Category Archives: Happy New Year

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 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)