The Weight is Over

The odds are stacked against you in the battle to lose weight. 

Jas Sansi explains how you can overcome the odds. 



In 2018, I weighed 18 stone, had a 40 inch waist and enjoyed an intimate relationship with the biscuit jar. Every reflection looked like one of those distorted Hall of Mirrors at seaside resorts.

No one said anything to me, I wasn’t fat shamed or called Porkie. I just woke up one day and thought, is it even possible to lose weight if I wanted to? 

I thought about it carefully. Ironically whilst dunking a biscuit into a cup of tea. 

I asked myself if I wanted to lose weight, later that evening, whilst pouring a glass of red and snacking on a Pringle. 

I enjoy swimming, so it wasn’t like I’m inactive. My job as a photographer keeps me on my feet for prolonged periods.

After a few days of reflection (including in the mirror), I decided to do it. Not ‘try’ and lose weight, ‘try’ gives you a get out of jail card. I decided to do it. Period. No excuses. No Oreo biscuits. 

So I did it. Lost three and a half stone. Went from a 40 inch waist to a 34. 

I bought a whole new wardrobe and threw my XXL shirts in the bin.

A year later, Christmas 2019 and the slim fit jeans were beginning to feel tight. I made the oldest mistake in the book, I grew complacent. The fat cells had returned to the castle. 

So I decided to repeat my program, applying what I had learned, for no other reason than I couldn’t afford to buy a new wardrobe. And it would have been heart breaking to scour the larger size clothes racks again. 

I started the program again on 1st January 2020. And it’s worked. I’ve still got 35 days to go, so this blog isn’t an end of program story, it’s right from the eye of the storm.

Let me share how I did it, twice. And what worked for me. It may not work for you if you’re thinking of losing weight. But if nothing else, it’s hopefully an interesting read. And for the next ten minutes, you’ll be distracted from sliding up to the biscuit jar. 

The Program

First off, ask yourself ‘Are you prepared to commit to a 100 day program?’ Think about this for 48 hours. You can’t be dishonest with yourself. If you can’t commit, you can’t commit. Don’t beat yourself up. If you can commit, read on. 

Give yourself 100 days to achieve the weight loss. This is not going to happen in a week. 

Don’t give up if there’s no change in a week or two. I weighed myself every day during the first 100 day program. For the second run, I haven’t weighed myself once. I would recommend avoiding the scales.


Avoid alcohol for the duration of the 100 days. No ifs, no buts. Alcohol is a lifestyle choice. I’m not preaching abstinence or religion, heaven knows I’ve been drinking for 30 years, but for the duration of the 100 day program, put a cork in it.

Alcohol will disturb your sleep patterns, you’re up at 3am for a pee. Alcohol leaves you dehydrated and therefore unable for the body to carry out chemical reactions to break down fat efficiently.

Alcohol is associated with snacking, a pint and a packet of Cheese and Onion go together like a fat horse and slow carriage. You stay up later, eat later and alcohol suppresses the process of feeling full. You eat more than you need to.

The 100 day program has to be dry, and that doesn’t mean dry wine, dry cider or dry gin.

Whilst on the subject of drinks, the program I designed only allows you to drink two things; Water and Green Tea. Buy a 100 pack of Green Tea bags, have one a day in the morning and use it like a prisoner who counts bricks. The fewer tea bags you have left, the closer you are to your objective.

Tap water here in the Midlands is fine. It’s purity far exceeds the stuff you get in bottles. If you’re reading this in London, get a filter.

The big one now; food.

Eat two meals a day. A late breakfast and an early supper. No lunch, no afternoon tea, no late suppers.

For breakfast, I have Fruit and Fibre (Lidl £1.19 a box). To this, add blueberries and strawberries and milk.

Alternatively, a two egg omelette and baked beans on brown bread.

For dinner, keep it lean, clean and green. Reduce the portions, reduce the fat and reduce the carbohydrates.

Wholemeal white bread, no white potatoes, wholemeal pasta and noodles. Fruit and Vegetables. Lean meats. Limit your salt intake to the absolute minimum. No sugar. No sugar. No sugar and more importantly no sugar.

