Week 2: Old Dog, New Tricks

The week began with a Skype call from Fionn, and an e-mail containing a detailed, 3 page analysis of my intake from week 1. It all looked very impressive, but I may as well have been looking into a ditch. I couldn’t make head nor tail of any of it.

He quickly drew my attention to the number at the top of the first page- total intake. It turned out that I was about 1200 calories short of my target each day. Fionn’s message- eat more.

Music to my ears.

The avocados were taking longer than I expected to ripen, so I was forced to change up my breakfast. A bacon and cheese omelette sounded great on paper, but I had never made one before.

Bare in mind, I had never so much as eaten an egg up until 2 years ago! (That may sound nonsensical, but let me explain my reasoning here.)

By Wednesday I had the whole omelette thing mastered, and my knife was just about cutting through the avocados, so we were back in business!

Meanwhile, I was starting to notice some changes in my body- both physically and mentally. I was feeling sharper and more alert during the day, and when it came time to workout, I was feeling stronger and more focused.

I feel as though fuel is constantly burning; it’s the strangest sensation to actually be aware of it happening.

On Friday I found myself taking my belt in a notch, and even though Fionn told me not to go near the scales for the first few weeks, curiosity got the better of me this morning. I am down 2 kg!

All very promising, and if anything, makes me want to work harder.

I also took the decision to throw an added incentive into the mix, by signing up for the Seoul International Marathon in 2 months (week 10).

I will be running in aid of Aware, a non-profit organisation who do amazing work in helping those affected by mental health problems in Ireland. I hope to raise funds which will go towards helping those affected and their families.

Fionn was the first person I contacted after I signed up, to see what his thoughts were. I received a one word vote of confidence.


– Fionnj

In terms of nutrition, nothing changes. It’s hard to grasp sometimes; all my years of playing sport and hearing that old chestnut coming up to match day- carb load.

Nevertheless, I have complete faith in Fionn’s expertise, and his results speak for themselves.

My first big run was yesterday morning; 15 km through a -17 °C wind-chill along the Han river. I felt good physically after it in that I got through it fine, but I was very hungry.!

Fionn’s message from the beginning of the week rang in my frozen ears- eat more!


Chilly Mileage

Oh, I will!

Overall, it has been another great week. It’s hard to articulate just how much better I feel; I am more productive, energetic, and I REALLY look forward to eating! Everything I take in is fuel for a purpose.

As I write, I am sitting in one of my favourite cafes, enjoying a coffee with butter, feeling excited for week 3.

Oh, and the Toblerone is still intact.

If you would like to make a donation towards my run on March 20th, please jump over to my JustGiving page. It’s really simple, and it’s for a great cause! Thanks so much for the support..!

Fionn McSwiney is a PhD researcher and lecturer at Waterford IT; a specialist in the field of Exercise Science and Nutrition. You can follow him on Instagram– seek out the experts.