I was squeezing into an old pair of trousers when I first realised that I’d gained weight. In fact, it was the third pair I’d tried to squeeze into that day. I thought they too had “shrunk in the wash”, along with my shirts, my jacket and my… watch?
Adjusting its strap, I thought to myself that it was time to lose some weight. The hips don’t lie, as they say, and neither do the scales. As I stood on them, the needle swung wildly to the right and I watched as my toes slowly disappeared beneath the girth of my belly.
What was next to vanish? I shuddered (and wobbled a little bit) at the thought. How did I let myself go?
I’ve been working from home for about four years. And while there are advantages, like not having to commute, it does completely negate the need to exercise. When I was living in Shrewsbury, at least, I’d walk to meetings. Then I moved to London, where I lived in Kilburn, where you had to move quickly or else get mugged. But now that I’m in Hackney with Brook I don’t even have to travel to see her. She comes home after work to find me sprawled on the sofa, deep in a bag of crisps, like an actual coach potato.
But standing on the scales, as I was, eating crisps, I realised that if I couldn’t change my diet I was going to have to do some exercise. And while I might not be tightening my belt, I am tightening the purse strings, so I worked out that buying a Wii Fit was cheaper than buying a good pair of running shoes. Not only that, but it would overcome any awkwardness I’d feel at running with the Olympic hopefuls in Victoria Park. Plus, if there’s anything that’s going to get me into exercise it’s technology, right?
So now, when Brook comes home, she finds me off the couch, out of that crisp packet and onto the Balance Board, swinging my hips around an imaginary hula-hoop, punching the shit out of thin air or hitting the negligible slopes of our front room. I don’t know if she’s any less disturbed.
But, while I might look more ‘bunny boiler’ than ‘gym bunny’, I am actually losing weight! 4 lbs, to be precise. And I’ve got Brooky Wook involved too. The healthy competition has me determined to reach my ideal weight even quicker. Unfortunately, that competition has already closed. The Wii Fit tells Brook that, according to her BMI, if she gets any thinner she’ll be dangerously underweight. So, soon I’ll have the added challenge of trying to lose the pounds while my girlfriend tries to gain them.
Stepping off the Balance Board tonight, however, it looks like I’ve beaten her at her own game, having gained the 4 lbs that I had just yesterday lost. It makes me wonder how heavy my clothes are! Maybe tomorrow, when she comes home, she’ll find me naked atop the Board, lunging at the TV – not necessarily fitter, but having lost weight, all the same. And at least I won’t need to buy new trousers.