The other side of the table

I was on the other side of the weighing in desk at Slimming World today (along with my beautiful assistant) filling in for the usual lovely ladies who are away on a course this week.

In truth – as the official ‘writer of stuff in books’ she had the harder task out of the two of us.

I just had to write out certificates – of which there were many 1/2 stones and someone’s first 1 stone.

It’s really nice to fill these in and clip a little sticker to the top for their book because I know how encouraging it is to receive ‘bling’ in group.

It can really mean everything – despite it ‘just’ being a piece of card and a sticker.

It takes you right back to how you felt at school and getting a little star on a chart for being a good boy (or girl) has a profound behavioural impact.

Oddly in all the years I’ve been coming to this group I’ve never sat in these seats (although I have done the cash desk) and honestly it’s been a bit of an eye opener – because people didn’t react in quite the ways I thought that they would when they received their results.

I couldn’t second guess any of them based on their body language in the queue.

I’m not sure why it surprised me so much from this perspective- because I’ve sat in an audience and stood in a line watching this many times.

However if you (or in this case my partner) pass on the results then individuals reactions feel very personal – because they’re directly responding to news you’ve had a hand in delivering.

I found myself feeling quite responsible for whether they smiled or looked crestfallen and I willed each one of them to succeed as they were asked to ‘step on’.

If someone loses a pound (or maintains) they can often appear rather crestfallen – despite this being a victory – and afterwards the highs and lows of people’s responses made me think about how I’ve been looking at my own losses and gains.

I doubt this will come as a revelation to anyone but I’ve always really really beaten myself up on this score.

It’s all very well to tell everyone else that they should be happy with what the scales say if they lose less than they wanted to (or indeed unexpectedly gain) but regardless of how I’ve personally done in the past my inner monologue has (more often than I’d care to admit) told me repeatedly that I’m a failure in all manner of ways.

There’s been more to this than just weight gain though – because when I pack on the pounds it’s simply a sign that something else is unbalanced and needs addressing.

I’ve made a lot of progress since the new year started though – and this week has been really good.

Actually I’d go so far as to say I’m feeling great!

I should probably be treating this mood upturn with a healthy dose of caution however – because I don’t know yet whether it will continue with quite the same intensity as I’m experiencing currently.

My fingers are crossed that it will though.

My new job is a temporary contract until the end of March – but whether they want to keep me on (and if I want to stay) I’m feeling really rather positive about what it means for the future.

Even if it doesn’t last it’s finally reminded me who I am and what I I’m good at.

I’ve agonised and agonised about what will or won’t make me happy in a job – and all of a sudden I’ve been doing something all week long that’s left me feeling genuinely satisfied at the end of my day.

Life really is about your perspective though and if I was a more negative person I’d probably be saying ‘but Davey- you’re back to the same place in life that you were 20 years ago and you’re starting again! That’s failure – not success!

However I’m not the man I used to be and the pessimistic side of me (although still present) has been in retreat for several years.

During this period I’ve fought long and hard for mundane things that I suspect many might take for granted.

My gradual (and often emotionally and physically painful) unpacking of who I really am, what I’m capable of and what I need in my life has left me with a different way of looking at things to the one I used to have.

After many years of struggle I have regained my health, I have found companionship, I have personal security, and now I have what might finally be a direction in my future career.

Even if it isn’t this job I suspect it will need to be one very much like it.

To have a sense that I might have finally come to some kind of conclusion about this is intoxicating.

It’s not the entire answer – but it’s a bloody big step in the right direction – and in my book that’s progress.

As you may expect it’s also had a positive impact on my mood – and my this in turn has had a corresponding impact on my eating.

I’ve not grazed at all during the day, had a relatively small lunch (leftovers) that I’ve taken to work with me – and then had a filling evening meal that’s usually followed by an on plan dessert.

Apart from Thursday where I just said ‘sod it’ and hoovered up a box of Nekkid bars (or at least their Aldi equivalents) I’ve been an angel.

Even when my partner has been absent (three hours extra at school for parents’ evening the poor thing) I’ve still managed to come home and cook myself a proper (although maybe a bit larger) meal.

Also the distance I’ve been walking from home to work has really helped because I’m absolutely smashing January out of the park in terms of exercise.

Curently all of my metrics are trending upwards.

Furthermore I’ve swum every day apart from bank holidays since December the 19th.

I’ve also walked an average of 10 miles a day in the last month!

Probably because of this I’m almost at an active average of 2000kcal per day for the month.

So what did this translate into in the scales?

Well – I had a pretty darned good result for the first time in a long time.

I also won slimmer of the week!!!

This all makes me almost as happy as when I saw what my other half had quietly purchased for herself on Etsy the other week (without telling me).

How cool is that?! I am not only in love with a geek that is so into Star Trek that she can argue why the motion picture is her personal favourite instead of The Wrath of Khan but she fills our home with cool stuff.

Sigh.

I’m tired – but happy and my shirts feel a bit better.

Now – on that note it’s time for tea.

Davey

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