My blog contributions have ended up being a lot like my approach to this challenge: I started relatively strong, then faded horribly, and now (with just a week to go) I’m desperately scrambling to get myself in gear.

To recap: my goal is to drop two pants sizes (and 35 is a size, so I’m really aiming to go from a loose-ish 36 to a strictly-ballroom 34); and my method is gumming at home. (SPOILER ALERT: It’s been a flippin’ nightmare.)

Over the course of the next few days, I’ll do a slow reveal of my gym equipment.

Let’s start with what I started with: a humble dumbbell.

(Yes, those are my kids’ toys in the background. This might give you an idea of what the past two months of my life have been like…)

In 1995, my cousin Roy left home and went to England. (This was back when every just-out-of-school 18-year-old in my suburb was high-tailing it to the Yoo Kay in search of Better Opportunities… in other words: cleaning hotel toilets and working as undocumented farm labourers. It was a strange time to be alive).

Before he left, Roy cleaned out his room, and threw some of his old stuff. In among the shop-soiled magazines and unwashed T-shirts was a single 7.5kg dumbbell. I carried that dumbbell home, holding it with two scrawny hands, and it’s followed me ever since.

It’s part of the reason why my arms doubled in size between Standard Eight and Standard Ten (that, and the, like, five bowls of ProNutro I was eating every day). And it was the full extent of my home gym equipment range.

That range has expanded pretty spectacularly over the past two months. Stay tuned for the rest of my home gym arsenal…