Get-fit Diary: Learning to cook well proves an unexpected pleasure in week six

I’m six weeks through an intensive get-fit programme, which involves not only hitting the gym four times a week, but completely overhauling the way I eat.

It’s the latter aspect of the challenge that has proven most interesting, especially given my prior fondness for fast food and aversion to home cooking. For some reason the McQuinoa didn’t make it onto McDonald’s Christmas menu, so in order to survive the 10 week transformation I’ve had no choice but to learn to cook. Before this month my cooking repertoire consisted of one thing: pasta, which happens to be right at the top of my list of forbidden foods.

Never mind, six weeks in, I feel like a pro in the kitchen. It’s been one of the many unexpected pleasures of the new regime. These days I’m pan-frying cod and “crisping up the skin”, as they say on Masterchef. I’m cooking asparagus, roasting chickens, poaching eggs to perfection. I’m even making my own packed lunch. Also inspired by Masterchef, I’ve been doing that smear thing with the back of the spoon, turning a blob of sweet-potato mash into a blazing comet of complex carbohydrate (complex ones are okay, apparently).

It’s finally paying off, too. My trainers, Harry and Ben, have been taking weekly photos to track my progress. Not much was noticeable in the first couple of weeks. My face looked a bit thinner but that might be because I’d had a shave for the first time in a week. After week five, though, I really started to look different. My shoulders broadened and there’s even definition in my arms. I actually look fairly fit, instead of like an over-sized 12-year-old who’s spent too much time in the pub. It’s the kind of motivational boost I needed heading into the second half of the programme. Seeing results makes you much more eager to get in the gym.

I look forward to it now. Bring on the next stage of the training.

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