Walking my way to healthy
If you had met me two years back, I would have struggled to justify the name of this blog. It would have been Memoirs of a very podgy Welshman !!
I created the Memoirs of s Skinny Welshman title, when that was true, when I resembled a stick insect and could have on occasion been mistaken for a golf club.
Over the years, I guess I've become much wider (not taller) and the pounds were piling on. I've never been a big sweet eater, or puddings to be honest (can't imagine how big I would have been if I had). It was just years of comfort food and more to the point little exercise.
Sitting behind a desk five days a week, doing long hours, or driving to an appointment where the conversation was around a meal, it all adds up.
I guess around 45 was when it was obvious something had to change.
Both my Dad and Grandfather dies of heart attacks, my Dad at 54, Grandfather at 78. Of course our generation has the luxury of looking back at their life styles. For my grandfather it was death by fry up. My Nanna (his wife obviously) would cook up bacon, eggs, laver bred etc most mornings. Then followed through the weeks with old fashioned welsh tarts and pies, even though he walked everywhere, he made it to a ripe old age. I think by 78 there was only cholesterol circulating in his veins.
My Dad was worked hard, often pulling double shifts in the car parts factory to keep us all going, but his love of Chips and beer - without much exercise - and the stresses of making life work, snatched him from us way too early.
Mid way through life a man has a weird pride in his girth, almost like the pregnancy he could never have. For me this also became true when I took a picture of Rebekah and I face to face, when she was eight months pregnant to see who had the biggest bump - I think I won.
Anyway, faced with the prospect of future ill health, something had to be done. Don't be under the illusion this was quick, it's taken me four years to write this blog !! The first thing to go was tea and coffee, it was the sugar in each cup which I loved. The second, not having a dessert, particularly when we went out for a meal. The third thing the little snacks of crisps. The fourth thing cutting down on wine consumption.
All this while adding in, taking the stairs not the lift where possible, taking a lunch break and walking somewhere nearby. Increasing my intake of water. Trying to do 7,000 steps a day.
Yesterday I walked from our home to the nearest town to take my mother to Cardiff on the train for lunch. I also walked home. Clocking up an impressive 17,500 steps. I could have caught the bus, I could have had dessert, I could have snacked or had a sneaky hot chocolate, but instead I burned as many calories as I took in.
At 49, I have a lot to look forward to, Reuben is fun and active, and I want to be in good shape to be the old grandad to any children his future family had. I also want to be active and travel.
I look at friends like Brian Mills and Bob Hoskins who are doing multi overseas trips per year, well into their eighties and I think, that's how I want to live out my final years. So I guess the work continues here. The walks, the diet, the gym, the choices not to, so I can do later on.
I've noticed the last few months, the double chin is reducing, even last week I had to notch the belt in one further stud. Sleep is better and I generally don't feel too over weight.
Join in, think about your diet, nutrition, blood pressure, cholesterol they all can so easily conspire to pop you off way before time, if left unchecked - without control.
There may even be a prospect of my blog title being correct soon, after all.