I was seriously shaken. I for the first time in my life was making an effort, slowly, sure but still making an effort. So why the f**k was I here in hospital again?
I kept having fainting episodes, fine one second out cold the next and coming to in a state of complete panic – this compounded by the fact of being an HGV driver and the doctors were duty bound to report it to the DVLA meant procedures kicked in to revoke my license, therefore removing my career – I was stressed out big time!
I had been growing in confidence and living in a world of wonder about my small but significant changes but I am a little embarrassed to say I completely reverted back to my negative mindset.
I started drinking heavily again, forgot all my good foods and started eating all the crap again.“What’s The Point?” was my new mantra, “I have tried sorting myself out but I can’t” “It seems I am worse than ever so might as well stuff my face and get pissed”
Yep, I hear ya – petulant child springs to mind but hey that was me! I had really been making an effort and at the first real hurdle I fell! It was like I was eating and drinking again to teach the world a lesson???? Really! Huh that’ll teach em!! NUTS but reality.
The stress built over the next few weeks. I only had a 4 week reprieve from the DVLA and if the results did not arrive soon or they arrived with bad news then boom my license and job were gone. I got a call from the doctors, they would not say anything on the phone and asked me to come in.
Down the doctors, he called me in and BANG! I felt sick!
My worst fears confirmed!!!!!!!
The doctor confirmed what everyone that’s ever known me already knew!
I was a complete knob head!!
Well blow me down! It turned out that I needed to immediately come off the blood pressure medicine that just a year before had been painstakingly explained to me that I MUST take for the rest of my life.
My ol’ticker seemingly reset itself! To what extent we wouldn’t be sure until the meds were out of my system but right now the meds were making my blood pressure too low!!
In the bin they went and I immediately felt better, within a couple of weeks my blood pressure was bang in the middle of the perfect range and my resting heart rate was about 40 bpm lower than it had been in ages (75 bpm down from 115 bpm)
From Stage 1 Hypertensive to Normal heart function in about 6 months!
UH OH! I had reverted straight back to my old habits over the last couple of weeks and had put back on a stone of the 2 stone lost so far – I had completely lost my positive mindset but you know what? That’s Life!!
I decided rather than dwell I was going to soak up the wonder again, be thankful that I still had my health and job and move on.
Life is made up of ups and downs and you know what?
Fall down but rather than just staying down for months as I would have done in the past, just get up and try
again or find a way round the hurdle.
I learnt from this that goals as well as life are cyclical. They go up, hit an obstacle, curl downwards while you adjust then go up again – goals and life are never just on an upwards trajectory and neither should they be, its in the downward cycle that lessons are learned.
Time to return to my quest!
Like a duck to water I returned to my good habits and then some. I was really excited by my lottery win of a healthy heart, I was intrigued all over again and amazed at my luck and my negativity vanished.
Don’t get me wrong; I now realised how fickle and fluid my mindset could be, it could change on a dime from “All’s Well” to “All’s Hell” but I now understood that as long as I could change back to “All’s Well” just as quick, not to stick with the negatives through petulance, guilt or pity for myself then life would be good – I could NOT stop the setbacks in life but I COULD reduce the negative impact by picking myself up quicker, forgiving myself for falling, learning whatever lesson I needed from it and just ploughing on.
Life Is Good Is Baby!!
Energised, I lost the stone again in the next 9 days, I was now completely off prescribed medication and even the doctor was impressed “Just keep doing whatever it is that your doing Den” was his comment. I was released from my cycle of hospital and doctors appointments – I was happy! Not much lighter but happy! this has pretty much become the theme of my life “In pursuit of Health & Happiness”
So here we are in April 2013, a full 6 months since I started my quest, only a stone lighter than when I started! In times gone past I would have given up long ago and definitely would have been more than a little depressed about such a little loss.
This time though I felt different. Yes I was moving slowly as far as “WEIGHT LOSS” was concerned but by heck as far as health was concerned I was in a far better place than 6 months before.
- Chronic Heartburn – Gone
- Daily Headaches – Gone
- Blood Pressure – Normalised
- Heart Rate – Normalised
- Yucky Gut & Bowel Problems – Gone
- Slight Insomnia – Gone
- Water Intake – Increased
- Snacking & Processed Food – Decreased
- Prescribed Medications – Completely Removed
- Napping Throughout Day – Stopped
- Depressive & Miserable Moods – Now Even & Happy
Yeeeeeehaaaaaaa! Put that in your pipe and smoke it WeightWatchers!
The adverts for these “membership clubs” bloody wind me up!!
Always a person with tears in their eyes with a picture of how they used to be, explaining how bad life used to be, how they couldn’t play with their kids, felt depressed and didn’t like to go out etc until the “CLUB” helped them lose the weight and change their lives and now they can do all that stuff!!