The human body can’t deal with sugar. It’s like putting rocket fuel in a Ford Fiesta. Unscrupulous companies add sugar to food to make them more addictive. Sugar is eight times more addictive than Cocaine.

Your digestive system needs to begin shutting down at 6pm. After 6pm, its water only.


You need eight hours sleep. I’m in bed at 10pm, in a deep sleep at 10:30pm. At 10:30 a hormone in the body kicks in to sort out your fat deposits.

I don’t know much about it but all I need to know is if I’m not in a deep sleep at 10:30, this fat fighting hormone ship will have sailed without me.

Time Scale 

This one is very important. You have to give yourself 100 days. And then, you have to get from day zero to day 100 as quickly as possible. Think of it as time travel.

My wife says I’m wishing my life away by doing this, but I’m not. You still get to live those 100 days, you just get to live them fast.

How do you get from 0 to 100 faster than a Ferrari? Write down all of the things you enjoy that do not include food and drink, and do them as often and as much as possible.

If you’re a cinema fan, buy one of those monthly passes and go every day. Live music, theatre, dancing, whatever, do it, do its lots and do it for 100 days.

Make time fly.


Weight loss is 90% diet and 0% exercise. Seriously controversial statement, but one I’ve come to the conclusion after two waves of weight loss.

For me, and remember this is what worked for me, exercise is about mental health. It makes you think positive. Positive thinking will help in every area of your life including your new lifestyle regime.

Spending an hour in a gym means you’re away from the temptations of the biscuit jar. But an hour is just an hour, there are 23 hours when you won’t be in a gym.

Exercise hasn’t steered me to weight loss. Being more active certainly has. Taking the stairs, walking more, doing the house work, cooking, pretty much everything which involves mobility.

When you are mobile, you increase your normal calorie burn from one calorie a minute to more than one calorie a minute. How much more? I have no idea, its just more.

And being more active means sleeping better, deeper and longer.


No alcohol, drink water and green tea only. No caffeine, no sugar, no processed food.

The difficulty is the hunger pangs. They will come. These last twenty minutes. Drink a glass of water and give yourself a moment until they pass. And they will pass.

A by-product of these 100 days is your spending reduces. But before you put the deposit down on a Clean Air Zone compliant vehicle, remember, you’ll need that money to buy a new wardrobe.

See you on the other side. You can do this.

Jas Sansi is a freelance photographer based in Birmingham, a Trustee for LoveBrum and contributor to The Asian Today newspaper.

@jassansi 07930 837 505











BYPY 2020 Launch – Game On

Birmingham Young Professional of the Year (BYPY)  launch the 2020 event at The Colmore.

Nominations are officially open to find the winners of this prestigious awards ceremony.



This is BYPY’s 20th year. Two decades of celebrating Birmingham’s up and coming Professional talent and future leaders.

The annual event recognises individuals who are flag bearers for their companies, emerging stars for their profession and ambassadors for Brum.

Past winners are embroidered into the tapestry of our city. Early signs of success have matured into incredible achievements. It’s a celebration of who we are.

The BYPY 2020 launch was sponsored by EY. 180 guests squeezed into The Colmore in the heart of Brum’s Business District.

The Colmore is a stunning new bar with wood panelling throughout. There’s even a pool table in the basement with a contact less payment facility.


Nominations are officially live, the categories are:

Finance sponsored by HSBC

Aspiring Talent sponsored by PwC

Legal sponsored by Squire Patton Boggs

Tech and Innovation sponsored by EY

HR (Sponsor opportunity available)

Marketing & Communication (Sponsor opportunity available)

Property (Sponsor opportunity available)

Inspirational Leader (Sponsor opportunity available)


I caught up with Chair of BYPY 2020 Katy Paddock at tonight’s launch ‘BYPY 2020 will be the best one yet. The new venue, Villa Park home of Aston Villa, is just one of the new and exciting things we are introducing.

PwC’s Matt Hammond was announced as Chair of the Judges for BYPY 2020.

Aston Business School will again be funding a place on their MBA program for this year’s overall winner.

Samantha Miller, Chair of Birmingham Future told me after her welcome address ‘I’m looking forward to reflecting on the past two decades of BYPY, and the achievements of the winners from Birmingham’s professional community.’

