I am a happy person.
On Tuesday, the scale said 190. Yesterday it said 186.
I finally got myself to the gym on Tuesday, not feeling terribly enthusiastic. It was one of those days when you feel like a large pink puffy marshmallow person. I knew I wouldn’t be at my peak of performance (if I have such a thing) after two weeks off, and indeed I wasn’t.
Usually I run for 15 minutes on the treadmill, on the interval program. (My aim is to increase this gently as I get back into a routine.) On Tuesday I only managed 10. The gym was busyish and on the treadmill next to me was a tall fair guy in white T-shirt and shorts, running lightly as though it didn’t take the least bit of effort. Meanwhile I was labouring gracelessly along in my usual black tracksuit bottoms and T-shirt. We looked like some kind of symbolic representation of the Good Runner and the Bad Runner. Certainly by the end my skin was a most Mephistophelian shade of red.
As I got off the treadmill, another runner asked if I was finished. “Oh good,” he said when I told him I was, “you sweat much less than the other guy,” indicating a bespattered treadmill, which its occupant hadn’t bothered to wipe off (yuck). There was a time when I might even have taken that as a compliment, but I know why I didn’t sweat that much: I wasn’t working as hard as I might have been. That said, after Nautilus I then did a long interval program on the stationary bike (33 minutes) and was so wiped out when I got home that I fell asleep on the sofa. At nine o’clock in the evening. This is not like me, I can tell you. Eventually I managed to drag myself to bed and slept for about nine hours there, after which I felt better.
Yesterday I ran my fifteen minutes and did 20 on the bike, and didn’t fall asleep in the evening. It’s funny, but merely having been to the gym made me feel thinner on Wednesday and Thursday. My muscles didn’t hurt, but I was aware of them (in a way I’m not when I haven’t been exercising) and it makes me hold myself better. It’s true, also, that some of Tuesday’s 190 must have been water. If I can only keep eating sensibly and convince myself that that 186 was real, then that’s a new lowest weight. Eating is going well, and inspired by Zara, I'm challenging myself to eat an apple every day in addition to the fruit and veggies I would normally eat. Five a day really ought to be achievable. Two down, five to go this week.
Oddly enough, the Nautilus weights have been if anything better for my two-week rest. I’ve hit a plateau (numbers-wise) on most of them by now, but some of the machines have been easier than I was expecting. I’ve reached two milestones, however: 250 pounds on the leg press machine, and I’ve completely filled my second Nautilus card. Now I said to myself that when I did this, I would sign up for a free weights induction – you have to do this to use the free weights at my gym. But I’m still mildly terrified by the idea. This is silly. I used to be scared of Nautilus machines and now I’m an old hand (well, oldish). I suppose it’s partly that the Nautilus programmes require no mental work from me – I have the card and I go around and fill in the numbers, without having to make any decisions or plans.
However, the free weights gym is being renovated at the moment, giving me a handy excuse not to take any action for the moment.
I won’t get to the gym on Saturday, because I’m away for the weekend with my family. We’re going to the Highlands on a steam train. Or words to that effect. See you next week.