Tag Archives: training

Impersonal Training

Sorry for the blog radio silence folks.  My arms have been too fucking sore to type.

After the Green Vegetable Detox Cleanse was complete, it was time for the intensive fitness regime.

“Regime” is a suitably apt description, because three weeks in, I think my personal trainer has all the attributes of a third-world Dictator – oozing charm and charisma, but liable to rip you from your bed in the wee hours to inflict excruciating torture.

Anyway, the first thing Gaddafi sorted out was my diet and supplement plan.

Imagine my joy when he handed me a bag containing 30 premium grade, NZ rib fillet steaks.

I was to have one every morning for breakfast to sort out my protein requirements and energy levels.

“Don’t mind if I do”, I said to myself eloquently, “I fucking love steak”.

Well now I hate steak.

I never usually eat breakfast, so slugging my way through a steak every morning has proven quite challenging.  I almost miss the Brussels sprouts…

Besides the requirement of plenty of protein, and the right amount of good fats, the rest was obvious – don’t eat junk or carbs.

Half of that was easy – I don’t like junk food anyway – but I am seriously jonesing for some vegemite on toast.

We then did an intolerance and allergy work up, and found that I am gluten and lactose intolerant.  So no bread and milk for Uncle Gaz-gaz.  Actually that reminds me of an amusing David Mitchell rant on QI:


“Actually we’re supposed to live till we’re 250.  But no, we’ve been eating all this poisonous bread and milk all the time, we can barely limp past 98!”

The real downside is the cheese.  I love cheese.  A frisky Moscato and a silky Camembert go together like… well, wine and cheese.

Since I’m not supposed to eat carbs, the gluten intolerance is redundant anyway.  But fuck the lactose intolerance.  I will not be prejudiced towards cheese, no matter the consequences (and I’m pretty sure there will be consequences…).

The daily physical training started with basic stretching and simple exercises to get me back into the groove.  We now alternate days of boxing, with cardio and weights.  Normally, I wouldn’t go for a run if you paid me.  Now, I’m paying someone to make me run.  It hardly seems fiscally equitable.

Stupidly, I actually thought the boxing training would be fun.  It’s not.  I think it is best described by a line I’m stealing from the late, great Douglas Adams in “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”:

“It is unpleasantly like being drunk”.

“What’s so unpleasant about being drunk?!”

“Ask a glass of water”

My boxing trainer is having a title fight on Good Friday, so he has turned me into his personal punching bag.  He is amazing.  And powerful.  And terrifying.

If I drop the pace, it’s 100 star jumps.  If I cower in the corner crying, it’s 100 star jumps.  If I lose count in the middle of my 100 star jumps, it’s 100 star jumps.

Thankfully he hasn’t demanded I do 100 push-ups, cos that shit ain’t happening.  Indeed is it wrong for me to pray that he’s taken a few too many uppercuts, and doesn’t have the visual or mental acuity to read this blog?

Regardless, if I let my guard down, I get a punch in the face.  If I don’t kick him hard enough, he demonstrates, with great vigour, just how hard he wants me to kick him.

The shit is real.  Frighteningly real.  But it is also exhilarating.

All in all, the training hasn’t come easy.  After a leg curling session (single leg curls), I’m embarrassed to admit I was hurting so badly, I had to take a cab home from the gym rather than make the 5 minute walk.

For most of the first week, I was so sore, if I dropped something on the floor, that was precisely where it would remain.

Another day I couldn’t lift a cup of coffee to my face.

That was all pretty dismal, but now a few weeks in, I’m starting to actually enjoy it.

Not only that, I’m feeling fantastic and have heaps of energy.

I’m also down a shirt size, and have discovered two more usable holes on my belt – I was wondering what they were for.

My personal trainers say shit hasn’t properly started yet.  Three weeks ago, that would have been a worry.

But now, I say bring it on!

Walks away humming*:

“Rising up, back on the street. Did my time, took my chances. Went the distance, now I’m back on my feet, just a Gaz and his will to survive…”


* Actually, I did no such thing.  My motivational gym song is actually Fatboy Slim’s “Right Here, Right Now”, but its lyric deficiency would have made it a lacklustre way to end this story…


The Green Mile

So I’m now on Day #4 of the Green Vegetable Detox.  And Uncle Gaz ain’t copin’.

I wake up tired.  I have the shakes, and my head feels doughy and vague.  I have never been Jonesing for a coffee so badly, I feel like a junky.

I stagger to the kitchen to rustle up some grub.  Actually I wish I did find a grub hiding out in all these greens, I could do with the protein.

Meal #10:   Broccoli, beans and snow peas.  Hip-fucking-hurrah.  I try to drink some of the supplement and trick myself into thinking it is coffee, but my gag reflex threatens to trigger a green volcano, so I give up.

I am then given the fantastic news that as part of the program, I need to have blood work done.  I’m not sure what they are testing for, some sort of scientific jargon was used, but I pretty much switched off after I heard the word “fast”.

