I slipped off the wagon a little last night, and over indulged a bit. Let’s just say that where there whereas there were previously four boxes of Aldi Harvest Morn Benefit Cereal Bars (5 in a pack) in my cupboard yesterday morning there are now none. 😳

These are effectively cheap Slimming World hi-fi bars. You can have two as a healthy extra or one for 3.5 syns. They’re 70kcal each meaning a box is 350kcal. 

That’s 63 syns if I take off the two that were classed as a HE – but either way some hasty maths shows that this little piggy ate 1400kcal of tasty treats yesterday. 

Oddly however I awoke today not feeling pissed off with myself at all – and instead strangely satisfied – like I’d been really naughty but within known boundaries. 

I know exactly how much extra I consumed on Saturday – so now all I have to do is make some healthier decisions for the rest of the week. 

I’ll have a little bit less every day to make up for it. If I shave 200kcal off  my intake for the next six days then I’m back on track. 

With this in mind I set out into a rather grim and drizzly looking world today happy that everything was under control and that I could add a couple of extra miles onto my usual walking totals to help with my goals. 

Honestly this morning though I still felt a little emotional – but for other reasons. 

A few posts ago a very kind man in another of Angie’s SW groups that reads my blog gave me a really nice fleece that was now too big for him. 

Yesterday he added to this already huge act of generosity by dropping off a two piece suit, two pairs of 40in waist jeans and another (stunningly comfortable) winter jacket. 

Furthermore it’s an XL size – which I now realise the fleece was too. It fits me perfectly – and so do the jeans!

Just as a reminder – in April 2016 I was an 8XL shirt size and had a 66inch waist

One thing that people have remarked upon recently – and that I’m struggling to get used to myself – is how my legs look. 

Often I look down and I honestly don’t recognise them as my own. They look like sticks compared to the massive joints of pork that used to be there – and I’m often left dumbfounded about how they can look SO different to the way I used to. 

It’s so long ago that I looked like this that I can’t really remember how it felt or anything visual. I know that I used to own a pair of Levi 501’s with a 36in waist once upon a time – but that’s as far as it goes. Past that it’s all completely alien to me. 

In my head I’m still this guy with an outrageous gut and immense thighs. 

When I look in the mirror it still doesn’t make sense to me that I’m not him anymore. 

You’ll probably notice that I’ve also taken to referring to the person in these pictures as someone other than myself. In truth that’s how it feels

Whilst I struggle to separate my memories from the present visually my thought processes are very different these days and in every respect that counts I’m no longer that guy

The mind is a strange thing though. It can take you from zero to hero in an instant, or instead snatch defeat from the jaws of victory just as swiftly. 

Today whilst drinking coffee with my brother in town he mentioned something that he’d been reading and it hit me like a brick. He was referring to something called ‘Impostor Syndrome’ and I suddenly realised I’ve been in the grip of this for years

Effectively this is where you live in a perpetual state of ‘waiting to be found out’. 

This relates to you ‘knowing’ that you’re not good enough – and that it’s only a matter of time before other people realise the shocking truth too – and you’re unmasked in public as a failure. 

I had this for a decade and a half in my last job – and it’s also followed me everywhere in my personal life. Sooner or later (I’ve thought) people will click that I’m not worth knowing and walk away from me. 

It’s nonsense though. The lies that we tell ourselves are immense sometimes. 

If I couldn’t do my job I wouldn’t have been there for the length of time that I was. I also wouldn’t have been praised for doing it well by my colleagues or my customers. 

Similarly if no-one liked my in my social circles then I’d be alone and isolated. I’m not though – yet this feeling still persists – maybe less than it used to but it still has a hold over me. 

One of the revelations that related to this recently was when I started my new job (and my last brief one). 

I have been convinced for some time that if I tell people how big I was before they met me that they’d think ‘what a failure – how did he let himself become such a mess. It’s surely only a matter of time before he does it again. I don’t want to employ him or know him.’

I think it’s fairly obvious however that this imagined conversation says more about my view of myself than it says about other people’s real opinions about me. 

My imagined conversations are in fact variations of my own interior monologue and they say much more about how I see myself in darker moments than how my peers might view me. 

I shook hands with someone (meeting them for the first time) the other day before we sat and talked briefly about life and ourselves. 

The initial handshake was firm and solid at the start – but after I detailed how I’d spent the last year, and discussed my exercise levels and hopes for the future when we parted company his handshake was different. 

It felt warmer and slightly longer. 

Whilst the first handshake was a customary and standardised greeting the second parting one felt like it was from someone who was pleased that they had met me. 

It’s a different world out there now, and in some ways I feel woefully unprepared for what it holds. In many ways I’m back to year zero – and still learning what it is to not only be liked or loved (which to some extent has always been tainted by feeling like an imposter) but what it feels like to love and respect myself. 

I don’t think I’m in any way unique in this. People I know often say that they struggle to see themselves the way other people do – but in my case the landscape is still constantly shifting both internally and externally. 

Just when I think I’ve got a handle on things I’m reminded that I really really don’t and I’m forced once again to reassess my opinions and values. 

However internet this is a good thing. It means I’m alive, continually moving, learning and trying to be the best version of myself that I can be. 

I for one hope that when I’m eventually popping my wifi techno false teeth on charge many many years in the future I’m still excited that I’ve learned something new about who I am and the world around me. 

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. 

Every day is a gift. Use it to it’s fullest because life is too short to be unfulfilled. 


8 thoughts on “Impostor

  1. Love your honesty Dave. So much resonates with me. I think weight loss for some of us, is only a part of it. Lifes full of lessons and discoveries. The weight loss opens up all sorts of things about ourselves. We are more complex than we think!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: On the bank of the Rubicon – daveywankenobie

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