It’s my ‘grace period’ weigh in tomorrow – where I have to be back in target if I don’t want to pay at Slimming World – and the whole affair couldn’t be a more close run thing. I really want a win from tomorrow morning – however according to my own scales I’m not there yet.
Given what what I saw on their readout this morning I’ll probably be just over target or bang on it.
It could go either way.
When I last wrote a post about my weight I was honestly in a shaky space about it mentally, and it’s taken me a couple of weeks to get myself back into a mindset where I feel like I’m doing OK again.
It irks me a lot that the last entry on the last page of my SW book (which documents me losing 21 stone) now ends with a huge gain.
Such is life though – and we all have to take things like this on the chin and move along.
After agreeing with Angie to reset my target weight back to 14st I was faced with the sobering reality that I needed to lose 5lbs in less than two weeks.
That’s enough in itself (big losses do not come easy to me any more) but even that doesn’t reflect the true scale of the problem I’d saddled myself with a couple of weeks prior to the numbers in the back of my book – because I’d already been working really hard to get down to 14st 5lbs.
Not long before weigh in on April 8th I’d managed to get up to a significantly more depressing 15st 2lbs.
I’m not gonna lie – the need to lose this in the first place left me feeling rather unhappy with the behaviour that led to it.
After hitting my diamond target date all of the stress associated with getting there finally culminated in me taking the brakes off for a while.
I relaxed – and unfortunately I didn’t stop relaxing for a month or so.
At times being at target can be really difficult – because you have to subtly modify many of the behaviours that helped you lose weight.
Instead of relentlessly heading in a downward trajectory it all has to be repurposed and focused on staying the same.
When you finally manage to get a handle on this (sometimes depressingly tedious) task you realise that the difference between maintaining and gaining weight is frighteningly small.
If you lose the delicate balance and put some back on then there’s inevitably going to come a really tough moment where you have to make a pivot back into to weight loss mode.
That’s a crappy place to be, because every part of you begins to scream ‘we’ve done this already and we don’t want to do it again!!!’
But you have to.
If you don’t the only other course of action to take is ‘screw it – I don’t care’ – and that leads to bad things.
You can choose to throw everything you’ve worked for away, stop exercising, eat all of the nice food that you love so much, neglect going to group and just bury yourself until you’re right back where you started to begin with.
I have to continually choose not to do this because the consequences just are too dire to contemplate.
Yesterday I had to fill in a mandatory health questionnaire, and it asked about current as well as pre-existing (or previously experienced) health conditions.
I don’t like completing these kinds of documents mostly because I find them invasive – but also because what I have to write in their hateful little boxes no longer reflects the man I am.
I had to admit that I’d suffered from type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, gout, cellulitis, oedemas, shin splints, plantar fasciitis, poor eyesight, eczema, knee and joint pain and more besides.
The list depressingly went on and on and on.
Through nothing but willpower though I turned all of these things around.
I lost over 20 stone – and although I had lots of support from lots of people around me the real power to make it a reality had to come from within me.
I forget that sometimes, and I can all too easily fall into a trap where I diminish my accomplishments and talk it all down in my head – but I shouldn’t because what I did was massive.
When I started my journey I couldn’t walk to the end of my short crescent. Now I can walk for miles and swim 50 lengths of my local pool in around 35 minutes.
This is a huge improvement on my first attempt – where only 20 took me 50+ minutes.
Hell – even after I lost all of my weight the fear I was left with surrounding the partial nudity that it required (and how people would judge me) was crippling.
These are significant physical and psychological victories – and furthermore they’re ones that I own.
I’m in print everywhere as a man who changed his whole life and in doing so became someone completely new.
Not only do I no longer recognise myself or my old mindset in the above picture but I’m appalled at how alien I look.
The image (as well as the memory of the physical state I was in) truthfully disgusts me.
That man’s capability to give up and wreck his health had been demonstrated over and over again.
For decades I failed over to live up to my potential and was unable to be who I should have been.
I refuse to ever go back to being him.
He’s someone else.
A mirror universe doppelgänger.
Things are also so unbelievably different now that I no longer have to rely totally on myself for motivation and reinforcement of a positive self image.
As hard as it’s been to cede control of my moods and impulses there is no denying that in the last six months I’ve been less able than ever before to get away with the self condemnation and psychological punishment that I’d normally have put myself through with such weight gains.
Every time I’ve attempted to diminish myself I’m usually reminded by a gentle, warm and supportive hand slipping quietly into my own that there’s no need.
It’s connected to someone who makes there’s nothing I can’t accomplish because I’m continually confronted with a reflection of how they see me.
Often it’s not how I see myself in the mirror and I’d lost sight of how much I need someone like this to give me perspective.
A while ago I said that a picture like this would never appear in my blog – and that my private life was private.
Some things, I said, would never be shared.
However – social media being what it is these days my relationship status is already ‘out there’ and so are the pictures – so (with the permission of my better half) I present the evidence of what my life has become because of my determination.
I also do this because there is a lot more to life than many people that were in my position (or still are) may believe.
Some may be convinced that their worth is small and that their deservedness of love and companionship is similarly sized.
Some may accept poor treatment from those who purport to love them because they fear being alone – but it’s all lies.
We’re scared to try and scared to fail.
However all we can do is keep trying – day after day after day – and in doing so be the best version of ourselves that’s possible.
When we keep doing this amazing things can happen – because human beings are drawn to people who love and care for themselves.
I still struggle – and tomorrow when I step on Angie’s scales I may still not be where I want to be weight wise – but I’m as close to whole and happy as I’ve ever been in my entire life.
This is my world now internet – and if I want it to continue I have to keep trying, because I love it.