2014 Grateful 13

I got on the scales this morning and read the digital numbers wscales1ith a contentment  I don’t normally associate with mornings. Over the course of the last few months I have dropped more than the official checked-baggage allowance on RyanAir. I am 16 kg lighter than I was (that’s about 35 lbs or 2.5 stone) and for the life of me I cannot figure out how I could have carried all that extra weight and not known it.

Yes, yes, of course I knew it – but I didn’t really get it. While some part of my intelligent self knew that my heart would thank me if I lost some poundage, as would my back and my knees, I’ve never had the motivation to do so. And therein lies the crux of it all – I had to want to change – and I didn’t. Until recently.

diet 2I can’t remember what the catalyst was. I can’t put my finger on what started me down this road. Perhaps it was yet another photo of me that I hated? Or being out of breath having climbed the stairs? Or slipping into the size 18 range? Whatever it was, it worked. I never thought I’d ever see the day when I would enjoy exercise. Yes, enjoy! Me – that great believer in Churchill’s philosophy: never run when you can walk, never stand when you can sit, never sit when you can lie down. Now I look forward to being put through my paces by the inimitable Young Malcolm twice a week. Diet and exercise, two words I despised, have come home to roost.

diet3As I continue to grow out of my wardrobe, I allow myself the luxury of enjoying the occasional compliment – another big change. Six months ago, I’d have been cringing at the attention.  But the lost pounds are being replaced by a graciousness I’ve come to enjoy. Is this what maturity looks like? Today I’ve got my walk on. I feel more alive than I have done in years and while those same years advance and the big 50 peeps over the horizon, it’s younger I’m getting.

The chosen few, those honest enough to tell me to my face that my face is aging, are on point duty. The minute the weight loss starts to age me, I stop. In the grand scheme of things, everything else being equal, I’d prefer tdiet4o look younger than to fit into a size 12. But it’s nice to have the choice.

This week seems to have gone on forever. It’s been busy every which way – and I’m grateful that I’ve been able to keep up. I’m grateful, too, to the encouragers, the motivators, the compliment givers … keep ’em coming 🙂




2014 Grateful 35

It’s been two hours and my face is still the colour of a two-year-old tantrum-thrower. It’s quite horrific. And I doubt that I’ll have the full use of my right arm until Thursday at least. No – it’s not embarrassment that has me this way – few things cause me to blush apart from social indiscretions and boorish behaviour – and anyway, blushes fade quickly. Nor is it the results of a bad facial or too much time in the sun (or on a sunbed). This state of red-facedness can be attributed in its entirety to exercise.

badmintonYes, exercise. Badminton in fact. It’s been years since I’ve taken up a racket and attempted to send a shuttlecock into orbit. And I’d forgotten how much I enjoy it. I hate exercise with a passion approaching a religious fervour. Gyms, treadmills, running tracks – I can’t be arsed. But chasing around a court after a piece of rubber-tipped plastic – that seems to makes sense.

I’d heard vague whispers about badminton in Budapest but other than scope out a few courts, I did little about it. I needed someone to go with me. To take me there. And hopefully that someone would have an extra racquet.

Out and about on Friday night, badminton came up randomly in a conversation and by Saturday noon, it was sorted. Hodos Tamás Tollaslabda Csarnok is in the hundreds out on Váci út – probably accessible by the 96, 196, and 204 (all buses I’ve never seen before). It has ten courts and both indoor and outdoor tennis courts. Prices are reasonable and on Sundays you can play for as long as you like from 1pm to 5pm for 1000 ft. Mind you, ‘as long as you like’ today translated into 45 mins. But next time, I’ll be better.

I had difficulty in getting my legs to move my body to where my brain knew it should be (delayed motion). I had trouble in deciding whether the shuttlecock would actually make it over the net or not (wasted motion). And I had that lazy gene that kicked in every now and then with a ‘can’t be bothered’ (no motion at all). But next time, I’ll be better.

synchronicityThis week, as the results of my sleep test showed only a mild form of sleep apnea (I only wake myself up about seven times an hour – nothing to be concerned about) I’m grateful that I’ve rediscovered a form of exercise that I actually enjoy. I’m grateful, too, for the random conversations that happen just when you need them to, for the opportunities that are there for the taking, and for that lovely thing called synchronicity that pulls it all together. Ta Ms L. Much obliged.