Being a role model

So. October is once again a distant memory.

Hello November.

Last month’s legacy has been a mixed one. In one respect I feel like I’ve recently made genuine life progress and begun to confront something that I’ve been deferring for a long time.

In others I’ve been working hard to convince myself that I will indeed be slim for life – and that my history of continually yo-yo dieting is finally at an end.

At the start of the month I wasn’t at all convinced. My self confidence was faltering – and whilst winning an award for Slimming World was nice it didn’t really change the fact that I’m still trying to deal with and process many aspects of my new life.

I’ve moved from ‘pathetic’ to ‘successful’ in a relatively short space of time – but just because I’m ‘fixed’ on the outside it doesn’t mean everything is perfect on the inside.

One of the downsides to this newfound attention (as nice and exciting as it can be) is that when you’re losing weight in Slimming World groups you’re in a comfortable and supportive bubble.

Everyone’s in the same boat. We feel the other’s pain, and more often than not we navigate away from saying things to each other that we know may hit a nerve or that aren’t supportive.

We ourselves have a lifetime of learning what hurts our feelings and we don’t throw that in other group members faces.

In short there are many things in Slimming World you will never hear.

In the outside world though it’s all fair game – and you have to quickly develop a thick hide, because when you’re available on social media and appear in the press then the people contacting you for advice don’t necessarily share the same approaches.

Their goal is not to support you – more often than not it’s to get something from you – even if that’s with the best of intentions.

Often (because it’s the way of journalism or the public’s perception of how you should act if you’re present on social media) many people I’ve encountered since the award don’t bother to get into the preamble of getting to know me before lurching into some really quite intimate and personal questions.

If those relate to things that already occupy your thoughts or drive your fears then you’ve got to find a way of coping with lots of people asking you about them over and over and over again.

It doesn’t matter whether I’ve been asked about my journey by dieters or people who’ve never suffered with the same problem – the starting point always seems to be the same.

‘What do you do with all the skin?’

I’m not sure why this is the first thing on everyone’s mind because it was never the first thing on mine when I saw other people losing weight – but I’ll be really honest when I say there is a lot of it left, it does worry me that I’ll never be accepted or loved because of it and I don’t want to have to cut lumps out of myself to be feel better or because someone else wants me to be ‘normal’.

It undeniably hurts though sometimes to be questioned like this – and after the hundredth plus time (I’m not kidding – it’s probably a lot more) of politely answering this question whilst trying to be measured and helpful there have been moments where I’ve felt like screaming ‘it doesn’t matter – why don’t you just want to be healthy and to live a better life?!’

I don’t though.

Like many things this is something (for all the public wrangling I do with my feelings) that I internalise and I don’t usually talk about.

I’ve discussed it with a select few and shown parts of my body to only three other people since I started losing weight and I am terrified of how everyone else will look at me if they see me disrobed.

I can’t bring myself to wear short sleeved tops, shorts above the knee, or go swimming (yet).

I am not ashamed of who I am but I still feel that I don’t want to draw attention as a freak or curiosity like I have done for so much of my life.

I was bullied for so long in my past that the scars from it still run really deep.

Instead I want to blend, be part of everyday society and try to focus on the times that people say to me ‘you don’t ever look like you’ve been big’.

This worry about both acceptance and appearing ‘normal’ has contributed to a major meltdown recently – which as many of my worst ones tend to do – happened almost completely without warning and affected me (and I’m ashamed to say others) deeply.

I’ve been trying to convince myself that many things don’t matter – that’s it’s ok to still be alone at this point in my life, that the skin issue is immaterial, that I will eventually find someone that loves me, a life purpose that drives me like weight loss has, and that I have a future filled with health, vitality and companionship.

I also don’t want to be a fat, drunken failure again and my fear of this is always in the background.

Paradoxically this fear sometimes leads to me right back to the doorstep of comfort eating, and despite losing twenty plus stones I’m still capable of sliding backwards and ‘failing’.

The thing is that now (with my award) I feel much greater pressure to be ‘perfect’ than I ever did before.

Whereas prior to this I was just a guy in a little group in Warwick quietly trying to rebuild his life (albeit in a very public way) now I have the added status of being a role model to add to the mix (not my words – this is what people keep telling me I’ve become) and if you take that the wrong way it can be quite damaging.

The truth is that I’m having to continually confront and remind myself of the fact that to be a healthy ‘role model’ perfection is not required.

Unhealthy examples in social media of plastic smiles and perfect bodies make us all feel undermined and undervalued – and I’m just as guilty as anyone else of feeling like I’m less than I should be because I see a picture of someone who seems to have everything I lack.

I’ll never be Hugh Jackman or look like Chris Hemsworth.

The true role model though is NOT the airbrushed Superhero or Hollywood icon. It’s not to be found in the gym selfie with perfect skin tone and abs – and it’s not in the youthful swimsuit photo on a far away beach – because none of us can be that forever, and even if we are it’s just for a fleeting moment.

Life changes us and our bodies are reflections of the paths we take.

Our baby bellies tell stories of the joy that children can bring and our saggy parts often remind us that we’ve improved our health by losing the weight that once filled those spaces.

We’re more than visual perfection – we’re human beings and we are perfect just the way we are without cutting anything off, without colouring or bleaching our skin or burying our faces in makeup.

We have to make the best of what we have – and if we can do that with confidence then our smiles and our happiness become our social currencies – not the images of us without clothes or posing with a camera pointing down from the sky to get the best possible angles without chins.

So – October (for me at least) has been about getting back to dietary basics, of following the Slimming World plan, of writing a personal food diary every day, of going to group and facing the music or just going there because it helps.

#onplanoctober has worked.

Although I never told a soul this was how the month started on the 1st of October.

After a few really bad days (where if it wasn’t bolted down I ate it) the scales said I was ridiculously out of target.

Officially (in my mind) I was a failure again.

I’d not only taken the expectations of my friends but now also Slimming World’s officials and my blog readership and I’d failed all of them.

Catastrophe.

I was going to destroy myself again and it was all inevitable.

I couldn’t tell anyone the depths of how ashamed I felt that I thought I was once again eating the pain away.

These are all just things we tell ourselves when our negative inner narrative takes over though. None of it is true and none of it defines reality.

It just leads to bad decisions – of which I’ve made a few recently – and they all happen when I try to deal with things in isolation.

The truth of it is that on Saturday I will stand on stage and accept an award that in many ways I still feel I am undeserving of.

That’s not false modesty.

I know I lost huge amounts of weight. I’m not daft. I’m proud – and I totally killed that objective.

Yay me.

There’s more to getting an award like this though because it’s not about numbers. It’s about being judged ‘worthy’ – and how do you ‘win’ something with that criteria when surrounded by so many others who are just as deserving?

Not only do I struggle with being viewed as inspirational after years of being seen (by myself and others) as a failure – but I met many other men who were in line for the same award as me – and none of us were any less or more deserving of the award.

Yet for some crazy reason it ended up in my hands.

I want to be worthy of it.

I want to be a good example.

I want to be able to help people.

But flawless role models don’t help anyone.

They just show an image that seems to be completely unobtainable and convince people that the journey is impossible – that for whatever reason they will never have what that airbrushed social media personality has.

So I write about how much I fail as much as I feel I can in public- because I feel that my pain, regrets or insight might have value for others.

If they see my weakness they know it’s ok to feel their own – and believe it or not I’ve also found that this makes me feel stronger.

Sometimes I can’t bring myself to do it though and that last picture of me standing on the scales after a week of pigging out is one of those times.

I couldn’t post it or admit it a month ago. I just wanted to fix it without anyone knowing.

With some determination I’ve pulled it around however – and in doing so I’ve not starved myself. I’ve followed the plan, been honest with myself about what’s going in my mouth and I’ve done a LOT of exercise.

My record daily average distance (it’s now 12.5!) has been smashed due to my efforts and this month alone I’ve walked over 387 miles to reach my objective of being healthily under my target weight.

If you wonder what I’ve been eating every day then here’s a typical diary.

Lunch

  • 200g baking potato
  • Tub of cottage cheese with onion and chive
  • Jar of gherkins
  • 3 Tomatoes

Dinner

  • 500g 5% fat pork mince
  • Red pepper
  • 380g mushrooms
  • Large courgette
  • Small onion x2
  • 240g Kidney beans
  • Bunch of broccoli
  • Can chopped tomatoes

Dessert

  • 100g blueberries
  • 250g frozen Aldi summer fruits
  • 250g natural yogurt

Snacks

  • 2x apples
  • 2x conference pears

The point that I want to get over here is that in doing what I’ve done in October I’ve not starved myself.

Far from it.

I’ve just eaten (a lot of) healthy food and burned more calories than I’ve consumed.

I drew one of those infamous ‘lines in the sand’ that we all make from time to time after a bad patch in Slimming World and promised myself I will not not cross over it.

My personal line was the screenshot of the scales above.

Yesterday the impetus this picture of personal dissatisfaction gave me meant that I finished with a bang.

After an epic ten mile walk around St Nicholas park (even by my standards this was huge) that had an average mile speed of 15 minutes and six seconds I went home and stood on the scales.

Although they’re my scales and not Slimming World’s I know that they’re accurate (the one in group is always identical) and because of that I have demonstrated once again to myself on an ‘every other day’ basis that over the course of a month if I eat well and work hard good things happen.

I’ve dropped nearly a stone and a half.

It’s worth pointing out too that during the last month things did go both up and down.

There were some odd lurches back up on the scales in October that I simply couldn’t explain – but I stuck to plan, followed it all through and kept going.

So – if anyone out there wants to refer to me as a role model or an inspiration I’m not going to say I feel any more comfortable with the position than I did a month ago – and I doubt I ever will.

I’m still filled in dark times with a crippling lack of self worth and a fear that I’m not going to measure up to peoples expectations of me.

I’m terrified that I’ll let myself down too (my standards are way higher) and I’m often paralysed by how I’ll move forward in life or find love and acceptance in the world.

However – if there’s one thing I can do that will make that fear and insecurity worthwhile its sharing it and making sure that others looking to me for answers will see it’s ok to not be perfect.

It’s ok to fail.

It’s ok to not feel like you can cope from time to time.

It’s ok to worry about who will love you and what they’ll see when they look at you.

You just have to try and take each day as it comes.

If you do internet then good things happen.

Davey

Stardust and eggs

It used to be the case that an obsession with technology meant that you had a rather sedentary lifestyle – however these days (particularly today) I’m seeing evidence directly to the contrary.

The park has been packed this morning with crowds of people at it’s choke points (most have been dressed in black and look very pasty) all of whom are oblivious to people like me trying to get past. They’re all staring intently at their mobile phones and wandering around looking like extras from The Walking Dead.

Oddly this phenomenon doesn’t seem related to a single age group or sex – but appears to be crossing all demographics.

I had no idea what they were up to – and occasionally heard sentences like ‘I’m putting egg and stardust on!’ as I walked in between the little groups dotted around Jephson Gardens.

My curiosity eventually got the better of me and I decided to ask a man with his two engrossed sons what was going on. The boys had iPads and their dad was holding a large Android phone.

The younger (more fidgety) of the two children was relentlessly prodding a tablet that had a thick blue rubber case surrounding it. I noticed that it had either failed miserably in its job or had been applied after the device in the child’s hands had suffered a seriously smashed up screen.

The tablet seemed to be working nevertheless and he was furiously tapping here and there on it, intently working away at the task in hand. His father clearly didn’t think there was potential for digit lacerations – but to me it seemed like a clear and present danger.

All three were connected via three lengthy white cables to what I can only assume was a large power supply in the man’s messenger bag, which was hanging on a short strap in front of his stomach like a papoose.

They too were discussing stardust and eggs.

‘I have to ask…’ I started ‘..what is everyone doing? They’re all just staring at their mobiles!’

He seemed slightly irritated that I’d interrupted him, but answered me nevertheless, barely lifting his eyes from the screen in his hands as he did.

‘It’s an augmented reality game with a special event.’ He replied.

He didn’t look like he was planning to expand further but I dug deeper.

‘Oh really?’ I said. ‘Which one?’

‘Pokemon Go.’ he answered abruptly – before returning his undivided attention to scanning the bushes and chasing whatever creatures appeared to be visiting the area. He continued on his way in silence.

Ah. That explained it.

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When this game first came out in July 2016 I’d only just begun to try and get fitter by walking around my local parks – and had noticed many many people nearly walking into trees and rivers whilst hunting elusive little Pokemons (link).

At the time I spent a lot more time seated under trees than I do now…

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II wasn’t interested in this game at the time – which I found a little puzzling – as I was a devout video gamer back then.

I suppose I wanted to get as far away from the things that I felt had contributed to ‘my downfall’ as possible – and I’ve always viewed video games as one of them, although truthfully it was probably more of a symptom of wider problems than the cause.

