I felt so English today, walking around the park with my baby sleeping in his pram, strolling past the iron railings around the duck pond, dropping into conversation with a total stranger over the fact that we have the same stroller and our babies are teething and then, after that, ambling past the trees to the exit. Then, just as the park gate was approaching, I realised that I was supposed to have been power walking and that I had just blown my exercise for the day.
I may not be as brave as my brother was, posting his real weight online for all to see but I can tell you that I weigh an enormous amount, more than I am willing to admit to in public - however I am going to come out and say that I have 40 pounds to lose, or rather, that I had 40 pounds to lose a couple of weeks ago and that I only have 36 pounds to lose after today. Probably 38 after tonight however when chocolate biscuits have become a feature of my evening. Why deny yourself a chocolate biscuit or three when you've had a massive power workout?
The mildew answer to that would be that the biscuits together probably equal the entire caloric loss gained by the workout. The real answer of course is: 'Don't deny yourself those biscuits... you've earned them'. I like this answer. This answer tallies exactly with the picture I hold in my head of how much energy I use up every day because even though most of what I do involves sitting around on various chairs, bouncy balls and carpets, it feels exhausting and that's what counts. Picking him up. Putting him down. Listening to him complain. Turning him over. Listening to him complain. Turning him over again. Listening to him complain. Putting him in his chair. Listening to him complain. Changing him. Putting him in his cot. Listening to him complain. Putting him in his bouncer. Listening to him complain. Changing him. Picking him up. Playing aeroplanes. Putting him down. Sitting him on the bouncy ball. Putting him in the bath. Oh, and breast-feeding, over and over and over again.
Surely, some of that must burn calories? In fact, I think what burns the most calories is the 'listening to him complain' part. Charlie, as I am sure is true of most babies, can complain in a way which has been fine-tuned carefully over the past five months to exact the most response. Clearly, laughing or being quiet or gently cooing to himself does nothing in terms of getting a good return on his investment in parental units and so he has perfected a system of escalating complaints based on exactly how much response he wants. The more desperate or annoying the sound, the more response he gets. The most effective, QED, is therefore the sound that grates the most on parental ears. Having achieved the return he wanted, he now knows that he can use this sound to get what he wants (and here I am forced to italicise once again) At Any Time. So effective is this noise that he is now employing it for the barest of reasons - for example, when his toys are slightly out of reach. Where he used to start with a sort of muttered expletive that he would keep up for several minutes before moving onto the next stage, a sustained grumble, now he goes very quickly through these stages and gets his hands on the big guns as fast as possible.
All this crying of wolf means that I spend my entire day on tenterhooks waiting for his command and because he is now using one sound for everything, I cannot tell whether or not he has got a blanket stuck over his head and his nappy is filthy or, more commonly, he is merely tired of his bunny and would like to be moved closer to his frog. The effect of this is that whatever I am doing I have to drop it and run just in case Charlie has managed to hit his head on something or bury it under something or... well there's not much he can really do to himself but you try telling youself that when you're on the loo and your precious bundle of joy is telling you that he is being kidnapped at knife-point.
The other effect is that I am knackered without actually having burned off any energy, other than all that remains of my mental energy, ie, Not Very Much. Because I am knackered, I feel deserving of chocolate biscuits and therefore am finding that all this fat which has accumulated around my middle since Charlie was born (and, let's face it, for years before hand) is stubbornly sticking around and I look like a toffee apple.
So, I have restarted my gym membership and am going several times a week. I have lost a gratifying 4lbs in the last two weeks and am hoping that I can lose another 16lbs in the next two and a half months. That's the goal. I am going to force myself to post gains and losses on this blog and swear blind I will be truthful. Who knows, when I reach the target I may even post a picture of the scales. I will try to be as Bridget Jones about it as possible... ie, 'gym, 40mins, v good, calories burned 300 good, choccie biccies, 5, v bad' rather than inundating you with the contents of my gym playlist and the order in which I tortured myself on various implements (although I could do, I'm terribly enthusiastic about it all at the moment...).
Finally, having managed to type this blog all through Charlie doing a big poo, I have managed to get his father to change his second pooey nappy of the day - and that's a result I'm happy to post right here, right now.