BNP Paribas Personal Finance are the Headline Sponsor. Jayne Licari explained why they are supporting the event ‘BYPY showcases the positive impact  past winners, nominees and sponsors can make in this great city.’

Ben Collins from EY told me why the services organisation sponsored the launch and Tech Category ‘EY are passionate about Birmingham and raising young talent.’

As Diversity Trustee for LoveBrum, I’m always pleased to see BYPY champion all of Birmingham. Promoting diversity in gender, race, religion, sexuality and disability is the responsibility of everyone.

Successful organisations reflect the communities they serve. The greatest diversity, business and the professional services can adopt is diversity of thought. It is only through expanding our ideas and shredding our assumptions, can we lead our companies into the future; You win, your company wins and Birmingham wins.

With less than two years until the starting gun of the Commonwealth Games is fired, lets embrace this winning formula into our lives.

BYPY 2020 is at Villa Park, home of Aston Villa on Thursday 4th June 2020. See you there.


The Colmore


Jas Sansi is a freelance photographer based in Birmingham, a Trustee for LoveBrum and contributor to The Asian Today newspaper.

@jassansi  07930 837 505


Brummies Networking

Jas Sansi takes his Nikon and lighting to this month’s Brummies Networking in Westside BID

Love was in the air


Westside BID is home to Grosvenor Casino who were recently awarded Best Specialist Venue at the WOWs 2020.


Grosvenor Casino host a popular monthly networking event called The Brummies on their gaming floor. The Brummies is on the second Tuesday of every month between 10am and 12pm.


There is no charge to attend nor is there the necessity to book beforehand. If you’ve never been there before, bring photo ID (because of gaming regulations). The casino will register you and you won’t need to being your photo ID again.


Guests have access to complimentary tea and coffee as well as free on site parking. So all you need are business cards and you are good to go.


Brummies Networking have been running for seven years and is a relaxed forum to meet businesses and professionals from the region.


Today’s meeting celebrated Valentines Day so if you love networking, come along to the next one on Tuesday 10th March 2020.

Full set of images can be seen at:

Everything you need to know about Brummies Networking:

Westside BID :

Grosvenor Casino:


Jas Sansi is a freelance photographer based in Birmingham, a Trustee for LoveBrum and contributor to the Asian Today newspaper.

@jassansi 07930 837 505




The Signature Awards 2020

The Signature Awards 2020 toast the success stories of the region. 

Jas Sansi was there to capture all the action. 

700 Ninder Johal, Paresh Davdra and Tommy Sandhu

Westside Business Improvement District (BID) covers the area surrounding Broad Street and Brindleyplace. It’s BID status is up for re-election in May 2020. The election allows BID Levy payers to continue supporting its great work. 


I’m a huge fan of BIDs. They ensure the safety of visitors to the area by developing close working relationships with emergency services. They co-ordinate deep cleans of the pavements, organise wardens, taxi marshalls and a host of other services that make life better.


Westside BID is home to a number of world class institutions such as the Library of Birmingham, Symphony Hall and ICC Birmingham. These are invaluable assets to the success of Brum as the regional capital of the West Midlands. You can therefore appreciate why the work of the BID is vital. 


ICC Birmingham hosted the Signature Awards last night. The annual awards have grown exponentially in its five years. The Social Media hashtag has to reflect the location given Ninder Johal and his team now deliver the event in the East Midlands and London as well as Brum. Manchester is in the pipeline, but last night it was announced Signature Awards head to India in 2022. 


This is very exciting news and I have every confidence this will be the biggest trade mission Birmingham has delivered to Asia. New Delhi is the political hub of India and it’ll be fascinating to see how the Signature Awards is received in the capital. 


The Signature Awards is entertaining, informative, engaging and an opportunity to expand and develop networks whilst raising individual profiles. Neil Hamilton-Taylor from the Social Media Academy emailed me this morning, I learned the social media reach of The Signature Awards last night was a staggering five million. 

078 Cathy Kubiak, Martin Chandler and Tracey Smith

In the battle for on line attention and eyes, Signature Awards is second to none. 

