Around the start of the year, I whinged through a predictable lament on the pointlessness of targets, before slipping in the horrific half al/half hippo fat-boy stat, and promising to do something about it. No one is more surprised that I, that cheap words were followed by somewhat more expensive deeds.
In those eight weeks, nearly 20lbs has been removed from my withering carcass. The expense has come in the form of booking an early alps long weekeend, a few race entries, and a new bike. Liposuction, or possibly full body replacement would have been cheaper.
I’m rightly quite proud of that. Slipping a bike in under the auspices of healthy living I mean, rather than the actual fat removal. That bit has been surprisingly easy mainly as it’s not a diet, it’s just a better way of living your life. Firstly, stop drinking in the week. I’m the last man with any mandate to get all preachy here, but the volume and frequency of my bottle love was sat right in the middle of what we’re told is a middle class problem.
Then eat less, exercise more. Smaller plates filled with home cooked food, heavy on the veg and missing all that processed shit that used to be the default option. Treats are treats – love a bit of Jessie’s awesome cake but the key world here is little. And not to be coupled with often. Accept that sometimes you’re going to be hungry but even that goes after a few weeks. And when you do eat, it’s a really enjoyable experience not just fast fuel.
Habits can be hard to break. At work we seem to be in a cycle of unending birthdays releasing a torrent of sugary based products on a daily basis. Once you’ve politely declined 20 times, people do stop asking. Now they just give me a banana instead, although this may be a less than subtle pointer to how I am viewed by the organisation So breaking the snacking habit is a bugger, but – if the calorie counting app is anything like accurate – a bloody important one.
That app is nasty. And it’s also pointless to those who say calorie counting is a stupid way to try and lose weight. They have the -ahem- weight of science and clinical trials to go by, I have my trouser size. The truth is in the middle somewhere I’m sure – eat better food in less quantities while really thinking about what you’re stuffing your face with, and it’s likely you’ll see some positive results.
Mine are a waist with circumference of minus two inches, a view of my ribs last seen by an x-ray machine and a body shape that isn’t entirely hidden by thirty years of abuse since beer was discovered. But that’s just vanity and entirely not the reason for making a bit of an effort. Riding bikes is what I love doing, and being a chunk lighter makes that an even better experience.
Not just climbing where you get there quicker but it hurts just as much. Strava – and we’ll be back to this soon – is another bastard app clearly designed for weak willed, excuses filled people like me. Now tho, longer rides aren’t so exhausting, schelpping up ‘one more climb’ makes some kind of sadistic sense, and while pedalling hard everywhere still raises an oxygen deb, at least I can just about service it.
New bikes help of course. As do recently dry and frozen trails. And impending deadlines for the Westword 50, Wiggle 100k road ride, HONC (never again I said, it appears I lied) and a few others have me out spinning circles with a stretch goal of being second from last.
I appreciate this is all a bit self congratulatory. It’s not meant to be, more an outpouring of surprise at what’s somehow happened in eight weeks on a pie avoidance programme. Whether it’s sustainable is hard to know, but so far the rewards far outweigh any occasional cravings.
I did, for one second, consider another crack at Mountain Mayhem. But that’s crossing a hard line between healthy living and terminal stupidity.