I was lucky enough to win a month's free membership of a local gym in the pre-school raffle this Christmas; and, last Thursday, I duly rolled up in my new (clean) trainers and running gear, filled in a questionnaire to prove I was not about to drop dead of a heart attack on their premises, and headed off for the treadmills.
As I've only got a month's membership, I'd already decided to make the most of it and go as often as I could but now I'm wondering, should I make the whole thing a bit more interesting and see if a whole month of exercise makes any difference at all to my shape. You'll notice I'm not talking weight here. A couple of years a go a got some bathroom scales as a Mothers' Day present (I kid you not) and took up running. I ran 5k a night for a whole summer and I lost - one pound. Depressing doesn't even begin to describe it. So this time I'm not getting on the scales but I will be looking at other indicators to find out if the new, fit me is in fact a new, slimmer/fitter me: a notch or two on the belt would be good, and I'd like to end up being able to run for more than 5k at a go. Yesterday 3 k almost killed me.
I have already fallen in love with the rowing machine. It's great - you get to sit down for starters; and rather than looking out of the window over a carpark on a dank, January Sunday, you can imagine yourself shooting off up the Cam on a summers' day - all good uplifting stuff. The only downnside to this is that the rowing machines are right next to the weights and there was a man there this afternoon who, frankly, sounded as though he was in the second stage of labour and waiting for the head to crown. It wasn't pretty.
Anyway, by February 14th, I will either be a slimmer, sylph like version of my current self or I will have proved (in my totally non-scientific-but-still-true way) that exercise is a rubbish weight-loss plan (my current working hypothesis) because it makes you so hungry you go home and EAT MORE. We will see.