Walking it Off

May 10, 2013

It’s that time of year again – when you (and by ‘you’, of course, I mean ‘I’ – I’m sure you’re all perfectly svelte) emerge tentatively from the winter layers and realise that some of that extra layering is now built in. I would not be at all surprised to learn that humans, like trees, have growth rings – with each one marking yet another Christmas of overeating and undercycling – and it would appear that Christmas 2012 was particularly productive on that front, at least if the tightness of my jeans are anything to go by. In short the time has come to take measures or face the ultimate punishment: trouser shopping.

There are some things I won’t do, however. I have never on my life been on any sort of diet and I refuse to start now. I’m quite happy to stop eating snacks between meals or not have pudding or go from two slices of toast to just one, as long as someone is around to eat the other one* but I’m buggered if I’m going to start finding out how many calories there are in something, or switch to low fat or sugar free anything. And while the entire internet appears to be on the 5-2 diet, I’m not sure the world is ready for the sort of grumpiness I’m likely to display when I’m fasting. However, cutting out the odd snack and pudding can only go so far, which means if I’m to achieve my goal of getting back into my black jeans without holding onto the waistband and jumping up and down I have to adjust the energy out side of the equation.

Now I already cycle quite a lot, but cycling is actually not a great way to burn calories as it’s too darn efficient, especially at the speed I normally go. And when it comes to getting into jeans, cycling suffers from the whole thunder thighs issue, something that never gets covered on those cycle chic blogs. No, the only way I’ve found to actually lose weight is either to run or to walk more. I’m not *quite* desperate enough to go back to the running, but I am trying to get out on two feet as well as two wheels as much as I can.

For the last few weeks, therefore, I’ve aimed to do at least one hour of either walking or cycling every day and so far I’ve stuck to it. I’ve even switched to occasionally walking to the village instead of cycling to get my allotted hour in. The results haven’t been exactly spectactular, but I’m gradually shedding the excess, although that might just be our bathroom scales. I haven’t yet tried getting into the jeans, but it’s only a matter of time. The only problem so far has been fending off all the offers of lifts from people in the village – walking for transport is even odder than cycling round here. I might have to borrow a dog before I get picked up by the police for soliciting…

*people who switch the toaster to the one slice setting and LEAVE IT THERE get shot at dawn in our household. Just so you know.


Don’t Just Sit There…

February 9, 2012

Blogging material is a bit light at the moment due to a combination of actual paid work keeping me stuck in the house and utterly miserable weather today making cycling problematic. (Freezing rain – I ask you, what is the point? I was supposed to cycle up to the doctor’s this morning but wimped out after the radio was full of the usual dire warnings of icy roads. The other half scoffed as we drove there along reasonably non-dicey roads but I felt somewhat vindicated when I got out of the car just outside our gate and nearly went flying. A broken bone would have been nasty, of course, but at least I would have been proved right…)

So by way of a public service – and this time for anyone who doesn’t have a mallet finger, but does have an office job – I give you this*, via Doctor Mama. And I would add as my own top tip that you should immediately move to Scotland and start heating your work space solely with a wood burning stove burning not-particularly well-seasoned wood. Not only will you soon be too cold to sit still for long periods of time except under a blanket, but you will need to get up at least every hour to refill it…
* I was pleased to note that the comment thread beneath it was immediately diverted into an unrelated discussion on cycling to work. I have been noticing for a while that the internet is increasingly made out of bicycles. I had thought that that was mostly thanks to Google’s uncanny ability to serve you up what you want and Twitter’s echo chamber effect but maybe it really is. What’s your internet made out of?

Digging Done

March 4, 2011

Oof. After a final two-hour session this afternoon I can finally declare my vegetable empire completely dug over a shade under four months after I started, and only three months behind schedule. Hurrah (I used to work in IT so that counts as a bit of a result). The last couple of weeks the weather hasn’t been too bad and while not always fine – I knew I shouldn’t have mentioned our glorious sunshine – at least it’s been not raining more often than it’s been raining and I’ve been able to get out regularly and really make some progress. Now all I have to do is mark out the new beds and decide what goes where, get my seed potatoes (it’s Potato Day on Sunday) and I’m all set for spring.

One side-effect of all the digging was that I managed to look extremely virtuous on Monday when a very nice man came round to survey us for the Scottish Health Survey. Digging counts as exercise you see, although we didn’t do as well on the veg consumption as we would have done back in the summer when we were attempting to keep up with our salad crop. In fact, as we went through the rest of the survey I began to wonder whether we wouldn’t be throwing out their stats a little bit. I’m sure they interview enough people that it won’t be too much of a factor but we certainly haven’t been pulling our weight when it comes to consuming alcohol (there was one moment when we were both trying to remember when we might have last had an alcoholic drink). And when the questioning turned to cycling – well, put it this way: if you hear about a sudden surge in cycling among women in their forties in Scotland, you’ll know who’s to blame.


May 28, 2010

Top tip for all forty-somethings out there (hang on, that can’t be right, oh no wait, it is…)

Don’t try and get the full value out of your tennis club day membership by playing morning and afternoon after not having played for a couple of years. Let’s just say, the morning after, our ears don’t hurt. But that’s about the only bits of us that don’t…

Clearly, we’ve lived in Scotland too long.