How about this weather? Neat, right? Those barbecue invites beginning to pour in like a cold cider on a summer's evening? Yeah, me too...
I don't know about you but most barbecues I go to involve the ''men'' huddling around the barbecue sporting serious expressions, beers in hand, nodding intently as the designated tong-holder flips the sizzling meat. Just once, you understand. To seal in the flavour, you understand. The men, they nod emphatically. It's serious, this barbecue business.
There's plenty of salad - potato salad, pasta salad, tabbouleh salad, couscous salad, avocado salad. Any salad under the sun, it'll be there. And garlic bread. Mountains of it. I haven't even started on the dessert - ice cream, maybe a pavlova, perhaps a cheesecake or even a trifle laden with strawberries and cream. I can feel my waistband tightening by the second. There goes that run earlier in the day.
And what about the beer pong? The flippy cups? The cold alcoholic beverages straight from the chiller being passed around the sweet outdoor table your mate just bought, the friendly banter, jabs and insults being thrown around, the cackles and sniggers and roars of laughter becoming more boisterous as the evening continues.
It's a Wednesday afternoon. I have finally mustered up the courage to try a group fitness session. Every fibre in my body is screaming at me to bail on the idea 'cos I'm terrified of group classes. Truly petrified. I mean, who really enjoys getting red-faced and sweaty with strangers while trying to execute a series of manoeuvres that leave little room for grace and poise? I have about as much finesse a newborn giraffe on a good day.
On the other hand Launch Fitness owner and instructor Kristen Burnett makes it look like she was born doing burpees. And lunges. And mountain climbers. And prison squats. It's ok to laugh at that one. I did, right before I started seeing stars and had to sit out at least half of the session. What a rookie. Who goes to the hardest workout session first time? Me.
Meanwhile, the rest of group are powering through the exercises like pros as I huff and puff in the corner. After awhile, I try to get back into it. I'm way behind but Kristen encourages everyone to go at their own pace. It's not a competition, which is good because I doubt I would have qualified for a participation medal in a Weet Bix triathlon at this point.
We move on from to sprints. Ten knee kickers, drop to the ground and sprint. Walk back. Repeat. At about number three, I'm knackered. By five, I'm about ready embrace the grass face first. Kristen can tell, so she lets me to sit the backwards sprint out. I could've hugged her. But I held back, because then I'd be the weirdo hugging the instructor. A few more sets of exercises, a warm down and it's over.
In my bid to live a healthier lifestyle I turned to the all-knowing Pinterest for guidance.
I had so many questions to ask, like do I carb? Do I avoid carbs like they are the plague? Protein? No protein? A cheat day?
So I went forth in search of some pearls of wisdom and, boy, did I find. And find. And find some more. By the end of all that discovery, I was more bamboozled than I had been to begin with.
There is so much information out there that its a tad overwhelming. There's the eat no carbs theory, emphasis on the word theory. Actually applying it to everyday life is ridiculously hard.
Or the don't eat carbs after a certain time in the day. I did this for seven months once and, combined with regular exercise, I dropped about 8-9kgs. But I was also constantly hungry at night and I couldn't keep it up. So I found something that I could realistically use in real life - good carbs vs bad carbs.
Things started off with a bang. Nothing could stop me, I was going to do this and I was going to do it right.
The world was a brighter place, sunshine streaming through every facet of daily existence. Getting in shape was my purpose and I clung to it for dear life.
And for about a week, things went smoothly. The rapid descent into excuseville went something like this:
Like many others, I have woken from my winter daze to find some things are not the way they once were. My clothes are tighter and I am no longer on speaking terms with the scales. It had the audacity to tell me I am six kilos heavier than I was pre-winter. OK, OK, I'm really seven. I am, quite literally, wearing a winter coat twenty four-seven.
And if I'm completely truthful, it's hasn't come as that much of a surprise. No exercise, junk food - I knew where this path would take me but I was skipping merrily down Denial Lane.
Until Denial Lane hit a dead-end and I was forced to retrace my footsteps, one packet of chips, one block of chocolate at at time, one pair of the most comfortable of track pants ever owned. Seriously, they are incredible.
Which brings us to the here and now. Operation Spring. I can't be the only one who has suddenly realised it is Spring, which means Summer is nearing and that means togs. Bikinis. The two piece, the one piece - it doesn't matter. It's beach undies. And beach bras. Bare skin. All things that right now fill me with dread. So, so much dread.
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