Okay so I ate half a chicken. Now hear me out here guys, for a start it wasn’t alive. At least not recently. Secondly it wasn’t for me, it was for my girlfriend. Okay, so it wasn’t for my girlfriend, it was in honour of my girlfriend. I ate half a chicken because it is what she wanted. Alright, fine! She didn’t specifically mention wanting to watch me swallow half a chicken like a cartoon cat eating a fish. She may have just let me buy her a birthday dinner at Nando’s, which she probably wasn’t aware included a complimentary floor show of me assaulting the half-bird like Pete Doherty going after a peri-peri coated photographer. I am aware that it was technically merely my presence and a token mouthful of something healthy, perhaps something green on a bed of something slightly greener, that was necessary for the festivities. But I am sceptical of this method. Allow me to elaborate.
The same reason I didn’t man up and have something girly is the same reason why I hope never to have to work in a Subway. That is because working in a Subway for me would be like changing the sheets in a brothel. Substitute the crack-whores for a foot-long steak and cheese (which I’ve tried, but Subway only take cash or card) and it is exactly the same. As broken as this thinking must sound, I can’t go out to eat and deprive myself. I’d much rather deprive myself at home, it seems much more British somehow. Deprivation of anything; sleep, sex, food, oxygen, is something discussed only in one’s drawing room when the children have gone to bed, the women have gone to sew and be repressed and the men are taking their snuff and drinking impossibly expensive single malt. It is not just for my own wellbeing I fear either, think of the staff. If someone my size went in to a restaurant and said “I’ll have the salad” the waiter would probably awkwardly pace, awaiting the inevitable addition of “along with three deep-fried turkeys, a vat of chips covered in ground up Malteasers and an oil well of lager please.” If this was not forthcoming it would make the situation very tense for the waiter, what with the long silence and all. Best to save him the embarrassment and have a proper meal, eh?
Elsewhere it has been an up and down day. Nutritionally I’ve done well, bar “The Great Nando’s Massacre”, however my usual fifty sit-ups were reduced to a pathetic three by a searing stomach pain. This must be down my body’s recent discovery that the muscles I used to inhabit the space where I keep my fat were not, in fact, stolen when I was 11 but are still there and holy hell are they angry! My stomach muscles have been woken up, and they are not enjoying the morning! Imagine a slumbering princess from the fairy stories of your childhood, needing a kiss from a noble prince to wake her up. Now imagine that the prince decided that setting fire to the curtains and headbutting the princess in the face was a better away to awaken the sleeping beauty. My decade of physical slumber has ended, and Princess Stomach would have much preferred the kiss than fifty sit-ups a day, a run, weight-lifting, lunges and less food than she has had since I was in the womb.
I’m pleased to say I didn’t yield, and rallied with more lunges and running than usual to compensate for my inability to bend at the waist. I’d love to seamlessly segue into my next point by saying “it got me thinking why I decided to do this” but as anyone who read yesterday’s column will know, I planned to talk about that today anyway. What I’m looking for on this journey is achievement. I’m kind of in the lower-middle category for achievements by a 21 year old. I’ve got a university degree, which granted isn’t the hardest thing in the world to do, but with the government’s plans to raise tuition fees, it is pretty much the only thing in this economy that will increase in value over the next few years. I’ve had three part-time jobs and managed not to get sacked from any of them. I’ve had a lot of articles published on a range of topics including music, film, sports and news. I’ve won the League Cup and Premier League on Fifa 11 (not the proudest moment, but you’d be scared to hear just where it would rank in order of importance) These all came easily in a way, I’m not bragging but I didn’t have to push hard for these things. Perhaps including the degree in that isn’t fair, as it was a struggle but writing is something I’ve always found enjoyable. And I needed a last minute winner in the League Cup. But I guess I’ve always felt like I haven’t tried hard enough, that I haven’t reached for anything.
My generation is one that has had to make its own achievements in a way. So was the 90s generation, but they at least managed to write books such as High Fidelity and Fight Club or make films, like…erm…High Fidelity and Fight Club about being a generation defined by being undefined. Other generations have had wars, or cultural uprisings such as flower power or punk, but the Noughties kid doesn’t really have anything tangible. With other eras, you earn credibility just for being there and rightfully so. I was at a university full of people who threw on Abbey Road or Electric Ladyland and wished it was the 60s. Admittedly less of my friends dug trenches in the floor, ate Kendal Mint Cake, rationed their butter and waited for Hitler to bomb us, but still the underlying envy that other generations were part of something, anything, was always there.
To compare my struggle to shed an unwanted stone or three to the Second World War is a little bit over the top, and certainly not a direct comparison. But I’m doing this because I didn’t want to spend my life ducking out of things, of being happy to stand in a crowd of people walking in the right direction, wearing the right clothes, saying the right things and living the right life without trying. I’ve known I need to lose weight for a long time, but actually doing it is something I’ve only ever paid lip-service to. There have been other runs, previous sit-ups and dozens of brief diets. That is where this blog comes in. This is the padlock for my trap door, I’m boarding up the fire exit guys. Because I’ve quit diets before and not told a soul, most people I know probably don’t know or care how many times I’ve gone for runs then been too “tired” to follow it up with more exercise the next day. This blog is culpability. If this blog dries up, then this little corner of the universe will think I’m a quitter. So keep reading, and please comment. And if you come on here one day and there is no blog, get on my case and ask me why not. Make me do this people, because I can say no to myself but if this experiment has shown us anything so far, it’s that I’m probably too lazy to say no to you all. Until next time, where I will unveil the virtues and pitfalls of jogging to death metal, tell the tale of the drive-by shooting farmer and possibly even get to the Rocky V story I promised you yesterday. Possibly.