No pain, no gain. Parts 1 to 23.


(Written on a lazy morning this summer to keep Bargain Hunt, Escape to the Country, Dickinson’s Real Deal and general scratching at bay. Did it work? Did it arse.)

I woke with ‘the wife’ this morning who then got up and scurried about (like a lovely squirrel, not a rat in a chemical fire) getting ready for work etc. Today I have promised myself a lazy day and a lie in. Sadly I didn’t get back to sleep so I spent a few minutes weighing myself, having a wee, then weighing myself again. For the benefit of my wife alone I can assure you there was NO drippage during this process. The scales are safe to use my darling. Having said that from the gentle ripping noise of dust festooned spiderwebs being rent asunder as I lifted the scales from the floor I’m guessing neither of us have spent a lot of time on them lately. Just in case you’re interested I’m now 71.3kg, and my wee weighed 0.8kg. Interesting? No.

So, because I’m in a bit of a holiday non-exercise rut the next thing I did (after dressing) was put in the words ‘burning calories’ into a familiar search engine and flicked down a few to find a website which suggested 22 ways of burning 200 calories quickly. Because 22 is the usual number for a list. Not 10 or 20 or 25. No, 22, because why wouldn’t you?! Already deeply bored and confused I moved on to a website with 20 ways which then proceeded to tell me 22 anyway. Who’d have guessed.

