Pounding the pavements to shed the pounds

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‘Daddy, you’re not big and strong, you’re just fat’, was the killer line from my straight talking six-year-old which got me seriously thinking about my weight. Again.

It was my fault as I had asked my picky eater nephew if he wanted to have the strength of Superman and if so then he should eat his pesto-topped pizza.

All my eldest did was point out that I am more Jabba the Hutt than Clark Kent and cue much group sniggering on a Sunday afternoon.It is the second time in six months that public humiliation has had me contemplating my widening waistline. The last time the shame of my podgy posterior breaking a family ride at a theme park prompted me to lose a stone and a half in a month but that is far as my weight loss went and the lure of summer pints and barbecues were too much of a temptation.

Although the lost weight has not all been piled back on again, my stomach bears a canny resemblance to an over-inflated Space Hopper.

My problem is that I have too many excuses: that I am largely office-bound at work; or that being the father of a three-month-old isn’t conducive to strenuous exercise or that I am just too fond of pastry-based products. Now it seems that none of us have an excuse as apparently the secret to a healthy life is a brisk walk of 30 minutes or more each day after it was revealed those who pounded the pavements or the footpaths of Britain were healthier than those who pumped iron.

But before you take scissors to the Lycra or tear up your gym membership a word of caution: I am living proof that this theory might not be all it is cracked up to be. When you have young children, being on your feet is obligatory and I am no different, yet I am still assaulted by the waistband of my boxers and feel as unfit as I ever have done.

Of course, there is more to obtaining a stomach as flat as a pint of day old ale walking to and from Gregg’s four times a week - I know that and you know that - but there is a lot stupid people who will take reports like the ones we read last week at face value.

We all know what we have to do to be healthier - indulge less and do more.