This morning I got out of bed after waking up early and reading for a while. I couldn’t get back to sleep so I decided that I’d go out for a walk that was a bit longer than my usual route to the office.
It was a nice day for it!
There’s no denying though that it was cold today. I think Alexa’s virtual teeth were chattering when she reported to me that it was -3 degrees centigrade in Warwick this morning.
However – if teeny tiny flowers can survive then so can an increasingly skinny Davey – so I put my thickest gloves on, pulled up my thermal socks and grabbed a hot flask of coffee.
It was worth it. The park looked fantastic this morning and despite not being able to feel my face by the time I arrived at work I was in a really good mood. I actually found myself dancing along the road at one point when a particularly bouncy song popped up on my random playlist.
Now I’m really REALLY close to my target weight I have been thinking about both my progress and the steps I’ve taken on my journey. It’s a nice feeling to look back at where I started in the context of where I’ve now managed to get to, and this morning when I couldn’t sleep I was reading some of my old posts.
I have a real sense of accomplishment and pride associated with what I’ve achieved and I can honestly say some years ago that I felt the way that I look in the photo above about almost nothing in my life.
Instead of the happy man in the park taking pictures of frosty crocuses I almost never went out (aside from to go to work) and considered myself a complete failure in any context that I felt mattered.
Thankfully these days I don’t think about myself that way.
I’ve persevered – remaining almost completely on track and focused for nearly two years of my life – which is something that’s never happened before.
It makes me positive and energised when I consider the future because I’ve proven to myself (and others) that nothing is impossible.
However it can also be quite upsetting to look back at the situation that I ended up in and relive some of the associated emotions that I felt as I crawled slowly out of my predicament.
As I lay in the dark reading back over posts containing little triumphs I felt a variety of emotions. It’s both saddening and joyful to revisit moments of small (but very important) change – like suddenly realising I could mow the lawn without having to sit down several times, or having a bath instead of a shower for the first time in a decade.
I experienced again the joy of of finally being able to walk the half a mile to my diabetic eye screening whilst only having to sit down four times on the way home (a victory at the time) and once again felt the pain of being abused in public by people intent on belittling me for reasons that I still fail to understand.
However the one post that always stops me in my tracks when I re-visit it is this one.
Not so long ago when I did a talk at a local Slimming World group a man walked up to me afterwards and introduced himself. He was (it turned out) my old Dominos Pizza delivery driver – and back in the ‘bad old days’ (my words not his) he had the pretty busy task of driving back and forth to my house with tasty treats.
‘You ordered a lot of pizza.’ He said matter of factly to me after he introduced himself.
I did. It’s true.
Back in 2015 (when I first put my Apple Watch on my wrist) I needed a lot of calories just to sit in my armchair and drive to work.
Just being me required a huge amount of energy.
This ridiculous calorie burn initially made me think my watch was broken but back in that post a year ago I finally sat down and worked out what I used to consume in late 2015.
At the time it blew my mind.
It still does.
Way to work (1130kcal)
• Two double sausage and egg McMuffins – 1130kcal
Sandwiches eaten at desk (1725kcal approx)
- 6 thick slices of hand cut bread (usually this was half of an in-store supermarket bakery 800g wholemeal loaf) (952kcal)
- Benecol light spread – I guesstimate approx 20g (64kcal) per slice (total 384kcal)
- Two packs of 125g ham – 290kcal
- 3x tomatoes (67kcal each) and cucumber slices (10kcal) – (201kcal)
- Two packets of Mccoys crisps (multipack ones are 141kcal each) (282kcal)
Evening meal (1595kcal)
- Sainsburys 800g Taste the difference shepherds pie (850kcal)
- Approx 500g oven chips (McCain Home fries) (745kcal)
Snacks and alcohol (3023kcal)
- Sainsburys house Soave 2.25l (I would typically drink all of this – per 125ml Soave is approx 79kcal so it totals 1422kcal)
- 200g ‘sharing’ bag of Doritos (894kcal)
- Ginsters large Cornish pasty (707kcal)
Total (if I didn’t have an evening takeaway instead of a ready meal) – 7473kcal
If any of this needs putting into perspective I don’t think that I’ve consumed much more in the way of daily calories over the last two weeks than were in my single box of sandwiches and crisps eaten at my desk for lunch back then.
It’s incredible, and it’s a world away from who I am today.
However, while I can be temporarily transported back to the past by reading these posts, their content seems largely alien to me now given the current levels of fitness and drive that I have. When I’m so close to success the problems associated with this long and dark period in my life now seem distant and remote. The habits I indulged in belong to another man who I hope is now consigned to history.
The old moribund me consumed all of the above day after day after morbid day.
In contrast the new me sat next to a desk that looked like the picture above for most of the afternoon, watching his team eating donut after donut without feeling even the least bit deprived. It’s nice to see them enjoying themselves.
Me? I don’t call this enjoyment or a treat any more.
My treat dear internet will either come tomorrow, or next Saturday, or the Saturday after when I stand on the scales, see the magic numbers 14st 8.5lbs and finally become a Slimming World Target Member.
There’s no donut in the world with enough frosting or succulent filling to make me feel as good as that’s going to feel – and no food or drink can ever fill the hole that’s created in anyone by emotional pain. Only facing up to problems and working day by day toward a solution can do that.
Here’s to success. Not donuts.