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darren mcneill

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About darren mcneill

  • Rank
    The Finnigan-McNeill Property Group

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  • Location
    North West
  • About me
    Determined property developer looking to offer clients exceptional service.
  • Property investment interests
    BTS, BTL, Lettings Agency Management, Property Sourcing
  • My skills
    Remaining positive
  • My goals
    To enjoy my job

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  1. Sunday 14th July 2019 Yeay!!! Although last night was a bad night... Had one too many chocolate hob nobs last night. I had one of those craving evenings and gave in. I haven't weighed myself this morning but I reckon I've got a hard week in-front of me to burn off the calories. I have been ill all week. Nothing major, just the onset of a cold and chest infection. This morning its really sat on my chest and it explains why i have felt so tired this week. I still went to 3 gym sessions though despite being unwell, so pat on the back to me. I also pulled my right shoulder at the start of the week and couldn't really turn my neck much. It is still very painful this morning and I can hear the bones clicking in the shoulder when I rotate it. It hasn't affected me too much at the gym, just uncomfortable. I just took things more carefully and didn't push myself too hard. I haven't done much at home as I literally feel like I have no energy. This week my folding bench arrived as well as 2 x 15kg dumbbells. Haven't used them as such. On Friday its my 38th birthday!! I should hopefully be the lowest weight that I have been in 10 years by then, so that would be nice. If I can get myself in the 83kg range then I will be over the moon, so a tough week in-front of me, especially with the low energy levels. Darren
  2. TBH I don't really struggle with hunger generally... IF I am eating my regular meals through the day. Just weighed this morning and back down to 85.6kg! Had a breakfast this morning for 299calories and going to focus on eating my planned meals at the right times. Darren
  3. Yes, completely agree and I think the painful truth behind the matter is that its more because I have had one of these for the last few weeks (each weekend) and that has basically screwed up the rest of my week. I think its also negative because it resets my cravings again, so for example this morning I woke up wanting a hobnob biscuit!!! I haven't done that in a long long time (I didn't give in). I have also re-assessed my daily food intake. I haven't been as good with meal prep the last week as I have been really busy, so have gone for long periods without eating. I am also STILL relying on protein shakes for my intake, despite me saying I needed to stop it a few weeks back. I have just planned out tomorrow fully. I normally start the day with a shake and then do not eat until mid-morning. I am going to scrap that and start having an omelette for breakfast. 1 x egg, 110g egg whites, 50g chopped onions. That gives me 166Kal to start the day and get my system going as well as 18.8g protein. The only shake that i am looking at now is on training days and one every night for bed which is slow release. I will now try to fill the rest of the day with actual food: Darren
  4. Saturday 06/07/19 Pi$$ed off. I have gained weight... I am at 86.1kg, so a gain of 500g. It has been this way pretty much all week, varying between 85.6kg and 86.1kg. Nothing has changed in the eating plan, and if anything I do more exercise. Just spent 5 minutes on the good old google and there are lots of reasons why this could be the case: * Building more muscle than losing fat - Could be possible as most of my exercise is now muscle building rather than cardio. I am definitely getting bigger in muscle mass and much stronger, and I can now do the reps for longer with heavier weights. * Eating too few calories - PT has mentioned this to me. I am at 1500 calories a day. I would say of this maybe 400kal is protein shakes to keep my protein levels up. The rest is made up of chicken, cottage cheese, eggs, yogurt, vegetables. Maybe I should try increasing this just slightly. Over the last few weeks I have had 1 cheat day each weekend. Basically it has been great weather and I have had a beer (lo cal beer) but then I have over indulged in some crap food. Yesterday I have 3 cans of san miguel (my god this tasted amazing! Not had real beer for about a month) and then a load of crap. TBH I just wanted an evening off. Long week and I simply thought F--- it. Of course this morning I regret it! lol..... I know I am making progress but just feeling pissed off, mostly because I have a target weight to get to and I am stalling. I havent helped myself obviously with the few relaxed days that I have, so this should be a kick up the arse for me to get myself back in gear. Darren
  5. Struggling with the sleep side at the moment tbh. Just lots going on, lighter mornings, our bloody son getting in bed with us every night...... Alcohol, I have only recently been having it once a week but in the post below I will be cutting it fully out again.
