Lancashire Times
Weekend Edition
Sonia Price
Features Writer
6:00 AM 31st July 2021

My Fat Chance Of Losing My Lock-down Weight Any Time Soon

Image by Vidmir Raic
Image by Vidmir Raic
Walking through Ripon last week I bump into my cousin, Claire.

“Hi Sonia”. Claire is staring at my thighs: “You’ve gained some weight haven’t you? It suits you - you look well.”

“Thanks Claire”. Claire is a sweetheart and, as she is my cousin, I don’t mind her being so familiar. This comment though pierced through my contented state of denial, which I have been conveniently entertaining, and brought me around to thinking I really must get down to getting rid of at least some of the ten or so pounds I have put on during lock-down.

Fat has a funny way of expanding and dividing people.
If you’re Claire - a bit of extra fat suits me and makes me look well. I disagree.

If you’re Suzie Orbach - fat is a feminist issue.

And if you’re my fat- intolerant brother, fat is a lard-ass issue. “Put that cheesecake down you lard ass, you should be taxed for every extra pound you have gained.”

Image Pixabay
Image Pixabay
My response to him: “Oh bugger off and pass me a Rolo - just a small one. I’m not greedy”

It’s true though, I have put some lard on me. Because this weight gain has crept up on so many of us we are quite relaxed about talking about lock-down pounds. You don’t mind me talking about my lock-down pounds do you?

I have not been this weight since my father used to make my breakfast and pack my school lunch. It probably came to the same amount of calories as his breakfast and lunch. The only trouble being I was a fourteen-year-old school kid and my dad was a builder doing ten hours a day of gruelling labour. It’s all maths, isn’t it?

My weight-gain has been down to tucking into cheese coated nachos a little too late in the evening and those extra Budweisers, which I really should replace for a low-alcohol alternative - and I will. I need to eat less and move more.

Image by David Mark
Image by David Mark
Swimming is my preferred exercise. You don’t get a stitch, work up an unsightly sweat or pull any muscles doing forty leisurely lengths. I don’t think you can beat swimming for a good fat- busting workout. I Google what calorie loss I can expect from an hours’ swimming.

Image by Carlo_Nogaroto
Image by Carlo_Nogaroto
Apparently as many as 360 calories per hour are burned for a 130 pound person swimming front crawl at a 60 second length pace. I am not good at maths, but I know I would have to gain a good few more pounds to gain this rate of calorie consumption from my swimming, so I won’t be doing that any time soon. A nice gentle swim for about half an hour, three times a week should help me shift some of my fat.

I am building myself up psychologically for this swimming when it happens. I should be mentally well prepared and ready to take the plunge sometime in October when Ripon’s fabulous new pool opens.

I am waiting for this 25-metre serious swimming pool because I intend to do some serious swimming. I know Ripon already has a very nice Victorian swimming pool but - it’s a bit of a walk isn’t it? I suppose I should go to the Victorian Ripon pool, I really should, and I will. I will go just as soon as I have bought a larger swimming cossie. I know my old one won’t fit me. I don’t know if my goggles will still fit me. I daren’t try them on to be honest.

Image by Total Shape from Pixabay
Image by Total Shape from Pixabay
I must thank Claire from pulling me out of my lock-down lethargy though. Before her comment I had been persuading myself that my washing machine was shrinking my jeans and that my scales are just wrong - like everybody else’s bathroom scales. Most of them are wrong, honestly. If you don’t believe me, I’ll come around to your place, stand on your scales and prove it.
We need to keep some perspective and not beat ourselves up about gaining a few pounds throughout the Covid crisis. We all have our good points. With that in mind I think of the body parts which are not betraying me. My knees are quite nice, though I say so myself. A few weeks ago when I was walking into town, a young lad on a bike steered it into a wall because he was staring at my knees. This made me very happy. He wasn’t hurt.

Image by Ken Boyd
Image by Ken Boyd
Has anyone else noticed that a lot of people in Ripon are walking one way whilst looking another? That’s for another feature. I wonder how many calories I will have burned typing this article? Probably about 500. I’ve worked up quite an appetite. Now if you’ll excuse me I could do with a bacon sandwich and a Budweiser