Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror and thought, "Really? Do I really look like that? Bollocks."

I have. Too many times. And so, in the name of science (and not being a lard-arse any more), I’ve decided to try to go from big-bellied-bastard to six-pack-sex-symbol in eight short weeks.

Over the next couple of months, I’ll be writing regularly on the challenges that I face, and updating the world on my progress.

I’m now just over a fortnight in, and here’s what I’ve learned so far (mostly from my very patient personal trainer Zack Cahill, at aegistraining.co.uk):

(1) All the fun stuff is bad for you

On my first day of training, I was given a list of stuff to cut out: booze, sugar, processed foods, carbs – basically everything in my kitchen.

I’m on a “caveman diet”, which means basically eating only stuff that cavemen would have eaten. Stupid, boring cavemen.

(2) Withdrawals are horrific

First, let me explain: I’m not an alcoholic. But if, like me, you drink a few times a week and have eaten crap for most of your adult life, you have withdrawals.

Mine started on day four, with horrific headaches, mood swings and aches and pains. They lasted for five days. Be prepared to put up with this if you want to clean your body out.

(3) It’s not all about cardio

I presumed that shedding weight (my plan is to drop two stone) is all about cardio, cardio, cardio.

Not so – in fact cardio will play a small part of my training. According to Zack, to get short-term results, it’s all about getting your metabolism up, and the best way to do this is through short-burst, high-intensity weight training.

(4) Exercise is addictive

As brutal as the training sessions are (retching/in-mouth-vomiting are regular end-of-workout occurrences), they become addictive – fast. Two weeks in, and I already crave the post-training feeling when I get up in the morning.

If you think you’ll hate training, you’re probably right – initially, anyway. But the mental clarity and energy you get after a session is worth all the hard graft.

(5) Losing weight is (quite) easy

If you’re really committed to a diet and training plan, it’s not hard to shift weight quickly. In a fortnight I’ve lost around half a stone, and while it’s been hard cutting out the things I love (booze, chocolate, booze, bread, booze), it’s definitely worth it for the results.

I’m told the muscle-building that comes next will not be anywhere near as easy, however…

Thanks to Zack Cahill (@zackcahill) at Aegis Training and to the kind people at Maximuscle.

Words: Dan Jude