Saturday, February 02, 2013

"The only regular exercise I get is pushing my luck"

A ruined temple. Yesterday. Because metaphors accompanied by
photo reference are FUN.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again - My body is a temple. Unfortunately it's a temple which used to be used for the worship of long since forgotten Elder God (undoubtedly one with a name with too many apostrophes in it)* which is rapidly sinking into the shore of some eldritch lake somewhere (Topic to research: can lakes be Eldritch?) festooned with vines, with only a foul smelling black moss holding it together.

But I am trying to improve. I replaced my addiction to cigarettes with an addiction to nicotine lozenges some 14 months ago, replaced my addiction to nicotine lozenges with an addiction to Polo mints some three months after that, and several months after that eventually weaned myself off Polo Mints. Those fags can be a bugger when you get addicted to the replacement, and then to the replacements replacement after that.

So it was a habit I thought I'd never break, but here I am 14 months on with my lungs sparkling like a new shiny pin. Or something. But I, like many others, fell to the foul that often befalls ex-smokers - that they replace cigarettes with snacking.

Marmite Crisp Multipack -
or "Tuesday"
And boy did I snack. Research taught me that crisps only come in multipacks so they can be carefully staggered throughout a day - (It's surely no coincidence that most multipacks contain 6 packs of crisps and that there are about six working hours in a day) and chocolate - I have it on good authority - is definitely one of the main food groups. That and Trifle. With my olfactory sense cleansed by the lack of cigarettes, my taste buds had returned with a vengeance. It doesn't help that I'm rather fond of an alcoholic drink of an evening as well.

But my sedentary lifestyle of sitting in front of a computer every day, eating utter rubbish and drinking way too much lager meant that something had to give - and what I'd put down to middle-age spread due to my 41 years on this earth was clearly developing into a beer belly. (Lol, at least it's all paid for, something to rest my pint on, roflcopter, coronary disease, etc).

So something had to be done. First it started with eating better and simultaneously starting on the Couch to 5k program to earn me more calories so I could eat something other than piles of vegetables and a handful of lentils, but then the bad weather started and it became easier to find excuses not to go out running, and it all lapsed again.

But now I dress up as a fictional police officer (Robocop - thanks, Darren) for a hobby, there are a lot more photographs of me being taken than at any other point in my life other than my wedding day. And in what is effectively a leather onesie, it's difficult to hide the evidence of bad diet and too little exercise - no matter how tightly this Judge does up his belt.

So, I'd been toying with an idea for a while and when my good friend Fran took the plunge first I decided to do what I'd been putting off.

I'd join a gym.

Now, you need to appreciate how much trepidation this fills me with. This is completely alien territory to me. In my mind, gyms are places where fit golden skinned people go and all sit around sipping protein shakes and laughing at pictures and youtube clips of fat people.

But it is a means to an end. The gym in question is only a 10 minute walk from my house, is relatively cheap (compared to other gyms I'd been researching) and there isn't a contract. And I have to get fitter. I have had problems with weird mixtures of blood pressure and depression in the past and I know that exercise just makes me feel better.

"Hello, I'm one of the aliens from clunky plot-hole ridden
science fiction film Prometheus.  I look like the kind of men
you thought you'd find in the gym"
So I went for my first visit the other day, for my induction into how to use the equipment. And do you know what? It was filled with a variety of people - fit people who wanted to stay fit, and people just like me who wanted to be fitter. No intimidating hulk lookalikes constructed purely of muscle lifting weights with their feet and smirking at the tubby little guy - just normal people.

So I've had now three visits and I'm feeling better already. It's tough, I'm discovering muscles that science had determined lost beyond hope, but I'm absolutely determined to stick with it. And why have I told you all this? Because when I gave up smoking it helped me to know I'd told other people what I was doing - so If I stopped I'd be letting them down as well as me. And that's why.

So, step 1 towards a fitter, happier David. Here goes..

* - Kr'n'nburg the Ever-Yeasty

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