I’ve written a couple of times in recent weeks how I’ve been amazed that even when I let myself go and have a bit of a blow-out, it’s nothing on how I used to eat normally, let alone on how I used to eat when I let myself go.
I can safely say that I’m amazed no more.
I’ve just stepped off the scales from my 18th weigh-in and I’ve gained two pounds. Other than the three pounds that I put on when I was on holiday, this is the worst weekly result that I’ve had since the start. I’m not surprised, other than that it’s only two pounds to be honest. Diet wise, it has not been a good week.
I think in some ways I’ve been building up to this, and I think it will turn out to be a good thing, but I feel like I’m teetering on the edge of a precipice right now. I can peer over the edge and see a huge drop, but I can also feel the solid road beneath my feet. I know that if I plunge off over the edge it won’t kill me (well not immediately anyway) but it’s a long, long way down, and it will take me a long, long time to get back up here again.
So what happened this week? To put it simply, I just switched off for a few days. I had a couple of days where I was still pointing everything, even though I was going over my points by quite a way, which was sort of OK, as I was at least aware of what was happening. Then as a family we went away for the weekend to a family wedding, and I just gave up for 48 hours or so.
To be honest I’m not even sure that I ate as much as I would have usually done at a wedding before I started this journey, but I know that I ate more than I have done at any time in the last 18 weeks, and that there were no sensible choices made whatsoever.
There are positives to take from this – seriously!
First of all, there is more proof of how simple the whole process is. If I go back to my old eating habits, then I will gain weight. No ifs or buts, just simple truth, and I think I needed it. Over the past few weeks I’ve been less and less stringent about how I was eating, and have perhaps ‘got away with it’ for a while. This brings that strongly into focus.
Secondly, I didn’t enjoy it that much. I enjoyed the freedom of not having to think about what I was eating, but I didn’t enjoy the bloated feeling that came with it, or the guilty feeling that was never far away either. It would be fairly easy to get rid of the guilty feeling, but the bloated feeling would always be there, and I’m so much more aware of it than I ever have been before.
Thirdly, there was a fat bloke there. Now I’ve often found it difficult to really see where all the weight that I’ve lost came from. I’m not very good at ‘seeing’ myself properly, which has often been a big part of why my weight has crept up consistently in the past. Anyway, when said fat bloke came in, one of the first things I said to my wife (unkindly of course, but I feel I can lay myself bare to you dear reader) was “well at least I wasn’t that big”. Her uncomfortable response made it pretty clear that actually, I had been that big, and that four and a half months ago there would have been people saying to their partners “well at least I’m not that big” about me. Well no more. I looked pretty damn good if truth be told 😉
Fourthly, I’ve had lots of photos taken of me, and I’m not ashamed or embarrassed of how I look in them. That’s a big thing. Really! Massive actually. The fact that I’m no longer massive is massive 🙂
Fifthly, I’m back on the straight and narrow again. Yesterday morning, at breakfast in the hotel, I had a bowl of fresh fruit and an organic low-fat yoghurt. The day before I had a full fry-up. I didn’t have to force myself to go healthy again, it was what I wanted. I did have to ignore the voice that was whispering “have some baaaaaaacon – just a leeeetle bit of baaaaacon” to me (the accent in my head is as odd as it looks on paper btw) but that was actually quite easy to do.
Anyway, I’m standing on a precipice, peering down into the depths below. I’m fully aware that the simplest thing to do, in the moment, right now, would be to jump off and fall down to the bottom. It would mean no more worrying about what I ate. Eating what I liked, when I liked.
Except there are other things that come with that picture. I’d be that fat bloke again, and I genuinely, honestly don’t want to be him. I don’t want to be the man that can’t properly cuddle his wife because his belly gets in the way. I don’t want to be the man who doesn’t go near the dance floor because he’s just too big and out of shape to consider it. I’m much, much happier to be the man who stands at the side of the dance floor aware that the only thing stopping him from joining in is his complete and total lack of physical co-ordination and rhythm. I guess one of the key points is that I know that I’d need and want to scale these same heights again, and it would be far, far harder to climb back up than it is to jump off and fly down again.
I still have a long way to go, but I’m proud of what I’ve achieved so far. To extend the picture slightly, I’m on the edge of a precipice looking down, but I’m only halfway up the mountain. Behind me is solid rock, but if I look closely, there are steps built into the mountain that are going gently up and round it. I still can’t see the top of the mountain, but I can see that there’s a simple approach to reach it. It just means pointing myself in the right direction, one step at a time. This week, I’ve slipped back a couple of steps, but that’s all. I’ve not slid down the banister to the bottom of the staircase, and I don’t intend to either.
One step at a time.
The Shrinking Man