The argument with Pokemon Go and other games like it is that they get people off their sofa and this means that they’re much more active than they otherwise would be on a Playstation or XBOX. If this morning in the park is anything to go by I can’t really disagree – although I feel that to call it exercise would be stretching the truth somewhat.

The game requires the bare minimum of movement from its players – and their engagement also meant that whilst they were physically grouped together the people playing seemed largely oblivious to their companions.

I guess the way that people interact these days is changing but I’m not sure whether this could be called progress or not. At least they’re not sitting on the couch waiting for a heart attack like I used to.

The fact that they’re outside (and together) is definitely a plus – and it’s nice to see that technology can play a part in encouraging this rather than preventing it – but I’d really love them to see what’s around them with their own eyes rather than via what’s appearing on their screens.

If they looked up and around them they’d see the most beautiful colours and sky as I have today whilst I’ve been wandering and eating my lunch.

 

However – not everything has to have colour. Some things look better if they’re a little more traditional and reserved – and with this in mind I can announce that I have finally completed the outfit that I’ve been putting together for the Slimming World ball in November.

I’ve been absolutely adamant that I didn’t want to wear a black tuxedo and black bow tie – and i definitely didn’t want to rent an outfit either.

This seemed to me like it was a total waste of money in both instances as I’m highly unlikely to wear this ever again if I own one and I’m just throwing money away if I rent it.

I’d like to be able to re-use it.

Plus – after some tests in M&S and Moss Bros I’m even more convinced that it would just make me look like a beardy Hugh Hefner.

 

When the missing piece of my personal puzzle arrived by courier yesterday I tried the whole ensemble on for the first time and took some photos for a few second opinions.

I’m loathe to reveal it just yet, in case I change my mind – but here’s a hint.

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It’s absolutely NOT this.

Right – now we’ve got that cleared up I guess I better let you know how I did on the scales yesterday.

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It seems that the week went well – although I would have preferred to lose weight rather than maintain. I want to go toward the bottom of my range (taking me down to 13st 11lbs) – but I’m detracting nothing from this. Crucially (and most importantly) it’s a win, my outfit fits perfectly and I’m still in target.

Now I’m in range I’ve stopped being quite so militant about #onplanoctober but I’m still taking very careful note of everything that passes my lips and paying close attention to my exercise as well.

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This month (according to my Apple Health app) I seem to be doing even more than I usually do – although to be truthful I haven’t been consciously trying to. I’ve just been keeping active and trying to fill my days productively, and this seems to have resulted in a fairly silly average of nearly 13 miles a day.

Still – it’s not forced in any way. I’m just genuinely enjoying getting out and about with people and chatting away about sunrises and changes of seasons.

My intention though is to be on tip-top form for the upcoming event – and since my consultant Angie is going to look like one of Charlie’s Angels when we stand on stage together (I s**t you not – I’ve seen a picture of her in the dress and she looks amazing) I need to feel my very best.

Anyway – that’s enough for the moment.

Feeling great and staying on plan means cooking proper meals and eating at the appropriate times, not just snacking – and so far I’ve been doing very well on this score. I have purchased zero Hi-fi bars or Aldi benefit bars this week (after recently identifying them as my ‘gateway drug’) and thats proven to be a great decision.

Last night for some reason I really hankered for garlic and my usual go-to chilli recipe found itself slightly modified to include virtually a whole bulb of the stuff and a few leeks.

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Needless to say there are times where it’s a good thing I don’t have a partner or smoke in bed – as I’m pretty sure I blew the duvet almost completely off on a number of occasions during the night.

A naked flame nearby my sleeping form would probably have meant that I’d have said goodbye to both my windows and most of the bricks in the front of my house…

Tonight I’m having a stir fry with smoked haddock.

I’m going to stuff another metric tonne of garlic into it and enjoy every last flipping mouthful!!! Feel free to pop round internet – that is if you no longer need your eyebrows and have lost all sense of smell.

Davey

 

Me forever

The weather has definitely taken a turn for the worse. There’s been rain, wind (a bit more rain) and dark cloud (with some more rain) to contend with today – but I really don’t care in the least (even though there’s also rain).

A friend remarked a while ago though (in a turn of phrase I’ve since adopted as my own) that ‘there’s no such thing as bad weather – just bad clothes.

I tend to agree. Grey skies are no excuse. Not when you have a lovely warm coat and a willingness to put one foot in front of the other.

By 9am I’d already managed to get five miles under my belt, and I often find that getting a chunk of exercise in early energises me and means that  i’ll probably end up doing more later too.

Regardless of what the weather decided to do for the rest of the day this meant it was definitely going to be a success.

I’m becoming quite fond of my ‘winter plumage’ too – and honestly (although I didn’t plan it this way) couldn’t have picked a better time to start pushing through some chin fur. Whether it’s going to stay or goes in the long term I don’t know – but it’s the first time I’ve grown once since hitting target and it’s great to compare it to bearded me back when I was at my heaviest.

This is something that always encourages me to keep my eye on the ball – and although focusing so much on how I look may appear vain I honestly don’t care. I actually like the new shape of my face now (which is wonderful when I consider that I used to hate it) and when I see the contrast to how it used to look it fills me with pride.

It’s the kind of thing that enables me to do what I did yesterday – which was speak to some upper sixth students at a school in Derbyshire about weight loss and the psychology behind transformative change.

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If nothing else when I go there they give me a fantastic food optimising lunch (a baked potato, salad, garlic mushrooms, green beans and asparagus with trimmed bacon!!!) and that is just one more reason to love speaking to the students.

There’s not much I won’t do for a free lunch!

It’s the second time I’ve talked at this institution in the last two years – and the teacher whose classes I met last time had been kind enough to invite me back to repeat the experience with a whole new set of fresh faces.

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I’m by no means an expert in this field – but doing this is something that gives me real pleasure. If even just one thing I say about my experiences in childhood, the mistakes I’ve made and the moments of insight that enabled me to correct my trajectory resonates with someone then that’s enough to make the trip worthwhile.

Maybe I’ll save someone else the pain and heartache that I went through.

It’s a wonderful thing to see a stifled yawn turn into a curious frown, and then eventually morph into a raised hand followed by an insightful question – because then you know that you’re speaking to the heart as well as the mind.

At that moment you’ve stepped into a shared experience, where something that you’ve gone through is similar to another person’s moment in time, and they’re temporarily pulled closer.

You can almost see their ears physically turn in your direction and a light go on in their eyes.

They may still be going through whatever it is  – or be searching (possibly without even knowing it) for a way of processing it. A spark ignites for the briefest moment and you know you’ve connected.

It’s really really cool.

However, the truth of it is that you never know with who or when you’ll make a difference. While you may speak to hundreds of people (I lost count a long time ago) it’s impossible to predict which ones your words or actions will resonate with or who will be truly inspired long term.

I couldn’t have predicted for instance that a woman would pull me aside recently (quite out of the blue) and tell me that a conversation I had with her almost two years ago in passing would have changed both her life and health.

At the time I was telling her that I felt Apple Watch (on top of Slimming World) had been instrumental in turning my life around. Its exercise statistics had enabled me to understand how I had made my diabetes retreat so effectively – and made it possible to connect the dots between increased cardio activity, weight loss and plummeting blood sugar levels.

Without its statistics I may not have.

I’d told her at the time that it wasn’t just a case of losing weight – there had to be a corresponding increase in activity too. Although I had no reason to think that she wouldn’t act on what I’d said, from a percentage perspective I find that very few people do.

That’s ok though.

I’m not attempting to convert anyone that’s not ready. If someone had tried to beat my metaphorical door down with unwanted advice back when I was in denial about everything then I’d probably have told them to get lost pretty sharpish.

Yet for some reason with her it struck a chord, and she was on the verge of tears as she told me about the impact I’d had. She’d absorbed my words after I’d left her that day and over time she too had used the Apple Watch I’d spotted on her wrist that day in the same way that I had.

She became stat and goal focused, and like me her obsession every day became filling the three little rings on her wrist.

The result?

Her type two diabetes is very nearly in remission. Her levels have dropped so significantly that her HbA1c reading is now in a ‘pre diabetic’ range. She’s lost several stone and she feels infinitely better.

She is also proud of herself – and justifiably so.

That makes every moment that I struggle, lose my way, find it again, climb back on the horse and try to be a better man worth it. It’s the difference between having a lunch of fried tomatoes and garlic (with a little brown sauce and pepper) as opposed to ordering a pizza or a kebab.

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Tomorrow I’m probably still going to be a little bit out of target – but for the whole of October I’ve gone back to basics. I’ve written everything down (apart from one day) and compared my exercise levels to my intake.

You know what?

It turns out that all the times I’ve told myself in darker moments that something has changed and I’m physically incapable of losing or maintaining weight were just nonsense. I just wasn’t facing up to what I was putting in my mouth.

I was temporarily eating too much and I wasn’t confronting it.

It’s that simple.

This isn’t me out to make anyone feel guilty though – because like everyone I speak to each of us is on our own path. I think I needed to step back from things for a moment. I needed to just not cope and retreat – even for a little while.

Oddly it helped. Maybe this helps other people too.

The thing is though that I know the old me is never coming back. The round face in the picture above that smiles but I know hid so much pain is firmly in the past. Even though my graph may go up as well as down it will always remain broadly constant.

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Rain or shine internet.

This is me now.

Forever.

Davey

#onplanoctober revisited

As soon as I entered the public toilet in the deserted changing room I knew I was in trouble. The walls were unbearably close, and covered in a thin later of fine soil.

The black plastic seat in front of me was cold and also covered in the same sprinkling of earth.

I could barely turn around, let alone undo my trousers – but the need was pressing, so (with great difficulty) I did – and once I was unbuttoned I attempted to sit down.

At this point the walls (which were already touching my shoulders) closed in a little more, and I realised I was wedged.

As I was assessing how to get out of this predicament I heard movement outside in the cold and echoey room.

There were many cubicles – but it seemed that the anonymous person joining me had decided (against all unspoken but universally understood toilet etiquette) to choose the one immediately next to me.

To add insult to injury he also started talking to himself and then (through the wooden cubicle wall) asked me a question.

For the life of me though I can’t remember any of the things he asked me about.

When I responded however he immediately parroted my answer back to me, reflecting everything that I’d said to him in my own voice.

Freaky.

Could this be the worst public toilet experience in the world?

Actually no – because at this point I woke up – wondering what the heck this dream meant.

Checking Google in the cold light of day suggests a variety of things relating to different bathroom dreams – such as me needing to release emotions or feeling like I’m unable to get any personal space.

None of them ring true – and universally fail to provide any suggestions about what the mirroring of my answers means – or why the man in the next cubicle appeared to have my own voice.

The simple explanation for the bathroom dream is that I actually needed the loo – which in this case was absolutely bang on the money.

After making a note of the dream I hurriedly headed to the smallest room of the house and engaged my sprinkler system.

Once finished I went straight back to bed and immediately nodded off.

As with many odd dreams though I find that now I’m awake again I’m mildly preoccupied with it.

I’m not worried or obsessing over it’s meaning mind you. I think I know what it relates to.

Control or a perception that I’ve not had any in certain areas of my life.

For a while I’ve felt that events have been controlling me rather than the other way around.

Over the last few days however I’ve turned something of a mental corner – and amongst other things I’m once again filling in regular food diaries.

Before the end of September I looked back on some of my old posts from around the same time in 2017. In these was following #onplanoctober (link) and decided I’d resurrect the practice again for a month.

Last time I did this the results were undeniably positive (link) and over the course of few weeks the extra focus showed some really positive progress towards my target weight.

Although I was a heavier back then and my goal now is maintenance rather than significant losses it makes sense to do it again.

I dutifully started on the 1st and am keeping a notepad file of all my exercise and what I consume on my phone.

It’s been quite a while since I’ve done this.

For a long time I honestly felt that I’d ‘cracked it’ – and didn’t really need to write anything down anymore because food diaries were for people still trying to get to target.

However I’m also really aware that I’m not yet back in target.

Furthermore – due to being ill (I’m still not at my best but much improved in case you wondered) I didn’t weigh in last Saturday.

I’ve also booked a holiday with Angie for this coming week because I’ve had exciting plans on that day for months

The problem with this is that knowing I’m not going to stand on scales for a couple of weeks will almost certainly invoke my natural tendency to mentally relax and indulge a little.

It’s a slippery slope though – and regardless of how far you’ve come, whatever awards you’ve been given or whether or not you’ve appeared in the media being touted as someone that’s ‘succeeded’ YOU’RE ONLY HUMAN.

A little can soon become a lot and I’m only too aware of my proclivities in this area.

I’m not just a high achiever in the field of weight loss – I’m a flipping guru in the field of weight gain as well.

