Counting the pile

I’m having a day of ‘rest’ today. Well at least from walking – it’s not really a day of chilling – but time to tidy my house. It’s become a bit of a mess in my recent prolonged outdoor absences.

It’s no excuse I know but I have been trying not to sit indoors at all lately, so the house has slowly become a bit of a dumping ground. I’ve been putting a lot of domestic stuff off.

Some of it is also because my dining room still has big boxes of crap from my mom’s bungalow and I’ve done everything I can to avoid going anywhere near them. Things have been placed in front of them and on top of them, probably in an unconscious attempt to avoid the task.

However this morning the band aid was not exactly ripped off but I began a gentle (ow!) peeling (ow!!) process (frick!) that is a bit more in tune with what I feel capable of bearing.

I have today added to my huge pile of washed and folded clothes to go to charity – along with a stack of towels (I have LOADS for some reason) and some handbags and things that belonged to my mom.

In the process I’ve also uncovered items that have been hidden in my ‘lalalalala not listening’ places for some time.

I stopped for lunch to read through some them.

My meal while I did so came courtesy of the slow cooker, which was filled with the ingredients for a beef stew last night. It never ceases to amaze me when I go to bed, and close the lid on raw meat and veg, that I then wake up in the morning to see this.

My lunch has been a somber one though – and if I’m honest it’s made me both angry and sad. Don’t get me wrong – the beef stew was lovely. It was the reading material that left me sitting in silence.

This morning I found my old Slimming World books (there are two) which I thought had been destroyed in a fit of pique some years ago.



It’s all just numbers until I start to look at the dates and weights, and then I see my own reflection staring back at me in-between the lines – and I don’t like it.

I hate it in fact.


I absolutely loathe it.

I’m stopping short of saying I hate myself because I’m trying hard to focus on the fact that the person in these numbers and dates is not me any more.

Although he is. I was him not so long ago.In many ways I’m STILL the same man and it terrifies me that I may one day completely become him again. It’s happened before.

When I originally met Angie and joined in November 2010 I was 33st 4lbs – a stone and a half lighter than I was when I rejoined for a third time in April 2016.

Although many weeks in my first book are concurrent I can see the gaps further on where I didn’t weigh in. They stand out like sore thumbs. I can also remember just walking out of the group after standing on the scales – not wanting to face up to what I had been eating and drinking during the week and instead going home to get drunk. I remember quite often getting a chicken kebab on the way home too.

I had to drive from Slimming World to the chip shop to pick it up, and drive home to eat it because I couldn’t easily walk the distance under my own steam.

How pathetic is that?

I got a few stickers though. I managed to loose two stone before I ran away the first time.

Then in between the 9th March and 23rd of May 2011 (when I made a half hearted second attempt and re-joined) I put on TWO STONE EIGHT AND A HALF POUNDS. That’s around a stone a month.

I lasted four weeks according to my second, sad looking, sticker-less book and then went right back to stuffing my face.

I keep seeing this figure of a stone a month. It was the same when I stopped Weight Watchers. It happened again after the Cambridge Diet – at exactly the same pace.

It scares me to death when I see evidence of what I’m capable of when I’m drepressed and have alcohol and food in unlimited quantities. I haven’t been able to stop myself with either before.

I have now though – and I HAVE to believe that this is permanent.

I genuinely feel like this is my very last chance, because if I do it again I’m 100% sure it will kill me. Maybe not immediately but it will do eventually.

I need to focus on all the positives and not give into recriminations and regrets – or think about the years I’ve lost.

Sometimes it’s really hard though – and on days like today when it’s raining outside and I’m left surrounded by bad memories it can gnaw away at me and make me forget all of the positives.

At the moment I’m working through it by writing and counting clothes. Huge clothes. Clothes I have been forced to wear by my inactivity. Half of them I never liked, some I hated, but wore because the alternative was public nudity.

I looked at the tag in one newish pair of jeans. 64 waist. Sadly this wasn’t the biggest pair I owned. There were bigger ones. They are stretched and deformed at the waistband, pulled out of their original shape by the strain and pressure of holding my gut in.

Some waistbands couldn’t take the pressure and and the buttons literally popped off, sometimes snapping in half and leaving jagged metal behind. I learned over the years that the best way to deal with this was to just sew the waistband together and cover it up with a thick belt.

The belts often also broke. Mostly because of similar metal fatigue in the buckles. I used to keep some string in the boot of my car just in case. True story.

All of it is intensely shameful. But it needs to be remembered.

In this pile on my living room floor are seven pairs of jeans (there are more waiting in the wings upstairs), twelve shirts (at least three more will join soon), one hoodie and five teeshirts (another four are almost too big).

I know I’m putting off taking these to charity  – and I know the reason. In the back of my mind there’s a ‘what if‘.

This pile of cotton and polyester misery represents at least £500 that I no longer have at my disposal to replace them if I backslide.

Taking all of these to Age Concern is the metaphorical and almost literal embodiment of ‘burning my bridges’. It’s a massive step for me.

I’m going for a walk tomorrow and afterwards I’m going to dispose of the lot. Every last single item. I am never ever ever ever ever going to wear any of these ever again.

And internet – you have my permission if you see me slipping or loosing my way to point me at this post and to rub my nose in the excrement of my past to make sure that I go outside and do my business there instead of sitting trapped in my armchair, sleeping upright because I couldn’t breathe when I lay down.

You have my blessing to boot my bottom.


7 thoughts on “Counting the pile

  1. I am so proud of you, Dave…facing your demons is bl****y scary! But you are looking them straight in the face and everything changes if you can let compassion for your ‘old self’ in.

    Just keep going, healing yourself, i.e. making yourself more ‘whole’. Your journey is an inspiration for me and probably for many others too.
    Sending you a big hug!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am so proud of you that you have come so far and are really sticking with it this time. Sometimes we need a few attempts to get where we want to be. And you are not alone in that. Our past, and with that our mistakes and attempts, success and failures make us who we are. Possibly we need past, failed attempts to succeed a second time, as It is because we fail that we learn why and how, so we may brace ourselves the next time. So perhaps the past Slimming World attempts are not that bad after all. Perhaps they are now helping you to become the man that you are today, the one you want to be. 🙂 And he’s pretty awesome.

    And yes! Go and donate your clothes. I used to hold on to my old clothes too in the past. But not this time. I have tossed everything that was to big out. There’s no going back now. 😀 Let’s burn those bridges together! *holds torch high in the air*

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahahah – I can see us on top of a hill in a stormy Victorian fin de siècle novel (in black and white) with burning torches – ready to set fire to the past in a symbolic turn of the century gesture.

      Bye bye clothes! 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

      Liked by 1 person

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