I ran 7 kilometers the other day.
My belly definitely did the flabby muscle thing while I was pregnant: It now looks infinitely overstretched and beige, like one of those sheets of raw pastry they toss around on the Great Birtish Bake-Off. Only my belly has poc-marks in it from the cannulas, while the pastry has bits of nice fruit and stuff.
Well, it might not be pretty but it can damn well wobble with me for seven kilometers and I’m still standing up at the end. Although admittedly my face – if a little triumphant – looks as if has just emerged from boiling water both during the run and for quite a long time afterwards.
I am yet to find the joy in running, but a minor distraction is the little app on your phone that works out your distance and speed. In my puny world, it is rewarding to see a map of my run and measure it in kilometers (it sounds more than if you do it in miles), then glance furtively at other people’s Facebook boasts to see who I am nearly keeping up with and who leaves me choking in their dust. I keep telling myself that there will be a day when I no longer have to do this: when I can run and feel good and not have to appease my pride with increasing numbers. Even when I can ‘share’ my runs because I am no longer so deathly ashamed. I sense it is some way off though.
Still today I felt a little bit like a real runner. Not only did I do 7km but I came back with a bit of mud on my leg.
Then I had shower, sat down, the Tiddler started screaming and before I knew it I had eaten an entire Madeira cake on my own. And the baby was still bloody screaming. And somehow – god knows how – I ended up hypoglycaemic, too. The fucking joys.
Anyway, this blog is about change and change is coming. Next week is the week when crying babies at night will no longer worry me: I will be at work. This is where looking after my body will either Happen, or get sucked down under the wave of New Things to Worry About. I will either make space for it or I won’t, just like everyone else on the planet. Tescos are currently launching a big campaign to get people to recognise the risks of obesity-linked Type 2 diabetes – and trying to get them to Make Room, too.
But Making Room is hard in our society.
It is hard because it is fashionable, cheap and most convenient for people to drive to work in cars; to work in centrally heated buildings where their bodies do not fight the cold; to work for long hours in jobs which are often sedentary; to eat too much food whenever we want to bond with one another; to drive home late; to look at screens at night. It is hard because there is even sugar added to some of the instant rice we buy at the supermarket – and how come the supposedly cereal Shreddies I give to my kids score ‘red’ on Asdas traffic light system? It is hard because chocolate is so much better value if you buy it in large quantities: manufactures sell more if they sell cheaper, bigger bars. Because cakes taste undoubtedly better than salad; because we are chemically programmed to eat when stressed. It is hard because going for a run is – as I mentioned – unpleasant; our bodies evolved to keep comfortable and out of harms way, not to work hard. Sure running releases endorphins and endorphins are good for us – and so does sex to that matter and sex is good for us too. But so does chocolate. And guess which is easier and requires fewer people to be in a good mood.
So it’s Hard. But it isn’t impossible and it is, in fact, worth doing. I believe in this.
I don’t believe in the dieting bit because science has shown fairly convincingly that the vast majority of people who diet might undergo a massive trasnformation, but often end up weighing more than the people who didn’t diet two years afterwards. And more to the point, I don’t believe in dieting because I like eating food.
SO I have written some other rules and I am going to follow them. The rules I will follow are these:
Go for a run every day that it is possible and you are not still in pain from your last run.
When you can’t run because Tiddler and Toddler need you, do some kind of exercise for your tummy muscles.
Run a 10k in an hour (OK shurrup you people who just opened their mouths to mock) by Christmas
Write down everything you eat and the number of carbohydrates you inejct. And your blood sugars. And learn from the times you need to eat sweets.
And eat what you like, but only at meal-time and only the one portion.
And look in the mirror sometimes and think about it.
That is all.