What “The Feeling of Success” has taught me, highs & lows

April 6th, 2014 by

The Feeling of Success

Weight loss transformation after 280 days: For my weekly progress photos, visit:

Weight loss transformation after 280 days: For my weekly progress photos, visit:

I have just over a week now until I set foot on the starting line of the London Marathon. Over the past 9 months I have changed my lifestyle and myself from morbid obesity to a healthy, strong person that is on the verge of accomplishing something amazing. So what have I learned since I started my journey and what have been my highs and lows???

50 Things I’ve Learned On My Journey (One Long List!!!)

  1. You have to want the change.
  2. The only person that can prevent your success is you. Do it for you – be the person you want to be.
  3. Make the big step to success, you won’t regret it.
  4. Identify a dream you want, set it as a goal, work out how to get it then go get it.
  5. Being happy and healthy is not a part-time job with a defined end date, it is a full time job for the rest of your life.
  6. Nothing worth doing is ever going to be easy!
  7. Surround yourself with people who you want to be like.
  8. If you are not 100% motivated and determined to succeed then you won’t.
  9. If you want to maximize the value of your life then you have to work extremely hard at it.
  10. You make your own luck through hard work, dedication and sustained effort.
  11. Do not justify your own behavior based on others.
  12. The change you want is not going to happen overnight, be patient.
  13. Educate yourself – always look at ways to improve – learn from other people’s advice, experience and mistakes.
  14. Be open and honest, accept that you have problems and that you are addressing them for the positive – don’t be ashamed.
  15. Concentrate on how you look and feel – don’t worry about the numbers on the scales.
  16. If you don’t feel confident act it.
  17. Focus on the things that you will be able to do again e.g. play your favorite sport.
  18. You need to have a structured plan and framework in place.
  19. Persevere, persevere, persevere!
  20. Make sure you always have the food you need – preparation is key.
  21. Being competitive with yourself is great because you win every time…
  22. Think big! Think huge!
  23. Get yourself into the auto pilot zone – make your new lifestyle your routine.
  24. Attaining the right work life balance is so important.
  25. Prioritize what it is that is most important to you .
  26. Identify your key strengths and weaknesses – work on them both..
  27. Rest, relax and manage your stress levels.
  28. Stop procrastinating – focus on success.
  29. If you keep focused and stay positive whatever you want is achievable.
  30. It is a great feeling to look back at what you have achieved but don’t rest on your laurels.
  31. Effective time management is really important; learn how to manage your time.
  32. Keep yourself motivated – define your motivation.
  33. Make sure you get enough sleep.
  34. Remain strong – don’t give in to peer pressure.
  35. Be in control of yourself.
  36. Eliminate your emotions as best you can, keep your eyes on the prize.
  37. Resist temptation, accept that you will be able to indulge in moderation in the future, work hard now and enjoy the rewards later – delayed gratification.
  38. Make a positive escape route from the pressures of life and work.
  39. See your doctor as a friend and not the enemy, work with them to improve yourself.
  40. Sit down negative people and tell them what you are doing and why you need their support.
  41. Understand that being different is good.
  42. Every day down is another day closer to success.
  43. Understand that everyone is going through their own battle.
  44. You can have anything you want in life as long as you work hard and make sacrifices.
  45. It is all about little changes that ultimately build up to make big changes.
  46. Make the right decisions and make them become a habit.
  47. Every success story started with an action. Be that action, without that action you will never succeed, don’t be afraid and manage your fears.
  48. If you have a moment of weakness, before you act question the decision, don’t make it instantly, take your time and analyze it.
  49. Build a support structure.
  50. An essential part in ensuring success is going to be the ability to execute.

Highs & Lows


  • Completing Phase 1 (Juicing) of my diet was a real struggle towards the end and I was really looking forward to eating solid food again. The juice diet was great as it detoxed all the years of abuse I had inflicted on my body but it was hard work, not only in the preparation but also execution. So it was a real high to move on to Phase 2.
  • 162-164 2Shopping for a new wardrobe in America was fantastic, I purchased clothes for the present and future, and it was a great feeling to walk into a shop and buy clothes off the shelf instead of having to get them made for me or go to a big man’s shop.
  • I have some really nice suits and clothes that I wanted to keep but they were getting ridiculously big for me so I had to go to the tailors to get them reduced. Each time I went in to see the tailors I noticed the progress and when the tailored clothes started to get ridiculously big on me again I knew I was winning.
  • Over the last 2 years I have been working full time and studying for an MBA, when I achieved that on top of dieting and training for a marathon I knew I was unbreakable! I also sat exams and became a certified Auditor of Quality Management Systems which was another fantastic achievement.
  • When I completed my first sub 15 minute mile and then after 150 days my first sub 12 minute mile, I knew the marathon was on. It gave me a massive boost and pushed me to achieve distances I never knew were possible.
  • I woke up one morning and began to get ready for a big presentation, I tried on all 5 suits in my wardrobe and not one of them fit me, they all looked as though I was wearing my dad’s suit when I was a child! I had to improvise and wear trousers with a shirt and tie.
  • I visited London for Christmas with Raushana and introduced her to my family. This was a big step in the relationship and made me feel very proud of how far I had come and how lucky I was to have someone special in my life.
  • I gave my first motivational lecture at a leadership group for students and young professionals. It was a great feeling talking about my journey and inspiring others to chase their dreams.
  • After 2 weeks out of training I pushed myself to a 16 mile run, that day showed me I had the mental strength to achieve what I set out.
  • When I visited the doctor about 7 months into my lifestyle change the receptionist did not recognize me when I walked in. He later came to me in the waiting room and apologized for ignoring me, I knew then that the change in myself was drastic.


  • The running/ support/ recovery equipment did give me a boost!

    The running/ support/ recovery equipment did give me a boost!

    On one occasion when the compartment syndrome in my left shin and iliopsoas bursitis in my right hip became so bad that I couldn’t train, I became very despondent and genuinely worried that I may have bitten off more than I could chew with training for a marathon in such a short period of time. I was never going to quit but I did question my sanity! As my brother once said to me “David, people die doing this s**t!”

  • The cost of a new wardrobe and having my clothes tailored was significantly more than what I thought it would. Add on top all my supplements and training gear it has been a very expensive process!
  • The Kazakh winter was really tough, the temperature was minus 20 degrees and there was snow and ice on every pavement making it impossible to run outside. I was fearful that one bad slip and fall could ruin my marathon attempt, this was a real big worry.
  • On my 17 mile training run I hit the wall about 15 miles in and it was brutal and something that I don’t want to go through again in a hurry. On the positive side I know that it is not going to prevent me from finishing the marathon and that I can push on through it.
  • I was due to cover 20 miles on my last long run, however I was struggling with a cold and I failed big time. I pushed on to 12 miles but it took a long time and lots of breaks in between. I was so pumped for this run despite my cold and was devastated when I failed miserably. I was gutted and really questioned whether the marathon was feasible.

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