Monday, 13 January 2014

Limbering up for Lent, two months early

Boy did I feel fat coming home after a jolly Xmas in England - my girth has hit a record 40 inches - this old stuff - aha - has got to go. Weight - for the record - currently 12 stone 1 pound (169 pounds/77kg). And the fact that Easter is late this year (20 April), with Lent being still a long way off, I decided to start Lent early with some 'soft' resolutions to get me to quote Bob Marley, "iron like a lion in Zion" by Ash Wednesday (5 March).

Alcohol is the easy one - the Xmas season is over so occasions to drink socially have suddenly become few and far between. Two consecutive alcohol-free days as recommended by the UK government? I'm doing three or four dry days, and limiting myself to three or four units max per social occasion.

Caffeine - the coffee ran out on 5 January, so that's it, I'm not buying any more - just tea (strong for now, three mugs a day), but that will reduce in the run-up to Lent. Only the tiniest hint of headache around lunchtime, nothing too bad. Caffeine is very hard to give up altogether; studies show that moderate coffee intake staves off senile dementia. One strong coffee a day in the morning, nothing after midday (an afternoon coffee leaves me unable to go back to sleep in the middle of the night).

Less food - and far less processed food (including processed meats - salamis, kabanos, ham etc). Far fewer hamburgers (just one so far this year), sugary drinks, confectionary. Salt snacks have gone from my diet, and a bigger breakfast, later lunch, and just healthy snacks in the evening (fruit, nuts etc).

Exercise - sit-ups are back; I did 75 yesterday. And walking - I now have a pedometer (krokomierz), inspired by students at the pharmaceutical company where I teach, where all staff have been issued with one. The target for a healthy lifestyle is 10,000 steps (8km) a day; I'm looking at my pedometer now, it reads 9,691, so not far off today.

And more sleep. Less of the staying up to 11:30 or midnight knowing I've got my alarm set for 05:45.

So - I'm using the long run-up to Lent this year to get into moderately good shape before the real thing kicks off, and by late April, that'll be almost a third of the year gone. And by then, I'll be foolish to spoil all the hard work by reverting to a less disciplined lifestyle!

This time four years ago:
More Warsaw winter gorgeousness

This time five years ago:
Optimal way to town
[apart from the lack of pavement to the station...]

This time six year ago:
The highest point in Jeziorki
[now sadly gone, the rampa na kruszywa]

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