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Fighting The Flab: Back on the diet


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I’m back on the diet. It needed to happen, reader. Not only because I spent the best part of Christmas having a love affair with a box of Quality Street, but also because I’ve realised just how immobile I have become.

I’m 21 and although relatively healthy, I don’t exercise. In fact, until last year, I had never set foot in a gym before. I’ve never seen a rowing machine and thought a cross trainer was something Madonna used to keep her spoilt children under control. I’d laugh in your face if you suggested going for a run, let alone weight lift.  But it had to stop. I couldn’t go on eating pancakes without feeling guilty. So I changed it all. I wandered into the gym last October, bewildered at what I saw; it was something from Spartacus, a Roman training arena. I would conjure up images of my sad routine of eating toast and burgers, whilst seeing personal trainers’ glug protein shakes and flex their muscles. So, here I am! (The person above is not me.)

I’m determined to put it right; all the years of looking, at best, a scrawny geek, were going to be behind me. By June I aim to look just like them (the Personal Trainers- who I add, get shouty when you give up after three reps). Here is my daily diary from the past week:

Monday 3rd February

I arrive at the gym, in Cannock, exhausted and fatigued from a 10 hour shift at work. My trainer, Tom, says that each week we’ll aim to complete a whole hour EACH of arms & abs, legs & abs and back & abs. This, he claims, will not only aid my poor posture (like a Neanderthal, I am), but tone the areas I most need. We head for the cross trainer, the treadmill, some weird torture device that forces you to pull a weighted rope, and finally, the dreaded rowing machine. We do arms, mainly, and I feel instantly sick knowing I can barely lift a weight without a weight even attached. After I nearly faint, we call it a day. The good news is, however, I can go home and scoff my dinner! Wrong. 100g brown rice and chicken is my life now. Even Kate Moss would have scoffed at it. Still, I eat it, albeit tearily.

Tuesday 4th February

I collapse at my desk at work; my colleagues laugh at me for not being able to handle one hour a night in the gym. After I nearly throw up, I cry whenever I see the contents of my lunch box: chicken & rice. I make a mental note of my do’s and do-not’s: stocked up on chicken and rice? Check. Remember to do squats in the kitchen? Check. I realise straight away that I’m mourning my regular trips to Nando’s (chips and coleslaw, you having a laugh?) and I’m salivating over the pastries that my colleagues bring in every morning. This must be how Clare from Steps feels whenever she goes on a diet.

Wednesday 5th February

I waddle over to the gym, and Tom is almost laughing at my moany jokes about life. “I can’t live anymore, it’s too much,” I scream. I barely get on the treadmill. Still, it is nice having a trainer that respects you, especially Tom. He never over pushes me, understands my fear of anything remotely health-related, and always gives me time to rest. We work on my legs and abs, powering through sit-ups - 15 reps at a time. After the hour is out, I (once again) feel sick. Tom says that if I want to see results, I must endure the pain and try to work out every day. I see about ten clients work out with their trainers, looking toned, radiant and happy; yet there I am, wondering whether or not I should change my t-shirt mid workout.

Friday 7th February

I love my new diet - I think. Small, regular portions are doing wonders for me. Better skin, better will power. I do cry whenever I walk past a Greggs, but I bet Ryan Gosling doesn’t binge on Steak Bakes, does he? The plus side is that because I’m exhausted each day, and nearly faint whenever I walk up a flight of stairs, I’m enjoying better sleep.

Saturday 8th February

Third and final workout of the week. I’m utterly speechless when Tom gently asks me to step away from the equipment if I’m about to throw up. The price we all pay for a hot body, eh? I work on my back, and nearly break my spine attempting to use this funny looking rolling device to stretch my body out completely. Apparently, I am making progress. YAY!

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