Monday, June 27, 2005

Feel the love

Gyms ought to advertise themselves on how wonderful you feel after you've been. I went at lunchtime today, and at the moment I love everybody. I appreciate as never before how wonderful it is to be wearing a cool linen skirt and sandals, not nasty hot tracky bottoms and trainers, and to be clean and dry. My shoulders ache (again) but I don't care.

It's not that I don't enjoy the exercise itself. On the days when I don't have a limit on the time I can take, I sometimes find I've been there for more than two hours. The running isn't exactly pleasurable, but even I can see that I wouldn't still be doing it if it was torture. I'm not that self-disciplined. I do enjoy the weight machines. This is a constant surprise to me. You'd think I'd get bored – you can't read while using them, after all – but not so far.

I think I'm improving, slightly, at the interval running program. It wasn't quite as hard today. The "hills" are quite subtle (by Edinburgh standards - it's a hilly place), although you do begin to notice that you're bobbing up and down a bit as your supporting foot moves downwards and back with the motion of the treadmill. I'm sort of hoping that this will get me used to this kind of movement. After the RFL is over, my next challenge will be learning to use the scary cross-training machines.

Ah, the RFL. You didn't think I wasn't going to mention that, did you? Well, if you're so minded, you can now sponsor me online:

and I'd be really, really grateful if you did. Any amount, however small! Much as I've been focusing on this as a personal challenge, it is a vitally good cause. Also, if people sponsor me, I will absolutely have to do it.

Edinburgh is confidently expected to be deluged by protesters all of next week, because of the G8 summit, the Live 8 concert and a bunch of other protests that are being scheduled then to take advantage of the buzz. So when I mentioned that I need to organise a lift to Kirkcaldy, Mum said "When is it you're going?"
"Sunday morning."
"No you're not!"
Yes I am. As my sister says, you can't entirely stop your life for Bob Geldof. I have the greatest sympathy with the cause, and I may go out on the streets myself on Saturday (if I can get into town, which may be difficult!) but I'm not giving up on something I've been training for for four months!

Sunday, June 26, 2005


It's been a beautiful sunny Saturday and what did I do? I went to the gym.

I kind of had to, because I didn't renew my membership until Thursday in the end, and what with the RFL being only a week away now, I know I will panic if I miss any more sessions.

In fact, it was a really good workout. I have started using the interval program on the treadmill - it starts out on the level, and then tilts the surface to simulate a hill, and also varies the speed. It is hard work. However, it does seem to burn more calories than simply running on the flat, and (I hope) gives a better impression of running over real terrain. Of course, it's still running over perfectly smooth ground in a perfectly straight line, so the simulation can't be that good.

According to the readout, at least, though, you burn quite a few more calories this way than just running on the flat, even if you have to walk some bits (which I did). I set it to fifteen minutes rather than twenty, and I completed it OK. This is just as well considering I'll be going about twice as far in a week. I would really like to have managed to work up to 5K by now, but it isn't going to happen. I'll just have to do the best I can on the day.

I'm really hoping that next Sunday will be overcast and coolish. By the end of today's run I was a horrible sticky mess - and my preferred T-shirts and tracky bottoms are black (although I have others I can wear if it's really hot). I really don't think I have the nerve to do the RFL in shorts...

The weights are improving, slowly. I had a go on the calf raise machine for a change - didn't find it very difficult, but it definitely feels as though it's doing something! I also felt I'd had a good workout of the abdominals and shoulders, although they now ache more than somewhat...

Last night I went with my brother and his girlfriend to see Batman Begins, and am adding it to my list of films that make you want to go and run around afterwards (others include Lord of the Rings and Bend it Like Beckham). I enjoyed it vastly and could easily go on at length about all the things I liked about it, but I will resist (Christian Bale! Michael Caine! Pushups! Batcloak! no, I said I would resist...) My only quibble is that Cillian Murphy is far too young to be a qualified psychiatrist - but he's so pretty that I'll let it pass.

The girlfriend and I were both expecting to dream about scarecrows last night, but neither of us did. Given my recent record this can only be a good thing!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Recursive question

You know how I vowed to write more frequent but shorter entries? I'm not succeeding, am I?

Meme a little meme of three

I don't normally do memes (although a disclaimer of this kind seems to be becoming a meme in itself...) but I've just discovered two weight loss blogs, Scale and Perspective and Yo Heave Ho, and I want an excuse to link to them because I think they're fabbydoo. They've both done this little questionnaire recently:

3 names I go by: K, Kirsten, Snuggle

3 screen names I've had: K, Kirsten. That's it. I can never think of good screen names.

