Rupert Cox: Time to put my best foot forward
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Our columnist Rupert Cox talks about his often torturous journey to better health
Two months into my latest fitness campaign, I must be one of thousands of Somerset residents to embark on another torturous episode in endeavouring to lose weight, get fit, or both.
I am not saying that all exercise is torture, but I have yet to find any jogger or cyclist who looks as if they are actually enjoying the experience of pounding the roads in lycra while combatting the travails of traffic and winter weather.
Managing my weight has become a habitual exercise in itself for many years, exacerbated by my retirement from active farming at the turn of the millennium. Re-engineering my brain to compute via my mouth to consume less while knowing that my lifestyle is more sedentary has been a 17-year challenge.
If I were to write a book on dieting I would not make much money, although the book would be only six pages long, so would be cheap to publish. The front page would have a picture of a sweaty middle-aged ex-farmer leaning on a tired old gate; inside would feature a Forward of some distinction from an odd bod who likes me; Page 2 would simply say ‘Eat Less’ in huge font; then over to Page 3 that would simply say ‘Exercise More’; and then over to the back page for a picture of me looking sleek and svelte.
Now, while the contents of this book could be bashed out in a matter of minutes, obtaining the picture for the back page could take some considerable time – unless, of course, I were to engage the services of an incredibly imaginative air-brush artiste!
This is the point; the solution for those of us who are wide in the beam, or as my kids say ‘a bit of a unit’, is simple but achieving it is so much harder as we fight with our minds and bodies on a daily basis.
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My solution? I am walking more than ever using this odd little gadget on my wrist that vibrates when I hit 10,000 paces in the day; I endeavour to write down what I eat which in itself is an eye-opener, but focuses the mind; and yes, I have invested in a personal torturer, or as he calls himself a personal trainer who, while coaching me to live a cleaner life, puts me through half an hour of what he calls High Intensity Interval Training.
He tells me from his six foot, three inch Adonis-like torso that I will enjoy it in due course! I am still not sure because at the moment, it feels like hell on earth, but a means to an end.
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