A few years ago I managed to lose ten stone (this isn’t my first journey on the tubby train) and then put it all back on at the rate of over a stone a month.

If my ability to gain weight was transposed into the field of martial arts I’d basically be Bruce Lee.

I’m that good.

The truth is that I really don’t want to write anything down.

In fact it’s the absolute last thing I want to do – and this tells me something really important.

If I don’t want to do it it’s because I’m hiding from the reality of what I’m capable of eating when I’m not 100% on plan.

Deep down I not only know that I want to over eat – but that given half a chance I will.

I also know what I need to eat in order to maintain my target weight – and I’m writing a diary to make 100% sure I’m consuming it and no more.

Since doing the same old things often results in bad behaviour I’m also switching up my routines and changing my meal times so that I stand a better chance of avoiding danger periods (usually in the evening) where I’m more likely to over indulge.

For a few months I’ve also been (mostly unconsciously) avoiding carbohydrate rich ingredients too – and I’m re-introducing some of these free foods to my meals purely for the sake of variety.

I don’t post pictures of food very often because I feel that this is something that the internet (and particularly Instagram) is already overwhelmed with.

The world really doesn’t need another guy like me posting pictures of his dinner every day.

In this case though I think it’s relevant – if for no other reason but to illustrate that I’ve used noodles in my stir fry for the first time in absolutely ages and I really enjoyed it.

In this case I used a couple of pre prepared stir fry vegetable and mushroom packs from Aldi, a few chicken breast strips, a load more mushrooms, a ‘cake’ of Sainsburys dried egg noodles (these have been in my cupboard for around two years!) garlic, a chicken stock cube and Worcestershire sauce to create something absolutely delicious.

But that’s not all…

It may sound nuts but I’ve only just realised that when making a stir fry (at least the way I usually do it) there’s a lot of water generated by the veg.

I’m sure I’m just not cooking it fast enough – but I don’t have a wok – and getting things REALLY HOT with spray oil never works out well in my experience.

So, rather than trying to cook the liquid off (your stir fry just gets mushy and overcooked if you do) or pour it away (meaning all that lovely flavour is suddenly lost) putting dried noodles in the middle of it neatly absorbs all of the excess fluid – and also has the added benefit of infusing the noodles with wonderful flavour.

Previously I’d always cooked the noodles separately – so this discovery is something of a revelation to me.

The taste difference is genuinely noticeable – and if you’ve never tried this then I recommend giving it a go!

Anyway – as you might expect I’ve been out and about walking since quite early – and have just stopped for fuel.

Since I’ve posted one picture of my dinner I may as well give you one of my lunch.

Sharing is caring after all…

In my case lunch happens to be another concession to carbs and is a chicken enchilada from La Tasca.

Thanks to my Wuntu app (which gives you lots of lovely deals and free things if you’re a 3 mobile customer) this meal set me back a wonderfully frugal £3.

Since the price is usually around £12 (which I consider too steep) and my mobile bill is £9 a month (from which I typically also get a couple of free coffees at Costa and Greggs) I can’t fault this particular indulgence.

On the plus side I also know that La Tasca’s toilet walls will NOT close in on me and the loo seat will not be covered in soil.

As far as I’m concerned internet that’s a win win win situation .

Davey

2017 retrospective (part two)

(Part one here)

July

The seventh month of the year is a big one and starts with me in unfamiliar territory.

My teens.

I haven’t managed to time travel to the 80’s – instead I’ve just about managed to creep into the 19st bracket, and I’m fighting to stay there.

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My efforts to power through small slump this are self evident though – and I decide that it’s time to really see how far I can go. One morning (for no reason other than to see if I can) I decide to get up and walk from Warwick to Solihull (link).

It’s fifteen miles and I’ve never tried to go this far in one day before.

Although it was essentially just an exercise in determination and distance this was and still is a very important achievement for me – because it truly meant that there was practically no-where any more locally than I could drive to and get stranded in (a big fear in my mind that was always with me) because of weight related mobility issues.

If my car ever broke down in Solihull and I needed to I could now walk home.

Transitioning mentally from a man that originally couldn’t walk to the end of his street to one that could walk to Solihull was both profound and emotional. Even more upsetting though, during the journey my Apple Watch was pronounced sick and in need of repair.

I leave my fallen comrade with Apple and I’m without it for over a week.

At home I’m still working on the garden and have finally managed to turn it into a welcoming (rather than impassable) space.

My ongoing dissatisfaction with items in my house also results in the death (by hacksaw) of an old armchair and the purchase of an Ikea Poang chair – which is a step in the right direction – but also something I’m too scared to sit on in case I break it (link).

As I continue to prepare for Snowdon I look for more challenges – and revisit Burton Dassett via a longer walk from Avon Dassett (link). I’ve also got Apple Watch back, and although the gap without it has left a big hole in my stats I couldn’t be happier.

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An important milestone arrives when I suddenly realise that I can now get into charity shop clothing – and I buy my very first wearable item from one (link) a Penguin jacket (which I was reliably informed was rather trendy).

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I take this item of clothing (and quite a few others) to Snowdonia where on Saturday July 22nd at around 19.5 stone I climb Mount Snowdon with a friend (link).

It’s one of the proudest moments of my life – and is both very emotional and extremely symbolic. I’ve come a long way – and it’s a superb reminder of how much can be achieved!

Mostly because of this strenuous activity Supercoat (which is now way too big for me) is given to my father (link).

I’m also suddenly in 40in waisted Jacamo jeans (link) and shortly after getting my 15.5 stone certificate I also climb Thorpe Cloud (link).

August

The start of the month is excellent (link) and my HbA1c level has now dropped further to 28. My diabetic nurse tells me that if I was re-tested at that point I would no longer be diagnosed as type 2.

My diabetes appears to be in full remission.

I’m once again preparing myself for a potential return to work by buying interview clothes. The physical changes since the last time I went about this around six months before are readily apparent (link).

On August 14th I start another job (link) in the hope that this time I’ve made the right choice. It’s different mainly because I can walk to it – so therefore I can build exercise into my every day routine without feeling like it’s unnaturally forced.

Initially my feelings about the job are really positive and I’m happy. I take the long route to work whenever possible and I’m loving how fit I feel.

I’ve come a long way in terms of body confidence too and have started posting comparison shots like this on Instagram to spur me on.

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It’s working – because by mid August I have my sixteen stone certificate and my the end of the month realise that I’ve walked (since April 2016) the cumulative distance from San Francisco to New York(link)!

September

The weather in September is great and although I’m working again I take advantage of it as much as I can in the evenings and weekends. I’m wandering over hill and dale with my camera and trying to capture as many pretty things as I can.

Quite out of the blue an unexpected watershed moment arrives on the way home from work and (as has happened many times in the past due to my weight) I get abused by a bunch of teenagers whilst walking through the park.

However – instead of calling me a fat c**t as I pass by (a previously preferred moniker such people had for me) they instead all shout ‘BALDY!’ (link) in unison – both stunning me and leaving me with a lot to think about.

If they don’t see me as fat any more and the worst they can come up with is an insult about my hair line – do I now look ‘normal’?

I’m forced to admit that my self perception is now seriously at odds with reality – and to further underscore this I slowly approach a significant ‘Rubicon moment’ (link).

I’ve slowed down a little – but I still have my 17 stone certificate.

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However – not all is going well – and once again I realise that the job I’ve chosen isn’t for me. I decide to leave (link) and once again I don’t know what this says about me to my friends or what it means for the future.

Without warning again I feel like a complete failure.

Something does manage to cheer me up towards the end of the month however – and I attend something I booked with a few friends the year before. It’s an event I probably couldn’t have gone to easily when I said yes to it – but my hope was I’d lose enough weight to make it a reality – and I did.

I’ve always wanted to go to EGX gaming expo at the NEC but was never fit enough to stand for the time required or capable of comfortably walking the distances required around the NEC.

When I finally made it I really geeked out!

October

Largely because of a my own sense that I was losing my way a little with my diet October was dominated by #onplanoctober (link) which kept me on the straight and narrow.

I calorie counted every last morsel of food that passed my lips for the entire month.

If I’m honest this really tested the limits of my patience – but I’d promised that I’d do it – and by the end of the exercise it paid dividends because in the space of 5 weigh in’s I managed to lose 16.5lbs.

Mid way through the month I get my 17.5 stone certificate and I’m also handed a little cardboard bauble for a Christmas tree. I write something on it and then largely forget about it…

This also means that my Rubicon moment has finally arrived — and on the 7th of October I’ve finally lost more than I weigh. I make myself a Club 50 award. Over half of my original body weight has now gone.

img_4882In the first weeks of the month I start speaking publicly at Slimming World meetings (link) about my weight loss. In total I do nine of them in Warwickshie – and they’re all a humbling experience – but also very rewarding.

To see how far I’ve come in the pictures I pass around and hear the gasps in the room when I put on my old clothes is quite emotional.

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I also return twice to (the now colder) Malvern Hills  (link) and Ilmington Downs (link) for more attempts at both – and I’m struck in these locations by how much easier things are getting.

Although I still have weight to lose I’m pretty darned fit at this point – and I barely get out of breath on the ascents.

I finally get around to compiling a list of non-scale victories (link) which I read to my friend for the first time and both of us start crying. In response to this I realise how important the recognition of these accomplishments is and I make a regularly updated site page (link) and add something new each time it occurs.

By October 28th I’ve lost a staggering 28 inches from my waist (link) and my photographic diary of February 2017 to October is showing some serious progress.

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Furthermore I’m also able to fit into my very first LARGE items of clothing (link) and ever since I mention the word LARGE at every opportunity I get. This means that since getting into a LARGE I’ve said LARGE a LARGE number of times.

November

November kicks off with me getting an 18 stone certificate and a Mr Sleek award – which is a bit embarrassing – but also a really nice pat on the back!

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My public speaking has also been received positively, and because of it I’m offered some work at a local company in a temp role – which comes in very useful as it manages to stem the outward flow from my bank account and promises to make Christmas a little less daunting.

On the 6th of November I start my job and find that (being something I’ve never done before) it makes me feel quite alive. I also get to walk 3 miles there and three miles back every day which means that I can keep up my now regular average distance of 10 miles walked per day (link).

It’s getting colder though and it’s not only the floor thats frozen – my hands and feet are too.

I keep up the walking however – partially because I rather like my new place of employment. I like it enough in fact to apply for a permanent position at the company (link) for which I’m accepted.

It’s also another thinly veiled excuse to dress up for a job interview, which underscores just how much I’ve started to enjoy clothes shopping and looking smart.

It’s my new thing!

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November ends with another first and I meet a fellow blogger (link) who comes to visit for the very first time! I have a real live internet friend with a face and a body and everything!

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December

The final month of 2017 finds me in an unusually festive mood and after no small amount of agonising I decide to do something for the first time in my adult life.

I buy a Christmas tree (link) and I put my little October cardboard bauble amongst it’s branches. It’s hastily scrawled words are now a reality!

I’m also now officially into 36in trousers, meaning 30 inches have been lost from my waist’s starting point.

I get my 19 stone certificate (link) on December the 9th – which is quickly followed by another unusual event.

I go dancing (with Angie and my Slimming World group) for the first time since the 90’s – and I have a fantastic time. All in all I’m on the dancefloor for around two and a half hours (completely sober) and I’m so pumped and full of energy I virtually skip home afterwards!

December seems to content to keep supplying me with firsts as well – and on the 14th I’m featured in the local newspaper (link).

img_1078This is followed soon after by an offer to appear on BBC Coventry and Warwickshire Radio (link) which is very exciting indeed (it’s due to happen this Friday 29th December at 10-10.15am) – but for some reason I’m more preoccupied with my washing machine – which is completely broken.

Priorities eh?

That pretty much brings us up to date. I had a fab Christmas – and after discovering earlier in the month that I suddenly love red (link) and wearing geek things I did pretty well for presents!

So – thats 2017 almost at a close!

I hope you enjoyed reading the second part of this retrospective as much as I did writing it internet! Join me again in a year (if you’re not already sick of me) and we’ll see what comes out of the next twelve months!

Thanks for sticking with me – it’s a genuine pleasure to write something that people like to read and comment on.

You guys and gals make it all worthwhile xxx

Davey

Partying all night long

Wow! Somehow it’s almost the end of October – and I’ve been pretty much on plan for nearly an entire month!

I also feel rather proud of myself that I didn’t turn yesterday into another post weigh in munchie festival like I did last Saturday. Although I pulled it around over the following six days, pretty much every moment was spent with the thought ‘I must fix the damage’ going round and round in my head.

It became a little irritating if I’m honest. This time to save myself the hassle I kept things very much under control.

