I start work at 10:00 a.m. on a Sunday so for someone like me that wakes up at 4 or 5 in the morning and starts the day at that time its almost like having a half day off! :)

I have become so addicted to being up and active and trying to reach my 10,000+ steps that sitting down and watching a whole movie or reading a book feels lazy. Seriously - it's ridiculous, I'm up and down like a yoyo. Such a difference to even just a month ago lol

But this morning I decided it would be my rest day from exercise and I had Beautiful Creatures lined up and ready to go on the DVR. It all felt very decadent eating my porridge with a steaming cup of tea while I watched a movie at 7 a.m.

By 7:30 I was getting distracted and decided stuff it - I want to exercise! So I put on my trainers and walked out the door. I just had to exercise - I wanted he endorphin rush.

I never in my wildest dreams imagined my problem would be sitting still instead of the usual problem of battling to get moving!

All that "natural high" malarkey those greenies and hippies go on about? Well what do you know - it actually exists! But most of you guys knew that already :D

A few minutes into my walk I was reflecting on how much things had changed for me as I decided to go the hilly route, how Bert would never have let me pick a walk over a movie, how 2 months ago I was in despair and depression at my weight, thinking i had used up all my chances to lose it, how I saw a future full of loneliness and sadness and wondered how I would ever get through it.

And here I was striding up a hill, loving the burn and feeling almost high with happiness as I reeled off in my head all the things I was grateful for:

- actually wanting to exercise

- that my heart, which has had some damage, seemed to be coping beautifully with all the exercise

- that I had found cycling and seemed to be enjoying it - amazing for me who was such a non sport guy

- that I had found this fantastic forum full of supportive people all working towards a common goal

- that I was actually considering spending Christmas with my immediate family who I had avoided because I basically hated myself for so many years

- that I was actually sorting out my car registration and insurance before the due date instead of after like usual because I had money saved instead of blowing it on crap food or cigarettes

- that I was taking my car for service and after wondering how I could get to and from work realised that with my new cycling habit I could make it to work and back on my bike from there - cool huh? :)

I've often read that we should be grateful at least once a day to bring joy to our lives and it really does work.

In fact it worked so well that pounding up some hill or other tears started rolling down my face. I was thinking "WTF is going on - where is this coming from???"

It all felt VERY un-Nike "Just do it" kind of thing but I just couldn't control it. It was bizarre.

Pure tears of joy, that I had gone from someone who had given up on life at 53 to someone who was now fighting tooth and nail to reclaim life, to love their body and mind, someone who had gone from depression and sadness only 6 months ago to someone who now was embracing the moment and loving it.

Fortunately I was sweating my butt off so if anyone walked by they wouldn't see there were tears mixed in with all that sweat :D

And every time I thought of something else good another tear would appear until I got to the point of thinking "This is getting ridiculous - If you get much happier you'll choke!"

It was amazing. And clearly after yesterdays post about where does the emotion go that we have been eating with food, it seems I found some !

And I did my best time BY FAR on this walk.

I usually do around 9m 40s per km but on this one I came in at 8m 34s per km average with one of those km's coming in at 8m 11s - completely blew away my PB.

Seems that some gratitude in your tank can turbocharge your day :)

Have a great day you lovely Brits - see you on the flip side!

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56 Replies

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  • Very inspiring Dave. Wow, well done you, sounds like you have it sorted! Today is a good day. Love that bit..."This is getting ridiculous - If you get much happier you'll choke!" :D Not so good when your throat closes up with tears of gratefulness when your flat out exercising. Thanks for the lift, I really enjoyed your write up today.

  • Thanks Queenie I have learned over time I quite enjoy the process and cathartic nature of writing and I am just lucky that people enjoy it sometimes!

  • What an amazing way with words you have, Dave !!! And you are such an inspiration to to many people here, who enjoy reading your posts.

    Do you sometimes read your early ones? You have come a very long way, and that addictive personality is probably giving you all the more get up and go with your exercises as well!

    You can be so proud of yourself and your achievement and your way of looking at life, yay, keep going and enjoy it !!! 😊

  • Oh Dave, just sending you a big "Brit hug". Bert is getting his comeuppance and you are following your dreams.

    What more could you ask for???

    You are truly amazing :)

  • That genuinely makes me feel good - thankyou . Its funny though from my side I just feel like I am finally getting round to sorting stuff I should have sorted ages ago so I don't feel particularly amazing I just feel kind of content and a bit late to the party! :)

  • Well done Dave πŸ˜„ keep up the excellent work.

