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With the vestiges of the Great Autumn Man Cold ™ of 2015 finally winding down I went back to the gym on Saturday after missing three straight days.

Me and everyone else in town was there, or so it seemed.

The club did a special job of promoting the Saturday workout as a Thanksgiving “burn the bird” calorie buster. So while a normal Saturday turnout might be eight or 10 on a good day, there was likely two dozen in the class for 45 minutes of metabolic punishment and then 45 minutes of spin.

I was still a long way from 100 per cent so I didn’t push myself very hard, but I did get a decent workout in. I’d like to say it felt good but mostly I just kept hoping it would be over. Colds suck.

But the big turnout did make it fun – lots of young people who were home for the long weekend, lots of others who are Monday-to-Friday regulars but usually not around on Saturday.

My highlight was the weigh in before class. I hit a new low in both weight and body fat percentage. The weight number is a wonder of science or nature or both. The scale – which is high-tech and fancy and deadly accurate – can seem to be stuck at a certain number for days and then weeks. And I think, okay, I’ve hit the low, the new normal.

And then Saturday it was suddenly three pounds lighter. Just like that. It was like I had cut off a hand or something, but with less screaming. And it was no fluke as my morning weigh in at home has been consistently in the same zone every day since, too. So, I broke through a barrier I guess.

The body fat – which for me is the number I regard more carefully – was down to 16.4. When I started at ATC in late June it was over 23. And while I have no actual number for what it was when I started my campaign of fitness in March, I’m sure it was in the 30s.

My weight loss since joining ATC has been slightly less than a pound a week, but it corresponds directly to the body fat number and the trend lines are good.

What that means is I no longer have a gut hanging over my belt. I’ve said it before but if you told me six months ago I could get rid of 55 pounds and my gut, I’d have said it was not possible and I didn’t have the will power.

So on that score, three people deserve thanks. Coach Dave, my friend and long-time hockey coaching partner, who has been the little voice whispering in my ear for two years since he started training and changed his physical being dramatically. “Come out and try this.”

And Laura, who every time I said I couldn’t imagine getting up every morning before work to train, just said, “Try it.” And finally I did. She was right. And she has been integral to designing the meals at home, which are healthier, as are the snacks and things we munch on. She’s always been better at this stuff and now I’m getting there, too.

And third, Richard. Who runs the program. He is relentless. There regulars at the gym have a saying, which is Richard cares more about your health than you do. It’s true. While enjoying my 35 seconds of triumph on Saturday morning with a new low number for both weight and body fat, Richard walked by and grunted.

Yeah, he said. But you still got sick. You need to eat more plants.


We had a lot of food this weekend, and food is well down the list of things we can pause and be thankful for – although we are. Health, love, support, friends.

We had a nice weekend and the weather was great.

I managed on Sunday to squeeze in a 21 kilometre ride – not many of those left on the calendar – and watched the Blue Jays win a pair of games in Texas.

Downtown Toronto will go eerily quiet tomorrow at 4p. Everyone is a baseball expert now.