366days since
Charity Parachute Jump!

Amount Raised

So far the grand total raised
for my Charity Jump is


+ $0 USD via Paypal


I've set a total of £500 as a minimum value to raise, let's see how far I can push the limit!

Parachute Jump for Charity!

I'm planning to do a charity parachute jump with Duncan Bannatyne on 3rd July 2011 

in aid of "Help for Heroes"

In order to be able to jump I have to weigh in at no more than 16st (101kg) and as I currently weigh (as of 6th May 2011) 110kg I'm combining the jump with a double goal of loosing 10kg in 8 weeks (or about 3lb per week).

Tell your friends - I've setup a bit.ly link for easily sharing that will go straight to this page, so you can watch my progress and donate money to the cause!

My target is to raise at least £500.                        Current total raised so far is £570
                                                                    Current $ total is $0 (needs to be converted into GBP)

 Date Current Weight (according to my Wii Fit board)
 5th May 2011  16st 13lbs (110kg / 17st 3lbs according to my GP)
 6th May 16st 11lbs
 8th May 16st 9lbs
 9th May  16st 7lbs
 10th May 16st 6lbs
 16th May 16st 7lbs (NEW Wii Fit Board! *see blog post!)
 17th May    16st 6lbs
 18th May 16st 6lbs
 19th May 16st 4lbs
 20th May 16st 4lbs (16st 8lbs - Weigh in at the Doctors)
 23rd May 16st 5lbs (went to a wedding this weekend 8-( )
 24th May 16st 2lbs ??? - Maybe yesterday was a blip ???
 26th May 16st 1lb (almost there)
 28th May 16st 0lbs!!!! (Need to confirm with my GP on 3rd June)
 2nd June 15st 13lbs !!!!!!
 3rd June 15st 13lbs (GP scales = 104kg / 16st 5lbs)
 6th June 15st 13lbs - Damm this pound's hard to shift!
 7th June 15st 12lbs
 9th June 15st 11lbs
 14th June 15st 10lbs 
 17th June 15st 8lbs (GP Scales = 100kg / 15st 10lbs)
 30th June 15st 7lbs - Maintaining the weight!

NOTE : I should have realised this sooner but it came to my attention that I should be doing my weigh in at the same time each day and as much as possible in the same condition so the first few dates might be a little out whilst I get my routine sorted. I'm now planning on doing my weigh in as soon as possible after getting up wearing just my PJ's (*shudder*) before eating or drinking anything!

3rd June : It's looking like my Wii Fit board is consistently about 4lb-6lbs out - although after exactly 4 weeks I'm still down 12lbs (averaging 3lbs per week which is a good steady rate and if I can keep it up I'll be well under the limit by jump day.

In six weeks (5th May - 17th June) I've managed to lose a total of 10kg (just over 1.5 stone) in weight - Boo YA!

On the 3rd July I WILL be jumping out of a plane with Duncan Bannatyne - all that's left now is decide which of us will be the first to say "I'm out!)


I'm not sure which provider we'll be using yet to take donations, so if you are interested in pledging some money or sponsoring me in anyway please email me directly at jon@whitetreegames.com and I'll be happy to take your details and get back in touch as soon as this bit is sorted out!

I've got a page setup on BMyCharity.com where you can donate directly - please visit the link below and pledge your support.

Alternatively you can use the following paypal donate button to send money directly to me and I'll add it to the total.

All money raised will be paid in to the Bannatyne Charitable Trust who have generously offered to match all donations pound for pound and then forward the money on to Help For Heroes.  

NOTE : I've started to get a few donations via some friends abroad in the form of $ (USD) - These will come in via Paypal and I'll keep updating the totals and transfer the balance in to £ (GBP) as we progress!


Terra Firma!

posted 4 Jul 2011 05:22 by Jon Howard

Well I made it - as you can see from the page above I actually did the jump and what an experience it was!

I'll be updating the main page over the next few days with some more photo's and a link to the raw video footage - but until I do let me first say a BIG BIG BIG thank you to Duncan Bannatyne (and his PA Kim) for helping to organise the day.

I'd also like send out a MASSIVE BIG-UP to Ben Parkinson and the rest of the Pilgrim Bandits who are true inspirations, heroes and the reason we all did a daft thing like this.

And not forgetting...

Will for getting me back down safely.
Mikee for taking the amazing pictures and video that'll be gracing this site soon.

And last but by no means least!

YOU for supporting and sponsoring me - it was all very much appreciated.

