Target is a tough place to be

If I’m completely honest the last couple of days have been something of a disappointment when it comes to weight and self perception.

They’ve been very positive and upbeat days otherwise – but my dreams haven’t been great lately so I know that deep down I’m bothered by not just this but a couple of other things too.

When I last posted on Saturday morning in group I was pretty happy – having stepped on the scales (twice just to make sure) and was greeted by the news that I was just about back in target.

The following day however (after eating only plums, salad and weetabix with frozen fruit) the scales told a totally different story.

What the effing eff?! They’ve never let me down like this before and I seriously cannot account for where another eight flipping pounds has appeared from.

This can’t happen overnight – which leads me to think that this is either fluid retention or the scales were telling me total lies on Saturday morning.

I stepped off, stepped on again and saw the same – just like the day before.

Cue a mini self effacing meltdown and several ranty texts to Angie where I railed against the injustice of it all.

The mad thing is that I usually know when this is going to happen. My body feels a certain way and certain ‘snug’ shirts usually tug a little at the waist.

At the moment everything shirt wise fits perfectly – and if anything I feel trimmer than usual.

That’s not reflected on Slimming World’s scales though – which show that despite some serious hard work this week I’m still not back in target.

Now – I almost typed ‘I’ve only lost a pound’ – but the truth of it is that I’ve told so many people at various meetings that there is no such thing as only losing anything.

You either lose or you don’t – and even a maintain is a victory, so I’m going to have to begrudgingly accept my own advice, reframe the narrative and take it on the chin.

Woohoo!!!

I lost a pound!!!

(Note – the author is still not feeling it – but he is working on it)

So – where is the smoking gun?

I’m not in diet mode – and I’m eating all the right foods – but if I’m brutally honest I’m also struggling with portion sizes.

However I’ve been mitigating this by mostly eating SP food.

I’ve also done a lot of exercise.

Since last Monday I’ve swum almost 9km and walked 63 miles.

I’m not blaming this on muscle gain mind you – but the exercise may well have a lot to do with why things feel trimmer.

Anyway – I have to get ready – I have a busy working day ahead of me and I need to get ready.

My next weigh in will be a Saturday in just under two weeks time (thanks to an ever changing work and personal life schedule) so I have to make sure that I remain committed and focused in the meantime.

Sigh.

This being at target business can be a tough place at the best of times – but currently I’m definitely feeling the (entirely self applied) pressure.

I see the 2019 SW MOTY handover point on the horizon and it’s less than a month away.

In the next few weeks so much change (almost all good) is happening that I don’t know what to think about first!!!

Davey

Im trying

If I’m honest I’ve probably been rather hard on myself this week.

You can tell people over and over when giving advice that they should focus on the things they do well and ignore others – but when it applies to yourself it’s all too easy to focus solely on the bad.

I’m just as guilty of this as the next man (or woman) and I do it far too often – even at this stage in the game.

Sometimes it’s hard though to step away from feelings that somehow (despite all evidence to the contrary) that you will return to the habits of the past and that everything will fall apart.

Life’s good – but is it too good?

Is this just the peak before the fall?

It’s silly isn’t it – but I’m sure that we all do it from time to time.

I just wish my fears didn’t manifest themselves when I’m trying to regain my mojo – because I’d much rather just hit a task head on with positive vibes in my mind.

Regardless of that (even though I don’t have to weigh in until Monday) I’m currently standing in line at Slimming World waiting to get some positive inspiration.

The truth of it is that weighing in on a day other than a Saturday really screws with my internal treat/austerity matrix.

The weekend – which is usually something of a ‘relaxed’ part of my dietary week – is a real danger period if I go into it ignoring the fact that I’m due to step on the scales in only two days time.

I’ve not stepped on the scales since the last official weigh in and regular readers will know that it wasn’t a positive one.

I’ve been in a ‘struggling member’ place for the last couple of weeks – and honestly my good behaviour mojo has been practically impossible to find at times.

The very best I’ve been able to accomplish is ‘hold my worst impulses at bay’ on some days – so I’ve attempted to compromise with myself this week.

I’ve accepted that I’m not fully ‘there’ with regard to my mindset.

Instead of giving up though I’ve done the best I can with food when I’ve felt able but also tried to increase my exercise activities in order to offset anything awful.

So far it appears to be working – and both my significant other and I have been leaning on eachother from afar in moments of weakness.

It’s nice to never have to hide your behaviours or excesses from someone – especially as we come from so many of the same places in life.

In my past life my behaviours were way more furtive than they are now and I hid smoking, eating and drinking from previous partners.

I couldn’t really modify any of those habits at the time and consequently many flashpoints occurred that seriously damaged trust between us.

I roll my eyes in shame and frustration now when I think of how I used to hide cigarettes in the spare wheel of my car, drink when my other half visited family, and buy kebabs on the way home from work while she was making a healthy meal.

