As part of the “generally busy” of the last few weeks, I was asked to attend a funeral/cremation for the father of a friend of mine. As the dresscode was described as “formal” I opted for my much-loved three-piece suit that I got made in Cambridge. Turns out, that suit is exactly 12 years old (I took delivery of it at the start of April 2007)
Anyway, when I tried it on, I was really pleased to find that it still fits just fine – the most I had to do was brush the dust off it, as I haven’t worn it that much in the last few years.
So basically, I’m taking it as a small win that actually I haven’t changed size/weight/dimensions over that 12 year period. I know I’m still overweight and blah blah blah, but it’s been utterly consistent for over a decade, which I’m pretty happy with. I know there have been fluctuations over that time, but this current state certainly appears to be my default.
And I’m OK with that.
This weekend there’s been a bit of a “ten years ago” meme going round social media, and while I won’t get involved (mainly because I don’t do photos of me, let alone photos of me from a decade ago) it did make me go back to the archives here and have a look at what was going on. Which was quite interesting (to me, anyway)
Ten years ago, I was still with Herself, we were in the Norfolk house, and sleeping abysmally while also sick as chuff with a chest infection of sorts. So, some things never change. I was working in a local-government job I hated – and the post about that was exactly ten years ago today – and generally doing OK.
I did also find a post about my weight – and again, not much has changed. I’ve lost a bit of weight since then – which I’m happy with – but all told it’s really stayed pretty stable. (There’s another post back in Jan 2005 about the same thing, with similar figures to where I’m at now)
Of course, there have been a lot of changes in that ten years, but it’s also interesting to see what’s stayed much the same…
And so we’re at the end of 2018. And as such, it seems apt that the last post of the year should be a quick assessment and overview.
All told, it’s been a good – and busy – year.
There’s been more travel than usual, with that week in Toronto to add into the bargain.
There’s been more work, but also more fun times, trips out, meals, etc.
I’ve been doing a lot of work on weight-loss which has ultimately ended up not doing much – but I have more knowledge, more figures, and the steps I’ve taken have improved my health, strength, stamina, and resilience. They’ve just done sod-all to lose actual weight. But I’m OK with that, and it’s something I’ll continue to work on.
On the downside, I’m ending the year with a bit more debt than I’d like. It’s nothing earth-shattering, nor even major. A fair chunk of it is for tickets for things in 2019, of which another decent chunk is owed to me by others for their tickets. But all the same, it’s more than I’d like it to be.
However, in a fit of progress and being grown up, it’s also now all in one place, with zero-interest ’til 2022, and it’ll be done by the end of 2019. I could do it even quicker if I wanted – and I may do so – but it’s all under control, and I’m OK with it.
There are, as always, things I haven’t done – no matter the good intentions, they just haven’t happened. I’ll continue to work towards those things, and I’m going to write more about that tomorrow.
All told, it’s been a positive year, and I’m feeling pretty good at the end of it.
It’s become a bit of a tradition for me to make my birthday into a bit of a foodie thing, since starting off the whole “Eating on my own” thing with the Michelin-starred restaurants a couple of years back.
This year I’d taken the week off and booked a week in Northumberland, which made it even more fun.
So this year my actual birthday meal (well, the day after, but it counted) was at L’Enclume. One heck of a drive across-country – two and a half hours each way – but still better than the five hours each way it would be from home.
Then during the week was an evening at House of Tides – which I love, and rarely miss taking the opportunity to go to when I’m in the North-East.
And finally, while I was in Manchester I visited a very new place, Mana, because it sounded interesting. (And it was!)
So it’s been a foodie week, and very enjoyable. But I might need to walk a lot over the coming week or so to make up for it…
As part of my whole weight/fitness thing, I’ve been going once a week to a programme called Gutless for the last twelve weeks.
It’s been an interesting programme, basically one two hour evening session a week, which consists of one hour of physical exercise, and one of information and chat about food and nutrition.
For me, the exercise has been of more use and interest than the food and nutrition stuff (as I learned more for exercise techniques etc. than I did for the food/nutrition) but it’s all been a generally positive programme.
