Exercise: no excuses!

Dumb Bells
Dumb bells, or their politically-correct name: free weights.

Way back at the beginning of this month (2 January) I said that I wanted to make a decided effort to get fit. I now have written on the white board on my study wall the words:

Exercise: no excuses!

as a way to remind me that I really can afford the 30 – 60 mins that I need to set aside each day to exercise. This evening I did about 20 mins of weights, until Mum phoned and then I had to go out to the Co-op for milk.

Hmm… not quite how I planned it, but it was a start and it felt good. Tomorrow, according to my Men’s Health exercise planner I have 40 minutes of aerobic exercise to enjoy; for me that means cycling.

Here’s what by my previous excuses I have done to myself:

Weight 280 lbs (20 stones)
Waist (at naval) 47″
Lean mass 206
Fat mass 74
Body fat 26.3%

I had to take the first couple of measurements to work out the last three figures. From those I could calculate my recommended daily calorie intake, and therefore calculate how I should distribute that intake amongst the 5-6 smaller meals I need to eat each day to help me both lose weight and build muscle.

To be honest I was really surprised by those figures, particularly the waist size, and quite ashamed too that I’ve let myself get this way. And I’m sharing them here in the public domain partly as a way to be accountable — so please do keep asking or nagging me about my exercising.

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been wearing my shorts mostly. Partly because I love wearing shorts, partly because I don’t really feel the cold much, but to be honest, also because they are the only trousers that fit me properly at the moment other than — thankfully — my cycling longs.

I really need to get into shape. I know that I can do it. I will do it.

A man in a sack troubles no owl

Benjamin pointing to a sign that reads: Baby Special Care Unit
Benjamin standing outside the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) at St John’s hospital, Livingston. Sadly, because of regulations Benjamin wasn’t allowed in to meet his only cousin.

We’re just back home after having driven a little over 200 miles today: Edinburgh to Selkirk to Edinburgh to Livingston to Edinburgh to Selkirk to Edinburgh. I’ve had déjà vu on more than one occasion today — I’m sure I’ve said that before.

Driving back along the M8 towards Edinburgh, Jane was talking about how she has to be in Wick, Caithness, in the far north of Scotland on Tuesday morning to be involved in a number of interviews for a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award-related post.

“Did you know,” said I, “that Wick is that place that all the male owls in Scotland fly-to to chat-up the female owls?”
“Really?!” exclaimed my sister Jenni, sounding quite excited by that idea.
“Yeah,” I replied, “all the owls go to Wick to woo.”

It took me about 10 miles to stop laughing at my own joke. And that was only because we’d stopped at a chip shop in Edinburgh and I was too busy stuffing my face with chips to laugh!

Just as we were arriving in Selkirk Jane got this SMS text message from my brother Eddie:

Owen is still in special care unit, but is feeding for ages and seems fine. He is out of incubator and hopefully will be back on ward pretty soon. E x

which is great news. So thanks for all the prayers so far, saints. Time for bed now. But before I go, just to explain: this post’s title comes from a competition that one of the London broadsheets ran in 1996 to come up with pithy sayings. Others included “You can take a horse to Wembley but you’d be in the wrong place” and “Fingers for hands, toes for feet!” I feel that the world is a more beautiful place now because of these. Bed, I think…