I’m a man that feels he is need of a win today, despite (to all intents and purposes) already being someone that’s winning.
Outwardly things are often very different to what’s on the inside though, and I (like many people on the same journey) have times where everything tastes of ashes. I know that dark days are little more than fleeting moments though in the great scheme of things – and that all it takes is the gradual passage of time to get over anything – but occasionally perspective is elusive and there are times where I can’t seem to find it.
The last three days on and off (despite what outward appearances may have suggested) have witnessed me feeling like this.
It doesn’t seem to matter how far I walk at the moment because there are thoughts that I just can’t escape easily. Elements of my emotional landscape that previously seemed secure and comfortable now feel like I’m trying to hammer a square peg into a round hole and I can’t understand why.
Some things can’t be changed though.
You just have to deal with them for what they are, try to accept them and focus on the things that you can make a difference with. I’ve learned the hard way via many many mistakes and failures in life that regardless of what happens there is always a way through it that doesn’t involve self destruction.
So many times in the past I told myself that because I felt down I deserved a junk food treat, or that alcohol was the answer to my problems, and not once did the bulging waistlines or epic hangovers do anything but make me feel even lower than I was before.
There are some days though…. Some days when I want to just say #### it and give in to my absolute worst impulses. Sometimes I do with regard to food – but that’s OK as long as I forgive myself and move on.
There are other times that I know if I start then I just won’t stop.
Thankfully I (mostly) understand now when my mood has an off switch and when it doesn’t. These days (whilst I still sometimes ignore my own advice) my coping mechanisms are also different.
In moments where I feel like I’m not managing very well I get up and I put in my shoes.
I look in the mirror in my hall and I tell myself that I’m worth more than my inner monologue suggests, and that I can be whoever I want to be in life.
Somewhere in the middle of my journey a friend told me that I was both ambitious and determined and I keep that at the forefront of my mind.
I keep telling myself it’s true – because up until that point (and sometimes even now) I’d never recognised these traits in myself, but they exist and I have to always hold onto them.
I’m not unique though.
They exist in all of us.
So, on a day like today I pull on a warm coat and I head for a pavement, because there is always a world out there – and it needs us in it.
Sometimes our journey is solitary though, and that’s OK too because our inner determination (if properly nurtured) will remind us that regardless of what happens, no-matter how we feel, we can do it.
We can hit our goal and we can fit at least one square peg into a round hole.
In my case the peg is an average of 10 miles a day.
It doesn’t matter if it’s freezing, and it doesn’t matter if it’s raining. The weather is immaterial. The miles are what count.
At the moment my daily average for October is 12.3 (a personal record) and during this month, regardless of how I’ve felt I’ve followed #onplanoctober almost to the letter.
It hasn’t been easy though. When it’s cold and dark and you’ve not been able to sleep or your negative thoughts will not turn off, the temptation to remain indoors and hide under a duvet by the TV is immense.
That’s not me though.
Not any more and never again.
Whatever the world throws at me I intend to fight it and persevere, and to do that I need to be fit, healthy, vital and active.
It’s not just a walk to me though, because whereas previously the outside world had come to represent fear it’s now become my place of safety. I can travel anywhere I want completely unaided because the only limitations I have are the horizon and my mind.
My other place of safety is of course Slimming World, and when my mood is low I can always rely on it to lift my spirits, regardless of what happens on the scales.
Although Saturday was a day where I decided not to weigh in I have the Slimming World ball coming up next weekend, and because both me and my consultant will be there it would have been three full weeks (officially anyway) before I weighed in again.
That’s a really long time – and I’m not sure whether having that much leeway is a good thing for me at the moment, so today I went to a different group and weighed in on a different day at a different time.
It’s always great to see new faces and today the stories of the health improvements that the group had realised by following the plan and living better lives were legion.
Diabetes had been reversed, cholesterol was being beaten into submission, a pancreas had returned to life and the men and women seated in that hall were flourishing.
They gave me the win I needed.
Some may say that my book ‘only’ says I lost half a pound – but if they do then they’re missing the point. It’s a win – and strangely this half a pound is one of my most personally impressive for a while because it means quite a bit more to me.
To do this took a lot more discipline than it may seem like it did on the page above.
Hell – even a maintain would have been a victory in my book.
Many of my Saturdays after standing on the scales are relaxed ones. Sometimes Sundays are too, and I tend to gradually address whatever damage the weekend has done from Monday through to Friday.
If it’s a bad week then bad things can happen.
I’ve seen it many times before.
Not this week. I’m determined not only to be firmly in my target range, but be as close to the bottom of it as possible when I climb into my suit and stand on stage to accept my Man of the Year award next Saturday, because this is something I can control.
Ignoring things and eating feelings does no good at all, and this is now how I cope in life.
I look at my Slimming World book and its numbers, my blog and its history, my health app and its cumulative miles and I have evidence of my determination, and what it can accomplish.
It’s why I’m sitting here now instead of dead – and why you are reading this.
So if you’re thinking you can’t then you’re wrong, because you CAN.
If you’re thinking you’re not worth it then you’re wrong, because you ARE.
If you’re thinking it’s impossible then you’re wrong because it’s NOT.
You too are determined, and you too have ambition. If no-one has ever cared about you enough to tell you this – OR TO MAKE YOU BELIEVE IT – then let me take their place.
It’s all true.
You can be whoever you want to be.