Friday, 19 April 2013

(Re)Boot Camp

Spring is well and truly sprung and with the green shoots sprouting everywhere, a new desire to take control and reinvent myself has started growing within me.

The winter has been a big fallow period in all sorts of ways – I’ve been on the work-home-work treadmill (with most of the home bits curled up on front of a screen or cooking up a storm in the kitchen), I’ve stuffed my face, I've convinced myself that I'm now too old to care about how I look, and I’ve neglected my writing (you know, the stuff no-one pays me for).

The result? I look and feel like a spud. Not one of those gorgeous  smooth-skinned little new potatoes appearing again round this time of the year. No, more like the lumpen old King Edward that's been forgotten at the bottom of the bag and is now rather squidgy to the touch.
Time to do something about it, methinks.
And why not get back into my blogging groove to write about it whilst I’m at it, I tell myself?

I’ve made a major review of my eating habits (not good) and am now limiting what I eat to a minimum on certain days and eating freely on others. Three weeks in, I’m shocked to find that on my ‘free’ days I’m NOT diving into the bread bin, devouring a small French village worth of cheese or throwing small children aside to get to the chocolate aisle in the supermarket. If anything, I’m eating smaller portions and snacking less, safe in the knowledge that if I fancy a little bit of something I can have it – and without the usual guilt strings attached wherever I have put myself on a diet in the past. So far, so good. It’s early days yet and I don’t expect to see real results for a while (but I AM now wearing a ring that I haven’t been able to fit on my finger for the past five years).   
Phase Two came came this week, when I squeezed myself (lumps and all) into my gym gear, laced up my trainers, carefully avoided all mirrors like an incognito vampire and hit the treadmill – the real one – at my local gym. I’ve plodded away the miles and ended up exactly where I started. I’ve subjected myself to various instruments of torture that tease and tense and pull at muscles I’d forgotten I ever had. I’ve worked up a most unladylike sweat and gone a rather alarming shade of red. And it felt good.
I’ve had to lock my ego in the Naughty Cupboard for the duration of my work-outs. If I let her out to play, she’ll bring her depressing sisters Self-Doubt and Defeatism along - and they’d be sure to throw a fit the minute they spotted a glimpse of a large, wobbly, middle-aged woman throwing herself about and looking like a badly pitched scout’s tent flapping in the wind.
Oddly enough, although I cringe at the sight of my tracksuit-straining thunder thighs, sigh at the untamed flab around my middle and stare in horror at my meaty upper arms as I lift the mini bar-bells, no-one else seems to notice. As I take a sneaky peak around, I see that all the body beautiful 20- and 30-somethings around me are far too engrossed in themselves to point and laugh at me.
See that muscle-bound hunk grunting to lift the equivalent of a small family car in the corner? He’s more worried about not letting the bar slip and smash into his artfully unshaven face – and perhaps wondering if he needs to get his chest waxed at the weekend (ow!).
The perfectly proportioned gym bunny with the look of hunger (and you can bet it’s REAL hunger) on the ski-master? She’s just trying to catch the eye of the muscle-hunk, whilst presenting her pert derriere to the world and taking care not to smudge her mascara. Maybe she's also trying to work out why, despite all her hard work to achieve physical perfection, she can't seem to find a decent man - and might a few Botox shots make the difference?
The chap who's been running (yes, running) on the treadmill for the past 2 hours? Ever wondered what he’s running from?
As I plod my way through my routine, I try to ignore the scruffy, beetroot-faced old biddy waving at me from the mirrored walls, and remember that we all have our insecurities, we all have our problems, we all have our doubts. None of us is perfect, even if it might look that way to others.
But finally taking the first step to doing something about it feels good.


  1. Oh, good for you! I am in awe of you and wish you every success. You are MY hero.

  2. Thanks so much, Lo. Coming from you, that's really something.

    Now I suppose I GOT to keep at it, eh?

    (P.S. I've been off the blogging radar for a while, but hope to get back with a vengeance. Catch up with you soon.)

  3. Good luck and well done.....keep up the good work.

  4. Found my way here somehow and will most definitely be back. LOVE your writing and outlook on life!