My name is Rebecca Pearson and I am a lazy model. We are supposed to all be Miranda Kerrs, happily eating a box of raw carrots and waking up at 4 am to start training. And lots of girls are. You see them on twitter, exposing their midriffs and maniacally waxing lyrical about ‘super sets’ and ‘squats’ and activities that, to me, really don’t sound like a great deal of fun. It’s that or a diet of coffee and cigarettes, but I don’t fancy a future of osteoporosis and furry, ageing skin.
Having said that, I don’t want to be fat, so to balance out my partiality to a Bakewell Tart I know that sadly, I have to do it – exercise. I only took up this unsightly chore at the age of 21 – previously to this I’d been able to eat 9 Mars Bars as a snack and still have a concave stomach (oh, how fast metabolism is wasted on the young). Then, as my age progressed, so too did the span of my bumcheeks, in direct correlation to my discovery of fun adult activities such as regular alcohol consumption, artisanal breads and mature cheese. Not great for a modelling career.
My favourites of yoga and swimming are fabulous, but let’s face it – they don’t make you lose much weight. I tried exercise DVDs, enjoying Hip Hop Abs and putting my infuriating Davina one on mute. But they didn’t really work. In the back of my mind, I knew I’d have to do it – running – favourite of models, it’s a great calorie burner, bum lifter and, apparently, endorphin producer. Unfortunately, when I’d have a go, I sounded like I was having an asthma attack 2 minutes in; 3 minutes in I wanted to cry; 4 minutes in I was eating chips in pitta and resorting instead to taking out my contact lenses before I looked in the mirror in order to look thinner.
I’ve got to be honest here, when I say ‘running’ I mean jogging. Rather, a pacey death march; imagine a sprightly zombie with headphones. This is for people who, like me, are not naturally inclined towards a health and fitness sort of lifestyle. Who, if given the chance, would live sedentary lives, sat on a throne and being fanned with leaves and fed grapes by attractive people in loincloths. Whose idea of sportswear is a huge cast off t-shirt with pizza stains and the leggings with a hole in the crotch that you unfathomably haven’t thrown away. And trainers from your PE kit, ten years old.
But I persevered, and now feel that I am one of ‘those people’ who smugly say “I’ve just been for a run.” I’m lying - really I’ll have stopped at least 4 times to look at particularly fascinating spider’s webs/fungi in the wood. But despite this, and without foregoing my Mars Ice addiction, I’ve lost some weight, have more energy and even rather enjoy it. The other day, I woke up REALLY EARLY to go on a run before a shoot – unprecedented! This is truly all a shock to me, so I’d like to impart some knowledge, aimed at those who, like me, hate it but want to be OK at jogging order to eat more lemon meringue pie.
Firstly, go without coffee. Remove it from your daily routine. Then, on the morning of your run, fill a Sports Direct mug, to the brim, with pure, strong, black coffee. You honestly have no choice but to run off those jitters.
2) Decent shoes
You do need a decent pair of running shoes – you want to protect your knees and ankles. Secondly, if you’ve bought them, you’re going to ruddy well have to go and get your money’s worth, aren’t you? At least, after this initial outlay, you don’t have to pay anything! Running is FREE!
3) Warm up
If you don’t warm up, you’ll hurt yourself five minutes into your first run and not be able to do it any more, which I know won’t be devastating but remember when Britney broke her leg and couldn’t exercise, and while recovering had magically grown a huge pair of tits for her Sometimes I Run video? You don’t want that if you’re a man. You should do dynamic stretches so you’re body’s prepared for action, not relaxing. I do these ones that I found on the first Youtube video I found.
4) Start slowly
Just cos you’re wearing a sweatband doesn’t mean you’re in a Rocky montage. If you’re as shit as I was, start by doing 1 minute run, 1 minute walk, for 20 minutes, gradually building up to a longer, constant run. The Get Running app was fantastic. If you don’t like apps, I would often run when someone could see me, and walk when I was alone.
I don’t really listen to the music on my ‘running’ playlist in normal day life. I like Simon and Garfunkel, but there’s not much of a beat to Bridge Over Troubled Water to run in time to. It’s down to the individual but the music that gets me pumped up is a heady mix of Pendulum, Destinys Child, Lady Gaga and Queen. It’s got to be sort of sprightly and light, with synths. I thought metal would be good but you feel like you’re trudging. Audiobooks are a fail, sadly.
Yes, you’re out of breath. Yes, you have a stitch. Yes, it would be nicer to not be doing this and eating a battered sausage. But you have to break through this negative attitude, which is the biggest barrier to running. Having a positive outlook will improve your demeanour and appearance. And this means that you will be rewarded with the ultimate prize of the runner – smug eye-glances and heavy-breathed flirtation with your fellow attractive runners.