Things are afoot at Ramblin’ HQ. Spurred on by the fact that winter is finally behind us (say it enough times and it might come true) I’ve decided to come out of hibernation and become interesting again. “But Bobby, you were interesting already!” I hear you all cry and to you I hold up my glass and say “Cheers!” and you, with your glass held high, stand ready in that glorious salute awaiting that satisfying clink. But at the last minute you grimace and shrink back into the now darkened alcove in which we stand. “Is that… diet coke?” you ask in disgust. I hang my head in shame and mumble noises of admission.
No need to panic. I have not gone teetotal, but I have hired a personal trainer who says a lot of things I like are bad. Beer is bad for instance. You probably didn’t need me to tell you that but there it is in black and white for you all to swear at. You know what else is bad? Fruit. “Errr, don’t be ridiculous you need 5 a day, everyone knows that.” Yeah well fruit has sugar in it. Sugar is a form of carbohydrate (the worst kind, as it happens) and carbohydrates make you fat. “No but the sugar in fruit is fructose, it’s not the same.” Turns out it is the same as far as making you fat is concerned, and I’m only allowed one piece a day – berries preferably due to their lower sugar content. I’m also not allowed bread, potatoes, rice or pasta, and he’s told me to curb the sugar as well. That last one isn’t really a problem for me as I don’t have much of a sweet tooth. But bread? Noodles? Dear God, what have I done?!
“He” is Gavin Gillibrand, co-founder of Ultimate City Fitness and trainer of 15 years to dozens of tired, unfit city-dwellers like myself. As of last Tuesday (9th April) I now see him 3 times a week for 45 minutes when he gets me to lift, push and pull very heavy things until I’m sweating and cursing and then tells me that I’m not allowed any bread, except maybe, and I quote, “after a really, really hard session where you’re practically crawling out of the door on your hands and knees.” We won’t be doing anything like that just yet he assures me, but it’s only a matter of time. During which I’ll be living on a diet of meat, fish, nuts, seeds, vegetables, eggs and cottage cheese. Time to crack out the Yotam Ottolenghi cook books.
What is this all in aid of then? I’d like to pretend it’s all in the name of fitness and general well-being but there is a large portion of vanity involved here. Losing the belly and packing on some muscle is part of the aim, but I also want to get back into rock climbing after a 3 year hiatus, and that means making sure I have the strength to complement my already good technical level.
I’ll keep you updated on my progress here as well as a few other little projects I have up my sleeve but for now, here’s a bit of Dylan Moran just to keep us all sane: