When the brides-to-be boot camp at Armathwaite Hall was first suggested I didn't exactly jump at the opportunity.
In truth, you're more likely to find a salmon climbing Skiddaw than me in a gym.
I don't like to turn down a challenge, though, and when the time came to set off for the first session I was almost looking forward to it.
By the time Clare and I arrived at The Spa at Armathwaite Hall I wasn't looking forward to it quite so much.
In fact, as I walked through the doors feeling really out of place surrounded by gym equipment and spa treatment rooms, I really wished I taken that salmon up on the offer of joining it for a hike.
I've never been a fitness fanatic.
The sofa's comfy and I'd much rather sit on it in my warm house and watch TV after a long day at work than go out in the cold and jog round the streets.
I have improved a bit recently, having ordered a wedding dress which will be too small if I don't shift some weight.
I've swapped watching TV from my comfy sofa to watching TV while doing Wii Fit exercises and it's starting to pay off but I'm still a long way from not looking out of place in a gym full of fit people running, rowing and weightlifting without looking like they're about to pass out.
For the first bootcamp session we'd been told it would just involve a chat and some measurements. How bad could that be?
We met John, our personal trainer, and tried out some of the equipment. I managed 30 seconds of cycling and 10 strides on the cross trainer with ease.
I figured it might get harder as the weeks went on. Perhaps a whole minute of cycling next time.
Next we did our height and weight measurements.
The scales didn't shout "no coach parties please" as I got on so things can't have been too bad.
Then we went off individually for more detailed measurements and a body composition test, using a small machine with electrodes to find out things like our body mass index and other figures that look a bit scary and didn't mean much to be.
Apparently I'm more than 50 per cent water, which is apparently good but surprising as I've never noticed myself sloshing around as I jog on the spot.
Maybe I've just got the volume too high on EastEnders and it drowns me out.
I was a bit worried when I saw reference on the machine just just over 1,700 calories - surely that couldn't be all I was meant to have in a day - but was reassured when I found I that was just the number of calories my body needed to function if I sat on the sofa and did nothing all day.
I'm allowed more as long as I'm actually doing stuff. Phew.
But then the easy bit was over. We were given a food and activity diary to fill in for a week and strict instructions to write down EVERYTHING we ate and drank, even if we gorged on 12 Mars bars.
I haven't given in to that temptation so far but there's still time.
There's also a list of banned foods. Oh how my heart sank as I realised pasta, a staple of my usual diet, was now out of bounds for being a complex carb.
On the plus side, alcohol should be reduced to a minimum but John hasn't gone so far as to ban it.
A quick trip to the supermarket on the way home to buy some granary rolls to replace my usual white ones and I was set up.
Then came John's little surprise - a challenge to jump on the treadmill and run as far as we could in 12 minutes.
After about seven and a half minutes we were both drawing up plans to get even with the person who suggested it "might be fun to do this bootcamp".
Luckily for us all by the time we arrived at work the next morning (amazingly I could still walk) we'd slept on it and decided maybe tarring and feathering was a bit mean and in the long run the effort would probably do us good.
The power cut in Workington town centre curtailed my Wii Fit efforts on Wednesday night (and made me miss the end of Midsomer Murders but that's another story) so I'd better buck up my ideas over the weekend so I can fill in more sections of my activity diary.
Roll on next week's session (I think).
Published: February 3, 2012
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