Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Shaping Up

I'm delighted to be able to report that my recent spurt of dedication to reclaiming a more svelt and becoming body shape is beginning to pay off.

Folks who move from the Anitpodes to the UK joke about an injection that is administered at Heathrow on the way in that makes your arse get bigger. There is some truth in this. I can't speak for Australia (although the bodies of Sydney scene queens speak for themselves), but certainly in New Zealand, it is much, much easier to have and maintain a healthy lifestyle. It's easier to eat out without piling on the pounds. It's easier to eat in without piling on the pounds. It's easier to make visiting the gym a standard part of the daily routine. It's easier to escape to the great outdoors and burn a few calories that way. And more people do it, so it's socially easier, too. You are less likely to find that friends and colleagues scoff at your healthy living choices, and attempt to undermine your resolve and lure your sorry ass down to the nearest pub.

It's getting on for two years since I got back. After about one year, I had gained about 15 kg*. As I approach the second anniversary of my return, I am happy to be able to report that I have now lost all of that extra weight, and the belly is starting to disappear. There's a ways to go yet, but if the next few weeks go as well as the last few, then strides will be made. On Saturday, my Lovely Husband™ and I did a Hulaerobics class at 09:15, immediately followed by a Body Attack class. The hula hoop class is fun, quite tiring, and can hit your abs with surprising effectiveness. Body Attack is really quite intense, and to me delight, much more fun to do as part of a couple. We were both a bit bushed after all that, but felt great for it.

My body was buzzing all day on Saturday, giving me hope that I'll get back to that marvellous state when I'm drinking little (if any) alcohol and no caffeine (which I gave up about 6 weeks ago), getting lots of quality sleep, and fitting loads of exercise into my day. When it all comes together like that, it takes about a week or two, and then I feel really switched on every minute of the day: sharp, buzzing, feeling great, full of energy, and very positive and happy. Okay, so last night was my weekly pilgrimage to The Magic Circle, and I find it difficult to keep that night completely tee-total. Even still, I imbibed much less than usual.

*Anyone who doesn't like metric can do the conversion themselves. Personally, having adjusted to using it all the time, I'm loath to return to a system that I never really understood, and wasn't taught at school. I mean, how many feet are there in a mile? And how many pounds in a stone? And do you know the correct times table to be able to multiply these figures easily?


Nick said...

Hmmm you know I'm still not sure I'm convinced... it does sound fantastic but I think I just lack that thing in my brain that makes most people enjoy exercise...

Qenny said...

I used to be like that, and it took a long time before I learned that it can be enjoyable. I have struggled to find cardio fun, although lately some of the classes I've been going to have helped, and doing them with my Lovely Husband™ makes a world of difference.

Maybe you just need a workout buddy. Get Marco to take you to a gym some time. I'm sure he knows his way around a stack of weights.

First Nations said...

well good for you! that takes commitment...esp in the wintertime. and i know winter there sucks as bad as winter here does. bravo!

no caffeine? SO brave.

Qenny said...

Giving up caffeine is easy, and pays such amazing dividends!

But I think there may be a misunderstanding. I'm currently living in the UK, so it's summer here. I agree about it being harder to keep up the physical stuff in winter, but fortunately, I'm not having to battle against that right at the moment.

Inexplicable DeVice said...

* peers through clouds and rain *

Summer here? Really?

Anyway: "then I feel really switched on every minute of the day: sharp, buzzing, feeling great, full of energy, and very positive and happy." I can enjoy three of these five feelings just by dropping the toaster in my bath.

But really, kudos to you. I'm almost convinced to give it a go myself.

Tickersoid said...

Having recently collected a 'frozen shoulder', I've stopped going to the gym. Since giving up, I find I want to sleep all the time . My 'get up and go' has got up and left.

You're right. It takes a little time and you mustn't put your self off by doing too much too soon, but once you're in the swing of it, it's very enjoyable.

Frobisher said...

Hulaerobics sounds fascinating - tell us more, or, better still post a video!

Qenny said...

IDV: Listen to your Uncle Tickers. he thinks you should give it a go, too. Well, not in exactly those words, but it's definitely implicit in his comment.

Frobisher: Hulaerobics isn't nearly as fab as it sounds, alas, but it is good fun. It's also much harder to keep the damned thing going than I remember it being when I was a nipper.