Saturday 28th

  • Tub of cottage cheese with onion & chive 174
  • 6x large tomatoes 90
  • 160g cooked & sliced chilli chicken breast 216
  • Sainsburys TTD Scottish smoked salmon fillets 162
  • 6x apples 420
  • 100g pickled onions 35
  • Yellow pepper 30
  • Romaine lettuce 25
  • spoonful of mint sauce 5
  • Spoonful whole grain mustard 10
  • 15 pitted green olives 60
  • Can of tuna in spring water 120
  • 500g grated carrot 210
  • 250g natural yogurt 154
  • 100g blueberries 43
  • 100g blackberries 43
  • 100g raspberries 53

Total calories consumed 1860

Activity

  • Active/total calories burned 1056/3543
  • Cardio minutes 87
  • Steps/miles walked 16,711/8.47

Consequently today I’ve had something of a spring in my step.

This is actually rather surprising because this positive feeling is despite a crappy night’s sleep due to some genius in my street deciding that partying all night long until 4.30am would be a great idea.

There’s only one way to deal with feeling this knackered however (especially when the weather’s been so lovely again – why the hell wasn’t it like this when I went to Malvern?!) and that’s going out in the fresh air for a long walk.

The Grand Union Canal looked particularly nice this morning – and since I was awake anyway I decided to make appropriate use of the clocks going back and went out bright and early to enjoy the extra daylight!

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I know it’s probably daft – but I’ve also been walking around feeling as proud as punch and really happy that (as per my post yesterday) I’m wearing a pair of jeans with a 38 inch waist and everything else I have on is an XL! Not only that but everything’s super super comfy!

Unfortunately a man can’t do without sleep forever – and almost as soon as I came home I ended up face planting a pillow.

Zzzzzzzzzzz….

And that, dear internet was pretty much the rest of my Sunday taken care of…

Davey

28 inches gone!

Well – the results are in. My self sabotage last Saturday had an impact – but I managed to pull things around overall. 

My week ended on a positive note and for the 6th consecutive day I kept myself well under the RDA of calories for an adult male (2500kcal). 

In many ways this and other weeks have been an ongoing experiment. 

I’ve been attempting to determine whether some conventional wisdom (that if you cut 500kcal out of your daily intake as a man or a woman then you automatically lose 1lb per week) is nonsense or not. 

I’m rapidly coming to the conclusion that it is in fact (for me at least) total b&@£0cks

Here’s why. 

Friday 27th 

  • Cottage cheese with onion and chive 176
  • 300g baking potato 231
  • 3x apples 210
  • 200g pickled onions 70
  • Romaine lettuce 25
  • spoonful of mint sauce 5
  • Spoonful whole grain mustard 10
  • 2x Cans of mackerel in tomato sauce. 380
  • 500g grated carrot 210
  • Half a cucumber 11
  • 250g natural yogurt 154
  • 100g blueberries 43
  • 100g blackberries 43
  • 100g raspberries 53
  • 370g (jar) pickled gherkins 114
  • 15 pitted green olives 60

Total calories consumed 1893

Activity

  • Active/total calories burned 1506/4107
  • Cardio minutes 162
  • Steps/miles walked 27,863/14.27

After weighing in this week I can announce proudly that I had a loss – of half a pound


This means that I ended the week (after quite a lot of exercise over the last few days) with an average similar to the week before. 

My intake since last Saturday was only (approximately) 100kcal more per day. 

Week’s Totals

  • Total/average calories consumed – 13999/1998
  • Active/total calories burned 9321/27,042 (average – 1331/3863)
  • Cardio minutes 849 (daily average 121)
  • Steps/miles walked 144193/74.65 (daily average 20599/10.66)

After losing ‘only’ half a pound (which to be clear I’m happy with and counting as a win) this makes me wonder – where would I be if I wasn’t exercising so much? Would I be losing more or less weight overall?

More to the point does it even matter at this stage of the game?

I’m at a place where I feel that I’m really fit (although I still want to be much fitter). I’ve also never been so healthy and physically vital in my entire life – so I’m of the opinion that it doesn’t. 

As long as the inches keep going down and I’m making steady progress then I’m good. 

However – I do want to know what kind of body fat percentage I have now. Today I called a few local gyms to ask whether they had a machine that measured this and was told that they did not. 

They could measure my rolls physically – but not technologically. However one did helpfully offer me an overall physical MOT for the very reasonable price of £700

Thanks Nuffield Health – but no thanks.

I think it’s a huge shame that Slimming World doesn’t have a scale advanced enough to determine these kind of things – because I think that simply focusing on pounds lost is not the way to promote a truly healthy lifestyle. 

A balanced diet and eating healthier choices of food is really important – but I know for a fact that my diabetes didn’t go into full retreat until I radically increased my exercise. 

Either way – today is a win for a few reasons. 

  1. First and foremost I made forward progress and lost weight
  2. I’m maintaining the right perspective 
  3. I won the group’s frikkin raffle for the first time ever and got a spice rack!!!


I’m gonna make something…. erm… herby… and ummm… spicy… 

Yay!

Finally my clothes have never been smaller and thanks to my near endless capacity for taking selfies I would now like to present to you 3XL Davey in February standing next to his thinner 2XL self in May and then current XL Davey today. 

All are taken in the same place using the same mirror. 


Furthermore today – for the very first time since around 1990 I did up the button on a pair of jeans with a 38inch waist. As they were in a sale I bought them on the spot. 



Since I started with a 66 inch waist this now represents a loss of 28 inches

I also purchased the shirt – although I need to lose a few pounds more to be completely comfortable in this. It’s a bit tight around the midriff – but it’s also MY FIRST XL SHIRT

So – yay for progress internet – in whatever form it takes!

Davey

Bright colours

‘I see the world in bright colours – but I also feel it in bright colours…’ a friend recently said to me. 

It seemed to me that as the the sentence left her mouth it hung in the air for a moment, becoming in an instant a fully formed image in my head. 

I had to stop talking and write it down. 

‘I’m stealing that.’ I said matter of factly, verbally planting my colonial flag in it and adding it to a note on my phone. 

It was a perfect way to describe her (she’s very self aware) and I kicked myself for never having that combination of words in my mind prior to her casually placing them there. 

They were just right. 

I’ve been thinking about them all day, and as if the weather had a sense of guilt (and felt it needed to make up for yesterday’s endless cloud in Malvern) the world has in a very literal sense been very colourful and bright. 


It would be easy to look at this image and think ‘that’s what she means – every day looks like this to her…’

She could be visually capable of over saturating an image in her mind and interpreting the world in a candy cane symphony of bright primary colours – but there’s more to it than that. 

In her case ‘seeing’ is instead a metaphor for feeling – and that’s how I suspect she perceives and interprets colour when she describes herself this way. 

It’s a flood of emotion that she’s describing – felt with every colour of the rainbow and none of it is classified as good or bad. It’s simply a feeling – and valid purely because it exists

I’ve realised on the course of my ‘journey’ that (without actually realising I was doing it) that I didn’t always do this, and this behaviour was almost as bad for my health as the crap that I drank and ate. 

I saw the world in black and white and often felt in shades of grey compared to who I am now. 

So many of us are used to suppressing who we are, and for many (often very valid) reasons feel we need to always appear strong, in control, to demonstrate leadership or simply feel that we can’t falter because of the responsibility we feel to others. 

We may not even consciously notice that we do it anymore if we’ve done it for years. It’s just ‘who we are’. 

Often though (and certainly in my case) it’s a self imposed and self punishing method of beating ourselves up because we feel that somehow admitting we’re in pain or aren’t coping is evidence of failure

We often think that not only will people look down on us if they learn the truth that we’re not perfect – but that ‘failing’ and allowing ourselves to break down occasionally will also finally confirm to ourselves our own worst suspicion. 

That we’re somehow ‘not good enough’

Of course it’s nonsense. 

My life is so much better since I started to embrace my sadness in the same way that I embrace my joy. It’s just as valid (if not more so) and we bury pain at great cost to ourselves. 

It won’t go anywhere. It will just slowly eat away at us deep down and poison any chance for joy. Eventually it will still come to the surface – but by the time it does (if we leave it too long) it will have been twisted by its confinement into something infinitely worse than it was before. 

I think that the best gift we can give ourselves is to accept we are all fallible. 


Anyway enough of my pop psychology. All I’m saying is you have my permission to have the occasional duvet day, and a good cry if you need to. 

I won’t think any less of you internet 😘 

So – what did I eat yesterday and how much did I move my chubby butt for #onplanoctober?

Thursday 26th

  • 3 Large tomatoes 45
  • Half jar gherkins 57
  • Pickled onions 10
  • 15 Olives 60 (3 syns)
  • Tub of cottage cheese with onion & chive 174
  • 100g Aldi mixed fruit and nuts 464
  • Banana 89
  • 6x apples 420
  • (Evening meal at friend’s house)
  • 1.5 baked sweet potatoes 129
  • Slimming World Smokey streak chilli with quark salsa and steamed veg. Guesstimate (based on ingredients) 500kcal

Total calories consumed – 1950 (approx)
Activity

  • Active/total calories burned 1584/4247
  • Cardio minutes 147
  • Steps/miles walked 23,629/11.94

It’s weigh in day tomorrow. Will Davey still be in the sixteen stone bracket after being naughty? Will the world keep turning if he isn’t? Will he forgive himself and move on? Will he judge himself kindly?

Discover all of this and more tomorrow!

Davey

Malvern knees 7 months later

Today I’ve been revisiting the scene of a previous blog – and have been back in Malvern. This time instead of going solo I’ve been twalking with a friend – and showing her around a nice part of the world as she has done with me in many other locations.

Typically when we twalk my companion is in the driving seat when it comes to the map handling and where we’re going – but since the last time I came here was only back in March (here) retracing my steps from A to B has been relatively easy.

Truthfully – this was a massive bonus because the spectacular views from the last time (which I’d raved to her about) were today replaced by made more familiar British weather…

March:

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October:

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As you can imagine today my descriptive powers were stretched to their linguistic limits as I searched for ways to explain just how majestic the (completely invisible) vistas were as we climbed over the same beautiful (but mostly obscured) paths that I’d travelled along previously.

Things were clearly very different today – however if I’m honest, in many ways this made things all the more enjoyable for a number of reasons.

Without the views, and under continuous drizzly rain (at least for the first few hours) we had to rely on each other for amusement and I’m happy to say that this has never been difficult between us. 

There wasn’t a moment of the day, regardless of the mud we trudged through, the dogs that bounded up and covered us in soaking wet paw prints, or getting out of breath and sweaty where we weren’t laughing and joking.

I even took her to the inappropriately named ‘Giant’s Cave’ and showed her the majestic wonder of this 6ft deep hole in the rock that goes  precisely nowhere

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I could tell she was impressed. I know how to wow the ladies. 

Consequently we’ve spent most of the day laughing about the ridiculousness of standing on top of the highest point in Herefordshire and at times only being able to see 20ft ahead of us. 

In truth I think it kind of made the day out just a little bit more special.

That’s not to say that there wasn’t any beauty to be found – in fact quite the opposite. Some things actually look better when they’re damp.

The differences to be found today however were’t only in terms of the landscape.

Last time my post about this lovely part of the world was called ‘Malvern Knees‘ – mostly because I’d overdone things a bit and pushed myself (in retrospect) because I knew that when I finally did Snowdon (link) four months later in July that it would be much much harder. 

Consequently I was trying to get fitter and test my limits as much as possible. I still vividly remember the very real pain in my quadriceps and knees from the downhill sections and expected a LOT more of the same today.

In truth – despite walking almost exactly the same distance (and more) it never happened.

When I arrived home (after a little nap) I decided to look at the photos from my original visit on the 26th March and compare them to the 26th of October. It’s not only time that’s moved on between now and then. 

So has my appearance.

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Back then I was 22st 4lbs

On my last weigh in I was 16st 13.5lbsnearly five and a half stone lighter.

It shows.

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Physically today was like chalk and cheese compared to the last time – and while it was a great workout it caused no-where near the same level of exertion that it did the last time.

In March my activity log shows that I burned 1964/5304 Active/Total calories for the day, did 114 minutes of cardio exercise (as opposed to resting when out of breath) walked 20,752 steps and 9.84 miles.

At the time of writing (10.30pm) I’ve walked 11.88 miles and 23,508 steps today and done considerably more cardio exercise – but look at the calories I’ve burned!


I keep my weight details regularly up to date in my fitness apps – and therefore it knows that (with an extra 5.5 stone to carry) it took me almost 1300kcal MORE to do two miles a day less seven months ago. 

What’s even better is at the moment my legs are easily ready to go again. 


I absolutely love tangible evidence of progress like this. It’s what I work every day of every week of every month to achieve – and it tastes way nicer than any pizza or kebab. 

It’s my new normal and I love it because I also realised today that less than two years ago I could barely put my own socks on. 

