Everyone knows that the key to health is a decent diet and regular exercise. Everyone. The vast majority of folk like me know that if we had some fruit, brown toast and juice for breakfast and not Coco Pops and a bacon sarnie from the canteen at the office we would be contributing to a better lifestyle. But we don’t, do we? Tomorrow we’ll do it, won’t we?
Truth is, generally we won’t. Especially me. I am quite frankly one of the laziest folk you might ever meet. I’m a “put off till tomorrow” expert. I can procrastinate for Britain. Unless I absolutely, positively have to do something and I’m the only one who can do it, I can usually be found within six feet of the Xbox up to my nipples in junk food. But no more. I have decided to get involved with this healthy lifestyle business. You see my pal Mark is a personal trainer and sports massage therapist. This is handy. Mark has given me some exercises to do and if I do them wrong and hurt myself, he knows how to make it better. Nice.
Now, let’s discuss exercise. I’m all for exercise. I think it’s a grand idea and everyone should do it. Until of course, you tell me I have to do it. Then I will refer you back to the previous paragraph and the black belt in procrastination. See how that works? Mark has given me the following exercises to do : Burpees, Push Ups, Crunches, Leg Lifts, Oblique Crunches, Lower Abdomen exercises, the nefariously titled “Plank” and Squats.
By the time you read this digital missive, I will be wrenching myself out of bed at six and performing these manoeuvres before breakfast every day. But let me tell you the story of when I went to Mark’s place and he explained how the exercises worked and explained to me about “form”. Bear in mind that I haven’t exercised in about ten years. I go in there like a spaniel, full of beans, vim and vigour. Then Mark says “can you do Burpees?” I say “Squat thrusts and star jumps?” He says “Kind of, but no jumping.” I think “I can do that!” Inner me, is all over this exercise like a cheap suit. Outer me however, has other, very contentious opinions on the subject.
Mark shows me how to do the various exercises. I attempt to copy them and not show the really quite intense pain I am in. Mark nods and sometimes alters my posture, talking about “a very weak core” and writes things down on a piece of paper. By the end of the session, my muscles are aflame. It appears that since I have not done anything remotely physical for some years, my muscles have developed the tensile strength of warm lard. Mark gives me the piece of paper which tells me the exercises and how many reps of each to do in the morning. Inner me is considering moving out. But I will persevere. I am determined. Even though my body would rather go somewhere quiet and private and have a little cry.
On top of all that, I am changing the diet, out go the sweets, chocolate, white bread, vats of coffee and things with fat on. In comes the brown bread, nuts and seeds, raw vegetables, fruit and drinking more water. I am also giving up smoking which is proving to be challenging. Admittedly I am not smoking at all in the day, but smoking at home. One thing at a time, eh? I must be mental. But look at it this way, Mark reckons that if I do what he says, in eight weeks, I’ll be fitter, happier and quite possibly slimmer. I might be able to break out a pair of tight 501’s (other makes of jean are available) and make like Nick Kamen.
I’ll keep you posted. Catch up with me next week.