I feel better today. Much better in fact.
Friday night I hadn’t slept very well and this hadn’t helped my stress levels when I woke up. I’d been worrying all week long and my small gain was clearly WAY bigger in my mind than it needed to be.
That’s OK though. No-one is perfect – least of all me – and writing things down not only helps me to see that what I’m going through is perfectly normal, it also helps other people (or so they say when they contact me, which a few did yesterday) too.
In many ways when someone reaches out after I write a post to share their own (often very similar) feelings it makes having a mini meltdown almost worth the temporary anguish. This is because each time I go through it I’m reminded by others not how abnormal my feelings are – but how much like every one else I am.
To err is human – but there’s no denying that when we look in (both mental and physical) mirrors often all we see are flaws and imperfections.
This isn’t what other people see though – and the paradox of this tendency for (very normal) overly critical self analysis is that people actually love us more because of our imperfections – and not despite them.
We’re an complex species – and it’s not helped by the fact that the very things that tend to draw us to other people (vulnerability, fallibility and flaws) are the same traits that often we seek to eradicate or hide in ourselves.
Some years ago, for my birthday, an artist friend of mine (link) made me a picture – which was print of a Marilyn Monroe quote – “Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.”
This sits in my living room, and (because I can’t bring myself to hammer any nails into my wall) is propped up against the chimney breast opposite my armchair and I’ve looked at it every day since she gave it me.
However – like many things you see day in and day out, often they cease to mean anything at all. They still represent a thoughtful gift – but sometimes the words eventually become shapes and you don’t read them. It’s just there, like it was the day before, and the day before that.
However – as I was lacing up my walking boots in the hall today I glanced over and found myself drawn to them in a way that I haven’t before – because in that precise moment the words in the frame echoed my own thought process.
Whilst I’ve no desire to be absolutely ridiculous why should I care if I appear that way from time to time?
It’s normal! Why fight it? I like it in others, so why should I attempt to censure it in myself? I’m not perfect and I never will be. In fact the only certainty I have about the future is that I’ll probably fail at a lot of things in between doing some things right.
People that screw up here and there or are a bit left field interest me. They make me laugh – but above all else they make me think.
It was with this in mind that I embarked upon my first walk of the day, to meet my brother in town – where we discussed this in a variety of forms as we strolled around the park sipping coffee whilst armies of squirrels ran back and forth between trees with acorns and other tasty morsels.
Eventually after a few miles we stopped for coffee in a den of pure evil.
Everything looked like it was designed to make me put weight on just by being in it’s vague proximity.
Thankfully I wasn’t tempted – and while my brother tucked into scrambled eggs and bacon on toast I sipped my hot Americano coffee.
I’d woken up pretty early this morning and I’d unusually had breakfast at around 3am (yogurt and frozen berries with stevia and cinnamon) so honestly I wasn’t all that hungry thankfully – but after we parted I did buy 100g of sandwich ham to munch on for the walk back home. That’s only 116kcal as opposed to dietpocalypse in the photo above – so I can live with it.
Besides – I had more walking planned immediately afterwards, and as soon as I got home hopped in the car to head over to Crackly Wood in Kenilworth for a quick trek along the Greenway and back with a friend.
Walking through the wood you can really tell that autumn is here now – and although a lot of the trees still look really green the paths underfoot tells the truth of what’s going on.
They’re a symphony of warm yellows, oranges and subtle brown colours – and because of this I think that late September and early October is probably one of my favourite times of the year.
Whenever I see this for some reason it reminds me of the DVD cover from one of my top ten most loved films – which I must watch again soon – because it always makes me smile.
It’s ‘When Harry met Sally’.
As nice as Crackley Wood looks though it’s not a time to be walking around bare foot – as the chestnut trees here are dropping their seeds in huge numbers at the moment – and these spikey green balls are absolutely everywhere.
Unlike horse chestnuts these little swines are really really sharp – and picking one up requires some gentle handling. Holding one too tight results in a feeling that you’ve suddenly become a pin cushion for nature.
I do love wandering around the great outdoors – and like my trouser photos from yesterday this is something that I must always remind myself is something that’s possible only because of very hard work and persistence.
I don’t give up any more. and because of that this is now my new reality.
I have to make myself continually remember the TRUTH of my situation – which is that rather than failing to lose weight yesterday I’m actually succeeding overall – particularly with regard to exercise and inch loss.
My stats in this respect don’t lie. Not only am I wearing smaller trouser and shirts – but I’m still putting in the physical effort as well – and to underline this I’ve compiled another revision of my miles and step counts to (A) remind myself and (B) bore any poor fool who’s still reading.
Prepare for numbers suckers!
Regardless of what I tell myself on negative days I’m still getting fitter and still moving more and more. In the last two months alone (where for almost six weeks I was working full time in an office) I’ve walked almost 624 miles!
So – screw yesterday.
It’s already history, and I don’t plan to remember it for long. Today and tomorrow are new days – and they’re going to be full of walks, friends and lovely autumn colours.
Onwards and downwards internet! I will reach my Rubicon!