Deflecting compliments

My weekend was shamefully lazy.

There. I said it. I hardly moved a muscle on both Saturday and Sunday and I also ate way too much stuff as well.

You know what though – I feel good for listening to my inner couch potato for once. Today I was full of beans when the alarm went off at 9am and had been dreaming of flying for what seemed like hours. In the depths of my mind somewhere I was soaring high and free, able to float on the breeze without wings.

Whatever caused this positive flood of subconscious thought left me feeling in tip top shape even after only five hours under my duvet.

Something that I’m also noticing a lot more lately is that I appear to be needing much less sleep than I used to. Getting five hours in the past used to be akin to the beginning of the Apocalypse – but not any more. Nodding off doing the day is also a thing of the past – which was something that had quietly become something of a feature of my early 40’s. I hadn’t really linked it too much to weight – but I guess my body needed way more shut eye than it does now.

Sadly when I reached for my phone to switch my alarm off I also noticed a text to say that my regular Monday walk had been cancelled due to illness. However, the (cold) day was still out there – and it deserved to be fully utilised.

As I got out of bed I was still thinking about a silly mishap from the night before. Whilst walking up the stairs to relieve myself I nearly fell face first into the toilet. As comical as this sounds it was as annoying as hell.

My second smallest pair of trousers and the new belt I bought with my interview clothes unexpectedly fell down just as I reached the top step and door to the loo making me stumble at the top of the stairs.

I only just saved myself from a flush related death and probable Darwin Award nomination.

Sure – it’s really really great that I’m loosing weight, but I only just bought this belt and these trousers were pretty snug about two months ago. I’ve now only got one pair of trousers that will stay up without a belt, meaning soon I need to buy more, and not just as a one off, but continuously.

I need a job basically.

I was thinking about the cost associated with clothes as I walked, and had headed out of the house – initially to the park. My daily routine has (since I began looking for work a month ago) started with coffee, been immediately followed by a good stroll, continued with going through the (many) job mails and sites I’ve signed up to, updating my progress on the JSA portal – and then progressed to dinner and whatever else needs to be done.

My walk (initially to St Nicholas Park) was mostly in the hope of seeing the swanling – which has been absent on my last three visits. Today it was worryingly absent again – and no matter where I looked there wasn’t a swan in sight.

Mind you there weren’t many ducks, geese or other birds either.

There wasn’t much of anything to be honest – including people. It was really really cold – so I guess being outside was a tough sell for anyone today, let alone being outside sitting with your ass in a freezing river waiting for chunks of bread to be thrown at you by passing well wishers.

Still – despite the lack of my avian buddy I usually bump into a couple of nice ladies who regularly walk their dogs together, and today was no exception. We’ve passed each other so often and stopped to say hello so frequently that we’re now on first name terms, and as I saw them approaching along the river bank today I automatically turned off my music and pulled out my earphones.

One of the ladies has a little toddler who is always smiling and insanely adorable. I bent over to say hello and ruffle his curly brown hair. He smiled back under his little red nose and wooly hat. As I did this his mother commented that I was looking good and had lost more weight since I last saw her.

I confirmed her suspicions (with a bit of a grin) and said ‘Nine stone, one and a half pounds!’

She congratulated me. It was ‘quite an achievement’ she said.

Then her companion, the taller and slightly older of the two women leaned in close to me, peering at my face from behind her dark rimmed spectacles.

‘I’ve just noticed.’ She said. ‘You’re really good looking.’

I don’t know how to accept compliments – so I have developed my own coping mechanism/deflection technique, usually rooted in dry quips.

‘I must be losing my touch.’ I replied, looking at her with faux annoyance. ‘That’s usually the FIRST thing people notice about me.’

I stared at her, playing out the act that I was offended.

In the background my arid sense of humour thankfully hadn’t been lost on her friend, and as she rocked the pushchair back and forth she was smiling at my response.

‘I am a bit short sighted though!’ The lady apologised, adjusting her glasses, and drawing in for an even closer look. Taking mock offence I pretended to look huffy.

To be entirely truthful I don’t know what to do when faced with praise. I’m quite used to being called names, and am practiced in how to respond in those circumstances – but when people do the opposite I’m relatively defenceless and tend to flounder a bit.

Eventually we parted company after chatting further about their own weight loss (she’s parted with three and half stone and says she feels much better thank you very much) both laughing and saying goodbye until the next time.

Honestly (despite my rather sarcastic reaction) this event put a definite spring in my step. Although it was quite embarrassing it’s really nice receiving a compliment out of the blue. I started to walk faster, initially without even realising it and then broke out of the park on a whim into Warwick and up past the castle, eventually walking a large circuit of the town until I eventually looped back to my house.


Annoyingly I couldn’t crack the 18 minute mile barrier today. Later on in the walk when I got to a stretch without junctions and crossings I was REALLY going for it – but my legs just don’t yet have it in them.

Still – one day soon hopefully. I guess I’ve only just got under 19 minutes.

Unusually for me I also managed an uncomfortably tubby jogging waddle across a busy junction. My legs wanted to run – but sadly my barely restrained belly had other ideas and locked the whole silly idea down before I got too far above my aspirational station. I got to the other side of the road (in one still wobbling piece) and decided not to do that again for another few stone.

Again – another task for another day.

All the while I’d STILL been thinking about hole punches for belts (around £10 on Amazon, but cheaper than £20 for a new belt every few inches…) and the cost of trousers, shirts and jeans.

Then I arrived home and opened my laptop with another coffee to go through my job mails.

I’ve only got a job interview!

I know it’s bad form to get one’s hopes up too high – but even if nothing comes of it AT LEAST I GET TO WEAR MY SMART CLOTHES AND GET SOME EXPERIENCE!

So internet – I’m a little bit excited, and a more than a little caffeinated.

Non-scale victories for the last 24 hours:

  1. Trousers fell down and I didn’t kill myself by drowning in the toilet
  2. A short sighted lady thinks I’m quite handsome
  3. I have a job interview!

I wonder what the rest of the week will bring?

Also – I’m considering making my face naked. What’s the collective opinion? Beard or no beard? So far responses from friends appear to be heavily weighted toward me remaining in my ‘Santa Claus the early years’ persona and NOT going clean shaven.

The jury is currently out. Hard Beardexit or no Beardexit? And remember – Beardexit means Beardexit.


2 thoughts on “Deflecting compliments

  1. For the sake of those of us who have recently started following your blog I vote a no beard, as we haven’t seen your naked face before. But I think you should wait until the spring as it’ll keep your face warm in the cold weather!

    Also congratulations on your interview and good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

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