The good time I had in New York came back to bite me this morning in the gym. I’ve not had a personal training session since before I went on holiday (over two weeks ago) and have only managed a pitiful two cardio sessions on my own in that time. So this morning I had a sleep-shattering 7am session with my trainer. And guess what? I struggled more than I have ever done before. He did warn me that in a matter of a few days you can lose your level of fitness, and that my stability would suffer first (I wobble hilariously all over the place when I have to do anything that requires balance), but that still left me woefully unprepared for the reality of how crap I would actually be. I felt as if I was back to square one.
Worse still, he weighed me for the first time since I began training with him. I am now a dreadful 8 kilos heavier than when I finished dieting. OK, I can put some of that down to my holiday, but it’s not a good place to be. Had he not said to me ‘don’t let this break your heart, and don’t fixate on it, but use it as a reminder to spur yourself on’ then I would undoubtedly have been crying in the shower. I have to say that I do love the way that my trainer approaches what he does … he is very straight and pulls no punches (well, he is an Aussie!) but tries to frame everything that he says as encouragement. I fully expected to get a bollocking for slacking off over the past couple of weeks, but that wasn’t the case at all. He just reminded me of what I’ve achieved this year, stressed the importance of keeping at it and warned me of the dangers of letting my training slide at this point in time.
He’s right, too. The run up to Christmas is notoriously awful from a health and weight perspective. It’s dark and cold all the time, which doesn’t exactly encourage you to leap out of bed and be active. Hot, carb-laden comfort food seems to be high on the agenda (who really wants to eat salad when it’s snowing?) and the prospect of cozying up in a nice warm pub with a lovely pint of Guinness is very welcome indeed. Well, I have to be strong. My resolution to stay on the wagon crumbled on Friday night, but I got a grip on myself yesterday and spent a very sober Sunday night at our local pub quiz drinking mineral water like it was going out of fashion. I dread to think how truly useless I would’ve been in the gym this morning with a hangover to boot … I think I might actually have been sick. No more alcohol for me … I have to keep reminding myself that I might just as well be spooning sugar into my mouth. It’s a miserable thought, but it’s true!
When I began lighter life, and the pounds started falling off, I had many conversations with people curious about how I would react if the weight just piled back on once the diet was over. It seemed positively ludicrous at the time to think that I would ever let myself get big again … and only a few months later I’m finding that the pounds are making their insidious creep back on to my waistline. Irritatingly, it’s not as if I lost the weight and then immediately reverted to my bad old ways, either! This begs the question that many of us have asked ourselves over time … how do thin people manage to stay thin? I know it’s all about balance (calories in, calories out) but it’s not easy.
That said, there is a huge amount of encouragement to be gleaned from the lighter life experience. As I sat on one of the machines this morning, desperately trying to summon the energy to push heavy weights with tired arms just a few more times, I thought about how angry and frustrated I used to feel about being as overweight as I was. That anger made those weights fly into the air, I can tell you!
On a more positive note, I thought I’d post a couple of pictures for reference. The first is the Boy and I in New York in January of last year, about two weeks before I began the diet. The second was taken two weeks ago. Yes, I know I’m wrapped up in a coat in both pictures, and I guess I’m getting used to the difference between old and new me, but sometimes it’s still striking …