The Fat Person’s Realistic Guide to Exercise


Reading this right now tells me that you want to make a change in your life, you want to lose weight, get fit & healthy and feel great about yourself. But! And it’s a colossal but, you haven’t got a clue where to start.

I know that feeling, trust me I’ve been there. The hardest thing apart from being fat & overweight is the desire and want to change, but not knowing how. Not knowing where to start, there’s so many different “guides” & “how to’s” out there, it’s overwhelming.

I’m here to tell you, everything you need to know, everything you’ve been looking for.

How do they get away with it?

One thing that drives me up the wall and I’m sure you’re the same, is all the weight loss DVD’s, books, TV adverts etc etc. They all have one thing in common, their all instructed by a hard bodied, super fit, good looking guys and girls!

Not only are they presented by fit, slim bodied people, but the workouts and routines are terribly unrealistic, near on impossible for anyone to start with, let alone a fat person. Starting a workout plan like this eventually resulting in failure, which doesn’t just frustrate the hell out of you, but makes you 10 times more likely to quit the whole thing, and stay the way you are…the way you hate! It’s a vicious, vicious circle.

Before you start these workouts ask yourself these questions about the people running them,

How many have been truly fat?
How many had 100+ lbs they needed to lose?
How many know what it’s actually like to be in the position you’re in right now?
How many show you real, genuine before and after pictures of themselves?

You know the answer to all of these. NONE!

None of them; correction 99% of them haven’t even come close to the situation you’re in, the situation I’ve been in. If they had, they wouldn’t be spouting crap from the rooftops about all these “quick, easy, anybody can do them” workouts, because 9/10 wouldn’t have been able to complete them themselves, they’d have given up long ago, just like we’ve all done (you know you have!) in the past.

I’m proof, I was FAT(TER)! (Slowly but surely I’m shrinking!)

Before and during weight lossDarran Mansfield before and after during weight loss

I’ve been where you are I know what it’s like. It’s pretty easy to start exercising, the hard part is sticking to it, but it is possible. I’m doing it right now. I can whole heartedly promise you it’s possible to exercise, regardless of your current weight, regardless of your current capabilities.

Following and sticking to the system I use, you will be capable of sticking to it, and you will lose weight, getting fitter, healthier and feel fantastic.

I’m all the proof you need. When I started my weight loss journey I was 22 stone 7 pound (142kgs/313lbs) and, as of this moment I’ve lost 4 stone (25kgb/56lbs) in 6 months. I’m not saying you’ll have the same results as I’ve had because I’ve altered my diet as well as exercise. What I am saying, is you’ll be able to follow this exercise system to the end and beyond without quitting, and you will see results.


Before we continue, I want to be clear about something, this isn’t magic, no hocus pocus, no 2 minute quick fixes. This is a realistic system that anyone will be able to follow.

It will require hard work and dedication from you; I’ll be blunt if  your to lazy to do that (and that’s all it can be) then this isn’t for you. You obviously don’t want to change as much as you thought.

If you are willing to put some effort in and genuinely want to change your life for the better, then is for you. Please read on!


Learning to love exercise with speedy results

Let’s be honest, the thought of exercise to a fat person (me at least) is about as exciting as a plate of lettuce leaves, dull as hell! To tell you the truth at the beginning I’d have rather of done anything, and I mean just about anything apart from exercising. That said, six months into exercising and I’m loving it, almost addicted to it. I love my gym sessions in the morning, sure getting up early isn’t easy, but I love my morning runs. I feel so alive, awake and distressed after my workout, and I’m sure you’ll feel the same when you get into the swing of things.

I’ve found the key to sticking to exercise is results and mini goals. These not only keep you motivated, but they also help to improve your fitness & stamina at the same time.

What you’ve been waiting for!

So here it is, the key to succeeding is increasing want you do, EVERY SESSION, not every week, but every session.

Here’s how it works;

Let’s say you want to lose 100lbs or even 200lbs, obviously there’s no physical way you’re going to be running a marathon anytime soon, understandably, but that doesn’t stop you doing some kind of exercise. It doesn’t matter what level of fitness you’re at, this system will work even if you can only,

  • Walk for 2 minutes before having to stop.
  • Walk lengths of the pool instead of swimming.
  • Manage 3 minutes on the cross trainer.
  • Walk up and down the stairs twice.

The list of what you can do for how long goes on and on, ultimately it doesn’t matter what exercise you do or the level you start at as long as you do something and increase the time you do it every session.

Here’s the plan

Let’s say you start exercising on Monday, walking. The first session should be free-styling to see what you can do, push yourself but don’t kill yourself! You need to start somewhere that you’ll be able to improve upon, not somewhere that it takes a week to recover from!

