My Clothes Don't Fit Me Any More
Golfshake's Derek Clements shares his latest update from lockdown, detailing how he is progressing so far and also slowly returning back to golf.
THERE is a small problem associated with any keep-fit programme, especially if it is carried out alongside a new, healthy diet - you will lose weight. And why, I hear you ask, would that be a problem?
Before the lockdown began I treated myself to three new pairs of Levi's - one pair with a 32-inch waist, the others coming in at 31 inches. I loved them. I still do. Apart from one thing - they are all now too damn big. It’s not so much a case of, ‘Does my bum look big in this' as,’Is my bum in there?'
I don’t have a set of scales but, in the seventh week of my new life, I am certain that I have lost at least a stone, and possibly more.
My polo tops and T-shirts are all now hanging loose. I have a very expensive made-to-measure suit that I decided to slip into the other day. It swamped me. Utterly.
I have a couple of pairs of trousers in my wardrobe from a bygone era. Eight weeks ago I could not do them up but I refused to throw them out. Just in case. And guess what? Just in case just pulled in at my station. They fit me once again. A couple of “favourite” shirts can now be worn again without embarrassment.
There have been other, more unexpected side-effects of my new regime. My skin has never been better. My nails seem to have started growing before my very eyes.
All sorts of unlikely things have started to happen to me. I now enjoy salad. I have discovered that fish does not have to be covered in three inches of batter to taste good. I couldn’t tell you the last time I ate a potato. I am eating fruit - lots of it. I still drink Coke - bit now it is Diet Coke. And do you know what? It tastes exactly the same.
I have found that water isn’t just for washing in. You can actually drink it. And it doesn’t taste too bad.
You may remember that I told you I gave up smoking on New Year’s Eve - food now tastes much better. I know that I have caused untold damage to my lungs but I am aware that my breathing has improved.
There have been all sorts of changes in my life. I am exercising regularly. What’s more, I look forward to doing it, especially during this glorious weather we have been enjoying. When the Prime Minister announced that we could exercise as frequently as we wanted I admit that I was more than a little bit concerned about the number of people who crowded the waterfront and the park close to where I live. But it turns out that although there are many more people about, 95% of them do actually get social distancing. So I am back out there running again.
I have no idea if I will continue jogging when this is all over, but I do know that I will continue with some sort of exercise regime. My big problem is that although running makes me feel good, I don’t enjoy it. Not one little bit. Joining a gym is beginning to look like a good option though, I really don’t want to throw this away.
I have changed my diet - why would I go back to what I was eating before? I know that pies, chips, white bread, pizzas and takeaways aren’t good for me and I have proved to myself that I can happily live without them. I am even now drinking coffee without sugar - this is no mean feat when you learn that I had spent my entire life shovelling two spoonfuls of sugar into my coffee. Why? I could not tell you when I last had a cappuccino - and I haven’t missed it one little bit. And I have skimmed milk in my fridge.
My alcohol consumption has plummeted. I am not going to lie to you - I cannot wait to walk into a pub again and order a pint. Or three! But, for the time being at least, I am learning to live without those simple pleasures. However, I have become aware that staff at the waterfront pubs and restaurants close to my flat are back at work, rearranging tables and getting ready for what is going to be the new normal.
And here’s another thing - I don’t miss waking up with a thick head. I have an unopened bottle of malt and it is going to remain that way until life returns to normal. And on that day, I may well waken up with a thick head! Along with most of the rest of the population. I should tell you that malt is my favourite tipple, so this is my biggest sacrifice of all!
It would be criminal to waste all this good work. Whisper it, but I am seriously considering buying myself a bike. We are promised lots of new cycle lanes, and that town and city centres will become more bike friendly. So yes, I am sorely tempted.
The sit-ups, the burpies, the planks, the press-ups are now a firm part of my daily routine. Eight weeks ago the very thought of doing any of those things would have filled me with horror. Now they are just something that I do. And they must be doing me good because the effort required to perform them has lessened hugely.
And I have even been out to the driving range to hit some golf balls - and how good it felt. It didn’t feel so good initially but after about 20 balls it all began to fall back into place. Some balls even went where I intended them to.
The coronavirus pandemic has been a dreadful experience for us all and tragic one for tens of thousands of British citizens. Who would ever have thought that I would find myself thanking the lockdown it caused for, quite possibly, adding years to my life - and costing me a small fortune to replenish my wardrobe?
To celebrate my achievements, I am about to crack open a can of ice-cold Budweiser Light (other beers are available). But just the one!
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