No Bridge to Far

Hi this is one lady’s story and remarkable journey….

Donna Louise Armstrong was a different person 5 years ago, anxiety and depression clamped on like a crocodile taking it’s prey on a death roll.

I struggled to walk more than a mile, I never went out as I had no self -confidence and started to develop health problems. At 41 I felt my life was over, border line diabetes, high blood pressure, thrombophlebitis and a heart murmur. I am 4ft 10 weighing in at 15 1/2 stone and a size 24.

I went to see my GP after far too frequent episodes of sitting at the loch in the small hours of the morning and wondering if it would be cold and painful, I luckily managed to pull myself back at the last minute every time but it was happening more and more often.

I told the GP that the only thing that I felt was of value in my life was my charity work, he told me that if I didn’t start looking after myself my family and my charity work would lose me. He put me on antidepressant medication and told me to try to focus on my charity work but also to make some time for me.

A friend took me along to Slimming World that night, I tried to turn tail and run once I arrived as I was filled with dread and anxiety about all the people who surrounded me. My daughter spotted my escape attempt and I was made to stay. I never looked back.

I lost a steady  2 pounds a week and soon felt the confidence to start contributing in group discussions. After the 1st  3 stone I took a massive step and signed up for the 26 Mile Kiltwalk. Bearing in mind I had never exercised in my life, this was a huge deal for me, but it was for Yorkhill Children’s Hospital and I was determined to complete the hardest physical challenge of my life for them!

Donna completed her Kilt-walk, achieving what she once thought was impossible. Her remarkable strength of mind saw Donna lose 7 1/2 stone in weight in one year, that’s a truly remarkable transformation.

We had lost a family member in Afghanistan in 2009 and started fundraising for The Parachute Regiment’s Afghanistan Trust in his honour. I also became Area Co-ordinator for Poppy Scotland as well as doing events for Blesma, Forces Support Charity and Erskine Hospital.

What started out as a tribute to my nephew became a huge part of my life, as the Para Reg lads appreciated all the hard work and became brothers to me. Every time I saw them mourning the passing of one of their brave comrades I became more and more determined to do everything I could for them.

They encouraged me, supported me, showed appreciation and were fiercely loyal and protective. I soon reached a point where everything I did, I did for them, my brothers.

I did the Kiltwalk the following year too, dressed as a Giant Poppy, for Poppy Scotland and became involved with a great charity called Soldiers of the Street Scotland, under the mentorship of ex Paratroooper Walter “Hammy” Hamilton. Hammy was a fitness enthusiast and encouraged me to keep up some form of exercise to build my confidence and self

 I had put back on 3 and a half stone of the 7 and a half stone I had lost and started to feel my health decline again. I met Troy Conner in August, a Parachute Regiment Veteran who was seriously wounded in Afghanistan, despite his massive head injuries and physical challenges, Troy used fitness to sustain his mental health and to find a way through the extremely difficult rehabilitation process.

Troy suggested that I do the Paras 10 Event this year, in honour of my nephew’s 10th anniversary and donate to Support our Paras and The Pegasus Appreciation Group, an organisation that have inspired me hugely over the past couple of years with their work in the direct support of veterans in need.

I signed up and immediately had the support of Rich Greaselyfrom The Pegasus Appreciation Group and other Para Reg Veterans who pledged to do it with me. Then I was challenged by another former Para to do the double- Colchester in May and Catterick in September and he would double my sponsorship. Never one to back down from a challenge I agreed.

I had never run in my life, in fact, I despised running but with help and advice from some of my Para Reg brothers, I started training in December last year. It has been gruelling. I have always had a very focused attitude with regards to mental challenges- the sponsored Firewalk and Skydive I did were easy, all I had to do was tell myself I could do it.

This was different. I was overweight and extremely unfit, it wasn’t just a matter of mental attitude, I needed to physically adapt to the challenge. I soon began to realise that this would take a lot of hard work and that I could gradually achieve this through mental attitude.

