Monday, 31 August 2020


Since late June I've been on a bit of a health kick. Actually it started before, with the beginning of my walking during lockdown. Unfortunately also in June I did 'something' to my right knee which laid me up for a few days. The doctor recommended walking as much as I could manage, and I persevered and slowly the pain disappeared. To be more accurate, it took longer into my walks for the pain to become too much. But it did eventually recede to the point of no longer being noticed until one day I realised it had gone.

Back in March I had a number of tests to confirm what was causing some severe abdominal pain. My worst fears were allayed and an ultrasound confirmed it was in fact gallstones. Bloody painful but nothing really serious. As an aside my mood was lifted when my wife's friend (the friend being a good deal younger than me 😁) said she'd had the same problem a year or two before and that the pain was worse than childbirth and she had gone to casualty it was so bad. "Get in!" Yes, we have to celebrate tiny victories. Equaliser for the Men.

I was lucky enough to get the operation done before medical facilities were totally locked down in early April. But for a while I pushed to back burner another issue that the tests threw up. i.e. indications of fatty deposits on my liver. I think this is something many middle aged men are prone too, and it is a risk factor in other harmful conditions. so ultimately I knew I needed to tackle the fat around my midriff. I needed to look a lot less like the Moomin on the front of my teeshirt.

The walking helped improve my stamina, which I'd lost since lockdown because my preferred exercise (swimming) was not possible. I tried running, but see above about the knee problem. Lethargy and excuses did for my number two preferred exercise, cycling. But in late June the wife and I both agreed to go on a diet and started logging our calories and exercise in an app. As with all such things, it started well and mid-July brought further help with the re-opening of swimming pools in the UK. I managed one session before going on two short breaks in late July and had daily swims (and lots of walks) on the second of my short breaks. Back home at the start of August I determined to make up for lost time - 4 months is the longest I'd been without a swim for 20-odd years.

On top of the swimming I dragged my bike out and started cycling to the pool for most of the sessions. Amazingly, although burning hundreds of extra calories most days, my weight loss didn't really accelerate. However, my fitness did improve. Since late June I have managed to lose about 8 kg and I'm aiming to lose 2 more to get to what fairly arbitrarily, I consider to be my ideal weight. Most of this occurred in July and only 3kg in August, but these things normally get harder, and I like to think I've added some muscle too 😉.

Now at the end of the month I've totted up the kilometres cycled and swum (swimmed/swam??). The results are 287km on the bike and 35 in the pool, or 179 and 22 miles in old money. There's probably a couple of hundred km walked as well, but my steps app routinely overestimates the distance so I've not got a reliable figure. The next month will be testing. The nights get longer. There will be fewer daylight hours and fewer days with inviting weather. A week or so ago my motivation was wavering and I was verging on not getting the bike out and heading to the pool. Then I got a message from my friend Peter, with a picture of his 94 year old father at the top of a high hill in the Peak District. That was just the kick up the arse I needed. Next time I feel my willpower lacking, I'll try to remember Pete's dad.

Oh, and I look a lot less like Muminpapa and a bit more like Nuuskamuikkunen (Snufkin) in my baggier teeshirt.

This was supposed to be where the following YouTube video was inserted  but Google doesn’t seem to want to co-operate.

Nundanket prepares to head to the pool as winter comes to Hogsmill Valley, leaving the shade of his former self behind.


  1. Good job! You made super progress over the summer with both weight loss and level of fitness. Dropping 8kg is an impressive result. Keep up the great work! I have really enjoyed the walking tours of of your area.

  2. I am impressed by your determination and effort. Well done.

  3. Cheers guys. Hopefully by ‘going public’ there’ll be just that little bit more motivation to keep me in track in the darker, wetter days.

    I intend to keep to a ‘diet’ once I hit my target weight, albeit one with enough calories to keep my weight stable. Another inspiration came from the story of a woman using the same weight loss app who after years of yoyoing decided that what she needed was a PERMANENT change in lifestyle, not a campaign of a few months. So she’s been controlling her intake and monitoring for YEARS and has over time lost the weight of a small adult.