The Little Blog of Calm

Last Saturday afternoon I went to a gathering of Scottish bloggers. It was a ridiculously warm and sunny day in Edinburgh, why it may have even been twenty degrees. I rocked up to the pub with a friend and had a startling realisation that I wasn’t nervous.

A few years ago I’d never meet a bunch of strangers. Hell, I’d rarely meet my own friends at the pub. I used get so worked up for days beforehand, tears and tantrums at the thought of taking my fat out in public. What would I wear? Would I fit on the chairs? But now here I was strutting up to strangers, plonking down on a bench and introducing myself.

I’d soon knocked back a gin and tonic but the self-assurance was still there. It just hit me… I don’t care what these people think of me. I don’t care if they think I’m fat or badly dressed or unfunny or whatnot. I was happy to be me, so I didn’t need anyone else to be happy with me. It was such a rush to feel like this, just calm and comfortable; a million miles away from the girl who ran (waddled) away from her own graduation ball, told her friends she was "popping home for five minutes" then locked herself in her flat with the lights out and gorged on ice cream by the light of the television.

Last Monday night I got on the scales and they screamed 90.4 kilos! That’s a massive 3.5 kilos up from the last Wednesday Weigh-In. What the bloody hell? I re-weighed half a dozen times to be sure. I called in the Scottish Companion and got him to weigh himself in case the scales were wrong. He was 75kg as always. I thought of all the things I’d eaten last week, and there were a few dodgy bits. Two gin and tonics, a mozzarella and parma ham pannini, a buttered scone, plus an evil Chinese takeaway the night before. I’d got mine with boiled rice instead of fried; but it was white rice and knowing Scotland it was probably boiled in LARD.

"I still don’t see how that could make you gain eight pounds in 5 days! What about all your running?" SC protested, trying to reassure me; "Only newborn babies stack on weight that quick. Or whales, maybe."

What surprised him, and me too, was that I just laughed. No tears or tantrums. I knew it was impossible to gain 3.5 kilos of fat in five days. I knew I’d been exercising like a mofo and I’d eaten healthily apart from those social occasions. I knew I was on the right track.

"I’m not going to worry about it," I told him, "I probably just haven’t properly digested all that shite food yet. The only thing that annoys me is that I didn’t gain it eating something I really liked so it would almost be worthwhile! Like a honking huge block of chocolate!"

I’m really surprising myself lately at how sane and balanced I feel. About food, about exercise, about life in general. I am moving towards habits that are a lifestyle instead of my past extreme Feast Or Famine behaviour. I ate well during the week, but I went out for lunch with friends and enjoyed it, I had a takeaway with my hubby and enjoyed it, I had a couple drinks with the Blog Geeks and enjoyed it. And I exercised regularly. This is called living your life, folks.

I now realise this is the same approach I used earlier this year when trimming down for the wedding – I lost over 6 kilos in 6 weeks while still eating out at least once a week. At the time I thought I was being Hardcoreโ„ข, but in reality I was just finally exercising regularly, being careful about what I ate without cutting out food groups or going to extremes. That way I never felt deprived or like I was missing out. After a year of yo-yoing the same five kilos, I finally got great results simply by taking a balanced approach.

And that’s what I’m doing now. By Wednesday Weigh-In the scales had calmed down to 88.4 – still 1.5 kilos up from the week before, but again I didn’t get hysterical. I resolved to make better food choices and to try looking at food as fuel rather than the centre of my universe. Example: I’d noticed my Wednesday night running sessions were always really rubbish, and realised I’d been eating extra on Wednesdays – like it "didn’t count" coz it was post-weigh in. I didn’t do that this week and the run felt so much better as a result.

Also, I need to remember that just because I trot around the park three times a week does not give me a licence to eat extra food. I’m not a bloody Olympic athlete, I’m not burning that many calories. So all week I’ve been ignoring the biscuit tin and the vending machine and feeling so much better for it.

Why the sudden zen calm on Planet Dietgirl? Why the sudden rush of self-esteem? The running has so much to do with it. It’s given me a newfound respect for my body and mind. I feel calm, in control and balanced. 5k may not seem a lot to some, but I can honestly say learning to run is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Each session still sees me moaning and whining and aching and puffing but the sense of accomplishment at the end of the run is mindblowing. I am slow and awkward, and I know I’ll need to walk/run the 5k rather than run the whole way, but I know I’ll make it over the finish line somehow.

