The Challenge II (with video)


A lot has happened since I posted last week about doing the START healthy lifestyles challenge (

Firstly, and most predictably, my son has decided he doesn’t like organic puffed rice cereal anymore. I’ve compensated by trying to introduce other healthy elements into his breakfast. Some fruit, a bagel, a little milk.

Despite the time pressures of getting ready for school we’ve managed to maintain the conversation about eating more healthily each morning. It’s in his psyche now. It wasn’t before. This is good progress.

There have been some tantrums and tears along the way but that’s not unusual for me before I get my first cup of coffee.

Second, I got chastised by my paymasters at the government body Safefood for using a photograph of a particular brand of organic puffed rice cereal in my last blog.

Just to clear things up. Other brands of organic puffed rice cereal are also available.

Safefood were also concerned that my consumption of organic puffed rice cereal might be seen as a little bit too elitist. Not quite accessible enough. To use their phrase, I wasn’t “on-message”. Apparently King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette used to bathe in solid gold tubs full of organic puffed rice cereal at the palace of Versailles. Anger over this among the working classes led directly to the French Revolution.

So, I’ll clear that one up too. There are other healthy foods apart from organic puffed rice cereal. For example a banana. Or a carrot. A melon maybe. All readily available at reasonable prices.

Following my last blog I got sent an email with rules in big red letters which told me not to mention organic puffed rice cereal again. Needless to say I’ll do my best to comply.

Right. Let’s all move on.

Having taken on an eating challenge last time, this week I decided it would be good to do something physical.

My son is very active. I go through phases of doing exercise, little bursts of energy and good intentions. And phases of seemingly interminable lounging and lethargy. I ran a marathon 18 months ago. Now I get out of breath looking for the remote control under the sofa.

We could all do with getting outside a bit more. And it seemed like a good opportunity to do something active together as a family.

I decided to integrate a daily walk into our activities.

And, just in case I should face any further accusations of elitism, I’ll point out straightaway that other forms of physical exercise are also available. Skipping. Jumping. Hopping…..

My plan was this. On days when we had a little bit of time we’d go somewhere nice for a stroll, like Hillsborough lake (other beauty spots are also available).

On days when we were pushed for time we’d be a bit more inventive. Perhaps just walking together to the local shop. Or walking part of the route to school in the morning.

I set us the minimum of walking 15 minutes together every day. Usually we’d do a lot more. I found it’s a great way of encouraging conversation, catching up on the news of the day. Taking time to listen to each other.

My wife made a little video (see above) of one of our walks. We’ve speeded it up and set it to the Benny Hill theme tune (other comedy theme tunes are also available).

As well as walking it gives my son plenty of time to engage in one of his favourite hobbies.

Jumping in muddy puddles.

Peppa Pig’s got a lot to answer for.

Other pig-based kids’ TV programmes featuring muddy puddles are also available.

Although I can’t think of any at the moment.

One thought on “The Challenge II (with video)

  1. Ahaha fantastic Jonny! This is such a breath of fresh air from the usual kind of sponsored posts I read. I like the hint of rebellion throughout. Although I feel you could’ve at least mentioned organic puffed rice cereal, no?

    Liked by 1 person

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