Getting up at 4.30 am to jog on the snowy cycle track, making myself go out every single day despite the weather or struggling to get my pace or breathing right- this was the challenge, not the actual event.

With time closing in on me I started to panic a little that I wouldn’t be ready in time. I couldn’t let my brothers down. Failure was not an option.

I organised myself some sessions with Personal Trainer Mark Butler and a few weeks ago entered a gym for the first time in my life. I’m absolutely hooked and feel a massive improvement in my strength, stamina and self confidence. Today I did the longest TAB so far, 9 miles with 20lbs in my Bergen, it took me 2 hours.

It was gruelling however I found my stamina had improved massively. I went a little further and a little further bridge by bridge, thinking of those brave Paratroopers at Pegasus Bridge in Arnhem 75 years ago and their courage, stamina and superhuman efforts.

I am hoping to do the full 10 mile event with 35lbs in just over 2 hours on 20 May – I still have a way to go but I’m getting there, bridge by bridge because if its for my Para Reg Brothers, there’s NO BRIDGE TOO FAR.

Footnote:

Donna’s journey with weight loss and now fitness, is paying off remarkably as Donna is now medication free and proud of it too..

Donna’s courage and determination to overcome so many obstacles is a testament to her strength of mind, furthermore her selfless charity work is very humbling…

The Team of hero’s for both Paras10 as follows below :

Donna Louise Armstrong, Anthony Stephen Malone, Vincent Maxwell, Christopher Ford, Terry Marler Gage, Stu Pearson, William Monaghan, Richard Salmon, Rich Greasely..

Troy Conner will be doing Catterick too I have now just been told.

Personally for me it will be privilege and honour to meet our Country’s hero’s, let alone do the hard yards on the same ground…

#fitnessmomentum45 #fitnesshacking

Keto Diet and Keto Performance…

Hi,

My journey so far with my Keto Diet, Keto Performance and Keto Creatine. I first heard of Keto Supplements through a Keto Sponsored athlete I know, and a man I personally respect! I have saw some of the achievements he has done the past two years in events. So he knows his onions.

I asked his opinion on what I should do next, as I looked to go back to training and events after a lengthy time off?! He suggested I start the Keto Diet to get my body used to having less carbs, before I even contemplated using any Supplements. So armed with this new knowledge I started my Keto Diet before any training started.

Happy to say I lost a stone in weight within a month just going by the diet. I may add it was easier than I thought to stick to it, I only needed a little will power! So after a month of being on the diet I ordered my Keto Performance, Keto Creatine and Fatt Bar ( snack bar ).

Now I have only done BSX Hellfire as a supplement about 5yrs ago, so wasn’t sure what to expect in truth. I thought Hellfire was good to be honest, though it was hefty with the price compared to others on the market. So I was interested to know how Keto would hold up against it. Now I have done some research of my own into Keto the pros & cons, I would be naive if I didn’t. Keto are at the high end of the Supplements product market…

After reading reviews stating this this and this about what it does and doesn’t do for you. I admit I was a little optimistic if truth be told, but putting that aside I always believe in you get what you pay for. As my dear old mum used to say – son you pay peanuts you get monkeys! Now that saying is one I often refer to when purchasing some products! Like my butcher meat I won’t go to a lesser butcher to save a few quid, I’m not rich far from it but I do believe in quality!

So does it work? I’m into my 3rd of week of using Keto Performance and Keto Creatinine Monohydrate, while sticking to the Keto Diet basics. Doing endurance training ( Tabbing ) running with weight, endurance strength training, and specific weight training designed by the PT at FitnessMomentum45 – Venessa Moffat ( Ness ).

Yes it works as I have improved on all fronts! My gym sessions never used to be anywhere near that amount of reps or weight period. My last Tab time was of the same distance and time as that of my first Tab time using the Keto Performance. So how does that work you say? Easy I was a full 9.072 kg heavier in my Day-sack, yet I could’ve continued for longer too! That was a week after a recurring back injury also.

