So, the results are in for the Christmas and New Year period.
It was a maintain.
Last week I lost 1.5lbs, and this week I gained it back again – so if nothing else in terms of the holiday season I’m no heavier than I was when I started which is a plus.
In contrast my other half managed her second week in a row losing weight at probably the most difficult time of the year, meaning she dropped at total of 4lbs over the holiday season and because of this also took home the group’s Slimmer of the Week basket!!!
Now it’s my turn to try and emulate her good behaviour because its officially 2020.
Now the hard work starts.
Currently there are a significant number of shirts in my wardrobe that look like they’ve been sprayed onto me – and for anyone that’s been following my blog for any length of time they’ll know that this is a serious issue – because I possess more of this this particular item of clothing than any other.
My last tally came to well over a hundred and then I just stopped counting because I didnt want to stop buying nice ones when I found them. Thankfully my partner seems quite happy to encourage this particular element of my behaviour and she rather likes me in a more flamboyant shirt.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m still not short of shirts and trousers that fit – but some of my absolute favourites are annoyingly out of reach at the moment, and I know that the ones I’m wearing represent (to me at least) someone that I’d rather not be at the moment.
However – there are still wonderful things to find – and (despite their tendency to appear in rather fuddy duddy shops for the middle aged and wealthier denziens of the world) for some time I’ve wanted a pair of Meyer trousers.
Prior to my dumpster diving approach to clothes buying I had no idea about these – but they’re ridiculously well made, comfortable and hard wearing trousers.
They also have lovely stitching and detailing – such as the lining which looks and feels totally awesome!
I picked these up for £5 in a Coventry charity shop – but if I’d bought them new the price would have been VERY different (link).
I have some absolutely prized possessions like these (such as my Paul Smith and Levis 501’s) all of which were found in charity shops – which will last me a very long time indeed if I look after them.
Annoyingly I gave an entire suitcase full of absolutely superb makes of shirts, trousers and denims back to charity about six months ago because they were slightly too big for me.
Consequently I’ve had to re-buy these items over the last month or two just to maintain an operational wardrobe, but it’s been a valuable lesson.
I’ve come to realise that what’s happened to my weight is not failure.
It’s just life.
Well. It is for me and many others anyway.
I have a friend who remarked casually on a walk several months ago that she has dresses and other items of clothing that are well over 20 and sometimes 30 years old that she still wears regularly.
At the time I think she expected me to be horrified when she admitted this to me – but to my mind it represented an absolute dream come true and is practically a perfect description of the guy I’d love to (but don’t think I ever will) be.
For a start it’s environmentally friendly to use clothes for this length of time and because of that I definitely approve. It just goes to show that if you are careful and buy really well made items then they last longer than supermarket fashion brands.
However that wasn’t the only thing that stood out when she said it because most of all her frikkin weight hasn’t changed at all for thirty plus years!!!
The truth is that a huge part of me wanted to just lose all of my fat and then live in a dream world where I never craved anything ever again and where I was to all intents and purposes completely over all of my battles with eating.
I guess it’s why I found the end of my tenure as MOTY such a relief – because I wanted my existence from that point on to be about more than constantly checking and monitoring weight and tinkering with aspects of my diet.
In all honesty I wanted this blog and my everyday world to become a story where I was well adjusted, happily employed, busy doing things I loved and finally – secure in a relationship that makes me feel valued.
Maybe by now I’d have a dog…
Maybe some of that is just wishful thinking though (possibly not the dog though…) because I’ve realised that to leave oneself no breathing room or ‘space to fail’ with deeply entrenched eating habits is a bad thing.
At least for me.
I think I may have to accept that there will be periods in life where I’m the slimmest that I can be and there are others when I’m definitely going to be a bit more cuddly.
Thankfully I recently aquired a great barometer – and she’s proven that she’ll support me when I want to be lighter and also me when I’m a little heavier.
It’s nice to have a voice of sanity (attached to a finger invariably poking me in the ribs) when I’m busy trying to tear myself to shreds with negative inner monologues.
Truthfully though it’s actually helped to have my very first Christmas both off and on plan – and you can trust me when I say that I’ve enjoyed more than my fair share of Christmas cake and other treats!
This Christmas has been very very different to any other year that I’ve experienced though and I don’t just mean in terms of my willingness to consume seasonal nom nom’s.