  6. Tuesday 2nd July 2019 Just a quick update. Been to the gym today and have now got to the point where I am now ready to move to 3 sessions a week. We got to the end of today's session and I was more than ready to keep going (didnt realise the time). Asked what set we were onto next and was told "that's it, your done!." I am now going to try and get an afternoon session in on a Wednesday starting from next week. Darren
  7. Im doing 3 at the minute. Easy enough, broker is doing everything. I just get a list of what he needs (credit checks, bank statements) and send them to him. Then I sign some paper. We are using the same lender for all 3 so have requested the same person to deal with them all and the same valuer etc. Im lucky I have a fantastic broker so I dont have to think about anything really. Darren BTS -- BTL -- Lettings -- Sourcing  www.fmp-investments.com
  8. Saturday 29th June 2019 Morning all. Just sat in my garden in the sunshine at 07:41.... what a lovely day ahead! Anyway..... Its been a tough week.... and tough in the sense that there is a side effect to a high protein diet..... Can you work out what that is? I have been struggling with being "bunged up" for the last 2 weeks, to the point it has been very uncomfortable most of the time. I ended up resorting to over the counter solutions which as can be expected did the trick. Unfortunately this is not a solution that I can rely on so had to look for a more natural approach. This is where I discovered: What they do not tell you is how bloody awful the stuff is. At first I thought it was like any other powder mix, so added it with my protein powder to make a single shake... nope... this stuff turns thick very quickly, almost like a mousse. The next thing I tried was it with hot water as I had something similar that with cold water clunked up, but with kettle water dissolved really well.... nope... wallpaper paste.... I ended up just googling it (should have done this first really), and basically you mix with cold water and neck it immediately. Basically this stuff congeals inside you and then draws in moisture and makes everything move through easily. Apparently it also has a tonne of health benefits as well. So, this stuff really works... worked a bit too well at the start! But, I think now I am finally past that awful feeling all day as my stomach swells up. Now that the above topic has been taken care of (I'm sure that was your favourite part), I am going to tell you about the best thing that I have ever bought.... An air fryer!!! WOW!!! When you eat chicken 3 times a day, EVERYDAY, you need some variation in your life.. This thing is amazing. I basically marinate the chicken, cut it up, throw it in for 14 minutes and I get this: Vegetables...? Cut up sweet potatoes, parsnips.... whatever.... you get these after 22 minutes: Absolute game changer!! Really nice food cooked without any oil or fat, just some powder marinades that have very few calories in them. What is best is that the cooking area is non-stick, so I simply soak it and then clean it off before using, takes about 5 minutes. The problem is however that I went crazy with parsnips and sweet potatoes and have smashed my carbs in the last week, so I need to cut back at the moment and go back to protein whilst I am still cutting weight... speaking of weight.... NOTHING all week..... and I mean nothing..... mainly a lot higher (at one point 1kg) and this is with me eating less calories..... I think the reason may be in the first paragraph, as yesterday morning I weighed myself before the gym: BOOOOM!!! A straight 86kg!! So happy as it had been a tough week (literally) and I must admit on Thursday I did spend the day sulking... lol.... Then this morning...... Another 400g off, so 800g lost this week. Yesterday was gym day, and I have noticed that my appetite is normally quite low, so I have started stocking up on protein shakes in the morning, and then eating in the afternoon evening. Yesterday when I got up (5:30am) I had 1 banana and a 39.2g protein shake (This is the actual amount of protein delivered). A normal shake is only 26g of protein but I have started to up it on training days. I am finding this gives my my energy boost during training (banana) and then the protein is already working for muscle repair. As soon as I get home from the gym I then have another shake (39.2g) at around 08:15am, so this then gives me that immediate intake after the workout. After this I have another at dinner and then introduce food. This seems to work for me and by dinner time I am actually ready to eat properly... then the afternoon I must admit that I am pretty hungry. Yesterday I had a chicken meal at about 1pm, and then had my tea at 4pm. This then did me for the rest of the day though. In the gym I have started to get there on a friday a good 15-20 minutes earlier than my session (7am) and I am getting my warm-up boxed off, this way we are then going straight into proper training and I am getting more out of it. On Friday I think my dead-lift weight was 70kg. Could have been a bit more as I don't really listen, I just lift whatever he puts on! My strength has definitely increased as yesterday morning I did a farmers walk with 2 x 10kg weights. If I recall the first time I did this I managed about 15 lengths and it was hard work. Yesterday morning I did 20 and was almost jogging doing it. Well, that's it for this week. Going to see if I can get into the 84kg range for next Friday. Darren
