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Stretching out

So, these are my starting points, there’s nothing too dramatic as my aim is to find achievable goals. I have a whole year to build up to stronger challenges…

Stretching out

I’ve long been an advocate of yoga or Pilates as a useful baseline activity suitable for pretty much anyone. People tend to gravitate towards one or the other, but my choice was always yoga.

Whilst I don’t often recommend something unless I’ve experienced it, I felt I could recommend Pilates, as many people, whose opinion I respect, vouched for its effectiveness. To mix things up and have a new experience, I’ve signed up for an introductory Pilates course which runs for 6 weeks. As I do with yoga, I’ll do some background reading about its philosophy too.

Celebrating the ordinary

I received this book as a Christmas present, as whittling and wood carving are something I’ve been interested in for a while but haven’t really found the time for.

It’s a beautifully written book (and is much more interesting than you’d think a book on spoon carving could be) and in it, the author talks about the act of carving as a way of celebrating the function of simple objects, focusing concentration and developing manual dexterity.

I used to have a daily meditation practice which I’ve allowed to lapse, and for some reason I’m finding it difficult to sit quietly and meditate. Rather than continue being frustrated about this, I’m going to try wood carving as a mindful action, to see if this can be considered a form of active meditation.

Changing the way, I eat

The third element I’m addressing relates to my diet, and I never thought I’d say this, but I, seemingly in conjunction with Robbie Williams, have signed up with WW Team (formerly, Weight Watchers). As my wife kindly pointed out, my own diet system hadn’t produced any weight loss, so I had to try something new. The points system used is straightforward and doesn’t disallow anything, however, it does penalise highly calorific foods by awarding them a high point score.


I’m going to struggle with this the most. I love to cook, I really love to eat and, as I taught myself to cook using a 70’s classical French cookbook called Modern French Culinary Art (an amazing book that has the recipes for probably every dish you’ve ever eaten in a classical French restaurant), my cooking relies heavily on fat or rich stock for flavour. Some of the diet methods I’ve followed in the past rely heavily on protein and fat, with minimal carbohydrate, so I’ve really got to unlearn a mindset and retrain my taste buds.

I shall be sharing my experiences in all three….

Posted 11-01-19


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