Weston Subedge circular walk

I’ve been a busy boy over the last few days – and although I know that they have it feels like my feet have barely touched the ground.

As well as being quite busy in my personal life I’ve been in a strange dietary position this week – because in order to remain within my current target range I’ve actually had to try to put weight back on.

The problem is that such an activity is now profoundly counter-intuitive for me and although for a day or two I rather enjoyed a post Christmas ‘blow out’ (my increased intake was mostly related to protein, fruit and cottage cheese) now I’m getting closer to this Saturday’s weigh in I really can’t bring myself to eat way more than I need to before stepping on the scales.

Neither a Thursday nor a Friday are for stuffing my face.

For the last two and a half years these have been my ‘be very careful‘ days – and consequently I automatically begin to start craving salad and fish as soon as Wednesday arrives in order to prepare for group at the weekend.

My ‘slightly lighter than usual’ weight is also further complicated in my mind by me rather liking how I look in the mirror at the moment.

Swimming is having some really tangible benefits – and I can definitely tell what two months of (near daily) breaststroke has done to my upper body.

I’m also still getting quicker too!

Things seem to be much tighter around my waist now I’m swimming.

My shoulders and arms have become noticeably more muscular as well.

I still have way more skin than I will ever need – leaving me with a decidedly flabby midriff that’s unlikely to ever completely disappear – but all of a sudden I can feel a set of abs (!) beneath it all that definitely weren’t apparent at the start of November.

Probably because of this I’m now comfortably able to wear many ‘medium’ shirts that I try on (depending on the retailer).

It’s a million miles away from where I started and it makes me feel absolutely fabulous to compare and contrast.

I’ve become trimmer still since this picture with Angie and Rylan Clark-Neal at the ball in November, meaning that when I tried on a 32in pair of Levi’s yesterday I could almost do the button up.

What’s more – I’m pretty sure that if I’d done this with a pair of Sainsburys TU clothing denims instead (they seem a little more generous) that I’d have been proudly zipped up tight.

The Levis weren’t comfortable sadly – and even if I’d have been able to do the button up I’d have probably cut off the blood supply to my family jewels and looked like a blueberry muffin.

I’ve never had any kind of definition from a muscular perspective and to see it when I look at myself in the mirror now is quite intoxicating.

It’s also nice to feel attractive as well as fitter – and I can’t lie when I say that in the back of my mind there’s a part of me that wants to be the best that I can be not just for my own satisfaction but for the new lady in my life.

I just want to look my absolute best and that’s never something I’ve been able to say about myself in a relationship in the past or that I’ve been able to ‘give’ to a partner before.

The only feeling that I’ve ever had related to romance and my body in the past is shame and I never want to go back to that state of affairs.

Therefore in my mind gaining weight is taking a step backwards in many many respects – especially when at my last weigh in I was still officially above my healthy BMI.

I have a tenuous relationship with these numbers mind you – because if I hit the official NHS lower end BMI of 9st 3lbs I think I’d look like a famine victim.

That’s absolutely not the way to go.

Heroin chic is SO 90’s.

Just to be clear though I have not been starving myself. I’ve been eating a lot because I’ve been doing a lot – as well as navigating the very new experience of occasionally cooking for two and what that means with regard to portion sizes.

On the whole they’ve definitely gotten smaller.

It’s a complicated time for me in all of these respects – but crucially I’m happy and I’m healthy.

I’ve discussed what to do about my weight with Angie (she’s the best consultant a boy could have!) and I’ll share with you all what I finally decide (I may lower my target slightly) and what the eventual outcome is on Saturday.

I’m very much on the fence at the moment.

In the meantime Slimming World have asked me to do an ‘Instagram Takeover’ on their feed (along with some other ladies – although I’m the only man apparently!) and yesterday I was busy documenting what I do during a normal day as well as putting together some photos and videos.

I’m a bit worried though that anyone looking at it (including the PR team) might think that The content of my day has been constructed just for the sake of their social media initiative – because it’s absolutely not.

Thanks mostly to swimming becoming a part of my daily routine this is my current normal and my monthly stats reflect that too.

Thankfully (totally not through any kind of planning) I actually had something that was visually quite lovely (as well as energetic) to document yesterday.

A friend had suggested a new walk.

After my morning swim he picked me up from my house and we headed out to Weston Subedge – which is about a 30 minute drive outside Warwick.

My twalking companion had downloaded and printed out a circular route that looked like it had a good amount of elevation in it – and would take in some excellent views.

To be fair he wasn’t at all wrong – and thanks to an unexpectedly lovely day we were treated to a practically endless vista of sky and fields.

According to the monument at the viewpoint Dover’s Hill is only 25 miles from the Malvern Hills and you can see them easily in the distance.

Thankfully the weather was perfect for views and the excursion was wonderful.

There’s very little that can beat the satisfaction of slogging your way up a steep hill and then finding this kind of vista at the end of it.

Although it’s probably quite challenging to most (from an incline perspective) the walk itself is relatively short (at least by my current yardstick) and over quite quickly if you put your back into it.

However there were lots and lots of little detours that you could easily take to extend a day out here – but be aware if you do give it a go yourself that there were some pretty muddy sections along the way.

Particularly on the final leg by Watery Gate Farm (as the name suggests!)

As we wound our way round behind St Lawrence’s church and back to where we’d originally parked up (on the OS map above) it definitely got boggier – so make sure to wear some sturdy boots!

So – life is good and I feel great.

Slimming World are still treating me like a rockstar too – and they keep sending me fruit baskets for occasional media appearances!

The other day I appeared in a supplement that came packed in with the Daily Star newspaper and almost immediately after a ton of bananas were on my doorstep with a thank you note!

In some ways I’ll be glad to hand over the title of MOTY to a new recipient because deep down I’m still a bit uncomfortable with being in the media so much.

I can’t deny though that it’s nice to inspire people.

When I spoke to Angie earlier today she told me that my name had been mentioned by at least one of the one hundred and thirty new members she’s welcomed to her groups since the new year started.

It’s great to know that my story made someone walk through the door and face her fears.

The fact that someone has read my story, been inspired to change and taken the first steps toward a better life fills me with joy.

It’s a great great feeling and I’m going to make the most of it while it lasts!



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