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From Fat to Lean and In Between

This blog is a 3 part series of blogs. This is part 1.

My name is Davie McConnachie and I have an addictive personality type. I rip the arse out of just about everything I do. I have always been indulgent; I never just take things and do them a little. None more so than with food.

My relationship with food is like a roller coaster.  It is either on the road to being great or it sucks and the smallest of things can set me off and lead towards a chubby fatter midriff or as Pablo puts it when he is trying to make me feel better “a higher level of body fat than I would like to have”.

For those of you who know my story, know that from 2000 – 2003 I went from being lean (32-inch waist lean) to chubby to overweight and then to being very overweight/obese.  All this while serving as a front-line infantry soldier in the 1st Battalion Scots Guards.

sierra leonne

(That me bottom left in Sierra Leonne.  If you have seen the film Blood Diamond with Leonardo DiCaprio then you can imagine what went on).

Three and a half years into my service (all previous years passing all fitness tests and being averagely fit for a soldier) I chipped bones in my right foot and due to them re-occurring over an 18 month period and due to excess alcohol consumption (have you ever watched squaddies drinking) and bad food choices my weight and body fat ballooned completely out of control.

bearskin and tunic

(I’m in the rear rank second from the left in this one)

When you are fat in the Army they don’t take you away, sit you down, try and find out the causes of the problems, then prescribe you the correct course of action to fix those problems.

They heard all the fatties together on remedial PT (you get put on this when you fail to pass the 6 monthly required fitness test) and along comes a Physical Training Instructor to thrash the life out of you for the next hour.

A completely degrading and humiliating experience where you are tortured for an hour every day for being a big chubster………. This would happen at the end of a long day. In the beginning, you would still have to be dragged along a daily platoon run for 5-10 miles around the local area.

So here began my hatred with exercise. I used to come up with some of the most elaborate schemes to get out of my daily torture sessions while still sinking as many pints as possible with the boys at night and rotating myself through all the junk food places around the camp we were living in.

ronald mcdonald

I went around this circle for nearly four years until I plucked up the courage to come back to Civvy Street and try to integrate myself back into normal society.

On the day I left I was told that I was a fat so and so (I am being nice here) and that I would be begging them to get back in within three months.

Reading the Evening Times one day back in Glasgow I noticed an advert for a martial arts academy. I could never play football, was never the fastest runner, or the strongest guy. I was always one of the last picked for anything sporty.

The only thing I was always good at was fighting. As a child I hardly ever lost when I fought and when my mates were playing 2 aside cuppies I was in the bushes kidding on I was a Ninja and looking for my very own Mr Miagi.

Mr Miagi

So I booked in for a free trial, went along, and then it all began.

I fell in love with training it was the highlight of my day. I started to go twice a week, then three nights, and before I knew it I was training three hours a night five nights a week, plus my daily practice time so about fifteen hours in total just about every week.

When you come out of the Army has been a front-line infantry soldier the skills you have are not that transferable into law-abiding society.  So after many job interviews and knock backs, I took a position as a security guard and I worked in Watt Brothers.

My line manager was a woman named Amanda (she had a very hairy upper lip and it took all my concentration not to stare at it when she was talking to me). I worked there for a year alongside another guy who had the worst body odor I have ever experienced which was a daily challenge.

So my working day was not the best and I engrossed myself 100% into training.  I made the decision that I would give up alcohol and only eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. No food would be consumed after 6 pm and I would do my best to stay away from anything junky.

This worked and over an eight-month period I shed a total of 77lbs (5.5 stones) I then took it further and signed up to run the Great Scottish Run Glasgow Half Marathon in September of 2003.

I rose along with others over £1000 for Yorkhill Hospital and shed even more weight taking me down to a very lean 13st 7 lbs the day before the race. The last time I had been that weight was a decade before.  I completed the race in 1 hour 57 mins and had my mum strategically placed around the route with bananas for me.

The look of pride on my dad’s face when I was having my photos taken wearing my medal was one of the first times I have ever seen him that way.

So in a very short period of time, I managed to reverse the physical effect all the bad eating and excess alcohol had on me. I did this with sheer determination.

great scottish run

I had no guide or coach just me and my desire to change.

I didn’t realise then that the physiological effect it had on me would last for years ahead and that I would rebound (never as bad as before ) with my weight yo yo’ing depending on where I was and the situations I found myself in.

In part 2 I will talk about my time fighting as a semi-professional Mixed Martial Artists (or cage fighter as it is also known) my weight cuts and rebounds, what I learned about myself during that time in my life, and how it all changed again when DMC Fighting Fit Training Systems was born.

Thanks for reading


“Strength for Life”