Tag Archives: motivated

Back In The Saddle Again

I’m so excited, and you’ll never guess what I’ve gone and done…I’ve only dug my bike out of the shed and taken it to the bike shop to be serviced. I know, right? It’s at least seven years since it saw any action, and I’d kind of thought in the back of my mind that I’d hold on until I reached a certain size before I took the plunge. The size where children and small animals wouldn’t run for cover for a start, at the sight of my arse in cycling shorts.

But you know what, I was chatting with some friends last weekend after one of the gang had been out for a spin, and we all agreed we’d enjoy riding along the canal path together one of these days, so I thought knickers to it, why wait. And now I’m really really giddy.

Cycling is the only active pursuit where I’ve properly caught the bug, you know? Where I’ve done it for pleasure as opposed to doing it for exercise. Last time I lived in Skinny Town I used to go out on my bike pretty much every day and I’d think nothing of hopping aboard and killing twenty or thirty miles. One or two of my favourite ever days have been spent on two wheels so it’s fair to say that now I’ve decided it’s time to get back in the saddle, I can hardly wait.

It feels like a bit of a milestone moment to be honest. It’s a thing, you know? A throwback to the fit and skinny life that I spent a long time missing, and a long time doubting that I’d ever get back to. It’s one of the things I’ve most looked forward to since I started this journey and I’m so grateful that I’ve managed to come this far, although you might need to remind me that I’ve said that when my arse cheeks are rubbed raw from the first two or three outings.

Most of all, it means that now the nights are lighter, on the days that I get in  from work too late to get down to the Kindgom of Pain, I still have a workout option, and that could be a proper game-changer.

I was hoping to have it back by Saturday but I think it’s more likely to be after the weekend. To be fair, years of inactivity meant it limped across the threshold of the bike shop with two flat tyres, and a set of seized up gears,  so I suspect it’ll need more than a little TLC to breathe life back into it.

It’s perhaps just as well, because I’ve got a final exam next week relating to some professional development that I’ve been doing at work. At least I won’t need to sit on an ice pop whilst I revise over the weekend…every cloud, right? 😉

 

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All My Knobs Are At The Top

You know what, this week is shaping up to be an absolute corker, I mean I’ve had a couple of really cracking days. After all that sorting out at the weekend, I swear the last thing on my mind was going out and buying more stuff, but on Monday I tagged along with a couple of friends from work for a cheeky lunchtime mooch around a local retail park and I accidentally came home with two dresses, two tops and a jacket. Mainly because I really liked them but also because I could. I should probably feel guilty, but you know what, bite me 🙂

Then, I was out of the office all day yesterday on a course at the local University designed to help me develop resilience in the workplace, and I had lightbulbs going off in my head every five minutes. It was supposed to be a work thing, but there were more parallels than I could even count with this weight-loss journey that we’re all on, so I couldn’t wait to tell you.

One thing in particular really resonated, about mental toughness, and God knows those of us on a diet need a bit of that to resist all the pies, right? I’ve been trying to figure out how to explain it.

This professor dude talked about ‘The Four C’s’ of mental toughness, which are Challenge, Control, Confidence and Commitment.

Challenge is about understanding what the challenge is – what needs to be done and the benefit you’ll get if you do it. Confidence is about believing that you have it in you to pull it off. Control is about feeling in control of both your environment and your emotions and commitment is…well, as it sounds – it’s about committing to a goal or an outcome.

It seems you can pretty much write a cheque for success in any situation if all four of those things are present and correct. As he was talking, I was supposed to be applying the theory to a work context but in my head, my thoughts set off running like a hare in a meadow…I started thinking about my weight-loss journey, and I started to get very very giddy.

Because. I understand that I need to lose weight, and I know how much better I’ll feel when I’m skinny. I one hundred percent believe that I can do it and right now I’m in control of what’s around me, and what’s inside me…the Asshole voice is well and truly gagged. And I’m totally committed to my food sobriety.

Imagine a graphic equaliser. In case you’re too young to remember what one of those was, (get out of my blog immediately) they existed in an era before digital sound blew the need for manual twiddling out of vogue. They looked a bit like the picture I’ve stuck at the top, with knobs you could move up and down to isolate and adjust the different bits of sound when you were playing a record, like dialling up the bass or the treble.

Now think about one of those knobs next to each of the four C’s…right now, all four of my C’s are dialled right the way up. All my knobs are at the top and they have been since I gave my head a wobble in the New Year and rediscovered the sweet spot. They’re all up there on full volume, and yesterday I made the connection between all this lovely theory and what’s happening with me right now. My unbroken run of fourteen losses in fourteen weeks. Not a toe out of line where my food plan is concerned. It’s because all my knobs are at the top.

