My initial response to my weigh in today was that it was ‘brutal.’
I said as much when I texted the galling news out to various interested parties.
They all responded supportively (as did my lovely SW group) and without exception started to re-frame the narrative for me and provide words of consolation.
In the words of one dear friend however it wasn’t brutal.
It was instead ‘epic‘ – and on reflection I think I prefer her wording – because whilst my gain can’t really be looked upon as a entirely positive trajectory it can (in the great scheme of things) be termed a victory of sorts.
It’s been three weeks since I last officially stepped on the scales and things have clearly changed.
However my victory comes not from the result scribbled in my book but from the attitude I have towards it.
I sat smiling throughout my group knowing that firstly yesterday morning (before eating pretty much all of my shopping stuck in various traffic jams for around four and a half hours on the way home from Sussex) I was weighing in at 15st 2lbs.
Therefore this isn’t all a gain that’s ‘real’. It’s the cumulative impact of lots of carrots, ham and plums.
It’s also related to several rather nice (reduced) Waitrose salads that disappeared at Oxford services around tea time.
I blame the evil woman with all of the little yellow stickers that compelled me to impulse buy all of the nice things and I blame the traffic for boring me into eating like a porky pig all afternoon!
However I’m not getting too bent out of shape about this.
I could have gone to KFC instead and experience tells me that the impact of this little blow out will be gone fairly soon.
Secondly I’m no longer Man of the Year.
This doesn’t make gaining weight my new goal, and it definitely doesn’t make it ok – but it DOES mean that when I slip up I no longer feel the added pressure to be perfect.
I’m just me, going to a group (relatively) anonymously again and having to look for support rather than being an example of relentlessly good behaviour.
I wish yesterday hadn’t unfolded quite the way it did though.
Irritatingly until then I’d been totally on plan all week and had been preparing and consuming wonderfully speedy meals for two every day while I’ve been down south helping my partner with her packing.
(These are baked stuffed peppers – which I highly recommend – the recipe is here link)
In some ways though my gain has been totally called for because I’ve done a lot less exercise recently due to being busy rather than active.
My right shoulder has been giving me problems ever since I pulled it three weeks ago carrying shopping and it’s not been quite right ever since.
It’s not like me to be kind to myself and rest up – but this time (having learned the hard way) I decided to just back off and stop pushing myself so hard.
Swimming regardless of the pain in my shoulder wasn’t going to repair a damned thing. In reaity there was more of a chance it would make my recovery even slower and until I hit the pool this morning it had actually been over a week and a half since my last swim.
Even though I’ve been doing less, in all truth I’ve carried on eating like a man swimming around a kilometre a day.
Regardless of whether or not you eat good or ‘bad’ food you can still eat too much of it.
I’m back on the case now though and with regard to my swimming my pace has thankfully only dropped a teeny bit since I last went.
I might be heavier but my cardio fitness is still there!
So – what else have I been up to?
Well – truthfully I’ve been relaxing a little over the last couple of days.
There’s still a LOT to do with regard to the move (there’s only 6 days to go!) but there’s only so much packing and stressing a boy (or girl) can take – and as such my partner and I disappeared to Brighton on Wednesday and then caught up with family and friends on Thursday.
Brighton was amazing – and on (almost) the hottest day of the year so far we wandered up and down the beach, stopping only to drink tea and coffee or admire the endless beach and blue skies.
When it got too hot we found shade behind some gabions on the beach covered in local photography.
There’s also a really cool little cafe on the prom near the i360 now which is a really amusing little bit of architecture.
I can’t help but admire the way that Brighton manages to be a little bit left-field, even in the traditional seaside cafe space.
There’s plenty to geek out to as well – and a mooch around the snooper’s paradise market is absolutely guaranteed to make a certain Dr Who obsessed person a little perkier.
(If you want to imagine a voice over to this picture it’s basically ‘got this, got that, have the audiobook of that, that’s good, got that, want that…’ etc etc etc.)
I also found a pair of dungarees that a I knew certain fellow blogger would love – and I wasn’t wrong.
It took a mind bogglingly long five minutes for her to order them online from the moment that I sent through a photo on WhatsApp!
She’s slipping lately.
I would have expected a much faster turnaround previously.
As well as bee themed clothing being a thing in the shops (they seem to ‘bee everywhere’ 😏) it’s also getting close to pride week and consequently everything is a little bit more rainbow 🌈 than it usually is.
I just love the inclusiveness and diversity that this brings out in people and the vibrancy of the clothing that it promotes in Brighton.
It just makes me happy whenever I’m surrounded be people just letting it all hang out and being completely truthful to who they are inside.
