It’s fair to say that this week and last have been ones where I feel I’ve really struggled to remain on course.
I mean this from both an emotional and dietary perspective – and I’d be lying if I said that I hadn’t been thinking about eating pretty much everything around me during pretty much every moment of every day.
The beginning of the week seemed to be worse than the last few days – in which I’ve managed to metaphorically grab myself by the shirt collars and give myself a good hard slap.
For the first time in a very long time I’ve found my subconscious constantly whispering negative things in the background. It’s also been pretty vocal in it’s opinion that I should ignore healthy eating and instead ‘treat myself’ to something ‘nice’.
It’s only the benefit of hindsight that tells me where this ultimately leads however – and it’s definitely NOT to Davey’s happy place.
I know from bitter experience that this inner narrative, telling me I should relax my focus, is instead another disguised voice that’s actually worried about many other things, and looking for comfort in its old habits, because it knows that in the short term it’s an answer of sorts.
I’ve lost count over the years of the number of times this seductive voice has said ‘you’ve had a hard day – you deserve to relax and have some decadent snacks or drinks’.
It’s led to the evening flying by in a blur and ending in either a food coma or a hangover (or both) and I have to continually remind myself of the grim reality of not maintaining focus.
Diabetes for one is in the rear view mirror. It’s on a big, gas guzzling motorbike, and although I lose sight of it’s bright headlamp from time to time I have to imagine it as something that’s always in dogged pursuit.
It’s not gone.
I’m convinced it’s merely lurking in the background.
However despite my somewhat gloomy assessment and the potential for its return one day this is also something I view as a benefit.
When I think how lucky I am to have reversed the condition it helps to keep things in perspective when I have weeks like this.
I also keep looking at the inches I’ve lost – which at the moment is a big motivator – because for the first time there are no clothes in my wardrobe that I consider ‘aspirational’.
They all fit.
However I don’t think it’s going to be a good result today – which is a shame because I feel I need one.
(Author goes to group – but not before sitting quietly in his spare room for a moment looking at clothes and then deciding to take something with him to help him re-focus)
Well – it’s as I feared. I’ve managed (after last week’s maintain) to put three pounds back on.
I’d like to say that this doesn’t matter to me. I’d like to say it means nothing in the great scheme of things – and I’d like to say I don’t feel really upset – but I’d be lying.
I feel like I’ve let myself down and the tipping point that I wanted to reach where I have lost more than I weigh is now a little bit further out of reach than it was this time last week.
As I sat down after the result, every part of me felt like it was sagging.
I don’t mean in a physical, rolls of fat kind of way – I mean that I felt dejected. In the moments after stepping off the scales I felt just like a football with its air slowly escaping. I didn’t feel the usual indignation I have when I have a gain.
Usually in response I want to kick the stuffing out of the week ahead – but today I felt like the only thing getting a kicking was me.
It’s all in my head though.
It always is.
No-one else is thinking about me in negative terms or questioning my ability to carry on. It’s only my fear talking and I need to just pull my socks up and get on with it.
The image therapy session began as usual and bit by bit Angie worked her way through the people on her tablet until she reached me and noticed the gain I’d had.
She looked up, a little surprised – and asked if I was OK and whether it was expected.
I told her and the group that I’d eaten like an idiot for the first four days of the week – and counted virtually nothing the way I should have. I confessed to snacking on lots of cold faggots from the Tesco deli counter (162kcal each) and to just generally losing the plot a bit.
Then – in response to her query about how I was going to re-focus – I pulled my security blanket out of my bag.
My old trousers.
I put them in my bag before I left the house because firstly I really needed to remind myself what I’ve done and how far I’ve come.
Secondly I badly needed to draw on the support of the people at the group and have them lift me up.
When I heard the gasps from new members who had never seen me at my worst and the exclamations of incredulity from the regulars (many of whom were there on my very first day) it reaffirmed everything.
The people that I see every Saturday know how hard it was for me back then to walk, move, sit breathe and get up and down the stairs into the school hall. Their reactions help me remember the feelings that brought me there in the first place.
I kept the trousers on for the rest of the meeting, resting my flask of coffee in the sagging crotch, and occasionally folding my arms in there.
The lady next to me commented in a whisper that she couldn’t believe the difference and rubbed my shoulder.
As I gazed down while Angie continued and children played nearby I thought idly that as well as a coffee I could probably have fitted a few bags of shopping in there as well.
The ridiculousness of this item of clothing isn’t lost on me. The excesses required to make me big enough to wear them seem obscene to me now – and as everyone looked at me in amazement I remembered how it used to feel to be stared at for all the wrong reasons.
Back then I was a failure. I couldn’t cope with anything – but I can now.
Today when I woke up I felt weak. When I stepped off the scales I felt deflated and down. These feelings are transient though and they won’t control me.
A small detour isn’t a failure – it’s just part of the process.
By the time I left the group today I felt accepted, understood, supported and capable of picking myself up, forgetting the bad week I’ve had and trying again.
I’m not where I want to be yet internet – BUT I WILL BE SOON.