In the last three months of last year when I was climbing on and falling off the wagon with alarming regularity, my knobs were not at the top. Sometimes one or two or maybe even three of them might have been, but if just one of those four things is switched off, you are on the back foot completely and the chances are you won’t succeed. I’ve lived it, remember? I regained twenty two pounds in the last three months of the year. I’m telling you, it was like fucking Blackpool illuminations in my head yesterday when I made the connections.

Where are your knobs? It might be worth doing a quick recce, especially if you’re in that place where you’re taking two steps forwards and one step back…I guess understanding which one of your knobs needs adjusting might just make the difference, right?

On another note, I’ve changed my weigh-day. I decided that since I’m spending my weekly Weight-Watchers points on days three to five of my dieting week it would make more sense if those days fell on a weekend. So, my new weigh-day is Wednesday. Today. And to my surprise and delight although it’s only three days since my last weigh-in, Shitbird Scale offered up one and a quarter pounds.

Told you I was having a good week 🙂

 

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A Perfect St Valentine

So the nearer I get to my holiday, the more I keep expecting the wheels to come off my food plan. There are only four more sleeps to go, and generally by this point – usually way before this point if we’re splitting hairs – the Asshole voice would have kicked the pre-holiday campaign into full swing…you may as well stop now, you’re practically on holiday and you won’t lose any more weight between now and then. You’re going to blow it next week anyway so why don’t you just have a few days without having to worry about dieting and start your blow-out early…you’ve earned it.

This time..? Nothing. The food plan continues in textbook fashion, and not a murmur from the asshole between my ears.

I’m a bit baffled to be honest. Last night would have been a perfect opportunity for him to rattle his chains. I was in a proper strop when I finally got in from work, having left an hour early so I could make a 6pm class at the Kingdom of Pain only to get stuck in shitty traffic. My one hour commute turned into three hours so I missed class altogether…I wasn’t even close.

Then when I finally got home there was nothing in for supper. Well, there was, but it was all food I’m not supposed to be eating, because I rushed out yesterday morning without proper planning. So I cobbled together a fairly random and crappy supper consisting of a couple of crumpets which were past their ‘best before’ date, and a protein shake. I’m not going to lie, I didn’t get an A for effort. I couldn’t help feeling a bit envious at the thought of all those folk enjoying romantic and tasty valentine dinners,  as I sat there with my two stale crumpets and a crappy milkshake.

So the evening’s not going well, right? It was a stinker. Except in so many ways it was perfect. There was food in the fridge that my head just accepted was off-limits, so there was no debate to be had. No standing in front of the fridge whilst I tried to talk myself into it and then out of it again. No fight. Hello? That’s a first.

Then my boy came home later on with a box of seriously good chocolates that he’d been given, and normally I’d be all over those bad boys in a flash…last night, nothing. I wasn’t interested. I didn’t even smell them, that’s how immune I was. It’s not like I was grandstanding, or making a show of being good…I just didn’t want one. And let me be clear, not wanting one has never actually stopped me from having one in the past. If they were there, I could and if I could, I did. Always. But not last night.

Do you think I’m sickening for something?

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The Myth Of Straight And Narrow

It’s the sole topic of conversation right now, this dieting malarkey. Just about every bit of small talk and chatter I’ve overheard relating to the festive season has involved folk exchanging war stories about the obscene amount of food and drink they’ve consumed, and how they need to drop the additional pounds now it’s all over. I’ve got to say,  most of the people I know don’t actually look any different despite pretending that they ate as much as I did. Me, well…the party going on in my pants tells its own story.

Its also impossible to dodge the multitude of programmes on the telly about this diet or that fitness regime, to the point where normal people must surely be getting pissed off with it all. I know from experience that fat classes up and down the country will be bursting at the seams for the next few weeks, and gym regulars will be muttering under their breath as the latest batch of fatties adjust their brand-new-out-of-the-box fitbits and form an orderly queue for the exercise bikes. There’s definitely more traffic than usual on this road to Skinny Town.

What I’m beginning to realise, is that this isn’t the long straight road I’d imagined as I embarked on this journey, you know? On the 17th August 2015 I set off thinking there’s no reason why I can’t achieve a steady loss of 2lbs per week, so that’s… *screws face up, thinks for a minute then gives up and reaches for a calculator* …175lbs too heavy divided by 2lbs per week is 88 weeks, and 88 weeks from now takes me up to…15th March 2017. Ta Daaah!

That’s the day I’ll shimmy into my skinny jeans and sashay down the road with my neat and tidy tushie, right?

Hang on a minute… *looks down at buddha body still encased in elasticated waistband* …that’s only 10 weeks from now. Fuck. How did that happen? To get back on track I’ll need to lose 12lbs per week every week between now and then. Yeah, good luck with that, Dee. Way to go.

