I’ve always been a little bit overweight. The noteable exception was in my late teens and early twenties when I was living in places like Lismore, Brisbane, Bourke and Renmark. As you can see in this photograph – the ex has been cropped out – taken on Brunswick Heads beach in 1990, I was reasonably thin and looked quite okay back then in the days when I weighed between 55 and 65kg. It had to be the fresh country air that helped keep my weight down, because I’ve certainly never actively done anything to keep fit. Quite the opposite. With the exception of never having smoked, and having played tennis for a while (living in Bourke), I’ve never been one for physical fitness for one very important reason: it’s boring.
Boredom will be the one factor I’ll need to address in having signed up to the UTS Gym. “Is there anything you definitely don’t want to do?” I was asked by my Fitness Instructor. “Yes, weights. They’re really boring. I’ve tried them before and I just find them totally mindnumbingly boring. And besides, I don’t really care if I have muscle definition or not. It’s just not a priority for me”, I replied. “You’re the only guy who has ever come in here who has said that. That muscles aren’t important. But that’s fine, it makes it more of a challenge”, he told me.
And yes, I guess I do have a bit of a challenge ahead of me, in seeking to overcome forty-one years of indifference towards physical activity and physical fitness. “So why are you doing it, and do you have a goal”, he asked me. His name was Michael, by the way. The only goal I have is to lose some weight around my abdomen – lose the love handles – and to be physically fit or at least average for my age which, at the moment I’m not.
But in the midst of my physical assessment there was some good news: I’m heavy boned. No, not in the euphemistic sense of the phrase, but in the actual sense of having good bone mass density. Put simply, my bones are strong enough to carry those extra kilograms, for the moment at least. I’m also overweight, but not as bad as I thought I was. So there’s room for optimism, though Michael did tell me that if I were to join a class or something like that at the moment I’d find it difficult. So what to do?
“Could you do boxing?”, Michael asked. “Nah, not really. It’s not really me”. “OK’, he said. The resignation on his face somehow reminded me of my old supermarket days when we sold some items at below profit level just to actually get people to come in. So he’s suggested a largely cardio-based program which means a lot of time on machines.
“Won’t you get bored, though?”, he asked, picking up on my earlier point. And no I don’t think I will, so long as I have something to listen to and I can measure out the time I spend doing these things by the number of songs or the length of podcast I have to listen to. I figure I can do just about anything so long as I have my mp3 player with me to keep me motivated and distracted. On Thursday, we meet up again to do an actual run through. Wish me luck.
The only other things I have to do something about are having a better and larger breakfast, drinking more water throughout the day, and maybe having a glass or two less of wine at night.
So I figure if I eat better, drink less, and exercise regularly, I might actually achieve the fat loss I’m hoping for. Ah no, that can’t be right, I’m sure it’s an allergy or something.