  9. Sunday 23rd June 2019 So this week I hit 5kg loss! Yeay!! I thought the above weight was quite a good representation since these are the type that i use. I wonder how much my actual loss would be if I wasn't also building muscle at the same time? I hit 5kg on Thursday. I am feeling better and can definitely see the difference now. Tight clothes are now loose which is nice. Still another 5kg to go. I have however had a slight blip.... yesterday (Saturday) I decided that i was having a beer... It was the first sunny day that we have had in as long as I can remember and 4 san miguels later, half a bottle of prosecco, a kitkat and a small snickers... oh, and 4 oreos......... Basically a full days worth of calories in the space of a few hours! The result is that I am back to normal now this morning and have had my little blow out, ready for the next push. I know its hard to be perfect so I am not beating myself up about it, the above would have been an almost daily occurrence a month or so ago, whereas now it is literally once in a month.... In general it has been a hard week this week as I have definitely been ill. Just a lack of energy which I felt on Tuesday at the gym. I was still feeling rough on Friday but absolutely smashed it, we were working on arms Friday and i must admit I enjoy these sessions the most, but we still had some crumbling cardio in there as well. My arms are sore to the touch this morning so I know that I have done some good work, I even squeezed in an additional set when we had finished as I knew I could squeeze a bit more out of myself. My 8kg weights arrived this week, so now I have a set of 2's, 8's and 10's at home. I haven't really done any additional weights this week at home as I felt drained and I wanted to allow myself time to rest, as I might have over done it the week before. You can be too eager sometimes! Tonight we are at an Italian for my sisters birthday, so I will have to study the menu to see what is available that I can keep the calories down on. I will probably have something to eat before I go so that I do not have that hunger when there and thus will not make any silly decisions. Hopefully I can report some weight loss next week and yesterday hasn't affected my progress too much. Darren
  10. In regards to sleep I normally get to sleep around 10pm and I wake up at between 5am-6am, occasionally slightly later. I have had this routine for the last 20 years pretty much now due to previous work roles. Darren
  11. Tuesday 18th June 2019 Just got back from the Gym. This was the poorest session that I have had and I feel really down. Started off well, did 5 minutes on the bike and then 10 sprints... then the weight session I really struggled with at the start. It was a 5 set routine and the first 2 sets killed me. Got through the pain/exhaustion barrier and managed to get through this set then the following back sets but it felt really hard work today. Normally I come out feeling pumped and in a great mood, today I just feel a bit feeble and pathetic. I said to my PT that I wondered if it was just a mindset thing as I felt like failure at the very start and just couldn't shake it at all. I completed everything as mentioned and tbh probably did ok, might just be in my head...... might be worth me leaving the home routines for the rest of this week and then see how I do on Friday? Darren
  12. Tuesday 18th June Had to share this one straight away...... Really pleased with my morning weigh in (I weigh myself every single morning at the same time in the same place). Still not half way on the target weight loss but the target may end up changing at some point depending upon how my body starts to look, especially when we are also focusing on building muscle at the same time, so I suppose if I was just purely losing weight it would have been much more than this. After posting yesterday about the calorie deficit that I am on I thought that I would show my meal prep for today. You will have to excuse the Tupperware as i have nicked it off the kids (as I personally used to moan about the amount of it we have in the house) but now I am a convert! lol. I have prepped my 12pm meal and my 4pm meal, with the apples to be used as fillers at some point through the working day and the additional protein shakes as I am at the gym today (as I have now normally reduced these). My total calorie output for the 2 chicken meals is just 490Kal! That doesnt include my breakfast omlette or my tea for tonight. I can now get 4 meals in, plus a dessert, plus fruit snacks for well under 1500Kal, and with a protein shake for night it comes in at just under 1500Kal for the day. The biggest thing that made the difference was buying those little scales and weighing EVERYTHING. That is what makes the difference, as you cannot guess weights. It takes 2 seconds and makes such a difference when planning. This is only my 2nd proper day of meal prep, and last Friday after the gym I was STARVING all day, but I wasn't as prepared... so lets see how today goes. Darren