Everything was self inflicted damage and I regret each and every time I told little white lies in order to cover up my inadequacies.

It’s not that way any more though.

My policy is absolute honesty – even if that highlights a failure.

Storing up crap for the future is a fool’s game because it always comes out in the end.

Even if a white lie is never found out the burden of remembering what you said instead of the truth will eventually catch up with you.

That may even result in stress or depression – but it can all be avoided.

Ever since I started weaponising honesty in my blog and wider life everything changed for the better.

My achievements in life have multiplied beyond anything I could ever have imagined.

My friendships have strengthened, and I’ve met many many new people who seem drawn to my willingness to expose all of my faults for the world to see.

It doesn’t hurt in a relationship either.

You can’t build a home on crappy foundations and these are no different. Start as you mean to go on.

So – when I stepped on the scales at home this morning I was pleasantly surprised.

Now – this is me in my pants, not in clothes – but it shows what a week of hard work (I’ve been swimming every day in the morning and walking almost every evening) can do if you put your mind to it.

The thing is that I still have two days to go before I can officially say I’m back in target – so I have to be good.

To add insult to injury (thanks to an ever changing schedule) I have to do an early weigh in on Monday instead of an evening one like I did last week.

Sigh.

#life

Ah well. I’m in the right place. The room is buzzing. There’s music in the background and I’m feeling positive.

Angie is welcoming her new members behind me and there’s the occasional cheer of slimmers standing on the scales and getting the result they want.

The other who aren’t so happy are chatting with friends, looking through their recipe books and planning strategies for the week ahead.

The fact is regardless of what happens I’m trying – and that’s what separates old Davey from new and improved Davey.

Although we were both hard on ourselves he never ever believed (or had any evidence) that he could succeed.

These days a failure isn’t what it used to be.

I used to be able to flush my life down the toilet in a way many would marvel at.

So – regardless of the moments where I re-brand my success as failure or look to the floor rather than the sky things are better.

I’m continually trying to be the best version of myself – to be a good role model to those I love – and at the end of the day that’s enough.

No one is perfect, we all falter and we all look down on ourselves.

Whether you pick yourself up and move on or not is the differentiator between someone that’s becoming unhappier and unhealthy or someone that’s ultimately pleased with who they are and loving life.

I’m the latter.

Now and forever.

Davey

Struggling member

Well the results are in and according to the scales and the numbers in my book I’m now officially a struggling member at Slimming World!

(Cue dramatic grumpy face with suitably downbeat photo filter)

Regardless of all the exercise I’ve done over the last 7 days (it’s a lot) the truth is that this week I haven’t been as disciplined as I could have been (as well as having no small amount of bloating going on today) and this means I’ve had a second gain.

This hasn’t happened for a long long while…

For the first time in ages tonight I’ve had to pay in a meeting – which stings not because I begrudge Angie the money (she’s definitely worth it) but because I feel like I should have done better than I have with restraint in general and I’m annoyed with myself.

However – I’m planning to go to meetings regardless of whether the news is going to be bad or good and therefore just sitting here in the first place is a win.

I’ve also found an Avengers mug, filled it with tea and I’m doing my best to think positive thoughts.

So – why did it happen?

Well – last night, during a traffic jam, feeling glum that I was driving in the opposite direction to the one I wanted to (away from my significant other and facing a long stretch without her) I managed to eat 500g of carrots, six apples and a large punnet of plums.

When I got home (feeling very tired and more than a bit moody despite knowing that I was weighing in the following day) I ended up massacring two packets of ryvita and no less than 16 triangles of light spreadable cheese.

So – a probable maintain when I went into the weekend quickly turned into a completely inevitable gain.

Instead of sitting in a group feeling pleased with myself and my restraint I’m sitting here with a clenched jaw thinking about what I’ll have to do over the next week to make a difference.

Sigh.

Oh well – I’m human and there’s no point making a mountain out of a molehill.

I’ve just got to trust that everything will be better over the coming week and that I’ve got more than enough experience of the plan to pull things around.

The next week is going to be about good food choices, variety and positivity.

I’m going to cook nice food, try to steer clear of triggers and face up to what I’m eating – because mood dips are no excuse for stuffing my face!

If I want it enough then I’ll do it.

My next weigh in will once again be on Monday next week (Saturday is becoming irritatingly impossible thanks to work and other commitments) so I’m going to need to be focused.

Think positive thoughts internet because I’m going to have to!

Davey

For the rest of my life

It’s a lovely day.

The sun is shining, the birds are tweeting and I’m already in my shorts and tee shirt.

The day has started early today and I’ve just attended a Slimming World group down south with my partner.

It’s the earliest I’ve ever been to a meeting – and these guys are hardcore because they kick off at 7.30!

I wasn’t actually weighing in myself today – as in SW terms Saturday is the last day of the week.

I weighed last Monday with Angie and although I never got around to writing a post about it the result was that I’d gained 5.5lbs over the 5 weeks since last standing on the scales.