3 physical things I like about myself: Eyes, mouth, feet. I have pretty feet.

3 parts of my heritage: Edinburgh, Arran, Clackmannanshire. Otherwise known as Scottish, Scottish, Scottish. That's right, I come from a long line of people who never went anywhere much.

3 things I am wearing right now: My favourite shoes. Sunscreen. Silver nail varnish.

3 favourite bands: They Might Be Giants. The Divine Comedy. Moxy Fruvous (unique, and sadly defunct).

3 favorite songs: Another First Kiss (rock version). Tonight we Fly. Video Bargainville. (If I have to choose three... Ask me tomorrow and the answers might be different).

3 things I want in a relationship: Affection, conversation, snuggles.

3 physical things about the preferred sex that appeal to me: Curly smile. Sparkly eyes. Smooth and tender skin.

3 favourite hobbies: Reading, making things, singing.

3 Things I want to do badly right now: See my boyfriend. Finish reading my book (Clouds of Witness by Dorothy L. Sayers). Go for a walk in the sunshine (it's raining now).

3 things that scare me: Needles. Very sharp blades. The dentist.

3 of my everyday essentials: a book. Flying Fox Temple Balm. Chewing gum.

3 Careers you have considered or are considering: Publishing. Archivist (reality), prizewinning novelist (in my dreams).

3 places you want to go on holiday: New York. Australia/New Zealand. Italy.

3 kids' names you like: Rowan (for a girl), Mairi, Thomas.

3 things you want to do before you die: Write a book and get it published. Learn to sail. Make a beautiful garden.

3 ways I am stereotypically a boy: I don't drive cautiously enough. I like noisy action films. I am not at all good at picking up on others' moods.

3 ways I am stereotypically a girl: Waist-length hair. I buy things on impulse (especially jewellery and pairs of shoes). In my heart I think everyone should find the one they love and be faithful ever after.

3 celeb crushes: I've tended to fall for fictional characters... Marcus Didius Falco, Shadow Moon, Prentice McHoan, and my first love - Howl Jenkins. A challenge - I bet you can't identify more than one of these without using Google! (I obviously go for men with really weird names from the look of it. If you ask me, I will tell you what books they come from).

I haven't done any proper exercise, other than going for walks, for days. This is partly because my gym membership ran out, and partly because I am a bit disorganised and haven't actually got myself out for a run. However, it is now less than two weeks to the Race for Life, so I had better get myself in gear. The gym membership is sorted out, and I have my gym kit with me. No more excuses.

I wen to my brother's graduation ceremony yesterday: he looked so dashing and handsome in his kilt, gown and hood. So I'm giving that as an excuse for eating chocolate mousse at the meal afterwards - I mean, how often does one's only brother graduate? It makes me feel rather ancient to know that my baby brother has a degree, though...

Monday, June 20, 2005

Bad to worse to better. Sort of

I posted that last one in the morning, and by late afternoon I was feeling a bit better. A friend had asked me to go to the pictures with her, and I was looking forward to that. I needed a change of scene.

So at half-past eight I finished getting ready, and left the house, pausing only to collect my engagement ring from the shelf next to the sink, where I'd put it after taking it off to do the dishes.

I tend to assume that I'm running late, so I ran down the lane from our house and belted towards the bus stop. Halfway there, I suddenly realised my ring was no longer on my finger.

Now this ring is probably my single most valuable possession. Not just because it was expensive, but because of what it stands for. Probably once I had a wedding ring I wouldn't wear it every day, but at the moment I do. I have noticed that it fits a little more loosely on my finger than it did when we bought it, especially when my hands are cold - perhaps I've lost weight in my hands... But I hadn't thought the ring was loose enough to fall off.

I retraced my steps (I was still within about 100 yards of my house) and scanned the ground, as you do. I couldn't see it. By the time I reached the top of the lane, I was beginning to panic somewhat, so I went back in and told my parents what had happened.

"It's on the shelf in the kitchen," Mum said, causing my heart to leap and then subside again. Of course, it was, until two minutes previously when I put it on.

In the three hours that followed, I wished a hundred times that I could rewind that two minutes. I called my friend to tell her I wasn't coming, and combed the ground with my parents and my brother. These are noble and good people, I tell you. I went back to the house and made absolutely sure that the ring hadn't dropped into my handbag, got into my pocket somehow, or caught on my clothing or hair (things do sometimes wind up there. It's long hair). Then we all studied the pavement and the roadway in depth, my brother using a torch to catch any reflections. We went over the gravel in our drive. We raked painstakingly through all the leaf litter in the lane. Neighbours saw what we were doing and came to help. Dad and my brother swept all the litter into bags to sort through later! We kept doing this until it got dark. No ring.

On Friday, Mum hired a metal detector and we went over the whole area again, including the hedge. I tell you, running a detector over the entire surface of an eight-foot-high privet hedge gives your biceps a good workout. But we didn't find it. I embarked on a thorough tidy of my bedroom, just in case it had dropped off in there somewhere, although I really don't think so. That has taken me most of the weekend (yes, I know it shouldn't take me that long to tidy one room). Still no ring.

This evening, I'm going to go through the bags of leaf-litter with the detector, and then... I don't know what to do. I've reported the loss to the police in case anyone hands it in. It is insured, but that's not really the point, is it? I just want it back so badly. I couldn't write a blog entry about it until now, I felt so sick about it. I have calmed down now, although frankly I have stopped expecting ever to find it. My workmates are trying to cheer me up by telling me stories of rings lost and found again, and it's also true that Mum lost her engagement ring, years ago, and found it days later in the street. So it is possible. But it seems unlikely.

I know that it's not the most admirable or sensible thing to get so attached to material possessions. As my mum says, it is only a bit of metal and stone. But I just feel so stupid - because I knew it was loose and didn't do anything about it, because I'd only just put it on, because it MUST be near somewhere if we could only find it. I hardly think there was time for a passerby to pick it up. And it's not just any old ring, it's my engagement ring. Nine months ago, it felt very odd to have a ring on that hand. Now my finger feels naked and I keep putting my thumb on my ring finger out of habit, checking the ring is securely on - only to find nothing there.

In a way, too, I feel as though I was warned this would happen because of the dream I had about breaking the ring. I know that's stupid, that it's a complete coincidence. I'm not the superstitious type, and I certainly don't believe that your dreams predict the future. But if you'd dreamt about losing something and then really lost it, you might feel a bit weird about it.

On the bright side, however, I have not had occasion to punch David Tennant. Nor do I want to. But I think it's just as well that he'll be busy getting ready to film the new series of Doctor Who and therefore not likely to cross my path.

If you should find a gold ring with an oval, pale blue sapphire surrounded by little diamonds, you might let me know...

Thursday, June 16, 2005

The sky is grey

Everything, it seems, is going well. I've just heard that I've got a new job that I really wanted, a graduate traineeship in an archive . The D. B. has also got a job here to start in the autumn, has got top marks in his exams and seems cheerful at the moment (he suffers from OCD and clinical depression, so you can't take that for granted). I got back to my lowest weight last week. I have new shoes and an Ursula Le Guin book that I haven't read yet. Everything in the garden is lovely...

...but I'm sad today, with the sort of unspecified gloom that I used to feel as a teenager. Everything seems imbued with melancholy. I feel heavy and weary. The past few nights I've either had great difficulty getting to sleep, or have gone to bed unusually early and slept as deeply as if someone had drugged me. My dreams are disturbing: I accidentally smash the stone of my engagement ring to fragments (I'm sure Freud would have a field day there), or punch David Tennant in the face (what's he ever done to me?)

I'd attribute it to PMS were it not for the fact that I just had my period. Maybe the prospect of everything coming right at last is frightening, in a way: the excuses are gone; I'll have to stop being a child and really start living my life - see about mortgages and pensions and goodness knows what else. I want to (doesn't everyone who's still living at home post-university?) but it's a bit daunting all the same.

Or maybe it's just the weather. Edinburgh has been sulking and slouching beneath a low grey sky for days now. A fresh breeze, a bit of sunshine, and a day out somewhere would probably work wonders, but, alas, these don't come to order. I'm not the kind of person who usually spends the week longing for the weekend – it's wishing your life away, I always feel – but I won't be sorry when this one ends.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Arm-y matters

So how did I do with the goals?

1. Well, I went twice, but when I wrote this I'd forgotten that I was going away for the weekend to help my sister move flats. So I couldn't go on Friday. But I reckon that all the hefting of boxes, flat-cleaning and running up and down several flights of stairs counts for something. I went again on Monday (and ran) and will go tomorrow.
2. I did this, and also went for a long walk around a reservoir on Saturday with Dad and my sister.
3. I did fairly well. On the other hand, I didn't eat terribly healthily over the weekend, because we were kind of living from hand to mouth because of the flat-move. I have definitely fallen off the wagon regarding resisting desserts (apple cake on Friday. Danish pastry AND waffle on Saturday. Lemon meringue pie today - OK, that's enough of that).
4. Emm, well, I definitely drank more water than I usually do.