In other news I’m still obsessively detailing everything for #onplanoctober. I’m afraid you’re just going to have to put up with it for another week. 

Here’s what I did yesterday. 

Wednesday 25th

  • Cottage cheese with onion and chive 176
  • 300g baking potato 231
  • 500g 5% fat pork mince 555
  • Green pepper 30
  • 380g mushrooms 80
  • Large courgette 54
  • Small onion x2 60
  • 240g Cannelini beans 192
  • Corn on the cob x2 118
  • Bunch of broccoli 40
  • Can chopped tomatoes 74
  • 250g natural yogurt 154
  • 100g blueberries 43
  • Banana 89
  • 100g blackberries 43
  • 100g raspberries 53

Total calories consumed 1991

Activity

  • Active/total calories burned 1684/4273
  • Cardio minutes 169
  • Steps/miles walked 29,339 15.21

Nighty night internet x 

Davey

Poo bags

I feel flipping awesome today!

It might be because I’m heavily caffeinated (I’ve been drinking aaaaaaawwwwlllllll the coffee everywhere ☕️) but it’s more likely to be because of people, dogs and weather – all of which seem to be most excellent today. 


I’ve spent the morning walking with a friend and ex-colleague from work – and chatting about our shared experiences since we both left the relatively safe and uncomplicated world of employment that we inhabited for the best part of two decades. 

It’s amazing how life changes you. 

Sometimes the absolute worst moments that hit us (such as being made redundant or the death of a parent in my case) turn out to be positive forces for good that shape the next phases of our development. 

Whilst it’s true to say that neither of us have all the answers at the moment – what is obvious is that life has given us both a glimpse of what could be – not what we thought we had to accept. 

Whatever we do with that in the future it’s worth remembering on days like today that some people never get to have that change of perspective. 

It’s valuable and today I realise that I’m grateful to be at a crossroads in my life. For all the worries I have about what comes next and how I survive financially I also see an equal number of possibilities. 

That’s got to be better than feeling bored to death in a job I hate and trapped by my life choices. 


While we twalked today we were accompanied by the absolutely limitless energy of Alfie – who I discovered two things about today. 

  1. Alfie stops for a dump more than any pooch I’ve ever known. He filled four poo bags. 
  2. He absolutely hates his harness and literally had to be dragged out of his basket and all the way to the front door across a slippery wooden floor before he’d agree to go for walkies. 


I know how Alfie felt this morning. 

Last night I did some more talks at another Slimming World consultant’s group in Warwick about weight loss – and one of the women mentioned in our chat at the end that my clothes were too loose and that I should treat myself to a smaller size. 

She’s not wrong. 

Almost every shirt that I bought for my job a few months ago now looks ridiculously loose and bizarrely I realise that they all now make me feel  just as self conscious as my clothes used to back when they were too tight for me. 

The problem is that my mentality is still sometimes to buy things that are a bit ‘sack like’ to somehow hide myself in the extra material – but these days maybe that’s just not the way to go. 

I’m tucking my shirts in a lot more now (usually depending on how confident I feel on any given day) but I didn’t last night in front of the two groups I spoke to – mostly because I felt a little self conscious in a place that I wasn’t familiar with and people that I didn’t know. 

Once again though it seems that my self image differs from other people’s view of me. 

I need to get on board with the idea of more ‘fitted’ clothing and stop wearing things because I hope they will cover all my imperfections.

Today therefore is a ‘tucked in day’, wearing a ‘skinny fit’ shirt that I bought a month ago but never wore along with my smallest pair of jeans. 

I discovered this morning that these now slowly fall down without my belt, meaning I have yet another item of clothing to replace fairly soon. 


Even though I’ve said all of this I still look at the photo above and I think ‘that’s a man with a belly’. 

In reality I suppose that’s a man in a photo who just looks almost like everyone else now. 

I have to get used to that. 

I need to get to a point where I can pick some clothing up in a store and just know that it will fit – rather than looking at everything and thinking it needs to be massive

It’s really difficult though. The more I lose weight the harder it is to gauge everything. The goalposts are always shifting. 

Thankfully there are worse problems to have in life – and I’m very grateful that today this relatively inconsequential one is the only thing that’s on my mind – because I’m every other respect I feel like I’m winning

#onplanoctber continued yesterday – and I’m managing to shave a few calories off each day here and there in the hope that sooner or later I’ll make up for Saturday’s excesses. 

Tuesday 24th

  • Tub of cottage cheese with onion and chive 176
  • 6x small tomatoes 60
  • Banana 89
  • 4x apples 280
  • 100g pickled onions 35
  • Green pepper 30
  • Romaine lettuce 25
  • spoonful of mint sauce 5
  • Spoonful whole grain mustard 10
  • 15 pitted green olives 60
  • Can of tuna in spring water 120
  • Can of mackerel in tomato sauce. 190
  • 500g grated carrot 210
  • 250g natural yogurt 154
  • 100g blueberries 43
  • 250g frozen Aldi summer fruits 84
  • 2x apples

Total calories consumed 1621

Activity

  • Active/total calories burned 1539/4213
  • Cardio minutes 152
  • Steps/miles walked 23,629/12.44

So for the rest of the afternoon I’m once again going charity shopping. I’m going to look at the clothes I see with a view to buying things that nearly fit – or fit snugly and that I can work towards – or become comfortable with how they feel and wear anyway. 

Wish me luck internet!

Davey

Bad tech day

I feel cranky at the moment. The last few days (for very different reasons) have seen me lose a lot of sleep and end up napping or feeling wide awake at odd times. 

Overall it’s not great for my underlying mood or willingness to indulge in comfort eating – which so far I am keeping at bay. 

Saturday is behind me now – and I’m hyper aware that I can’t go repeating it if I want to turn things around before my next weigh in.  

At the risk of angering anyone struggling with things like illness, broken bones, career issues or unruly toddlers I will state in advance that in the great scheme of things my gripes are inconsequential

However they are really annoying me at the moment.  

If there’s one thing that I genuinely struggle with it’s letting go when something technological doesn’t work properly. When something like this happens (thanks to my exceptionally obsessive side) it usually results in one of two scenarios. 

  1. I stay up all night long trying to figure out what’s wrong because I can’t sleep if I don’t.
  2. I go nuclear and replace whatever it is that’s making me see red or can’t be fixed. 

I’ve had a mixture of both outcomes in this case – and one thing that I will say without going into detail is that I’m seriously falling out of love with Apple products at the moment.  

My original reason for transitioning to their eco system of devices back in 2008 was based on the promise not only that ‘things just worked’, but that they worked exceptionally well together

To be fair to Apple when they do it’s often a magical feeling. I get sucked into what many refer to as the ‘Apple reality distortion field’ and like many others buy into the hype that surrounds a product launch. 

After a while of all your connected thingies ‘just working’ though you expect more and more of the same behaviour from them – because it’s what you paid a premium for. 

Then – all of a sudden everything seems to go wrong with everything you trusted – and unlike Windows etc (which you expected to eventually pull your pants down around your ankles in public and run away laughing) you begin to feel completely betrayed by your little technological buddies. 

I’ve been fixing (after much help from Google) my irritating and completely inexcusable technical issues for most of the night until the early hours of this morning because sadly I find it impossible to let such things go. 

Thankfully everything is once again (sort of) working as it should but I now feel like I’ve been robbed. What’s been stolen is yet more of my trust (if you remember very recently my Mac’s o/s died a death – and it took ages to sort out) and Apple has a lot to do to recover it. 

OSX High Sierra and IOS 11 I’m looking at both of you. You should be ashamed of yourselves and your bugs.

The jury is out about what I do next. 

On the plus side yesterday was a good one from a diet recovery perspective. I only cooked one dish for the day (a delicious chilli) and given that I was still full from the excesses of the previous day I didn’t need to eat anything else. 

Sunday 22nd

  • 500g 5% fat pork mince 555
  • Green pepper 30
  • 380g mushrooms 80
  • Large courgette 54
  • Small onion x2 60
  • 240g kidney beans 281
  • Bunch of broccoli 40
  • Can chopped tomatoes 74

Total calories consumed 1164
Activity

  • Active/total calories burned 1223/3740
  • Cardio minutes 117
  • Steps/miles walked 15,917/8.68

Hopefully internet my Apple Watch and phone will sort their s*** out and I’ll be able to get some more stats for tomorrow. A big chunk of this week got wiped/damaged/fubar’d this morning and this in particular did not make me a happy boy. 

I know this probably bothers no-one but ME but I’ll be very annoyed if (after all my efforts over the last 3 weeks) I can’t put together a complete picture of the month when I’ve finished my #onplanoctober challenge. 

If anyone needs me I’ll be in a sulk with my technology for the foreseeable future. 

Davey

It’s all about the recovery – not about the screw up!

Although it’s a difficult thing to do I committed (back when I first started writing my blog) to detailing the bad days along with the good ones.

Yesterday wasn’t an awful day by any stretch of the imagination – but by the time the evening rolled around I wasn’t eating because I was hungry.

I was eating for other reasons.

While this was happening I really didn’t want to write down or be honest about what I’d done. 

Rather than completely hide from reality though I didn’t throw any of the wrappers or pots away so that this morning I could accurately count the damage and face up to it.

I’ve learned the hard way that such events are all about perspective – and on days (like Saturday) where this is lacking (when perhaps I don’t feel so bouyant) sometimes I need to just roll with what’s happening and then try and re-frame things the day after.

Thankfully these days don’t happen very often.

It’s usually a lack of sleep that reinforces my negative inner voices – and when this is the case I’ve got to tell myself (as I did this morning) that my really bad days now are still waaaaaaaay waaaaaaaay better than a normal day a couple of years ago.

Back then in the pre Slimming World days when I was still drinking I really went to town. 

(this list is from a previous post here).

Way to work (1130kcal)

Sandwiches eaten at desk (1725kcal approx)

  • 6 thick slices of hand cut bread (usually this was half of an in-store supermarket bakery 800g wholemeal loaf) (952kcal)
  • Benecol light spread – I guesstimate approx 20g (64kcal) per slice (total 384kcal)
  • Two packs of 125g ham – 290kcal
  • 3x tomatoes (67kcal each) and cucumber slices (10kcal) – (201kcal)
  • Two packets of Mccoys crisps (multipack ones are 141kcal each) (282kcal)

Evening meal (1595kcal)

Snacks and drinks (3023kcal)

  • Sainsburys house Soave 2.25l (I would typically drink all of this – per 125ml Soave is approx 79kcal so it totals 1422kcal)
  • 200g ‘sharing’ bag of Doritos (894kcal)
  • Ginsters large Cornish pasty (707kcal)

Total (if I didn’t have an evening takeaway instead of a ready meal) – 7473kcal

If it was a Tuesday (when Dominos do a two for one pizza offer) instead of my evening ready meal and snacks I might have eaten two huge pizzas. A large Texas BBQ – which was my preferred method of self destruction is 1976 kcal (link) and would have usually been followed by a side of chicken strippers with potato wedges at 640 kcal (link).

This would have made the day come to 8869 kcal 

I was still a greedy boy yesterday though. There’s no getting around it. I ate almost twice the number of calories that I’ve had on any other day in #onplanoctober. 

Saturday 21st

  • 2x hi-fi bars (HE) 146
  • Tub of cottage cheese with onion and chive 176
  • 300g baking potato 231
  • 3 small tomatoes 30
  • 100g pickled onions 35
  • 370g (jar) pickled gherkins 114
  • Can of tuna in spring water 120
  • 3x apples 210
  • Tesco chorizo cooking meatball 83
  • 300g blueberries 129
  • 750g frozen Aldi summer fruits 252
  • 750g natural yogurt 462
  • Tub of cottage cheese with onion and chive 176
  • 4 hifi bars – 292
  • 500g Aldi Slim Free chicken tikka masala 371
  • 240g Cannelini beans 192
  • 3 small tomatoes 30
  • 500g carrots 210
  • 200g ham 232

Total calories consumed 3491

Activity

  • Active/total calories burned 662/3137
  • Cardio minutes 33
  • Steps/miles walked 7627/3.96

As bad as all this is though I think I needed yesterday – just to get whatever it was that was going on in my head out of my system – and what I have to remember (if I want continued lifelong success) that it’s not about the screw ups it’s about the recovery – and moving on.

So that’s what I’ve been doing today.

Food wise I’m confident that when I total Sunday up everything will be better – and since I also spent a lot of time napping and relaxing yesterday (in between raiding the fridge and cupboards) I feel as fit as a fiddle this morning.

My walking so far for Sunday has been at a pretty fair clip and I’m cracking along at a regular (just over) 15 minutes a mile pace so far with loads of energy still left in my legs.

I’ve even come as close as I’ve ever done to breaking the 15 minute barrier – with an annoyingly close 15.05 (I blame the traffic lights).