As having done endurance events from running marathons, tabbing marathons, ultra marathons I never would’ve thought it possible! I had always loaded up with carbs for most endurance events, so I am surprised at how well the Keto Diet & Keto Performance work together as one. The big test will be my first event of the year in May at the Paras10 in Colchester. If I get under the 1:50:00 pass time on a Keto Diet and Keto Performance then that’s the final proof I need…

I have also contacted Ness just to reaffirm my findings! Ness gets all my times weights and rep records after every session. Ness has confirmed I am getting fitter also during the 3 wks of training, so it confirms my findings too.

#fitnessmomentum45 #fitnesshacking #endurance #strength #ketodiet #ketoperformance #ketocreatine

Diabetes Type 2. A battle fought and won…

Morning all from FM45.

Diabetes 2 is on the rise not just in the UK but most Westernised Countries. So what can we do about it?

I have family members who both control it with their diet and medication. My old man pretty much had a shortened life span, because of Diabetes Type 1. He lived the old way a heavy drinker & smoker!

In this day & age we are more informed with the World Wide Web at our fingertips, information and help at our disposal. Why not use it? Why do we continue to stick to the old ways of living?

Too much junk food McDonalds, Burger King to name the obvious. Takeaway Apps now in the good name of fuck!! They are making hundreds of millions of those with addictive personalities. Sorry going of course a little here but Diabetes Type 2 is an epidemic now, yep it’s caused by obesity!

Can Diabetes Type 1 be reversed – No.

Can Diabetes Type 2 be reversed – Yes!

In life there are so many battles, some we win some we lose, some battles are impossible to win sadly for many! Yet if we arm ourselves correctly we stand a better chance of ” winning “.

Link: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/dec/05/radical-diet-can-reverse-type-2-diabetes-new-study-shows

Now here’s an extract of a personal message from a good man, and brother I’m lucky to know Raymond Timmons of Perth, Western Australia. An auld 15th Regiment Para, I got to know Ray through his nephew who I’m also lucky to call a bro..

Ray pictured above at his heaviest 16st 11lbs ( remember this picture age 69 )

I’ve had Black Dog depression my self not a nice place to be Bro, plus I was a way over weight and drinking a bottle of vodka a day, then ended up with Diabetes 2 was on medication for it. I had read that you can beat Diabetes 2, so I had a chat with my doctor about beating Diabetes 2. He told me because of my age I was 69 and drinking he did not think I would beat it. So like an old Para I stoped smoking and gave up the vodka, changed my eating habits went on long walks, then joined the local community centre training group. So now I do circuit training 3 days a week plus lost over 20 kilo and have beat Diabetes 2 not on medication now, and now 70 years old. I have joined the Airborne Forces Association of Perth Western Australia, and I carry the Airborne flag when we march in the Remberence Day Service in Perth City. While at the Airborne Forces Day March, I still have a few glasses of white wine and a few beers with my old Airborne warrior Brothers.

Ray after his lifestyle change cutting in at 12 stone ( unrecognisable at the age of 70 ).

Ray put this on my Facebook wall last night at 11:25 pm on the 6th February 19, as you can see looking ” lean and mean ” he’s a gentleman though. The big man messaged me first thing to say he’d emailed me the pictures I required. Shamelessly I have to say I liberated this one of his Facebook Page!

Why?

I will tell you why Rays bucket list wish is to do one last jump ( Para thing ).

So so proud of this Scotsman, and his sheer determination to put his shit right. Not only for himself, but for his family and friends who he loves so dearly. You don’t have to be ex Military to stand up and fight, all you need is focus a ” reason ” worth fighting for. Ohh and access to the World Wide Web….

A quote from one of all time favourite films, and the greatest man never to have lived – Rocky Balboa

” If I can change, then you can change, then everyone can change “


The will to fight has to start from somewhere though.

