The Art of Walk

Aside from knee replacement surgery, I’m stuck with my crunchy knees – at least for now.   In my concerted effort to strengthen this far from perfect body, I joined my teenage son on a run last night.  Now, when I say run … I actually mean walk, even though I may even managed a very slow jog on two whole occasions!

The art of walking.   As easy as breathing, but then I did that wrong in Pilates.  I couldn’t have looked more embarrassing, as was kindly pointed out.

“Jesus, Mum, your socks don’t even match.  And don’t even get me started on those red trousers.”

My plan to ensure he ran ahead worked and I was left to work at my own pace while he, rightly, being 25 years younger, ran ahead.

Like most parents, I want to be a role model for my kids.  Getting educated, however late in life, was one way of doing that for me.  Getting my fat bum off the sofa every night is another.  But, as a rule, we are an active family.  My eldest goes to the gym most days, my youngest plays football, goes to karate and is always at the park with his Dad, but I do feel it’s important that my boys see me active too.  As much as sometimes … I’m just too damned tired!

Life is about balance.  A scone today, a powerwalk tonight.  Xbox this morning, washing the car this afternoon!

And with “Mum, why’s your face so red?”  still ringing in my ears, I know my crunch knees and I have a long way to go.

The Art of Walk is a battle I will win, but it’s not the war.  That’s going to take a lot longer.

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‘Helpful’ Mr Hugo

“Forty is the old age of youth; fifty is the youth of old age.”

Victor Hugo

No doubt Mr Hugo was trying to make himself feel better about approaching his twilight years but, as a woman approaching forty, it just drove home the inevitable truth.  According to Mr Hugo, I am in the old age of youth.  But what’s strange is that I still feel so young.  Even when I look in the mirror, as long as I don’t blink for a while and let my eyes water, I think I can definitely pass for someone in their early thirties.  As long as I’ve had eight hours sleep the night before.  And moisturised.

One practice I’ve come across recently, that I don’t think I could ever live without now (no, nothing to do with sex or chocolate), is Pilates.  I used to be a scoffer, not just of scones, but of anything that seemed remotely holistic in its approach, but Pilates has opened up my eyes as well as my hips.

It focuses on working the core postural muscles which help keep the body balanced – pretty essential in providing support for the spine.  We are taught to breathe (although I always thought I was pretty good at that – seems not) and emphasis is put on strengthening the deep torso muscles.  Sounds pretty intense, right?  It is!

I’ve been attending 2-3 lessons a week for five weeks now and the lower back pain I suffered with for over six months has all but vanished.  There was a scary moment today when the resistance band wrapped round my feet nearly catapulted me to the back of the room, but other than that, it may be intense at times, but the feeling afterwards is well worth it (like with so many things!)

I’m hoping that this emerging strengthened body is going to allow me to show that treadmill who’s boss this week.  But I’m still nervous.  As much as my back is drastically improving, my knees still crunch as I walk.

It seems Mr Hugo had a point after all.

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Mmmm … cake

I’m an addict.  There, I’ve said it.  I come to my favourite café most mornings but don’t seem to be able to have my morning latte without a scone.  A scone with jam.  OK, a scone with jam and butter.  And don’t get me started on the cream.  I’m like a moth to a flame where cream’s concerned but I’ve managing to avoid it.  For now.  It’s just another one of my daily struggles.

But it’s not the cakes I’m addicted to.  OK, not just the cakes.  It’s the people.  The overheard conversations.  The people watching.  The wonderful absurdity, banality, just plain amazing weirdness of ‘normal’ people.  And I’m sure, were someone to have nothing better to do than watch me in a cafe, I’d have as many ‘isms’ as the next person, but it’s those very quirks I love about people.

This is my favourite cafe for several reasons (the scones aside).  It’s where I came most days to study when I did an English degree because it was always too quiet to work from home.  Who am I kidding?  If I was home, I’d have to do the housework.  I liked the white noise that only the pensionable clientele seemed to be able to generate and Shakespeare somehow became a little more bearable.

I’ve heard conversations about “Jean’s ulcerated leg,” how “Bob was a nice bloke, but they couldn’t bear his tarty wife Iris,” and “they did a far better job on my wig, but it cost me much, much more.” I’ve heard numerous childbirth stories, a story about how a woman coped with having to leave her husband in a hospice,  and a million stories in between.

And so when I finished my degree, and I didn’t need to go to the cafe anymore, I realised it was too late – I was addicted.  To the lattes, the scones, the buy 9 get 1 free offer – but most of all, to the people.

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Time to be honest …?

I weighed myself today.  Nothing unusual in that.  It’s my weekly ‘treat.’  No more than once a week, no less.  Just once.  I’m not sure of the science behind it – all I know is that I don’t think I could bear any more than having to go through this once a week.  Men, on the other hand – a quick hop on and off (the scales that is …) after a session in the gym and that’s it.  No thought.  No Dread.  No problem.

I thought long and hard about whether to divulge my weight to you all  in my first blog and came to this conclusion.  There is no hiding the fact that I’m a big girl.  A fuller-figured woman.  A BBW.  However you want to label it.  The fact is, I’m 5ft 9”, a size 18 (size 16 on a good day) and, as of today, I weigh … sorry guys, I just don’t know you well enough yet!  But I couldn’t be happier!  Why?  Because I’ve weighed ‘x’ stones for over a year.

There are two strange things about that:  1.  I really don’t eat a lot (which is a problem in itself) and 2. I’ve weighed exactly the same for a year – not a pound more and, unfortunately, not a pound less.  So yes, what I weigh is far from perfect but today I weigh ‘x – 1/2 stone.’

I know I need to lose several stones … BUT it’s finally shifting.


Over the last month, I’ve finally figured out several things.  Not quite an epiphany but a few things have just clicked into place.  I’ll explain more in another post.

In the meantime, however, yes I’m still overweight, but don’t hold that against me.  There’s more to me than wobbly bits, as you’ll hopefully find out!

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