OK, time to admit it, I have a problem. Food. I 'm a gourmand. And I have the appetite of someone who has grown up as a very large bloke, so when I say I can eat a lot, I mean I can eat a hell of a lot.
Fortunately I'm very active, I walk places rather than taking the bus and sitting down isn't really my thing. Thus my eating habits haven't affected my outward appearance too much, when you're my size you can hide a lot of padding without it showing.
But here's the problem. I used to have a half hour brisk walk to work, then I worked somewhere up a hill where I could go for long walks at lunchtime. For the last couple of years though I've worked about five minutes walk from home and I simply haven't had the exercise I once did. So despite efforts to eat less - and move more - I've been slowly putting on weight. Not excessively, but my BMI is now above the range in which it should sit. I have to do something quickly, for were I to go on HRT my new endocrine balance would only make the problem worse.
So what's to be done? I've bought a new bike. Work has an interest free cycle loan scheme to help me afford it, so I've selected with care: my new bike is a Brompton folding bike customised to my size.
It might seem odd to buy a folding bike, but I see it as enabling. When folded it it about the size of a medium sized suitcase, so not only can I store it indoors where it won't deteriorate, I can also throw it in the back of the car, take it on a train, or put it in a hotel room. Suddenly the range of places a bike can go with me has increased exponentially.
Of course, merely having a bike is no use unless you ride it. So I've decided that I must do at least one long distance ride a week, and the easiest way to do that is to ride the twenty miles each way to my parents place and back Fortunately for me I don't live in a hilly part of the country.
So a few weeks of Brompton ownership, and so far I've managed it. Twenty miles in two hours and ten minutes. The Brompton is no toy so it's not a challenge to ride, I simply don't yet have the legs to do it any faster.
Sadly my weight remains unchanged. These things take time.