In preparation for another post (one of the usual ones for a couple of weeks’ time) I’ve been looking at things from (roughly) this time last year, and it’s been a bit odd in some ways.
There’s a distinct synchronicity between the two years, which is surprising. Last weekend, I bought some new tyres for the car – and it turns out I did the same a year ago. It also got a full service done – which I’ve just booked in again.
It’s also just under a year ago that I started doing the day-trips when I could (and/or when I wanted to) on weekends, which has continued and been pretty cool. I haven’t done one in a couple of months, mainly due to a madly busy period with no weekends ‘off’, but that doesn’t mean I won’t again.
Along the way, there’s also been a lot of good stuff.
Comparing where life was last October to this is like comparing pearls with cow shit.
October 2014 was a low point, although nowhere near my lowest. (There’s some competition for that ‘honour’, mainly September 2010, April 2012 and August 2012, although I’m sure there’s a couple of other close-runners too) At the start of it, I’d just walked out on ShitCo with nothing to go to, nothing even in the pipeline. That was a bit scary, but infinitely better than the prospect of staying working for them. I know, I still haven’t written much about that time, and probably won’t – safe to say, it was No Fun At All.
I got a new contract within two weeks though, and that was the start of the recovery process and climbing back to where I find myself now. I’m still working for the same people, and will be ’til at least the end of the year. It’s been good – and helped by being a role where I work for/by myself for four days a week. I’ve rented an office in central Milton Keynes, which works best for my schedule and environment, and keeps me vaguely sane. (Which working from home four days a week probably wouldn’t)
I’ve done a lot of rebuilding again in the last twelve months, and I’m pleased with how it’s gone.
Onwards and upwards!
It seems to be the season for stasis – and for thinking about it, which is kind of odd. But there we go.
Anyway, one of my goals for this year was to lose more weight – I lost two stone in 2014, and wanted to do a similar thing this year.
Well, that hasn’t happened.
(At this point I know I have to remind myself that there’s still three-and-a-bit months to go of the year, blah blah – but still, two stone in three months is less-than-likely)
It’s annoying in some ways, but in others it’s been an interesting process.
I have definitely, and visibly, lost inches. My strength and muscle have improved significantly, particularly since getting to do regular gym visits. But the weight has stayed the same.
In general, I’m OK with that. I know I’ve improved, and have reduced body fat by about 20% (although there’s a way to go still) over the last eighteen months. I know I can beast through a 10Km walk in 100mins (an average speed of 6Kph) and I’m content with that. I know I can also do more on weight machines at the gym than the majority of the other users I see.
There’s still a good way to go – I’ve got my own targets, both short- and long-term, and I hope to get there. But I know I’ve made progress, I can see it and I can feel it.
I do wish that those bloody scales would show it though. I step on most mornings, so I know it’s not some weird coincidence that only sees me measure when I’m that weight. It varies by a pound or two either way – but that’s it.
I suppose I should be happy that my body is in some kind of balance/stasis, that it’s managing to replace fat with denser (note, not heavier, just denser – that’s a bugbear that I’ll write about some other time) muscle in a balanced way. And in most ways I’m content with it, with knowing there are changes that just don’t show on the scales.
But I’d still like to actually weigh less…
As regular readers will know, I’ve been working fairly hard over the last eighteen months when it comes to weight loss.
In 2014, I’d lost two stone, and I was planning (hoping) to do the same this year, which would get me to something close to where I want to be.
However, this year it’s not gone all that well. (And yes, I know we’re only halfway through the year, there’s still time to sort things) I’ve stayed around the same place weight-wise, although I’ve been doing a lot more – both more walking, and also getting back to going to the gym.
As a result, my health and fitness are improving significantly, but the weight is staying the same.
I know there’s a load of guff spoken about muscle being heavier than fat, and all that, but I’ve still been finding it pretty demoralising to do a load of work, walking, or working out, then step on the scales and see the same figures there, week after week.
So – I’m not giving up, but I am easing off on checking my weight. I can feel the changes, and see the differences in measurements etc. (although I haven’t recorded the measurements themselves) and that’ll do me for now.
Over the last month, I’ve been getting back into going to the gym. At first it’s been more about just adding it in to my regular routine – and that’s been fairly successful, I’m pleased to say. I do intend to go through things with a personal trainer and so on, figure out what my goals and targets should realistically be (and there’s some other parts to that too, but more of those at another time) but for now it’s been more about just going, doing some stuff there, and just getting it back into my normal day.
With the exception of last week – where I’d twatted my foot (again) enough that it was painful to walk on, let alone do any serious exercise/workout/walking – it’s worked out fairly well, and I got in at least twice a week.
This week, with the foot back to being OK (or at least OK enough) I was back to going, even though I really wasn’t in the mood, and frankly I was too fucking hot to want to go. But I still went.
My philosophy at the moment is to go when I don’t want to, when the conditions are crap – too wet, too windy, too hot, too whatever – to make sure that I’ve no excuses on normal days. The only time where excuses are allowed are when I’m hurting, and it’ll affect them (and possibly make them worse) by going. That’s it.
So having been on the hottest day of the year, I’ve no real excuses any more when “it’s too hot”. Yes, it’s definitely not nice (and an extra change of clothes was a very good plan!) but it got done, and I can’t make that excuse. (I was actually surprised by how few people were in the gym on that day – I assume ‘It’s too hot to work out’ had an effect on that, too)
So – making progress. We’ll see how things work out from here…