It's been a frustrating month on the diet with me hitting a jaggedy plateau around the 86.5kg mark. But I am pleased to say that this has stiffened rather than dampened my resolve and I've upped the exercise and cut out the booze and things seem to be heading in the right direction again. And I am feeling really good.
This afternoon I went out for a run and buoyed by taking a few minutes off my usual time on the last run I decided to push myself a bit and managed to take a further 8 minutes off my 2014 personal best. I did the whole thing in 65 minutes (it was taking me 80 in January) which is, as far as I recall, about the time it was taking me to do this back in 2004. And I had found the pace comfortable and enjoyable. That's more or less 11km meaning my 10k time would be around about the hour mark (I think I did my one competitive 10k run in about 53 minutes in 2004). So amazingly I am not far off being as good at running as the 36 year old me (or Me:36 as I call him, the colon is all important in differentiating him from Me36, still waiting in the wings for his turn on the snooker board). I weighed the same at bedtime as I did in the morning, a surefire indication that tomorrow my weight will drop and I should get to the 10kg (22 pounds) lost since the 1st January mark, which is brilliant. I still have the determination to carry on and fortuitously I think I might be doing a feature in a magazine where they give me a personal trainer and a proscribed diet for six weeks, which should really help jettison more flab.
This is the fittest I have been since 2008 when I think I got to around about 82kg in August, before cracking my rib and not being able to exercise any more. But my next goal is to be under 85kg by the end of the month, which should be achievable with or without a personal trainer.
I am young again and I will never die. That is what I learned today.
The real secret of this kind of weight loss of course is to get stupidly fat in the first place. I put a lot of work into that in 2013 and I am proud of that achievement. But I have always felt that those slimmer of the year competitions are a bit unfair because they are really rewarding someone for getting ludicrously overweight. At least, without that bit they wouldn't be in any position to lose 15 stone, unless they were prepared to die and be cremated. Why give a prize to the person who has let things go so badly that they have got to 30 stone, rather than to the person who maintains a healthy weight their whole life? Or at least acknowledge this at the prize-giving. Here's a trophy for turning things around, but here's a good slap in the face for allowing yourself to get this out of shape in the first place.
I know how easy it is to let things get out of hand and that in reality weight gain comes down to a lot of factors. But in my case I deserve a slap in the face for letting things go so badly and whilst I feel very happy to have reversed the trend and be feeling full of life again, I don't really deserve any compliments for allowing myself to get so out of shape in the first place.
Will I manage to keep it off this time? And will I hit my 31st December target of 72kg? Maybe and no are the answers to those questions.
Last year I was questioning if I'd ever do my between-the-bridges run again and now I am doing it with ease and at a decent pace. Old age is creeping up on me, but I am planning to outrun it for as long as I can.
Today's Metro column seemed to hit a chord. The column is moving to Wednesday from next week.