I realised the other day that it’s been four calendar months since I hit target.
Time has officially flown – and it’s been helped along by what’s becoming an absolutely scorching summer.
Every day seems hotter than the last at the moment – which oddly suits me just fine.
I’m not sure quite why the transition happened but when I lost weight and spent a lot more time outdoors my previously pallid and easily burned skin instead became easily tanned and just got on with the job at hand.
I used to hate this weather – and now I love it!
The other thing that’s really different this year is sleep – and maybe because I’m fitter, don’t snore any more and have a lower heart rate I don’t seem to get so hot in bed.
This is something that makes me seriously happy because there’s nothing worse than sleep deprivation.
I still occasionally suffer from it mind you.
Now though it’s because from time to time my mind won’t calm down (this could be related to caffeine but I love coffee too much to give it up) and I run through my day and plan things on the horizon over and over.
I think about other people too and their happiness. It occupies a lot of my time.
There is something else of equal importance however because I’m also laser focused on trying to stay on target – which is easy to lose sight of if you miss weigh ins.
Thankfully I have the scales of ultimate accuracy to keep me honest – and at the moment I’m still right where I need to be.
This is a real balancing act mind you.
In between my last and next weigh ins I’ve had to negotiate a company conference filled with free food, two meals out, a wedding and an evening with colleagues in the pub.
The week isn’t over either. Before I weigh in I have a another company conference full of free food and a meal out once again.
The only way to deal with this is try and be strict when I can, forgive myself if I can’t and just keep walking.
Often it’s the latter that keeps me sane – and at the moment I’m still keeping up a respectable average for June – although its not quite what I wanted.
I sat down a lot at the wedding last weekend – which didn’t help (there’s not much you can do to avoid that kind of thing) but it was totally worth it.
However as fun as it was I think it killed off off any chance of an epic weekend total and a new monthly average miles PB of 10.8.
It hasn’t stopped me from trying mind you – and straight after work yesterday I headed out for a walk in the direction of Stratford with a friend along National Cycle route 41.
It’s a really lovely walk (around five miles) from near the Longbridge Island at the M40 to the Wyvale garden centre.
Honestly though by the time it was finished I was melting and was really looking forward to the cool of my house.
It’s where I am now – with my feet on a large pouffe – and I’m currently thinking about something a reader raised earlier today as they commented on an old post.
I love it when this happens because not only does it prompt me to revisit things I said previously and decide whether I still feel that way but it also gives me another perspective on events.
In this case it was about the perception that men who go to Slimming World seemed more focused and just ‘got on with things’.
The comments relayed that it was nice to see things from a guy’s perspective and know that they too had a similar set of mountains to climb.
I’ve heard this before in the past in my own group – a belief that all men just seem to lose weight easily and it doesn’t bother them that they have to.
I don’t think I ever set out to prove that men struggle just as much as women (honestly I’m no crusader) but it does make me feel good that someone pointed out there were very few men out there blogging about the emotional landscape associated with weight loss and admitting that things are hard for them too.
We’re definitely not immune from fears about failure or how we’ll fit into the world, or indeed whether it and it’s inhabitants will love us when we’ve lost the weight.
As positive as I try to be there are days when I still look in the mirror and ask myself ‘who are you kidding?’
At times I feel I look a worn down mess of skin and stretch marks and it upsets me.
I’m still prone to thinking that people will judge me more for my failures than they will my successes and that every potential partner will view me as nothing but a network of scars – never seeing the man I am underneath.
The truth of it is it took me a LONG time to find the sense of balance (which at times is still fragile) I have now and to move away from the near constant fear of failure that I’ve built up after putting weight back on time and time again in the past.
However this time I think I’ve genuinely cracked it.
The man I am now feels like he’s going nowhere and that he’s learned from his mistakes. He sees the pitfalls and traps that are so easy to fall into and he knows how quickly they can lead to a vicious downwards spiral.
He’s absolutely determined that the new version of him becomes the only version forevermore.
The difference this time is that this is my life now.
It’s not a quick fix where I can ‘just go on a diet and then start eating normally’. It’s borne out of a desire to not live in the past, to not make the same errors and to be a role model to anyone that feels as lost as I once used to.
Every step forward I make is a gift – and it’s one that I never thought I’d still be here to receive or physically take.
So, when I’m out at a conference or a meal in a restaurant the temptation to indulge is always there – but it’s tempered by an understanding of what ‘treating myself’ truly means.
It’s not drinking alcohol, it’s not eating sugary desserts, and it’s not wolfing down fatty foods or deep fried carbs.
That’s hurting myself.
It’s hiding whatever problems I have with a quick fix and in reality all it does is diminish me.
Treating myself is saying ‘just a small amount’ or ‘no’ altogether and choosing a healthy option.
It’s going for a walk when everyone else is sitting on the sofa and it’s looking at my fitness stats with a sense of satisfaction as I fall asleep from genuine tiredness rather than slipping into a carb coma.
Ultimately internet – whilst sometimes I struggle to look at my body in the mirror I can now always look myself in the eye and smile.
That’s because what I’m looking at total hard work and commitment.
That’s why I’m so focused – and THAT’S why I’m getting my diamond target member badge.
It’s gonna happen.
Mark my words.