I have one more week left before I head off back to the Somme, once a place of unparalled horror and human suffering, now a place of reflection, remembrance and renewal. How could such a place that looks so beautiful now, once resembled the surface on the moon? When I visited the Somme last year, it was on Summer Solstice day, and with the Advantages of having a 4×4 managed to visit some of the smaller cemeteries on the Somme, the picture on the top of the page was a cemetery that contained men who were killed in the final attacks of early November 1916, during the Battle of the Ancre, on the Slopes that the German Army spent 4 months defending. Looking at the topography of the ground, it is easy to see how the Ulstermen attacking the Schwaben Redoubt at Thiepval on July 1st were mown down by German machine guns on the Beaucourt ridge.
My weight has been a very serious issue, it is something that has had a negative effect on me throughout my life. I have to admit that I do have a problem and I do comfort eat, especially when I am in a bad place or when I felt miserable, it would be commonplace for me to go to the shops and buy big bags of chocolate, biscuits, sweets and crisps. After a heavy night binge drinking I would buy a Large Meat Feast Calzone with Chips covered in cheese and Garlic Mayonnaise. I would then sneak upstairs into my bedroom and wallow in my own self pity. Stuffing the wrappers, cardboard boxes and papers behind my bed so that my parents or sisters wouldnt catch on. 7 years ago after weighing 21 stones 9 pounds, i spent 9 months in the gym and ended up at a weight of 13 stone 6lb. But once again the inner demons set in and it slowly piled back on. I consider it the biggest problem that I have. At Christmas I weighed 20 stones 8lb, 2 months later I have decided to try and combat the problem and after 10 weeks I now weigh 18 stone 2lb, I have even downsized which is very rewarding. How have I done it? you might ask, quite simply I gave my self targets and tried to tackle the problem head on, also speaking out to family and friends.
Knowing that I was going on the Somme and knowing that I would be Walking a great deal, and not to embarrass myself in anyway. I have trained heavily and extremely hard, 4 times a week in the Gym since January 1st, I have set myself a target of a 5 stone loss before I head to Verdun in June. It has been extremely hard, it is really a hard struggle for me at times but im battling away and I have tried to find balance in myself at the same time. I think that having balance in all things is incredibly important, if you do not have balance in yourself you either swing one way or the other on the mental weighing scale. I’m slowly controlling what I am eating and im slowly reaping the rewards. It is my own internal Battle and I’m hoping to pull through.
I am so excited to be returning to a place that gives me inner peace and balance. Alongside my Friends Shaun, Sarah and Lucy I am looking forward to sharing my knowledge and to recieve theirs. You honestly cannot fully understand the Somme until you are there in the area. The Somme is one of the defining battles that our Nation has ever been involved in. Arguably our most defining Battle alongside Waterloo, Blenheim, Salamanca, Passchendaele and El Alamein in October 1942. The Somme has a undeniable power, it draws you, it embraces you, even when you leave the Cemeteries, the Memorials, the very soil stays with you because you have made the Pilgrimage to Them. You have honoured their memory and you have continued to defend their incredible and honourable legacy. I hope when I come home I come back with the same desire to return again, hopefully a bit more lighter too.
And the Earth Abideth Forever