My ex partner Deb once said to me that cigarettes were the great love of my life and while that may have been close to the mark (though not quite true), I certainly missed them when they were gone.
I still do, seven years on. Smoking cessation left a cavernous hole in my life that has never been filled and probably never will.
|The world's biggest hole in Russia|
Yet, it's an achievement and I will never return.
However, there have been two side effects of my feat of endurance.
1) A long term stomach illness. I won't bore you with it, but suffice to say nicotine is a metaboliser and digestive aid and at one time, I thought nothing of eating whole KFC Family Feasts. The cigarettes helped to get rid afterwards.
And I continued to eat like a monster after I quit.
|I could quite happily eat that now...|
2) Weight gain. I resent the NHS for this. In a leaflet I read, the small print said 'you may experience some mild weight gain'. Well, in one year, I put on 56lbs (4 stone in the local parlance). I think I then lost two stones naturally, but, for one reason or another, the last two stones have proved a nightmare to shift.
I have been a member of Southwell Leisure Centre gym since October 2010. I was referred there on the brilliant GP Referral Scheme for a multiplicity of middle-aged-man illnesses including the afore mentioned overweight, high blood pressure, stomach pain, anxiety attacks, stress and clinical depression following a disastrous spell of employment in a local charity (scary places, scary people).
|A typical manager in the Voluntary and Charity Sector|
While I can do without the weights (anyone who reads my stuff knows how I feel about the lunkheads who lift heavy weights), I love cardio and particularly distance running.
In November 2012, I ran the Worksop Half Marathon. This was a major achievement.
The only places I used to run to were situated at the end of the road, and they sold fags, beer, drugs, curry, kebabs and Lucky 15s.
You would think that I would be happy with all this, the sense of endorphin-related well being more than compensating for the visceral, decadent pleasures I have foregone.
You would think the treatment would have worked.
I had a measurement session with one of the gang down at the leisure centre the other day and I came out feeling as if I had been slapped around the head by a big wet fish.
In three and a half years, I have lost 1lb and 4ozs.
I clearly cannot do this on my own, so I am going to enlist the help of my readers, friends, "followers" (ridiculous nomenclature) and people I know to get me through this.
The Scores On The Doors:
According to my weighing print out:
I am 14st 12lb (94.7kg)
There are other statistics on there which are too embarrassing to list (and probably too boring). Everything is too much or too little.
Here is what I have done:
I've eliminated any bread bar pitta.
No takeaways or pre-prepared meals.
Deffo no chocolate (see last week's blog post - that hurts typing it)
No carbonated drink.
I would like to give up booze but I have a long standing social engagement and enjoy the occasional night out, so I shall suck that and see.
I am allowed one treat night a week. Probably Saturday.
I am going to exercise six days a week. Luckily, I live near the leisure centre so that's not an issue.
12 stone 8 lb by September 1st.
Can I do it? Watch this space.
If anyone wants to help/cheerlead/discuss or better still, join in, then I shall be tracking this on Facebook. Happy to link there, if we are not already.
Thanks and wish me luck.
Carl Douglas says: "Everybody was Kung-Fu Fighting. Those cats were fast as lightning..."
Amazing Fact: Carl Douglas once stayed at the hotel in which The Night Porter was set.
Latest review: (from Amazon UK)
Top author Terry (Kings and Queens, Dream On) Tyler:
"My new hero!
I mean the night porter himself! What a sweetie. A brilliantly drawn character, who remains something of an enigma....
THE NIGHT PORTER is about fortnight in the life of a hotel in a fictional town in the midlands, which is hosting a quartet of authors there to prepare for a literary award ceremony. The strength of this book is in the turns of phrase, the characterisation, the dialogue. I didn't guess the 'secret' until just before it was revealed, and I was delighted to discover another twist after it, too - and a marvellously satisfying ending!
I think this is a must read for any self published writers, or those published by an 'indie' press. I loved the cynical, bitter character of Julian, the talented, self-published author of literary fiction with a drink and rage problem who is driven to despair by the success of the popular writers with their formulaic offerings. There are many insights into the publishing industry throughout the book, but not to the extent that they would exclude anyone not interested in it.
I bought the paperback, which I would recommend as it's beautifully presented, and includes many footnotes. I have to confess that I didn't read them all as I wanted to get on with the main story, and I felt that some of them could have been included in the main body of the text, but they certainly add to the book. The best one of all was the last one. You know when the credits of a film go up, and lots of funny little outtakes, or other amusing looks at 'what went on afterwards' are shown? Footnote number 81 reminded me of that!
To sum up - very well written, amusing, sweet, interesting, surprising - oh, and the character of yobbo bar manager Martin Sixsmith is a masterpiece!"
See The Original Here
Big Cat Nap and Cecilia Spark
All profits from EVERY book you buy from children's author Ngaire Elder, author of "The Adventures of Cecilia Spark" goes to Born Free's Big Cat Nap throughout June. Check the website for details.
It's a fantastic cause so #getonboard.