Yesterday was shit. I was so tired after work (my ninth day in a row of teaching) that I climbed on the bus home, only to realise that I had driven into work that morning, so my car was still in town. I got off the bus at the next stop. Of course I couldn’t remember where I’d actually parked it, so I spent about half an hour trudging about trying to find it.
I got home at about 7:30pm and I went to bed almost immediately. I was exhausted, but I couldn’t sleep. I got up again at about 1:00 am.
I had a bowl of Crunchy Nut Cornflakes and a Diet Coke and I started plotting.
It was time to start again. I’ve spent the last few weeks very depressed. And I’ve always known the answer. The only way to change your situation is to change your situation. I should put that on a fridge magnet. I’d make a fortune.
That’s it. There are no magic answers.
And so I decided that today would be the day. I would start exercising and start dieting again. I don’t know what was different about this time, but I suddenly felt excited. I felt as if a great burden had been lifted from my shoulders. I was ready.
It was two o’clock in the morning by now, so I jumped into a cold shower. And I jumped out feeling invigorated and alive. I started dancing around my flat for no reason, my hips kind of taking on a life of their own. And then I grabbed my kettlebell. The kettlebell I bought on the first night of Project Connor. The kettlebell that I use to prop my bedroom door open, and haven’t used for actual exercise in two years. I grabbed my kettlebell and did some swings. And, feeling stupidly happy, I jumped into bed and had the best night’s sleep I’ve had in a long time.
I woke up and put on my running shoes. And did the first day of the Couch-to-5K. Like a boss. And I didn’t take the flat route that I was using when I got back into running for a week and a half in January. No. I did the hilly route that I used to do regularly this time last year, when I actually did run five kilometres, and later, six kilometres, and later eight kilometres.
I bounded along, like the graceful hippopotamus of Dartry that I am. And Sugababes’ “Push the Button” (easily the best song of 2005) (don’t tell me I’m the only person who has fantasised about decorating a hallway just like the corridor in the Push the Button video) came on my iPhone. The best line in the song is “My sexy ass has got him in a new dimension”. As I listened, I found myself waggling my ass “sexily” while jogging. I never draw attention to my ass. My ass is the source of a good proportion of my problems. And yet, there I was, on a sunny Bank Holiday Monday morning, jiggling my large white-boy booty about deliberately for the pensioners of Milltown.
I came home on a high and did a few more kettlebell swings before jumping in another cold shower. At this stage, I had enough energy to declare war on Argentina.
I went shopping and bought the wherewithal for my diet. I’m doing the Slow Carb Diet, which is a high-protein diet, with lots of meat, eggs, lentils and beans, with no sugar, bread, rice, potatoes or pasta. It eliminates all my “trigger” foods, but it also requires a cheat day. Once a week, you’re encouraged to gorge on carbs. So I don’t have to give up bingeing, just postpone it, which was a strategy recommended to me by an eating disorders specialist before. I did this diet before, about two years ago, and I lost a fair bit of weight, but only lasted about a month.
This time is different. I hope.
I’m still happy, but I’m now drained. My body isn’t used to starting a day with a run. And I haven’t had any sugars today and I’m having withdrawal symptoms. I don’t feel all that different from when I gave up cigarettes: missing something, irritable, headachey. But underneath this is a bedrock of hope that this time it’ll be different.
I went to Boots to weigh in today, as I’m about forty pounds too heavy for my home weighing scales.
My starting weight is 25 stone 7 pounds, or 357 pounds, or 161.9 kilos. My waist is 61 inches, or 155 cm.
I have a long way to go.
And I’m tired from my run and I’m grumpy from no sugar or bread and I’m terrified that this won’t work. Again.
But this time is different. It’s time for Connor to love himself again.