“Social media might just save my life” … a sobering thought, isn’t it?
More so when such a raw, sincere statement comes from someone you count as a good friend.
Both are top journalists and top blokes who ended 2010 with the stark realisation that their respective weight had become a threat to their health. They are each tipping the scales a lot more than is good for them.
Not for Shaun and Iain the usual New Year resolutions to eat better, cut down on the booze and join a gym.
Nope. Instead they’ve chosen to do something truly radical: a year-long, bellybusting, life-changing programme to shed at least five stone (each).
What makes the task even more daunting is that it will all be carried out in the fiercest glare of public scrutiny they can engineer between them via social media.
That’s likely to be a lot of attention. You’d be hard pushed to find two bigger (no pun intended) evangelists for the new communication tools available through digital and social media.
Already there is a blog, video, podcasts, a photo stream on Flickr and a dedicated Twitter account. Watch this space for Audioboo content, Liveblogging and whatever else they can use to spread the message.
Talk about no turning back. It’s fair to say there are now THREE bulky players in this particular endeavour. The additional heft in the mix is the fast-expanding, knee-buckling weight of expectation.
Given the widespread buzz they’ve generated in just a few short days the lads have very smartly engineered a situation where they’ve created such a big sense of anticipation that it will be unthinkable for them to give up.
As well as their online support network, Shaun and Iain also have a professional fitness instructor to put them through their paces and a team of university nutritionists to monitor their progress and take down all the vital statistics.
If it’s true there’s no pain without gain, then the lads have got off on the right foot, because it’s hard to believe even the toughest work out could be more painful than their first task.
Before shedding any weight at all, they first had to shed their clothes.
The resultant photoshoot isn’t pretty, but will definitely serve its main purpose: helping keep both guys focus on exactly why they are doing this.
As if all of that wasn’t enough, there’s yet more. When you check out the site you’ll spot that they are each using the effort to help raise funds for good causes – Iain for a cancer charity and Shaun for mountain rescue services.
Like all such stories there is, of course, a down side. The pubs of Edinburgh are going to be an awful lot quieter and a lot less fun for the next 12 months at least.
- Shaun and Iain will be blogging and podcasting regularly at the Two Fat Laddies website. You can also hear Shaun talking frankly about the project in Episode 61 of Quiet News Day – via iTunes (http://ow.ly/3yTOY) or via PC (http://ow.ly/3yTSs)