It was about two years ago I think. Upon reaching the grand old age of 30 I first became aware of it and though I didn’t believe it at first there was no getting away from it, I was finally there. I had reached an age where eating and drinking what I wanted would push me beyond a previous upper limit of a 34 inch waist. The natural metabolism of youth had deserted me, ironically with an increasing love of deserts.
Sure, there had been times in my teen years and early student life where the discovery of beer and endless take aways had at times pushed my slight frame to podgyness, but never beyond a 34 inch waist! Also, back then, two months of healthy eating, cutting out beer, extra session at the gym and an extra game of footie, I would soon be back to fighting fitness.
Alas this was no longer the case, the combination of having to actually work hard for a decent living, settling down, having a beautiful little girl and seemingly drinking more wine as I got older took it’s toll. No time to excercise I told myself, you convince yourself that twenty minutes playing with your child in the garden, or even doing the hoovering constitites running a marathon and therefore no harm in a cake with your cup of tea as a treat. Well there was.
My personal Nadir came in a double whammy just after Christmas last year (I had a very good Christmas as the saying goes) upon my return to work. I had won an annual award for work and was invited to a pretty swanky lunch to collect it. Shock abound, I had already broached the waist barrier into a 36 and, post festivities, I was forced to buy suit trousers in (wait for it) a 38 inch waist.
While this was never ‘American Fat’ it was a wake up call and I needed to do something about it. The other pertinent part of that day, after the three course a la carte meal – which stood no chance in the face of me, a Chinese Buffet veteran – we had group pictures taken. Mine was taken next to a particularly ‘fat bastard of a fraud manager’ – to use a technical term – and I remember thinking similar at the time. Upon development of said photo it was clear I wasn’t far behind him unfortunatly. Things needed done.
So do something about it I have. Cut down on carbs, drastically cut down on portion size and snacking only on fruit, I thought, as in previous years, the weight would just fall off – I was wrong. It’s the post 30 way of life, if you want to enjoy the odd treat and vast quantities of beer or wine (and you surely must) then you must put the work in.
So a plan was drawn up. Running three times a week, football once a week and press ups on the non running days. Cycling will come later, the running after a literal slow start is up to two to three miles none stop. I feel confident, happier, fitter, more alert and even a better, more energetic dad as a result. The funniest thing about ‘having’ to excercise post 30 is it puts you off eating crap. Why should I flog my guts off for a three mile run, to put half the calories lost back on with a snickers? That snickers becomes a run in your mind, and I still fucking hate running!
So what of this? Well to date I am about a 33 inch waist, fitting into clothes I haven’t for two years and as above feeling better than ever. Though the work needs putting in, it is worth every moment and the reward you feel when you see a neck bone in the mirror that you had forgotten existed is tangiable.
The pay-off, well I suppose if I can do it anyone can. Get out there people, show some Olympian spirit, make Seb, Boris and the rest of the twats championing ‘Legacy’ proud and get yourselves fit. It will be the best thing you ever do.
Now where did I put that guilt free Rioja ( now that’s worth a run).