It’s always difficult to say what will constitute a milestone in life – as often you’re unaware of a moment’s significance until it’s placed into historical context.
Others you can see coming a mile away and you know that they’re going to remain with you forever.
I’m lying in bed thinking currently about two such events.
The first (and the one that didn’t register as significant) was the day in 2015 that I put an Apple Watch on my wrist after an impulse purchase. Without me fully realising what I’d done it began tracking and reporting upon my habits.
It’s still there today – but both my wrist and the strap – which is now around an inch smaller – seem quite different.
This is partially because it’s carefully plotted how far ‘new and improved’ Davey has walked – which is almost 3,900 miles since he started Slimming World. It’s taken 7,918,184 steps for him to do so.
Over time Apple Watch been silently pushing me to do more every month and get fitter and fitter.
I think the data speaks for itself (apart from July 2017 when my watch was in for repair and it wrecked my stats).
It makes me really proud to see how much I’ve changed over the time period captured in these charts.
The second and more obvious moment was being made redundant from a job I’d had for over a decade and a half in mid 2016. I blogged about it here. It was a really sad day as I walked out of the door for the very last time and surrendered my access pass.
This photo was my last moment in an office full of people that had always accepted the Davey that struggled in life and they didn’t judge me. In that environment I was treated as a colleague and a friend.
I was judged on ability to do my job and my personality rather than my increasing dimensions – and I felt comfortable there.
In some ways I think this sense of ease and belonging may have enabled me to defer dealing with my problems for a lot longer than I should have – but when I was made redundant my job coming to an abrupt end also helped to make profound change possible, and I grabbed the opportunity with both hands.
This evening is my Christmas party with my old colleagues. It’s a chance to see friends that I’ve known (in some cases) for 17 years and to catch up with people who still feel like family to me in many ways.
I’m really looking forward to seeing them – but I might not have felt the same way not so long ago.
As I’ve mentioned before, one of the consequences of regular and significant weight gain in the past was profound shame. I avoided firm friends for the flimsiest of reasons because I began worrying sometimes a month in advance about how they would perceive me and how they would deal with the fact that their massive friend was even more massive than the last time they saw him.
I was thinking on Monday as I walked to meet for the first time a relative stranger (that previously I’d only interacted with on the internet – link to my post / link to her post) how my approach to things like this has changed.
I was no longer filled with dread over how I would be perceived. I wasn’t fatter or less healthy – I was actually thinner and infinitely fitter than I’d previous been in my life. I felt pride rather than shame – and that was immensely empowering. It meant that I could meet someone new with my head held high, both metaphorically and physically.
Anyway… I better get ready and go to my party.
(author meets his old colleagues.)
Well (thankfully) they haven’t changed a bit. They’re all still lovely people with the same (if not more) warmth and happiness immediately evident in their eyes when they see me and each other. They might be living different lives and experiencing new things but they’re still the team I remember and it’s been great to see them.
Some even consented to appear in my blog!
They’re just as smiley as they ever were – and it’s a pleasure to stand amongst them now as a physical equal. It’s also nice to talk to them about how I’m doing in life (as well as learn what’s new in theirs) and look them in the eye as someone that feels he is on the right track, rather than someone who felt the end was getting closer and closer.
I dearly hope we all continue to keep in contact because I for one plan to be around for a long time to pester them – and thanks to the miracle of Facebook they’re never too far away to say hello to.
Anyway internet. It’s weigh in day tomorrow. I’ve been very good this week and if there’s any justice I’ll lose more than a pound tomorrow. I’ve definitely done enough walking to deserve it!