I’ve taken a step in the right direction this morning and ripped off the proverbial band aid.
I woke up hyper aware that now it was Saturday I was officially in the week where I promised myself I would begin to make progress on my weight.
I didn’t have a plan yet – just a goal. Join a group.
But which group to join? Instead of lying under the duvet and stressing I decided to get up and look at where I could go, and who I could go with that was:
- Diabetic focused
- Fitted in with my predominantly late shifts at work
- Was within walking distance as I get fitter
Weight Watchers. Mostly crappy locations but the times seemed ok. Nothing especially interesting. Been there done that.
Cambridge Diet. Had massive success several years ago, but not sure I could get sign off with my doctor for the plan given my health problems, and I’m worried about the possibility of kidney stones associated with rapid weight loss (and saggy skin). Plus meal replacements are great until you have to eat real food again – which is where I went so wrong last time.
Slimming World. The previous time I went it was a good plan, but my mind wasn’t in the right place. But wait a minute – who’s that in the picture taking the group?… That looks like Angie my old next door neighbour! I thought she’d stopped leading groups… They have a session at 10.30am on a Saturday just around the corner…
I looked at the clock on my computer.
10.09 am. My pulse started racing.
Naaaah – I was just doing research right? No need to go overboard and actually attend… It was Saturday after all. A day of pleasure, not pain.
I growled at myself internally. Why didn’t I want to go? What possible reason did I have to say no? I’d already had a shower, had my clothes for the day ready, had enough money to pay for it in my wallet and it was 2 minutes away in the car. With parking. Plus it was being run by my lovely ex-neighbour.
The universe was tugging on the bottom of my shirt and daring me to be different.
‘Grrrraaaarrggghhh! F**k it!’ I shouted out loud to myself and the wall, and started putting my socks on. I would do something positive with the day and this was it. All I had to do was start the ball rolling.
10 minutes later, coffee in hand I walked through the door of the local infants school and into the light and airy gymnasium filled with worryingly small red chairs in a semi circle.
I paused slightly, wondering how sturdy they were. They were built for children. Please please please don’t let one of them break.
As I slowly moved through the door Angie instantly recognised me and called me over by name. It seems I had not been forgotten – even though we hadn’t seen each other for a few years, which was nice. I dismissed thoughts of the chairs and walked over to greet her.
We chatted for a moment and I moved over to the induction table, where other new starters joined me. She began to talk through the new (surprisingly comprehensive) welcome pack. It seemed that things had now moved on. There were now apps, websites, Facebook groups, tablet computers, credit card payments, bulk discounts, extra easy days, and even pre-prepared shopping lists to get you started.
I felt one of the chair legs slip on the polished parquet flooring beneath me and quickly adjusted my weight to minimise stress on them. They didn’t move again and I breathed out slowly.
Angie as always was spunky and full of life. I knew from before that like all group leaders in this area she too had struggled with weight, and I noticed that she had lost some more since I last saw her. She looked happy, and her daughter was buzzing around helping with various tasks – giving the whole affair a family feeling.
She talked through all the steps and told us not to worry about the first week. Our goal was simply to absorb the information and begin to try and move toward the way of thinking that the plan underlined. We would learn more about it as the weeks progressed. The key was not to think of this as a diet, but a healthy eating plan.
If I was hungry while doing it then I was doing it wrong.
With this encouragement we eventually moved to the semi-circle of chairs and I watched as Angie worked the room. She reeled off information and progress reports on each and every one of the people there over the course of the next hour, focusing on positive after positive.
Some people had maintained their weight (she used the word ‘protected‘ which I like), others had seen significant or regular losses.
One man had lost three and a half stone. He was running regularly, and said that the group had been ‘transformative‘. He was particularly happy that he could still have a glass of whisky from time to time, and his wife (who was sitting next to him) also looked enthusiastic. Between them they had lost five stone and it seemed that they had really benefitted from it.
It was all very encouraging, and I clapped for the people in the group a lot. They deserved it. A lady turned and smiled at me, welcoming me to the group. She seemed nice and I smiled back, joking briefly with her.
As this slowly finished and I’d stacked my gallant little red chair with the others in the gym I moved to the payment desk to get my membership card and get a weigh in. I would pay for twelve weeks and get them for the price of ten. I would start as I meant to go on – confident and moving forward.
I paid, got my membership details and moved to the queue for the scales.
I knew roughly what the damage would be. from a previous trip to Boots and one of my very first blogs, so I was ready for the news. Nothing would phase me.
As I’d lost weight since Boots (noticed by clothing becoming looser and belts being tightened) I was hopeful that this was the moment that I would be receiving good news.
Only I didn’t. Boots scales had lied to me. They’d put a number in my head that I’d held onto for 3 months and they had deceived me in a dramatic fashion. The truth was not 31 stone 9lbs.
The reality was 34 stone 8.5lbs.
I felt my lip tremble. This was heavier than I had ever been in my life.
Angie looked at me and asked me what my goal was. I didn’t know. It all seemed suddenly so far away, so difficult and upsetting.
I felt exposed, vulnerable, shattered, my buoyant confidence suddenly gone. I wanted the world to swallow me and I wanted to be anywhere else but where I was standing at that precise moment in time.
My mouth went dry, and I began to stammer. I didn’t know what to say.
‘Two stone’ I muttered. ‘Interim goal. It’s a start.’
‘Lets make it 32 stone.’ Said Angie quietly, smiling. ‘It’s a nice round number.’
‘You can have 30 ‘sins’ – not 15 like the rest of the people here. You’ll still loose weight. Trust me – it will fall off.’
She wrote it in my book and put a bracket either side to emphasise the number and smiled again. I smiled back but my lower lip was still unsure of itself and struggled to show positivity.
I think she saw my wobble.
I left, got into my car and drove home.
Now I’m sitting here dealing with the fallout, and I need a moment to re-group. I feel like crying and while I know I have done something positive I also feel devastated and overwhelmed by the task at hand.
I’m scared and I feel alone, and angry with myself for what I’ve done to my body. It’s the only one I have and I’ve abused it my entire life.
I’ve moved on to actually crying right now. I don’t know how to feel differently at the at this moment in time. Maybe I just need to experience these feelings and let them pass.
Underneath this I know everything is good. I have to keep using the skills I have learned in group and telling myself over and over what a good thing it is I’ve done today.
It’s a victory. It’s a step in the right direction. It’s a move to a positive new me.
But at the moment I just feel stupid and weak.
I’m going to make a cup of tea and do something else to take my mind off this. I’ll read my booklets when this sensation has passed and I feel stronger.
Back in a bit internet.