Some mornings you wake up and you know the day is going to be difficult. It could be something you know you do not want to face in your day. Or, like me, just an irrational feeling that things would not go well. Today was that kind of day.
At about 8.30a.m. I started to plan a shopping trip to buy bad things but pulled myself up short. I decided to look at some photos of me before I lost weight. I had some other pictures taken of me yesterday. Comparing the difference and posting them to our Facebook group made all the difference. I went for a long walk but not in the direction of the supermarket.
After five miles, I found myself sitting outside the Stag & Hounds in Binfield thinking about things. It was my first decent walk for quite a while due to my health not being good recently. I sat quietly enjoying a pint of Birra Moretti (9½ wonderful Syns!). I am of the confirmed opinion that the palliative qualities of a pint of beer are singularly undervalued in these troubled days.
I reflected on the change that has occurred in my life since joining Slimming World. I thought on what the doctors and nurses had told me over a year ago when I was first diagnosed with Chronic Heart Disease. They said I needed to change my eating habits and my way of life. But even though I was given good advice - I didn’t have to take it. No one could force me. I could have continued my unhealthy lifestyle and gone to an early grave. But something inside me made a firm resolution not to accept the status quo. To quote Dylan Thomas ‘Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light.’ There was an inner spark of common sense that burst into a flame inside my brain.
The male nurse in the rehab course, Adrian, said that the only thing I could do to help was to lose weight and walk. He repeated this almost as a mantra over the 12 sessions. I could have written life off and submitted to a dwindling existence of morbid obesity and ever increasing problems with my heart disease. I could have said to myself that ‘It is was it is’ and ‘What will be, will be.’ But I was not that man, and I am not that man! And I will not follow that fatalistic thought pattern. Even if things were hopeless I would still not give up on life.
Sadly, I see other men of my age simply fading away because they will not do anything to improve their health and their life. This rabid torpor is a plague of the modern-day mindset. Why do men ignore the health warnings and do nothing about it? They know they are ill and yet ignore all the warning signs. Don’t they love their wives and children? Don’t they want to enjoy a long and fulfilled life? It would appear not, looking at their decisions and their lifestyle.
There comes a time in our lives when we must realise that putting ourselves first is not really being selfish. It is a means of caring for our family and friends. Making sure that we are around for all our tomorrows to be there as a help and support. To share in their joys and support them in their sorrows I call this living life to the full.
Slimming World has given me a chance at life. Other members of our group will have their own reasons for losing weight. Maybe not as serious as mine but everyone has their reason to lose weight and get healthy. I can’t forget my resolution to change and I urge you to remember how you felt when you first decided to take this journey. Remember your own spark, the things that made you join up. Don’t let it be a journey that takes you nowhere. Let your reason burn fiercely inside you. Go somewhere! Move from here to there. Move on!