Battling the Heathrow Injection – Week One

The Urban Dictionary defines 'The Heathrow Injection' as: "a metaphor for the weight one inevitably gains when one migrates to London for an extended stay. It is attributable to the face-paced lifestyle that leads one to eating mostly take-away and fast foods." Then they have a mini mock conversation about slapping flab and watching it make waves. I've been in London about six months now, and I no longer fit the skinny jeans that I wore when I flew into the UK. Colour me devastated because that seriously was my favourite pair of jeans.

I can say with ease that while the fast-paced lifestyle is fast-paced its not the take-away or fast foods that is doing this to me. It's the drinking. The ridiculous amount of drinking. It's the after-work catch ups in pubs, and girls nights with cocktails and the all out binge nights because you don't have work the next day. Or because you *do* have work the next day. It's the weekends in Sommerset, where I do nothing but gorge myself on totally amazing and brilliant home cooked meals, and drink Vodka Tonics, and visit Eli's, the adorable pub with no bar. It's because I didn't get into an exercise routine, stopped going to the gym, and I stopped walking anywhere (walking requires knowing where you are going. Why would you do that when the tube basically does it for you?).

And I can say now that while I don't feel particularly bad about myself or the way I look, I'm mostly just pissed off that I can't walk up a tube escalator without getting puffed. That I feel unfit when I do end up walking to my destination. And that I can't get into my favourite pair of jeans without some epic gymnastics + dancing around in my lounge.

Dear internet, I tell you this because I want to be held accountable. I'm going to start some form of exercise regime.

I've joined a netball team (and been playing every Tuesday for the last few weeks). Me and The Third Quarter go to Spin on Friday mornings before work. I said I'd sub in the work touch team and will probably end up playing for a fair few of the games. I joined the Gentle Running Club with Phe + Broome (though to be fair I've only been once with the GRC crew). I said I'd go rock climbing with the boys from work, though I have yet to actually do that. And the biggest most difficult thing that I've done is joined works running team. Where we run three times a week. Up hills and everything.

It's been week number one and OMW; I am shattered.

Here is what I know:

* Running is hard. Running is fucking hard. Running up hills in the rain in that stupid game called 'hill sprints' that the boys do on Wednesdays? Absolutely ridiculous. * I know that #102 on the list is "Be able to run 5k in one go, without stopping." and I can't run the 5k we do on Mondays with no stops. But apparently I will do, if I keep running with the boys. They won't tell me how long it'll take before I get there. I guess I just need to be committed, and keep pushing myself. * I know that I'm now starving all the time, and wtf - where did this appetite come from? I'm going to take it as a good thing because I adore food but for serious? Food is expensive and this new found love for it is cutting into my adventure budget. * I really don't enjoy running, but I enjoy that time after running where I feel good about having gone. Apparently if I keep it up running will become fun. Apparently. * Ditto with Spin. I really don't like it, but I feel brilliant after I've done it. Also? My spin instructor is super fun. She also sang in the Top of The Pops choir when she was younger. True Story. * I shouldn't pair a morning spin lesson with a lunchtime run. My legs felt like jelly and I didn't run as far or as fast as I'd have liked. * I haven't figured out how to run slow yet. Which means I go hard and then get all worn out much sooner than I'd like. I'm trying to pace myself. It's easier when the boys set the pace. Hopefully I'll figure this out at some point. * I have well and truly done my ankle in. I rolled it way back at New Years and it hasn't recovered. 6 months on, that's a problem. It's weak, and even though I'm running with it strapped, it's not holding up. I'm going to have to do something about it, I think.

There are a three things I want out of this:

* I want to fit into those damn jeans again. * I want to be able to cross #102 off the list. Possibly with a small 5k race of some sort. * I want to have + have maintained some sort of exercise routine, so that I don't feel puffed walking up the stairs at tube stations like Covent Garden.

I'll let you know how it goes. Are any of you on an exercise kick right now?