Friday, 28 September 2012

The Revival

In all honesty, I have not been going healthy recently. At all. I used the build up to my big swim as an excuse to overeat enormously and my packet-a-day cookie habit has come back with a chocolatey vengeance. A knee injury threw a spanner in the works as my fully planned out 16 week marathon training plan ceased to commence at the start of September and since then I haven't really reassessed the goals or gotten myself back in the zone. In general, motivation has just been seriously lacking, except motivation for exhausting all of Salisbury's supermarkets of their sweet baked good supplies.

For a while I lost track of why I started the Egg Goes Healthy campaign. It wasn't because I wanted to be an awesome triathlete, or to try to become some sort of brilliant sportsperson of any kind. Nor was it to take over from Gillian McKeith as officially the most boring foodie on the planet who surely needs to go on a multi-day Amazonian rainforest trek to locate all the ingredients for one of her recipes. No. The idea was simple: lose some weight, discover lots of fun new ways to get more active, find healthier alternatives to not-so-healthy foods and most importantly, enjoy the experience.

I've learnt a couple of very important things in the last six months:

1. If you start taking anything too seriously, it almost immediately stops being as much fun.

2. If you keep pushing your body harder and harder - eventually - it will give up. Even if you keep feeding it a lot. Sometimes you really do just need to stop.

3. Your mind can give up too. Especially if everything has stopped being fun and your body has already caved in.

4. There is an absolutely brilliant Chinese all-you-can-eat Chinese restaurant on Castle Street.

5. Body weight is not an indication of fitness (points 4 and 5 aren't necessarily related..). It is however, much, much harder to lift your own bodyweight when there is so much more of it.

I have also learnt a few things about myself:

1. I really like it when things are fun, and not very serious.

2. No matter how hard I try, in terms of eating/general diet, moderation is simply not for me.

3. I am at my most happy when I'm on some sort of bicycle (unless the bicycle is pointing into a 20mph headwind in a very rainy Exmoor).

By trying to take the fitness and diet too seriously, I actually ended up going on a bit of a rebellion against myself and giving up on it all for a little while. It wasn't until a few very cold, early morning commutes had me atop some local hills, puffing steam whilst utterly mesmerised by the gloriously crisp, deep orange vista below, that I remembered the simple pleasures.

Then I remembered how much fun it was creating healthy, if not slightly off the wall recipes. This week I amused my housemate immensely by embarking on a two-hour kitchen mission to create the perfect "custard rice pudding", but with brown rice, and without eggs or milk for the custard. The outcome may have looked like cat sick, but was actually rather delicious.

I've also been back in the gym and very quickly realised that I'm definitely not as fit as I was at the start of the summer; some part of me was hoping that the fitness would just linger on a bit, but to no avail. However, far from being grumpy about it, I am inspired. It may have been a while, but if I think back, some brilliant challenges have come from being a little bit inspired, and one might just be on the cards!

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