So maybe there were some weeks where I didn’t lose two pounds…yeah, like the last three months where you’ve been fannying around and regained a bunch of weight. Theres been a distinct absence of solid 2lb losses in recent times, in fact most weeks out of the last twelve I’ve either clung on by my fingertips and maintained, or I’ve hurtled backwards at an alarming rate of knots. I didn’t account for that when I was doing my calculations.

Still. I am where I am but you know what, I refuse to get down about it. I could so easily have been sat here, dying a little bit inside and polishing the wing mirror on my mobility scooter with a tear-stained sleeve as I saw only failure behind me and reflected on the fact that I was now 70lbs heavier and knocking on the door of 400lbs because the 22nd August 2015 was just another false start that went nowhere, you know? My dieting life is peppered with false starts that went nowhere.

But that’s not where I am, is it? I ended 2016 around 60lbs lighter than my starting point and I’m still fucking hanging in there. So what,  I might be only one third of the way towards my goal instead of almost there but shit happens and the important thing is never taking your eye off the end game and getting up when your feet get knocked out from underneath you.

I’ve already clocked the tiger waiting for me when I’ve clawed my way out of this valley, I suspect he’ll actually come in the shape of my forthcoming holiday. And beyond that there appears to be shark-infested waters and the odd cyclone but fuck it, at least life won’t be boring, right? I’ve got you lot to keep me company, and it’s all good.

Come on then, let’s crack on 🙂

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Under The Hundred!

halfway

I can’t imagine that there would be too many folk doing a happy dance at the prospect of being ninety eight pounds over their ideal weight, but it’s all about perspective isn’t it? I lost a solid two pounds this week, which means that for the first time in years I have less than one hundred pounds to go before I can officially check into Skinny Town and unpack my bags. And you bet your sweet ass I did my happy dance.

I’m halfway towards beginning the rest of my life as a person who lives in a body that’s nurtured with all the things it needs, and I’m starting to get curious now about what effect that’s going to have on me as I get older. I’ve abused my body for years, with little or no exercise and a volume-rich-nutrient-poor diet. You don’t have to look very far before you come across statistics which suggest that’s not particularly compatible with old age…once you get the wrong side of fifty it seems the ice upon which we all skate gets very thin if you live on a diet of cheese balls.

I used to be very blasé about it when I was younger – sure, I’m bigger than the average bear but I’m as healthy as on ox. I’ll be fine. Except, somewhere around my late forties, my stamina disappeared faster than a puff of smoke on a windy day, and shit started to hurt. And somehow, despite people who knew about stuff like that the world over declaring it to be inevitable, I was naive enough to believe that it would never happen to me.

I can’t help wondering whether there are things on the inside of my body that I can’t see which have taken a proper battering as a result of me yo-yo dieting for the vast majority of my life. I mean, there’s plenty of evidence on the outside…one look at my bingo wings and it wouldn’t take Sherlock Holmes to deduce that they’ve been fat and not so fat and then fatter again on an endless loop for the last forty years. I wave my arms and there’s immediately a tsunami going on in my sleeves.

It’s not pretty, but I doubt it will kill me. Same with the dimples in my knees…unsightly, but harmless in the grand scheme of things. There’s probably a bloke with a scalpel somewhere who would happily suck nip and tuck the evidence away for an appropriate fee and who knows, if I win the lottery I might choose to walk that path. To be honest though, I find myself more pre-occupied with what’s going on inside.

I remember reading once that if you stop smoking before you’re forty, by the time you’re fifty your lungs will look like you never smoked. No residual harm. I quit one month before my fortieth birthday, so by rights my lungs should be as pink and healthy as a baby’s bum by now. I wonder how long it’ll take all my other bits and pieces to forgive me for subjecting them to a lifetime of food abuse…? They surely must be more battered than those in the body of a fifty-year-old lifelong skinny string bean.

I wish this epiphany hadn’t come so late in life, I mean I’m not old old, but if I’d got the measure of my Asshole voice much earlier I can’t help thinking that my engine room would be looking a little less tarnished as I bump into my middle years. I’m just grateful that the lights are all on now. I’m doing better.

I know that cheese balls aren’t a food group, and that making healthy choices is much easier once you’ve built up a head of steam. I know that using the remote to switch TV channels doesn’t constitute exercise, and I’ve learned that even a knackered old body will respond given the right sort of encouragement.

I feel strong, actually. I had a great walk yesterday with a bunch of good friends…it wasn’t hard, even though there was a lot of going up and down. It was just enjoyable you know? I didn’t really think about the walking, I was too busy looking around at all the beautiful scenery and watching Charlie dog having a ball jumping in and out of the river. I could have been doing this years ago, and it pisses me right off that I wasn’t.

But I am now, and that’s what matters, right? 🙂

 

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