And so, with one small Twitter, the "secret" is out. I'm now into my second day of exercising "officially" and so far it's going well.
While joy is not really a word you'd associate with the Tough Guy - joy is generally not defined as "dunking yourself in icy water in the depths of January and running eight miles through wintery mud and, probably, donkey crap" - there is a pleasing roundness to this project. And no, I don't mean somewhere between my hips and my chest. Let me explain...
While I will argue til the cows come home about the relative speed of my metabolism - and more on that in a sec - the simple truth is I clearly eat too much for my level of activity. The frustration is when I look back on my 20-something self when I ate considerably more than I do now, drank my bodyweight weekly in corporate entertaining pints and Australian Chardonnays (oh, the City in the 80s...) and, aside from the odd guilt-ridden gym visit on a Saturday, took no exercise of note. I now eat quite carefully, I walk miles a week, my alcohol consumption is a fraction of what it was... and yet, somehow, at some point I gained about five stone and added six inches to my waistline. Scary huh?
Of course, some will argue - probably quite successfully - that my lifestyle is to blame. Those 80's and 90's excesses have caught up with me, compounded by a profession that involves sitting on my arse and either typing or playing video games or watching films or consuming edibles and drinkables several times a week. Accordingly, the blame lies somewhere in my genes but, at least partly, at the landlord's / restaurateur's door.
What better solution could there be than having a landlord / restaurateur to assist with the pound-sheddage and the fitness campaign? Step forward Mr Giles Webster who, if he bought a lycra suit and a cape, could qualify as my favourite superhero. By night, he's LandlordMan, co-owner of The Coach & Horses and purveyor of Timothy Taylor's and good burgers. By day though, he's a Harley Street exercise physiologist. He's the man with the knowledge and the equipment to reduce this excess poundage without - so the plan goes - reducing the lifestyle dramatically. Well, it's in his best interests, frankly: those Scotch Eggs aren't going to eat themselves.
So, as the Landlord giveth, the landlord taketh away. And Giles will no doubt be chipping in with some myth-busting and general tips through the course of this "diary". The "official" regime kicks in from the end of July which gives Giles a formal six months to turn this Fat Bloke into the sort of nutter who can complete an eight mile yomp and assault course in the depths of a Midlands winter. In the meantime, the regime has begun at a more gentle pace. Come the end of the month though, we'll bring you the - eek - tale of the tape and - double eek - photos of the subject. Probably topless and inordinately hairy. You have been warned.