The quest to lose a bit of weight and shape up has stepped up a gear. Let me say for the record I had diastrous summer putting back on a healthy portion of the weight I had lost at the start of year.
I have to take my oil - this was all entirely my own fault. I stopped going to my WeightWatchers’ meetings and ignored the gentle nudges my class leader. I figured I knew it all and anyway, it was summer, it was the one time of year when weight is guaranteed to fall off you whether you try or not. Sure don’t we all go swimming and walking and running around on the beach like eejits every summer? Aren’t there healthy salads almost coming out of your ears during the warmer months? I was bound to end the summer month a skinny minny - it was inevitable.
I didn’t take into consideration the barbecues, and how much I love burgers laden with cheese. I didn’t take into consideration the bottles of wine, and the crisps and dips and, looking back I didn’t do so much of the swimming, walking or running around the beach. I did a great deal of watching the kids swim, walk and run but I took on more of a supervisory role which, while important, is not so great as a cardiovascular work out.
So it was hardly surprising that come two weeks ago I found myself in the uneviable position of having to walk, shamefaced, back into WeightWatchers and ask very nicely to be given another chance. (You always get another chance, for the record, but I still felt like a gack.)
I decided however that it would take more than a weekly weigh in and a bit of counting points to help me along the way. I would have to do some exercise - and by that I meant actually moving not just supervising the moving from a comfortable seat.
I thought about it. My fitness levels are disgraceful. The sum total of my weekly activity involved the aforementioned supervising and walking from the car to the school gates/ office/ round Tesco and little else. I don’t think that I have ever been so unfit before in my life. There was a time I could have danced all night and would have barely broken a sweat, or a time when I could have swum a good 50 lengths of the pool without calling for a cardiac ambulance afterwards. These days walking up the hill to my house leaves me done in.
So I decided to take things relatively slowly and do something which would allow me to build up my fitness levels gently. Ladies and gentlemen, I have become a walker.
I have become one of the fearless souls who walks at a speedy pace along the highways and byways of Derry in the early evening huffing and puffing as I go and waving my arms around in a bid to really get my blood pumping.
Now walking, in theory, sounds easy. After all I’ve been doing in since I was 18 months old (I was a late starter). I figured it would be a case of simply putting on a pair of sensible shoes and putting one foot in front of the other.
The only problem was, I don’t actually own any sensible shoes. So first of all I had to go and buy some. It’s long accepted that I am marketing man’s dream so I was persuaded to buy a pair of magic trainers. They aren’t, of course, actually magic but they do claim to help work your thighs, bum and abdominable muscles extra hard while you walk so that you tone everything while you tootle along.
Slipping my feet into them that night I felt like I could take on the world - or the two bridges - no bother to me. In fact I felt like ringing up Ilex and telling them to get a bleeding move on with the third bridge just so that I could walk it as well.
But stepping out, my body quickly seized up in shock. I was walking, at speed, in extra sensible muscle stretching shoes. My body did not like this. Not. One. Bit. And as I walked I was sure the shoes were getting heavier with each and every step until, by the last assault on a very hilly street in the Waterside I had taken on the appearance of Herman Munster clumping my way up the hill while snails whizzed passed laughing their shells off at my feeble attempts.
I didn’t give up though. Indeed the experience scared me - it is not right for a 34 year old to have the physical agility of an 84 year. On a serious note it dawned on that I was not setting a good example my for two, admittedly very active, children and that if I didn’t sort myself out I may not see 84 years old at all.
So I went out again the next night - and it hurt. And the night after - and it still hurt. Two weeks on it still hurts. The Herman Munster walk has not disappeared but I’m 5lbs down and starting to look forward to trekking the roads each evening.
Who knows, if I keep this up I may even be fit for a bit more that ‘supervising’ next summer?
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