people who peel an orange while travelling….. why are they putting themselves through it?

I hear people uttering the phrase “I love travelling” all of the time and it frustrates me. I am absolutely certain that these people do not “Love travelling” at all, they simply enjoy being well travelled. It’s a very different thing. It’s like saying “I love peeling oranges” when what they actually mean is “I like eating oranges”

I appreciate that this blog post is a little orange heavy, so let’s move on. So while travelling has always been an annoying necessity for me, it has provided me with a chance to be more creative. Had I not for example, been stuck on a train with a bunch of strangers for over five hundred hours in the last year, I would not have been able to find the time (or more importantly been provided with the content) to write a bestselling book.

So my advice is simple. Don’t ever waste an opportunity to do something more creative, not even when peeling an orange.

As They Slept – A Year in the Life of a London Commuter is OUT NOW. All four parts of the bestselling series in one book (Part 1 of the bestselling series has sold over 40,000 copies and has been ranked #1 on Amazon Humour and Biographies)

As They Slept 1-4 cover design (ebook)

Click Here to view book on Amazon

So which one are you?

ATS Part 4

It was way back in September 2012, when, infuriated by the snoozing passengers surrounding me, I decided to post a status on Facebook declaring that sleeping on trains is a complete waste of time.

My so called “friends” disagreed.

In a bid to prove them wrong, I set out to write a book from start to finish on the daily commute.

The chapter below was written while I commuted from Headcorn to London on Wednesday 28th August 2013 and sums up just about everyone that you will ever encounter on a morning commute.

So which one are you?

As I look around the carriage this morning, I can see a real mix of people. It’s a nice reminder that commuters come in many forms and very rarely fit the typical stereotype of smart suits and broadsheet newspapers. I would say that only around half of the people in my carriage this morning are wearing typical business attire, while the other half are adorned with a colourful array of casual clothes.

As a tribute to commuters everywhere and in the hope that you will all recognise a few of the people mentioned, I have decided to write a poem.

There’s not one person that makes a commuter
Some sit quietly and work on their computer
Others use the time to apply their make up
While others look depressed over their latest break-up
Then there are those that talk on their phone
And others that can’t leave their willy alone
Of course there is always a noisy eater
And you will always sit next to the broken heater
There is always a train guard that looks like yoda
And a guy in the corner with questionable odour
There is always someone tapping their feet
Now here comes fatty with his huge broadsheet
There is always an old guy that should have retired
And a person who’s ticket has just expired
The guy with the braces, whose starting to snore
And the one with the glasses, the office bore
The hungover guy, collapsed in a heap
And five or six others are fast asleep
But always be careful and make sure you look
For the guy by the toilets, who’s writing a book

As They Slept – Part 4 half price and available to download for ONLY £0.99p 8am November 15th to 10am November 18th

http://www.amazon.co.uk/As-They-Slept-comical-commuter-ebook/dp/B00FRY2A3Y

As They Slept Astheyslept As They Slept – Part 2 As They Slept Part 2 (2)As They Slept – Part 3 As They Slept Part 3

Words cannot “Express”

Express

I’ve seen a rapid increase in the number of establishments using the word ‘Express’ in their business or product names recently. For the most part it makes perfect sense, and I can see exactly why the proprietors would want to convey the message of speed.

The word express conjures up images of people dashing around looking as if someone has pressed the fast-forward button. It conjures up images of people standing aside and waving you through, but unfortunately, thanks to fatherhood, it also conjures up images of my wife using an elaborate machine to extract milk from her breast.

‘Cafe Nero Express’ is a perfect example of where the word express works well. ‘Cafe Nero Express’ perfectly explains what you’re going to get as a paying customer. You’re going to get coffee and, so long as they have their business model right, you’re going to get it quickly. Pizza Express works much in the same way, and once again I wholeheartedly agree with their willingness to provide the ‘Express’ in their title and their service. As I see it, people need food and drink in order to survive, and whenever there’s a chance that someone might die, I think it’s reasonable to demand an express service.

There are a couple of examples, however, where the word express doesn’t exactly fit with the product or service. Take the Gatwick Express, for example. It’s a fantastic concept: a high-speed train service which will get you to Gatwick in a flash. Except the flash is usually followed by smoke and flames, all as a result of another signal-box failure.

All of this brings me to a company that was brought to my attention yesterday, as one of its branded vans sped around the City of London. The company?

Picture Frames Express!

I’ve nothing against Picture Frames Express, per se. I’m sure they offer an extremely good range of picture frames and are able to deliver them quickly, but who has ever thought to themselves “I need a picture frame, and I need it now”?

Surely a picture frame is a purchase only ever carried out while casually browsing? I can’t imagine someone ever running into a shop and demanding to know where the frames are. “They’re over there, sir, right by the door, next to the toilet paper and the morning-after pills!”

If you enjoyed my blog, you may enjoy the books I have written. As They Slept – Part 4 (The comical tales of a London commuter) is out on Friday 11th October 2013.

As They Slept – Part 4
ATS Part 4