So that’s it for today. Yesterday is in the rear view mirror and I’m moving on with #onplanoctober. Tomorrow is another day and I have every confidence it will be a good one as well.

In the meantime if anyone wants me I’ll be pretending to be Lego Batman.

Why? (growls) Because Lego Batman is cooool 🤗


Davey

Sixteen something or other

Well the results are in. I’m officially in a new weight bracket.

For the first time in MANY MANY YEARS this morning I just about slipped into the ‘sixteens’!

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Yep – that’s right. You’re currently reading the words of a man who is no longer seventeen stone anything – but instead a svelte and increasingly trim sixteen stone something or other.

I know that I should be feeling a sense of profound triumph right now – but strangely I find myself in an odd mood today. I didn’t sleep very well last night – and was dogged by unusual dreams and worries about my weigh in.

When I awoke with a jolt at 3am (never getting back to sleep) I was convinced in my dreamlike state that I’d somehow lost an entire half a stone in between going to bed and waking up. It’s proving hard therefore to shake off the feeling after my real weigh in that I could have done better.

I think

(author falls fast asleep at the keyboard, mid-sentence)

Wow – it’s really blowing a gale outside. My wheelie bin just fell over and woke me up!

It also brought me back to life half way through a sentence – and for the life of me I can’t think what I was going to say. Reading back on what I’ve written so far it seems that my mood has completely changed after snoring in my armchair for an hour and I feel great!

If I’m not mistaken a couple of paragraphs ago I was busy snatching defeat from the jaws of victory and about to waffle on about not doing well enough!

I think it goes without saying that sometimes your perspective isn’t what you think it is – and that there are moments when you just need 40 winks to see whats’s right in front of your nose.

What an numpty I am!

I’m sixteen stone something or other baby!!!

I guess the only questions that remain are – how did I get here and how’s #onplanoctober going?

Yesterday was a good day both from an exercise and a calorie perspective – with a lot of walking completed – and overall I’ve smashed (what I think is) an impressive number of miles and steps in the last week!

Friday 20th

  • Cottage cheese with onion and chive 176 (approx – street vendor)
  • 300g baking potato 231 (approx – street vendor)
  • 100g pickled onions 35
  • 500g grated carrot 210
  • Yellow pepper 30
  • Romaine lettuce 25
  • spoonful of mint sauce 5
  • Spoonful whole grain mustard 10
  • 15 pitted green olives 60 (3 syns)
  • Can of tuna in spring water 120
  • Can of mackerel in tomato sauce. 190
  • 100g blueberries 43
  • 250g frozen Aldi summer fruits 84
  • 250g natural yogurt 154
  • 3x apples 210

Totals (kcal)

  • Day’s calories consumed 1583 (3 syns)
  • Week’s daily average/total calories consumed – 1919/13433

Activity

  • Active/all calories burned 1698/4367
  • Week’s total active/all calories burned 10,085/29,004 (average per day – 1440/4143)
  • Cardio minutes 186
  • Week’s total cardio minutes 654 (daily average 93)
  • Steps/miles walked 26,830/13.93
  • Week’s total steps/miles walked 168,995/84.85 (daily average 24,142/12.12)

So – what are the plans for the rest of my day you might ask?

Well, for once I think I am going to relax. I’m clearly in need of a rest and the strong winds outside have now been joined by driving rain. At the moment I’m warm and cosy under a duvet with Netflix on in the background and I’ve no intention of moving for at least a few hours.

I think it’s high time internet where I have a day (just one) where I give my walking boots a break and just chill for a little while.

The pavements of Warwickshire will still be there later!

Davey

Own it

It doesn’t look like the weather is going to brighten up any time soon – but honestly that doesn’t really matter. 

Although blue skies are always preferable to grey there’s definitely a pleasure to be had in going outside on a cold and windy day with a pressing need to warm yourself up. Having to get quickly into a brisk stride and feeling the blood beginning to pump is a really nice sensation and has been further enhanced today by my new toasty yet simple pleasure

My new gilet. 

In the 80’s before things got very posh we called these body warmers and I’ve not owned one since I was at school. I’ve already mentioned this in a previous post but it makes me really happy so I’m waffling on about it again!


Part of the joy of wearing it is that it’s an XL size and (I think) it fits perfectly – which gives me a real sense of pride. I’ve noticed that I’m looking at my reflection with a wry smile as I’ve walked past shop windows today and it’s a good feeling. 

Not all that long ago I’d trained myself to just look straight ahead when I passed any reflective surface. I didn’t turn my head once. The consequences were too grave. 

I didn’t want to accidentally catch sight of myself for fear that I’d be faced with the reality of how I looked (as opposed to my necessarily deluded self image if I was in a happy place) and worried that the unvarnished truth might pollute any good mood that I might have been feeling. 

In contrast today I’m not only proud of my own reflection but also stepping outside of my usual comfort zone and meeting up with someone that I don’t know at all for a twalk

This came about rather unexpectedly as a request by one of the ladies in the audience of a Slimming World talk I did a couple of weeks ago.

She asked after I’d finished my story whether I’d like to tag along with her husband on one of my excursions. Without thinking too hard about it I replied that I’d be happy to. 

I try and say no to as little as I possibly can these days. 

It turns out (after I did a little online stalking) that he also writes a blog and has been trying to do 56 challenges in 12 months – mostly related to running with people and often with a charitable emphasis (link). 

He’s been expanding his horizons just like me and seems like an interesting guy to chat with.

I’ll be meeting him shortly – but not before I get caffeinated. 

Since I ate a bit more than I usually do yesterday I’ve decided to walk to meet him before our twalk today in an effort to get my steps and miles up. 

At the moment I’m having a quick Starbucks filter coffee whilst I add up yesterday’s damage and contemplate my weigh in on Saturday. 

To be 100% honest – if I wasn’t writing everything down then I’m sure there would have been a lot more boredom related damage in the evening. 

I have a regular reader (and fellow blogger) to thank for this. It was her brilliant idea that I get all hashtagged up for #onplanoctober and so far it’s kept me honest!

Consequently I only went over where I’d planned to cut myself off for the day (1900kcal) by a couple of hundred calories – so everything should hopefully still work out. 

Thursday 19th

  • 6 small tomatoes 60
  • 190g (half jar) pickled gherkins 57
  • Pickled onions 20
  • Tub of cottage cheese with onion and chive 176
  • 300g baking potato 231
  • 250g frozen Aldi summer fruits 84
  • 250g natural yogurt 154
  • Banana 89
  • 500g 5% fat pork mince 555
  • Red pepper 30
  • 380g mushrooms 80
  • Large courgette 54
  • Small onion x2 60
  • 240g Aldi Cannelini beans 192 (these are a useful tweak instead of using a can of kidney beans in a chilli – they save about 80kcal)
  • Bunch of broccoli 40
  • Can chopped tomatoes 74
  • 2x apples 140

Total calories consumed 2186

Activity

  • Active/total calories burned 1252/3892
  • Cardio minutes 86
  • Steps/miles walked 19,293/9.83

(Author heads off for his walk)

Well that was fun!

I’ve just spent a lovely five miles sharing details about how we got to where we are in our respective lives with a total stranger and feel like this is the way that life should be for everyone. 

People should just go for a walk and get to know eachother!


It’s nice knowing that there are like minded people out there that just want to be open and honest with the world about about where life has led them and reach out to whoever they can along the way. 

Whenever I talk in depth with people like this I’m reminded that (particularly when it comes to charity and wanting to create and give something back to the world) there are lots of people all around us every day that just want to do the right thing in life and leave everything and everyone better than the state in which they were found. 

We touched on some quite personal topics during our walk and I can’t help thinking every time I meet someone new that as human beings (despite who we are and where we come from) that we are we are all more alike than we are different

We all have hopes and dreams and we’re always just trying to find our place in the world whilst feeling that we belong and are needed

I’ve also reminded myself of one of the reasons I have gotten to the point that I’m at now. 

Back in February 2016 (when I started my blog) I remember getting really angry when I was attending a support group related to alcohol abuse. 

I was listening to people making excuse after excuse about why they had whatever addiction they were afflicted with. Apart from one other guy in the room I was the only person that wasn’t continually saying that it was someone else’s fault or some other circumstance that caused me to eat or drink to excess. 

The truth was that the very first time I’d had a drink it was related to my mother’s abuse.  

The following instances immediately after were also directly attributable to bad times under her control and attempts to block things out. 

Food was just the same. 

However whilst she may have been the catalyst it was ME that continued the patterns. ME that drank alone. ME that decades after she had any kind of control over me was still ordering pizza or kebabs. 

In the end it was all me and there were no excuses. Now she’s gone and I have to own it

All of it. 

For all the bad things she did and said to me I’m now the one that’s left behind with the bits of my complex mental jigsaw puzzle and how they relate to my relationship with her. 

I can either avoid them and leave the pile in a jumbled mess making everything look bad or I can slowly piece them together and look at everything from above. 

In trying to work through this I’ve had to let go of my anger, accept that no one is perfect, that there is no mileage in regret or hatred and that there can be a future – even if you think things have gone too far and that there’s no way back

My decisions were always mine to make – and whilst I could have benefited from better guidance early on in life – I made them

Now I still do but instead I choose to make good ones, for the right reasons and in the process to make my own life better and give back to others whenever I can. 

If I don’t internet then my lovely lovely gilet won’t fit any more and no-one wants that 😏

Davey

Christmas wish

It’s been a grim and drizzly day today – with barely a single break in the cloud or rain.

I’ve made the most of the awful weather though and kept up with my usual walking (and twalking) under an umbrella – but otherwise all is rather quiet on the western front today…

However – it’s not all doom and gloom.

Just to brighten up my day Her Majesty’s Department of Pednatic and Annoying Officialdom sent me a letter in a worryingly brown generic envelope this morning. When I finally got around to opening it later in the day the darned thing turned out to be a completely unexpected demand to immediately stump up a sum of cash.

Sigh.

Bureaucracy.

I really dislike it…

However – I’ve concluded that being able to buy shopping is really overrated anyway. I’ve furthermore decided that all I have to do is temporarily learn to get nutrients by licking the TV when food adverts come on as well as eating thin air for a week for everything to be just hunky dory.

With that in mind – since dreams cost absolutely nothing – this evening I’ve been treating myself to loads of them – and deciding what to write on my Slimming World Christmas wish bauble.

These are handed out in group each year and the idea is that you write your heart’s desires on it and hang it somewhere prominent to keep you focused in the run up to the festivities.

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Knowing what to write on these is a bit of a tricky proposition.

Last year I scribbled on mine that I wanted to have lost nine stone by the time my work’s Christmas re-union took place – which would have made me 25st 8.5lbs.

I managed to lose 8st 13lbs – landing just one pound away from my goal.

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As daft as it sounds for a short while I actually viewed that as a failure – but when it came to the event itself in the end I was just so happy to see everyone that it didn’t really matter either way.

So this year the theme is very similar. My ex-colleagues have another informal event planned in early December – and I’d ideally like to be a stone lighter by then (making me 16st 1lb).

Since that’s not quite Christmas I think it’s a reasonable expectation to want to be lighter than sixteen stone by the 25th – so I’ve decided that will be my next goal.

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Of course – the only way I’m going to achieve this is by remaining focused – and I’m still keeping up with listing everything I eat for the whole of October, along with all of my exercise.

I’ve promised myself that I’d make daily #onplanoctober updates about this for consistency – and for my own records.

I’m going to stick to that.

I’ll be honest – on days like today when it’s raining and I’m faced with crappy brown envelopes I’m extremely tempted to have a ‘screw it’ 24 hrs and eat all of the nicer things in my cupboards – but so far today I’ve been good(ish).

I’m really wondering whether I’m getting anywhere this week though. I still don’t feel much different compared to last Saturday – although that’s probably a good thing. It means I’m eating healthily and not trying to starve a result out of myself for Saturday.

So without further ado here’s what happened yesterday…

Wednesday 18th

  • Banana 89
  • 3x apples 210
  • Tub of cottage cheese with onion and chive 176
  • 6 x small tomatoes 60
  • 400g diced beef 558
  • Can chopped tomatoes 74
  • 2x leeks 108
  • 2x carrots 40
  • 900g swede 120
  • Tesco chorizo cooking meatball 83 (I know there are syns in this but as it’s not in the app I don’t know how many – so I’m guesstimating 3 as its mostly meat and it’s 20kcal per syn)
  • 1 sweet potato 86
  • 380g mushrooms 65
  • 100g blueberries 43
  • 250g frozen Aldi summer fruits 84
  • 250g natural yogurt 154

Total calories consumed 1951 (3 syns)

Activity

  • Active/total calories burned 1499/4231
  • Cardio minutes 67
  • Steps/miles walked 25,409/12.7

With that internet I’m going to carry on with my evening’s activities and bid you adieu. Hopefully you didn’t get too soaked today – and if you did then I hope you dried out in front of a warm fire soon after.