Apparently I am to fast overnight until after my blood test the following lunchtime.  As much as I am hating green vegetables, I hate the idea of eating nothing even more.  I am hating Day #4, but I am seriously dreading Day #5.

Meal #11:  I can’t face another branch of broccoli, and the thought of Brussels sprouts makes me nauseous.  I end up boiling up a plate of beans and snow peas.  I give up after a handful of mouthfuls.

Meal #12:  Zucchini, broccoli and beans, washed down with water.  I have very little to say about this meal, suffice to say I laboured over every mouthful, knowing it would be my last for the next 18 hours or so.  I feel absolutely melancholy.  I need a hug.  Today was very tough.

I continue to struggle to sleep.  When I do, the dreams are more like hazy hallucinations.  I dream I’m trekking through the wilderness.  I’m lost, but in a hurry.  I crash through undergrowth.  I stumble across fast flowing rapids.  I climb, and climb and climb.  I don’t know where I’m going, but I know I need to get there – and fast.  When I half wake I realise I need to use the bathroom, and I now understand the urgency.  I don’t want to burden my good readers with any of the gruesome details, but suffice to say I’ve never “moved faster”.

Day #5:   Speaking of fast, that’s the theme of the day.

Meal #13:   One glass of water.  Medium rare.

The bear from my previous post is my constant companion today.  My stomach has never been this noisy before.  The best way to describe it is unpleasant “squirrely” noises.  Wait, that’s unfair on squirrels.  I love squirrels.  I could eat a squirrel.

My forest friends and I spend an excruciatingly long morning watching the clock, counting down until my blood test.

Meal #14:   One scotch and soda.  Hold the scotch.  Sigh.

Finally, I am able to head out to get my blood test done.  I’m usually fine giving blood, but I was particularly wobbly walking out of the clinic afterwards.

Meal #15:   I head home to feed the animals a late lunch of broccoli and snow peas.   Even they seem to have grown tired of greens, as they refuse to shut up afterwards.

I am glad that I had the foresight to deliberately avoid scheduling any meetings this week, as I knew it could be dicey.  However, I did have a product launch I promised a former business partner I would attend.  I toss up cancelling, but figure it will be good to get out of the house, so I shower and head out.

Big mistake.

Of course there’s a buffet.

Of course there’s an open bar.

Of course it’s a cornucopia of all things nice – seafood, cold cuts, mezze and cheese platters, along with a never-ending procession of wait staff, carrying tray after tray of a dazzling array of Hors d’oeuvres past my pallid, pleading eyes.

Of course there’s not a green thing in sight, besides some garnish and one lonely, bedraggled salad.

The soiree is otherwise pulsing with sophisticated, urbane people, laughing and exchanging witticisms, pausing only to stuff mouthful after mouthful of cheesy, creamy, gooey, dreamy vol-au-vents.

*wipes drool off keyboard*

My willpower is sorely tested.  I go to the bar, and have to tell the bartender twice that I “only want a glass of water, please” (kill me).

I head to the buffet to fill my plate with a mix of salad leaves and several sprigs of parsley.

Needless to say, I am not the belle of the ball, and politely depart after about 30 minutes.

Day #5 ends with another visit to my porcelain throne.  Who says it’s good to be the king?

Anyway, screw you all, I’m going to bed.

It’s not easy being green…

As part of a corporate health and wellness push by a company I am Vice Chairman of, all senior management recently agreed to partake in a swag of healthy lifestyle initiatives.

First part of the initiative is a 7-day “Green Vegetable Detox”, where literally all you are permitted to eat is green vegetables.  You’re also allowed to drink water, and a supplement that tastes like dirt that’s been diffused through a hobo’s sock, but that’s it.

No fruit.  No bread.  No animal proteins.  No alcohol.  No caffeine.  No dairy.  No nuthin’.

I ask if avocado is allowed, and am told it is a fruit.  While that may technically be true, I think the test for a fruit should be whether or not you’d put it in a fruit salad.

In hindsight, I think the psychopath who came up with this diet would have felt right at home as one of Mengele’s assistants.

But I digress.  As most of you who know me will attest, I’ll pretty much give anything a go.  So for my sins, I agree to participate (and truthfully, because this is the environment and motivation needed to start to lose weight).

Here is a diary of my progress.

Day 1:

“Ok”, I thought to myself, “how hard can this be?”  I actually love broccoli, Brussels sprouts and snow peas – they’re amongst my favourite foods.  But usually they are an accompaniment, not as a standalone meal.  In fact, whenever people say they hate Brussels sprouts, my response is the same as when people tell me they don’t enjoy sex – I pat them gently on the shoulder, console them and say “Perhaps you’re not doing it right”.  They are fantastic sautéed with bacon, olive oil, garlic, shallots and a sprinkling of vegetable stock powder.  Admittedly, the rules do not allow bacon, oil, vegetable stock, garlic or shallots, but regardless, I nip to the grocer and pick up a bag each of broccoli, Brussels sprouts and snow peas.