Level 1 - Complete!

posted 12 Jun 2011 01:52 by Jon Howard

Woo hoo - as of yesterday (Saturday), the total donations from family, friends and work colleagues has just broken the £500 mark and my weight is below the 16st mark (just a few pounds to go to get their with the G.P.'s scales) so everything's ready to go - just got the last three weeks to try and raise as much extra cash as I can and shed those last few pounds! 

Show me the MONEY!!!!

posted 6 Jun 2011 15:34 by Jon Howard

So far between pledges from family and friends, work colleagues and the BMyCharity site - I now have a total of over £440 pledged.
I'm stoked that so many people have offered to help (and I haven't had to bully anyone - except Mrs Pugh (the younger) and that was only to do with her Shepard's Pie!)

Thank you one and all - I'm even MORE determined now to shed those last few pounds and be the first to declare to Duncan Bannatyne on the day that "I'm OUT!" (Dragon's Den joke in case anyone missed it!)

On motivation

posted 2 Jun 2011 00:54 by Jon Howard

Cycled to work this morning (about 8.44 miles) took me about 40mins but it was hard work.
I got up this morning and my wrist was aching (I managed to badly scald it on Friday evening with an accident involving a pan of boiling spuds - don't ask!)) - on the Wii Fit weigh in I was still losing weight and I could have taken the car this morning.

I wanted to take the car this morning...

But I cycled - and it was hard work - but you know what, sitting here, breathing hard in sweaty clothes about to get changed - it was worth it.

In half an hours time after a change and a big drink of water (and probably a cuppa) then it won't seem so bad and I'll be able to face the thought of having to do it again tonight on the way home...

And besides the results above say it was worth it!

And the jump on the 3rd will be even more so!

An update

posted 31 May 2011 01:13 by Jon Howard   [ updated 31 May 2011 01:24 ]

I realise it's been a while since I updated this progress - but hopefully you can see from the chart above that I've not been slacking where the diet and exercise is concerned.

This weekend for the first time my new (official) Wii Fit board actually gave me a weight of 16st dead on (so I went out and had several MacDonalds to celebrate - only joking!)

To be fair - I think I've still got a ways to go and a few more pounds to lose - the scales that I'm using at the GP's came up a few pounds heavier than my Wii Fit and plus I don't want to be borderline on the day and risk not being able to jump so with just under five weeks to go it's still all guns blazing coming in to the half way point.

We had some friends round yesterday who I haven't seen since before starting this new regime and they were both quick to comment on how different I look and how much weight I appeared to have lost (which was nice - thanks Ant & Julie), when you and the closest ones to you, see you every day it's hard to notice the little incremental changes - but they ARE happening (just ask my Wii Fit board).

Anyway as you can see - I've got the official jump donation link all set up and so far pledges from family and friends mean I'm almost half way there (and there's still some family and friends I haven't got to yet - but don't worry I will be SOON!) - this is great news, but it COULD be better.  So please dig deep and put your hands in your pockets and click either of the donate links above!


PS. Don't forget - Duncan Bannatyne has promised to double all donations paid in via the BMyCharity link above (all money I collect directly will also be paid in via that link so every penny counts double!)

The perils of trying to "do it on the cheap!"

posted 15 May 2011 22:30 by Jon Howard   [ updated 15 May 2011 23:00 ]

As you may have noticed I'm using Wii Fit to monitor my weight and seeing as I didn't actually have Wii Fit at the start of this I borrowed a friends copy (he'd upgraded to Wii Fit Plus) and brought a "Wii Compatible Balance Board" from Argos.

Whilst at first it seemed ok and the weight loss actually seemed reasonable I noticed the software start to give weird results over the weekend - I did the body test twice Saturday morning on one occasion I'd gained 4lbs (WTF) and then immediately after I'd lost 1 ????

Later on Saturday I did the test again five times in a row and got five different results - not good (in fact the weight reports varied across almost half a stone from the min to the max), I repeated the test with a friends (official Nintendo) board and got exactly the same result five times in a row (but I can't use them as we timing / state was out from my proper body test and so wouldn't give a proper comparison).

To say I was a little miffed was an understatement - It'd basically thrown out all the previous weeks data and looks like I'd have to start again - obviously the dietary changes and exercise must have had some effect - just not sure what 8-(

So the "cheap" board went back to Argos on Saturday and on Sunday I came back from Toy's R Us with a shiny new (official) Wii Balance board AND a copy of Wii Fit Plus all of my own 8-)

So the moral of the story is (as is usually the case) - If your looking to actually use Wii Fit to help with a weight loss goal "doing it on the cheap" isn't always the best solution - and avoid cheaper "not so" compatible Wii Balance Boards (which might be ok for the kids to play balance games on - but that's about it!)