  • Thanks Emma, each day gets a little easier.

  • I think something happens to people in their 50s, those that have led restricted lives for one reason or another. Good to be in the driving seat without a destructive hitchhiker beside you? Onwards, downwards - and upwards, Mr D! :D

  • "Good to be in the driving seat without a destructive hitchhiker beside you" I love that description - very apt :)

  • Absolutely loved reading this, boosted my motivation :)

    Well done you, have a good day :)

  • Thanks Mandy hope your first few days are going well :)

  • Awesome post GO Dave! Bert is now begging for a walk?

  • I think Bert is starting to come around - feels like there is a little less resistance and fight in him every day!

  • Oh Dave such a fab post!! And straight from

    The heart!!!! Well done you x

  • Thanks :) I'd probably never say all of this gushy stuff in public but I love being able to come to this, a safe place, and just dump it out :)

  • Awww - great post Dave. Sounds like you did find all that emotion lurking after all - but at least it's happy emotion :-D

  • Its funny though a few hours later I c was trying to peel a boiled egg and the shell just kept ripping it apart and I got so angry I squished it in my hands and threw it in the sink in disgust, almost followed by throwing a plate at the wall in frustration. I guess I DO feel the bad stuff appear suddenly but its less and less often. When you repress it for that long its gonna seep out some how. Better I take it out on a boiled egg I guess :D

  • Boiled eggs do that to me too :-) We have some chickens, and trying to peel one of the ones that has been paid fresh that morning is impossible. I sympathise with you on that one !! The plate would have gone as well with me :-)

  • I decided to be constructive about my little egg tantrum and found out that - as you say - less fresh eggs are easier.

    I ALSO found out that if you add a teaspoon of baking powder to the water it stops the shells sticking! Found this on more than one blog/website so seems it works - haven't tried it yet.

  • It sounds like you have a good mind set. I would not worry that you want to exercise rather than sit about and it is obviously the routine you have got used to. I wish that my mind would work like yours and that although I have a regular routine I suffer with a lack of motivation some days and this really annoys me when I should have done something but actually could not be bothered. Keep it up and well done it obviously works for you.

  • Hi Rob and welcome - haven't seen you here before but you may have just been lurking in the shadows :)

    Rewind to August 2nd and going for some exercise was just a pain in the butt. I hated it. I hated having to force my trainers on and shove myself out the door.

    I honestly did.Despised it.

    I listen to a podcast called "Cut The Fat" - a nice simple podcast that comes with easy to implement small changes that can make a significant difference.

    They suggest that you make a contract with yourself to go for a walk (or hike or swim or cycle ), 30 minutes a day (more if you want but at least 30) every day for 30 days. The first couple weeks I struggled with it, whining to myself about having to go out in the middle of winter blah blah blah...but I just kept forcing myself to do it and by week 3 I was starting to actually like exercise.

    It also helped with my eating because I didn't want to go and exercise for 30 minutes and then waste all that hard work on a chocolate.

    The other thing that changed things dramatically was I bought a Fitbit Flex - $100 and simple as anything to set up.

    I love having a goal of 10,000 steps and within a few days of buying it I was finding ways to squeeze in a few more steps, to exercise by just walking around the office a few really a very simple but effective tool.

    The only way to change your mindset is to ... change it. Use EVERY tool you can lay your hands on, see what works for you and before you know it you will be speeding past me up that hill!

  • Love reading your posts Dave, you were there at the beginning of my journey and are a constant and consistent inspiration. giving hope to all the over fifties. You star

  • That's so sweet of you to say - it honestly makes me tingle when I see words like inspiration. And makes me so much more accountable as well!

    Anyway my little efforts are good but so are yours - I feel like this close knit group is doing so well- a few bumps makes very little difference.

  • I agree and like to think of the bumps as a good thing. The bumps build up our resilience ....i love the word accountable...never thought of it like that, but I think you're right.πŸ˜„

  • Thanks Sandy, thats really kind of you to say :)

  • Isn't that great? and I am so pleased I helped in some way - it makes me feel great as well!

    I have to say that with my Fitbit on my wrist I am so much more cognizant of 10,000 steps and trying to reach them. Its a nice little goal to have :)

  • Great post as always Dave. Exercise really does make you feel good as I'm realising with my running. I completely understand the crying bit I myself got very emotional the other day when I completed a run on week four of C25K just the emotion of realising you can do something you've always put of in the past because you thought you couldn't. It really is an amazing feeling.