Here’s a few personal highlights from the inspiring line up of winners: 

Excellence in Financial Services – Falcon Insurance

297 Excellence in Financial Services - Falcon Insurance

This one made me smile. The team are headed up by Pinder Singh Dhaliwal who celebrated his 50th birthday this week. I can’t think of a nicer birthday present.

It’s going to be a good year for Pinder, his football team is Liverpool so those birthday celebrations will continue into the month of May when they parade their first Premiership title. 

 Excellence in Financial Services (Individual) – Mandeep Rajput

313 Excellence in Financial Services (Individual) - Mandeep Rajput

This has been a remarkable week for Mandeep from Virgin Money. He hosted the company’s CEO David Duffy in Birmingham at their Virgin Money store on New Street.

The coverage of the visit on his Linkedin account went through the roof with 13,000 views. His win marked a return to the awards for Mandeep who won the Financial and Banking category in year one. Great work Mandeep. 

Excellence in Legal Services (Individual) – Vic Younis 

328 Excellence in Legal Services (Individual) - Vic Younis

Awards are like buses, you wait ages and then two come along at once. Popular young lawyer Vic Younis was identified as a Rising Star in Law at this week’s British Muslim Awards. 

The Individual category for Excellence in Legal Services afforded Vic a very well deserved double.

Excellence in Creative and Design – HDY Agency

359 Excellence in Creative and Design - HDY Agency

I’ve known Ed James for over a decade and have enjoyed listening and watching him work. He heads up HDY Agency and led the team to the ICC stage at Hall 4 to accept this award. 

One of their great products is an event video capturing service, edited in real time and played back at the end of the event, this is a game changer. Having spent many long nights in post production, this service alone is worthy of the award. Great job HDY.

Entrepreneur of the Year – Gurpreet Bassi

540 Entrepreneur of the Year - Gurpreet Bassi

Gurpreet is CEO of Bond Wolf Auctions who celebrated their first anniversary last week. And what a year it has been. The company’s property auctions held on a regular basis are huge and attract the attention of national media. A number of Gurpreet’s team can be seen on BBC Homes under the Hammer when filming in Brum. 

If you ever pop into their office on Colmore Row and you’re a fan of the programme, take an autograph book with you. Congratulations Gurpreet, Singha beers in Metro Bar are on you. 

Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion – Irwin Mitchell 

559 Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion - Irwin Mitchell

This is an award the national Law firm have made their own. Irwin Mitchell recently moved from Temple Street to the Colmore Building and this award is, I believe, the first one to mark the beginning of a new era. 

Irwin Mitchell have demonstrated unrivalled commitment in this category and were one of the first major professional firms to support Birmingham Pride.

Well done to all finalists who made the final cut and congratulations to the winners who woke up this morning nursing a coveted Signature Awards trophy. 

I look forward to the Signature Awards Birmingham 2021 and have already began to pack for Signature Awards India in 2022. 

The full set of images can be seen here:

Jas Sansi is a freelance photographer based in Birmingham, a Trustee for LoveBrum and contributor to The Asian Today newspaper.

@jassansi 07930 837 505


Ikon Gallery 2020 Launch

Ikon Gallery launch their 2020-21 program. 

Jas Sansi joined the Westside BID team and dropped in with his Nikon.  


If you’ve never been to the Ikon Gallery in Oozells Square Brindleyplace, put it on your things to do for 2020. It’s an extraordinary place. 


This morning saw the launch of its 2020-21 program. Friends of the Gallery and the region’s Arts Community gathered on level 2 to hear from Gallery Director Jonathan Watkins. 


Nestled amongst the paintings of Birmingham born artist John Walker and reinvigorated with cake and tea, guests were also given insight of an exhibition, close to Jonathan’s heart, Ikon Gallery will be hosting in Spring 2022. This will sit nicely in the build up to the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022. 


Mike Olley from Westside BID in attendance explained ‘Ikon Gallery is the Midlands TATE. Its offers a wide variety of Arts and Culture.”


“Its something well worth a little of your time to visit. And you can even indulge yourself in Yorks cafe afterwards. We’re supremely fortunate in having such a monumentally successful gallery on our doorstep. We’re very proud of having Ikon Gallery and its successful stewardship under Jonathan Watkins and Ian Hyde.” 