This week, my initial three months' gym membership ran out. It feels like a good moment for a stocktake. Since I started I've learned to run on a treadmill and use a set of unfamiliar weight machines (twice. I never blogged about it, but I'm on the second lot of Nautilus machines now and am having a great deal of fun on the Gravitron).

I haven't lost all that much weight - about 8lb - but I can see a difference in my shape. Even a month ago, I could see that my calves have firmed up. Although they are not slender, you can actually see individual muscles in them now, and I feel a lot happier wearing a knee-length skirt. I'm aware of having abdominal muscles, too - my stomach has never been one of my problem areas, but even so it's much firmer than it was. My waist is smaller.

My thighs are still ghastly, but not quite as ghastly as they were. When it's hot, I now wear shorts at the gym, and there is no better motivator, I can tell you, than having to look at my thighs as I run. One weird thing that seems to happen when I start to lose weight is that the cellulite on them looks worse, rather than better, and to this end I've cut down on caffeine which does seem to have helped. They are definitely slightly smaller, and the muscle tone has improved, although it has a long way to go. I would imagine that only I can see a difference, but I know I'm making progress. I think I started out doing about 100lbs on the Leg Press machine - now it's 235.

I wish I could say I see a difference in my upper arms, but I just don't. Although I've managed to make progress on the Nautilus machines for back and chest, I'm really not making any on the Tricep Extension and Bicep Curl - particularly the latter. When it's set at 30lb I could go forever, but if I put it up to 35 I can do about 9 or 10 reps and no more (the Nautilus target is 12). It's been like that for months.

Similarly, I can't seem to get past 25lb on the Tricep Extension, although I've only been doing that one for three weeks, so I'll give it time. The muscles in my forearm have hardened and it's possible the ones in my upper arm have improved a bit - but not visibly, and it looks as bad as ever. And it's summer. Short-sleeve, strappy-top time.

Most of the time I don't have too many issues with my appearance. But I hate my upper arms. They are probably the one part of my body I would agree to have cosmetic surgery on, if I could afford it - that's how much I don't like them. There's something indecent about the way they look in a top with no sleeves, or those cap sleeves that most girls' T-shirts seem to have these days, like boneless pink sausages, all weak and flabby-looking.

Not surprisingly, I get annoyed every summer by the lack of Cute Tops with Proper Sleeves in the shops. It's all cap-sleeves, or worse, halters and vests. I do have some tops like that, but I wear a shirt over them. And this summer I have succumbed to the lure of the shrug (even though I think they are kind of silly garments). There has to be some middle ground between vestigial or non-existent sleeves, and mumsy blouses, surely?

For the moment, I have a lot of medium-size boys' T-shirts, which I've re-hemmed so that they hit me just below the waist, rather than mid-thigh. It's not exactly that I mind doing this. I'd just rather be able to buy what I want.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Now listen, self

In an attempt not to write such ridiculously long entries, I am going to try to post more frequently. Famous last words.

Briefly: It’s the start of a new week. I need to kick-start the old motivation after last week’s pitiful gym attendance and two weeks of so-so dietary choices. So I’m going to post some goals for the week, in the style of Mo (four blogs. How does she do it?)

1. Go to gym three times. Get running again after runningless week.
2. On non-gym days, go for a walk at lunchtime. Browsing around a bookshop is not a valid alternative, unless it is really very wet outside.
3. Think before putting things in mouth. Do not eat things because they are there. Do not eat at computer.
4. Drink more water. (I tend to forget to do this.)

There. I’ve set some food-related goals. One thing that I’ve learned while writing this: I am better at exercising than dieting, and I’m not at all good at thinking about food choices in the long term. I think I can compensate for poor choices by being extra healthy the next day, and then I don’t do this.
Mini update - I did go to the gym at lunchtime. The scales now say 189.3, which is only a pound off my lowest weight. So it looks like the holiday wasn't too permanently disastrous after all.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Full of a number of things

The fitness assessment, continued...

Next up after body composition was the "flex test". I see from the advice sheet I got afterwards that this is officially called a musculoskeletal test. It tests the flexibility of your lower back and hamstrings. Basically, you sit on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you and a box against the soles of your feet. The top of the box is ruled in centimetres and the object is to lean forward as if touching your toes, and push a light plastic bar, which rests on the top of the box, as far away from you as you can (holding the position, not bouncing). Probably more easily pictured than described. You do this "cold" as most people improve over one session of stretching.