Say you were capable of walking briskly for 5 minutes before having to stop, which is excellent, it’s a starting point and following this system will have you speeding along in no time at all! For the first week just stick to what you started at, 5 minutes each session. You shouldn’t try and do too much at the very beginning.

Now let’s say you’re planning to exercise 3 times a week, I find this an effective exercising schedule as it gives you a day off inbetween as well as the weekend.

The coming weeks would look like this;

Starting Week
Monday – 5 minutes
Wednesday – 5 minutes
Friday – 5 minutes

Week Two
Monday – 6 minutes
Wednesday – 7 minutes
Friday – 8 minutes

Week Three
Monday – 9 minutes
Wednesday – 10 minutes
Friday – 11 minutes

Week Four
Monday – 12 minutes
Wednesday – 13 minutes
Friday – 14 minutes

Week Five
Monday – 15 minutes
Wednesday – 16 minutes
Friday – 17 minutes

As you can see from the schedule above, by adding just 1 minute to each of the 3 weekly sessions, the time had gone up dramatically. In six short weeks, you’ll have gone from only being able to walk 5 minutes before having to stop, to being able to do 17 minutes non stop!

Keep everything apart from the time the same, we’ll work on your speed and intensity later on. For now all you have to do is increase the time every session.


Easy Right?

This system is so easy, yet so powerful, and that’s only with increments of a minute, it’s entirely up to you what you go up in, but a minute or two is an ideal place to start.


The Crucial Part

That’s the system, now comes the most crucial part of the entire thing, You! You CAN do this, don’t for a second think you can’t. Think about it for a second, it’s only one minute, 60 seconds extra each time.

DO NOT let doubt hold you back for a second, I’m not saying it won’t be difficult, but you can do it, you can power through the last minute I know you can, but most of all you’ll know you can.


Suck it up!

When things get tough, think back to the last session you completed, you finished that so what’s the problem? It’s only an extra minute on top of what you can already do, that’s all I’m asking. You know you’re capable, you’ve done it all before apart from the last minute. Bluntly put you need to suck it up, stop thinking negative and smash that minute, kill it, show it you own it!


What makes this system work?

The reason this system works so well over others is because you’re consistently seeing results, and there’s no time for things to get stale and in a rut. Every session that you complete betters yourself, going  further than you’ve ever been before, setting new personal bests each session. That’s what keeps you glued to this system, knowing your consistently moving forward and progressing.

Let’s face it you’ve tried exercise in the past and then quit (me more than most) that’s why were here, right? You want to find a system that you can stick to.

I’d safely bet most of you quit your previous attempts because you wasn’t seeing results fast, or the routine was simply unrealistic and too intense to keep up with (that was my problem). None of those problems exist with this system, you’ll see results every session you do and because of that and the fact it’s not’s not hard to complete, you won’t quit.

The feeling you get once you’ve completed a session is remarkable, it’s a feeling that I can’t do justice describing. It’s like a success I’ve never felt before, a feeling you become addicted to, a feeling you’ll want over and over again.


It genuinely does work

45 minutes run!

I personally use this system, and it’s worked amazingly for me.

When I first started at the gym I could only run on the cross trainer for 5 minutes, and it’s no exaggeration when I say, those 5 minutes almost killed me. I was a mess. Puffing, panting, sweating like a pig and looking as though I was about to keel over any minute! Fast forward to today and I can run for 45 minutes on the cross trainer without a problem. It’s got to the point where I haven’t got enough time in the mornings to run for longer!


Taking things further

This system can be applied to almost anything you want to improve. Swimming, walking, running, skipping, weight training, cycling, the list really is endless.

Now you might be thinking what to do next when you reach your overall target, let’s take running for example.

You’ve applied the system and can now comfortably run for 25 minutes which is fantastic, but your probably thinking where do you go from here? This is where it gets interesting and honestly the only thing holding you back is your willingness and imagination as to where the system can take you. Now would be the time to work on the intensity of your run (or your chosen exercise), all your previous runs would have been the same with regards to incline and speed, this is what you now need to change.

Let’s go with speed, if your 25 minute runs were at 8 kmph; you would increase the speed of your next run to 8.2kmph  for the entire run and see how you find it. If it was hard but doable that’s great, just what you need.If you found that quite quite try increasing it until you’ve found your starting point. It’s just a case of repeating the same principles you did to get to 25 minutes, take a look below.

