It’s a lovely day.
When I say that I don’t mean it’s lovely I mean it’s LOVELY.
That’s not just because the sun is shining (it currently is) or because the sky is blue (that’s also the case) or because its warm enough to walk around with a teeshirt on (check) but because the world is full of people.
Some days I just happen to bump into ones I know all the time as well – and that’s probably what makes it so good.
That’s been happening all day so far.
There was a time I knew next to no-one locally (not even my next door neighbour) but these days I don’t have to go too far in my local area without meeting someone I recognise – even if it’s just in passing.
I even know the cheerful old ladies in the next street who live next door to each other because I walk past their bungalows and stop to chat occasionally about the weather and poke fun at them for checking out all the younger guys walking past as they sit outside keeping each other company whilst drinking lazy cups of tea.
This morning my first random meeting was at the Saxon Mill near my house – where a member of our mutual Slimming World cosa nostra was sipping a cup of tea with her mother in law.
We said hello and chatted briefly about how we were doing and the local area – with me suggesting some nice walks and their associated distances.
It’s great when you meet unexpected smiles around the corner.
I couldn’t stay too long however as there was an eager Boris with a squeaky ball nearby desperate to run around the nearby fields.
Since his recent back problems Boris has been undergoing a lot of physio and walking on a treadmill in a water tank to correct his slightly crab like gait when he trots. The work that my friend and his canine therapist have done together has definitely made him fitter and healthier – and the little guy seemed full of beans today.
He’s a real companion dog – and doesn’t take separation well (this is both a blessing and a curse I suspect) – but it always makes me smile to see how he watches his master and is rooted to his side at all times.
As we walked today I reflected upon my decision to NOT get a dog of my own 18 months ago. I’d dearly wanted one – but decided that it would make finding a job more difficult than it needed to be – and if I’m truthful I don’t really regret the decision.
It wouldn’t have been the right time back then – but at some point in the future it’s still on my bucket list. For the time being though I’m just enjoying sharing walks with friends’ dogs and the occasional poochsitting engagement.
I think I’ll know when the moment’s right. Then I’ll do it.
For the time being though I’m still just revelling in the freedom of a life and perspective that is currently without limitations.
I confided to a friend recently that whilst some people see me as determined and single minded (or stubborn) and view those traits as the reason I’ve had such recent success with weight loss, the truth (as with most things) is a little more complex.
Often I’m afraid. Really afraid.
I catch myself in moments where I see a shadow of my old behaviour and in that split second the memories of who I was, how I felt, what I looked like and what people must have thought of me come flooding back, and it’s this that causes my fear to kick in.
Yesterday evening it did a little.
Although I didn’t make bad individual choices I ate a LOT of good food yesterday evening.
Truthfully it wasn’t a massive amount compared to what I used to eat – and neither was it hugely calorific – but I nevertheless dread the arrival of the seemingly bottomless pit sensation that I occasionally feel I need temporarily become a slave to.
It’s this that provides my drive and it’s this that’s providing my impetus today.
I’ve been walking all morning on and off and I’m at around seven miles for the day so far. I won’t stop until I get to at least ten and I’m not going to eat much (hopefully) tonight.
At the moment I have a phrase that I hate in the back of my mind. It occasionally crops up in group.
‘People who are naturally thin.‘
It’s complete nonsense.
No one is naturally thin.
Every single time that I’ve screwed up with dieting it’s been because I got comfortable. I either relaxed half way through the process because I stared feeling healthier and happier and slipped into old habits – or I got to where I wanted to be and then thought I could eat ‘normally’.
The problem is that people like me don’t understand ‘normal‘.
How many times has someone said to you ‘my friend/brother/partner/etc can eat what they want and they NEVER put weight on!’
This is probably true in a way. They do eat what they want. They most likely can eat a kebab and a large bag of fish and chips – maybe have a few beers to wash it down and then reach for the Haagen Daas when they get home.
But do they then wake up and do it again first thing in the morning? Do they do it again the following evening? Do they go for a run? Do they have a much more active job?
It’s highly likely that their ‘night after the day before’ is completely different to the way mine used to be – because I’d just wake up and repeat the exact same behaviour all over again.
One of the hardest things to come to terms with in my life has been that there are no ‘naturally thin’ people – but there are ‘naturally self regulating’ people.
I also had to recognise that I can’t get to the ‘end’ of my Slimming World journey – and I’d be an idiot to try.
I’ll be doing this for the rest of my life because if I don’t I’ll end up doing the same things all over again and dying a miserable, bed ridden lonely death.
Wow. OK that was deep.
But it’s totally true.
I try to motivate myself with this every day – and each little fall from grace isn’t a failure. It’s a reminder that I have to work at being a ‘natural self regulator’ at all times.
If that makes me seem determined, or even obsessive then I’m fine with that.
Whilst it may be deep the side effects are continued happiness and vitality.
16 months ago my BMI looked like this.
To this man
The uncomfortable – but undeniable truth for anyone on a similar path is that what we have to do is accept that profound, lasting and meaningful change means never going back to the same habits that we had before. Only by breaking previous paradigms can we escape.
Only then internet can we become naturally thin.