If you yourself have Diabetes Type 2, or know of someone you love with Diabetes Type 2 and you’re reading this, then please share it with them. To help light that ember that lies within their soul…

We all have it within us to change….

Footnote:

If you’ve been inspired by Ray’s determination and strength to change, then please could you help share this Blog. It would help on three fronts:

1 – Diabetes Type 2 reversal is more than achievable.

2 – Never to late to change your lifestyle for the better ( Ray is proof of that ).

3 – Help me make Ray’s bucket list wish come true! So that someone can help make this auld amazing Para have one last ” jump “

AC/DC: Thunder Thunder Thunder

#FitnessMomentum45 #FM45 #fitnessmomentum45 #fitnesshacking #Battle #DiabetesType2 #KickingItsArse #ParaStyle 👊🏼

Inspiration all around… Diabetes Type 2 beat and 5 stone lost…

Hi.

It’s Tuesday at 21:20 in the McKie den, yep I tend to do my Blogs when everyone is bedded ( the house is still ). I can focus on what I’m going to put down, sometimes when trying to work, be a dad and husband I can rush them a “tadge”.

I don’t want to rush this one as it’s very close to home, I’m currently doing a Blog on an amazing man, who has lost shed loads of weight, changed his eating habits and exercised to defeat Diabetes Type 2. Not a big thing to some people yeh in the scheme of thing’s, well it was ” fucking ” massive to him. Not just him but his ” family ” and friends also, I suppose that’s why he was determined to win this battle. All the more inspiring is when you find out his age, all to be revealed soon enough….

Remember little victories win Wars after all…..

So while doing this I was talking to my long suffering wife Wendy, about the Blog I was doing and reversing Diabetes Type 2. She went oh brilliant well done, it’s a good subject to cover with it being at such an epidemic now. Especially in younger people now, bad diets ( junk food ) and lack of exercise!

I genuinely felt embarrassed, as I had forgotten my remarkable wife’s journey too. You see before Wendy & me got wed she also had Diabetes Type 2, as it was being controlled by medication. Wendy was bigger before I first clapped eyes on her in a Pub in Sunderland, many many moons ago….

As our relationship got stronger so did Wendy, all in all this amazing woman lost 5 1/2 stone in weight with Weight Watchers. In the process of well and truly kicking the shite out of Diabetes Type 2. Reversed it before our Wedding in 2006….

Picture above with one of her best friends Rachel on holiday ( Wendy on the right ). This wasn’t Wendy at her biggest it was about 5 years before we even met. The picture of Wendy at her largest is somewhere between the loft & storage it’s not on digital format ( Social Media didn’t exist then ).

Wendy is now a mum to our soon to be 10yr old son wee Jake, running a successful 40yr old family business almost single handedly at times! Tomorrow I will ask her if the discipline and commitment to lose so much weight has paid off? Would her dreams of being married and a family come true, if she hadn’t I wonder!

You see ladies & gentlemen Supermen or Superwomen aren’t found in glossy magazines covers. They’re often around us daily and we forget to see it….

This picture was our Wedding Day obviously 🙄, two years on almost from when we first met. Now you can see the ” transformation ” from before, that’s what can happen when a woman puts her mind to a task at hand…

Almost 13 years coming up to our Anniversary, two arthritic knees the age of a 67 year old ( Wendy is 43 ). That was about 4 years back ( quality of life doesn’t come into it ) regardless of this, she walks the best she can. Since having her knee problems, Wendy found out it hard to maintain her weight as before.

Only recently Wendy lost 2 stone in weight by sheer hard will, and sticking to her diet coupled with some Static Bike exercises. Even tonight as I’ve edited the Blog for the last time, Wendy was exercising on her static bike. You know what she is still Diabetes Type 2 free….

Do I believe in Superheroes? Yes I married one….