In the spirit of the place (and because I probably need to get a sun hat – my bald noggin got absolutely frazzled on Wednesday) I couldn’t help but try some alternatives a little outside of my usual comfort zone…
As well as rainbow hats I couldn’t help but marvel at all the beautiful shoes (and shirts) that the town has to offer – and thankfully it doesn’t take much to get my partner to have a look in Irregular Choice.
I can never quite figure out whether I’m dragging her in there or whether she’s dragging me….
The pair that grabbed my attention this time around were more suited to her than myself – but I love the clear sole and the pattern underneath (although I gulped when I saw the price – hence the rapid thumb movement!).
(Link to Instagram video of them)
I’m also quite taken by a pair of pumps in Schuh that I really think would suit my other half – but again at £75) they’re outside of my current comfort zone.
Every time I see a pair of Adidas superstars like these I’m transported back to the 80’s where I’m sitting watching (in black and white because we didn’t have a colour tv when I was little) Run DMC’s video with Aerosmith of ‘Walk this way’.
(Skip to 2.32 for the bit where they walk down the stairs in their bright white superstars! I just LOVE this moment!!!)
The pair I picked up are slightly different though. They have some really funky pearlescent stripes which add a cool ‘zing’ to their retro look when you see them moving.
I think they’re great – but are they worth the price? Personally I think not – but then again I’m pretty frugal.
Thankfully so is my other half so we left empty handed rather than £75 lighter.
We have more than enough to collectively shell out for at the moment with the upcoming move – and I’m really aware all of a sudden that I don’t want to make any impulsive purchases that aren’t needed.
It’s a bonus that we’re completely aligned in this respect.
This afternoon, when I was listening to a radio four trailer for a programme called ‘the money clinic’ (it’s on next Saturday link) I couldn’t help but feel a sense of relief that this is the case.
There’s so much conflict to be found in relationships with regard to money, the lack of it, the way it should be spent or because one half of a partnership is more materialistic than the other.
I know from experience that this can be really damaging over time.
In a previous life I had a serious mis-alignment with a partner about how I should (or should not) spend my money and it caused more than a little resentment to develop between us.
It was also the reason for more than a few arguments and prolonged periods of frosty silence.
In many ways I tentatively entered my current partnership half expecting many of the issues I’d previously encountered in past relationships to once again be present.
Part of me assumed that it was only a matter of time before I found something that worried me, and I’d convinced myself before we met that a huge amount of compromise in any relationship was just a hidden reality waiting to make itself apparent.
I was certain that I’d never be able to be myself and that I’d only be accepted if I played a part rather than be truthful about what I needed and who I was.
When I began to fall for my partner I was ultra diligent (having been burned before) about looking for what I call ‘smoking guns’.
By this I mean that without fail every time I’ve had to look back and evaluate why relationships failed I’ve realised that I knew pretty early on (within the first few weeks typically) what the ‘straws that broke the camel’s back’ were going to be.
Without exception I thought ‘I can live with or change that later’ and in every instance that conclusion proved to be naively delusional.
In the cold light of day I usually had no-one to blame but myself because I realised that I’d known from the very start what the issues were – I just chose to ignore them.
I found out the hard way that if you go into a partnership wanting someone to be any different to the way they are when you meet them them then you’re already setting yourself up for a potential failure.
If you love what they are from the beginning and don’t expect them to change for any reason other than their own ambitions and hopes for the future then it makes life a lot easier.
Saying this is all well and good though.
When it came down to it I never expected this to be the reality of any relationship I found myself in. It seemed like an unobtainable idea that I’d ultimately have to compromise on if I wanted to find anyone.
Against all of my expectations it seems to have become a reality though because I love what I have right now and I don’t need anything to be different.
Something else had to change though to make sure that the same was true in reverse.
I don’t want anyone to see me as a ‘fixer upper’.
I’ve had to change in many ways in order to be capable of having a productive partnership.
Not only did I have to get rid of many bad habits but I’ve had to accept that in past relationships that I’d more often than not completely failed to communicate how I really felt about certain things until they became major issues.
I don’t do that any more.
I’m up front about what I like or don’t like and I try and be forthright and truthful.
I’m as honest in my real life as I am in my blog. There’s nothing hidden in the confines of my relationship, even if it’s painful, paints me in a bad light or is embarrassing to talk about.
One can only hope that the future is bright because of this because I certainly can’t control it.
It’s lunacy to think you know how anything is going to turn out. All you can do is build solid foundations, throw truth out there and hope that it brings love back with it.
So despite my gain I feel epic today Internet – and not just because my friend re-framed my wording – but because the future seems ridiculously bright.