Not SAD in the sunshine

Some years ago in the late 90’s I was a care worker and I looked after adults with learning disabilities.

One of the guys I regularly supported was often pretty darned grumpy during winter months. It was around this period that I came across the term S.A.D. (Seasonal adjustive disorder) for the first time when his GP diagnosed him with it.

I have to admit back then I thought that it was absolute nonsense and yet another example of a medical establishment intent on medicalising pretty much everything.

The guy was – in my view – just naturally cantankerous and wasn’t a particularly nice person to support. He had a lot of physical as well as mental problems and if I was him I’d probably have grown up to be a bit of a swine to other people too.

I’d go so far as to say toward the end of my time in the job I’d developed a real dislike for him and his very challenging (and at times violent) behaviour and in retrospect I think this coloured my view of his diagnosis.

I also used myself as a yardstick.

I barely saw sunlight and I was just fine at home with the pallid glow of my games console shining through my TV thank you very much.

I got all the UV radiation that I needed right there.

Fast forward to today – and the sky is blue, it’s warmer and as I’ve been walking around my mood has been noticeably enhanced by the arrival of sunlight and colour.

Maybe there’s something in it after all – or maybe it’s natural for everyone to just feel a bit downbeat when everything is grey.

I’m definitely not alone in making the most of this brief interlude between the almost constant rain and snow lately.

Although still under house arrest my regular twalking buddy is currently making the most of her third week of incarceration.

Like Aung San Suu Kyi before her she’s realising that there are fringe benefits to being able to relax with an attentive prison guard (a rather nice Scottish fellow in this case) nearby to make occasional cups of tea…

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. That lady knows how to rock a hammock…

(Author ruminates briefly on the subject of hammock rocking then moves on)

As I mentioned yesterday I do have things to do today and I’ve already made a start on some of it. I’ve been going through some of my wardrobe overload this morning and being brutal with things.

If it’s loose then it’s gone is my motto currently.

There are one or two items that aren’t loose however, and although I can get into these trousers and jeans it’s virtually impossible to move when I’ve done so. Sitting down in them means it’s almost certain that (ahem) ‘man globe’ damage will occur and although they’re currently under utilised I still plan to employ them in the future.

My swanky Paul Smith jeans therefore must remain neatly folded in my wardrobe. One can’t be too careful when it comes to one’s special parts.

In all seriousness the truth of it is that there’s a bit of me that feels I might have stopped too early with my weight loss. I’m still in the process of deciding whether my ‘problem area’ (don’t we all have them?) around my waist is something that I’m happy to live with or whether I have to do some more work to lose it.

The issue is that the rest of me is now really skinny – and on my upper body around my biceps and shoulders I can’t pinch any fat at all. I can see the veins clearly in my arms and above them is basically just my skin.

My waist is different however. There I can definitely pinch some fat. Quite a lot if I’m honest – but people have told me over and over that I shouldn’t lose any more weight and I’ve tried not to be bull headed about it.

It doesn’t make me particularly unhappy – and I’m aware that losing more weight will probably make me look too gaunt – but part of me would really like to get rid of it.

I’ve pretty much ruled out any surgical options (before anyone asks – which they tend to do a fair bit) because I’m of the opinion that this is pure vanity.

Cutting bits of yourself off and throwing them in a bin sounds like the script of a horror movie rather than a way to approach life.

So – that leaves either more weight loss (I am after all still two stone above what the NHS considers to be a healthy BMI) or an acceptance that this is just me now.

I’m in no rush to decide either way.

I promised myself that I’d take some time to decide how I felt about being at target and my arbitrarily chosen weight of 14st 7lbs is the right one or not and I’m only one month in.

I’ve had some people (one guy in particular who I always thought was pretty fit and well proportioned) tell me that I’m now lighter than they are – which makes me feel decidedly odd because I’m still bigger in my head.

It’s nice to know that where I’ve stopped isn’t odd though – especially if I choose to remain there!

Anyway. The little fluffy clouds are beckoning me and I need to listen to their call. I have much to do with the day and I’ve barely touched my coffee whilst nattering to you internet!



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