Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Taking cub scouts camping in a Billy Graham t-shirt in 1989
In 1989, when I was 18, while working for Richmond cinema, I took a small group of people's tickets and, as usual, told them "It's all non-smoking, and if you'd like to follow me I'll show you to your seats."

One of their group dryly replied "Yes – follow the anorexic one."

I was later assured by a colleague that "they're just jealous."

A decade later however, at the age of 30, any possible jealousy about my thinness would surely have been firmly liposuctioned away...

Steve in 2001
In January 2003 there was a special offer at work, whereby you could get an entire week at a health club for free, without actually agreeing to join. Well, now there was no excuse.

Health Club photocard
I'll never forget day one. After-work aerobics.

Unsure quite what I should even be wearing, I shuffled into the back of a large gym room peopled almost entirely by women. I glanced nervously around, because if I could just spot one other guy there, that would have made my presence feel alot less intrusive. As it was I couldn't shake this nagging gut-feeling that this was obviously a women's class, because it was called aerobics, it had a female instructress, and it was at a fitness club, which is obviously the sort of place where only women hang out, because guys aren't generally concerned about their bodies.

Oh, and everyone else there was female.

No wait, there was another guy there.

It was a guy I worked with. Oh great - any possible lessening of my embarrassment just got negated ten-fold.

Fortunately Jese was full of encouragement for the step I was taking, and this paved the way for a better working relationship back at the office too.

As the music began pumping and the room began to move as one, waving their arms and step-aerobicing about, I made the mistake of looking beyond the instructress and into the huge mirrors lining the opposite side of the room. There I could see maybe a dozen beautiful and perfectly fit supermodels, all lifting up and down with apparent balletic choreography, surrounding one fatty wiping his sweaty hair our of his eyes as he wobbled uncertainly at the back.

In my head I had to ask: "Oh NO - what the heck is that guy doing here? It's obviously his first day, he's clearly never going to keep the lessons up, why is he wasting his time?"

Sometimes I actually find negative thoughts like that helpful. "No," I replied to myself. "I'm going to keep it up. You'll see."

The Dream Team outside the Bali Star Hotel in Crete 2003

Steve in Bali Star Hotel swimming-pool in Crete 2003Six months of "Body Pump" classes (weight-lifting to pop music) later I was much thinner. Friends who I hadn't told that I'd joined a gym had remarked repeatedly on how much weight I had lost. I was about 75kg. My goal of taking my t-shirt off on the beach without feeling ashamed whilst on a Mastersun holiday in Bali, Crete had been realised, and my energy levels and confidence had gone right up. One person even told me I was too thin again.

I was truly sorry when I had to discontinue my gym membership. My job had ended, and with it the club's geographical proximity to my life was just no longer convenient enough.

However, although I've never joined another gym, thanks to all the exercises and advice I'd received there, I have maintained, on and off, some form of regular exercise and healthier eating in my daily life. Or at any rate, I did for a while...

By the start of last year, I had somehow put on another 15kg again, and was at the unheard of 90kg mark.

So this year, using lent as a motivator, I've got back into doing sit-ups, and also bought a cut-price skipping-rope I found in the specials basket at Countdown. It has an electronic thing in one of the handles to measure how many skips you do, and multiplies them by your weight and how long you've been skipping to calculate how many calories you've supposedly burnt.

My pedometerMy family also got me a pedometer for Christmas, albeit a highly unreliable one, as you can see below.

Pedometer stats
Today I'm rather pleased to have got all the way back down to about 80kg again. I'm finishing with the pedometer and the skipping-rope though. I have to mix it up to avoid my body getting used to it, and me getting too bored. Exercises are, after all, thoroughly, thoroughly boring. (a fact that has presumably escaped you if you're still reading this) I'm still going to continue doing exercise of some sort however, preferably half an hour a day, and keeping a reasonable eye on my diet.

When I first joined that club four years, they gave me alot of motivational bumpf led by headlines like "Did you know that today your entire life has changed?"

They were right.

Me, today

Labels: ,

0 comment(s):

Post a Comment

<< Back to Steve's home page

** Click here for preceding post(s) **

** Click here for following post(s) **