I am now officially at the half way point in my quest to go from dough-bellied degenerate to 6-packed gym-bunny.

For 28 days, I've been training every day and living on the diet of an anorexic caveman. Has it been as hard - physically and mentally - as I'd feared? In short, yes.

Getting out of bed at 630am every morning to put your body and mind through hell is one of the hardest things I've ever had to do.

And yet, it's also totally brilliant. I feel more energetic than ever before, I've already lost over half a stone, and I look about five years younger.

Most surprising of all, I find myself oddly addicted to training, in a kind of sado-masochistic way. I know it will be torture, and yet I can't stay away. In fact, I don't even want to stay away.

Here's five things I've discovered about training (and myself) over the last fortnight:

(1) It gets easier (sort of)

Let me explain: the weights get heavier, and the sessions longer. So in that regard, it definitely doesn't get easier the more you workout.

Yet as I've started to approach healthy leves of fitness, it becomes hard in a different way. Yes, it's physically exhausting and often painful, but it doesn't hurt in the same way it used to. It feels like a good pain now. Or at least a less pathetic pain.

(2) It's not just about 'show muscles'

Go to your local gym and you'll find 80% of men wearing vests and doing bicep curls in the mirror.

Well, they're wrong. While it's important to spend some time on what are known as the 'show muscles' (chest, biceps, stomach), the real weightloss comes from using bigger muscle groups that really get your heart-rate going.

This means lots of leg-work. Which means squats, lunges and sledding. These are, without question, the most horrific parts of the routine. Relentless, exhausting, never-ending. But they bloody work.

(3) There's no room for slip-ups

Last weekend I was a very naughty boy. For the first (and only) time since my programme started, I had a drink. Or more precisely, A LOT of drinks.

Not only did it give me a hangover 4,000% worse than when drinking every other day was the norm, it also stunted my weightloss, making week three my slowest week of progress so far.

The lesson: if you want to lose weight fast, do not drink. At all.

(4) Exercise makes you vain

As a chubby funster, I would avoid mirrors wherever possible.

But as you see the weight fall off and muscles begin to sprout up in places you didn't even know muscles could grow, you find yourself becoming unsettlingly narcissistic.

(5) (Too much) exercise makes you ill

Two weeks ago I got a cold. The cold went. Then it came back. Then it went. Then it came back again. It's still here. It doesn't seem to be going anywhere.

I have ulcers on my throat. Ulcers on my tongue. Regular headaches.

Basically, if you go from never exercising to exercising every day, your body freaks out, and doesn't know what to do with itself.

I'm told this will pass in time...

 

Next week: Fasting starts, 'easy days' end.

Thanks to my awesome personal trainer Zack Cahill (@zackcahill) at Aegis Training, and to Maximuscle and Multipower.