I own red

It’s fair to say that whilst I’m very much enjoying my new job that there was a mild, almost barely detectable mood of happiness when I left the office last night to begin a week’s break over Christmas and new year.

Only those with a trained eye (possibly a seasoned police detective) would have spotted the signs though.


I would no doubt make an excellent poker player.

This is the first time that I’ve ever had a job that does this for it’s staff. Previously all of my work around this time of year has been for operations centres that have a 24x7x365 presence.

Any such lengthy time off over the holiday season had to be bartered for with colleagues and agreed many months in advance.

I have no complaints that I have to use some of my (yet to be earned) holiday allowance to make it happen. It enables me to do a lot that I’d have otherwise struggled to do (such as be in for my new washing machine later in the week).

In the meantime though I’m now stressing again about weight loss. It’s been playing on my mind that last week (when I unexpectedly gained three pounds) I technically lost my 19 stone certificate (although it’s mine and Angie would have to fist fight me in a cage to get it back lol).

I’ve now been ill for two whole weeks with the flu. I feel that during this period my eating hasn’t been quite as regimented as it was back in October when I had such good progress (check old posts tagged as #onplanoctober). The more run down and crappy I’ve felt the more likely I’ve been to reach for the fruit or have a second bowl of stew.

The positives of periods like this however are that I’m reminded what a ‘bad’ week looks like these days. In reality it contains absolutely nothing really ‘bad’ and only has over consumption of salad, fruit, low fat natural yogurt, cottage cheese, pickles, lean meat and coffee.

I’ve avoided every last cake and sweet that’s been waved under my nose (on an almost daily basis) in the office for the whole of the run up to Christmas.

I haven’t touched a single one.

It’s still possible to put weight on eating ‘good’ food though and thats always on my mind.

I’ve been keeping a close eye on my exercise and despite being ill I’ve managed to keep my activity going throughout November and December.

My personal target has been (for a while now) to maintain a daily average of 10 miles walking distance.


(It’s worth noting that I had some technical issues with Apple Watch in June and July – so the totals on my iPhone health app remain irritatingly incorrect. They should be a lot higher, which is why I also keep separate stats.)

Despite all of the snow and rain we’ve had lately since I started my job on the 6th November I’ve only had to use my car twice. I estimate that this means that I’ve already walked 180 miles backwards and forwards to my place of employment.

In practical terms this not only means that I keep fit – but also that I’ve saved around £45 in fuel costs. Depending on petrol prices I suspect this means I’d be around £350-£400 a year better off, on top of being lots healthier and happier.

I might even ring fence that money and use it for something significant (such as a little climbing holiday in the lake district or Scotland) because to me it represents one of many savings that can easily be made in pursuit of a better lifestyle.

I know that not everyone has the luxury of being able to walk to work – but often they can park further away when they get there. There’s always a way to turn £££’s spent into lbs lost.

However – back to weighing in stress.

I’m thinking about all of the above because I’m readying myself for a less than stellar result this morning (don’t I always though!) and this week it feels even more important than usual because of my radio appearance next Friday (link).

I don’t really want to rock up to the BBC and have to admit that I no longer have my 19st certificate that I’ve put a bunch of weight back on – so this is playing on my mind.

However – in some respects there’s maybe a benefit to not being perfect and showing my fluctuations – because no-one is. I’ve also noticed that traffic to my site has often spiked the most when I’m feeling down (although this thankfully doesn’t happen often) or going through difficulties rather than just when I post stories of continued progress.

Arguably however learning how to deal with ‘failure’ and not implode (and therefore eat all the pies) could also be considered progress as well…

I think what writing this blog has taught me over a prolonged period of time is that we often don’t look for ‘perfect’ in others. We look for someone that’s gone through the same doubt and worries that all of us do and then watch to see how they’ve navigated it’s choppy waters so that we too can try and find our own way through something similar.

So maybe the answer is not to worry about any kind of perceived ‘failure’ I may or may not have had – but to just remember that we all get sick, and we all struggle to control our impulses, no-matter how far we’ve come in life we all just work to succeed as best we can.

Maybe this is what ‘naturally slim’ looks like?

Anyway – I must get ready. It’s the final meeting at Slimming World before Christmas and there’s a food tasting event and I need to prepare my snacks.

I suspect it’s going to be a little quiet in group today – but hopefully there a few tasty things to try too!

(Author weighs in)

Well Slimming World was fun today! We played party games and ate all the lovely food that we’d prepared for eachother. I also won something in pass the parcel (second year running!) and got a voucher for a free week that will come in really useful!

I’d decided to take a shortcut of sorts and prepare some couscous dishes (roasted veg sachet sourced from Aldi) which were quick and easy to make. I combined them with some of the Tesco’s Finest range of salads and some onion and mushrooms fried in spray oil.

Although there were some syns involved (I didn’t use the sugary dressing that came in a pot with the beetroot salad) these are what I view as good ones.

They’re not empty calories – and instead of being crisps or chocolate they’re filling and wholesome. These are the types of things I’m taking to work for lunch (although I usually make my own salads) and they stop me from snacking.

This approach to syns and the aforementioned exercise must be working – because I had a good result on the scales.

Whatever got (metaphorically speaking 😏) ‘stuck in the pipes’ last week appears to have dislodged itself and I managed to lose five pounds!

This means that I’ve not only officially got my 19st certificate back but that I’ve also made a start towards my next one. I’m now 5lbs short of my nineteen and a half stone award and (mind bogglingly) twelve pounds away from my twenty stone certificate!!!

Anyway – that’s all of my news for the time being. I feel really Christmassy today – because one of my oldest friends is coming over and I can’t wait to hang out and catch up.

We’ve known eachother long enough for Christmas to feel absolutely incomplete if we don’t manage to get together – so this evening both of our seasonal itches get resoundingly scratched.

In the meantime I found a really ace (large) fleecy top in a charity shop for £3.75 yesterday and I’ve realised that I rather like wearing red now.

In the past I always avoided it because I felt it would draw attention to me – when I wanted to instead feel completely invisible outside the house.

People bullied me and called me names anyway without the need for me to paint a big red target on myself – and the inevitable comparisons to Santa Claus happened every time I wore something even vaguely similar to this colour.

Now I don’t care. I flipping love it in fact.

I own red now internet. It’s mine. I’ve planted my flag in it and you can’t have it back!



  1. Such a lovely upbeat update. Really pleased that you don’t need to fight Angie over that 19st certificate, you wouldn’t look good with bruised!

    Strange that you should now mention a new love of red, maybe Father Christmas already knew that about you 😉 xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Remarkable! I know your Dad is very pleased with your 5 pounds off achievement. But amusingly, you are now lighter than him! He was15 stone 10 pounds last week! Don’t tell him I told you. Keep it absolutely quiet on your section of the internet. Are you going to record your radio interview so any who miss it can hear it later?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Whoot! that’s absolutely wonderful that you lost 5 pounds. But what’s even greater is that you have gained the confidence to wear that really nice red fleece that looks great on you. Red is definitely your colour (also hoping this comment gets through: cause wordpress is not allowing me to post comments on your blog T_T… it has been mean to me for a week now)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My friend in Poland, whom you inspired to get an exercise bike (2,500 km. so far), got the news of your weight loss while waiting in an opera house to watch the Nutcracker Suite. She emails me: “Congrats to Dave!”

    Liked by 1 person

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