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Henry Vill

The weighing game

This a personal account of my battle to get fit and lose around 2 stone in weight within 3 months. But will I do it?

© Oseland 2011


Personal Posted on Fri, March 02, 2012 02:56PM

The book containing all the blogs and more is now available from Amazon in the USA and UK. Please buy, enjoy and share. I will gladly sign any purchased copies.

In summary

Personal Posted on Sat, September 10, 2011 04:53PM

I have compiled all my blogs plus additional fitness tips into an ebook. It should be published early in the new year. Watch this space for updates.

The end

Personal Posted on Wed, September 07, 2011 10:17PM

A holiday and 150 days seems as good as any time to stop blogging. My weight seems to have levelled out and is unlikely to reduce without some tedious and extreme long-term dieting and exercise. I don’t want to do that. I have learned that I need to be careful about my diet and exercise regularly to have a healthy life but I don’t want exercise to completely take over my life. An active lifestyle is natural for a young man but it becomes increasingly difficult with age and the associated work/family commitments and injuries. There must be a happy medium but I don’t think I have found it yet. Oscar Wilde once said “Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.” but he was a bit of plonka wasn’t he?

In case you are wondering why “Henry Vill”. Well when my eldest son was about eight years old he came home from school and told me that he was reading about Henry Vill. It took a little interrogation to work out he meant Henry the Eighth, but Henry Vill is what we now always call him.

Henry Vill

Days 135 to 150

Personal Posted on Wed, September 07, 2011 09:55PM

I have just returned from holidaying in Cuba. I would have blogged but there was no wifi and the business lounge consisted of two old desktop PCs out of the 80s with a dial-up internet connection. It took me around 10 minutes just to open up an email and browsing the internet was like the early days when you just watched the screen very slowly refresh itself. It’s amazing that the country can function without wifi or broadband, but it just about does. So I had two weeks without email, twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn to keep me company. I was off the grid, the only comms media I had was texting.

I had all good intentions of keeping up the exercise. The plan was every other morning to jog along the beach accompanied by a few dips, crunches, press ups and burpees. These caveman type exercises were to be alternated with diving, swimming and beach volleyball. The beach exercises were easier at the start of the holiday when, due to jetlag, I was waking at 06.30 and could fit them in before breakfast. But the motivation for jogging at 06.30 waned as the holiday went on. However, I did manage to scuba dive every other day and play volleyball in between diving; I even had a couple of swims. Despite consuming three meals a day I managed to lose a couple of pounds or at least not put on any weight, but I would put this down to sweating out around 5 litres of water a day in the 35 degrees Celsius heat, rather than the exercise.

I have mixed views on the hotel – in summary it was in a good location but in desperate need of investment and repair, just like Cuba really. The hotel was located on a beautiful beach, the sand was white and the water crystal clear and at a comfortable 30 degrees Celsius. The hotel consisted of about a dozen small 30 room villas arranged around a wonderful pool with a convenient bar at the centre of it. One downside was the cocktails – far too sweet due to being made with cordial rather than fresh juice, except for the mojito (and caipirinha) which was good but often ran out. The other downside was the food – very limited fir vegetarians and not great for carnivores. The barbecue/grill food was fresh and tasty but the food in the laid out in the buffet troughs reminded me of school dinners. I have sent a review to Trip Advisor.

The hotel boasted nightly entertainment. Unfortunately it was cross between Eurovision, Butlins and Pheonix Nights, a fifties cum seventies cabaret. On a scale from not camp to very camp the entertainment was extremely queer. The outfits were big and blousy with lots of frilly sleeves and Carmen Miranda salad buffet headsets. Cuban Night was the highlight of the week. It was the dancers’ interpretation of Cuba throughout the ages. My favourite dance has to be the one with the overtly gay slave trader, complete with whip, mincing around “Negro” slave girls who were eventually saved by a Rambo style Cuban jungle with machete.

The audience where from a range of countries (except America obviously) but mostly Canadian or Cuban. The compare did his best at speaking multiple languages but always sounded like a Eurovision host “hola señoras y señores, y bienvenidos una vez más para entretenimiento de nuestros noche maravillosa y espectacular es, Damen und Herren und herzlich willkommen noch einmal auf unsere wunderbare Abendunterhaltung, welcome enjoy”.

In most Caribbean islands subjected to Reggae but in Cuba it is a rich mix of Latin music. I had not appreciated there were so many types of Latin music – Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, Meriachi, Mambo etc all with their own particular dance. I still can’t recognise each type of music until the dancing starts.