Ikon Gallery is a minutes walk from the Midland Metro Tram Stop at the Library of Birmingham. Ten minutes walk from New Street Station and served by the West Midlands bus network. There is on street parking off Broad Street and a car park in Brindleyplace if you wish to beat the Clean Air Zone charges for non Euro 6 vehicles being introduced in July 2020.


I started to write about some of the highlights of the year ahead but I’m doing Ikon Gallery a disservice. They have produced a great document so take a look at it here: 

Full set of images from the launch:

Go check it out.

Jas Sansi is a freelance photographer based in Birmingham @jassansi 07930 837 505

Ikon Gallery 1 Oozells Square Brindleyplace Birmingham B1 2HS


The Signature Awards 2020

The Countdown to #SIGS20 is on. 

Jas Sansi looks at the Signature Awards as a beacon for building relationships in a post Brexit Britain.


Welcome to my first blog of the month. It’s the 1st of February and the first day out of the European Union. 

I marked last night’s 11pm departure by going to bed at 10pm. My wife told me she heard fireworks. All I recall is dreaming of £350 Million a week extra to the NHS. 

It’s done. Let’s look forward. First off, the annual Signature Awards on Friday 7th February 2020 at ICC Birmingham. The event is supporting Acorns Hospice.

I’m looking forward to a night of celebration photographing 600 of the region’s brightest and best. Go getters who irrespective of where the goal posts are, simply smash the goals in like suited Mo Salahs at Anfield. It’s a night of winners. 

The Signature Awards celebrate wealth creators and the professional services who support the business community. An evening of entrepreneurs and enablers. 

It’s a night of winners

Bruce Springsteen was once asked why he wrote so many songs about cars. The boss explained he never wrote about cars, he wrote about the people inside those cars, and their journeys.

The Signature Awards do not celebrate wealth. Signature Awards celebrate the people who have overcome adversity, managed risk and worked incredibly hard to enjoy their success. It’s not about money, houses or cars, it’s about the journey from zero to hero.

Business isn’t an exact science. Behind every Bentley, Rolex and leafy postcode address is blood, sweat, tears and sacrifice. All the things people never see. 

The Signature Awards recognise the individuals and teams who create the jobs that build communities and make our country a world leader. We’re the fifth biggest economy in the world and the only one in the top five with less than 100 Million people. 

Relationships are important

England is the only country in the world that enjoys parallel close relationships; we are part of a United Kingdom, partnered with the EU for 47 years, built bridges with a Commonwealth of Nations and of course the special relationship with USA. 

Think about those four relationships. We live in a world where the Middle East is a cauldron of conflict. India and Pakistan tensions defuse and reignite at the whim of political and military leaders. Everyone hates Russia. Americans kill 27,000 Americans every year with guns. China’s attention has temporarily shifted away from managing Hong Kong riots. And if it wasn’t for a teenage school girl from Sweden, the only discussion at Davos would be whatever Trump tweets. 

Relationships are important. How we manage the complexity of countries beyond EU borders and shape out trade deals is a daunting task. 

One thing the Signature Awards has always delivered is the opportunity for its diverse audience to develop relationships. The international connections are there to be harvested under the glittering lights of a Conference setting in Birmingham. 

Add your signature to the night. 

Signature Awards 2020 7th February 2020. ICC Birmingham

Jas Sansi is a freelance photographer based in Birmingham. A trustee for LoveBrum and contributor to The Asian Today newspaper.

@jassansi 07930 837 505




Wonders of Westside BID 2020

The annual WOWs (Wonders of Westside) celebrating the success stories in and around Broad Street and Brindleyplace promised to tear the roof of PRYZM nightclub. They did not disappoint. 

Jas Sansi and the Nikons were there capturing the Boogie Night to end all Boogie Nights.


WOWs 2020 followed the tram route up Broad Street away from its usual venue, ICC Birmingham to PRYZM Nightclub. I had no idea how the annual awards night would adapt to this new environment but adapt it did. It was a remarkable evening. 


