In my most recent post I was agonising about about what weight I should or shouldn’t be.
I know that pounds and ounces at this point are a largely arbitrary number and that in the great scheme of things it shouldn’t really matter that much (as long as I’m not going too nuts in either direction) but as soon as I’d dropped another half a stone over Christmas I was immediately paralysed with indecision about whether I needed to put it back on or not.
(scene notes – enter stage left ‘stressy Davey’. He’s pacing back and forth.)
I’ve been worrying (needlessly) about it in the background ever since.
No man is an island and I don’t do things alone any more though -so I’ve been asking a few people what they thought about my current state of affairs.
This can be a bit weird.
‘Am I too thin?‘ is honestly not a question I thought I’d ever be posing to anyone in my life. It ranks with ‘Do you think I need to put weight back on?’ as the least likely sentences I expected to be leaving my lips before I died.
The feedback I received was polite – and pretty much universally the same. It all went along the lines of ‘You look OK as you are, but don’t lose any more!‘
I couldn’t decide in some of these cases whether I was faced with a polite friend who already thought my weight was too low or whether they were being totally honest – which is what I needed.
Sometimes the subject of my size gets so knotted up in my head that I can’t see the wood for the trees, and when I go to weigh in on Saturday mornings even now I can be a bag of nerves.
Often I still don’t sleep properly the night before I have to stand on the scales.
My house guest this weekend saw the full extent of of my worrisome dithering yesterday morning – while I faffed and fretted about which clothes to wear (because jeans, a belt and a shirt weigh more than tracksuit bottoms and a tee-shirt) and whether or not to have another coffee before leaving the house (which would also slightly affect my weight).
All of this continued whilst I continually stepped on and off my bathroom scales to check and re-check. I’m not normally that bad – but potentially changing my target weight is a big deal for me.
It’s quite unsetting in some respects to share this more obsessive side of my nature with someone – but at the same time it’s important to let them see me for who I am, warts and all.
The truth is that I’m still very much the kind of guy that worries (too much) about whether or not he’s succeeding or failing when it comes to health and fitness. At times I think I’ve got it nailed, but at others I’m still full of doubt.
In my case the lion’s share of my stress was related to the fact that I really didn’t want to regain the weight that had pushed me into the bracket of being a 21st certificate holder.
There can’t be too many of those in the UK and I’m now one of the privileged few.
I’d already decided by Friday that I was going to reset my target weight – but the question was by how much and what to change it to. I also didn’t want to simultaneously set it to an unrealistically low level that would make it pointlessly hard to maintain long term.
Also – even before discussing it with my consultant Angie the other day I knew my options were limited by a number of factors.
Firstly (which I’ve already mentioned) there’s the opinion of people I care about.
Secondly I’d agreed when accepting my SWMOTY title (almost six months ago!) that I would not deviate from the weight I was when I won the competition by more than 7lbs. I suspect that this was mostly because Slimming World don’t want me to gain weight but I’m pretty sure that they don’t want me to end up looking too thin either.
At the time I felt that this margin for error would be a really helpful as a motivator. It also seemed pretty generous because having a 1st bracket in which to move around was much bigger than the standard 6lb (3lb either way) target member range (which I also have to stick to if I want my weigh ins to remain free of charge).
If I fell out of one (and had to pay) I’d still be in the other – but then life went and changed again – and definitely for the better. Over many months I finally found someone that I really care about.
At the same time I was busy getting even fitter than I was before thanks to my rediscovered love of swimming. I’ve been building muscles in places I’ve never seen them before as well as becoming leaner.
It’s a wonderful feeling to know that there is still so much scope for positive change left in life.
On Saturday morning (after discussion with my new muse) I’d finally made up my mind.
I asked the girls at group to change my target weight to 13st 7lbs because at this weight my clothes feel good and I feel great.
Crucially though I’m happy. Really happy.
Things are new and exciting – and there are little winds of change everywhere.
To illustrate this, immediately after attending group my house guest and I headed out for a meal together at one of my favourite places – Las Iguanas in Leamington.
The whole time I was walking there I was fantasising about their delicious veggie chilli – and I’d been talking it up to my special friend for over an hour.
‘It’s great!’ I enthused.
‘I think you’ll absolutely love it!’ I added, several times to hammer home the point.
However when we arrived and had a chance to look at the new season’s menu my companion drew my attention to something I’d previously have not considered. The previouly unavailable jackfruit burrito.
This is what I love about spending a lot of time with someone new.
They remind you that you should try new things and experiment. Because of this over the last two months I’ve found several new areas of interest that I otherwise would never have considered.
Jackfruit is a FREE food on Slimming World’s plan rather than SPEED (it’s a carbohydrate) – and is a great vegetarian alternative to pulled pork – which in this case is what I think Las Iguanas were trying to provide for vegetarian (and I think vegan) customers.
Although it didn’t have the same texture or taste as pulled pork I can heartily recommend it as a meat alternative and after my first ever time eating it I’m pretty darned happy that I let my companion influence my menu choice.
When I’m with someone – particularly someone so engaging – my eating habits seem markedly different.
I not only eat less, but consume it in smaller portions.
Furthermore when I do I’m talking and eating – as my digestion slowly churns away in the background. This gives my brain time to think about whether I’m really hungry when I want more or whether I plan to fill my plate again because I’m just eating too quickly or haven’t been taking on fluids with my meal.
Just when you think you have a routine, and life is sorted, something (or someone) comes along to shake that all up and add a totally new element to the mix.
Life is good.
Anyway – we’ll see how my new target fares in two weeks, when I’ll next be standing on the scales.
Fingers crossed that I’ve made the right choice!