The Herald, The Edge: Clontarf, and I – Week 4

10 Feb

The Herald, The Edge: Clontarf, and I



Friday 3rd Feb – 10 stone or 64 kilos

Body fat from 19.5% to 18.6%


Week Four


Training day thirteen:

Friday 3rd Feb. Andrew. Death Circuits. Enough said!

I am beginning to weaken. This is when the novelty begins wearing thin and boredom sets in. I have not had a drink in over a month and my mind is drifting into languid reveries of a nice Valpolicella Ripasso, cheese and crackers and even a chocolate treat (and I don’t have a sweet tooth)

This is the most testing time and my only solution is to just block out all those thoughts, ignore the very existence of cravings and compartmentalize these temptations. I must not even look at the sweet shelf in the shop, the salad lunch must be eaten before I have time to slip up and munch something naughty.

So, keep calm and carry on.

When I am on my own, without a personal trainer, I have a method that gets me in the gym. While I am telling myself that I really don’t want to go, that it’s not fair and I don’t have time, I have a headache, or I’ll go tomorrow, I actually begin putting on my tracksuit, packing my gym bag and getting over to the gym.  Before I know it I am there. Basically, by the time I have finished my internal whinge, I have managed to get ready and go to the gym. Once you’re there, there’s nothing else to do but train.


Training day fourteen:

Sunday 5th Feb. Alex. Boxing.

Not using my brain, I decided to get back in the saddle following an 8-week hiatus from horse riding. It is a relatively new hobby and I love it! The only problem was that when I returned on Sunday, I was given the oldest, laziest most sluggish donkey in the stable. He refused to do what he was asked which meant my rising-trot was extremely hard work on my legs. Needless to say, when I arrived at The Edge a couple of hours later and expressed my woes to Alex, he completely ignored my complaints and carried on as normal. The one thing that surprised me however was that I was very much capable of completing the ever grueling boxing circuits.

It seems the mind needs a little time to catch up with the body.

When you realize that you are getting fitter, well, it’s a very nice feeling indeed.


Training day fifteen:

Monday 6th Feb. Ciaran.

Right now I am distracted with various developments in my non-training life and felt that the hour in the gym was an inconvenience in my busy mind.

What I was forgetting was the unexpected side effect of this level of training, i.e. the positive impact it has on the mind too. I am not just referring to looking great in your skinny jeans, or even feeling more energetic and strong, but it also benefits your mental health.

Each session releases endorphins (the happy chemical) and reduces cortisol (the stress hormone) so naturally, you feel better, but really, what works for me is the accidental meditation.

Once warmed up in the gym, the mind is completely focused on the task at hand. It just happens, it’s organic and inescapable. The only thoughts during that hour are either the counting of reps or the muscle that is aching. There is no room for any thoughts of anything else in your life. When the session is over my mind feels like it’s just had a deep dreamless sleep and is alert, sharp and fresh.


Training day sixteen:

Wednesday 8th Feb. Michelle.

At this stage it’s a bit of a no-brainer. I don’t bother complaining to myself anymore and I just get on with it. I once read somewhere that it takes 6 weeks to form or break a habit. I am beginning to see how this may be true. The training is now an integral part of my weekly routine and I don’t have any real emotion attached to it anymore. It’s a bit like going to the supermarket, it’s just something that has to be done. But, that by no means makes training boring. The challenge is ever present and the intensity is increased as your fitness improves. Michelle, the evil siren, threw in her own ‘death circuit’ just to remind me that there is still jelly in those legs!



PS. This Friday (10th Feb) Body Fat was a most unpleasant experience. I have done nothing different all week. I have eaten my greens, fish, seeds, eggs I have drank gallons of water, dodged alcohol and trained my ass off!

Alas, this week there is one profound difference in my body. I am menstrual!

David assures me that the scales and my body fat are merely reflecting fluid retention and hormonal imbalances. It is a very frustrating example of the ultimate power of hormones.

Be warned, if there is not a monumental improvement by Friday 17th Feb, everyone better get out of my way… 


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