Guests escaped the chill of a blustery wet Sunday and enjoyed welcome drinks on arrival. Those weren’t the only shots on offer, photographs were captured in front of a flower wall before heading into the main arena. 


Mike Olley, the Guvnor of Westside BID kicked off the evening thanking sponsors and guests for their support in making #WOWs20 a successful fully sold out event.


Paying tribute to the teams who keep the district safe for all who work, visit and live in the area, Mr Olley spoke of the resilience of Birmingham’s night time economy.


WOWs Host, ITV Weatherman Des Coleman made a stormin’ entrance to the stage blasting out ‘Love Really Hurts without You’ by Billy Ocean.


I forecast this being a lightening night with showers of confetti, thunderous applause and a whirlwind of emotions for the winners. Des leapt off stage and encouraged guests to get up and dance.


BID Chairman Dipesh Mistry was next up on stage. As a banking professional, Dipesh resisted the temptation to break into song so focused on summarising the wins Westside BID delivered in a busy year for Brum. 


Guests enjoyed dinner from Belly’s Caribbean Grill along with drinks sponsored by Jelley’s Organic Vodka. 


Entertainment was not confined to Des Coleman’s quips, including when a venue manager said his wife really loved the weather presenter, Des replied ‘that’s what she told me last night too.’ Hilarious.


1970s Funk and Disco legends Heatwave were the headline act and they were brilliant. Watching them belt out the iconic Boogie Nights was one of many personal highlights of the night. 


Huge congratulations to the Westside BID is hosting and delivering an incredible night. 


If you’re looking for an alternative venue for your next event, consider PRYZM. They have flexible spaces, breakout rooms, catering, city centre location, an abundance of hotels near by for overnight delegates and as you would expect, an amazing sound system. 


Lets take a look at the worthy winners from Westside BID: 

Best Voluntary Team Leaders – City Pastors (pictured below)

0317 Best Voluntary Team Leaders - City Pastors

Best Arts and Entertainment Venue – Arena Birmingham

0327 Best Arts and Entertainment Venue - Arena Birmingham

Best Hotel Manager – Samantha Dunion (Hampton by Hilton)

0349 Best Hotel Manager - Samantha Dunion (Hampton by Hilton)

Best Front of House – Jurys Inn

0380 Best Front of House - Jurys Inn

Best Specialist Restaurant – Barajee Restaurant

0399 Best Specialist Restaurant - Barajee Restaurant

Best Specialist Venue – Grosvenor Casino

0413 Best Specialist Venue - Grosvenor Casino

Best Themed Entertainment Venue – Rocket Club

0435 Best Themed Entertainment Venue - Rocket Club

Best Independent Bar Manager – Steve Emission (Velvet Music Rooms)

0454 Best Independent Bar Manager - Steve Emission (Velvet Music Rooms)


Best Restaurant Manager – Andrew Shipley (Del Villagio)

0473 Best Restaurant Manager - Andrew Shipley (Del Villagio)

Lifetime Achievement Award – Dave Alebon (Brasshouse)

0497 Lifetime Achievement Award - Dave Alebon (Brasshouse)

Best Fine Dining – Pushkars

0737 Best Fine Dining - Pushkars

Best Promoter – Vodbull

0774 Best Promoter - Vodbull

Best Newcomer – Vietnamese Street Kitchen

0798 Best Newcomer - Vietnamese Street Kitchen

Best Hotel – Hyatt Regency Birmingham

0829 Best Hotel - Hyatt Regency Birmingham

Best Pub O’Neils

1150 Best Pub O'Neils

Best Promo Team – Players Bar

1182 Best Promo Team - Players Bar

Best Club Manager – Jo Ellerbury (Reflex)

1224 Best Club Manager - Jo Ellerbury (Reflex)

1295 Best Bar Team – Velvet Music Rooms

1295 Best Bar Team - Velvet Music Rooms

Best Themed Club – PopWorld

1358 Best Bar Team - Velvet Music Rooms

Best Club – PRYZM

1382 Best Club - PRYZM

See you in ’21

Jas Sansi is a freelance photographer based in Birmingham, a trustee for LoveBrum and contributor to the Asian Today newspaper.

@jassansi 07930 837 505

See the full set of images from #WOWs20: