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Fighting The Flab: What will happen when a fitness failure goes to the gym for the first time?


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I FEEL sick. My legs ache. I'm craving carbs.

I feel as if my whole body has been trampled on by an angry gazelle. I never thought exercise would be this painful. In fact, I never thought I'd ever muster the courage to step foot in my local gym, let alone commit to a gruelling fitness programme. 

Well, I say gruelling but, in truth, I never made it through my first hour with my personal trainer, Tom; I chose, instead, to chicken out the last ten minutes and keel over next to the rowing machines. 

While I'm no David Gandy, I've also maintained a slim frame, never over-eaten and, whenever I felt like it, went for a run once a month. But that all I changed when, fresh out of University, I landed a 9-5 job in marketing. Permanently exhausted and stressed, my meal times were all over the shop. White pasta, an avalanche of pizza, enough tea to sink the Titanic and chocolate brownie cake became my staple diet. 

What would it hurt, to have four large helpings of cake for lunch? Bacon and eggs for breakfast? Yes please. Well, it would be rude not too, especially when I'm chained to my desk all day, hunched over my DELL. 

So imagine my surprise, or lack of, when I desperately tried to squeeze into my skinny Topman jeans. Lightwash, they were. A bloody beautiful jeans, too. My whole life fell apart at that moment. Was this how Bridget Jones felt, looking in the mirror? Well, I might be a man but on the face of it, I'm more body conscious than ever.

So, off I waddled to Fitness First in Cannock, Staffordshire, where I live. I weigh 12st 7 pound and feel fat and round. I want to leave in four months looking like a Greek God. You know, like the ones you see in Spartacus and on the cover of Mens Health. 

I know, I know. Wishful thinking, right? I can barely find the strength to catch the bus, let alone do 30 minutes on the treadmill. My personal trainer, Tom, tells me that I will achieve everything that I want too. That, as a gym virgin, everybody has to start from the bottom. And boy, do I know it.

My first gym session lasts an hour. Or a year. It was hard to tell. I lugged tyres around the gym floor. I attempted and failed at basic squats. I almost threw up on the rowing machine, I still feel fat. But luckily for me, I'm now doing at least two personal training sessions a week. On top of one basic cardio session after work. 

The worst part, however, was my diet. Out goes the gGalaxy, Iceland pizzas and beer. In comes tuna steak, fresh chicken and spinach leaves. No snacking, naturally. But I'll get over that as long as, once a week, I manage at least one treat. 

So, for now, that is it. I will be writing a weekly diary for TNS, documenting my progress throughout the next few weeks. Fingers crossed! 

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