How did your January go? Well I’m not showing off (I am, I do it for a living) but mine was great, thank you. The start of the year is always a time to reflect, set goals and then brush them underneath the yoga mat by February and I’m no different. Except this time, I was gently pushed in to something.
Basically what happened, was that David Lloyd (the health club, not my Dad) paid for some advertising on my radio station and wanted a presenter to ‘try all the classes’ for a month. That presenter was me, obviously, as the others were too busy ‘presenting,’ whatever that is.
So the idea pitched, was that I would visit Dave, as I affectionately now call him, three or four times a week and literally take part in all the classes. This would include the personal training in the gym, swimming, pilates, body conditioning, body pump, grit class, spin, core stability and synergy. When I first saw this list, they lost me at swimming. The rest wasn’t just a foreign language, it was a scary foreign language. One that I would never master.
So I started my programme, somewhat gingerly, on January 2nd. I was shown around the club and then weighed on a machine called ‘boditrax.’ This basically told me I was a bit fat and floating in between the Venn diagram of ‘standard’ and ‘obese.’ This was a bit of shock to me. I’m 6’3’’ and I weigh 13 stone. I’m carrying a bit of timber and I’m in the early stages of Kate Moss size breasts but I just put that down to middle-age. But apparently, I was heading down a dark road. A wide dark road. And I had to do something about it.
The first week was tough. Apart from the swimming and eating. I started swimming at the club three months ago, I just turned a blind eye to all the other classes. And yes, after swimming, I was given the most delicious vegetarian grilled breakfast. It turns out I was quite good at eating. Other classes were really hard. I was going in as a novice beginner and I was leaving, well, broken. Some classes I didn’t really enjoy. Not because I found it hard. Just because it wasn’t really my thing. I discovered spin. I LOVE SPIN. I also fell in love with my virtual spin class instructor, so I will continue that class until I have a heart attack.
The other thing I noticed, was that I much prefer exercising in the morning, than the evening. It gets my day off to a good start and I feel more motivated. Evening classes wound me up and I found it hard to sleep afterwards. I also discovered I enjoyed shorter high-intensity classes and that I preferred exercising with other people, more than myself. My personal trainer, Agnes, was great and even though she made it hard for me, she also made it fun. She also called me ‘the most flexible man she’s ever seen,’ something I plan to get printed on a T-Shirt.
By Week 3, I was starting to feel really good. My mood was better, I was more focused, my energy levels were up, my sleeping improved and I was doing a better radio show (have you heard it lately? It’s amazing. Monday to Friday 3-7pm Juice 107.2). Towards the end of this week, I decided that I had to continue this programme, long after the radio promotion finished. I was starting to get addicted.
And here lies the problem for me. I get slightly obsessed/addicted to anything that makes me feel good. And I was starting to see the signs with this programme. A strange thing happened to me towards the end of Week 4. I went to the pub and I felt guilty. I felt guilty during the night of drinking and most of the day afterwards. What the hell was happening to me? I bloody love pubs. I realised my mind set had changed and I was becoming more conscious of what I was putting in my body. It was a very weird 24 hours. Anyway, I didn’t dwell too much on it and the next day, I went for a 5k run and I was eating healthy again. In short, I got back on that healthy horse.
On my final week, I went back on to boditrax and I discovered I’d lost over half a stone and I had the physical fitness of a 37 year-old. I’m 47. I was impressed and so were the staff at David Lloyd. The challenge for me now, is to continue it. But continue it in a healthy, balanced way and enjoy the odd night out in a pub and a pizza on a filthy hangover, the following day. I’m quite extreme. I’m either Mo Farah or Keith Richards. I have to find a happy medium. Someone like Alan Titchmarsh.
I’ll let you know how I get on…