It’s A Lifestyle

Recently, during a period of free time afforded by my early retirement, I’ve mulled over strategies which’d address the unhealthier elements of my lifestyle. To be clear, this pondering hasn’t as yet seen me embrace the steps I need to follow; but as they say ‘It’s the thought that counts’.

Seriously, though, this period of reflection has seen me device menus containing reduce fat based foodstuffs, asking a Personal Trainer friend to create me an exercise and diet plan, along with my cessation of using the word clunge.

This personal fitness and diet programme has already seen me lose 25 pounds, unfortunately that wasn’t weight loss, I had my pocket picked during a power walk.

Seriously (again), though, despite recently making strides in improving my mental health I’ve neglected my own physical well-being for too long. A foolish approach for a man who has suffered a previous heart attack…… Or indeed anyone, particularly in middle-age or older.

Currently I feel physically lethargic, which not only needs acting upon, but introduces concerns this situation’ll lead to subsequent knock on impacts to my mental health. Although not evident so much these days, ordinarily my demons become harder to vanquish when my physical fitness is neglected. And jeez can they be a high maintenance bunch when in search of attention…… Something, quite clearly, I’m keen to avoid.


Currently I undertake exercise in the shape of gardening and walking. However, they say your body tells you when something is amiss, and last weekend mine emailed to advise my current physical regime wasn’t suffice……. The electronic message also included a quirky jocular video of a tortoise chasing a ball, along with an inappropriate gag about ferrets.

With this in mind, forthwith the GJ Strachan’s digestive system must receive fewer visits from his prevailing guilty pleasures of cheese, crisps and vino. Instead, it needs to spend more time in the company of porridge, fish and chicken. Don’t get me wrong, the majority of my main meals incorporate a healthy salad accompaniment; however I’ve been told the presence of kebab meat negates any dietary good provided by the lettuce.

The new dietary element I’d struggle most with will be reducing the intake of my beloved marmite on toast for breakfast. I’m fearful a healthier dietary regime may introduce vegemite withdrawal issues.

Fears borne from the experiences I underwent last time I reduced marmite consumption. An occasion where I was hampered by the onset of sweats, shakes, and a misguided belief I’m ex-professional snooker player John Virgo.

It was a distressing time in my life, not just infliction of those crippling symptoms but also from receipt of hate mail from marmite manufacturers. On the plus side, though, during these episodes yours truly scored his first ever 147 at snooker.

One question raised during my initial fitness program consultation with my PT friend were my aims, in particular what I was looking to achieve in the first six weeks of the programme. Apparently, “Marmite on toast becoming recognised as a healthy breakfast.” wasn’t the right answer.

During this meeting I was also asked what I was looking to achieve in the first three months. “Marmite on toast becoming recognised as a healthy breakfast.” still wasn’t the correct answer………My six month goal? Yes, you’ve guessed my reply…… And yep it was still incorrect!

I know what you’re thinking….. “If you embark on this, you’ll never stick to it Strachan. Within days, your love of Red Leicester, Walker’s Ready Salted, marmite and cabernet sauvignon will derail your valiant attempts at self-improvement.”

To those doubters I’d retort I’ve got excellent self-discipline when required. An example being the four occasions in recent years when I went a month without alcohol for charitable causes.

Once I’ve a plan to follow, a goal to strive for, or a project for the greater good, I take on an altogether higher level of stoicism. Episodes where I tenaciously seek to vanquish all temptation in my path for a worthy cause……. My mantra becoming ‘Get behind me, Satan!

Anyway, I’m off for lunch……. Now, I wonder if Frank’s Kebabs make deliveries?!

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