I’m always on the look out for the little victories associated with weight loss. Sometimes they pass me by unnoticed and at other times they loom much larger than expected.
Over the last two weeks my priorities have shifted somewhat with my Apple Watch objectives, and I’ve found quite unexpectedly that exercise has become something of a minor addiction – or at least the need to fill my stats has become a driving force behind my day.
All of a sudden the numbers on the Saturday morning weigh in scales have become slightly less important to me than my new objective of getting under 18 minutes per mile when walking.
Currently I’m stuck at around 18.5 on average – but crucially (although I can go no faster and at this speed my shins and calves are burning and complaining) I can maintain the pace without stopping for around two miles (even with gradients) – which is the exact distance from my house the coffee shop I often frequent in Leamington Spa.
I wish I had a long enough tape measure (or the presence of mind) to have noted down the girths of the various bits of myself before I began this recent push, because although I suspect I’m not losing too much weight I feel like I’m a little trimmer in my clothes – which is a lovely side effect.
All this would be absolutely smashing on its own and I’d be more than happy with this as a big enough win for the day (or week) until tonight when a friend texted me to say she’d had a fairly stressful day. After outlining the various factors that had been contributing to her daily woes she mentioned that she was really looking forward to a long soak in the bath before an early night.
It’s a green eyed monster.
I don’t feel it very often but I’ll admit to feeling it this evening. ‘I wish I could have a bath’ was the only thing going through my head as I replied to the text.
Older readers may already know the back story behind this thought but newer readers may not be so familiar with the challenges I’ve had not only getting into a bath but also getting out of one.
When I started my weight loss journey it was next to impossible in my tub at home. I just got wedged if I tried to sit in it and found it next to impossible to extract myself without considerable (and sometimes painful) floundering.
It was SO frustrating.
I missed having a soak in the bath SO much (showers are great but they’re not the same) that back in August I paid WAY above the odds when visiting my father in Wales to stay in a hotel room with a large bath so that I could enjoy for the first time in many many years the sensation of relaxing whilst submerged in hot water (post here).
I know from the miracle of obsessive blogging (and the back of my Slimming World book) that at that time I’d lost 4st 5lbs and was 30st 3.5lbs (post here). I’m now over five stone lighter than I was back then (and surprised at how much rounder my face looks in that post) but due to my mind’s occasionally warped self image I tend to think that’s not very much.
However it really is – because tonight I decided not to sit and feel jealous of my friend and her bubble bath but instead to try and get into my own bath again. It has after all been around six months since I last attempted it.
The first mistake I made was the amount of water I put in. Previously I had displaced a significant volume of liquid and soaked the bathroom floor if I put more than about six inches of water in the bath – so I err’d on the side of caution again.
Tonight I significantly underestimated how much I needed and initially found myself sitting in a hot puddle.
‘Ok’ I thought – ‘I’ll add more water’.
Now – logistically this would previously meant standing up and turning the taps on because physically I couldn’t easily reach them whilst sitting in the bath. There was too much stomach in the way.
Not any more. It’s still not 100% perfect but I can now lean forward and turn the taps on and off. Whats more – when I do the water flows either side of me instead of creating a dam of water thats ready to overflow.
The upshot of this is that I am immensely happy with my new wrinkly fingers – which were obtained after sitting in a steaming hot bath for 45 minutes. Most of this time involved me sticking my head under the water for a nice relaxing underwater experience whilst I listened to my Friday Night Comedy Podcast from Radio 4.
It was great.
Recently I wrote a post about non-scale victories, of which there have been a few in recent months.
However, compared to a lot of them – this… this is significant.
It’s moments like this that make all my aches and pains worth it – and I’m struck not just by what this means to me but the fact that I am appreciating things that to other people may seem inconsequential.
I’m warm and tingly all over and I suspect I’m going to sleep like a baby tonight (I’ve also walked around seven miles today which will help).
For all the downsides to being overweight and immobile for so long, one of the unexpected benefits of trying to lose it all and get fit is the ability to gain a renewed sense of perspective about an awful lot of little things in life – and to once again become immensely grateful for them.
You can be sure that I’m never going to take having a bath for granted ever again.
So internet, my soak and my prune like appearance have been my non-scale victories for the day. Now I’m going to go to bed for a very very very relaxed and tingly (even still slightly wrinkly) sleep to dream about getting under 18 minutes per mile.
(Zzzzz walk zzzz walk zzzz walk zzzz….)