Raaaaaaaaaar Damn it, I can completely relate to what these people are saying, the feeling of despair, the feeling of its impossible for me “I must be different” the watching these things and saying yes that’s for me, I want that – That is why they do it but really the message is saying you can only achieve that stuff once your thin!
OH F-OFF (sorry) What I’m saying is I was starting to do it without much weight loss, by just feeling a little more vibrant, concentrating on health and vitality and less on the scales.
I must add this was not by design really, I just had failed ALL the clubs (In their eyes anyway and my mind) and was looking for another way – through the likes of Ben Coomber, Abel James, Pedram Shojai, Dr Sara Gottfried, Matt Whitmore, Keris Marsden, Ru Anderson and Jonathon Bailor to name but a few whose message completely went against the grain of normal advice – I just started on making myself feel awesome and alive – not with much hope but anything was better than the situation I started in.
Of course weight is a great benchmark but that is all it is. It does not tell the full story.
I had heard time and time again that yes people may be slim but they might not be healthy.
That said, I was still weighing myself once a week and the results would STILL decide my mood for that day, even a pound loss would piss me off but I started to accept this was just a lifetime of conditioning and in the past would have binged for the day “To teach the world a lesson??? WTF?” but no more.
If I had put on a pound or two, I just accepted it, yes I stayed fed up for most of the day but carried on mostly keeping to my food principles.
The point I am trying to make all the time is I am not perfect at this – for years I used to say shit like “If I could just lose a few stone I would be happy” which is utter crap, I was starting to stop associating weight loss with happiness but using my oil tanker turning analogy, it was a slow process.
Everything was not all Fairies, Pixies and dancing in the blossom though.
I still could not move very far without getting out of breath and the mobility in my arms and shoulders was still very limited as well as quite painful add to this the fungal infected 5mm thick cracked toenails and infected brittle skin it would be fair to say I still had work to do <giggle>
My mindset was super positive though, why?
It would seem I was making the needed psychological adjustment – I REALLY wanted to fix the relationship with my body whilst still accepting my limitations.
By focusing on health and vitality I started to see food as a way to repair and nourish my body rather than a way of making me forget woes or punish myself.
You see, I began to accept that my wish of being “The strongest version of myself” was originally my way of creating a smaller attainable goal that I could achieve, but was in itself a huge goal – one that I would truly not know whether or not I achieved until my death bed.
WALLOP!!! oooop there it isssss! Sorry for the crazy moment but although you might not get what I am getting at quite yet the above is another of them nuggets of understanding that has allowed to make the paradigm shift needed!
Basically your health and wellbeing are moving targets, what is your goal today may well be completely different in a few weeks – what works for you this week may well not work for you a couple of months down the line.
Once you accept this then things become easier psychologically.
This is a lifestyle not a temporary way of eating, sure its “Your Diet” but its NOT “A Diet” if that makes sense and this makes you start thinking long term and;“Long Term Thinking Promotes Short Term Decision Making” another great quote from the amazing Elliot Hulse.
So goal setting is cool but they need to be fluid. For instance a goal of “I want to lose 8lb for a social event in 2 months” is a solid attainable goal if you have 8lb to lose and the event is a great motivator but what then? Achieve it then return to bad ways as you have achieved your goal? I have done that many times but I was starting to think long term which as the quote says really did start to improve my short term decision making.
My health, vibrancy and vitality are my long term goals and as said until my death bed I won’t know if I achieved them. I accept that and now my life has become a series of smaller goals to achieve.
So my immediate goal to lose that 8lb would be to maybe slightly reduce carbs for a few weeks whilst making a bit more effort with some cardio (spits on ground…. hate cardio lol) but it definitely would NOT be to basically starve myself for a week or 2 before the event (yep done this to!)
It would not stop there, life is life and you have to live – don’t beat yourself up about it, you lost the 8lb then had a complete blow out on the way to and at the event, got completely off your nut drunk had a kebab later on, woke up in the morning and nothing would appease the hangover god but a full English fry up and a Mcdonalds for elevenses!
Have your next goal ready for once you return home! Plan a detox or a week long anti-inflammatory gig but most of all just return back to the way you were eating before – DO NOT wait until the next social event before you start trying again.
Sorry about that little diatribe but again I NEED to point out nothing is perfect – goals will change, life will happen, goals may seem impossible to reach and your opinion will change on certain ways of nutrition and protocols but that does not mean you failed, your a hypocrite or just cant stick to anything it means your learning – loosen up, don’t be rigid in your thinking, stop associating fat loss with happiness and the frickin sky is the limit – Welcome on the ride people!!
Seriously, with this in mind my goals became as simple as :-I want to walk the dog for 30 minutes this week without stopping. I will park the car at the furthest parking point from the supermarket. This week I want to try 1 food I have never tried before. For the next 5 days I don’t want to eat bread.
These were not all at once, just individually until I built up confidence, you see, very simple attainable goals.
I was in a good place and ready to make more of an effort, I was going to make more simple steps to move forward in my quest..
Next : Whose Really In Charge??