So – now I have a new challenge in life.
It’s certainly not as sexy or attention grabbing as weight loss but (in every respect that counts) it’s now become my most important focus above all else.
If this is to be compared to evolution then it feels akin to Neanderthal me overnight becoming Cro-Magnon me.
I’m finally standing upright, beginning to use rudimentary tools and make fire.
(Goodness knows I need the fire now. It’s freezing! How have skinny people survived like this for so long?!)
The big fear that dogged me for a long time when I started my journey (one reader suggested I refer to it instead as an odyssey – but I suspect this epithet sounds a little too lofty and Homeric) is that I would once again begin to ‘yo-yo’ in weight.
I’m sure that many newer readers will not have noticed that back in the early days (and often rather darker moments) of my blog that I detailed past failures where this has happened (link).
The truth is that I’ve not only managed to lose 20st – but a decade ago I managed to lose approximately ten and for a brief period this is how I looked and felt.
At the time my approach to healthy eating was quite different though – and I fell off a temporarily successful wagon of meal replacements (despite the support of a lovely lady) and back into well trodden bad habits.
I put the weight back on at the rate of around a stone a month.
They were dark times and ones where I honestly lost the will to carry on. It sometimes seems like a miracle to me that I’m still here.
It’s not a place I EVER want to go back to.
The truth is though that whilst I’ve proven adept at both losing and gaining weight throughout my life – this time feels very different.
At the moment I genuinely think that I’ve learned from my past mistakes and that I’m mentally prepared for the challenge ahead.
This time I:
- Live my life in public and have made it largely impossible to hide private shame anymore
- I no longer drink
- I’m honest and open about everything I possibly can be to anyone that cares to ask me
- I seek the support of others all the time and draw strength from them when they give it
- I provide support in return whenever I can without judgement and try to pass on what I’ve learned when fellow travellers ask for help
- I have built exercise into my daily life in a way that is completely frictionless
- I follow a tried and tested healthy eating plan that promotes a group dynamic
- I religiously attend that group
- I have a passion in life that keeps me focused
All of this is different – and because of that I’m going into this new phase with enthusiasm and positivity.
It’s very early days but so far my week has been going ok (I think) and whilst I’ve been trying to remain off my scales (for the most part I’ve succeeded) they’ve also come in quite useful to gauge the sorts of fluctuations that appear to be normal with the human body.
This is not something I’m used to watching in any great detail so I’m going to have to learn about my biological rhythms.
Yesterday morning (after going up by four pounds after Malvern’s walking escapades) the scales of Ultimate Accuracy reported that I was once again at my target weight (actually I was a shade over at 14st 7.5lbs) which is comforting.
Oddly my numbers appears to fly up immediately after lots of exercise and then drop back down again a day or two later – which I put down to muscular fluid retention or digestive transit.
Although I’ve also been trying to process a rather overwhelming influx of congratulatory messages from social media (sorry if I’ve not replied to every comment – I’ve completely lost track) My first few days as a Target Member have mostly been about increasing my food intake slightly – because exercise wise there’s nothing to attempt to maintain.
It’s just part of daily life – and one less thing to worry about.
I make my six mile round trip walk to work regardless of the conditions and still average over ten miles a day week in and week out.
Food wise the advice from my Slimming World consultant (she’s been in regular contact bless her) is that I should now start to increase my healthy extra intake.
This initially seemed to be oddly counter intuitive and is definitely going to require a delicate balancing act. In my case at the moment I’m using weetabix and almond milk as both a treat and a ‘filler’ food in the evenings (or for lunch).
A large bowl of 5 (!) Weetabix (I use 3.5 syns for one of them) with unsweetened almond milk (Aldi Acti Leaf – chosen mainly because I can have 550ml – over half a litre -as a healthy extra and I like lots of milk on cereal to fill me up) a banana and various frozen fruits (strawberries, raspberries and blueberries are to be my favourites) really hits the spot at the moment – especially when you put it in the microwave for five minutes with cinnamon and eat it piping hot!
I’m also taking leftovers from my evening meals to work (or if I’m out and about) for lunch to make sure that I get the right energy intake for the day – and apart from still not being able to face breakfast (my day has always been upside down with regard to this and I doubt this will ever change) so far my days have slipped into a surprisingly normal routine.
Sadly at this precise moment that normality means climbing out of a lovely warm bed to face this.
Despite the temptation to use my car internet I can’t. I must walk to work every day. It doesn’t matter what the weather does – my objective is to overcome it.
My currently slender bottom will never again turn into a posterior of lard and this is how I ensure that.
Time to get up, have a shower, make a packed lunch and put on some warm clothes!!!