Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Getting the small things right

First of all, a big hello to anyone who has come over from Dietgirl's fantastic blog. If you could see me I'd be blushing now from the glowing review, and wondering whether I can come up with any inspiring words today to live up to that billing.


Anyway, I thought that the past couple of days were going to throw me off track, but I'm glad to say I came through creditably. First of all on Monday was the dreaded moment when work really kicked off. I've been lucky for the past few months, I've been fairly quiet, after a manic period in about March where I ended up working all hours. It's been fairly calm since then, helped by the fact that my boss has been on maternity leave all summer. But on Monday I had one of those dreaded three and a half hour meetings that kicks off at 5pm. The sort of meeting that would have sent me running for chocolate, crips and pizza at the end of it. But it didn't. I went to the supermarket on the way home, and realised that there are healthy things that are just as quick and easy to cook as a pizza, and that just because I was working late didn't mean I needed to "treat" myself with unhealthy crap. It looks so simple written down with hindsight, but I fell into that trap for far too long without even realising it.

Then last night I was out with Zoe and Jonathan for his 40th birthday. It was never going to be particularly sober, and I'm not going to pretend that I didn't drink or even that I chose my drinks carefully (cream based cocktails anyone?). But the stuff round the drinking showed the change in me. First of all, I turned up over half an hour late because I was insistent that I was going to eat something proper and vaguely healthy before going out, even if that made me late.

Then I drank, skip over that bit. But on the way home I didn't visit the row of takeaways by the bus stop for that late night kebab or burger or chips. Partly because I'd already eaten, but if I'm being completely honest that wouldn't have stopped me in the past. I could be not hungry at all but still find myself ordering doner meat and chips or something equally grease laden.

Then this morning I dragged myself out of bed after too little sleep and went to the gym. I could have given myself a morning off, I'm not that obsessive about the gym, but I didn't want to. The gym is part of my routine now, and it's just something I do. I didn't want to have to start working out my morning, what time I'd have to leave the house if I go into town during the rush hour, what time I'd therefore need to get up etc etc. It was just easier to get myself to the gym and work out. Then, to surprise myself even further I persuaded myself I'd try to do a short, fast run on the treadmill rather than a long one. Good plan, I'm trying to work on speed before my next 10k (my competitive spirit is coming up now I know that my secretary is going to run it too...). But I got to 5k, and I just kept on running. Despite the alcohol, the lack of sleep and the lack of intention I ended up running my second fastest ever 10k. It would have been nice if I'd managed 61 and a half minutes on Sunday, but never mind, at least I didn't have the Hill from Hell to deal with today I suppose!

Then I got changed, went into the office and had my breakfast. It was only when I then emailed Zoe to see how her head was that I got the reply "not so bad now I've had a bacon sandwich". It suddenly hit me. I'd not deliberately tried to use my willpower to avoid the bacon sandwich temptations, the temptations had never hit me. Despite walking past two shops that sell bacon sandwiches. And despite that being my traditional post drinking breakfast.

And this is the difference, and part of why Zoe is the size I started at, and why I'm not. Zoe did get the kebab on the way home, didn't exercise, did get the bacon sandwich (and did share an extra bottle of bubbly with Jonathan when they got in). OK, so it's more complicated than that, but you get the gist of it.

Maybe the small things add up to something just as important as the big "ooh, look at me, I can run 10k" things. They're both important, but the little things can so easily be overlooked. And the funny thing is, that half the time you don't even notice the change in the little things until someone points them out. I'd never have missed that bacon sandwich if Zoe hadn't mentioned it. As it was, I kind of craved the taste for about 5 minutes before I realised I wasn't hungry and couldn't leave the office, but that was still the very limited extent of the drama.

I'm never going to give up drinking too much and having a good time. I can never guarantee that work or the rest of life won't get in the way of the way I want to live my life. But if I do the little stuff right consistently, maybe that's not something to worry about, just a fact of life.


Blogger Kykaree said...

Thank you, that was a really helpful entry. I drank for the first time in ages last night, red wine at a works do, and I relaxed and really enjoyed myself for the first time in ages. Your thoughts on getting the small things right, and being able to still have a life and not be totally over the top have really helped me get in focus this morning!

6:43 AM  

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