Learning to love the treadmill

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On my way to the gym, I noticed the familiar face of a chap who used go there as frequently as I do. He seems to have fallen off the wagon (or treadmill) because I haven’t seen him exercising for quite a while. I reflected on what he looked like in the time that he attended the gym regularly and I could see that he had probably grown even more rotund than before. Perhaps he was frustrated about not making enough visible progress in doing something he didn’t particularly enjoy.

It is likely that the fellow hadn’t been advised sufficiently about aligning dietary discipline with going to the gym. In the days that he committed to regular exercise, he always looked the same to me. Anything that is worth doing is worth doing well, in my humble opinion. If he had changed his eating habits, perhaps he might have found a way to enjoy benefits of the huffing and puffing on the machines and lifting weights.

In my case, I went through a phase of being very strict about my eating habits. When I lost a significant amount of weight, I had to deal with a lot of scrutiny from others who were concerned that I could be unwell. I was aware from previous experiences, that I could make a difference to my physicality if I really wanted to. I also knew that one has to find a level of momentum in the commitment that is sustainable.

An unexpected result of my exercise routine was the fact that I looked different from the photo in my passport. On one occasion, I arrived at the Eurostar section of the central railway station in Brussels and the passport control officer commented that I didn’t look like the person in the photo on the passport that I handed in. I had to explain about my weight loss routine. It was a relief to get a new passport recently, with an up to date photo.

A more gratifying experience was the day when the instructor who gives me regular training programmes saw me changing and said “You’ve actually got abs now”! It all goes to show that one can achieve visible and lasting results if a plan is carried out in the appropriate way.