  13. No, I haven't been tracking measurements, they just are what they are. I think id cheat and suck my gut in if I was measuring! lol. Yes the calories are hard work some days, but on the whole I am eating 4 meals per day. I have spent some time looking at meal prep etc and have made myself a few meals that work well: * Chicken & Veg - 245kal (15g carbs, 3g fat, 39g protein) - chicken (100g), veg and cottage cheese (100g) * Chicken Omelette - 290Kal (6g carbs, 11g fat, 40g protein) - Chicken 100g, 2 eggs, 20g tomato ketchup Still looking for other options at the minute meal wise so will continue to look. I top up then on fruit during the day (apples and strawberries) and then have my main meal at night. I have cut the protein shakes right down now to just a single one at bed time as I am achieving my protein goals from food, so that is really helping. On a gym day though I am going to add a couple of extra shakes in there tho just to get the protein absorbed as quickly as possible. 2 shakes is only 230kal so worth it for the strength work that is being done. I am also going to start working more on doing a lot more meal prep for the week as it can be a struggle some days, but my little cooler bag is always loaded now when I leave the house so food is always covered. I cant wait until I can go up some more calories and have some larger portions but need to focus on getting the weight down to start with. I am getting there and people are noticing more so on the right track! Darren
  14. Sunday 16th June 2019 I have been on my journey now for 1 month and 1 day........ although it does seem a whole lot longer than this! I have some good news from this week in that I was able to loose more weight and I am now in at 87.5kg. The bad news is that I haven't been as good as I should be this week, and have actually gone above my calories on 3 occasions!! Yesterday (Saturday) was the worst.... I went to see my daughter in a performance and had to go alone (Mrs was in work... did take my son but he got bored and was collected) so was sat there on my own... ended up having a few pints... god they tasted good!)..... Not the best use of my calorie intake at all. What I did do however whilst I was there (in the interval of course) was spend some time researching nutrients and the best way to get them inside me. I came across an interesting article on how people mis-use protein supplements, and a few of the points resonated with myself. I have been using them in the wrong way. Yes I do need to increase my protein intake daily, but I have been using them to substitute real protein intake from food, rather than using them as a "top-up" to hit my goals. The result has been that surprisingly enough I have been far more hungry, as I have been eating less! Duhhh...... When I first started on my journey I was eating well (and lots!), hitting my goals and not feeling hungry. Back then however my protein target was a lot lower so it was easy to hit, now it is 188g so a touch harder. I had also increased the protein amounts in each shake to around 40g, which was adding more calories per shake and then reducing the amount that I have had through they day, so the result is that i have gone from days where I couldn't get enough calories because I was not hungry to most days where I am hungry most of the time and struggling to control the calorie intake. Looking back it is kind of obvious really but this was something new and in my mind my protein intake from these was better than food, which is the opposite! lol. As of today I have now planned in more protein rich meals in my day, and then once they are all planned in I have added in the shakes to top up to hit my goals. This has resulted in 3 good meals, plus fruit snacks through the day, which should be much better and get me feeling full for longer. I have also just ordered some Micellar Casein based protein for my evening intake. I had been having a whey shake, but this is a more fast acting protein and ideally at night I need something that is more of a slow release for when my muscles are recovering........ And onto the gym sessions..... as I am typing this every muscle at the back on me is aching like I am an old man. We had a brilliant session on Friday morning working on dead lifts. I am not lifting the biggest weight in the world (70kg) but it definitely has woken up a lot of muscles!! Also worked a lot on my arms and legs. I knew when we had finished that it was a tough session as I was physically exhausted, and now I am definitely feeling it! lol. I have also just ordered some 8kg dumbbells now for at home. I have some 2's and 10's but I need something slightly lighter than the 10's for bicep curls. The 10's are just too heavy to be able to complete multiple sets of 15, I simply get too tired, where as at the gym using 8's I can get to 3 sets of 15 reps and have a good arm workout. Once this gets easy then I will just move to the 10's and then upwards, but I really need to work on the strength of my left arm as it is still much weaker than my right (so we do far more dumbbell work now). That's it for this week. Hopefully adding some more food to my intake and reducing the shake amounts will help me get back on track with my hunger levels and I can get some more positive weigh loss results this week. EDIT - Forgot to mention... I had to throw away my belt this week and buy a new one as my jeans were falling down! I had ran out of belt holes and was approx 1.5 belt holes short, so I purchased a new one (Small/Medium) and I am on the first belt hole... lets see if I can eventually work down a couple of those?
  15. Tuesday 11th June 2019 Mid week update.... I have lost the holiday weight and I am at my lowest yet!! 88.1kg!! Absolutely over the moon when I weighed myself this morning Thats 3.3kg lost now which is 7.3lbs. 5.7kg to go!!!
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