I’m sitting biting my nails at the end of the stairs, in a bit of a dilemma. I started the week by ripping off my ancient and much loathed purple hall carpet with my bare hands. Then I galloped off to the shops and ordered a new one, which is due on Monday. With the same enthusiasm and very little skill, I dashed out and bought a stash of brilliant white emulsion and matching gloss with the intention of painting the hallway before the new carpet arrived.
Did I also mention I’m working in Newstalk and TodayFM all weekend? as well as being on #DadNGoogleDog duty.
But my real dilemma is the invitation to go walking in Wicklow in the morning. It’s a great chance to meet up with my mountain hiking buddies, as well as a great opportunity to take GoogleDog for a lovely walk before my buddies head for the mountains and I head back for work. I still can’t manage the high peaks just yet, but it doesn’t stop me breathing the mountain air.
But then, there’s the painting to be finished, which is where we enter that nail biting phase. What decision to make? Mountains and friendship, or duty and common sense.
What transforms this problem from the banal to the extraordinary, is that just two months ago I couldn’t have walked anywhere. I certainly couldn’t have torn the carpet from the hall stairs. It would have been impossible to consider painting the hall with my bad back; and besides, I wouldn’t have had the energy to even dream of decorating in the first place.
But I’ve now lost THREE STONE in just over ten weeks and already it’s life-changing.
When I began this journey in January, I wanted with all my heart to get back up into the mountains by the Summer. I wanted to be able to take GoogleDog hiking in the hills, I wanted to take my kayak on the lake without sinking it, and be able to cycle my bike without getting my belly wedged under the handlebars!
I’ve still got a long way to go, but I’m well on the way. There are bouts of frustration when I berate myself for not doing this earlier; for wasting the past two years, for thinking I couldn’t, when I obviously can. But then I remind myself that no experience is ever wasted. Life is a constant learning curve.
If you find yourself back at the beginning, it just means you didn’t learn the lesson the first time out.
So here I am learning the lesson again. Learning how to get fit, learning how to live and eat properly. And remembering the stunning benefits of being healthy . Even now, with three stone gone, but plenty more to go, the ENERGY is extraordinary.
With every pound gone, I’m moving closer to my goal. I am closer to being fit; to being healthy, to getting rid of my back pain, of getting my power back.
If anyone is in the same boat as I was last October when I just gave up, listen to me now and get up and fight.
This obesity issue is far more complicated than some make out and anyone who’s been here knows what I mean; but it doesn’t have to engulf you. Obesity does not have to be the end game. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve find yourself at the bottom of the hill, it’s totally worth the effort of digging in and climbing back up again.
Life can be challenging. But just like replacing a sensible purple carpet with cream shag in a house with a 93-year-old Action Man and a German Shepherd with paws as big as plates, it’s worth the effort.
I’m reaching for a nail file because I’ve stopped chewing my nails. My decision is made. The painting in the morning can wait and if it’s not done in time for the new carpet, I’ll cover the new carpet with a sheet.
Friends, mountains and #GoogleDog it is.
*First published in RSVP Magazine