This week has not been a normal one for me by any measure. Although in my core activities of work and socialising little has changed there’s been a continual nervous tension in my mind because of an upcoming event.
I’ve had little sleep because my mind has (as it tends to do) been working overtime and in my personal and creative life I’ve been working much harder than I normally would.
This weekend I have something to attend that is quite nerve wracking – and on top of wanting to look my absolute best I’m also keen to make a memorable personal impression.
In many ways previous posts relating to social awkwardness and a need to just practice and get better have been related to this moment and I really don’t want to screw it up.
(Author thinks for a little while about what to type…)
I’m cautious about saying too much regarding this event. It feels like if I do that I’m tempting fate – and just asking for something to go wrong. However it’s already been announced in a couple of places in social media (not by me) – so here goes…
Tomorrow I go to Slimming World Headquarters once again – because I’m a semi-finalist in their 2018 Man of the Year competition.
I’ll be up against 39 other very worthy slimmers and we’ll all be sharing our journeys whilst talking openly in groups of five about what brought us to the points that we’ve reached.
Ten of us will be picked by judges (two from each group) and they will then go forward to the final in the afternoon. One will ultimately win the title and quite a bit of press.
It’s all a bit scary.
The potential and possibilities are difficult to divert my mind from.
Mostly though I’m just hoping and praying that it will go well and that I don’t make a muppet of myself in front of everyone attending.
What will be will be though.
I’m going there with no ego and no expectations of anything. The other people have just as much right as I do to win – so what will be will be.
Whatever happens I have a wonderful life now and that’s the only reward I really need.
Anything else is just healthy gravy on a food optimised feast.
The last seven days haven’t all been about worry mind you and thanks to the company and support of some really great friends I’ve been very much enjoying the weather and a lot of twalking.
I’ve also been intrepidly documenting the local wildlife and whilst doing so my friends have been making their own little records of my behaviour and posting them on social media.
There’s little incentive needed when it comes to requests for walks in the countryside – and no prompting at all required when I spot a blog worthy butterfly.
These jaunts have all been bookended with lots of hearty meals (all food optimised of course!) and the other day I was invited for dinner at my consultant’s house for her favourite meal – which apparently is salad, potato wedges and mounds of slow cooked gammon.
Like me she just loves healthy platefuls of filling food.
It’s soooooo nice to be able to go somewhere and not think about what’s in the meal you’re eating, how it’s been cooked or whether it’s on plan.
It’s also nice to see what a gammon joint tastes like after it’s been in a slow cooker all day – because annoyingly although she’s mentioned it in group again and again I’ve never tried to do this myself!
I’ve really been missing a trick!!!
As I ploughed through dinner (and second helpings) we discussed the big day ahead, being at target and lots of other things.
It’s fair to say that we covered some quite unexpected topics – and that our conversation got pretty deep at times.
It’s usually the case that this blog has been about me and how I feel – but it would be remiss of me to not say that none of where I am today would have happened without my support networks.
I have the privilege of knowing some truly lovely and caring individuals that have helped me make many sweeping changes over the last couple of years.
…and they’re still there.
All of the time.
Whether I’m holding things together or I feel as if everything’s falling apart it’s never mattered to them.
They’re a total constant in my life through (quite literally) thick and thin.
Angie is a massive part of this network – and from a consultant point of view (in my humble opinion) she’s just about the best there is.
From a personal standpoint she’s also frankly the dogs b******s because no problem is too small and no crisis is something that can’t be fixed. She manages to make everyone around her in private and in group feel included, special and cared for.
Although I’m allegedly a pretty determined guy in my own right no man is an island – and I need my Saturday morning group to keep me focused.
She makes that happen – week in and week out.
To make so many people feel so welcome with consistent regularity is a skill few can mange and she only pulls it off because it’s something she genuinely loves doing.
I realised quite early on that every single member is personal to her and whilst she could treat her consultancy as a job she doesn’t – because it’s about helping people just like me.
When this woman gives a hug she means it.
Away from the comfy bubble of friends and walks though it’s been all hands to the mental pumps – and by night I’ve been thinking, writing, refining, exercising, preparing and generally being a hive of activity.
As I’ve been collecting my thoughts since I last stood on the scales I’ve definitely been on more of a mission than I normally would have.
After totting up my stats for this week I realise I’ve walked 87.5 miles.
Some might say I’m obsessed with this (they may have a point if they do) but I have always felt that it’s primarily this that’s kept everything else in check.
As soon as I became able to walk and realised what the benefits were when combined with healthy eating I couldn’t conceive of ever wanting to slow down.
Especially when I’ve gone from this
From a cumulative distance point of view I’ve also recently achieved a milestone I’m very proud of.
Since starting Slimming World I’ve now walked from San Francisco to New York AND BACK AGAIN!
This absolutely boggled my mind when I saw it all in a table and on a map.
I now find it inconceivable that I was EVER the 34st 8.5lbs man that hobbled into Angie’s class back in April 2016 – and (thankfully) many memories regarding his daily pain and emotional distress are becoming a distant fog.
I’m getting sentimental.
I’m going to weigh in today and because of what’s on the horizon I’ve been on a mission to push myself to the bottom end of my target weight.
Hopefully I’ve smashed it! We shall see!
(Author goes to group)
It’s been a great week for weight loss it seems – and even though it’s been hot and steamy weather I’ve pressed on and seen the results on the scales.
Today (believe it or not) I actually lost six freakin’ pounds!!!
This was above what I expected and means that I’ve managed to get a new award and in honour of it I’ve adjusted my target and revised it down slightly to 14st 3.5lbs.
Sadly there’s no accompanying certificate or sticker big enough in Angie’s box – and since I’m kind of already at target I’m not sure if I qualify for one!
I don’t really mind though.
Today I’m at the bottom of my new range, meaning I’ve set myself a task of remaining below 14st 6.5 for at least the next seven and a half months.
At that point hopefully I’ll get my diamond target member award – which will be the cherry on a very tasty virtual cake.
Anyway internet. I need to continue preparing.
Wish me luck!