My skin is a total mess. After 7 weeks of near daily walking, 50+ individual journeys, rain, snow, wind and sweat my body has started to physically detox. I have a forehead that’s as smooth as a baby’s behind and cheeks (on my face, before you ask) that resemble a war zone. I’ve got blotches, zits and blobs that I haven’t had in 15+ years. I’m sure that under my beard there’s even more carnage going on – it’s a bit like a car crash, I can’t help but look.
I shower and rehydrate whenever I get back from a walk, and I’m typically pretty clean at any given time. I don’t use face creams or any of the metrosexual stuff people of my age are supposed to be slapping on. I can surmise, then, that this is a reaction to an increased metabolism, and some kind of internal improvements pushing the toxins out of my system. Some days I used to wake up with sore muscles, that’s completely gone, now. I can now see and feel improvements, and the only reason I bang on about them here is because this has never happened to me before. You’re very likely to be getting a bit bored of me yapping about this all the time, I’m still shocked and part of me thinks it’s all going to come back and bite me in the cheeks (not on my face) before much longer.
I’ve talked before about the link between brain and body. I’ve had a self-destructive relationship with both of them in the past: I used to over-eat and under-exercise, which did me no good, and while my brain was still popping along at a fair old rate, I’ve always been frustrated with my lack of ability to capitalise on what I can really do. I used to drink to dull my sensations and frustrations, I used to dumb down when I talked with some people and I used to filter what I said on the grounds that I would inevitably say something so stupid or out of place that I’d be ostracised and end up a lonely, friendless hermit.
My fondness for calorie-heavy food has gone. Actually, that’s not true – I still have cravings for huge piles of carbs when I get back from a long walk, but it’s proper food these days and not some indulgent, lardy, calorie-packed crud-fest. I like beans. I like brown rice. I like fish. Every day I seem to have an increasing liking of whole foods and things that I should be eating and not things that I used to eat.
I don’t drink, now. Well, I haven’t touched any since the end of January. I was never at the point where I drank to get drunk and do stupid things, I was happy being a bit buzzed on good vodka, Jagermeister or the occasional White Russian. Booze worked well for working late as it took the edge off of my brain sparks while I got the work done. I have never been cultured enough to understand or appreciate wine, my selection criteria depends on the label or a few named vineyards that I have some experience with – and even then it’s down to other people choosing a good one, and me stealing the idea for another time. Perhaps summer will change things and I’ll have a hankering for a gin and tonic or Pimms with trimmings. I don’t see it right now, there’s no appeal in it for me. I haven’t been so bold as to pour it all down the sink, although I have done that in the past – nor have I started talking to it like I did with the Oreos earlier this year. Booze and I co-exist, and that’s fine.
I don’t hold back on what I want to say any longer. I’m done with that. I’ve found my place in a small circle of people who get me for being me, and it happens that they’re all wired on my wavelength, so I don’t have to filter what I say to avoid being an outcast. The energy I was putting into being this person is now used for thinking and doing, on top of what I was already doing, which is yielding some good side-effects. My days are better, on the whole, despite some bone-crunchingly depressive days and I’m starting to get a handle of what my future holds. I’m still in transition, of course, but each day that I do this and get through without incident or badness, the memory of the old me fades a little. New me isn’t yet polished or ready for primetime, but I’ll let you know when I am.
In fact, I’ll make you a promise: you’ll be one of the first to know.