Little Things Mean a Lot
February 28, 2014
My most recent bus ride into work was a real eye-opener. I decided not to do any work on the way and there were no free newspapers left so I found myself looking out of the window.
The first part of the bus route is the same as my drive in. Usually I am trying to hold my own in three lanes of cars with an extraordinary number of traffic lights and some very busy roundabouts. I need to concentrate and so my focus is on the road and on what is around me.
On the bus I didn’t have to concentrate and so I was able to take in everything around me. I was amazed.
As I watched from the window I realised that shops had closed and new shops had opened. A roundabout had been very prettily planted. There were advertising hoardings that I’d never noticed before and kerbside signs for everything from potatoes for sale to details of the next time the circus is coming to town.
The bus then took to the byway (whereas I would normally take the highway which is the M5) and we headed out into the countryside. My part of the world is one that has been intermittently affected by the flooding. My home town is dry but my “work town” is very flooded. The motorway skirts past the flooded area and so, until my bus journey, the only sight of it I had was on the television. Driving past it and having to take a detour because the smaller roads were still water-logged was startling. The sheer expanse of the water was huge and the impact on the town was very obvious. But there were all the “little things” that I noticed. How dirty the church was; how much litter was on the streets; how school children playing in the school yard still don’t need to wear a coat (even when the temperature is below 5 degrees C!)
I know that if I had needed to take the “scenic route” in my car, I would have been (quite rightly) paying attention to the road and would not have been able to absorb the surroundings. I would have just had my “blinkered vision” and my peripheral sight would be ignored.
It got me thinking about how easy it is for things to become “white noise”… For things to happen or to be around us and for us to pay no “real” attention to them at all. It made me ponder the same thing with regard to my weight loss journey. How many of the “little things” go unnoticed or hold my attention for just a short moment before I move on?
One of my favourite rings is an example. It was bought for me by Lovely Husband for the middle finger of my right hand. It was a perfect fit… until the pounds started piling on. The ring got tight and got moved to the third finger of my right hand. To begin with it had a bit of room for manoeuvre but a few pounds later it and was tight on that finger.
My feet were the same… Most my size 3 shoes didn’t fit any more… Mainly because they were too narrow but also because they were just too small. I had to buy size 4 flats for work because the extra weight made teetering on heels impossible. Sensible black size four flats… Instead of beautiful bright red patent heels. That was what weight gain had done.
However having had my eyes opened to all the “little things” that I was aware of made me think back over my weight loss journey. I can report that the beautiful ring is now back on my middle finger. I remember that, when I realised that my third finger had got too thin for the ring, I had been really chuffed about it being able to go back on its “proper” (thinner) middle finger. But I was conscious of that for about two hours and then it floated out of my head.
The same with a couple of my belts. If I look at them know, I can see how much I have lost my from midriff. The space between the holes is a clear indication of the fact that my waistline is getting trimmer. Again, I can remember getting out the sharp scissors when I had to make a new hole as the belt needed to be tighter, but again, once the initial glee had worn off, I didn’t give it a second thought.
Yesterday I realised that when I popped to the loo (which I am doing rather frequently at the moment as my mission to drink two litres of water a day continues…) I pulled my trousers down without undoing them. Given that they do not have an elasticated waist I was chuffed to bits (as we say “oop north”) and had a broad grin on my face as I sat on the Armitage Shanks but I completely forgot to tell LH about this latest milestone when I got home (remembering only when I took my trousers off for my night-time bath).
I am on a slow-and-steady weightless journey. It will take time and patience and the results I get each week are not “dramatic”… which is why I probably don’t pay attention to the little things. But little things mean a lot. Each one is a reminder that I am heading in the right direction and that my progress may be slow but it is also steady.
Each time I take an item of clothing back out of the “too tight to wear” wardrobe and install it back to the “fits perfectly” closet I feel pleased with myself. But I let that feeling pass. What I should do is feel pleased EVERY TIME I put the clothes on. I have to buy a new pair of trousers for work (as my favourite pair are now too loose to wear without a safety pin). I know I will be delighted when I pick them off the rail – a whole size smaller than the last pair I bought – but I will have to make a conscious effort to remember that feeling every time I put them on.
I’m sure, like me, most of the time the focus on our weight loss journey is on the number on the scales and the size on the label… But there are so many other “little things” that happen almost without us realising, which we need to focus on and celebrate.
So if you get two minutes today why not think of all the small things that are big indications that you’re on the right track and making headway. You might be surprised at how many there are and realise that little things really do mean a lot.
Have a great day
With a Hug