Thursday, 17 May 2012

My Inner Obese Self

Was last night dreaming of Prawn Crackers. Maybe it was because I was cream crackered after my 'run' around the block three times. I just couldn't get to sleep until about midnight. The tops of my feet were throbbing as were the rest of my limbs. I really don't think taking up running at 38 is a good idea and I still hate every part of it. I am sure I could fast walk the 5km than 'run' it. When I jog, then walk, my legs are so heavy, so dead, that I walk at an incredible slow pace.  I did see a mum I knew - any excuse to stop  - who was yet another runner who told me "I hated it at first". I don't intend on taking it up full-time but you never know. The one thing I do like about it is you can just chuck on your trainers, plug in your ipod and away you go. No having to be at a class at a certain time, wait for an instructor, drive back and shower etc. The whole process takes up far less time.

I also saw a boy who is in my daughters' class (age 5) so I had the added embarrassment of running past, whilst mustering up enough breath to say "hello" to his dad. This is in addition to my arse playing catch up with the rest of my body and my face looking like its about to explode. This was about 7.45 pm and I did think the boy should be in bed by now and out of his school uniform. Not walking with his dad who was merrily drinking a can of Fosters.  I can still cast judgement on people even whilst physically exhausted!

Whilst we're on the running subject I read in the paper this week that the new mid life crisis for a man, the forty something, (which is beyond middle aged - you all know my thoughts on that) is to take up running. It pointed out that this can be incredible unhealthy for them as it puts pressure on the heart, lungs and joints.  I would say this would have to be same for women too. By all accounts once you hit a certain age mid 30's you cannot improve on muscle tone and this has a bearing.  But then what's worse, the health implications of running or the health implications of being overweight/obese? Basically you can still attain fitness benefits by walking fast and other exercises without having the impact that running does for you.

Now as this is a diet blog I may as well share the other fact that is doing the rounds in the papers (I'm sure they just regurgitate them) about fat. How we are obsessed with not eating fat. Well I don't think that obsessed judging by our waistlines.  How eating low fat yogurts, low fat milk etc is worse for you. I kind of already knew this and do eat full fat yogurts now. Our body will naturally do away with the fat we don't need.  In the 1970's our fat consumption was 50% a day. The article said you don't get fat by eating fat. Its sugar that is enemy number one for a dieter because a lot of low fat products will substitute fat with sugar or other chemicals. Its best just to eat the natural foods.  My husband, to the point as always, said "look, if you eat too much of anything be it sugar, fat and don't move you'll get fat. Simple."

So why did I dream of prawn crackers? Well my inner obese self eats Chinese food and lots of it. Its up there with my frazzle fetish and if I were a contestant on The Biggest Loser it would be sitting in the food cabinet behind me. They would take footage of me gorging on Chinese food.  This goes way back when and today I don't really enjoy it that much only have it about 4 times a year.

It all started when I was 15 and seeing a fella briefly. He asked if I had ever had a Chinese. It wasn't a metaphor he really was asking if I had every tasted it.  My parents were away and I had my first taste of Chinese food.  We never had take-aways up to that point. The only take-away we had was fish and chips before and after going on holiday - so once a year.  Moving on from my introduction to Chinese food, my friend and I would walk the streets at night as bored teenagers do and go to the Chinese take-away. We'd get sweet and sour chicken balls (you know the really ghastly deep fried ones) and sit at the bus stop dipping them into the sauce followed by a cigarette. Quality. I'm from Crawley what can I say.

Then when I moved in with my psychotic ex in 1997 we would often frequent the all you could eat buffet at a Chinese in London for about £6 a pop. And pop is what I did after leaving that place. We also used to do the same at home and pile it high with all manner of grease - sticky ribs, egg fried rice, prawn crackers etc. I had graduated to sweet and sour prawns Hong Kong style instead of the balls by then and let us not forget the duck. I easily put on a stone when we first moved in together. 

So much like the The Buffet Girl and Frazzles, Chinese food is very much part of my inner obese self and I like to keep it suppressed as much as possible. I have no idea why it re-surfaced last night. It is more likely to appear, on the balance of probabilities, than my inner slim self I am sure.  Maybe it was rebelling following on from my little stint at running. Who knows? What I do know is this - I buried it right back down into the vaults alongside the prawn crackers.


  1. I started running at 47. Used to go in the dark so no one would see me. The reason was not really to lose weight, but to get better fitness for other stuff I wanted to do. Certainly delivered. Chick scales away as muscle weighs more than flab though.

