Bombed out wasteland

So – the way I see it – Saturday has now become the new focal point for my mood and aspirations.

Previously Saturday was a bombed out wasteland.

It used to be reserved as hangover territory and generally didn’t limp into life until after midday. Now it appears to be waking me up at 8am with butterflies in my stomach wondering how much weight I’ve lost.

It’s a double edged sword though because I know that a bad weigh-in could have an extremely negative impact on my mood.

I genuinely had no idea what to expect when I woke up.

On the one side I had been ‘good’ and followed the plan – but I felt like I hadn’t been ‘dieting’ (on reflection this is probably a good thing).  I’d eaten hearty meals and for the most part hadn’t felt like snacking and had been not been hungry.

Anyone that’s seen my Instagram breakfasts and dinners will know that as well as suddenly becoming hip and cool by taking pictures of food and inflicting them on the internet I am not restricting myself. I’m eating good, hearty meals.

So. Up. Out of bed. Start the day. I’m going to shave my head and smarten myself up before heading out. Back shortly.

(Interlude. Our flawed but inexplicably adorable hero washes, shaves, plucks, trims, dresses, drives, walks, stands on scales, gets his news and then sits down in group. He continues to write whilst waiting for things to start…)

The room is slowly filling up around me. I’m seated at the back on one of the little red miniature chairs that I adore so much. I’m here not because I’m shy but because I can wedge the seat up against the infant climbing frame on the wall of the gym. This way I don’t have to worry that it will slip or the back legs give out.

I’ve just stepped off the scales and the first week’s results are in.

Five and a half pounds 🙂

I’m trying to not think too much about this number. I know that it’s a great start. I also know I should not expect this every week.

Believe it or not I’m ALSO trying to convince myself it’s a success – as my stupid mind instantly said quietly ‘It should have been more.’

As usual the battle for success lies not in my physical limitations, but my head – which even now with all the positive work I’ve done appears intent on snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

Around me the group is slowly getting seated and Angie is buzzing about in a chirpy frame of mind talking about pasta. I’ll be back in a bit. I’ll look rude if I continue to type and I need to hear what she has to say.

(Our slightly lighter hero listens intently to advice, accepts the group’s weekly challenge to cook different untried meals during the coming week and then leaves to meet with friends for lunch)

Well I’m glad I stayed. I got my money’s worth. I found out that a couple of the things I’d eaten over the week were actually ‘syns’, although thankfully they weren’t all that bad. It turns out microwave rice in a pouch contains oil, so my healthy brown rice carries with it 2 penalty points. Annoyingly I just purchased ten of them.

However as I’m only having one at a time, and since I can have 30 ‘syns’ a day if I want it’s not a major issue.

Also olives are 1,5 syns for 8 (unstuffed)! Oh the horror!

The meeting was lively, with lots of clapping and energy and I feel good about how it went. I asked about what to do with noodles and got lots of suggestions to try this week, mostly relating to stir fry recipes which all sounded really nice. I don’t usually eat them, but they were on the Slimming World shopping list from last week and I don’t want them just sitting in my cupboard going to waste.

The group is definitely what I need, and people (male and female) were overwhelmingly eager to swap tips and share helpful advice on how they achieved their success and the recipes they used to get there.

However I think it will be a cold day in hell before I try the ‘fanta or diet coke chicken’ they suggested. The idea of pouring a can of coke or fanta into a recipe on the boil doesn’t seem like a good idea – despite them raving about it tasting like sweet and sour…

I excused myself from the meeting & hurried over to the Harvester on the other side of Warwick, a bit late for my lunch appointment with some friends I’d not seen for a while.

I was armed with advice from Angie about what to eat that would keep me on the side of the angels. She suggested that I try the salsa chicken stack with a baked potato instead of the sweet potato fries that normally accompanied it, along with a generous helping of salad from the buffet.

It’s been quite a while since I went to a Harvester, and honestly I was impressed with the food and the service as well as the limitless diet Pepsi, buffet salad and bottomless after dinner coffees. I left feeling heavily caffeinated and satisfied with my dinner – which was unexpected, so kudos to my group leader on the advice. She steered me in the right direction!


The company during and after the meal however was the true highlight – and considering I hadn’t seen the two people I was meeting for six(ish) years (!) it was like time had effectively stood still.

Both of them seemed happy and in good places in their lives – and had been catching up with what I’d been doing via my blog, so there were plenty of things to chat about. We delved in and out of family, friends, work, hobbies, sport and more besides.

I’m not sure why – but my conversation veered a few times this afternoon toward my mom, and I found myself temporarily reliving some of the thoughts and feelings I’d gone through before she died.

As I talked about the bungalow and the funeral though I realised that time is moving on, and the intensity of how I felt is diminishing.

Sure, I still feel let down by her as a mother, and there are pangs of bitterness that unexpectedly rise up from time to time, but I’m not as raw as I was. Not by a long chalk.

For one thing I can talk about her at length now without fear of breaking down or crying (not through grief but instead because of a sense of lost opportunity, which sometimes is still on my mind). This is a great relief. I don’t mind getting upset in front of people but I really didn’t appreciate the randomness with which it was happening – which was when I least expected it.

So – today is a day of positive progress.

I have lost almost half a stone, I am alcohol free, I am slowly getting over the death of my mom, I am getting out more, I’m re-connecting with people I have stupidly neglected, and more than anything it’s all making me happy.

Saturday is no longer a bombed out wasteland.

Hugs and little red chairs internet!




  1. It was so lovely reconnecting with you, you are right, it was as if we hadn’t seen each other since last week instead of the last six odd years… To me an excellent indication of good friendship that will not be losing touch with each other again!

    Liked by 1 person

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