Crossing Ponsonby Rd has always been a mission. Walk the extra mile to a pedestrian crossing? Use one of those sort-of crossings which provide a resting place halfway across for weary pedestrians? Or just wing it, dodging cars and making it to the other side before they hit you?
I tend to wing it if I'm alcohol-free, use the sort-of crossing if I'm a few drinks down and opt for the pedestrian crossing if it's 4pm and I'm leaving lunch. Which is why I was winging it the other day. I have been alcohol-free (mostly) for six weeks as part of a last-minute attempt to lose weight before I turn 50 in July.
You may remember I wrote a column a few months back about how I was resigned to being a size 16 because if Oprah couldn't lose weight with all those millions at her disposal then how could I?
Some saw it as a cry for help and emailed me with suggestions. One person rang me from my gym and "encouraged" me, very successfully as it turned out, to try out their six-week Fat2Muscle regime.
And so here I am, alcohol-free, drinking three litres of water a day, eating small meals and lifting such huge weights that I've almost fainted three times and have felt on the verge of tears twice.
"Has anyone ever cried?" I whimpered to Trainer Adam as I lay on the floor with my feet in the air - his remedy for dizzy spells.
"Not with me, but it does happen," he said cheerfully.
"Am I supposed to hurt so bad that I can't walk for two days?" I moaned.
"Of course," he replied grinning as if he'd just won Lotto. "That's how you know it's working."
Trainer Adam is hard to rattle. I've sworn at him, collapsed on him, told him in no uncertain terms to leave me the hell alone, and accused him of several forms of cruelty. "Right let's have another go at that leg press," is all he says.
The only time he got a bit annoyed was when I confessed to having had a few wines the night before. He demanded to know exactly how many glasses and then wrote it on my card.
"What are you writing it down for?" I said horrified.
"So that when you moan to me about not losing weight I can direct you to the reason why," was all he said before marching me off to lift more weights.
My husband thinks he is a god. Mainly because he gets me to do things I don't want to do, something my husband has never been able to achieve. And because he's getting me to lose weight. "Where is all that weight disappearing to?" he says every morning. I can't tell him that, but I can tell him exactly where it's disappearing from.
Back at Ponsonby Rd I was winging it across four lanes of traffic when my right shoe fell off halfway. Then, on the homeward stretch, the left one fell off.
I have been wearing my favourite Minnie Cooper ballet flats for five years. They don't fall off.
"Oh that's just great," I said to myself as I stared at my feet, which were now too small for my shoes. "I'm losing weight on my feet. Awesome."
I've also lost weight on my hands, my bust and my face. My stomach and hips last time I looked remain resolutely large.
Trainer Adam wasn't at all fazed when I mentioned this to him.
"Right let's have another go at that chest press," was all he said.