I still had a stack of holidays left, but two daughters were having birthdays, over the next week and a half, so it would have been considered ‘bad form’ for dad to disappear over the horizon before the parties. So, what to do?
I had a stack of jobs on my ‘Things to Do 08’ list, but I felt very disinclined to start any of them. I was definitely in holiday mode. The gym beckoned.
Returning to the ‘House of Pain’ was something I did for the next two weeks, and did it hard. I had another assessment from the nice lady who dishes out torture for kicks, and was informed that I’d lost approximately 1kg of weight, had increased stomach size slightly, and my arms hadn’t added one bit of size to them. Struth! Some adjustments were made to my training regime.
An hour later I put down the last weight with a grunt, and drove home. Jeez I hurt. A lot. But the next day I lobbed in and pounded out more k’s, lifted more weights, and sweated my self stupid. Yep, I was definitely going to get fit this year. Definitely.
I’d been using the new Craig Harper Forum as well, making my first foray into the world of forums. The people I met were a fun, and informative bunch, and I was hooked. Particularly AmandaB, who gave me some great tips for health and exercises.
Another new member was a fellow Queenslander, Narnie from Mackay. Great! Someone else ‘over the border’ who was a Craig Harper fan. Between the forum, Craigs’ site, and the library, I had the basics for a healthy life style.
So I started doing some research on my diet. It needed some serious work, starting with meal times, and the types of meals I / we were eating. We, being the rest of the family. So, back to basics. First up my wife and I drew up a meals plan, what meals we’d have on what nights each week, and how much would end up on the plates. The last time we did this it actually saved us a lot of money and made shopping much easier as well, because we knew what meals we were having on any given night of the week, we knew exactly what to buy, and in what portions. It was the ‘speculator’ or ‘too good to pass up’ purchases which were costing money, and ended up either spoiled, out of date, or just pushed to the back of the freezer for ‘later’ use (aka: bin fodder).
Ok, diet, taken care of. More salads, vegies, and healthy snacks, much less dead animal, fats, and grease. No worries…
Exercise: the new training plan was working out pretty good. No, I wasn’t losing bundles of weight, but I was definitely feeling better for it and some muscle definition was definitely starting to appear in my upper arms for example.
Next on the list, booze. Not a problem. I’ll have a couple of alcohol free nights a week I decided. How hard could it be? Well, pretty hard actually. I live and work in a drinking culture. So, everytime we went somewhere it was based around drink. Visitors to the house, drink. Gardening, drink. Fishing, drink. Waking up in the morning… you get the picture.
Thinking back to the Bill Phillips book all I could recall was the comment, “Are you prepared to give up booze for 3 months?” Was I? Three months was a long time. And right in the middle of birthday season too. Hmm? And I was on holidays as well. Not a good time to stop.
Now, I’m a sort of smart person. Here I was defending a habit that was a) bad for me, b) bad for our budget, c) not setting a good example to my children. Yes, it ticked all the boxes! But it had a vice like grip on me, particularly in the evenings, when my family were tucked up in bed, I loved nothing more than to crack a beer, and sit in silence and read, or watch a favourite movie. Life’s little pleasures. Was I an alcoholic? I didn’t think so, but then…
Anyway, after a busy week and a half in the gym, the birthdays were done, and I was getting a bit fidgety. My wife, reading the signs, turned to me one day and said, “You might as well go.” Boom! The starters gun fired and I was off. I did have a last minute change of plan though. Initially I’d decided to take my motorbike, Rentawreck, as I’d heard there was some ripper rides through NSW for bikes. But two days before I left, the temperatures down south plummeted. Ipswich had overnight temps of -1, and further south it was colder still. I thought about sitting on my bike in those sorts of temperatures, about the inevitable rain that haunts my motorcycle journeys, and sitting in a small tent with ice forming on the canvas. Hmm.
I sooked out and took the family car. A mate was kind enough to lend my wife his car (geez, it’s good to have good mates isn’t it?), so I was cleared for take off in the ol’ Toyota Avalon. Tossing my gear in the car one sunny morning, I hugged my little family, gave the dog a friendly farewell booting, and slipped over the horizon. First stop Brisbane, then, who knows, “Somewhere” NSW.
Yeehaa, back on the road!