Week 1 – Increasing Intensity
Monday – 25 minutes at 8.2kmph
Wednesday – 25 minutes at 8.4kmph
Friday – 25 minutes at 8.6kmph

Week 2
Monday – 25 minutes at 8.8kmph
Wednesday – 25 minutes at 9.0kmph
Friday – 25 minutes at 9.2kmph

Week 3
Monday – 25 minutes at 9.4kmph
Wednesday – 25 minutes at 9.6kmph
Friday – 25 minutes at 9.kmph

Week 4

Monday – 25 minutes at 10kmph
Wednesday – 25 minutes at 10.2kmph
Friday – 25 minutes at 10.4kmph

Week 5
Monday – 25 minutes at 10.6kmph
Wednesday – 25 minutes at 10.8kmph
Friday – 25 minutes at 11kmph

As you can see once again, things have improved dramatically and in just five short weeks it’s gone from running at 8.2kmph to 11kmph which is a fantastic improvement. An improvement that’s not unrealistic to reach.


The Bottom Line

I started at 5 minutes, and in 6 short weeks (I went up in increments of 2/3 minutes) I can now run for 45 minutes straight on the cross trainer! Never in a million years did I think I’d be able to run for 45 minutes. Six weeks!

Think where I could be will be, and where you could be in 12 weeks, 20 weeks, a year; there truly isn’t a limit on what we can achieve, you just have to start.

Are you ready to change?

The feeling you get, looking back at where you started to where you’ve come is exhilarating; it opens your mind to a whole world of possibilities, most of which you thought were impossible, far beyond your reach. That’s no longer the case; you can exercise, you will stick to it, you will see results, and you will lose weight.

Are you seriously going to let 60 seconds hold you captive for the rest of your life?

It’s down to you!


Please feel free to ask any questions you have, and to share your own personal experience like I am.


    Darran Mansfield

    Hi! I'm Darran Mansfield, I've been on the Slimming World diet for about 10 months, and I've lost 5 and a half stone (74lbs/34kgs), I'm by no means a weight loss expert, but I do have first hand experience, and that's what I'm here to share with you. I'm looking for a healthy, sustainable lifestyle that's enjoyable yet maintainable in today's modern life. If that's what you want, you should stick around, I'm sure you'll find something helpful and don't forget to say hi to me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Instagram.

    Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 7 comments

    Totally agree with you Darran. Exercise has changed me for the better. Start off slow and build up. And choose something you enjoy. There are so many fantastic classes and clubs out there, I am sure they’ll be something for you. I went from doing nothing to at my peak running 4 times and doing 5 exercise classes a week! I’ve cut down on my classes at the mo as I am training for a marathon. And lastly I know a lot of people are intimidated by those fit, slim people at the gym, but in my experience most of them are nice, fit, slim people who are very encouraging. So go for it!

      Darran Mansfield

      Thanks Elaine, WOW! That’s one hell of a peak, how’d you do it lol
      I’m still in awe of your doing a marathon, I mean I can run on the treadmill, that’s fine, but the streets are kicking my arse! This is one I’d love your advice on, on the treadmill its super easy to go for an extra minute or increase the speed to improve fitness and stamina, but how would you (seen as you’ve done it) translate that to the streets because making a route 2 minutes longer ?!?!? LOL I’m a bit lost if I’m honest.

      Ahh the gym! I know soooooo many people that are scared of the gym, but the people that are there are just normal people like them, sure there are those “few” that…well, that’s not go there haha, but almost all of them don’t care about you or anyone else in the gym, their there with their tunes, their water and a mission, and that’s it. I do anything I want, if someone doesn’t like what I’m doing, and as long as I’m not harming anyone and I’m being polite; STUFF EM’! Their not gonna be a nice person if they can’t accept you for you, so why would anyone care what they thought.


    Darran, the best advice I can give you is to get outside asap. I can’t remember the last time I ran on the treadmill, I love the outdoors now. All I did was follow a couch to 10k plan (fully recommended, or a couch25k), and you just increase the amount you run each week. Then it sort of takes care of itself. The other thing I recommend any new runner is parkrun. They are free 5k runs on Saturday morning. The people are so encouraging and you meet such inspiration people it’s one of the best things I have ever done! Hope this helps.


    Darren I love your blog mate.

      Darran Mansfield

      Thanks mate! Ever need any help just email me 🙂


    Darran, I’m 26 and due to get married next year and have 4st to lose, I read your page (while eating chocolate, ironically! ). I’m actually really inspired by your story-so inspired that I’m going to give it a go- thanks for the much needed confidence boost 🙂

      Darran Mansfield

      Hi Jodie, Congratulations on your upcoming wedding 🙂 I’m so happy that I’ve my writings/journey has inspired your own, feel free to email me any time if you need and help 🙂


    Leave a Reply: