So far so good.
I’m keeping up my walking average as well as working – and up to this point it’s not been anything other then pleasurable. This week though I’ve been blessed with relatively clear weather – until this morning when for the first time it turned on me. The damnable downpour that happened overnight affected my sleep as well – and at 2am I was awoken (and every subsequent hour or so afterwards) by the sound of torrential rain outside.
When my alarm finally went off this morning at 7.30am (the first time I’ve needed it this week) it was still raining and to be frank I really wasn’t in the mood for setting out early for a longer walk/drenching than I absolutely had to have.
However as of yesterday I was actually ahead of my planned walking schedule (70 miles a week) and at the end of five days (I usually count from Saturday morning to Friday evening) when I hit the sack last night I was at 55 miles.
So far I’ve been accomplishing this with a combination of setting out early and walking a really long way to work, briefly popping out in my (short) lunch break and also walking in the evening – which I’ve managed to fit in twice this week with friends.
One of the things that I must admit has worried me a little about being newly employed is that my (lately very strong and extremely important) social circle has revolved around a lot of daytime twalking excursions. I’ve become a little preoccupied over the last four days with how I can make sure that I keep these going somehow.
I feel that they’re vitally important both to my sense of emotional well being – but also physical progress.
These frequent twalks have provided much impetus – and knowing that my calendar has been packed with lots of ever pending exercise has left me continually planning my next move – as well as ordering chats and conversation topics in my head for when I catch up with people after not seeing them for a while.
They’ve kept me alert in so many different ways.
(Author stops typing in his favourite coffee shop. He needs to get to work)
It’s now later on in the evening, and it’s been a packed day.
This evening a friend and I decided to go for a long walk around the outskirts of the Warwickshire Golf Club in Leek Wootton. It’s around 4.5 miles in total, and was a great way to top up my distance totals. As I type I’m now at 67 miles at the end of day 6.
This was just what the doctor ordered. I have a flame griddled brain. The only way to organise a frazzled mind however is exercise. Lots and lots of lovely exercise.
My new job is a LOT to take in. The training so far has been quite intense (but very good) and I’ve left every day so far feeling that I’ve probably forgotten more than I’ve remembered. Somehow though it seems to come back the day after and I realise I’ve soaked up much more than I thought I had.
We parked up near the church in Leek Wootton and after heading up a nearby marked path we were soon on the outskirts of what appeared to be the land of tellytubbies.
I’m no golfer – and I’m often left bemused about why people get so obsessed with such neatly manicured artificial hills or feel the need to whack little balls up and down them – but in the wonderful afternoon light today I could actually see the attraction.
It looked like a lovely place to spend some time, and I guess that these unusual people like to gwalk as much as I like to twalk.
The outskirts of this area (which forms part of the Millennium Way) are quite rural however, and although you never completely lose sight of the golf course you’re also not in a completely artificial environment – just one that’s quite well looked after.
It’s also a terrific place to see wildlife, and there were some really beautiful dragonflies floating about in the tall grass, along with lots of birds – but none of them wanted to pose for photos sadly.
However there were other, slightly less camera shy residents of the area that didn’t mind me zooming in for a closer look.
As nice as the wunny babbits and horsies were – both my companion and I quickly lost interest in all of them when we idly began munching the contents of the nearby hedgerows.
I keep meaning to carry food bags to collect blackberries so that I can freeze them at home – but always forget. Both of us were kicking ourselves after trying some of these because they were absolutely delicious.
So much so in fact that we stopped for a full fifteen minutes, fell almost completely silent and just stuffed our faces with absolutely natural and gratis SPEED FOOD. We must have eaten the equivalent of a generous punnet of these each, before finally moving reluctantly on with blackened fingertips and the warm, sweet taste of the sun ripened fruit still on our tongues.
By the time we reached the club house and took the path across the nearby field back into the churchyard the shadows were beginning to stretch further and further into the distance – making the clear blue sky and hazy orange light a wonderful combination for taking in the distant view of Warwick.
Sadly the days are quickly getting shorter though.
With the winter drawing in and people needing family time in the evening I suspect that my next few months of exercise will be largely solitary ones. If I’m honest this is the thing I feel more than a bit sad about when I think of my new job. Although I’m ecstatic to have secured it I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel a little in mourning for my loss of liberty.
However it is what it is. I need the change that something new will bring, and so far my mind is alive with new possibilities. In every other respect I’m ecstatic about how things are shaping up lately and I’ll keep going either on my own or by someone’s side.
Nothing is stopping me now.
However – as I walked home today, I couldn’t help but ponder what the future holds for me with regard to companionship.
Somewhat unexpectedly after yesterday’s post was shared throughout a whole load of Slimming World people via my consultant I had a rather large spike in traffic, and way more comments in social media than I expected to get, or have ever had before.
Amongst the many gracious people wishing me all the best for my new job and complimenting me on the before and after photos several of them asked me (with reference to my picture in the mirror) whether I was still single.
I’ve found it interesting that as I drop more and more weight this is a question that I get asked with ever increasing frequency. Although it’s something I really don’t mind (it’s quite flattering actually) it makes me reflect on why people ask it. I could look upon this with annoyance and think ‘why wasn’t I seen for the man I was inside rather than the shell on the outside?’
It’s pretty clear from the fact they’re mentioning it now that visually there are currently fewer barriers (other than the ones in my own head) existing to stop me finding a partner. It’s also clear that beforehand (when people viewed me differently because I was fat) that there were just as many barriers as I thought there were.
Or were there?
Was I really capable of having a relationship either physically OR emotionally?
Being a man in a jacket that fits, looking clean-shaven and smiling is more than it seems superficially, because I know that regardless of how bad I looked back then, who I was as a person was profoundly different.
I feel I now have more to offer everyone that enters my life – regardless of who they are or why I interact with them. I’m a person with significantly more to give than I ever was before – and I like to think that it’s not just my slimmer waistline that shows through in my photos, but the happier inner me that I’ve painstakingly recovered as I’ve returned to health.
Rather than surgery, in many respects I sometimes think I’ve been performing archeology on myself, and painstakingly brushing away topsoil to uncover everything that was previously buried and hidden from view.
The truth of it is that I chose to be single. It wasn’t about the weight initially – but as it became more of a problem I just accepted that I wouldn’t be a great catch for any lucky lady. As time went on I found I wanted it less and less, and suppose I just learned to be alone, making the most of other friendships instead to fill the gaps that traditionally a partner might have catered for.
Somewhere along the line I created a personal narrative in my mind that I didn’t want a partner, and as such I stopped thinking about it – but like so much of being overweight I am increasingly noticing that as I strip away the physical layers I also strip away the emotional layers that I buried myself in for years.
I’ve not felt a ‘spark’ for a long time – and I often wonder if whatever mechanism that previously caused it to happen in my mind still works. I’ve subconsciously said ‘NO‘ to love and relationships for so long that I think I’ve forgotten how to switch it back on.
Maybe now internet, as the nights draw in and the summer slowly cools it’s time to think about where I find warmth – and when I do who I’ll choose to share it with…