Change is good

It’s cold again today. Really cold.

I’m noticing the temperature more and more now that I’m losing weight. I’m having to dress up warm all the time. It’s particularly tangible in my extremities, and my furry slippers (purchased when I became diabtic because we must all wear them in case we stand on sharp things and don’t notice) and thinsulate gloves are really earning their keep at the moment.

The park was consequently a tough sell this morning and I’m pretty certain that my toes were busy turning blue when I arrived. The mist and fog were thick today and the air was cold and moist. I also didn’t sleep very well last night for a variety of reasons and things were aching.

However – after a couple of laps (fuelled partially by hot, strong coffee) chatting with a friend I felt warm, virtuous, and more than a little happy that I’d hopped out of bed to see the world.

The same faces are evident in the park almost every time I go there, although recently there have been some notable absences. As I was walking by the river late yesterday evening in the park’s fading light I suddenly realised I hadn’t seen the Lycra clad power walking ladies for a couple of months. I also hadn’t passed the determined oriental lady (who may be a spy) for about the same time.

Either these people have been driven away by the temperature or their priorities in life had changed. Maybe they had fallen off whatever wagon they’d previously climbed on to. I hope not. They added colour to my walks and I enjoyed saying hello (or regularly being ignored the latter’s case).

Consequently the tone of my activity has changed a lot lately. The colder weather has turned my previously very social walking pastime into an ongoing internal dialogue with myself over perceived success and failure or motivational bargaining.

Do I do the extra lap if no-one is looking?

I didn’t go out at all on Sunday and instead indulged my baser instincts playing Skyrim on my XBOX. I’m now level 56 and seem to have specialised in single handed combat instead of magic without consciously trying to.

I can now bash a mountain bear’s brains in with very little effort – so in some respects it’s been time well spent. In other respects it’s definitely not.

I’ve enjoyed the escapism though and it’s taken my mind off some things that have been bothering me in the background.

I still have a bit of a hard time convincing myself that I deserve such a period of relaxation though, and when I went out yesterday evening I felt that I was in some way having to atone for the day before.

I was once again (I realised two miles in) racing against myself, and constantly checking my lap times (19.11 mins av p/m it seems).

The good thing about this is that my walks have become more cardio focused on my own and I’m trying to get faster and faster – which I don’t necessarily do if I’m trying to hold a conversation with someone.

If I do I still sound like a panting Labrador.

The bad thing about this is that I find that I’m once again motivated and driven by being annoyed with myself for somehow not doing enough.

I suppose I shouldn’t complain. Whatever gets me out and about is surely a good thing in the long term and I’m benefitting physically either way.

I do wish I could just love myself a little more in the process though.

Something that stuck in my mind after my clothes shopping on Friday was how stupid I was to get annoyed about not finding clothes that were ‘perfect’.

In my head I was all kinds of angry about the injustice of still being overweight and having difficulty getting into jackets and trousers – or feeling that they didn’t suit me when I did.

My pain was unique to me.

The beauty of putting all of my thoughts online however is that people quickly point out to me that they too have the exact same feelings about a wide variety of things that I post – and this subject was no different.

Pretty much EVERYONE I know or that commented hated clothes shopping it seems, and not a single one of them could recall a moment where they’d walked into a shop and found the perfect garment.

It’s not that I’m fat then. It’s just because I, like 99% of the rest of the world worry needlessly about how other people perceive me and I should just get on with life and forget about such nonsense.

Confidence doesn’t come from a suit and a tie – it comes from within (although it’s sometimes nice to look the part as well.)

A fellow blogger started her own ‘project confidence’ approach to her self image some time ago, and I liked the idea both then and now.

Maybe it’s time to focus this kind of thinking on this myself and try to build on it. The twin storms of my weight related self image and perceived employment worthiness have created something of an incubator for intermittent negative thinking over the last couple of weeks.

I’m trying my level best to find a reasonable and balanced perspective on everything. Just when I think I’ve managed to grasp it I realise I haven’t – and I move on to the next realisation about myself.

It’s annoying to be on such shifting sand but it can be invigorating too. I’m continually aware that as I get fitter and healthier my opinions and views about a wide range of things also begin to change or subtly shift.

I’m forced to re-examine over and over how I feel about HUGE areas of my life and sometimes it’s very uncomfortable to admit that when I previously said I didn’t like something or held a particular view, what I ACTUALLY meant was ‘x makes me uncomfortable because of my size and confidence’.

I guess in my early 40’s before I started all this I’d become convinced that with such advanced decrepitude came wisdom and that I knew myself.

In reality I think the truth is that we never really do. We know a version of ourselves.

We know next to nothing about how we are likely to react in social or intellectual situations that we’ve never been in before – or physically if we dramatically change for better or worse.

I guess the only certainty is that change is inevitable whether we like it or not, and that without it (like I did) we stagnate and become inflexible – unable to modify our way of thinking or shift our perspective on what life throws our way.

So – change is good. I’m trying to embrace it and the way it makes me feel – good and bad. It’s not to be feared. It’s to be embraced.

I just wish Internet that it wasn’t so damn cold at the moment! I can’t feel my toes!



  1. I think you are already well on your way with your own project confidence. The selfies are a really good start. Perhaps you can search the internet for some body positive youtube videos and pointers just to be a bit nicer to yourself? I started reading “Beautiful you: a daily guide to radical self-acceptance” at the beginning of my journey, but stopped after 30 days because I didn’t really feel like I needed it any more. So perhaps it can be a good start point for you as well? Via google books you can access a very large portion of the book for free, so perhaps it will be worth your while?

    Liked by 1 person

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