  1. 1. isn’t even a tip, just an intro. Good start, very promising.
  2. Cut a rug. Apparently this does not mean what I first assumed it meant. I had initially thought they had used a euphemism like ‘laying a cable’ or ‘pinching a loaf’ or ‘scrimping one off’. But of course not, because it would mean going for a poo the size of Moby Dick, the strain, the sheer effort, to burn off 200 calories. To ‘cut a rug’ apparently means to go dancing. If you dance like me you’d have had to drink about 3 bottles of wine to lose your inhibitions, before staggering manfully onto a dancefloor and doing a rubbish Mick Jagger chicken wings impression for 4 minutes before sloshing off again, to avoid a mushy number with the wife, primarily because at slow speeds and in this condition, you can barely stand up. Very romantic.
  3. Work out, then make out. ‘Hit the gym with your mate for a healthy dose of exercise—you burn about 100 calories in 30 minutes of weightlifting—then dive between the sheets and torch another 100 with an hour of foreplay and vigorous sex.’ Now let’s just take this advice on board. WHAT!!?? First of all I never go to the gym with ‘a mate’. Of course my wife is my best friend etc etc but she is as familiar with our gym as Mary Berry is with hardcore porn and gangsta rap. When I do go to the gym the only real mates (not of me, I hasten to add) I see who do pure weightlifting are massive, steroid and protein shake pumped, blokes in Golds Gym vests which have all the bodily coverage of an undersized mankini. Oh dear. So let’s say I pick a friend, I won’t name a real one, let’s call him Roderick. Not Rod, the full Roderick. We toddle down to the gym for 30 minutes, which is a length of time people never go to the gym for because it’s just not worth it. And besides, that attractive girl at reception will see you slinking off and think you’re a big pussy. Which I am. Anyway my good ‘mate’ Roderick and I lift weights for 30 minutes then, with a horrified look at each other, realising we’re doing this purely to burn a whopping 100 calories, we go back to mine, or his, our wives will be suicidal as a result anyway, and indulge in a full hour, no more, no less, of foreplay (20 cals?) and vigorous sex. Take a few minutes to be sick in a bin if you need to. Why on earth did they throw the word ‘vigorous’ into the equation. Would we both lose 100 calories or is it between us? Surely we can’t both be expected to be as vigorous with each other for the whole 45 minutes (that’s taking account of the 15 minutes of stroking each other’s balls etc). Pause. Sorry, I must stop there for the sake of all humanity. Sorry Roderick, whoever you are, for bringing you into this whole sad, hypothetical mess. I could write about the naffness of this calorie burning tip for hours, though not happily.
  4. Move things around. Seriously, if you need a bit of exercise why not just move some of your furniture around? Surely there would come a point, unless you live in a house with endless rooms, like Doctor Who, that you would begin to get a smidge tired of moving your furniture around rather than sitting on it. Eventually you’d have to keep swapping rooms around, confusing your parents when they visit and concluding with you weeing in the spare room bin and sleeping in the fire place.
  5. 1hr 10 mins playing darts. Brilliant! I assume they mean the healthy kind of darts as opposed to the game where you sit around drinking, eating pork stratchings, and in the space of 70 minutes make footfall only to walk the 3 feet to the ‘ockey or to pop out for a smoke. Or to do as suggested in No 2, above. If it means what it sounds like. Which it doesn’t. Apparently.
  6. Paint your living room. Of course, I’ve been so stupid. I haven’t painted the living room for nearly 3 days so let’s get those dust sheets out, tape round all the windows and skirting boards and pick a new funky colour. Sorry, how much do 2 tins of this paint cost? 32 quid, so I’m paying a pound for every 6 calories. Bargain. If you did this on a scarily regular basis your walls would become so thick you’d think you were living in a castle or bunker, impervious to any cannonball. Of course you would also end up with a living room the size of a matchbox. Cut down on your heating bills though. Super.
  7. Tidy up before a BBQ. Ok, I see what’s going on here. You burn 200 hundred calories tidying up, maybe scrubbing the grill, lugging small bags of charcoal etc. Feel better for that? Good, so now you can enjoy a guilt free afternoon of eating your own bodyweight in cooked animal carcass while giving your liver a bloody good seeing to with bottle after bottle of anything you can get your hands on. Trifle? Oh go on then. Calorific intake for the day = 4789. Oops silly me! 4789 – 200 = 4589. Much better. Ability to run it off tomorrow with blocked bowels and heart burn? 0%.
  8. Hit the market. Sweet Lord no. Just read this load of tosh: ‘Buy groceries for your fete (45 minutes of cart-pushing burns 117 calories), carry them inside (5 minutes of schlepping them up stairs burns 43), and put them away (40 calories in 14 minutes).’ This short suggestion throws up several questions which I will let you answer in your own sweet time. 1. How often do you have to shop for a ‘fete’? 2. Is that 45 minutes of solid, high paced cart pushing, laughing with derision as your panting wife struggles to keep up, managing in 45 minutes to get a tin of hotdogs and a shower cap into the trolley? Or is that 45 minutes where you spend much of the time spinning the trolley round in front of you to see if you can get one perfect revolution, or leaning on the handle, crushed with boredom as your wife differentiates between 11 type of foot moisturiser? 3. Does it count as double if you carry all but one bag into the house, leaving your wife to struggle with the bag of cotton wool balls and a small pot plant? 4. Ditto for the stairs but the question is how many stairs do you have, to take 5 minutes getting shopping up them. Do you live in The Shard? 5. Sod this, just writing that bit burned as many as 1 calories.
  9. Play badminton. Ok, but that’s just exercise and therefore doesn’t belong on this list. Anyone can just write a list of the machines they see in the gym or pick a number between 15 and 60 and plonk it into the following sentence – ‘go running/swimming/boxing for…….minutes’. Gee thanks, it never occurred to me to do some sport.
  10. Play charades for an hour. Phew, we’re safely back to lame suggestions. Who still plays charades? As in clean cut, sober charades when you’re not tanked up on Beaujolais and Doritos trying to mime 50 Shades of Grey by humping a cushion with a tennis ball stuffed in your mouth.
  11. Watching Glee, singing and giggling. I have seen roughly 90 seconds of all the Glee permutations. Admittedly this did help with my weight loss as on the 91st second I chopped my own head off with a scythe. My subsequent death mask shows no signs that as I skipped the rapture I was either singing or giggling. My gaping mouth rather suggested a howl of pain followed by my eventual end; that being a sweet, sweet release from unmeasurable torture.
  12. 2 hours of scrabble. Oh god, there’s still 10 more to go.
  13. Mini golf. Up.
  14. Gardening. Yours.
  15. Join the kids for hopscotch and some time on the trampoline. Since I don’t have kids I suspect that such a calorie burning endeavour might result in some dodgy looks at the very best. Worst case scenario might be being on the wrong end of some anal sex in the Broadmoor Prison shower unit. It would probably be vigorous though, and lengthy, so at least someone’s keeping fit.
  16. Go 10 pin bowling. It says: ‘Meet your pals at the local bowling alley for an hour’s worth of friendly competition. Give extra style points to the person whose outfit clashes most with the rental shoes.’ Please stop talking. And besides, when have you ever seen anyone healthy at a bowling alley.
  17. Hit the sales. Because those lost calories will really come in handy when your husband opens the bank statement to find you’re £11,000 overdrawn this month. Lucky for you that his wrath will be distracted by the heavy mob from kicking in the front door.
  18. Vinyasa yoga. Actually not a bad idea. Maybe the author had flu when writing this one and was briefly replaced with someone living in the real world.
  19. Wash and wax your car. Oh, ok then, I’ll wash my car. Then wax it. Because it’s worth waxing my scratched, leaky, dented 2003 Volkswagen Polo Diesel fanny magnet. What’s that? The Polish chaps in the Homebase car park can do it for a tenner. A fiver if you ditch the waxing bit. And I bet the five minute drive there would destroy at least 4 calories.
  20. Fidgit. It didn’t mention playing with yourself. Or scratching yourself. Or biting your fingernails. Do they count? People who fidget lose 350 more calories a day. I’m amazed I weigh anything at all.
  21. Give your partner a 42 minute massage. Gaining pleasure from giving your partner a massages is just a myth. I get bored 42 seconds before I start. Incidentally all these suggestions come with a ludicrous photo of people clenching a smile, involved in a laughable pose (does that burn any?). The photo for this one shows a very-pleased-with-himself man massaging his wife’s shoulders. She has a facial expression suggesting he has just delivered a colossal fart. Or told her he’s having an affair with their next door neighbour. Called Roderick.
  22. Ooooh the suspense!! We’ve been on an amazing journey together haven’t we, so let’s hope the last one is a real humdinger. Drum roll please, brrrrrrrrr…… ‘Simple food combinations to help you lose weight.’ That’s not even an activity! Next time I’m in KFC I shall bring an apple with me and watch those man boobs vanish.
  23. Find this website and hit the creator over the head with a dead badger. Forever. It would be great if you could do this for me. I have 22 other things to be getting on with. First up? Bargain Hunt!


G. B. Hewitt. 23.8.2015

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