A footnote!

I hooked up the new board this morning and did a new body test (it was great the way Wii Fit Plus actually picked up and imported the old Wii Fit data - Yaa Ninty!) and I wasn't sure what to expect so I was pleasantly surprised to see I'd "only" gained 2lbs since my last "invalid" test - I repeated it three times to make sure the new board was working and so it looks like I've still made a significant loss last week after all.  

Just got to wait now till Friday and have a weigh-in at the Doctors and hopefully I'll something to really smile about.

Also - the donation total is creeping up but not really fast enough - I'm going to look at setting up a "Just Giving" link later and maybe doing a bit of a poster campaign in the local neighbourhood - I still need to raise at least another £300 so any help YOU dear reader can give would be most appreciated.  Please contact me via my emails address at Jon@whitetreegames.com if you'd like to help (I'll be happy to send you my PayPal details)


Re Evaluation

posted 8 May 2011 22:47 by Jon Howard   [ updated 9 May 2011 05:06 ]

To the interested there seems to be a very quick drop of 6lbs over the space of 4 days and by most peoples reckoning this is unrealistic and probably unsafe if it was to progress however common theory seems to believe that it's quite common to have a large initial drop which will slowdown as the body get's accustomed to it's new routine - it's going to be the last 6lbs that'll probably take more effort.

Talking of routine - my new health and fitness regime is consisting of a "as fat free as possible" diet with at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity each day (today's is to cycle to work and back - which should take in total about 90 mins and cover approx 19 miles).

I did realise over the weekend that I should be weighing myself as much as possible in the same condition and at the same time of day to get as much as possible a consistent result.  With that in mind I've decided to do a daily body test with Wii Fit plus as soon as I get up each morning (usually around 6:30 ish) and before I have anything to eat or drink (and after the obligatory "call of nature") - so hopefully this will provide a more consistent set of results.

I also received several comments about the 100 pushups program - most saying that is was likely to build muscle mass than than purely burning fat - something which I don't really need to do (the mass building bit) - and would probably be counter productive anyway, so I've decided to postpone that until after the jump (I still want to do it as I spent £1.49 on that app and I like to get my moneys worth 8-))

Lastly - It should also be noted that when I when I had my initial weigh-in last Friday (5/5/11) the scales at the Doctors weighed in a 110kgs which is approx 17st 3lbs - a fair distance from my Wii Fit board, however I don't have daily access to those scales and I think the key to consistent results is to use the same equipment as much as possible, that said I will be updating the total's with the Doctors results when I have my next "official" weigh in on the 20th May which should hopefully show some good progress.


posted 7 May 2011 00:59 by Jon Howard   [ updated 7 May 2011 01:34 ]

Ok - started my new regime yesterday, after a brief visit to my Doctor (always advised before taking on any weight loss or serious life changing course of action) and the Nurse I was advised that a 2lb per week loss should be safe and achievable (which will put me roughly on target) so I've decided the best way to attempt to lose the weight is to follow through with a two-pronged attack.
  1. Cut down the number of calories I eat - I've never gone in for calorie counting anyway but I suspect I probably have a few(?) more than the recommended 2000 a day for an adult male (mostly I think due to the portion sizes and in-between meal snacking)
  2. Try and get at least 30 mins per day of aerobic activity per day
So for 1. As I don't smoke and drink, it's cold turkey on the in between meals snacks (no crisps 8-( ), a massive cut down on the saturated fats and more fruit and veg in the diet.

I've recently started cycling to work again (about 9 miles each way), so hopefully cycling 3 times a week (usually takes 40-45 mins each way) combined with the new Wii Fit board I brought will account for the activity (did 20 minutes last night and it's surprising how much of a sweat-on the jogging build up)

I also signed up for the 100 pushups program yesterday after downloading the app to iPod touch, This is a six week program designed to take someone to the point where they can complete 100 pushups in a single go (can you?) - my initial test was 14 which placed me in Rank 3 (not a bad start apparently), but the app then failed to mention I should rest a day or two before starting which is why I only managed another 25 across 4 sets (Hmm), so I shall start that again tomorrow and see how I get on (my chest and arms are still aching this morning 8-)).

Once this is over I might even give the 200 situps program a go as well 8-)

I also had news of another £10 pledge from a family friend, so I'll update the totals accordingly - Thanks.

I'll try and update this progress at least three times a week - but if you have any comments or feedback please feel free to contact me directly via jon@whitetreegames.com

Till next time...

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