I was not too worried about this one. I am naturally quite flexible (it's genetic - some of my family are double-jointed). I reached 27 centimetres, which put me above average. In the days when I used to do Body Balance once a week, I was a lot more bendy, so maybe I should go back to that and try for Excellent. My advice sheet tells me that "good flexibility in these areas is very important in preventing lower back problems". This would come back to haunt me later in the week...

However, after the flex test came the good part - the aerobic capacity test. This was a ten-minute test, using an Astrand stationary bike. The resistance level varies depending on the amount of effort you are making - if you are riding easily at level one, it puts it up. Heart rate is measured meanwhile, using a tag that clips to your earlobe, which feels a bit weird, although it doesn't hurt. The rate is displayed on the screen, as is the rotation rate. The aim is to keep this at 60 revolutions per minute, and there's a metronome tone to help you set the rhythm.

To begin with, the problem was cycling slowly enough. I'm used to interval training, starting at a low resistance level, but I tend to cycle quite fast at that level, about 90 rpm. Here I seemed to be more or less frewheeling. There was very little resistance that I could feel. Every so often the assessor would ask me to rate my effort on a scale of one to ten. It was definitely one at that point.

Looking at the printout from the cycle (which looks like a till receipt) I seem to have managed to keep the rhythm much better once the resistance level went up. As for my pulse rate, it started at 99 beats per minute, and went up quite slowly (it took it 4.5 minutes to get to 110). By the end of the test I was on resistance level 3. It was just beginning to feel like work, although I could still talk quite easily (the machine reckoned I had expended 39 calories, as opposed to 144 the last time I did my usual bike course in the gym). My final heart rate was 134.

I don't entirely understand how oxygen uptake is calculated from this, but the verdict was 31 ml per kg per minute, which is apparently an average score for my age.

So the verdict was: lungs well above average, flexion above average, oxygen uptake average, body composition rubbish.

The assessor discussed the results with me. Among other things, she said that I shouldn't despair about poor results as they may be affected by "genetic factors" (hmmm, yes, but if I have a genetic predisposition to be overweight, I'm still overweight, am I not?) She pointed out that as oxygen uptake is calculated per kilogram of bodyweight, a slight loss in weight improves the reading significantly, as you're unlikely to become less fit as you do this (as least, not unless you lost it through being ill, I suppose!)

She is going to e-mail me with training advice - "We might make you work a bit harder." Scary biscuits again? I hope not.

Regarding the Race for Life, this is the story as far as I can make it out. The idea of forming a team from work was mooted by e-mail, from someone at another site whom I've never met. I duly sent off my details. I didn't hear anything more about it for some time, but sent her an e-mail to ask if it was going ahead and was assured it was. I did begin to get rather nervous that we weren't receiving details and sponsorship packs...

Then on Monday I got an e-mail saying that "We have just tried to book the Edinburgh - Race for Life. Unfortunately this race is now full and we cannot get any places." I did a double-take. I'd assumed that we'd all been entered back in March, when the idea was first mooted. Given that this is a city of half a million souls, it seemed pretty likely that places would be limited.

Given that I'd been training as best I could for two months, and psyching myself up for a major challenge, I was, well, a wee bit cross. This wasn't really helped when both my mum and the D. B. (separately) responded to my sorry tale with "Oh well, at least you don't have to do it now". Grrrr.

I've calmed down now. My own organisational skills are pretty poor, so I'm in no position to criticise others'. And I don't know the whole story - maybe it's the race organisers who didn't let my colleague know there weren't any spaces left. I'm not usually the kind of person who gets cross and I can never be angry with anyone for long!

I'm now booked (really booked. I have a number) on the Fife Race for Life, which is on the third of July in Kirkcaldy (pron. Cur-coddy. No, I don't know why. It just is). So I have an extra month to train, but I might end up trying to run in eighty-degree heat. Or pouring rain. The British Summer is like that.

And in fact it's just as well I'm not going to run tomorrow, because this has not been a great week, fitness-wise. On Tuesday morning I awoke with stiffness and some pain in the lower back, which persisted for a couple of days and kept me out of the gym on Wednesday. I did do Nautilus after the fitness assessment, but as it was my first time on the weights after a week off, I didn't push too hard - so I think it must have been the flex test, as I don't normally have any problems with my back and that was the only unusual thing, although it felt fine at the time. Friday was very busy and I just didn't get to the gym. On the other hand, I have eaten better all week. Monday is going to be Fresh Start Day for exercise. Wish me luck.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

It is about the numbers, actually

I've been back home since Sunday.

