I’ll soon be wearing purple …..

OK, I’ve ignored it, I’ve denied it, but I’m finally going to have to accept it ………….

I am going to be 60 in just over a year’s time.

There we are, I’ve said it.

Has the world come to an end? Can I hear weeping and wailing noises from around the universe? No …. because the sad truth is the only person it really affects is me, and, because I had to take (very) early medical retirement most people probably think I’m much older than that anyway!

OK, so there’s no stopping my chronological age, that clock is ticking and I don’t think removing the batteries is a sensible idea. So, what to do about it? Well just because my chronological age can’t be stopped doesn’t mean that the ‘real’ me has to go along with it, and so I devised some plans ……

But before we go into those I think I’d better provide some background to this story.

I have never been what you would call physically active. My mother said that although I learned to talk at a very young age (no surprise there) I would not walk and that I was always afraid of hurting myself! This lack of exercise continued throughout my school days. OK, there were the ‘horse riding’ years but, to be honest, it was the horse that put in all the effort, especially having to carry the great lump that I was on its back! During that time I also became a committed cigarette smoker.

I’ve always had weight issues, I’ve been big, lost it, got bigger, lost it, got bigger still ……. not an unfamiliar story.

As you can see, I really knew how to look after myself, and then, just to add to the fun I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis! Fortunately it was the ‘relapse and remitting’ type so, although I had incidents such as left side paralysis and losing control of my eyes (not only weren’t they talking to me they weren’t talking to each other either) after each attack I regained most of the function.

Then it all started to go seriously wrong. My weight spiralled upwards to nearly 21 stone, I was smoking 40-60 cigarettes a day, I could not stand up without touching a wall or something because my balance was so bad and my M.S. diagnosis had changed to secondary progressive. The situation was so bad that in 2007 I had to take early retirement on medical grounds.

Six months later having had a serious rest I decided that I had got to tackle my weight. My health had become so bad that I was very concerned that, at some point, an ambulance would have to collect me and that, being unable to lift me, they’d have to call the fire brigade …… and I just couldn’t face that. So, sensible eating began and the weight started to reduce. For my birthday my lovely brother and sister in law gave me a trip to a spa and I discovered how much I enjoyed the water so I joined a local gym just for the spa pool! I eventually graduated to the aqua classes but, even though there was less of me, I was still in a really bad way, ‘blue badge’, walking sticks etc. etc.

Then, in 2009, I had the good fortune to have one training session with Darryl Stone (have a look at www.clubonehundred.com) . It took him ages to persuade me to do it (look back, this was the kid who would not walk!) but, since then I have never missed a training session. He has changed me from exercise phobic to some sort of non smoking fitness freak. Weird. I used to be a workaholic and I now seem to have become a exerciseholic! I could talk about this for hours but I’ll try to restrain myself. Ask if you want to know more …..

Anyway, back to now!

16 responses to “I’ll soon be wearing purple …..”

  1. Really privileged to have been able to read this and to be able to understand why you have set this challenge to work for you without you actually setting off from home to walk to John 0′ Groats. I am not going to wish you good luck, as luck will have nothing to do with it, you will meet every challenge you have set yourself and more. Every good wish for an enjoyable happy year with good health and fine weather for walking and climbing 😉

    Val x

  2. I am so thrilled to be reading your blog – I will be watching eagerly for updates – you and I are exactly the same age I hit 59 on 31st of this month so I will be reading with even more interest at how you will be celebrating this next part of your journey.

    I love you Gill – you are a great inspiration xxx

  3. excellent, it was like one of those really good books you don’t want to end… so more please


  4. and then…?
    Yours is the first ‘blog’ I’ve ever read or responded to.
    Hooked 🙂

  5. Facinating reading Gill, you certainly are one full of surprises. I too have never read a blog before so yes your added to my favorite and will keep having a peep.

    I wish you a fun year and at the end of it you get your prize – your bus pass –

  6. Gill I am in awe. Will be willing you on every step of the way although there is absolutely no doubt you will succeed. You go for it

  7. Fantastic Gill, after next month I’ll be nearer to 60 than 50 and you make me realise that it can be done, will add your blog to my favourite x

  8. I’ve been following your weight loss journey for a year now and you’ve been such an inspriration to me and i’me sure many others more so to me as we are of a similar age i thought at our age it would take forever but not so , you have so much courage and energy keep going Gill you’re a marvel!!!!!!!!!!! this blog is addictive i’me also a blog virgin. Wishing you well for you challenge will be following you (in spirit) all the way


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