the quest for getting fit and getting my weight to more manageable levels continues unabated.
After falling off the bus about a year ago as regards Banting, my weight went up from about 77 kgs to 84 kgs. I lay the blame squarely on Starch! I am still cutting sugar down and use very little every day. The addictive properties of sugar are incredible and the stuff is pervasive in all foods. Even so called sugar free carbonated drinks still have lots of sugar in them. But I still enjoy some pasta, rice and of course potatoes. I have also cut bread out of my diet.
We all know that the combination of a careful diet plus regular exercise is a winning combination for losing weight.
(I watch my phone and scale quite carefully)
So I really started to get active in sports. I still continue with the water aerobics about three times a week but I have started to play squash more earnestly. I have found a nice group of fellows who play regularly at the Virgin Active gym that I attend. I love squash because it is like a game of chess and it is an individual sport. If I win, I am the hero, if I lose, it is my fault. I like that.
So the weight gradually starts to decline over the last six or so months. Then for the last couple of months, my weight gets stuck at about 81 kgs. Yet according to my garmin watch, I am fit. My resting pulse is always below 60 and after strenuous exercise the pulse drops rapidly down from the mid 140's to my resting level.
So I am pleased to see progress. In squash the most difficult thing for me is movement; getting my legs to move again. I am still fairly clumsy due to nerve damage from my spinal tumour several years ago but I am moving much better and there definitely seems to be improvement the more I play.
Then I got bullied.
By my daughter Shae. She dreams of running a marathon. Anyway, we all as a family, got drummed into doing a Park Run with her on a Saturday morning. This Park Run thing has become quite popular globally, my one brother has actually done hundreds of them. I hate running because I can't just take it easy. I always have to try and do the best possible time. Quite pathetic actually.
(a Park Run in England?)
So with lots of grumbling and whining, I get dragged off to the run by the rest of my tribe to the Ruimsig park run. Lots of people at the starting line. They all seem happy, what is wrong with them? Don't they know what is in store for them? The race starts, lots of people hurtle off as I set off on a determined stride. My Youngest states that she wants to run, so she will see me at the finish, and off she goes, long hair swinging with her stride. She disappears into the distance. Then my other daughter passes me, I have nothing more to give. I carry on walking, lots of walking people pass me easily. My legs "warm up" and I start to run in bits, I manage to run more and more, but I am suffering. The last time I did a "fun run" was more than 15 years ago. As I approach the end, huffing and puffing, like a steam engine, I see my older daughter walking in the far distance. I start to run, maybe I can catch up to her. But she sees me (or hears me several hundred meters behind her) and she starts to jog, I speed up my stagger but it is in vain, my girls have beaten the old man. I am exhausted, as I sit on the grass, a few kindly, concerned folks ask me if I am okay. I gasp that I am just fine. All that suffering to run it in a few seconds under 33 minutes. My youngest trots back to walk in with my wife; I can't do that. My noble wife finishes but she is unhappy that there is now dust on her beautiful new takkies. Sacrifices have to be made my dear!
After the run, I replace my broken squash racquet at a nearby sports store. I take it to the gym and practise a bit. It has been an energetic day, that's for sure.
Then on Monday, after squash, I go and stand on the Scale of Lies. I am most pleased as I see my weight has dipped below 80 kgs for the first time this year. On Tuesday, the same ritual is repeated, but I am not expecting the same good news but I am amazed again, another 400 grams off.
(starting to tell me the truth)
So finally there is a smidgen of a result for a lot of effort and a lot of time. I am encouraged and resolved to continue the good fight. I register and register all the kids for more Park Runs. I do know that the more variety of exercises that one does, the better it is for a person.
I reflect time and time again, that in 2015 my neurosurgeon told me that my life would never be the same again and that sports were off the cards. Now I am fit and healthy, I am truly blessed to be where I am.
Just goes to show, that little by little, big goals are eventually reached. Its better to be a tortoise than a hare.