Metropole Magazine

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07 Jan Written by 

My Fitness Quest: Week 2

A working mother's dieting and exercise journey

Interval training is a fitness routine in which you have regular bursts of intense training alternating with rest periods. This typically means you sprint till your lungs burst for like 40 seconds and rest walk at a comfortable pace for like one minute. This is done for like six cycles. Most times at the end of the sixth cycle, you practically crawl off the treadmill, I guarantee you.

However, the difference was that my intervals may be at dinners in fancy restaurants, or airports or long corridors in hotels or shopping malls. The variety made the exercise fun and it definitely did not get boring.

The result? I came home five pounds lighter and very tired.

It didn’t help that my trainer is an 18-hour one. And unlike the expensive one-hour variety for $100 dollars, this one came for free. Unless you count the countless ice cream, chewing gum and candy bribes. My trainer was my just-turned-3-year-old hurricane. God, I had forgotten what it was like to have toddlers. Honestly, any advice to someone serious about losing weight? Adopt or have a toddler over 5 days a week. I guarantee you, you will lose weight. Unless you are not chasing her yourself.

Of course it helped that dinner was always an ordeal of trying not to be embarrassed by the ketchup stains on the pristine white table cloths and my grumpy husband hissing. “Why can’t she sit still?” I wish I knew.  Meals were always an ordeal. I barely had time to take a few bites before the “Mummy I have to use the bathroom”—steadily reaching a crescendo—drives me into a fury. Invariably, we ended up in the toilet for a lot of dinner. I would stand at the door because she would bluntly refuse to use the bathroom while I was in there (privacy in the bathroom…).

So I would be the sentry guard at the gate of Rapunzel’s castle, waiting for her Royal Highness to permit me entry to clean her bum. Intermittently, her highness would yell “Mummy are you there?”

“Yes I am. Are you done?”

“No, not yet Mummy”

The sweetness in that voice would melt my irritation till I see tissue paper streaming from the gap at the end of the door. Irritation would turn to exasperation. Then, I would yank open the door—the guard becoming janitor. Well, I figure this is another stretching exercise and I would stretch in the small cubicle and hold her with a vice grip with the other hand. See, resistance training.

Then washing hands, another resistance move, I imagine my biceps and triceps strengthening as I would be forced to hold her at that horrible angle that has no consideration for poor mothers like me at the wash basin.

It also helped that the toddler developed the “Mummy-I-Can’t-Walk-Carry-Me” syndrome. Most days were therefore spent hurling 34 pounds from arm to arm. So needless to say, after the first week of using the hotel gym, I threw in the towel and just gave up and concentrated on surviving the holiday.

Well, four weeks later, five pounds lighter, it reiterates the fact that if you live an active life, who needs exercise….your life in itself is a workout. And I assure you, that is the real reason those white ladies are skinny.