  2. So it wasn't a mid life crisis then? Had you done other fitness beforehand all your life? How do you find it on your joints etc x

  3. Mid-life crisis in that I was recently divorced. Hated sport at school, and thought running was mad as ex-husband was obsessed with it.

    After kids were born I used to go to step-aerobics.... tedious!

    I had taken up a bit of mountaineering and rock climbing when I was 45.Coped well but thought I needed more stamina. Met loads of nice new friends (including man who is new hubby). Eldest child mad on outward-bound stuff and was doing his gold Duke of Edinburgh award at the time.

    Potential new hubby worked offshore (drilling supervisor on gas rig at the time). Missed him and thought i would impress him by getting fitter (how vain was I!). He used to run/cycle etc. Also it gave me something to concentrate on when he was away.
    Also my best female friend had just run the New York Marathon.

    I started off "run 2 lamp posts, walk 1 lamp post". Started off with 3km. Am competitive by nature so got a bit obsessed with times which is dumb if you are running for fitness, but helps at the beginning as even if you feel like shit you can see you are improving.

    Then boyfriend bought me a runners watch with heart rate monitor for my birthday. Still use the watch but not the monitor bit as I can now tell when I am overdoing it.

    My stamina has definitely improved and it toned up my bum! I'm 52 now and my usual run is 8km (5miles). Good to have a selection of routes for variety of pace etc. You can use Google 'Map My Run". Once you get into running your basic core fitness should remain good even if you have to stop for a few weeks for any reason. I had to stop when I had double carpal tunnel surgery 4 years ago, and last year when I had double bunion surgery :(... Make sure you are running in shoes that are correct for your 'pronation' (gait). Makes a huge difference! You can get this tested at good running stores like Up and Running. Running is actually good for your joints as it is 'load-bearing'.. as long as you don't overdo it.

    Hope this helps. On Twitter there is Anywhere 5km where you can run your own 5km on the designated day and just log your time.

    1. Hi Ruth thank you for responding to my nosey questions and in such detail! I'm liking the walk to the lamp posts and I didn't konw about the Map my Run thing either - lots to think about. I think I've done way too little too late. I assumed that because I really sweat on the Biggest Loser and Wii dance at least 4 x a week that would see me in good stead and what with the weather etc. Clearly running is in a totally different fitness league and I know there is no way I'll be able to jog even for more than 5mins without stopping then starting. The gait you talk of that's not the top of my foot that has been hurting. Thanks again for all the info and I hope the 2nd hubster was impressed with your efforts of wooing! xx

    2. Second husband is 'dreamboat' thank you! Poor man started own business and nownhas little time to keep fit. Though he has signed us both up to climb the two highest Atlas Mountains over New Year (am shitting bricks!).
      You should google 'pronation' to get a clearer explanation than I can give. It is about whether your foot tends to land more on the outside or inside of the foot. I used to underpronate (wearon outside edge of running shoes) but since foot op am now 'neutral' gait so have differnt shoes. I did go to a sports surgeon for the op. X

    3. he sounds it although I would kill him for signing up for that! Will have a look depending on whether or not I take it up x

  4. I dream about chicken fried rice and beef in black bean sauce *dribble* The Chinese is dire over here so I only feed my addiction twice a year when back in the UK. Helps to keep my weight slightly at bay. I used to run when I was younger and you're making me think that I should give it another go. It's be so easy to pop out in the evening. I shall think about it some more.

  5. Why is that? Its always dire in other country's I've had one in France and in Italy not the same - I did have the national fayre too just in case you'll all wondering. I think Switzerland would be fantastic to run in - so clean etc would really clear your head after a full on day and keep you away from that pesky chocolate x

  6. tash...give me a call to chat about the running thing..theres as great shop in Horsham that will video your run stride and advise you on the shoes...i had lots of issues before i went to them....and they dont try and sell you the most expensive brands.. well done for keeping it going...and you WILL run for more than 5 mins....!! just find a programme/..'couch to 5k' is a good one and if you follow it to the letter , it will happen....I know exactly how you feel.. getting back from my leg injuries has taken forever, a stone in weight gain, and left me thinking i would never run properly again, and now Im back up to 4 miles (still aiming for half marathon in October) xx

  7. okay thanks I went out today and I couldn't jog after a few minutes as the pain down my legs was killing me it wasn't being out of breath and I don't know how to breath either I breath through my mouth but I'm guessing you need to do it through your nose - its all so unnatural x