I was sitting 2.5lbs above my target weight at 14st 5.5lbs.

I may have looked at this differently a while back – but in real terms I’m still lighter than when I first hit target in Feb 2018 (14st 7lbs) and I have had a few days (and the remainder of this weekend) to try and pull things around.

The motivation to get back into target so I don’t have to pay for the next meeting is huge (my wallet functions in a similar way to a camel sphincter when faced with a sandstorm) but I’m also more mindful of the fact that in July I have to go to Derby again to hand over the MOTY title to the new 2019 winner.

I want to be an example of someone who hasn’t slipped from grace rather than coming over as a cautionary tale of someone who lost the plot.

The truth is that I’m being flippant though.

I know that’s never going to happen – but in contrast a while back I had no evidence to back it up in my mind (link)

My belief that I wouldn’t slide back into the hell of obesity was based solely on what I had to keep telling myself.

I didn’t know whether or not it was self delusion though – because over and over again since I was born I’d managed to yo-yo up and down in size, and always ended up a little bit bigger than when I started.

Now I have stats that have been gathered over time to back my self belief up and I am certain that after spending nearly a year and a half being exactly where I should be with regard to weight and fitness that I will be this way for the rest of my life.

My fitness wearable also allows me to understand how things have changed – and even now still continue to do so.

I’m maintaining my exercise levels regardless of the fact that I’ve had less time now that I’m working and travelling a lot more.

I do this because it’s important to me – and anyone who wants to get fit and lose weight will do so if they want it enough.

Although I only ever used to walk for my daily exercise I now swim too – and for a while have done so around 15 times a month – meaning that almost every other day I get up, walk to the leisure centre, swim anywhere between 1-1.5km and then go to work.

Usually I also fit in a mile and a half walk at lunchtime (weather permitting) and then a few evenings a week I also go for another longer one.

I’ve not been as restrained as I probably should have been with my eating – but in all honesty recent weeks have been a stressful period with regard to whether my living situation would or would not change.

I had no idea whether or not I’d end up living with my partner in Warwickshire or elsewhere.

Would she get the job nearby that she’d applied for or wouldn’t she? What would it mean if she didn’t?

It’s one of those times in life when there’s nothing at all that you can do to alter the outcome of events. You just have to watch them unfold and hope for the best.

In the meantime the fridge is always capable of offering occasional solace and the store cupboard has recently also stepped in to do some of the heavy lifting.

I’ve had a weakness for crackers, marmite and cheese triangles lately that’s become something of an obsession – and like many of my old eating habits some foods or meals have suddenly and inexplicably occupy my thoughts endlessly and (like any other problem eater) I sometimes feel incapable of resisting when the hunger pangs strike.

As always though even when I’m eating too much I’m eating too much of the right kinds of foods rather than guzzling bottles of wine and hammering down pizzas and kebabs.

The changes regarding my ongoing levels of exercise stand as one of two pillars of personal strength – with the second being what types of foods I now eat.

Although many following slimming world may disagree I feel that this food related strength has been in no small part possible because I don’t do fakeaways and I eat very little processed foods or ready meals.

Although I do have a weakness for artificial sweetener in my coffee, and I love hi-fi and cereal bars pretty much everything else that I consume is made from scratch and completely natural.

This means that when tougher times hit I’m far less likely to do significant damage than I ever used to be.

I no longer treat gains as catastrophic disasters and I recognise that failing is not inevitable.

It’s a choice – and I continually choose not to.

It’s also nice to inspired by my other half – because while I know that many others see me as an inspiration when it comes to weight loss I’m just the same as anyone else.

I struggle all the time with self perception and feelings of guilt or self condemnation.

Going swimming and looking at myself naked in the mirror has never really become something I’m comfortable with – even though I do and accept the reality of both.

Having someone that seems to love the flaws I have whilst at the same time being on their own fitness journey inspires me.

If she can go to weigh in knowing that there’s a gain waiting for her then so can I. Last week she made the difference between me avoiding the task and taking a gain on the chin.

What many who I talk to fail to recognise is that I’d never be inspired or inspiring without people around me doing the same for me.

My partner isn’t the only one.

My blogger friend Hayley for instance inspires me every single day (link).

She’s been moving mountains (but often viewing them as mole hills) to change her life as long as I’ve known her.

Our journeys have been different – but we’re kindred spirits.

I’m proud to have been able to support her walking on her own road to a better life.

She will make an awesome consultant.

So this is why I get up and carry on every day.

I’ve learned from myself and others that failure is a combination of perception and choice. I’ve also come to realise that there’s no way to keep eating the same crap that caused all the problems in the first place and have a different outcome.

I’ve changed and I continue to change.

That means (hopefully) that I will be back in target on Monday.

Even if it doesn’t it then I will be there pretty damn soon and will remain there or thereabouts for the rest of my life.

Davey