No, I’ve not decided to write a history blog and this is not a post about a German counter offensive through the Ardennes forest during World War 2. It’s just the title for my 2nd 30 day, or rather 28 day challenge of 2015. (See previous post “One month at a time”) For February, I decided to try to get rid of all the Christmas weight I put on while back in England (The Bulge) by exercising everyday of the month (The Battle). I blame Andy and Laura Williams for even having to do this challenge – their Christmas tactic of having Quality Street permanently on offer while watching Christmas films is lethal.
Exercising for me is a little bit like my first month challenge, which was reading. I really enjoy it, its just not something I get round to doing as often as I would like. I manage to squeeze in swimming at the weekends, but during the week by the time I’ve done a day at work and got home at 8pm, my last thought is putting on the trainers and going for a run! I’m also not lucky enough to be in a position where I can run or ride to work – anyone who has run the gauntlet of Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai in a car will know this is not a stretch of road you do on a bike! My office are also not generous enough to have a gym at work, which also rules out exercising mid-day.
So what this basically boiled down to was, I had to exercise before 6am, or after 8pm. Just writing that sentence makes me want to flop on the sofa in front of the TV!
But challenge accepted, I managed to exercise 26 days out of 28 – not bad when, pre-challenge that number would more likely have been 8 from 28! And, as with the January Challenge, I really got into the routine as the month went on. I definitely found it easier to exercise before work than after. I’m a morning person, so getting up 30 mins earlier to exercise was less of a problem for me than trying to do something when I got home.
As with all challenges, there are upsides. When you get up at 6am in Dubai and head East you get to see the most spectacular Middle East sunrise, like a fireball coming out of the earth. You don’t see this if you’re still under the duvet! And as much as I kind of hated it at the time, when I exercised in the morning, before work, I found I was much sharper and had more energy during the day. So yes, I can officially confirm, exercise is good for you!
But more importantly, the whole reason for doing this challenge in February was to shed the Christmas indulgence and I won the battle! Dropped 4Kgs in Feb, and am now back to my fighting weight! Mission Accomplished!
Until next year Quality Street!