Current work: back to the med (awaiting verdict on second revs)
Listening to: Take That
Reading: Yesterday’s Sun, Amanda Brooks (really interesting concept)
We all know I’m a ‘method’ writer (cough, just as well I don’t write crime… yet). And for the last few weeks I’ve been seriously thinking about a personal trainer. Not just for book purposes (though it does have a lot to do with the Med), but for me.
The thing is, I hate exercise.
I eat really, really sensibly (when I go on about stuffing my face with chocolate, most of that’s teasing – I’m too aware of the calorie count). But my weight just isn’t shifting. So I can’t get away from it: to shift the weight (and make sure I don’t look a total blob at the M&B party pictures in September – when I’m due to get my pin for my 50th book, so I have to scrub up a bit instead of being my usual scruffy self) I will have to do some exercise.
Which is a big lifestyle change for me, and one that I should have done long before now.
So I went to have a chat at the gym I pass on the school run every morning. It’s convenient (which is a big part of helping me to do it). The monthly fee is reasonable. But then they told me something that had my ears pricking up: as part of my membership, I can have a personal training session three times a week. This is exactly what I need – someone to cajole me into doing that little bit more, bully me in a nice way, and get me fitter. Booking 1-2-1 appointments means I have to put them in my diary and turn up.
I liked the atmosphere – it’s a really friendly place. Not one full of muscle-men who’d sneer at a middle-aged, overweight and totally unfit woman. Not one full of lycra-wearing twiglets in full make-up. (Yes, I have been to a gym like that, years ago, and I never went back!) It’s a place where they listen to you, find out what you want to get out of your exercise (in my case, to lose 1lb a week, to be fitter and more toned, and to get my energy back), and they help you achieve it. I’ve met four of the trainers now, and they’re all really nice and made me feel very welcome. None of them made me feel fat, unfit or stupid. (I am definitely the first two, but not the third!)
So I've decided that it’s time to be selfish and look after myself a bit better. My life is way too sedentary and it needs to change. It means carving out an extra hour and a half a day. But I can fritter that very easily on the internet – online word puzzles – so that habit is going to be broken and the time switched over to exercise.
I could’ve waited until September, when littlest starts high school (next door to the gym) and I get an extra two hours in my working day. But now I’ve made the decision, what's the point of waiting?
This morning, I went for a swim when I'd dropped littlest at school. It was a joy. Quiet pool – only three others there, and two of them finished their swims partway through mine. So there was plenty of room to turn round at the end of a length; nobody splashing me; and I felt wonderful afterwards. (Scary thought. I might actually like exercise, if it's on my terms.)
Today’s probably not a normal day, because I haven’t done a stroke of work yet and it’s after lunch! But that’s because I went into town to buy exercise gear. I live in black trousers, but I don’t actually own jogging bottoms. I have some nice stuff now, thanks to M&S. Couldn’t find a top I liked – I wanted something baggy, and all the women’s stuff seems to be clingy, so I’m going to take up DH’s offer of letting me borrow one of his. Bought a swim bag, too, so can return lovely daughter’s to her. (Bless her - she lent it to me this morning so I didn't have to use a carrier bag!) Bought a nice new swim towel, too, to inspire me (think daughter might try and pinch that). So now I’m all organised. The plan from today is: mens sana in corpore sano. (Already had the first – cough, or as much as a novelist does – but the second… that’s my target.)
In other news: I’m supposed to be doing a Fast Draft with Fiona Harper and Jenna Burke. I’ve been a bit fidgety (awaiting verdict on second revs, and rather a lot hinges on that – more on that subject when I’m able to talk about it) so haven’t written as much as I should. But am getting down to it now.
Dancing is also going well. We did the shoulder-to-shoulder movement on the rumba last week, and this week we added it in to the cha cha cha. DH and I can do this and it’s fun. But then Donna showed us what we’re going to do next week – getting the waltz to where it should be. Doing the reverse turn and alternating it with the natural turn (we can just about do the latter, but… let’s say it’s just as well I spent my birthday money on wellies rather than dance shoes).
Tomorrow, I have my induction training, and on Monday my programme starts for real.
Tomorrow, I also have a Shakespeare production to look forward to - The Winter's Tale, and it's an all-male cast (so will be interesting for son from a drama perspective as well as English Lit). Am also making plans with lovely best friend because my London trip in September coincides with an exhibition that includes my all-time favourite artist. Then we have to choose between a production at the Globe and King Lear with Jonathan Pryce. (We can't do both. Can we? No, we'd be zombies. Hmm. How bad can I be?)
And that’s me caught up for now. Have a nice day!