‘There you have the Cardio area and over there you have the weights.’
The gym staff member finished as a resounding clink from the Dumbbells being dropped on the floor emphasised her point.
‘So, what do you think, Edward?’
I meekly grinned at her for using my full first name and breathed out looking around.
Here I am again.
‘Let’s give it a go.’
Let’s go back a few weeks ago when I was studying myself intensely in front of the full length mirror in my bedroom.
I had just made the mistake of taking in myself in all my glory after getting out of the shower that Sunday morning.
As you do, I glanced at the movement in the corner of my eye that was the mirror and I did a double take.
It was time to fact up the facts.
Here we go:
‘I’m out of shape.’
No longer I had the lithe toned body I had a couple of years ago. I had massive thighs, my bottom was sagging, my face looked I had puppy fat and I had the dreaded beer belly too.
I’m not saying I am fat, I’m a little overweight and I definitely had lost my tone definition.
In other words, I don’t have a beach body ready for the summer.
I kind of knew over the last couple of years but I refused to admit it. Since I stopped going to the gym just before I started my RTW travels in 2012, I’ve not gone out of my way to ensure my body remained the 12st weight limit and ensure my body looked good.
I was still good throughout my RTW travels, making sure I kept to a healthy diet and undertake a few sporting activities. My weight lifting world be my backpack, stuffed full of my own crap, that I would pick up several times a day. Upon my return to the UK, I still looked good. But as I began to spend more and more at home, I didn’t go back to the gym and I re-discovered my love of cheese. Oh, dear god, I loved cheese.
I always made excuses. Oh, I’m moving around so I can’t commit to a gym contract. Oh, I’ve put on a few pounds, but once I join a gym, I can work that off. Oh, I’m turning 30, it’s just a part of getting old. Oh, I broke two ribs in a bike accident in Finland, I’ll wait until I’m better. Oh, I can’t be bothered to cook tonight, so I’ll get a pizza… I’ll be good next week.
It was a recurring theme. Promising myself that I’ll start the next week to ensure I get back in shape. A couple of years later, I grew to 16st and my favourite clothes didn’t fit me any longer.
I began to feel self conscious about my body image, particularly when I went to warm countries. Before I wouldn’t have thought about whipping off my top and striding out of the sea a la Daniel Craig in James Bond. But now, I chose to relax on the sand, still insistent on wearing a vest so that no one would see my jolly belly.
A slight wake up call for me was when I went to Benidorm last September on a blogging press trip. Next to the other travel bloggers, I looked so out of shape, the t-shirt I was wearing revealed my curves so that went promptly into the bin!
See more: Why this British guy changed his mind about Benidorm
Other people started to comment but in a joking way. They would rub my belly and say I must like my beer or that I’m getting old. I would laugh but I would be secretly annoyed at myself for being subjected to this.
Selfies became a chore. What! I know! I love my selfies, but I simply had to take more and I wasn’t happy the way I looked in my photos. Thank god for the selfie stick so you don’t have to see my face fill up your entire screen.
So, in the last few weeks, I faced up to myself and I knew I had to get back into shape. Everything I did I looked at in great detail. What am I eating? How much am I eating? Am I drinking too much beer? Where am I getting my exercise? Am I making too many short cuts? Is there a gym near me? Am I spending too much time in don’t of the computer both at work and home?
I studied new footage of the videos that were released that had me in a cameo. Did I look that bad? Yes.
It was a wake up call after a wake up call.
I jetted off for two weeks on the continent to Copenhagen and Prague. It would be my last hurrah just the way I am and upon my return, things would get tough. I didn’t eat or drink as much as I did and I started eating much more healthy food.
When I returned, full after my Eating Prague tour, I enforced a few rules on myself to avoid slipping back into my old ways. This would be my #BeachBodyIn3Months challenge:
1) Absolutely no cheese and bread at all in the next three months (this hurts me greatly!)
2) No BEER/WINE/CIDER for the next three months (except for events that I’ve previously agreed to months ago such as the Stag Weekend although I won’t drink as much)
3) Join a gym (already done so with Fit4Less this week!) and go everyday when I’m working in London.
4) Aim to lose three stone in weight (particularly on my tum, bum and thighs. (Yes, it’s the return of the dreaded squats!)
5) Always say yes to any sporting activities that I can find and be offered the chance to do so. I’ve joined my work’s Softball team already!
6) Walk the Thames Orbital Path in the next three months.
7) Go swimming once a week!
8) Fall in love with vegetation food!
9) If I’m travelling, undertake at least 30 minutes of intense exercise a day.
10) Overcome my fear of bikes and ride a Boris Bike on a sightseeing tour of London!
See more: When I broke my ribs in Finland
There you have it! That’s my Beach Body Challenge for the next three months. Come July, I expect to have reached a good shape that I’ll be happy with!
Then I’ll take my top off on the beach and watch the Lynx effect happen!