BY Russell Wardrop

DATE: 04 NOV 2011


What do you think would be the result of you doing 7000 press ups? What if you supplemented those with a similar number of leg raises and large multiples of two or three of your other favourite exercises? What if you also extracted from your body the equivalent of, say, 50 danish pastries?

I can share: you lose five pounds in weight. That’s exactly what the Wii Fit told me last week, about two months after I started doing 20 minutes exercise in the morning, and being more aware of what I eat. A hundred or two press ups and leg raises and my other favourites, in my hotel room, with a bit extra at the weekend when there’s more time. No diets, just a little more calorie output and a little less calorie input, every day. Importantly I just got on with it, rather than obsessively checking my weight. No charts, no tape measures, no fancy shakes or faddy food. Looking at a number every day is as de-motivating as thinking you have to do over 7000 press ups. Don’t do either, just get on with it, and you’ll lose half a stone by Christmas.

If you like numbers, 3500 calories is about a pound in weight. I reckon I have a 500 calorie a day swing from before, so that’s a pound a week. Say half a stone in two months. And I can assure you I like food, I really like food.  It is a great love, a consolation, an emotional hit, both cooking and eating it. In fact I have installed a mirror above my new Tappanyaki hot-plate.

Inspiring me was the very visible fact, on holiday, that I could have put HB pencils under my moobs and walked from the lounger to the swimming pool without dislodging them. It was not so bad that I could have jogged to the prom before they clattered to the red granite paving, but bad enough to know change was needed. Decision taken, get on with it wee man. But do let me give you a caveat: I’ve always been pretty fit and active, playing football until I was 35 so am used to pushing my heart rate up and testing myself to the limit. I have a good engine. If you’re not in that category, be sure you don’t tear a hamstring or give yourself a heart scare. It’s much more likely though, that the first searing pain is simply a big rip in your pyjamas.

You feel much better in every way when you give yourself the time to do this, to attend to yourself. You’ll likely live longer, too. I decided I was finished giving myself the excuse of my lifestyle, which is hectic, because an excuse is just what it was: twenty minutes in your hotel room, or anywhere else that’s convenient, is always possible.

The big pay-off, apart from feeling your clothes fit you properly again, is that if you keep it up for those two months it becomes a habit. That’s when it becomes part of your overall strategy for life. Nice, very nice. So this morning - despite being tired from a tough few days abroad, lots of flying and not yet being home - the first thing I do is get into the routine. It happens almost before I am awake. And now I do far more, maybe fifty percent more than when I started, in the same twenty minutes. Except this morning I did nearer forty minutes. More than 300 press ups, 500 leg raises, and many multiples of the others. It might have been even more; I’m unsure because it doesn’t really matter. I just do it. Maybe I’ll include a run around the village this weekend, to frighten the neighbours. No point in taking my HB pencils with me as I have neither pockets nor moobs.

The next goal? Well, I said it at the top: Another half a stone off by 24 December. It’s about a pound, or 3500 calories, a week. You can wish me luck if you like, but luck has very little to do with it.  


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about the author

Russell Wardrop is our Chief Executive. If you would like to know more about this subject, drop him an email and we will be in touch.

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