‘Oh look’, I said joylessly, as we sat round the Christmas tree amidst a pile of be-wrapped, be-ribboned and be-wildering parcels. ‘My brother’s sent me a Davina Fit DVD.’
‘I wouldn’t describe her as fit, particularly’, said Man of the House, opening a gift of Lynx shower gel and tossing it straight in the Oxfam bag. ‘She’s a bit long in the tooth these days.’
‘How bizarre’, I said, ripping the paper off another present. ‘My mum’s sent me a beach ball.’
Man mumbled, ‘Um, it’s an exercise ball’.
‘It’s a WHAT? Damn, it’s too big for the charity bag. The kids can play with it.’
Things One and Two were sprawled on the sofa in their smart new dressing-gowns, jaws slack and stained with chocolate coins. They stared unblinking at something inane on telly, and didn’t even notice the change when I slipped Davina Fit into the DVD player.
‘I’ve saved the best till last’, I said, dragging Man of the House’s pressie towards me. ‘Ooh, it weighs a ton.’
He coughed and busied himself with some mulled wine.
‘Ah. It weighs a lot, because it’s weights. Thanks SO much.’ I grabbed the last mince pie, and slotted it into my mouth in one go. Indistinctly, I said, ‘I see everyone’s made my new year’s resolution for me.’
Man edged towards the door, whispering, ‘You aren’t in quite as good shape as you were…’
‘This is baby weight, you fiend’, I spluttered, spraying pastry.
‘Thing Two is four years old’, he mouthed, then fled as I hurled the exercise ball at him. Blimey, my arms ached after lifting that mother.
Let no-one say I can’t take a hint. So, as January dawned, grey and full of lack of promise, I limbered up and did some Google research. Turns out that Lewes is awash with Pilates and yoga. There are at least four gyms; there are sports clubs; you can play tennis and badminton till your socks fall down. There are more personal trainers than you can shake a rowing machine at. I was so wiped out after discovering this, I had to have a little lie down with a personal bar of Green & Blacks.
By next day I had devised my own training programme. I put on my sweatpants and trainers, did a few stretches, then set off at walking pace for the Leisure Centre. They have tons of stuff there: a gym, exercise classes, swimming pool. But more to the point, the centre is about a mile from my house. So going there and back constitutes a good solid constitutional. Actually, it was such a tough workout, because I dropped the weights off at Cancer Research on the way, that I got a cab home from the station. I didn’t want to overdo it.
But I reckon if I pop down there and watch all those crazies sweating it out on the treadmills every month or so, those extra pounds will soon fall away.
Published in Viva Lewes magazine, January 2010.