Apr 192012

Voice’s David Innes has been taking part in this 12-week programme designed to help men of more ample proportions become, shall we say, less ample and develop good eating and exercise habits.

As we completed a hugely enjoyable and informative programme of information and encouragement with a game of football played at a sedate pace, everyone who had participated agreed that it had been worthwhile.

Yet, as our diligent coaches Scott and Jason informed us, the hard work goes on.

Good practice learned on food intake and exercise will need to be continued if further weight loss and improved fitness are our goals. That will be all the tougher without the weekly session where mutual motivation, support and enjoyment have helped participants succeed to a great extent.

Although the numbers and results are confidential to each participant, here are the dull statistics from my own participation

  • Starting weight on 7 February 92.7kg.
  • Weight on 17 April 84.1kg.
  • A weight loss of 8.6kg, or in real money of nearly 19 pounds.
  • My average daily step count measured by pedometer over 11 weeks was 12167 steps.

I can cover a mile in roughly 2000 steps, so I’ve been walking around six miles per day average. The single most strenuous day saw me achieve 24600 steps, the least successful day – it was raining and I was metaphorically gaffa-taped to my desk, give a boy a break – had me walking for only 3068 steps. Overall, my boots hit the good hard earth 904687 times. I now read food labels.

I am no longer taken in by manufacturer claims of ‘healthy options’, ‘low-fat’, ‘reduced calorie’ and a raft of other marketing slogans, where the less-scrupulous have replaced something in unhealthy proportions with something else, equally unhealthy.

Walking, or cycling on days when the elements don’t conspire against it, is something I now enjoy. It has been fascinating seeing Spring emerge along the Don as I have trod its paths. Something doesn’t seem quite right if I haven’t covered 10000 steps in a day, so I’ll pull on my Keith FC toorie, set the iPod to ‘shuffle’ and pound the mean streets of the ‘hood.

Usually I manage to get home. I don’t even consider taking the bus into town any more. It’s less than four miles and I want to see the house martins return to the old Grandholm Mill as I amble through it.

My knowledge of local paths and shortcuts has improved no end and I can now stride confidently up inclines without getting out of breath or feeling as if someone is tightening a tourniquet around my calves.

No surprise when I’m no longer carrying 19 lb of fat that used to hold me back.

I feel better. My clothes fit better although, alas, they are no more fashionable than they were.

Striding out, with only Rory Gallagher for aural accompaniment, also allows time to contemplate the great imponderables of life – should Stillie push Stuart Walker into midfield for this week’s semi-final against Buckie Thistle? Who is that singing marvellous gospel harmonies behind Mick Jagger? (Merry Clayton, obviously). Will that bloody delivery come in tomorrow to get that customer off our backs? All resolved by the time I’m enjoying a post-exercise flapjack.

It is my intention to continue with this new lifestyle. Maybe I won’t lose more weight, perhaps I won’t make the squad for the Commonwealth Games two years hence, but I should be able to take on The Speyside Way this summer with confidence, cycle to work every day if I feel like it and continue to feel as healthy as I do now.

If you see me striding out through the northern banlieu or rocketing along King Street in 18th gear, say hello – if you still recognise me.