The wonderful woman who illustrates this column, Isabelle Maroger, is going to have to redraw Harry. It’s not that he minds being turned into a cartoon of sorts – he’s been with me for almost a decade and is used to reading about himself as a caricature. It’s more that, well, he no longer looks anything like the man in the drawings. Nor, indeed, the man I met all those years ago.
Reader, Harry has changed. Like, really changed. In the past six months, he has undergone what is known in the fitness industry as a ‘complete body transformation’.
Gone is the soft, relaxed man with a penchant for Saturday-night pizza. In his place is a rippling Adonis who lifts weights three times a week, measures out his protein, and eschews all carbohydrates that are not complex. Our fridge is almost 50 per cent egg and turkey breast. Sesame seeds, he tells me, are a vital source of energy. He takes endless supplements – oils! Multivitamins! Probiotics! – and after workouts, he guzzles protein shakes.
He has bought a hi-tech set of weighing scales that claim to be able to measure his body fat and hydration levels – basically, scales that can look into the very depths of your soul. I tiptoe around them in the bathroom. Harry’s willpower has highlighted my lack of it, but I’m trying not to make it all about me (fnar, fnar).
He looks… well, ripped, I suppose you would say. Everyone mentions this. ‘Gosh, Harry looks so handsome!’ coo my friends after bumping into him in the street. I find this annoying, because I have always thought my husband was handsome, and object to the fact that biceps and a chiselled jaw line somehow make him a better person. But also, we no longer seem to speak the same language. He goes off for runs and says things like, ‘I have been practising hill sprints and knocked a minute off my PB.’ He sees me trying to lift shopping bags into the kitchen and suggests that I might like to try some ‘squat thrusts’. My eyes light up because I think he is coming on to me. But no. It turns out that this is some weightlifting move.
He goes on and on about the benefits of strength training and how it will make me a stronger runner. He seems not to understand that I don’t need to be a stronger runner – I just need to be able to run for half an hour a day, preferably away from his dreary chat about proteins and kettlebells.
Still, I have to leave him to it. After years of taking centre stage with my giving up drinking and taking up marathon running, he deserves his own transformative obsession. I might even try some of those squat thrusts. Who knows? It could even be enjoyable…
I can’t be the only one who goes a bit funny around the full moon
I can’t be the only one who hasn’t learnt how to drive
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