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I’d kill for a pork pie….

I have been re-born, I am a new man.

I used to just shovel food down my neck ….breakfast then lunch then an evening meal followed up with a decent bottle of wine and the compulsory glass of single malt before bed. The weight crept on, the exercise stopped, the interests and activities became more lethargic and the heart attack just became a matter of ‘when’ rather than ‘what if ?’….

Looking back – I did kind of know what was happening. When the heart attack happened I knew what it was – it wasn’t a massive shock – I think I’d been expecting it for a while but had been fooling myself into thinking it wouldn’t happen to me…

I have now woken up, it’s like pulling yourself out of a thick gloopy swamp and beginning to move freely again.

I’ve taken my diary and filled it with days made out to – exercise / writing day / bike ride / cottage / walking – the idea being that when things come up that take you away from your chosen goal – you focus and you stick with your diarised activity.

I’ve realised that my old life was built around work.

I slept badly because I was always thinking about work. I used to fall asleep at will during the day with what I fooled myself into thinking were ‘power naps’ …they weren’t bloody… ‘power naps’ ….they were a desperate man trying to get some goddamn sleep.

I woke up thinking about work, I spent all day thinking about work then ended up half asleep on the settee thinking about work.

Holidays basically never happened. If I was busy I couldn’t have a holiday. If things were quiet at work…. obviously you can’t have a holiday.

If money was tight you can’t have a holiday …so the only time that you can ever actually enjoy a holiday is when ……not tooo busy…..not tooo quiet ….and all the outstanding money owed has come in early ….so basically never happens.

Family time – don’t even talk to me about family time. I have two daughters who until the age of six thought I was an old friend of their mums who just popped in when passing. I remember having to introduce myself into bedtime stories and explain to the girls what a ‘daddy’ was – as neither of them had any experience of spending quality time with me…

So the new me has been making the changes required. I have a whole new fascination with what I’m actually eating, I now look at what’s in the food packet and check the carbohydrate content. I think about portion control, and I think about not reaching for the salt before I’ve even tasted what I’m eating.

I am exercising daily and getting breathless* whilst out walking (*NB. this is what I’m challenged to do by the doctors …not because I’m just knackered and unfit)….

I’ve cut out carbs and I’ve managed to lose a stone without feeling too much like my life is over. I’m still having the odd glass of red wine …but I’m not then piling into the next bottle and then hitting the whisky….

I’m back on the mountain bike and pushing that little bit harder on the pedals…going the extra mile so to speak.

I’m now seeing work as something to ‘work on, not in…’ – I have the team to do all the daily grind ….they just need my steerage to make sure that we stay on track. I see it as a guiding role, I am a teacher …rather than working at the rock face so to speak.

So all is going well.

However if ever you are eating a pork pie and see me approaching.

Take heed ….I really would kill for a bite of a Melton Mowbray….

Mike C