There’s an advert I used to see on the television all the time for Disneyland in Florida. The children can’t sleep prior to their journey to the resort – and a little boy says ‘I’m SO excited!’ In such a way that it has stuck in my mind for years.
It’s a clever commercial as it hints at the child like wonder that’s also present in the adults, who steadfastly refuse to nod off as well.
It’s 4am and like them I can’t sleep. I don’t think it’s coffee – I only had two flower pots worth yesterday. That’s a minimal amount. It barely registers.
Instead I’m the little boy in the advert, thinking about the future and possibilities.
Part of me hates it when I get like this. Sure – it’s nice to have hope and a positive vision, but I begin to obsess over things sometimes and when I do I have bursts of momentum that can often be followed by trenches of disappointment where I want the future NOW but realise how far away it actually is.
Although I did around 7 miles of walking yesterday I was still wired at 8pm and buzzing with energy.
I have an exercise bike in my spare room that cost me a small fortune. It’s a machine capable of taking my weight and I’ve hardly used it. Honestly my massive stomach made it incredibly uncomfortable when I tried.
It’s been a while since I climbed on and when I last did I could manage little more than about 5 minutes without any programmed resistance. It was not pleasant.
Last night I managed around 34 minutes on it doing a level one hill climb.
I learned three things during that workout.
- I can sustain a heart rate of about 110 for over half an hour now.
- I can burn almost 300 kcal in about 30 minutes.
- My exercise playlists need serious work and Jason Nevins featuring Run DMC ‘it’s like that’ makes me pedal faster.
Ever since I’ve been thinking about what this means. Running is a bad idea for my knees. They can’t take the punishment my weight gives out, but all of a sudden I can do cardio. Furthermore I LIKED it.
Until the end mind you. The last 5 minutes were horrid.
And still I lie here, wide awake at 4.21am, thinking about my weigh in and some things affecting friends.
If I have done well this week I may get my five and a half stone award. I need a 3.5lbs loss to secure that. It would be REALLY nice to hold that in 6 hours or so.
Bums. I really really need to stop typing and nod off. Maybe I’ll listen to a podcast.
(Tries to sleep)
Well sleep was a waste of time. My mind was obsessing relentlessly about things I can’t control, and about people I know.
I instead got up and decided to do some cooking – in this case a tray of mini quiches so I could snack at the meeting.
I’ve ditched my cheap muffin tray (all the non stick was SO non stick it ironically kept falling off the tray) and I bought a Sainsburys cookware heavy duty one along with a square frittata tray – both of which weigh a ton and have a 10 year warranty. It’s so good I don’t need spray oil in the nests at all, and they just slide out into my waiting Tupperware.
Since I have a war on waste and had a flask of Starbucks filter coffee I’d forgotten to drink yesterday I quickly heated it up in a measuring jug and put it back in my container.
I was set for Slimming World. Almost.
I didn’t know how I was going to do when I stepped on the scales today. I genuinely never do.
I was umming and aarring over whether to wear my jogging bottoms (which are now cavernous) and a teeshirt (also way too big) or my smaller jeans and a shirt. I decided (no word of a lie) to weigh my belt and jeans on the kitchen scales to see how much they would set me back if I went with the ‘well dressed’ option.
I know now that my jeans and belt combined weigh 2lbs 11oz. My jogging bottoms weigh 1lb 4oz. Which do you think I picked?
So – as I strolled, flapping and fluttering to Swimming World looking like a hobo in my outsize clothes I reflected on what I’d done in the week.
I’d nailed a lot of exercise – but this hadn’t previously translated into a loss. I’d also had a rocky weekend where I ate a lot – but I’d also had very little appetite toward the end of the week when I was exercising more. According to Apple Watch I’d burned way more calories than I thought I’d consumed – so I SHOULD have a loss.
After saying hello and chatting to the ladies in the line I stepped on the scales – and then this happened.
I came within the distance of a gnat’s left nut of getting my six stone award and absolutely nailed my weight loss this week. It must have been the jeans!
Whatever the cause was this means that in another half a pound I have lost the Mangrove Jack boat trailer from my previous new goals post. Give or take a few ounces I AM NO LONGER WALKING WITH THIS IN MY TROUSERS ALL THE TIME.
This may go a long way to explaining my sudden bursts of energy this week both during walking (as one of my companions will attest to, given her reported aches and pains afterwards) and on my exercise bike last night.
(thinks for a moment…)
At this point I’d like to step back a little from banging on about how much I’ve lost. I’m happy – but honestly something else is playing on my mind.
Let me say from the outset that I’m pretty uncomfortable with being labelled as someone that people use as an ‘inspiration’. This is not my word, nor are my feelings about it false modesty. It honestly makes me cringe to even type it and it’s not how I would describe myself If I was presented with a sheet of paper – but I do so here for a reason.
I’d be a liar if I said I wasn’t glad that those I like and respect might be beginning to see me in such a light. It reminds me whenever someone says this word (no matter how uncomfortable it makes me feel) in relation to what I write, think and do of how different things are for me now.
It also makes me want to live up to that ideal, although I often feel that I do not. I’m doing well today – but tomorrow I might not be.
In the last week though I’ve seen a couple of people I know hit tough new or established challenges in life head on – and although I know I can’t fix these for them all of me wants to reach out and help.
Maybe some of what I’ve written and achieved so far can do that, even if I can’t wave a magic want and make life better for them. However – if those people sitting at home or elsewhere are reading this, what I can say is that:
- Your health CAN be turned around.
- Good CAN come from awful events like serious illness or bereavement.
- Your habits DON’T have to control you.
- Your future CAN be different.
- It IS possible to move from what seems like an inescapable pit of emotional despair to a place where you feel you can begin to rebuild a life – whatever is wrong with it.
The only things that need to change are what you feel about yourself and what you believe you can do.
Every day can be a struggle for me – both physically and emotionally at times, but the incremental steps and slow moves forward keep me going through the bad moments.
Without the effort I put in they wouldn’t happen, and I’d feel much lower for it. Nothing has been delivered to me (or others I look up to in my life) on a plate.
I’m very uncomfortable with making myself out to be someone thats succeeded at anything, and I definitely don’t have all the answers. I’m just as flawed as everyone else and 7 months ago I was drunk every evening, my diabetes was spiralling out of control and I was 6 stone heavier. All this is now different, and I intend to do more. Much more.
I’m beginning to have aspirations that don’t involve me dying young or being trapped in my house.
It’s not rocket science. Change sometimes just means learning to be good to yourself, and choosing to look at the positives in life.
Internet (and to the people I know facing challenges – whom I direct this post toward) whatever you’re doing, however you’re feeling, whatever habits you have, or things you’ve gone through you’re only a moment away from changing everything.