    Well done with all you are doing and just keep on doing it. πŸ‘πŸ˜€

  • I know right? I'm tglad I am not the only one feeling these emotional/physical affects :)

    A few times I have had a tear leak out when I thought about how great things were going for me but that little storm of tears was rather unexpected - in a nice way :)

  • One word....... amazing!!

  • Thanks Chris:) Hope you're doing well. I thought of you the other day when I did my post about emotional eaters like us and had a meme which said "DESSERTS is STRESSED spelled backwards!" :)

  • Only recently joined but love reading your posts. They bring out all emotions. First time I read them with the straight talking no nonsense advice caught my breath and then decided every word was spot on. Love your new outlook on life so thanks for making me look at mine through different eyes:)

  • Thankyou thats really kind of you to say. If ever I seem to be getting a little too "frank" just kick me ok? :)

  • That's so cool the way it's joining the dots with other parts of your life, like the cycling helping you get to work while your car's in the garage, and thinking about seeing your family because of the change in the way you feel about yourself. Hope lots more dots keep joining up like this and you keep seeing more and more benefits :)

  • It is cool. It's really cool. :)

    Hey I thought of you last night. Bert finally won and I pulled into the supermarket to buy a giant block of chocolate and then ummed and ahhed and danced around and got a small block and a bag of crisps and was in line for the register and changed my mind and went back and dumped the small block and got the large block and then changed my mind again and got a small block, got rid of the crisps and bought a 50 gm snack pack of cheese so I could have something fatty and got some water crackers.

    Got to the register and as soon as I scanned the chocolate I told the shop assistant to cancel the chocolate and I just got the cheese and crackers.

    I was bloody worn out by the time I walked out of there - I reckon I burned 100 calories just farting around up and down the aisles ! :D

  • Mmm, that definitely sounds familiar :) Well done!

  • You really are an inspirational writer! I've been slacking so much recently when it comes to exercise, but you've reminded me how wonderful those endorphins feel and I think it might be time to dust off the old walking boots. Well done you; you're clearly on the track to success!

  • Fantastic post again, Dave - always a pleasure to read your thoughts.

    I'm just heading out for a walk in the sunshine . There is a country park close to where I live with a path round a loch which is 2.2km. A couple of years ago (pre-hip injury) my routine was a walk to the loch, round twice then home again but I don't think my new hip is up to that yet. I drive to the loch these days and march around twice; I have added an extra lap a few times but that's a bit of a push at the moment though it's getting easier and the weight is coming off.

    The feeling of 'well-being' is hard to explain. Sometimes I feel a bit dopey marching around the neighbourhood on my own with a big grin on my face - especially as I'm not really known for smiling!

    The 'natural high' effect can't be denied but for me the knowledge that physically I am stronger and pain-free and 22lbs lighter than I was in June and I'm doing this by myself, for myself, has made a huge difference to my self-esteem and to my outlook on life. The last few years have been difficult for a variety of reasons and at 56 I was feeling that the future didn't hold much brightness for me but life is turning around and there is a lot to be grateful for.

    I'm going out now while the sun is still shining - I'm in Central Scotland so it could be freezing by lunchtime! I'll mop up the tears as I go!


  • I just loved reading this - a kindred spirit :)

    I'm sorry to hear about your hip. You seem young to be having that kind of problem? But I can sympathise as my left knee is threatening to be a problem every now and then which is why I am trying to get more interested in cycling.

    Hope you had a great joyful walk ! :)

  • I like to believe that I am too young to have such an old lady problem! In October 2012 I was running late for an eye examination and was running through a car park in Glasgow, paying no attention to what my feet were doing while trying to shove keys in a bag and make a phone call. The result of this was a cartoon-style attempt to stay upright which ended up in a position that an Olympic gymnast strives for years to perfect. At the time the diagnosis was severe soft-tissue damage but months of physiotherapy didn't improve my mobility and I was really struggling with pain and was unable to manage the drive to work. Having to use a walking frame was the last straw for me - I felt and looked about 90! An MRI scan showed that I had a fractured acetabulum, the 'socket' of the hip and that I had developed severe osteoarthritis which had caused the femoral head to wear away. Unfortunately I had to postpone my surgery as my daughter was very ill last winter but eventually in January I had my hip replacement. It was far less traumatic than I expected it to be and the difference is amazing. I am gradually increasing my walking distances and am enjoying being able to look after my garden and be independent again.

    I think that knowing what I've overcome in the last 2 years has made me more appreciative of my health so I'm making healthier choices in what I eat and in my lifestyle.

