Digby ‘digs us’ as he salutes our friendliness
One of our celebrity members Lord Digby Jones of Birmingham, former Director General of the CBI and Minister of State for Trade and Investment, has been paying Wildmoor Spa and staff some nice compliments.
He says: “I live in Temple Grafton and so for me it’s about five minutes down the road to Wildmoor Spa. I’ve been coming to swim for the past five years and I get here early morning about four or five times a week then swim 40 lengths of the pool which is about half a mile.
“I find actually that if you do that, get into a routine, and you do it four or five times a week you soon feel a big difference. I’m in and out in 25 minutes. Because it’s regular and because it’s a weight free environment in the pool, a big fellow like me doesn’t get stress on the joints. At the same time I get the benefit of feeling better and feeling fit which is tremendous.
“I live quite a stressful life with a lot of appointments and media involvement and so it really is good just for 25 minutes to forget all that and pound up and down. I guess it would be the same in the gym. I don’t go in there but I expect that people who do it regularly find the stress goes through the pores of their skin.
“Because you feel better you tend to take more care of yourself and your diet. Not because you want to do anything green and healthy, it’s just that you feel better and you don’t want to spoil that. I lost three stone in seven months to do the Lands End to John O Groats bike ride in 1998. Then I lost three stone in eight months to do the London Marathon in 2005. So I’m quite good at what I would call rigorous diets and when dieting to lose weight I drink no alcohol, eat no puddings, and avoid carbohydrates after 7.00 pm. Then the weight falls off me.
“I tend to keep my weight at about seventeen and a half stone….should it be sixteen? You bet it should. Has it been to nineteen stone…you bet it has…and when I think it’s getting too much, or if I’m not eating healthily enough or regularly enough, then I tend to put myself on a regime and after a couple of months the weight comes back into order.
“There are only two diet regimes that really work – eat less and exercise more. If you do those two things you’ll lose weight. I played a lot of serious rugby for a long time – also did hockey and cricket – and enjoyed a few beers or a bottle of wine afterwards. The trouble is if you stop playing but keep drinking the lbs go on. So you do have to regulate the drinking and be careful – after the Six Nations rugby on TV at the weekend for example I had a few drinks but today I won’t.
“I think Wildmoor is a fabulous place and the biggest thing I can say about it is that the people, staff and members, are so friendly. They always smile, they’re always cheerful, helpful and the place is clean. You know they change the water about every half hour in the pool? I’m known in the media and public life but I’m just another bloke here and all the titles and the ego are left at the door.