I woke up today thinking about the overall theme of yesterday’s Slimming World meeting – which was the importance of exercise. The message that all consultants had been mandated to give to their groups was that a sedentary lifestyle was something that was pretty much as big a killer as smoking and drinking.
Simply being thin is not enough. You need to get fit too. If you don’t you’ll live a shorter, and probably sicker life.
I can’t agree more, and like many of the messages given out by Angie in our group they are timely and relevant to me. In the back of my mind for quite a while I’ve had something related to this on my ‘to do list’.
As I’ve lost weight my body’s internal structure has become more and more visible to me. I can now see things that were previously hidden from view like the veins on the back of my hands, the muscles in my biceps and forearms or feel the bones in my bum and shoulders when I stand and sit.
It’s great to see them again – but they’re in definite need of toning. I haven’t yet decided whether or not this means joining a gym (I’m trying not to discount this any more after saying ‘never again‘ for some time) for some strength training or doing something else entirely.
For the time being I’m satisfied with working on the cardio side of my fitness (which is good for my heart and vital for my diabetes) but I don’t think I can put this off for much longer. In the coming weeks I think either additional work will be needed to address this or maybe even a slight change of focus and priorities.
That’s in the (near) future though and at the moment I’m just trying to do as much as I physically can with the time that I have spare – and this weekend thankfully I’ve been gloriously active, focused and very upbeat.
Everything in my mind is currently in a ‘you can do this!’ phase. I can see my 12 stone certificate on the horizon and I want it so bad I can taste it.
Irritatingly however this morning I also had a large blister to contend with after my walk to the Newbold Comyn Arms. I didn’t really notice it until I got home yesterday and padded around the house without my shoes – which was when it really started to hurt.
These puffy little swines were initially just a fact of life when it came to exercising as a larger man but (perhaps naively) I thought they were becoming a thing of the past. Last night this initially confirmed in my mind that there was already a tangible change after sitting down all day at work for two weeks, and it temporarily made me a bit annoyed.
However I’ve since realised that this initial (overly paranoid) assessment was probably wide of the mark.
In reality I still walked a lot last week (40 miles!) and worked really hard to keep my momentum up. The fact that I’ve been sitting all day long should be neither here nor there as long as I use the rest of my time productively.
I realised this afternoon when I got home that the actual cause was probably far less insidious and furthermore turned out to be irritatingly obvious.
The insoles in my walking boots (which you may remember were at the cheaper end of the spectrum when I bought them) are slipping backwards toward my heels when I walk for some bizarre reason – and leaving a ridge of rubber at the front of my shoe where my toes overlap them. It’s almost certainly this that’s causing my epic blister and either means I need new boots, new insoles – or maybe both.
Either way I chose to ignore it’s pulsating presence today. Such things are an inconvenience at best and nothing that a few plasters can’t put paid to. Consequently a gentle throb was my constant companion on my exercise bike this morning and then (despite lacking a formal invitation) it also joined me for a long walk around Warwick and Leamington to indulge in coffee and much window shopping.
Partially because of my blister, but also because I turned out to be in a meandering mood I set out with zero objectives this morning other than to clock up miles. I wasn’t interested in speed – but instead wanted distance.
I’ve been in and out of all manner of shops and galleries (art is expensive!!!) walked from one town to another town, then a retail park, along the canal, through parks, explored a little woodland and finally did a bit of grocery shopping before strolling back to home with a carrier bag full of vegetables for my evening meal.
Weather wise it eventually turned out to be quite a nice day – although when I set out it was rainy and a little miserable – so I chose to wear only supercoat‘s waterproof outer lining and removed the detachable fleece inside.
I also brought peaky out of temporary retirement.
Although there will always be a special place in my heart for peaky, Supercoat is still my most loved item of clothing. This is mostly because it comes from a ‘normal’ person’s shop, but also (rather vainly) because I think I look slimmer in it.
However I’m becoming acutely aware of its limitations.
It does a simply wonderful job of stopping water and rain getting in (it’s windproof as well!) but sadly also manages to prevent any moisture exiting too. When I’m walking briskly this can end up leaving me with a veritable river of perspiration in the sleeves – which frankly is not a pleasant sensation.
However it’s not really designed for exercise – it’s purpose is to keep me dry from rain and warm – and it succeeds on both fronts.
I still love it regardless of the fact that while I sat and typed the first part of this post it was inside out, dripping and sitting on the naughty step (well it was actually a chair) next to me in Starbucks. Now as I finish the post in the evening it’s once again gently steaming itself dry in my hallway downstairs.
So – what has it helped me do this weekend?
At the time of writing Saturday and Sunday myself and both parts of supercoat have clocked up nearly 19 miles, done 139 minutes of cardio, burned 3800/10140 active/total calories and walked almost 40,000 steps.
I probably should have sone some hoovering, washing up, dusting and laundry mind you – but in the last couple of weeks such things have slid further down my list of priorities – and frankly they were never all that high to begin with.
However, although my guilt trip alter-ego is telling me subconsciously that I’ve done little lately which could be considered ‘productive’ in a housekeeping sense – I feel I’ve instead done much that I consider to be important to my health.
Honestly I can’t think of a way that I’d rather spend a weekend.
Internet – I think all this exercise has earned me a big bowl of beef stew, which is currently bubbling away downstairs as I type. I’m going to enjoy every (calorie counted and on plan) mouthful.