There are relatively few absolute certainties in life. This both keeps bookmakers very happy and is a lesson to us all. That lesson is “Don’t walk in to a pub and tell your mates you’ve got a tip on a race horse and it’s a dead cert.”
But here is something that is actually a ‘dead cert’. There are no levels of how much of a certainty it is, because the certainty is 100%, not 99.9% or less.
Later today, I will tell Mrs Scribblans that I weighed myself this morning, and she will say something like “Oh dear… Go on.”
And I will tell her the precise weight the scales unemotionally and non-judgementally measured and she will say, and I’m telling you this with all the above 100% certainty:
“What’s that in stones?”
For I will have told her what I weigh in kilograms, the SI unit for measuring the mass of an object–living, dead or just asleep–and her mind is set to a measurement system that is so internally complex that it has evolved the power to bend the minds of anyone now over 70 years old to call it ‘Simple’. Or, in America, ‘Normal’.
Very often followed by ‘I’ve never got the hang of all that metric stuff.’
So, in order to understand the amount of kilograms I have told her and turn that into a quantity equivalent to ‘Gosh, that’s a bit hefty’, she will want to convert it into an amount of ‘stones’ (14 pounds) and remaining pounds. In this scenario, the ounces (16 to a pound because reasons) will not be required.
Just to set the record straight here, Mrs S is NOT over 70 years old. However, she does appear to be of the generation bought up by parents who still used ‘imperial’ units of measurement at home, and has therefore been exposed to the same nonsense.
I do have a standard answer for anyone that wants to know what my measurement in proper metric actually is, if converted to the old, archaic and apparently made-up-and-added-to-as-we-went-along-through-the-centuries ‘system’ of imperial units.
Because, rightly or wrongly, and possibly snarkily, I feel that I have made the measurement in the units that I, and most of the rest of the world, would understand. And, if you want to know how many ounces, pounds, stones or king’s testicles are in my kilograms, or indeed how many miles, poles, chains, firkins and squashed hedgehogs there are in my kilometres, then you can jolly well go off and look that up.
It won’t be long now until the last generation who know how many barleycorns (yes, that’s real) there are in a size ten shoe are dead and gone, and the rest of us can just get on with making sense.
Anyway, the point of this post was to reveal the results of my said standing on the scales and their unemotional and non-judgemental measurement of same. In kilograms. And the point of doing that is engendering a sort of public accountability for my attempts to actively decrease the measurement over the coming months.
Unlike blogging friends James and Colin, I won’t be attempting this by running. Not because, like them, I don’t enjoy running, but because running is not an activity that a person who has to use a walking stick to even walk can normally do for any great distance before suddenly achieving the status of ‘not running’. And, very likely ‘not still standing’ either.
This doesn’t burn many calories. Unless you persist in getting up and trying again time after time I suppose, but eventually the bones in knees and elbows would break, although you might have lost some weight due to having slightly less skin.
So my normal method of mass reduction (expelling it out of my body and in to the non-me elements of the universe via breath, heat and sweat) is doing a lot of cycling, because oddly for a person finding walking a challenge, riding bikes works for me. (Something biologically technical is going on with my nervous system not having to calculate and send signals back and forth between the brain, down my spine and to my leg muscles and back as, instead of trying to hold me upright and making constant adjustments and decisions about how to do that, my feet are clipped in and my legs are just effectively doing the up, down and round and round of pedalling.)
Because part of the reason my mass has increased to such terrifyingly large proportions that I only have one pair of trousers left that can be stretched enough to sort-of fit, is due to cycling temporarily not working one time.
I had an incident involving a sudden body/tarmac interface at something like 25kmh. This is NOT a common cycling occurrence for anyone, it was just bad luck as there were sudden light showers on previously sun-dried and sheep-shit encrusted single track tarmac lanes making it… unpredictable. If you don’t cycle down the sort of lanes that have so little traffic on them that they have sheep using them–and even then the sheep have the time to stop and have a shit on the way–you’ll probably be fine.
This resulted in some cracked ribs and sleeping upright in an armchair for a few weeks about eighteen months ago. Time off the bike for that to heal turned into ‘too cold/wet/windy to go for a ride‘, which was followed quickly by 2020 and months of ‘thou shalt be just too bloody afraid of Covid death to poke your nose out beyond the end of the driveway‘ and various MS issues.
But now the sun is out. Spring brings optimism and a gradual reawakening of life, hopefully in all respects. My beach body, cunningly hidden by a large winter hibernation overcoat of fat, is keen to come out now.
I did intend to officially start and post this piece yesterday–i.e. the first of the month–with the intention of then using the first of each subsequent month to do a progress and update post. I missed posting it yesterday by virtue of the fact that I didn’t write it, despite having the intention to do so, but I am now fully with the programme and if you are reading this, have finally written it and pressed the ‘publish’ button, so now there’s no going back. Unless an MS flare up hits, in which case I’ll be doing nothing until that goes, which is just one of the challenges facing me in trying to be consistently fit instead of fat.
So it’s off to the garage for some quick bicycle fettling and then some tentative laps around the local lanes at first, before hopefully getting back into my three times weekly routine of longer routes.
Oh, and yes, the ‘starting’ measurement.
It was 104.8
Thank you for visiting Scribblans today. Sorry it probably wasn’t very good this time.
Did you know, if you share this post on your social media, it might have the effect of making you feel better? About everything?
Yes it could. Well, try it if you don’t believe me then.