Thursday, September 1, 2011

I just cannot believe how long it's been since I last posted on this blog - nearly six whole months!
I guess life just got in the way....
Things have been moving on apace: my return visit to the practice nurse for a blood pressure check involved her telling me that I had, in fact, lost a stone in weight (wahay!) and that my BP was righting itself quite nicely (Woop woop!).
Spurred on, I resolved to stick with my new regime and, lo and behold, I am now more than two stone lighter than I was in January.
Am I pleased? You betcha!
There was some minor inconvenience as I found myself having to purchase a complete new summer wardrobe (nothing from last year fitted - none of the trousers would stay up) but that was trumped by being able to wear a bikini (yes! a bikini!) without shame on the beach, for the first time in nearly a decade and a half.
I've actually impressed myself with my tenacilty, and to be absolutely honest I just had to put my head down and get on with it. I initially started by swimming everyday, working up from 15 minutes a go for the first few days and working up to sessions of half an hour/forty-five minutes. Into this I added three sessions a week of weight-training, divided into back/biceps, chest/triceps, legs and shoulders. After a few light sessions, I worked up the weights and concentrated on deadlifts, bench-presses and squats, with additional curls and pushdowns for the arms. After Easter I brought in some abs and core and ergo (rowing machine) work and, finding I enjoyed it, fitted in a session every day (40 mins on its own or 20 mins post-weights) and dropped the swimming to a relaxing post-workout role, along with a steam or a sauna.
I did all this by leaving for the gym as soon as the children were on the school bus at 7.30 in the morning, busting my ass, and then making sure I was at my desk working by 9.30 every day.
I daren't think about it too much - I just made it part of the daily routine and found that no matter how tired I was at the start of a session, by the end I was buzzing with endorphins and feeling totally energised and WELL!
So the hard work has indeed paid dividends - I bought (and fitted into) some size 10 super-skinny jeans last week and have no intention of letting this slip.
One of the major motivations was starting to cox the junior rowers in loves a fat coxswain although, as I told the kids in the early days, they should look on me as resistance training, much as athletes occasionally train with a car-tyre chained to their waists. I work on the premise that, having trained with me on board, a race with another junior coxing will be a piece of cake!
Much to my surprise, just before the summer holidays, the Bright-Eyed Boy finally capitulated and agreed to give rowing a go. Actually it was a bit of a stand-off: I told him I was not prepared for him to waste another summer holiday on the XBox and that I wanted him to try it out until the autumn at least. He agreed surprisingly quickly (maybe he'd already been considering changing his mind from his earlier outright refusal) and said that 'Maybe it would be quite fun'.
Well, he hasn't looked back: since his first tentative captive-rope outings in mid-July accompanied by the Husband (I was away at a conference, godddamit!), he has taken to it like a duck, progreesing over the holidays into a fine single sculling boat and making a pretty decent quad-crew member, keeping up in the firm pieces with boys a year older than himself.
Proud or what? Even better when I get to cox them...
And now the summer is practically over. Daughter #3 (who has had a pretty happy regatta and rowing season herself) is back to school for a year ten orientation day tomorrow, and the B-E B returns on Monday. So that's it for the daytime training: back to after-school sessions, which will get gradually curtailed by the earlier onset of dark.
I could feel quite melancholy, as is my usual September wont (see previous years' posts), but I have way to much to do. WAY, WAY too much, with the thesis due for submission in March!
But that's a different story.....

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