Left side

Not many people know this – and I’ve only (to my memory) ever told one person, but I can only sleep on my left side.

This hasn’t always been the case – I noticed that this phenomenon had developed when I realised about 4 years ago that I only ever lay on the sofa/floor/bed/grass/floor on my left. I can’t breathe properly if I lie on my right side and find myself gasping for breath. It’s not a pleasant sensation.

If I do accidentally fall asleep on my right then I snore so loud that I wake myself up or I suddenly sit bolt upright panicking because I’m suffocating.

I hadn’t realised back then that it was just one side that had this problem – and for a little while I felt the only way I could get sleep sometimes was sitting upright.

I suspect it goes back to early childhood when I was hit by a car. As well as breaking my leg very badly and ending up in traction (my left leg is 1cm shorted than my right as a consequence) I also smashed up my face and nose. My nose has been ‘funny’ ever since – but it wasn’t an issue until I became massively overweight.

When I was in my early 20’s I could sleep flat on my back or on whichever side I pleased and it wouldn’t matter. At the moment that’s not the case. I can’t breathe at all when lying on my back for long periods, but that’s for a different reason – because the weight of my stomach restricts my airflow.

In short I have painted myself over the years into something of a corner with weight, and now I’m trying to loose my bulk I’m keen to watch carefully (and document) any changes – or just record how things are at the moment.

Currently the sleep aspect is still an issue, and I think it’s going to be some time before I don’t wake up with a dead left arm and a pain in my hip from stationary slumber on one side. I just hope that i sort this before I end up with thrombosis…

Today I woke up three hours early – partially as a consequence of this problem, but also because the weather is slightly warmer at the moment. As you can imagine, being 34 stone means I feel the heat before most people and massively prefer winter to summer.

Since there was zero possibility of going back to sleep and my hip was aching I decided to do some cooking.

On reflection this might have been a bad idea, as I was half asleep.

After scratching my ass, padding downstairs to the kitchen and deciding what I wanted to cook I then dropped the carving knife, the frying pan and the chopping board one after the other.

I realised that my morning hand to eye co-ordination wasn’t all it should be.

I slowed down, grabbed a blunt knife and gingerly started to chop vegetables for a Chilli while listening to Chris Evans on the radio.

I like ‘rustic’ chopping – where everything is chunky and you can still tell what it was when its cooked. The consistency of my chillies are usually quite varied because of this (and the fact that I like broccoli and courgette in it too). Some can be quite traditional looking – others are more colourful. Basically as long as beef, tomatoes, lots of garlic, tomato puree, cumin, paprika, chilli, a beef stock cube and a teaspoon of salt goes in then it always tastes fabulous regardless of any optional extras.

For anyone that’s interested, mixing Quorn pieces with beef mince somehow works really well. It soaks up a lot of flavour – and even though it’s supposed to replace chicken kind of fits the dish.

The big secret though (hushed whisper) is fresh coriander chopped and stirred into it once its finished cooking.


Radio 2 seemed to have some sort of 80’s theme today and as it was ‘my’ era it was a nice way to start the day. I boogied around the kitchen from work surface to pot as I swept the contents of my chopping board into the huge saucepan I had on the boil and moved back again for more.

I noticed on my apple watch the calories burned meter was slowly working its way round the dial. Every little bit helps… 🙂

Peter Gabriel’s ‘Sledgehammer’ came on, and I turned the radio up loud, filling the downstairs of the house with music and continuing to bounce along with the beat.

In parallel I decided to wash and tidy up and do a Slimming World English breakfast.

While the Chilli boiled the bacon gently sizzled.

Soon I stopped the process of creation and cleaning for a bite to eat.


I might have focused too intently on the radio and breakfast (which was flipping lovely) however as I forgot to put paprika and kidney beans in my chilli.

Later, at work I also realised that (probably because I was half asleep) I also forgetfully added not just chilli powder but also two fresh chillies with seeds. This proved to be a very tasty but somewhat brutal assault on the senses, and cleared my sinuses faster than a pipe cleaner fired from a harpoon gun.

Thankfully the half a bulb of garlic I added (about 7 cloves) didn’t alienate the office but thats most likely due to the fact that I have about 10ft between me and the nearest person in the afternoon and there are no lit flames allowed on the premises…

Overall today was a good day – and when i finished work I thought I’d call my dad on the way home and see how things were in his neck of the woods.

I lived in Aberystwyth for 5 years and still think of the place in many ways as my favourite part of the UK. Dad still lives there – and I think he feels the same. It’s a small town with a very big heart.

He had been reading my blog recently and had commented on something that happened in Aberystwyth that he thought I might be interested in.

As it happens what he told me is the kind of thing that truly horrifies me.

Locally, a big guy that dad knew had taken a tumble at his home and had been attended by the local emergency services. It’s particularly interesting because his flat appears to be behind a pub I used to work at called the Vale of Rheidol.


(Photo courtesy of the mail online)

Its also pretty relevant to me because back in March they had to winch this poor guy out of his flat – which sends a shiver down my spine, as he’s way lighter than me (although considerably shorter).

To add insult to injury it happened again a few days ago.

He was locally well known (as the Mail states) for the epic breakfasts – sold in his cafe, which he himself was a big fan of.

The former cafe owner, famous locally in Aberystwyth, Mid Wales, for his huge £24.95 breakfasts, which included six sausages, five black puddings, ten eggs, ten rashes of bacon, tomatoes and toast.

I don’t think I could eat that myself – but I’m sure I’ve packed away similar loads of calories in the past when I factor in booze.

I just need to make sure I don’t fall down the stairs… I really REALLY don’t want anyone cutting me out of my house.

This is further motivation (if ever it was needed) to continue doing what I’m doing and get lighter and more mobile. My coffin alone would currently cost a fortune…

I sincerely hope this guy manages to turn things around for himself and am sending positive thoughts in his direction. I bet he’s in a pretty dark place right about now.

Anyway – on a lighter note I better go and eat my second helping of syn free chilli for dinner, and then have a blast on my latest video game – Uncharted 4, which is firkin ace!!!!

I hope everyone I know and don’t know out there in internetland is foot loose and fancy free today!

Stay healthy chaps and chapesses – and keep up whatever good work you’re doing!

You can do it!


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