Davey

P.S. Best wishes to my reader with the broken ankle. I hope things mend soon and that you manage to make good choices while you’re healing up 🙂

Hatton to Kingswood Junction

As part of a little project I have in mind I’ve once again been exploring another section of the Grand Union Canal today – and it’s not only a really wonderful place for quiet, uninterrupted twalking but it’s a fantastic little corridor of wildlife!

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The section between Hatton Locks (where my friend and I started today) and Kingswood Junction (the mid-point of the walk) is around 4.5 miles – and despite the overcast autumn skies today and paths full of leaves the whole tone of the walk seemed very green indeed.

If you’re not shaded by a constantly leaning treelines then you’re bordered by large bushes, fields and patches of verdant moss or grassy banks.

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It’s an absolutely great stretch to walk along – and since I last came this way a decade or so ago the paths seem to have been much improved. There’s barely any mud – even after the rain that fell overnight.

This particular stretch of the canal is also really architecturally interesting thanks to the tunnel under Shrewley – which stretches (without a towpath) 396 metres under the village and nearby fields.

The only way to follow the canal on foot at this point is overland, past the village post office, over a road, and between some houses, where you drop into a second, disconcertingly dark tunnel.

It finally pops out into daylight on a raised path and you immediately get an idea of the sheer effort that must have been required to build this section of the Grand Union Canal.

The rock has been chiselled away to make a wide channel for a few boats side by side and in the tunnel you can hear the many waterfalls of ground water seeping through the brickwork into the canal below.

The surrounding rock strata and greenery also look wonderful together!

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I think that the engineering skill required to make these tunnels is just mind blowing.

Like most parts of the Grand Union’s bridges and complementary structures this is all constructed from individual red bricks – and while it definitely looks old it’s still as solid as the day it was opened in 1799 (wikipedia link).

Thats well over 200 years of service and it’s still going strong!

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Between Shrewley and Kingswood junction there isn’t really a lot to speak of – unless you’re simply looking for views or whimsical names on moored boats or wildlife – and maybe because of this there are next to no passers by.

The legions of ducks (of which there were MANY) seemed half asleep for the most part and barely registered us as we strolled past.

DSC03534

In fact my companion and I met only one person with a dog and a single barge slowly chugging in the direction of Warwick until we arrived at the Tom o the Wood pub for a rest and a coffee.

Things seemed marginally more lively here – but mostly due to a resident massive black labrador called Boris who wanted to investigate all of my pockets (and man parts) for biscuits. I didn’t mind at all though, because I got to fuss him for a while!

This is also a pretty sleepy neck of the woods (apart from hungry pooches) though. The only other thing of note are some moorings nearby and really chilled out looking goats which are either being kept either by the owners of the pub – or the people living on the barges.

Whoever they belong to they sure seem to be well looked after and relaxed!

The most annoying thing about today though was the problem my compact superzoom camera has with low light conditions.

It really can’t handle anything fast moving when I’m in shadow, darkness or with a very overcast sky – and it makes it really galling when you see a pair of grey wagtails (a speedy little bird that swoops up and down across the water with incredible agility) and just can’t get a good shot of them without grain.

On the plus side for some reason my camera in these circumstances takes way better video than still photography – and I managed to get a few seconds of it walking around on the path ahead with it’s unusual bobbing gait before it shot off to the tree roots under the opposite bank.

Overall it’s been a really nice day of exploration – and it’s all helping me work towards what will hopefully be another loss on the scales this coming Saturday.

I feel like I’ve eaten more this week – but I also feel like I’ve walked further too – so maybe the two will balance each other out.

On the plus side internet (as you may have noticed in the shot above) I bought myself a really nice fawn coloured gilet from Aldi this morning super cheap and it’s an XL!

To make me EVEN HAPPIER in the photo I’m wearing two layers of clothing under it and one is a thick hoodie!!!

Yay for ever reducing fatness!

Anyway – yesterday’s #onplanoctober stats are:

Tuesday 17th

  • 2 little gem lettuces 10
  • 125g chicken roll 150
  • 200g Ham 240
  • 30 olives 60
  • 6 apples 420
  • Aldi Slim Free chicken Saag 322
  • Aldi microwave basmati rice 366 (2 syns)
  • 240g white kidney beans 150
  • half tub quark 80
  • 200g blueberries 86
  • 500g frozen Aldi summer fruits 168

Total calories consumed 2050

Activity

  • Active/total calories burned 1380/4122
  • Cardio minutes 84
  • Steps/miles walked 21,806/10.99

Davey

Satsuma sky 

Today the light is decidedly odd. I’m not sure that I’ve ever been out and about on a day where everything has seemed so… opressively orange before. 

Whilst walking along the canal today an old man leaned over the rail on his barge and beckoned me to look at his iPhone. 

He showed me a picture of the sun – which until then I’d not noticed had a tangerine hue and corona surrounding it. 

We stood looking at it for a moment and then he showed me the picture again – clearly impressed at the sight of it, and furthermore that his phone had actually captured it. 

Oddly the day didn’t start out like this. It looked maybe a little overcast – but nothing out of the ordinary to begin with. 


Prior to the oddly coloured sky as I walked along the canal everything seemed pretty normal – with ducks, swans, coots, moor hens, squirrels, sheep and really friendly horses – one of whom always comes up for a sniff and a nose stroke when I pass. 


As I sit now in the window of the Hatton Arms after the first leg of my walk the light is still filled with this almost other-worldly quality and everything looks subtly different to the way it normally does. 


Life appears to have a ‘warm’ photo filter pre applied to it, and it’s dark enough at midday for cars to be passing with their lights on. 

Whilst waking I’ve been considering the suggestions of a (highly valued) friend and reader today – who wondered whether the time might be nigh to return to my couch to 5K efforts  (or other things) from a few months ago. 

At the time I was around the 21st mark – and despite it being a difficult pill to swallow I took the advice of several well meaning friends to discontinue what I was doing in case I injured myself and de-railed my overall progress. 

It was hard to take their advice the way it was intended at the time – because it had taken a lot for me to even try to jog in public. I felt (quite wrongly) that they had no idea how hard it had been for me to take this step – and yet they wanted me to stop when I was so close to a new milestone. 

At that moment however I wasn’t really thinking too much about the physical impact that running might have and more about the fact that it would be really cool to say that I could do it. 

However (maybe somewhat paradoxically) now I’m around 4 stone lighter I’m less interested in trying it again than I was before. 

I guess it’s because in the time following me postponing my running aspirations I’ve been reminded that one of the reasons I walk so much (although it’s far from the only one) is that it’s my new social tool. 

My diary these days is usually filled with regular walking buddies – and also some that aren’t so regular – but that I enjoy seeing just as much. 

Twalking is a way of meeting people and getting to know them intimately that I’ve become very addicted to. 

The chats we have during long strolls are often very personal and always thought provoking – and it occurs to me that running (or cycling) probably wouldn’t be quite the same. 

Whilst I’m highly likely to try running again (and it’s probably not that far in the future) it would definitely be for different reasons – and at the moment what I’m doing is making me feel both centred and happy. 

If there’s one thing I don’t do anymore though it’s say ‘absolutely not’. I don’t know how I’ll feel further down the line as the weight continues to drop off. 

There’s also the question of what goals I adopt to keep me motivated when I reach target. Will they be related to continually improving my fitness or something else entirely? 

Who knows?…

For the moment though I have coffee and that makes me happy enough. 

Today I’ve walked from Warwick to Hatton and from there back to Leamington. Shortly I’m going to make my way home from the town centre and then get ready for my final local motivational speaking session. 

There’s a lot on my mind at the moment (in a good way) and I’m trying to remember all the things that I want to say. Hopefully I can pull together all the disparate thoughts and responses to questions I’ve had so far and make the last session one that people will really like. 

In the meantime #onplanoctober continues – and if I haven’t driven you away with two whole weeks of what I’ve been eating and doing for exercise so far then have no fear. 

You’re going to get another two weeks of it so there’s plenty of time to do a runner and unsubscribe from my stream of daily drivel!

Sunday 15th

  •  240g Tesco Everyday value sliced chicken tikka 288
  • 500g tangy apples 280
  • 500g Aldi Slim Free Three Bean And Vegetable Chilli 293
  • Aldi microwave basmati rice (2syns) 366
  • 100g blueberries 43
  • 250g natural yogurt 154
  • 100g Strawberries 33
  • Jar of pickled onions 72
  • 1kg carrots 420

Total calories consumed 1949

Activity

  • Active/total calories burned 1231/3871
  • Cardio minutes 77
  • Steps/miles walked 21,716/10.76

Finally – I saw something purple on the way home yesterday – and in the light it not only looked stunningly lovely but reminded me of another purple themed person who always seems to be thinking of others – yet (I suspect) often forgets that she inspires other people (me included) to love themselves and live better lives. 

I took this picture for her. 

She should print it out and stick it on her fridge 😉


Davey

New and shiny

One of the consequences of doing all of the walking that I do is that I tend to get through a lot of shoes. 

I’ve learned (particularly in the last year) that footwear is something that’s a difficult balancing act to pull off between quality and cost. If you skimp on the price purely because you set an arbitrary ceiling on what you will or won’t spend then you may well up with blisters and crappy shoes. 

In more extreme instances it could also result in something like shin splints and plantar heel. I know from experience that if these are pre-existing conditions then you ignore them at your peril. 

Although I wasn’t planning to buy any boots yesterday I received an unexpected text from a friend. 

She had purchased something new and shiny and wanted the share her joy that (a) they were super pretty and (b) that they cost a mere 25% of their original price. 


Although I couldn’t see myself wearing them (I’m veh veh partial to my Jimmy Choo’s dah-links!) it did mean one thing. 

She’s my frugal buddy. 

We share money saving tips all the time. She (like myself) would remain undamaged in even the most violent sandstorm if she found herself re-incarnated as a part of a camel’s rear anatomy. 

When your frugal buddy makes a purchase though… Well – that’s just the best feeling ever, because that means you too can buy something and you know that they won’t question why you needed to spend the money. 

It’s like a ‘get out of jail free’ card in Monopoly!

So, on the way home yesterday (munching on apples – but more of the nibbles later) I found myself strolling past Lockwoods Ski and Trek in Leamington Spa and decided to wander in to look at all the lovely outdoor stuff and things and whatnots. 

Hell – I thought I might even check out the doomafirkins while I was there!

A mere twenty minutes later I was the proud owner of a new pair of AKU walking boots (more than 50% off their original price!!!) and I can tell you that after 10 miles of walking today I am very very very happy with them. 


The tread seems a lot more hard wearing than the Berghaus ones I normally buy – and they’re a bit different to walk in (they feel very ‘heel to toe’ as opposed to a bouncy ball support) but I like them a lot. 


I’ll update you on their long term survival in a later post no doubt…

It’s been a lovely day for walking though (I’m not alone in thinking this – I’ve met loads of slimming world buddies too!) and for the most part it’s been warm and sunny enough to wander around in little more than a short sleeved shirt. 


Today I’ve mostly been doing laps around the park with friends and attempting to burn off a small amount of ‘munchies’ eating from yesterday. 

Slimming World food tasting sessions always have the same effect on me. I have routinely eaten much more on Saturdays when I’ve tried lots of the types of foods present than on similar days where I just eat ‘normally’ (whatever that is). 

I’ve thought about this a few times and it’s most likely a combination of things. Firstly it’s Saturday and I’ve just stepped off the scales. 

My first thought is often ‘aaaaannnnnd rellllaaaaxxxx’ which doesn’t really help with willpower (I’m looking at you boxes of hi-fi bars) and I’m definitely guilty of entering what SW calls ‘The Twighlight Zone’ – which is where you pig out on weigh in day. 

Secondly is the fact that a lot of the foods I sample on these occasions are ‘free’ or very low syn dessert style dishes – which I like to try mostly because they’re not something I normally indulge in. 

I tend not to eat them partially because I never really crave them – but also because I know how they’re capable (in small nibbly delicious quantities) of making me overeat afterwards. 

This is why I also eat my food in order (speed first, then free, then syn) when it’s possible to do so. I’ll eat less free if I’m stuffed with speed and less syn if I’m stuffed with free. 

The taster sessions just blow this all of the water and everything gets jumbled up. Consequently I’m usually left wanting more all day long. 

Thankfully I managed to keep it under control – apart from a fruit, yogurt and gherkin fridge and cupboard clearance late in the evening. 

Things never get too out of control because thankfully I don’t have any ‘treat’ food in my house as a rule. However I also managed to keep a lid on things because I knew that I had to write it down and that I had to post it. 

Not that blogging it really matters in the great scheme of things. 

