For a while I was a ‘Third-hole Theo’. After some time and effort, I surpassed the ‘Fourth-hole Freddy’ mark and now I am a ‘Fifth-hole Ferdinand’! It has got to the point where I may need to puncture a new notch in order for me to be ‘Sixth-hole Steven’.
Of course, I am talking about belt-holes.
As a child, I was sometimes described as ‘stocky’ or as having a good body for Rugby – what a horrible thought. Then, I became a bit skinnier for a few years due to a terrific metabolism and the hills of Derbyshire providing superb obstacles for walking. Then I hit 25.
I woke up on my 25th birthday with a slightly rotund waistline, an extra weight upon my person. I refused to call it a ‘beer-gut’ as I do not have a penchant for the obnoxious brew, so I proclaimed it as my ‘merlot-midriff’.
Not long after, I became involved in a relationship. You do not need me to tell you what a disaster this is for the figure. Once sitting comfortably in the security of love, all hell breaks loose and the adipose tissue multiplies. Cupid strikes you and knocks you off-guard and the next thing you know, you’ve gone from Twiggy to Loggy.
Time has passed and I have been single for a good few years, but the blubber clung to me like a needy child with abandonment issues.
As I approach 35, I am aware of my physical form and, being the sort of person who is constantly wary of what people think, I want to maintain some sort of aesthetic for those who may like to act as voyeur. Anyone who knows me will attest to the fact that I can be dreadfully and hopelessly self-conscious (some may even have the gall to scream “paranoid” and slap me with a cymbal-less tambourine until I accept it) and this attacks my confidence like shock waves vibrating a kidney stone to its doom.
So, with this in mind, I made a concerted effort to take control of my destiny and forced myself to be more careful with the foods I consume and also get off my wobbly buttocks and stretch the old legs on a regular basis.
I now think twice before putting anything in my mouth (careful, this is not a Carry On film!) and I walk. I walk and I walk. Just about everywhere.
I try to walk to and from work on a daily basis (as long as I do not have to carry anything too heavy). This is a ninety minute journey and as long as I have my iPod assaulting my eardrums with a rhythmic beat, I am quite content. My happiness is only disrupted on occasion when I am forced to step off the pavement to allow cyclists past, when I see other pedestrians nearly killed on crossings due to some idiotic driver or when I see a dead animal in the kerb (I have been known to weep upon seeing a dead cat. I am such a softie!). These frustrations aside, I have a jolly exercise regime and it’s all absolutely free! If there is a god and I get to meet her/him, I must thank her/him for Legs. I will also have a quick word about blisters, inner-thigh rash and nuclear war whilst I am there, but the praise will be enthusiastically forthcoming.
So, here I am, approaching my 35th birthday and I am finally getting to a point where I think I could happily get my kit off in front of other people. Who knows, I may even streak for a giggle. Actually, on second thoughts, I’d better not. No one needs to be subjected to that.