Meal #1:    I steam some broccoli, Brussels sprouts and snow peas.   I see why people might hate Brussels sprouts if they can’t be pimped out with something else, but I chow my way through it without too much drama.  “This won’t be so bad”, I tell myself.  “You’re a deluded twat”, I later tell myself.

Meal #2:    Since it’s all I have, I prepare another meal of broccoli, Brussels sprouts and snow peas.  This time, it’s a little tougher to get through, but I plough on.

Meal #3:    Aaaand it is broccoli, Brussels sprouts and snow peas again.  I’m starting to regret starting this diet with my three favourites, as they are now rapidly plummeting down the hierarchy.

I go to bed and drift into a fitful sleep, my head spinning as my mind tries to conjure up a list of tasty, alternative green vegetables, but am constantly interrupted by a dancing hamburger.

Day 2:

Meal #4:  I awake tired.  I crave coffee.  I can’t have coffee.  I dabble with the idea of breaking my detox and having a coffee.  I slap myself (*metaphorically) for being so weak, and prepare myself a succulent (*emphasis on the suck) meal of broccoli, Brussels sprouts and snow peas.  It is tough going.  At the conclusion of the meal, I walk to the fridge, fetch the remaining broccoli, Brussels sprouts and snow peas, toss them down the garbage chute and head out to the grocery shop in search of greenspiration.

I am surprised at just how few green vegetables there are.  There is little that satisfies my restrictive colour palate, while satisfying my other palate.  I cannot have spinach, as I am allergic (the power of Popeye evades me) so end up buying up bagfuls of anything green, but mostly just replacement broccoli, Brussels sprouts and snow peas.  Seriously, chard?  What the fuck is chard?

Meal #5:  I dabble with steamed zucchini and blanched asparagus, but discontinue with the asparagus because it makes my pee smell foetid.

The acclaimed auteur, Marcel Proust once said “asparagus transforms my chamber-pot into a flask of perfume.”  Proust, you’re a fucking idiot.  I can’t see anyone clambering to buy Eau de Asparagus Toilette.

Meal #6:  I spend 10 minutes standing at the open door of my fridge.  I end up grabbing a bunch of celery, and mindlessly chomp on it in front of the television.  First thing I realise is just how many adverts there are, for things more tasty and satisfying than celery.

Have you ever noticed, that when you decide to upgrade your TV, advertisers suddenly appear to have read your mind, because all of the sudden you are receiving pamphlets in the mail for new TVs, there are signs on bus stops spruiking new TV’s and every second ad on TV is for a new TV?  How did they know?

It is stereotypical of the world of advertising, that in mainstream media, the mass-saturation, shotgun approach to marketing is the oft preferred model, hoping to capitalise by catching you at an opportune moment of need.

The same applies to food.  You just don’t notice how many ads for food are out there until you are starving.  In two hours I count 5 pizza ads, 3 KFC ads, 2 McDonalds ads, and a plethora of ads for junk food and snacks of one variety or another.

I note that not one ad was for green vegetables, and no matter how hard I try, I cannot convince my tastebuds that the stick of celery I am munching on, is really a beef and bean burrito.

I trundle off to bed.  Sleep is difficult, but I must have drifted off, as I later awake with a start, at the realisation that a bear had wandered into my bedroom.  I quickly realise the growling is simply my stomach.  It is difficult to sleep amidst all the racket, so I spend a couple of hours distracting myself with Candy Crush.  Candy… *drools* argl argl argl arghh.

Day 3:

Meal #7:  All vegetables and no coffee (or whiskey) makes Gaz a dull boy.  But we welcome broccoli, Brussels sprouts and snow peas back into the fray.  Must.  Resist.  Urge.  To kill.

Meal #8:  This time, I spend 20 minutes in front of the fridge.  I end up making a salad of rocket, cucumber and mint, and try to convince myself I’m the culinary equivalent of Thomas Edison.  Turns out Edison couldn’t cook to save himself, but it is a welcome, albeit unsatisfying, break from Brussels sprouts, broccoli and snow peas.

Meal #9:  Shit is getting real.  Really real.  I am tired.  I am hungry.  I am on edge.  I am on the edge.   I find myself drooling over a wilted carrot in my vegetable crisper.  However I do not yield to wiles of the orange temptress, and throw together a hearty platter of broccoli, Brussels sprouts and some green beans, just to shake things up.

I once again try to sleep, but headaches, hunger and homicidal tendencies rule the night.  Once I do doze off, I dream I am a broccoli farmer.  Endless, endless rows of broccoli.

I am told days 3 and 4 are the toughest, but I honestly can’t see things improving.  I’m just halfway there, but I am more than halfway out of my mind.

Day 4:


Stay tuned for further updates, assuming of course I do not yield to the overwhelming temptation to kill.  Actually, if anyone is competing in a “Dead Pool” hit me up with your list.  If I’m going to go postal, it is always good to have a purposeful target.  So watch your back, Putin.