Money on My Mind

Happy birthday to my band! It’s now two years since my [initial] surgery and I think we’re starting to become friends of sorts. I named my band Bernie – after Mr Ecclestone – because it was small and annoying but I think it might be mellowing a bit the more time we spend together.

In March I had a hospital appointment where I had a fill and really began to see the effects of the band. I’ve been struggling with a lot of food and, if I’m honest, I though this is how I would be straight after the surgery which suggests that it’s only now the band is properly starting to work. I’ve had problems with a lot of different food types which has resulted in me being sick quite often. It’s not nice but sometimes it’s the only way to make me feel better. It takes ages for me to finish a meal because I have to eat slowly in very small bites. I think I’m getting the hang of it now but I’m still sick if I don’t pay enough attention.

On the actual anniversary of my surgery – 19 June – I had another appointment. I wasn’t as anxious about this appointment as I have been in the past because, for once, I knew that I’d lost weight. I didn’t need to worry about letting anyone down because I wasn’t working hard enough or anything like that. And, in fact, between my March appointment and this one I’d actually lost 5.9kg (13lbs)!! Talk about being over the moon! The nurse said the band is obviously at its optimum size and they’re very pleased with my progress so just keep doing what I’m doing,

IMG_5068Anyway, apart from that… It’s been a few weeks since my last update but, boy, have I been busy! Not only did I have back-to-back holidays in Monaco for the F1 and Normandy for the 70th anniversary of D-Day but I’ve also been gearing up to my big fundraising week around the World Cup and – get this – I did my first every run!

Fundraising first. After weeks of organising stuff and being disappointed about not being able to do some of the activities I’d planned (health and safety BS), my World Cup week was a roaring success. Despite being initially disappointed and thinking no-one would be interested (only me taking part in a bake sale and not many people signing-up to my sweepstake), I still had lots of fantastic prizes for my raffle. Prizes included tickets to see Derren Brown and John Bishop (not together), signed items from David Walliams and Ricky Gervais, and various other items kindly donated by others so people were very generous in buying tickets. I also had a drinks trolley going around the office on Friday afternoon with home-made sangria which really got people feeling generous as well. But the biggest hit was definitely the silent auction.

IMG_5073Myself and another member of the Kili team managed to get a number of very good prizes which we auctioned. These included the signed Beckham shirt which I mentioned previously, a trip to the 2014 Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix, a cycling jersey signed by Olympic cyclists and other top prizes. After some VERY generous donations, the auction on its own raised over £2,400. In total, the week of events raised whopping £4,117! I was absolutely over the moon with this and now I’m almost at my individual target. I never thought I’d be this close so soon but thanks to the generosity of so many people I don’t have far to go.

I’ve also listed some items on eBay to raise money. While in Normandy I attended a Band of Brothers Actors Reunion and so I asked them all if they would mind signing a DVD to be auctioned for Great Ormond Street. They were all very supportive and I also got some WWII veterans to sign as well as relatives of the soldiers Band of Brothers was based on. The DVD, along with a programme from Monaco which I managed to get signed by various drivers and F1 types, and some other signed items are all on eBay and ending soon so I’m hoping that this last push will help me reach my target.

Lastly, that’s right, I did my first run! Along with three others from the Altitude Centre, I took part in the City of London Mile last Sunday. I’ve been doing a little bit of running on the treadmill at the AC and when I was asked if I wanted to take part in the Mile I thought why not. It was hard work – I had to do a bit of running, a bit of walking, a bit of running, etc. – but I finished it in a little over 13 minutes. The last 200m or so were the worst and I felt like I wanted to be sick but with everyone watching and cheering I made it across the line without losing my breakfast. I was a fantastic experience and I might sign up to do something similar but I’m a bit wary of injuring myself before Kilimanjaro. The last time I attempted to run, I ended up hurting both my knees and having them strapped up for a few weeks after. I don’t want to risk doing anything like that before the climb. But we’ll see.

I’m hoping to go back to Wales more over the next couple of months to train on the mountains again. For the first time since the beginning of the year, my weekends look fairly free for the foreseeable future so I’m really hoping to get more walking done. Here’s to the planning and the next 13lbs gone!

If you want to help me reach my goal, then please visit www.justgiving.com/engyles. Thank you!

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The City of London Mile with Tara, Lex and Carlos from the Altitude Centre.