    I did enjoy my walk; it's a popular place for dog walkers so I get my dog-fix while I'm there. Three times round the loch with a smile on my face and no tears! Happy days!

    Look after that knee.


  • I am so pleased for you that the hip problem will continue to improve and is not simply old ladyitis :P

    I had sort of similar thing 2 years ago when I chased a burglar out of the house (long story) at at 22 stone and trying to sprint after this guy it was a no win situation.

    I woke up in the middle the night in agony with my left foot and as it turns out I had damaged the tendon.

    It took 9 months to a year but now I would never now it happened.

    Until you told me that story I had actually forgotten about it - amazing that at the time something that we picture be debilitating for the rest of our lives can slowly but surely end up fixing itself.

  • Hi Dave,

    You made me cry !! Fantastic journey and it sounds as if even better to come .You deserve it πŸ’πŸ’‹ ( can't find a hug ).

    Have another great week.


  • Flossie that is so sweet of you - I feel a bit humbled I have to say.

    Whenever I write something this personal I always do a a bit of double take and wonder if I am being too vulnerable for my own good.

    And then I post it - I usually do it my morning time when most of you are asleep and then as my afternoon rolls on I start to worry that I have just gone too far as I don't see any likes or replies appear...and then they start to trickle in and I breathe a mental sigh of relief, mostly because I am always so wonderfully surprised by the emotional generosity of people on this forum.

    I love sharing this stuff but I also do it it because I know if *I* was feeling these things and saw someone else was having similar realisations and breakthroughs it would really help :)

    Here is the only internet hug I know {{{Flossie}}} ;)

  • I still can't imagine waking up early to exercise lol I love my sleep and I am up 5.40am - 5 days a week getting ready for work. I do understand the adrenaline rush though, on the rare occasions I find myself being active I usually feel very proud/pleased with myself and my mind becomes unnaturally optimistic.

    I was watching endless episodes of 'pretty little liars' as they swam, ran and picked at their salads and just thought to myself, I really shouldnt be wasting my time watching this

    Think I found a new exercise! Standing in the sea! :-) weekend I decided to go to the beach. I was internally dying though because I was the only overweight girl, I was completely 'overdressed' in my 1 piece swim suit with all the other girls sunbathing/paddle boarding in their bikini - but nevermind, I stood in the water for about 20-25min and by the next day I was conpletely sore.

    Seems the effort of trying to stay standing against the waves is good exercise. This should be made into an exercise class lol wave aqua gym.

  • I love it and wouldn't that make for a wonderful (*and boring to watch) new Olympic sport! :)

    Oh come on - if they can have synchronised swimming then surely sea standing isn't that bigger stretch!

    Good on you for finding something works for you and gives your muscles a workout ... and I love that you just went and did your thing and forgot about anyone else - go you!

  • You're amazing!

  • Shuttup!

    YOU'RE amazing! :)

  • Dave, thank you for sharing, you really have a beautiful way with words. I love reading your posts!

  • Thanks Fifi I will freely admit I enjoy getting such lovely compliments as well.

    I guess I have spent so much of my life listening to my own negative self talk about how little I am worth, I am really taken aback now by some of the positive stuff that is pushing through and just have to share it!

  • Hi Dave,

    A very inspiring post, encapsulating so much that can be related to. Enjoyed reading it, and hope you are sleeping well tonight, ready for another great day ahead tomorrow.

    Lowcal :-)

  • Thanks and I did sleep well although I really did push hard because the legs are a little gripey today :)

  • This is so wonderful must agree with Ruth_canal_runner you are so motivating to one and all. I new to the site and have sat back read the post you often offer great insight and this post is one of those. I look at it as a personal passasage, continue forward strong willed Brit, as you motivate a group and they share your tears.

  • Thankyou so much for those kind words, I feel very lucky to have found this forum and such wonderful people to share my journey with :)

  • Hi Dave, what a truly wonderful & inspiring post and thank you for sharing this with us.

    You have really turned your life around and sound so very happy with all the changes you have made and with life it's self. Love reading your posts Dave and can't wait to read your next one.

    Trafford1 x

  • Thanks Trafford, it really warms my heart to know that some of my experiences might help to motivate others :)

  • Go Dave go,

    You said everything I have been thinking for an age.

    Inspiring ,you've made me have a bit if a weep, blinking Nora see what you have started

    Take care :)

  • My theory is that if I can explode into a full on sobbing mess I should be almost ready for Olympic time trials :)

    I'm sorry ... and gratified ... that I bought a tear to your eye.

    I hope you got some good solid rest and were not woken too early by your back

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