Monday, March 06, 2006

New beginnings

It's that time of year again, new trainee time. Twice a year they all change round, and we start again. Theoretically, one day someone might do a double seat, but I think I was the last person to manage that particular feat, quite a while ago.

This time last year we got Jeff. I wasn't quite at my highest, but I wasn't too far off. I restarted in earnest on March 8 2005, I'd been getting back into the gym habit but not really trying too hard to lose weight since January, but March 8 is the day I start seeing regular weights and notes about my exercise written in my diary from last year. That day I wrote down 114kg (down from an all time high of 118).

Jeff got to witness the biggest weight loss, in terms of pounds gone. I lost about five stone with Jeff, and the poor guy just didn't know what to say. I don't think he mentioned it once! He saw me from my blobby just coming out of the couch potato phase to someone who actually ran a 10k, and there was no hiding my motivation from him.

Then Rebecca arrived in September. Part of me thought that I could persuade her that I was the sort of person who'd never been obese, that I was just a bit overweight. That I just did what I did. Of course, people let on, and losing nearly another two stone must have helped to alert her to what was going on. Even though it was less dramatic in terms of total pounds, it took me from almost obese to a normal weight, and judging by the reactions from other people was actually a more noticeable transformation. Before I just went from fat to slightly less fat, and how many people really distinguish between degrees of fat? This time I went from fat to normal, and that's a big change.

I did manage to strike awe into her though in a way I never did into Jeff. She thought that she ate fairly healthy food and worked out fairly hard. Then she met me. We actually got quite competitive, and we'd sit there in the morning comparing what fruit we'd brought in today. At one stage we would count superfoods for the day. I was training for a half marathon (and running it) while she was dithering about entering a 5k. She learned why I was doing it, and what my motivation was, but that made it no less impressive, if a little more understandable.

And now I have Jonathon in my office. He's never seen me before, and this time not only do I have someone who's never seen me obese, he's never even seen me overweight. I'm not sure that particular secret will remain secret for too long, but for now I have a blank canvas, a mirror to see who I am now reflected. Sometimes how I see myself is too coloured by my knowledge of who I used to be, for example I sometimes think that even though I run, and run fairly well, I am instantly recognisable as someone who only runs for weight loss. It's not true, and maybe fresh eyes would see that in a way that I can't. I'm getting better, but I'm liking the idea of being able to come across as the person I am now, rather than the person I used to be. Even if he's told where I came from by someone, that won't be the person he knows, and hopefully the thought of me as that person will be alien to him. Because I want it to be alien to me, and the more people who think of me as a "naturally" sporty, healthy living person, the more I hope I'll be able to live up to their expectations, as well as mine.


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