The trouble about coming home on a Sunday evening is that it gives you no time whatsoever to get used to the idea of going back to work. Still, I was determined to get back in the routine, fitness-wise. Especially since I was conscious that my eating habits over the past week had been extremely dodgy. I plead in mitigation that my out-laws, who are otherwise lovely, eat ice cream rather a lot while being thin.

So I packed up my gym kit and headed out of the house on Monday morning. It took until mid-morning to remember that I'd actually booked a fitness assessment for that day after work. Still, at least I had my gym clothes with me.

If I'd been able to choose, I wouldn't have taken the test that day. I'd come back from holiday with a serious cold, and frankly had not got enough exercise over the week or eaten properly (see above). OK, I did go running twice but the second day was very hot and muggy and although I did do 20 minutes, it felt a bit half-hearted (I was on my own that time). I knew I wasn't making the usual amount of effort.

However, I couldn't change it now, so along I went. I was met in the foyer of my gym by the assessor and a young man. She asked if I would mind if a student observed and I said no (I was anticipating that some of this would be embarrassing, but hey, two people isn't much more embarrassing than one). He was taller than me, a first for this blog!

I hadn't got a very clear idea what the assessment would involve. I have never read a description of one on anyone else's blog, so here it is (do skip if boring).

First, there was a brief questionnaire about any health problems (none). Then they asked me how long I'd been exercising, and what I do. I told them: since February; ideally, 20 minutes' cardio on the treadmill, then Nautilus, then 20 minutes' interval training on stationary bike. Sometimes a bit less cardio the second time if I'm pushed for time (I have a ten-minute brisk walk to get to work, which I count as part of cooldown!) This is apparently OK for a start.

Then came the fun bits. First, I had to blow into a lung-function meter. You get the best of 2, as it's supposed to be easier the second time, but for some reason I managed to do a really weedy blow on my second attempt. There's a little fan inside that moves round with your breath, and it measures the speed of rotation - very clever. Apparently my lung function is just short of excellent - which ain't bad for someone who's technically asthmatic and who has gunk in her lungs from the cold!

Next up was the weight/bodyfat measurement, otherwise known as "scary biscuits".

"Don't worry," said the assessor. "We don't do skin-fold tests any more. They're a faff anyway." I was obscurely disappointed by this (I must be a closet masochist) but interested to see that the instrument of doom was a Tanita scale, only previously encountered by me through Erin's journal. This is the kind that measures body composition by sending an electromagnetic impulse through your bare feet. I usually weigh myself with my trainers on, but had a distinct idea that I wouldn't have lost anything last week, so was totally in the dark about the likely number.

192.3. Oh dear. Although I haven't made very rapid progress, I have not had a gain like that since I started. (I do wonder, retrospectively, if some of it was water, as I had been drinking tea like a mad thing - a mad thing with a cold - all day).

The body composition report was... interesting. According to the scale, I have 41% bodyfat, which is frankly rather more than I was expecting. That means nearly eighty pounds of me is just fat, to 112 pounds of other stuff. Although I have an amazing capacity not to know what I look like, if my reaction to photos of me is any indicator, I didn't reckon I had many illusions left. I know I have a big bottom and thighs (yes, and breasts) and that they are composed of fat. But that came as a shock.

Don't get me wrong - I know that doesn't mean I need to lose eighty pounds. There seems to be some variation in the recommended level of bodyfat, but Krista, who I trust, says it should be about 20 - 25% for most women (a bit lower for athletes). That sounds about right - if I had 20% bodyfat, I think I would weigh around 140lbs. Which would be absolutely fine.

Ever since the test I've been haunted by the idea of there being a 112-pound waif in me somehow. Even though I know this is on many levels Not True, my mind can't seem to let the concept go. Probably this is unhealthy in some way.

I will post more on the fitness assessment and the rest of the week tomorrow (no, I really will). Now, however, I'm going to bed.

One last thing - I imagine that anyone who comes here already knows Dietgirl, antipodean blog-heroine and all-round wonder, but if not - she's doing the Race for Life on Sunday. Sponsor her - it's a really good cause. Tune in tomorrow to find out why I won't be running on Sunday (a sad tale, but I've stopped grinding my teeth over it now).

To bed! Night night.