In twenty months of writing this blog, I haven’t had much practice at writing about success. I’ve written lots about sneaky cigarettes, about covert chicken fillet rolls (with mayonnaise and cheese please) and about entire days spent in bed. About broken resolutions.

This time…duhn…duhn…duhn… it’s different.

I was convinced I’d have to start this entry on a downer, that only having started dieting a day before my second WeightWatchers weigh-in, that I’d have gained weight, but wonder of wonders I hadn’t. I was half a pound lighter.

It was a great meeting. I’ve been to well over 100 WeightWatchers meetings, at least half of them with this particular leader. And for the first time, I heard this leader (who I’ve always liked) get genuinely emotional. She was just talking about when she had been overweight and when she’d decided to lose weight for the last time, and how she’d felt starting yet another diet, hoping against hope that it’d be her last. And it was. I won’t go into her reasons and I won’t get gushy here. Suffice it to say, it struck a chord with me. G Major.

And I’ve been following my diet perfectly. And it’s been easy. I had cheese in my sandwich at lunchtime yesterday. Any other diet, I would have chided myself for the cheese. But yesterday, I just pointed it, recorded it and subtracted it from my daily allowance. Likewise with the bread I had with the kebab I had at dinner. No guilt.

So, one resolution going well.

My second resolution was to go to swimming classes. I went to my first last night. There were only two of us there. I was a bit late, as was the other guy and neither of us had booked in properly so it was ages before we actually got in the water.

All the time waiting around just made my nerves build and build. My classmate wasn’t a talker, so I really was very nervous by the time our teacher got back and we got in the water. The teacher asked if we were complete beginners. I assured him that I was, indeed, a complete beginner. My classmate said he was a complete beginner too, and then said, almost as an aside, that he’d swum in school but that was years ago.

Grrh! That’s not a beginner! I judged him harshly. The same way I judge the skinny girls who come to WeightWatchers to lose 6 pounds.

We got into the water, and I swam. I had a floaty board and I kicked and I got from one place to another. I put my head under the water. I was delighted with myself. I was moving slowly and sometimes my kicking had absolutely no effect and I stayed suspended on the spot, but I had let go of the edge of the pool, I had put my head under water. I had rocked.

The teacher didn’t think I’d rocked. He shook his head at me. He gave my classmate other stuff to do. He just let me practise the same thing again and again. He told me I should really come more than once a week. To be frank, he was quite discouraging, but I didn’t care. There is no way in hell that I could have done what I was doing last night three months ago. I held onto my happy.

After swimming, I spent a while in the sauna. Sitting opposite me was a fairly big woman in a very tiny bikini. Between her knees, on the next level down, sat her boyfriend, who was also fairly big, but his swimming costume wasn’t quite as tiny. Both were covered in tattoos. She massaged him, and he made happy noises. The whole sight was simultaneously terrifying and exciting.

I made my way to the changing room. Now, this pool is a cheap public facility (hence me being able to afford lessons there) but overall it is nice. The reception, the gym and the pool are all clean and modern. However, the changing room is a different story. The tiles in there, though I imagine they’re cleaned regularly, look absolutely filthy. They’re cracked and the flooring looks decrepit in general. This is, I presume, the reason for one of the strangest things I have ever seen in my life.

When some of the men came out of the shower, instead of sitting on a bench to dress (like normal human beings would), they stood on the benches to dry their feet and put on their clothes. So, there I sat while some kind of bizarre reverse-strip-show took place before my eyes.

2012 isn’t going to be just another year.

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