It amazes me how much things can change in two months. Despite my constant whinging I am proud of sticking to the lovely Mistress Julia’s training schedule (thankyou!). It’s something I thought I could never do but here I am doing it!

I am in awe of the ability of my mind and body to cope (eventually) with whatever challenges I throw at it. So how can I not feel good about that? Now I’m looking at other parts of my life in a more positive light, feeling better about being me and realising how much energy I used to waste worrying what strangers thought of me. No more.

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20 thoughts on “The Little Blog of Calm

  1. awesome post!

    It has so many things, I can’t even grasp the words right now but I’ve really taken so much from this. Thank You.

    I laughed soo much at the ‘boiled in lard’ comment too hahahaha.

  2. Ain’t running grand? I too have been building up to a 5K, and I owe it all to you, DG, for posting the link to the Couch-to-5K plan on Cool Running. I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d run five minutes at a stretch. And now I’m doing it! So thank you, Dietgirl. Is there a link where we can click to sponsor you for the run?

  3. Virgin comment-leaver. I’m also doing Couch to 5k (also from your link), currently on week 3 – I’m not sure I’ve ever stuck to anything for more than about 4 days before so I’m happy.

    I hope you know what an inspiration you are! Not only are you sane and motivated, you’re also a bloody good laugh – well done you.

  4. Your awsome and inspiring diet girl. Your truly always evolving. How motivating- thank you!

  5. Boy, you have such an awesome attitude! That’s certainly something I aspire to. One thing on the weight gain: you could be retaining water as a result of increased muscle mass from running. The more muscle you have and the more you exercise the more your body will retain water (and that’s a good thing), but it will show on the scales as weight gain. Don’t let it get you down; it’s normal and will work itself out in a couple of weeks. Keep at it!

  6. Goodness, you are such an inspiration. Wow. You bring a big smile to my face at a time when I’m feeling a little down about my own situation. Yippee!

  7. Hey Diet Girl I’ve just been checking out your website. Wow! you’ve done amazing so far. I see from this post that you’ve gained a lot of confidence, good on ya.

    Losing a lot of weight definetly requires a lifestyle change like you say, and once that habits formed, it is sooo much easier. The human body is amazing when you think about it.

    See ya around.

  8. You are living my parallel life, DG! If I could express myself as well as you, I would have posted your exact entry today in my own blog – weight gain, feelings about running…everything! Thanks for putting my feelings into such eloquent words and deepening my perspective. I really needed this today! I’m so happy that you’re feeling peaceful and in control. You deserve that!

  9. What a brilliant post. I’m so glad that you’re feeling happy in your skin and everything’s on track. (And nobody could ever call you unfunny.)

    I’m feeling pretty cheery myself as I’ve just been for my first outdoor run with the boyfriend! And it wasn’t embarrassing or horrible. I did have to walk for the odd bit, but I completed it. I’m glowing.

  10. Awwwwww that post just made me want to come straight around and give you a great big hug, I’m that happy for you ๐Ÿ™‚
    Re running slowly and awkwardly – google The Inner Penguin and see why it’s good to be slow!!

  11. 5K might not seem like much to some people, but it’s a marathon to me… congratulations. That is a massive achievement.

    I’m going to run one day. One day.

  12. Geez woman, once again I could have written all of that myself. Right down to eating more on Wednesdays (weigh days) as if it didn’t count! Heh. (Sure fooled myself when I changed my weigh day to Monday and hopefully that’s one habit I won’t pick up again.)

    Way to go on the running. I haven’t done any lately and I miss it. Although I’m almost scared to start again, knowing how much condition I’ll have lost. But dammit, I want that post-run high ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. I just got my copy of Tales From The Scale in the mail. (whee, that rhymes) Can’t wait to get home tonight and start reading! Go DG!

    Also, pour yourself another G&T and toast your own self confidence, you deserve it.

  14. Yep, that’s the attitude I need to get to in my head to finally get to goal. Sure, it’s about regular exercise and eating pretty well, but it’s also about living!

    Fantastic stuff!

  15. Thanks for the link to the post to list the items that you are constantly thinking about in the back of your mind. Actually writing things down and marking them off helps release stress for me. Sometimes I just need a little push.