It’s Monday morning – and I find myself already deep in a mental game of cat mouse.
The cat in this case is the shadow of a dark mood which is quietly stalking me in the background.
The mouse is my threatened positivity, and it’s skittering along a skirting board of my mind, dodging traps, leaping out of the way of clawing paw swipes whilst aiming for the safety of a hole in the wall.
It’s also got a chunk of cheddar gripped between its teeth – which isn’t strictly on plan but it really likes cheese.
The cheese too is a metaphor.
My weekend was mostly good – but just like my little rodent avatar with his dairy obsession I really really wanted to overeat yesterday.
Although I made mostly good choices at the weekend by the time I hit my pillow late on Sunday night I knew I’d overeaten.
My calorie burn didn’t equal my intake – and there’s no escaping that kind of maths.
I’ve got a real weakness for popcorn at the moment and despite needing to lose weight I really don’t feel like I want to modify this particular part of my behaviour.
It’s important to have something that you want otherwise you’ll drive yourself insane.
200g of sweet and salted popcorn comes in at 44 syns – and since I can’t currently resist this particular indulgence I have to keep at the forefront of my mind a simple mantra.
If I’m going to commit this kind of crime then I darned well better be willing to do the time.
So why the guilt and self recrimination?
Well – despite having the best of intentions, despite walking all the way to the pool with my costume and towel on Sunday morning when I got there I decided not to go swimming after all.
I really wasn’t feeling it – mostly because I was far more preoccupied with little aches and pains and a deep seated tiredness than I did with being virtuous.
Instead my partner and I did a couple of laps of the park and went home for breakfast – which in my case was a whalloping bowl of fruit and cereal.
Although the rest of my day was relatively busy, it was damp and drizzly outside meaning that a lot of my time was spent indoors.
By close of play though I’d still managed to walk almost 10 miles but even so I couldn’t shake a sense of guilt and view the day as a bit of a failure.
I kept thinking all day long ‘I should have gone swimming’ and this endless thought loop was still on my mind when I fell asleep.
I really can be waaaaay to hard on myself – but there’s still a huge part of me that thinks if I’m ‘kind’ to myself instead then it will basically equal letting myself off for continually bad behaviour.
It’s a very tricky balance to strike – especially when you’re a little sleep deprived – which (being a problematic sleeper) I usually tend to be.
It’s best to try and be a positive person though – and in order to have something good in mind that I’m working towards rather than a bad thing I’m running away from I have set myself some objectives.
Everyone needs goals and I’ve now got not got one but two.
Although I’m currently over my goal weight and paying to weigh in again in theory I’m still a Diamond Target Member at Slimming World.
I have the badge and frankly they’re not getting it back.
It’s my objective therefore not only to get back into into target range ASAP (I’ve not set a timeframe for this as I don’t need the pressure) but to remain there and still be within my 6lb bracket by my two year anniversary in late February.
There’s not much in the way of bling or awards to be had for me at Slimming World these days but knowing that I’ve managed to (broadly speaking) maintain my losses for that length of time is something that’s really important to me (link).
It’s arguably much more so than badges and awards because doing this reinforces my certainty that I’ll never go back to the being man that I used to be.
Probably because of this I felt doubly motivated when I awoke this morning.
When I set off I raced to the leisure centre with as brisk a walk as I could muster and was pleased to see when I’d arrived that this had resulted in a 15 min mile.
This particular number (my regular speedy pace when I need to get somewhere quick without being sweaty) always makes me smile – especially when I think back to where I started in 2016 – because back then a 15 minute mile was a pipe dream.
It took nearly an hour to accomplish this at over 30 stone.
I tried to get to the four mile per hour mark for a couple of years before I managed it – and it times it felt like I’d never be capable.
What seemed even more inconceivable than walking speed though was that three years on from that starting point I’d not only be capable of doing it but that afterwards I’d feel like climbing into a pair of Lycra trunks to swim 40 lengths of the pool that I was struggling to waddle past.
Who could have foreseen that instead of looking at it forlornly from the safety of a park bench I’d be a regular visitor to the leisure centre?
Now (although I’m far from the fastest swimmer) I can swim a kilometre in just over 28 minutes.
I think I’m right in saying that today represented my personal best for this distance – and it almost makes up for my popcorn.
I’m also keen to get to target again because lots of my trousers (whilst still ‘fitting’) feel decidedly ‘muffinesque‘ – which is not a good state of affairs if you wish to maintain a level of positivity.
Tomorrow I have something to do that I’d really like to feel good about both before and afterwards and part of the way that I plan to accomplish that is to dress smartly and look as ticketty boo as I possibly can.
There’s absolutely no substitute (at least in my mind) for a nice jacket and tie when you want to feel like you’re in control of a situation and full of confidence.
I’d go so far as to say that since losing weight and having access to more clothing choices than at any other time in my life having the right shirt (and tie) for the right occasion has never been more important to me.
It’s become so ridiculously part of my DNA that I now have enough shirts to change four times a day into a new one for an entire month without seeing the same one twice.
The only fly in the ointment is that currently they aren’t all 100% comfortable when I sit down – which is extremely annoying.
It’s going to happen though – and knowing that I’m not alone in my objectives (or battles) is a great comfort – because a fellow blogger I converse with all the time is not only feeling a similar tug in her togs – but also doing her best to address the situation. (Link)
Hayley has become a firm friend over the years that I’ve been writing about my own journey and I read her blog whenever I don’t want to feel like I’m on my own with my very public struggles.
Even though I tell the world how vulnerable how I am all the time it’s really nice to know that I’m not the only person that’s willing to fail and succeed in full view of the world – and that I do this in the hope that it will help both myself and others.
It’s often scary how similar our problems tend to be, and when I read her posts she proves to me again and again that as different as people can be we all share similar motivations, hopes, dreams, fears and demons.
For those readers who like to see a lady’s perspective on life and weigh loss that’s not just endless pictures of food then I highly recommend her thoughtful posts and often strikingly beautiful photos.
Anyway. I’ve been indulging my tendency to play with words for far too long and the day is ebbing away.
I need to get moving if I’m going to lose weight again this week!!!
Stay frosty and keep your chin up Internet. Whatever your goal is just keep working towards it!!!