#FitnessMomentum45 #FM45 #fitnessmomentum45 #fitnesshacking #diabetestype2 #weightloss #winning #thisgirlcan #proudhusband

John Hunter – Hell Week

Hi,

Welcome to FitnessMomentum45 at 22:19 on a Friday night, I’m tired after a rather exhausting day but one I have relished too. You see I got to interview one of my own personal inspirations today. Mr John Hunter aka the ” Machine ” or I my own favourite Optimus Prime.

Roseberry Topping ( a little adventure)

I first heard of John after completing my first ever Event – Paras10 at Catterick in 2013. I was interested in doing the Tab the following year, so I asked who had the best time for it on their Facebook Page?! The reply I got back was John Hunter ( The Machine ) course record holder too.

When they told me the time I sprayed my coffee over the keyboard, honestly I thought that’s impossible to do that. I wasn’t unfit by any stretch but this was a scary level of fitness. So someone sent me a link to a newspaper to have a look at it. Sure enough I was right insanely fit another level.

John you see once held the Guinness Books World Record, for running a loaded full Marathon in the quickest time in 1991. Yep loaded 45lbs in a Patrol Pack completing it in 4:07:00. I was stunned at this I couldn’t get my head round it, I mean it’s an achievement to run a Marathon sub4. To be only 10mins over with 45lbs ( just under 3 stone ). So a 3 times World Record holder in all.

John was also the World Coal Carrying Champion at the age of 49. Running uphill at a distance of a 1000 metres – with an 8 stone bag of coal on his shoulders. It was doing the Coal Carrying Event in his early 20’s, that John knew he had a gift for it. Hence why he’s won multiple Endurance Events during his time! Beating guys half his age too most of the time. Link below: https://www.thescarboroughnews.co.uk/news/coal-hump-star-john-is-on-top-of-the-world-1-5553723

If you’re into running or anything fitness wise you can’t help but be inspired by this. So I upped my training for the next years Tab ( Military term for covering ground at speed in their full kit – ready for operations ). I knew that I’d never reach his course record, but it gave me the belief I’d beat the cut off time of under 1:50:00.

Luckily I met John 2yrs later at the Winter Fan Dance, Back to Back Event run by AEE – Avalanche Endurance Events. It’s at Pen Y Fan in Wales and the notorious training ground for the SAS. Yep another Tabbing Event but it’s unforgiving on the weak willed. John flew past me on the Roman Road on the return. Finished 3rd that year I think for his Category. John is also a 7 times winner of the Fan Dance Race too.

I had a great laugh and chat after with John and one other Rob Paine, Rob winning it that year I think if memory serves me correctly. Never a dull moment in the company of those two – two great friends both of them. Once that horn goes they’re fierce competitors don’t be fooled in that.

I asked John while on our way up to the Trig Point at Roseberry Topping, what’s your secret to success at Events? His reply was a simple I train 6 days a wk, unless on holiday abroad with his wife! Still goes out training on holiday too just not as much. In his fine Scarborough tone he goes Billy if you want it bad, you have to put the hours in period.

So here is a man who’s been in the Building game most his days, it’s a hard living and very unforgiving too. He runs his own business doing building work, yet trains 6 days a week. He’s out of the house for 5:00 am each morning with his trusty kettlebells, doing a 1000 metres farmers walk and doing 30 press ups every second lamppost. That’s naughty!! John hardly ever drinks either a cheeky Sambuca or Port.

” it’s not the beauty of the building you should look at, it’s the construction of the foundation that will stand the test of time “

I asked John do you think you’ve got the recognition you deserve, for what you’ve achieved over the years, his simple reply was yes ( I disagree though ). Hell Week the hit SAS selection test programme shown in 2016. John was selected for it as his Load Carrying and Tabbing wins said it all.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have Tabbed Kielder Marathon & Fort William Marathon with John ( all his fault too ). Hand on heart the two hardest things I’ve ever done Event wise! Yet the most rewarding as we share a unique bond, John goes not many people can do what we’ve done. To earn his respect and have his friendship means the world to me.

