You may have seen me mention recently that Dexter and I are now cycling to school. It started off as a necessity because he was doing his Cycling Proficiency Test, but now I just think it’s the perfect way to get my arse into gear. Pardon the pun.
I’ve been a member of a gym for over six months and, whilst my intentions were honourable for the first couple of months and, not only did I go when Dexter was at school, but we would go swimming together at the weekend. Yeah, that didn’t last too long. I just get SO bored being in a gym … doing the same thing, time and time again, surrounded by the same people who look as bored as I do. Plus gyms smell of boys – yuk!
So this is now Week 2 of cycling to school. I checked Google maps of course, just to see how far it actually is, and it’s 2.6 miles one way. The journey there isn’t too bad – although it’s all relatively flat on the whole, it’s definitely more downhill on the way there. When I’m with Dexter, it probably takes us about half an hour in the morning (but I’ve done it in 15 minutes on my own.)
As you can see from the photo above, I really don’t give a toss about what I look like. I think I’m TOTALLY rocking ‘cycling like a bellend’ chic. As a big woman, I was a little worried that I’d be jeered at by white van men or schoolkids, but no-one seems to pay me much attention. It’s a bit like my bikini post … I’m just doing what I want to do and other people are actually just going about their business. No-one cares that I’m looking this gorgeous on a bike!
Cycling back from school, however, is torture.
I don’t mind it too much, my thighs really are getting a workout (now there’s a thought!), but Dexter really isn’t a fan. It’s more psychological with him – he doesn’t believe he can do it, gets annoyed, and it ends up taking twice as long. But he’s getting so much better, the more we do it.
I’ve learnt a few tricks during the past week though, to make the whole experience less painful (for me!):
- Firstly, I make sure I bring him a snack that he can eat before we set off. At the moment, it’s a hot sausage roll from Greggs, which defeats the object of the whole ‘getting healthy’ thing, but my opinion is, one thing at a time. He’ll be snacking on carrot sticks by January.
- Secondly, I’ve invested in a gel seat for both of us. If you’re not a regular cyclist, I can’t begin to tell you just how painful your … umm … undercarriage gets. Childbirth is the beginning of the end for ‘that’ area – cycling just finishes you off completely. Suffice to say, it’s a good job I’m single. (You can buy a gel seat for £12 from Tescos).
- Another thing he really responds to is being in front. I make a big deal of him being the ‘leader’ and the fact that I’M following HIM. Gives him a little control back I guess.
- And of course, positive praise always works better than moaning or shouting. Having said that, he definitely gets my good cop AND bad cop!
- As a last resort, if we’ve got off our bikes to walk up a hill, I’ll talk about what we’re going to have for dinner – that normally does the trick!
Now you know me, I’m not one for banging on about how much I weigh, or whether I’ve lost weight … and I’ve only ever talked about my size in a positive way … BUT … I weighed myself when I first started cycling last week, and today, a week on, and I’ve lost 3lbs. Bearing in mind I haven’t changed my eating habits (I ate ALL the pizza on Saturday for example), I think that’s quite telling. I really wasn’t doing any exercise of note before so this has really made a difference. In fact, I did the trip to school twice today (that’s over 11 miles) and so I expect to see a bigger weight loss next week as I’ve changed what I eat also. (More of that in later blog posts.)
I’m hoping that Dexter will eventually get on board with cycling to school. It was interesting to see how cycling improved his football in his match on Sunday, for instance, so I keep reminding him of that in the hope that it will sink in because he’ll see how it’s affecting something he loves. Having said that, I don’t want us to peak too soon so we may only cycle to school three times a week instead of every day. I’ll see what his mood is like in the morning!
I’m exhausted and off for a hot bath! Anyone else a cycling fan, or is it your idea of hell?