How Putting On Weight In Lockdown Made Me More Humble

Coronavirus has helped me accept that it’s fine to be like everyone else

Man measuring his waist
Image: Michal Jarmoluk/Pixabay

I’ve been thinking a lot about over-indulging while we’ve been in lockdown – and I know I’m not the only one.

The other day, a friend sent a list of Coronavirus phrases trending on What’sApp, including “Covid-10” – meaning the extra 10lbs some of us have put on through comfort eating and drinking since March 23.

In the UK, alcohol sales jumped by 22 per cent in March, while the tendency to binge and put on weight – also known as “fattening the curve” – was likewise observed in countries that went into lockdown before us. 

When the UK followed Italy indoors, the novelist Francesca Melandri wrote from Rome to warn us of the changes that would take place in our lives, many of them involving food.

“First of all, you’ll eat,” Melandri warned. “Not just because it will be one of the few last things that you can still do… You’ll eat again. You will not sleep well… You will put on weight. You’ll look for online fitness training…You will eat again.”

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Thick But Cute: It Beats Running Like A Toilet Duck

I try to act like I’m not old, but Life keeps sending me horrid reminders  

A man with a hammer chases a running toilet duck
Original images: Aaron Thomas/Pixabay and Rene Rauschenberger/Pixabay

I’M OLD! OLD! Old as mould….

I mean: I try to act like age is just a number.

I try to stay just a bit current and not put limitations on what I can do at 50-something.

I try to keep improving, but Life always finds a way to remind me that, every day, I’m even more decrepit than I ever have been…

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I’m A Runner, Not A Walker’s

I don’t want to be Mr Potato Head any more

A crisp-headed man runs
Original image: StockSnap/Pixabay

I’m thinking seriously about ending one of the longest and most satisfying relationships of my life.

It’s one that’s gone on for longer than my marriage and for more time than I knew my Dad, or my Mum.

But I think it’s finally time that I stopped eating crisps.

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I’m Trying To Keep Making Healthy Choices… But One Of My Balls Has To Drop Soon

These days, you have to be a bit of a freak to be healthy all the time

A cavewoman dreams of snacking
Original image: sgrunden/Pixabay

I’M A BAD person.

I’ve just gone and made myself a morning coffee, with caffeine in it. Plus three sugars, and some Cadbury’s drinking chocolate on the top so it mimicked a café cappuccino.

I even got out my sad little electric whisk and frothed up the milk. What a loser!

I’m disappointed with myself, you see, because I’m not supposed to be drinking caffeine. The doctor told me.

And, until this morning I’d largely given up coffee, and excised Diet Cokes ruthlessly from my life.

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At Last! Some Good Numbers For 50-Somethings!

If you’re 50 or older, you may already be over the worst…

A smiling face graph

I WAS NEVER much good at maths but, there are a lot of numbers running through my head at the minute.

For example, I’ve just entered the last year of the famed 45-54 marketing category – the one after which advertisers lose interest in flogging stuff to you, because you can in no way be considered sexy any more.

Rather than worrying about being a year closer to falling off my perch, however, I’m actually looking forward to being forgotten – give or take the odd poke from Viking River Cruises or Stannah Stairlifts.

I’m also approaching a more personally important statistic because, if I hang around for about another 18 months, I’ll have passed the ages at which my Dad and my Mum died. 

And, although their passing has caused me all manner of pain over the years, I’m now strangely euphoric that I’m about to be out on my own here.

Outliving them seems a success of a kind, as if we were in some sort of race and suddenly… I’m in the lead

God knows, it’s not like me to be so cheerful about anything – especially getting older.

But according to new research on how age affects happiness I may, quite literally, have turned a corner. Or at least a curve…

I’m talking about the recent study by former Bank of England economist David Blanchflower, who has pinpointed the age at which we are most unhappy as 47 years and two months.

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Where Is My Mind?

Maybe forgetting things as I get older isn’t something to stress about…

A frightened bag of raspberries (cartoon)

I looked in the bread bin this morning and found I’d left a bag of frozen raspberries there.

I must have done it yesterday morning while I was making breakfast. The berries – and the bin – were pretty soggy.

And it’s not the first forgetful thing I’ve done lately – far from it.

I often find myself stopping in front of the fridge, or a cupboard in the kitchen, trying to remember what I’m doing there.

It’s probably at moments like this that I put milk in the drawers and porridge in the freezer – snatching them out hours or days later and wondering: ‘Is this it? Am I finally losing my mind?”

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Five Green Bottles

I’ve been drinking again, and had no option but to send myself on a punishment run

Five beer bottles and a Strava map

THE TONY ADAMS Memorial Eight Mile Race is not like other running events.  

For a start, the Arsenal and England footballer it’s named after isn’t dead.

Also unlike other races, ‘The Adams’ doesn’t take place at a fixed time every year – but erupts across the athletic calendar on several random days, often in clusters, like zits on a sixteen-year-old’s chin.

And there is only ever one participant: me.

That’s because The Tony Adams Memorial Eight Miler takes place whenever I fall off the wagon and feel the need to punish myself.

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Running: The Mental Health Prophylactic

It’s cold and dark, but if you can get outside and run… get outside and run!

A cartoon man runs inside a condom
Image: an original artwork by Mr Shit50s

Life’s not all that easy at the moment, here in the frozen North.

It’s not cold, cold. In fact, it’s not even frozen. But there was a thick frost on the roofs of the cars outside when we struggled up this morning.

It was still dark, and I was so tired that one massive yawn threatened to dislocate my jaw as I switched on the kettle for the day’s first invigorating cuppa.

I looked out onto the blackness of the garden, lamplight picking out the frost, and thought my first uncomfortable thoughts of the day – nothing too serious, just the sort of mental scabs I often pick at.

And then I thought: I don’t want a sad day today. I want a run.  

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I’m Not A Health ‘Freak’, We’re Supposed To Be Fit At 50

For years I feared that I was weird and narcissistic for exercising regularly, but science says humans just aren’t designed to take it easy

An older man runs in a wood
Image: Dominic Winkel/pixabay

THIS WEEK, like the majority of the world, I’m getting back to the same old, same old.

Like nearly everyone else, I’m working again. Like lots of us, I’m trying for a Dry – or at least a Moist January.

Yesterday, I made a point of getting outside and exercising, throwing my leg over the bike for the first proper ride of 2020.  

But perhaps less positively, every morning this week, I’ve disappeared anxiously down a rabbit warren of health-related stories on the BBC website.

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