Where does the day go?
As I type I’m already (metaphorically speaking) on my knees and practically asleep at the wheel (of life) but oddly I still feel really really good.
The fact of the matter is that despite all of my worst impulses regularly arriving in the mornings day after day, trying collectively to stop me from getting up and going swimming I’m (we’re) still doing it every single day.
Now I’m not sure how long my partner and I’s streaks of enthusiasm for swimming will last – but for me at least something (motivation wise) has changed. Rather unexpectedly its a (quite vain?) side effect of my behaviour that’s feeding my willingness to continue – because at the moment I have pecs and guns that are harder than I’ve ever had in my entire life.
I’ll spare you a picture.
In reality I doubt they’re all that impressive and there’s always going to be someone trimmer and fitter than I am.
I’m no musclehead and you will never find me lifting weights in the gym for hours. I’m still a proudly wibbly wobbly blancmange of a man thanks to losing so much weight – but I’m also proud that underneath my oversized skin there is a rather buff torso taking shape.
It’s not just happening to me either because I can see the same physical changes happening to my partner in all the same places.
Rather amusingly we often find ourselves giggling and comparing biceps – which is a place I never thought either of us would find ourselves in.
Truthfully when we first met its fair to say that we both had an awful lot of body confidence issues – but as time has passed we’ve both learned to not only love who we are in the framework of a relationship – but also begin the process of liking what’s reflected in the mirror when we’re alone too.
There’s a lot to be said for having someone to remind you every day that you’re attractive and that they are attracted to you.
After a while you have to either call them a liar or accept (when they pinch your bum whilst tying your laces for the 1000th time) that they may be telling the truth.
I’m never going to be someone that is completely confident with who they are and how they look – but I feel at the moment like I’m closer to feeling good about my body than I’ve ever been – which is odd given that I’m currently out of target and lots of my shirts don’t fit.
The truth is though that when they did fit at my lowest weight many people commented that I was too thin. Quite a few also asked me not to lose any more weight and some even suggested I needed to put some back on!
Imagine that! Being told you’re too thin after being 35 stone!
It’s a major compliment and a really unexpected non-scale victory – but it also left me in an odd place, because when I was smaller I also had more loose skin. Now I’m bigger I look in the mirror and honestly at 16st there are parts of me that look more ‘filled out’ and less gaunt than they used to.
I think I actually prefer them that way…
However – mother nature can be a complete bee hatch and whilst my biceps, legs and my butt currently look better, my stomach (in my opinion) does not.
I wrote a while ago about my feelings regarding tummy tucks (link) . It’s something I would never consider – so if I choose to stay a little on the cuddlier side I’m going to just have to come to terms with it.
For now though I’m still trying to lose weight and see how I feel at 15st (if I get there) but I’m not all that worried because even where I am at the moment there are still major victories to be had.
On my way home hand in hand with my partner the other day I spotted a neighbour from over the road with his two young girls. They were getting into their vehicle – and as the children bounced into the back seats playfully I noticed that on the rear offside of the car (out of the view of the driver) there was a flat tyre.
I called over and pointed it out as he was pulling on his seatbelt.
He got out, walked around the car, checked the tyre, kicked it forlornly and looked miffed.
‘I only had that looked at the other day…’ he huffed.
His daughters looked worried. They were dressed smartly with sparkly rhinestones on their white trainers and looked like he was about to drop them off somewhere.
‘Don’t worry.’ I said. ‘I have a foot pump in my boot. Let me grab it and we can put a bit of air in it.’
I dropped my bags off in the house and grabbed the pump while my other half filled the kettle to make a much needed tea and coffee. I then walked to his car and took the cap off his tyre, before attaching the foot pump and starting to pump it up and down.
It wasn’t until I looked up that I realised he seemed a bit surprised.
I don’t think he was expecting me to re-inflate his tyre. I think he fully expected me to just hand him the pump and let him get on with the job himself.
On reflection I would probably be surprised too, because in that moment it occurred to me that we had never previously spoken to eachother before and I’d just decided to do the job that needed doing because I could.
‘Hi – I’m Dave.’ I said – pumping away and sticking my hand out.
‘Hi – I’m xxxx’ he said. ‘Pleased to meet you. Thanks for this!’
To the right of me I noticed his young teenage daughter had started rhythmically dancing in time with the sound of the air cycling in and out of the twin barrelled pump.
I laughed. ‘It does sound like it’s got a beat doesn’t it?’ I said – pretending to dance along too and making ‘mmmmsk mmmmsk mmmmsk’ beat box noises.
‘Have you and your missus just moved in? xxxx said to me.
‘Nope.’ I said. ‘Lived here for 13 years.’
He looked at me with a very surprised expression.
‘Oh!?’ he said – half as a statement and half as a question.
‘I used to be 35 stone though. I lost almost 20 stone – so it’s no wonder you don’t recognise me.’
‘No way! he said. I thought you were both new neighbours!’
I grinned – and looked down at the foot pump. The tyre was now fully inflated, so I stopped pumping, released the valve, clipped the pump’s barrel back into place and screwed the plastic cap back onto his tyre.
I stood up, shook his hand again, said goodbye and headed off to get my cup of coffee.
It wasn’t until I’d walked away, waving to his smiling young girls as they jumped into the car that I realised throughout the whole encounter I’d been furiously pumping up a car tyre, whilst laughing and talking to all three of them, and had not once been out of breath or tired.
Furthermore I’d just walked up a hill prior to the encounter and before that I’d been swimming.
I absolutely love that my neighbour thought that the moribund lump he’d seen in the past struggling to squeeze in and out of his car was someone else entirely – and that the energetic and helpful guy that shook his hand was someone new that had recently moved in with his attractive blonde ladyfriend.
This is why the freezing cold, damp (and often rain soaked) mornings so far have completely failed to dent my enthusiasm for just being the strongest, fittest version of myself that I can be.
I’m fit and dancing on the street to the sound of a foot pump!
Furthermore my girlfriend and I are giving pickle jars what for as we open them with barely a grimace.
I might be tired – but its a good tiredness…
Mmmmsk mmmmsk mmmmsk…