I bet almost no-one reads it – but crucially I know whether I’ve lied or told the truth – and I never knowingly lie on my blog. I can therefore chalk this up to a win (of sorts) for #onplanoctober. Without it yesterday could have gone really off the rails. 

Saturday 14th

  • Slimming World food tasting nibbles (approx 300ish?)
  • 5 large Apples 350
  • Tub of cottage cheese with onion and chive 176
  • 100g pickled onions 35
  • 500g grated carrot 210
  • Half iceberg lettuce 20
  • spoonful of mint sauce 5
  • Spoonful whole grain mustard 10
  • 15 pitted green olives 60
  • Can of tuna in spring water 120
  • Can of mackerel in tomato sauce. 190
  • 165g Can of sweetcorn 60
  • Half jar pickled gherkins 57
  • 100g Strawberries 33
  • 300g blueberries 129
  • 500g natural yogurt 308
  • 370g (jar) pickled gherkins 114

Total calories consumed – 2077 (approx)

Activity 

  • Active/total calories burned – 1241/4004
  • Cardio minutes – 70
  • Steps/miles walked – 19,946/9.88

Onwards and downwards Internet!!! Just keep putting one (beautifully booted) foot in front of the other!

Davey

A truly wonderful thing

It’s 8am and as is customary for a Saturday morning I’ve not had much sleep. Today I’m doing another two motivational talks at Slimming World meetings – and rather nerve wrackingly one of them is my own group

I’m not entirely sure why this makes a difference – but it does, because whilst others see me as I am today, a lot of these people have seen me as I was back then. 

They know a lot of what I’ve been through and I like them a great deal. I feel like I mustn’t disappoint them. 

In common with all perpetually paranoid slimmers this morning I’ve dressed in nice light clothes and headed off to group early so that I can weigh in before the talk (that way I can drink coffee beforehand!) and see how my week of #onplanoctober eating has panned out. 

I’m also dressed smarter than usual in a shirt and trousers in an effort to give me confidence. 

Partially because of this I didn’t have much of an appetite yesterday…

Friday 13th

  • Tub of cottage cheese with onion and chive 176
  • 6 small tomatoes 60
  • 350g celery hearts 35
  • 200g ham 238
  • 100g pickled onions 35
  • 500g grated carrot 210
  • Yellow pepper 30
  • Half iceberg lettuce 20
  • spoonful of mint sauce 5
  • Spoonful whole grain mustard 10
  • 15 pitted green olives 60 (1.5 syns)
  • Can of tuna in spring water 120
  • Can of mackerel in tomato sauce. 190
  • Half a cucumber 11
  • 2 x mor chicken tomato and basil sausages 86 (2 syns)

Total calories consumed 1269 (3.5 syns)

Activity

  • Active/total calories burned – 1252/3906
  • Cardio minutes – 106
  • Steps/miles walked 19,125/9.75

This means my seven day averages and totals for week two of #onplanoctober are

  • Average calories consumed daily – 1889
  • Average active/total calories burned – 1360/4100
  • Total/average cardio minutes – 634/91
  • Total/average steps walked 146,502/20,929
  • Total/average miles walked 73.73/10.53

Now – interestingly this is most probably the best week I’ve had in a LONG TIME with regard to being on plan yet I lost ‘only’ 2lbs – which is less than I did last week (that was 6lbs). 


However – whilst the old me might have taken this as a negative – new and improved Davey sees this as a win. 

A loss is a loss – and sticking on course will mean I’ll get where I want to be on averages – not massive weekly drops. 

I also have my seventeen and a half stone certificate baby!!! 

Although yesterday’s post was all about non-scale victories – this is still flipping fantastic!!!

(Author does his talks to the groups)

Today was also food tasting day. I usually cook mine early in the morning on these occasions – but yesterday evening I had to make something quick and easy that would keep overnight – so I fell back on a batch of the mini quiches I love so much.


In order to assuage my guilt for not making something new (which is what I always try to do) I decided to compliment them with ‘things on sticks’ and made some olive, cherry tomato and sausage cocktail nibbles to go with them. 


These tasty little chicken, sun dried tomato and basil chipolata sausages are one syn each (each stick is 1/3) and they go really nice with an olive (10 for one syn) and a cherry tomato. 


Sometimes the simple things are the best!

Everyone else’s food was (as always) delicious too, and I found myself going back for a second nibble at some rather nice turkey meatballs before I left for the day if I’m honest!

Talk wise this morning was probably the most emotional for me so far – but it’s been in a positive and life-affirming way. 

The whole experience of doing this has been extremely empowering and also very humbling. I may be standing out front today – but any one of the faces I’ve been looking at could have been me – and I them. 

The feedback they’ve volunteered has been both heartfelt and personal. At times it’s taken my breath away. People have laughed, cried, laughed again and then cried a bit more. 

I’m glad that one of my NSV’s from yesterday was that people could get their arms around me because I’ve also had lots of hugs!

I love hugs 🤗

Overall it’s been something of a rollercoaster day so far and truthfully I’m still processing a lot of the things people have said to me both in person and via social media. 

It’s nice to know in the case of all of us that we aren’t alone in the world. We all share the same fears, hopes and dreams – and I keep seeing this in the assembled faces of the rooms that I’ve talked to – which I guesstimate now total around a couple of hundred people. 

How amazing that we’re all so alike and that we all care so much about the person next to us in these groups. 

If I want anything to come out of this internet it’s for more people to treat themselves with the kindness and support that they give so freely in these sessions to me and everyone else. 

That would be a truly wonderful thing. 

Davey

Non-scale victories – The complete list…

I started jotting down a list of non scale victories a couple of days ago.

I’ve been meaning to do this for a while – but hadn’t gotten around to putting them all in one place. Then some of the people I spoke to during and after my talks in front of other Slimming World groups on Monday (who wanted to know how my life had changed) made me think that I should write everything I could think of down and keep the list updated when something new pops up.

Initially it was just a few bullet points when I began.

I pulled some of out of previous posts and others were things I’d not really talked about much or had mentioned in other contexts.

When thought I’d completed it I spontaneously decided to read it out loud to a friend as I sat in her car one morning. Surprisingly I suddenly found myself close to tears – and noticed that she (sitting next to me) was too. A lot of the things on this list still make me feel very emotional. I didn’t think they would – but the pain of a lot of the things I used to struggle with every day is still raw.

Sometimes very raw.

It’s a long list – and there are some items that I still find too personal, intimate or deeply embarrassing. Try as I might I just can’t bring myself to add them – but what’s contained within it are all real pieces of a jigsaw puzzle that I’ve been putting together since January 2016.

On their own they’re pretty cool (at least from my perspective) but not always particularly amazing in the great scheme of things. I’d even warrant that most people take them for granted if they’ve never been unable to do them or not struggled with mundane aspects of daily life like I did.

Together they’ve combined to change the way I live so much that my average day is completely unrecognisable compared to what it was when I was 34st 8.5lbs.

In no particular order my NSV’s are:

  • I was unable to sleep in any position other than my left side or sitting upright at 34st 8.5 lbs. Now I can sleep on whichever side I choose (including my back) and no longer wake up in a panic because I think I’m suffocating
  • I’ve walked the cumulative 3000 mile distance from San Fransisco to New York (and much more) since joining Slimming World
  • I overcame Plantar Fasciitis, two torn calf muscles, ligament problems in my left thigh and shin splints caused by my weight and persisted with my walking and exercise
  • I’m no longer taking medication to control my (type 2) diabetes – and have a HbA1c reading of 28 compared to 94 when first diagnosed
  • My blood pressure is down from borderline hyper-tension to that of someone 20 years younger than myself
  • I’ve dropped from the 8xl shirt and 66in waisted trousers I was wearing to 2XL/XL and waist size of 40in
  • I haven’t broken any furniture by sitting or lying on it for over a year and a half
  • I can buy clothes from pretty much any supermarket or high street store. They cost approximately 75% less than they used to at specialist retailers
  • I can now fit into ALL cars and taxis
  • I can take the train or the bus because I fit into public transport and can walk to and from where it stops
  • I can fit in my bath
  • I don’t get out of breath walking up hills unless they’re really steep
  • I can mow my lawns without being in agony – and maintain my gardens
  • I can stand up without grunting or straining from pretty much any position
  • My skin no longer burns instantly when exposed to the sun (often it doesn’t burn at all now) and I don’t have dry eczema all the time like I used to
  • I no longer wear glasses for reading and have dramatically improved eyesight due to my diabetes being under control
  • I can sit in restaurant or cafe booths – in fact ANY kind of fixed bench or table seating is accessible – as well as garden picnic tables and plastic chairs.
  • I can go to the cinema and not have to pay extra for premium seating because I don’t fit in the standard seat or am worried that they will break
  • I can walk up to 17.5 miles a day and average 20,000 steps daily and 70+ miles every week. Previously I couldn’t walk to the end of my street 200 metres away
  • I can concentrate for longer periods and take in (and retain) information a lot faster
  • I need less sleep – usually 5-6 hours is enough now. I used to need at least 10 because it was so hard to get rest with sleep apnea
  • I can now walk a mile in just over 15 minutes. When I first tried to do a mile it took well over an hour to an hour and a half with continual rest stops. I usually have to stop every 7-8 miles now.
  • I can jog up stairs
  • I can jog back down stairs
  • I’ve taken large amounts of outsized clothes to charity and by donating with gift aid have helped other people by doing so.
  • I haven’t had an alcoholic drink since January 26th 2016
  • I’m now able to buy clothes from charity shops as well as deposit them and when I do they cost around 1/8th of what I previously was forced to buy
  • I can take a selfie without hating myself
  • I have climbed Snowdon
  • I no longer have constant oedemas (fluid retention) in my ankles
  • I can go outside wearing shorts without feeling self conscious
  • I don’t need to get my shopping delivered and I often walk two miles to the supermarket and carry it two miles back home in a rucksack
  • I can stand for long periods without crippling back, knee and tendon pain
  • My knees no longer hurt all the time. They used to be painful even when I was seated
  • I can’t hear my own laboured breathing when I sit and relax
  • I no longer sweat all the time regardless of the temperature and I need to wear thick socks, gloves a coat and a hat to go outside in the cold
  • I regularly meet lots of new people through my efforts, Slimming World and my blog
  • I’m now confident enough with my appearance and fit enough to stand and speak in front of groups about my weight loss. Previously this would have been impossible because I quickly became breathless and physically shook from the effort of standing upright
  • I can jog (although not very well yet)
  • I no longer get publicly bullied and called names related to my weight by youths (and adults) on the street
  • I’ve gone from eating (and burning) 7,500 calories per day to around 2000 and because of this my shopping costs around 2/5ths of what it used to.
  • I can ride a bicycle again
  • I can sit in an IKEA Poang armchair without fear of breaking it
  • I can do press-ups
  • I can climb ladders and use stepladders (none held my weight before) to get into my loft
  • A lady recently referred to me as ‘hot’
  • People I know frequently fail to recognise me in the street until I speak
  • I’ve never spent more quality time with friends, family and people that I care about in my entire life – and when I do we’re usually exercising so I seem to be promoting positive behaviour in those that mean something to me
  • I no longer make excuses not to meet up with friends I haven’t seen for a while (or don’t see them at all) because I feel embarrassed about putting lots of weight on since they last saw me
  • My friends and family can hug me and put their arms all the way around me

So there’s the (current) list.

It makes for sobering reading – because, despite all of the things I now benefit from and the future that I feel is finally open to me – I still have a sense of loss.

I’ve wasted too much time with all of the above – and lived for the best part of two decades in a way way no-one should have to.

The only thing that I can say when I look back at that ruined and unhappy man, stuck in his armchair and with his world shrinking a little more every day is that he existed for a reason. He enabled me to be who I am now, and gifted me a sense of perspective that maybe few are afforded in life.

His pain isn’t something I can forget and it drives every moment of my present, and hopefully my future too…

IMG_4624

Anyway – thats quite enough heavy stuff for one evening internet. I need to get to bed.

In the meantime here’s how yesterday panned out in the land of #onplanoctober

Thursday 12th

  • Tub of cottage cheese with onion and chive 176
  • 3 small tomatoes 30
  • 300g ham 357
  • Half jar pickled gherkins 57
  • 3 Large apples 210
  • 200g Aldi Smoked Mackerel fillets 692 (2 syns)
  • 650g Aldi stir fry veg 338
  • 100g blueberries 43
  • 250g frozen Aldi summer fruits 84
  • 250g natural yogurt 154
  • 500g carrots 210 (snacking)

Total calories consumed – 2351 (2 syns)
Activity

  • Active/total calories burned 1520/4260
  • Cardio minutes – 95
  • Steps/miles walked 20,658/9.51

Fingers crossed for my weigh in tomorrow morning!!!

Davey