At Kielder Marathon 2016: 25yrs anniversary from when he entered the GWBOR, I was his PA that day ( private joke ).

Footnote:

We discussed Footballers today at the end of our 7 mile Tab. I told John straight I love watching my football, but I said how can an ordinary person relate with a modern footballer? An average one is easy on 40 grand a wk, yet they aren’t inspiring as athletes! They’ve the best of nutrition the best physios and support teams, yet some will bitch & moan about doing training ( not all granted ). An average footballer will run 5 miles per game 6 tops.

Here’s these guys and women I know, who do these Endurance Events all over the UK. Who train 5-6 times a wk for the love it not for the fame or glory either. I find it sad that most ordinary people will never even have heard of them.

One can only be inspired and motivated by these athletes like Jasmine Paris a Vet from Edinburgh, who destroyed the course record for the Spine Ultra just recently by 12hrs or so…

#FitnessMomentum45 #FM45 #fitnessmomentum45 #fitnesshacking #inspiration #motavation #lifestyle #firststep

FitnessMomentum45

Hi everybody a quick introduction into what’s going down at FM45 ( not a Radio Station ).

Who is FitnessMomentum45?

In a nutshell it’s myself Billy McKie & Venessa Moffat.

What’s it about?

It’s about getting people to change their lifestyle, and take up fitness, and eating healthier. As the age old saying goes a Healthy Body, creates a Healthy Mind, this is not a fable it’s true.

Over a series of Blogs I will be interviewing athletes I know, from doing Events over the years. Very humble people, who work hard and look after their Families, their own Businesses and so on. They train like Professionals, in their pursuit to be better versions of themselves.

These athletes don’t get the credit and support they deserve, as they’re not mainstream athletes. Yet they inspire & motivate others around them. We’re simply being a voice for them, not just athletes though.

I will be interviewing Personal Trainers, who’re athletes themselves too. Event Companies & Gyms also. You will also find Training Tip Videos – Links to Personnel Trainers – Gyms – Events – Diets – Supplements – Sports Apparel – Competitions.

Who are we both?

I’m 45yrs of age Scottish, and live near Durham NE England. I’ve completed numerous endurance events, over a 3yr period. Luckily meeting a lot of the people, who’ve inspired myself & others during that time. I’m currently recovering from a Groin Hernia Op at present.

After my recovery period is up Venessa Moffat Personnel Trainer, and owner of Agile Momentum. Will be giving me a routine to regain full fitness, also pushing me to my limits after that. I’ve signed up for Paras10 Colchester & Catterick this year to start link : https://paras10.com/

Venessa Moffat has also completed numerous endurance events, ‘Tri Athlons’ & Ultra Marathons. There will be a more in-depth interview with Venessa, to follow in good time. Talking about her own personal goals, her love for fitness and so on.

The reaction from everyone I’ve asked to help create this, has been nothing short if staggering & humbling.

My first interview will be with a man or machine, as he’s fondly known. Mr John Hunter ( Hell Week ). The fame has never gone to his head once 😂😂

Before Kielder Marathon 2016 Tabbing with 40 & 45lbs respectively. Also one other present on this day with 50lbs – he’s not in the picture because he’s a Ghost ( private joke ).

I never started Fitness until I was 30 years of age – overweight – heavy smoker – heavy drinker – mental health issues. The first step isn’t as hard as you think, your mind tells your body not the other way about. Two Marathons in 7 days Loch Ness & Kielder Marathon 2015, both Sub 4 are proof of that.

Thank you for the support everyone, let’s enjoy this new journey together 🏃🏻‍♂️🏃🏻‍♀️🎒💪🏼👊🏼🏋🏻‍♀️🚴🏼‍♀️🏊🏼‍♀️ #fitnessmomentum45 #fm45 #firststep #fitnesshacking

Please follow on Facebook and Instagram at FitnessMomentum45.

Thank you for your time x