Thursday, 5 July 2007

Mind, Body and Soul

At Dunnet campsite I had weighed myself and found the result a little surprising - indeed it was wrong. Back home, on my own pretty accurate scales, I am still weighing in at 10 stone 11 lbs. I started out at 12 stone 8 lbs, so that's a total loss over the seventeen weeks of 25 lbs.
For the technically minded that's a 14% drop in body weight. There is not a scrap of fat left on me! The problem beer belly is no more - it is history! Lynnie says l resemble a pipe cleaner and is not happy with the result! I am currently eating like a horse - devouring lemon drizzle cake for breakfast, having huge lunches and massive suppers, yet it is still not going back on! I think this may be that my metabolic rate is still zooming along, so when it settles down I can get back to being the old chubby git on the sofa...
About a third of the way along my walk I noticed that my toes were singing to me - a soft sensation, a little like pins & needles. I had put this down to the constant walking and thought no more about it, but slackened the boots around the toe box just in case I was cramping them. They didn't get any worse, but they didn't stop tickling either. I also noticed that my feet were actually getting bigger - my Innov-8's hotel shoes were getting snugger and more cramped in length. I suppose this is not surprising considering the work they were doing.
Anyway, the toes are still singing, but more quietly now, but they are a happy reminder of the walk! I tried on my black brogues (I have Rick & Lindsey's wedding to attend this Saturday) and they were stupidly tight! All my suits hang from me like I have pinched them from a fat bloke. I shall look a sight, hobbling around in tight shoes and enormous clothes.
I have not had a huge amount of time to think back to the walk since returning home as I have thrown myself back into work - but first having to overcome whopping IT problems with transferring stuff from the old computer to the new. However I can honestly say that I am really enjoying being back and relish the work side of it. I have come home with the mind freshly laundered and all wrapped delicately in tissue paper. Each new work challenge is actually fun! It could not have had a longer wash cycle, so I feel mentally fresh, if physically tired.
Has this walk changed me in any way?
I think it has, in small ways that are difficult to quantify. I find myself more patient, willing to plug away at a problem until I sort it out, rather than leave it for later. One of the things I am sure you will have noticed during the walk itself is that now I really quite enjoy meeting new people. The 'Old Alan' would have been a lot more cagey with people he did not know - this new version leaps straight into conversations with complete strangers. I wonder how long that will last? I have been invited to a 'bloggers meet' in the Brecon Beacons in August and am very keen to meet this bunch of disparate souls! In the past I would have politely declined the invitation. So - New horizons are opening up for me and I am looking forward to having more fun because of it.
I have started actually liking salad! And more weirdly - Curry! I had always hated the smell of the stuff, but now I find the delicate flavours and perfumes far more attractive than I ever would have thought possible. As far as Lynnie is concerned this is a Major Breakthrough!
I suppose the biggest single thing that has come out of this adventure is that I have realised that I am only getting one chance at this 'Life' thing. I have returned home deciding to grab it with both hands, give it a big smacker and go for it with every possible opportunity.
Perhaps in the past life might have seemed a bit of a struggle, with obstacles at every turn and facing problem after problem. However I have decided that if you look for it, Life is all dressed up in a little black dress with nice perfume and looking gorgeous. My suggestion to you would be to grab her by the arm, nip upstairs with her and have a wonderful life.
I certainly intend to.


  1. Hi Alan
    Many congratulations on completing your wonderful walk - have been following you every stage of the way! Fancying a bit of the "little black dress" myself, so I'm intending doing a lot more walking now I'm into the "middle period" of my life. Kept running across your name and hearing stories about you (!) when I walked the Pennine Way a few weeks after you this year..! Do take a look at my new "walking" blog ( Would be v. pleased to hear what you think? Best wishes - Robert PS Losing so much weight while drinking so much real ale sounds damn good to me..!

  2. Very nice blog Robert!

    Keep it up – I shall drop in to see how you are doing. Did you keep a diary on the Pennine Way? You could put that on the blog?

    Still losing weight here! I just cannot eat enough!

    I expect it will come back eventually, with a vengeance!

    All the best to you


  3. Alan,
    not fair losing weight like that ^_^
    Hope you can make it to the bloggers meet. If you get chance there are various accounts of the last one on the blogs of those that attended (John Hee, Bearded Git, Aktoman, myself, LiteHiker).
    Somehow I ended up with more than I went with! But we all had a great time.

  4. Alan,good to hear that you are back safely from your long trek.Quite envious of you losing weight.I have recently returned from Coast to Coast walk and have put on nearly half a stone!Must have been all of those cooked breakfasts(19 in all)Best wishes JEFF PEPPER

  5. Alan, tingling in the toes should be taken seriously. Suggest you see a doctor.

  6. "I have been invited to a 'bloggers meet' in the Brecon Beacons in August and am very keen to meet this bunch of disparate souls!"

    More like kindred spirits - but judging by your current body shape, substantially more of us than you


Because of spammers, I moderate all comments, so don't worry if your comment seems to have disappeared; It has been sent to me for approval. As soon as I see it, I'll deal with it straight away.
Thank you!