This week I conclude my blog on Southampton FC’s Saints Foundation Saints Fans In Training (SFIT) Course.
Back in Week 1 I introduced you to the SFIT course. It originated from the Scottish Premier League and Scottish National Health Service working together to target males older than 35 who had expanding waist sizes. Here it was called the Football Fans in Training (FFIT). The idea being that if they could reset the eating and exercise habits of high risk individuals then prevention would be better than cure. One obvious benefit is that these individuals would be a less of a strain on the health service.
Over the next 12 weeks we had sessions around the perfect plate and what that should look like, we identified the reasons we ate or drunk to excess and how to exercise.
It was fantastic. I enjoyed every single session. Paul Hedges and Marion Gealer from the Saints Foundation run an excellent course. You already know why you’re overweight and about 80% of the course content shouldn’t be a surprise but Paul and Marion facilitate from you why from your own experience so you can see the context. The 20 % I didn’t know really helped me focus on my food intake or change how I exercised.
The reason I hijacked my information security blog was to publicly state where I was with regards my fitness and health at the start of the course. It was in black and white and, as that, a public statement I could be held to account. I didn’t want to go back.
|Pre-SFIT||Week 1||Final Week|
|Weight||107 Kgs\16 Stone 12.5 Lbs||98 Kgs\15 Stone 4.5 lbs||88.7 Kgs\13 Stone 12 lbs|
|Waist||113.5 cm||88.5 cm|
The stats speak for themselves. My weight has dropped dramatically, my fat has reduced massively and my fitness and well being has increased substantially. The benefits of the weight loss and increased fitness levels are:
- lower blood pressure
- reduced risk of heart diesease
- reduced risk of diabetes
- reduced risk of cancer
- reduced joint pain
- improved mobility
- higher alertness and energy levels
- increased self esteem
There were varying levels of fitness when we started the course and there were varying levels of fitness amongst the participants when we completed the course but I never saw anyone give less than 100% in the fitness sessions. What is clear is that everyone ended the course much improved than when they started.
Paul highlighted all through the course that if you could gain the benefits shown above through a pill you’d jump at the chance to swallow it. SFIT isn’t the pill or the motivation to improve yourself as that truly comes from within however they do know how to build on your motivation and willingness to change. They may not be the pill but they point you to the chemist.
The SFIT (or FFIT course for other Premier League clubs) is worth it if you do get the chance to attend. It does what it says on the tin.
I will create a link in the menu above so that future SFIT or FFIT participants can read up about the course.
I’d like to thank Paul, Marion and everyone at the Saints Foundation. It’s clear from everyone that I’ve met at the Foundation that they love their jobs and they believe in changing peoples lives. They fulfil potential.
One issue for me is that whilst they benefit being associated with the Southampton FC badge, when things are going bad for the team and they’ve just lost the 3rd game in a row after being 1-0 down, the people at the Foundation still continue their work. Most fans probably don’t see past the badge or results however as a Saints fan you’ve got a great bunch of people really doing their best to change the lives of your nan or grandad through the Generations Gains, your disabled brother or sister through the Saints4All projects or your long lost friend who’s fallen on hard times living on the streets by helping them through an employability program.
It’s because of this I’m repaying the Saints Foundation for my SFIT course, which as well as 12 sessions, including Saints training kit, by cycling on the Big Bike Challenge and raising money through sponsorship. If you haven’t already sponsored me then please do consider it or perhaps sponsor someone else raising money for the Foundation.
Lastly, I’d like to thank the awesome bunch of lads I met on the course. So thanks to Chris, Matt, Simon, Ash, Vijay, Andy, Ian, Tim, Mick, John, and Shaun. You’ve been ace and really made the course for me. We’ll meet up again soon either to do Snowdon or an Itchen Bridge run!
This blog is dedicated to Pauline, my wonderful mother-in-law, who passed away on the last day of the SFIT course. A terrific woman who encouraged me both to do the SFIT course and the Big Bike Challenge.
I’m sorry you’re gone but believe me, you’ll be in my mind on every mile of that ride. Sleep tight x