Sep 03

Sweatember 2018 Day 2

It’s 11pm.  I’ve been on a pharmacology course all day, followed by a mad dash to make the train for a 4-hour journey from Edinburgh to London.  I’m tired, I’m cold, I’m missing my husband and I just want to go to bed.

Sleeping on a cloud

Sleep? Ah, if only!

BUT it’s Day 2 of Sweatember, and I promised to be active for at least 30 minutes every day.  So, however hard it is, and however much I don’t want to do it (health permitting, of course), I’m going to honour my commitment.  Today’s plan was to do a workout DVD that I haven’t done for years.

I go to the shelf and track down the DVD.  I blow the dust from the cover.  My goodness, that’s a lot of dust.  I open the box and – it’s gone!  I could cry.  My best laid plans, like so much else, have gone to pot.

No matter.  I have other DVDs.  I put on a line dancing one.  Oh my goodness, the lady in black chaps and a stetson is trying to teach me steps.  Actual steps.  It’s after 11 at night.  Get real, lady.  Another one bites the dust.

But, what’s this, still in its plastic wrapping, untouched by human hand?  A Rosemary Conley workout video.  Aren’t those just for the elderly?  Well, I’m feeling pretty ancient tonight, so I’ll give it a go.  Even if breaking through the plastic wrapper will be the most energetic I’ll get.

I set the video for the warm-up, aerobics and cool-down, and Rosemary, with her bevy of lovelies who’ve supposedly lost more than my entire body weight between them, swing into action.

If only I looked this good in a leotard when I'm confused - or indeed at any other time.

If only I looked this good in a leotard when I’m confused – or indeed at any other time.

Twenty minutes in, and I’m frustrated.  What on earth is a ‘rocking horse step’?  And how am I supposed to do side skipping on a square foot of carpet?  I need more space!  I need more coordination!  I need a completely different body!  I’m hot and yes, I’m sweaty.  Maybe this isn’t just for the elderly after all, or maybe my fitness level is more shameful than I thought.

The phone rings.  It’s my husband checking that I got home safely.  After we finish talking I’m tempted just to slip between the sheets and sleep the sleep of the innocent.  But of course I wouldn’t be innocent; I would be guilty of not fulfilling a commitment.  And that’s the very worst sort of guilt.  So I return to do further battle with Rosemary and her lithe ladies.

It’s after midnight by the time I finish, due to interruptions and not being able to work out how to programme the routine.  I’m oddly pleased with myself.  I still haven’t figured out the rocking horse step, but I’ve refused to be thwarted, and now I have an incentive to tidy my DVDs and see if I can find the missing disc.

Tomorrow it’s more walking.  I’ll need to get original soon.  Can you help?  Suggest something active that you’d like to see me doing.  If I like your idea, I’ll give it a go.  Watch this space.

How you're supposed to look after exercising...

How you’re supposed to look after exercising…

Activity: Aerobic-style DVD

Level: Almost any

Equipment needed: Good trainers

Cost: £ – you can buy workout DVDs very cheaply, particularly if they were not made in the last few months.

Accessibility: 4/5 – you do need a bit of space for this, and if like me you don’t have it you won’t get the best from the workout.

How I really look after exercising, especially at midnight.

How I really look after exercising, especially at midnight.

Difficulty: 2/5 – this probably isn’t at all challenging if you’re coordinated and moderately fit, but as neither is the case for me I found it a bit tricky, particularly when I couldn’t keep up with the steps.

Enjoyment: 2/5 – To be far, I might have enjoyed this more if it had happened earlier in the day.  But I do find things like this rather frustrating, especially when Rosemary croons, “If you do this a few times a week, you’ll notice a BIG difference”.  Yeah, right.

Would I do it again?  Yes, but not immediately.  I think home workouts are a really useful way of keeping active on a budget, and when you can’t get out, but I like to vary them to avoid boredom.

What I learned: It can be done, even in a short space of time and under less-than-ideal conditions.  I wouldn’t recommend exercising at night, though, as it can leave you a bit ‘wired’ and make it harder to sleep.

Would you like your own challenge to make you feel amazing this September?  ‘Stronger Without Sugar’ is open again. It’s perfect for you if you’d love more energy to do your favourite things.  Read more here.

Support me in Sweatember.  Click here to find out how.


  1. Paula Goude

    Excellent blog! You had me laughing out loud at your descriptions so thank you for that! Fantastic dedication too, doing it that late at night.
    Do you dance? I’ve been known to put the music on when I’m in the kitchen and I’ll spin and jump my way through a whole pot of chilli creation – the heart rate is up, I have a smile on my face and it’s fitted into my day. Would that work for you?

    1. Susannah

      Hi Paula and thanks so much for your comments. I’m not sure that you could call what I do to music ‘dancing’, but there’ll be more in this line coming soon, so do keep reading!

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