At the start of the holiday hurricane Irene over the Bahamas meant that all diving was diverted to the South of the island in the Bay of Pigs area. This was a three hour drive away and the dive was not worth the journey. Fortunately Irene ran out of puff and the diving continued in Varadero. It’s not spectacular diving in Cuba, and not at all as good as other Caribbean islands, but in 30 degrees Celsius water temperature and unlimited visibility it’s a lot more enjoyable than diving in the UK. The reefs were in good condition and there was plenty of regular Caribbean fish including Lion fish, Trumpet Fish, Trunk Fish, Parrot Fish, Butterfly Fish, Blue Chromis and Barracuda. Occasionally we spotted the more interesting sealife such as Stingrays, Porcupine Fish, Stone fish, Lobster, Spider Crabs and Moray Eel, but there were few and far between.

Los Henrico

Days 133 and 134

Personal Posted on Fri, August 19, 2011 07:33PM

Day 133

Suffering a bit from the beer and chilli so didn’t make it to the gym. Naughty boy.

Day 134

Finally got to go to the gym. I kept procrastinating and just finding other things to do: emails, Facebook, calling people, tidying my room, scheduling my day – I behaved like a teenager revising for exams. But eventually the wife told me to go as I have started snoring again. As usual it was hard work but enjoyable, getting there is always the most difficult bit.

I am off on holiday tomorrow. The plan is to exercise on the beach before breakfast, perhaps some running, lunges, dips, press ups, burpees, crunchies etc what I call cave man training. I meant to by a bungee cord but forgot. But let’s just see how it goes rather than make any promises.

I may not blog for a couple of weeks so see you then. Right time for beer and chips, a kind of last supper.


Day 132

Personal Posted on Thu, August 18, 2011 10:35AM

A day spent in London. Just like in the old days I had an early start followed by meetings then lunch then meetings then drinks then dinner then drinks then home. So no exercise and a large intake of calories.

Had dinner in a Szechuan restaurant with an old colleague. As he is from Northern Ireland he was quite upset when I asked for vegetarian food. The Irish simply do not understand the concept of vegetarianism, it is genetically hard wired that they eat just meat and, when available, potatoes.

Szechuan cuisine is basically Chinese food dosed in chillies. I picked around the chillies whereas my friend started munching through them until he ended up so red that I swear I saw steam escaping from his ears. We then noticed that the Chinese clientele around us were not eating what they clearly considered to be a chilli garnish. I think his discomfort tonight will fade into insignificance once he makes his first bowel movement tomorrow.

The restaurant had two dining areas in two adjacent buildings, but with no connecting door. All evening we watched the staff scuttling between the two buildings with plates of food. Sometimes they went through the front door, sometimes the back door, and they even appeared from a basement door – you think they may have realised by now the importance of having a door directly in to the dining room. The time and motion boys would have a field day.


Day 131

Personal Posted on Tue, August 16, 2011 10:27PM

Spent the day in Manchester, up at 05.00 for a 06.00 train and back at 18.30 – that’s a long day by any standard.


Days 127 to 130

Personal Posted on Tue, August 16, 2011 10:26PM

Day 130

Did a bit of business early morning then packed up whilst the kids, wife and Bloody Dog enjoyed themselves on the beach. Sometimes I sacrifice my own enjoyment for my family (but I did enjoy the peace and quiet and challenge of packing up a six man tent in the rain by myself).

As the sky turned grey and secreted Cornish drizzle (that light but persistent rain that manages to permeate right through to your bones) we left Cornwall.

Day 129

We tricked the kids into going for a walk. We intended to just stretch the Bloody Dog’s legs but the tide was so far out that we managed to walk from Parrnporth to Perran Sands along the beach, and then walked back over the cliffs. Quite a nice little round trip. I treated the kids (and myself) to ice-cream as a reward.

We then went off to Newquay Zoo for a few hours; it’s a great little town zoo. The meerkats were on form, they were either sunbathing or hiding from the local air traffic. Later we went back the beach and the kids played in the sand whilst I drank Rattlesnack Cider at the Watering Hole.

Sunbathing (evidently male) meerkat

Day 128

Had a great day on the beach body boarding with the kids. It was cold but not ball threatening cold.

Day 127

We set off early for a long weekend camping in Cornwall. As usual we had an argument about not fitting everything in the car and being late. I get blamed for the tent being too large and the wife for having a Bloody Dog who takes up most the boot. The roof box was bursting at the seams as were the veins in my temples. After stopping at the Little Chief (not one of Heston Bloominidiot’s makeovers – this one was worn nylon chairs, melamine tables and deep fried bread) we got to Perranporth some five and a half hours after departure, but nevertheless spent time on the beach.

Despite having a camp shop and a camp bar, for which I had images of moustached and cravated men drinking Campari and soda, the campsite was a bit rough around the edges and not at all camp. The main attraction was that the site was just five minutes’ walk from Parranporth beach and the Watering Hole, a down to earth pub actually amidst the sand dunes.


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