Since 2016 it’s been relatively easy to have an austere holiday period. I could sit alone at home, not having to acknowledge the time of year and treat each meal time the same way that I would on every other day of the year.
If I wanted to have a salad on Christmas day then who would care? It would after all be only me sitting in front of the TV with a Pyrex mixing bowl full of lettuce so it wouldn’t matter one little bit.
However – after reaching my target weight Christmas suddenly (and a little unexpectedly) became more poignant.
Whereas the 25th of December used to be just a another day on the calendar to me, over time it’s become something that carries a lot more weight than it used to. I’d even go so far as to say that events relating to it have (bit by bit) changed every aspect of my life.
Amazingly it’s only the third year running that I’ve put a tree up.
The first year (link) was something of a triumph for me to do it at all because doing so was wrapped up in lots of long held and very negative associations with my childhood.
When I finally decided it was time to make a change in 2017 the act represented hope and a sense that things were finally changing for the better in my life. I was on my way to target and the tree I bought ultimately ended up covered with decorations that were donated to me by the women at my Slimming World group.
It also had a SW cardboard wish bauble on it with my goal.
Furthermore (although I didn’t buy it) I also had begun to try on some seasonally themed clothing – which was a major leap towards a festive attitude that I’d never felt before.
The following year was quite different though – and instead of me looking at my delicately dressed tree as a symbol of all the positive changes that I’d made in my life (and a reminder of the generosity of others) I instead sat back and viewed it with an overwhelming sense of sadness because all of a sudden it made me feel crushingly lonely (link).
Things happen for a reason though – and as everyone now knows it was that post which prompted my current partner to reach out to me.
The rest (as they say) is history.
This year therefore is (what I consider to be) my first real Christmas since I was a child – because the entirety of it has been spent with someone that’s not only very important to me but makes me very very happy.
Consequently we’ve done Xmas properly – from unwrapping our gifts on Christmas morning (I used to open them as I got them more often than not), having a special dinner, travelling to see family, hosting family, eating cheese and biscuits, indulging a glass or two of Prosecco (I had fizzy pop instead) tucking into in some festive chocolates, playing board games, watching movies and also diving (with great gusto) into some more chocolate.
None of this was really on plan – and I couldnt really even claim it was ‘flexible synning’.
It was really just synning – and therefore my overall maintain is something that is totally deserved. If I (well more accurately WE) hadn’t been so focused on exercise it could just easily have been a massive gain.
Instead my other half and I managed for the entire two week holiday period from the 20th December to today (my partner is a teacher so was off work) to go swimming every single day that wasn’t a bank holiday as well as walking an average of around 9 miles.
For me that meant about 14+ kilometres in the pool and almost 130+ miles on foot.
It’s going to be difficult to get out of the relaxed ‘treat myself’ mentality now though – but do so I must, because now Christmas is over, the decorations have to come down, and my exercise needs to continue without cake.
That’s going to be a challenge.
However – I’ve done it before and I can do it again.
Today (Sunday) we got up at 6.30am, got ready, walked two and a half miles to Leamington’s Newbold Comyn leisure centre, swum a kilometre (and I managed a record time for me of 26.50) had a sauna, sat in the plunge pool, walked two and a half miles back again, went straight out to do the shopping (Aldi is CARNAGE unless you’re there waiting for it to open at 9.55am on a Sunday) and then finally returned home to have breakfast and a cup of tea at 11am.
Now all I have to do is not eat everything in sight for the rest of the day and week ahead.
It’s going to be a tall order – but I’m willing to give it a go.
From this point on though (just in case) I’m not going to get rid of the jeans and shirts with a waist that allows for a little bit of wriggle room, but instead put them at the back of a shelf in my wardrobe and save them for a ‘rainy day’.
I’ve currently got nine weeks left on my SW 12 week countdown (I purchased it a while back) and by the end of it I’m calling target – wherever that may be because I have absolutely sod all left to prove and I’m still as fit as a butcher’s dog.
My current goal weight in SW’s system is 15st, and I need to drop a stone and a half in order to get back into that range (15st 3lbs is the top end), which I think is probably do-able in two months.
If I can get any lower then that’s a bonus – but this time around I’ve not got to worry about photoshoots or press calls at the Ritz – I’ve just got to get to a maintainable and comfortable number that suits me and doesn’t mean I have to buy another 100 shirts.
(At least another 100 in a larger size…)
Here goes nothing!