As with other things I’ve been trying this year, it hasn’t been as successful as I’d have hoped – for me, at least – but in general it appears to have worked well for the other members of the group.
For me, it’s given me extra ideas and stuff to do, as well as knowledge of better workouts and so on, I’ll take that knowledge and go forwards with it as well, so it has been a positive process.
I’m glad I’ve done the course – and the workout/exercise side is going to be continuing on as a separate programme we’ve worked out with the instructor from the programme – and we’ll see how things work out going forwards.
All told, I’m happy with how it’s been. I’d be happier if the weight loss had been better and so on, but I know that it’s also helped me make other positive changes, and right now that’ll do me.
Following on from earlier posts this week, I’m back to figuring out a gym routine, what works for me, and what will keep me going. (If anything does)
At the moment I’m working first on “just” getting into the habit of going. Without that, it’s far too easy to give up again, so it’s my first goal. It’s hard work, because I simply never feel that endorphin-rush that most people talk about when it comes to gyms and heavy exercise. That makes everything tougher, because the “rewards” I get for going are only statistical – reduced weight (hopefully) and improved strength (which I can track and see in an app or spreadsheet) with none of that emotional/hormonal/endorphinal backup.
Initially, I’m using a gym that’s very close to my office – even fewer possible excuses than usual! On my first visits, I’m not hugely taken with the place, but we’ll see how things go. It’s different to other ones I’ve been to, which may also account for my current feelings, but time will tell on whether I stick with it.
There is another gym that’s easy to access from my office – but it’s about a mile away. It’s the one I was using before, and is one of the new breed of “always open” gyms. (And also cheaper than the current one, but that’s less relevant) I don’t know which one I’ll end up using, but for now it’s more about the routine, the habit, than anything gym-specific.
Ideally, once I’ve established myself a routine/habit, I’ll be able to work on a decent exercise regime as well. (I’ll be doing that from the start, of course, but the routine is the key) I’ll be keeping track of that on the Fitocracy app (or some other equivalent, but I’ve used Fitocracy before)
For now, it’s all just a process, and I’m planning to work on it alongside other things (which will be written about elsewhere/elsewhen) so we’ll see how it goes.
Despite the evidence of this week’s posts, I’m not going to become some kind of gym/health/fitness obsessive – but there’ll be other posts on the subject over the next few months, as I see how things go…
Before I made my decision to not do the Shine Night Marathon this year, I was working on losing weight and improving fitness. (That’s another set of posts for later on, though)
There’s some stuff that has taken a long time to happen, and one of those things was getting my arse back into the gym. I stopped going nearly three years ago (October 2015, according to my Fitocracy tracking) because I wasn’t enjoying it or feeling any particular benefits, and I didn’t really regret stopping. I haven’t been paying all that time without using it – I’m not insane! – although I did start a new membership a couple of months back, as part of the process of getting back into it. I just hadn’t actually been in. *cough*
With some other changes in the last week, I finally darkened the door of a gym again this week, to see how I do with it.
And as it turns out, it was OK. Not perfect – although I’m not going to judge on that, because it was just the first visit, and still a learning experience. So I’ll continue to see how it goes, and aim to get back into some kind of routine with it all.
What is interesting though – and is purely a facet of those records with Fitocracy – is how much strength I’ve lost in that three years. For example, when I left the previous one, I was able to do leg-presses at 325lb for 5 series of 50 repetitions. (Yes, my legs are/were monstrous. I know) On my first visit back, I was only able to do 110lbs for 4 series of 20 repetitions. That’s a massive reduction in strength (I can’t even work out the percentage drop)
[Updated : I’m also a massive fucking idiot. Turns out, the weights in the new gym are in Kg, not Lbs. So I’m still weaker than I was, but a lot better than I thought I was doing. That 110lbs? Well, 110kg = 240lbs. Still less than before – but I’m happier with things again now]
I will see how it all goes, and it’ll be interesting to see what progress I make, both with the gym stuff, and the other odds and sods that are going on at the same time.