Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

At 49 I have finally grown up ... and no one is more surprised than me

Belfast Telegraph Political Editor Liam Clarke

Let me be honest here. I've been in two minds about how to write this column over the past weeks. Since May it's been a more personal account of my life and I've had very positive feedback, unsolicited, from a variety of sources. I've taken those as a confirmation to keep going.

On the other hand, there have been two voices expressing concern that I'm letting it all hang out too much and need to pull myself together and not put everything on show.

Of course, being human and from Northern Ireland, I tend to listen more readily to the "negative" voices ... I guess we're just programmed that way.

So after being away for a fortnight, I came back last week and thought, 'Right, better stop the oul' personal stuff and try to be clever instead. Or funny. Or well informed about politics and all that's going on here'.

But it's not sitting right with me. If you want informed opinion on what's going on here, read Liam Clarke or Malachi O'Doherty or some of those guys. I can't muster enough interest in the minutiae of the daily finger-pointing that passes for politics here.

And besides, I believe if it's change or transformation we want, we have to start with ourselves. Otherwise we are empty bells or clanging cymbals or whatever the expression is. So, just to be clear. I prefer to use this piece to talk about what's going on over here with me and I am going to trust that that is of some interest to you.

So, this week. Well, just reading over stuff I wrote some weeks back, I see I was scoffing at the idea that I could be someone who loses weight and eats fruit in the morning. I said I was practising the positive affirmations but nothing seemed to be working.

And then, suddenly, out of the blue, I'm off the drink, exercising daily, eating only good food and guess what? I'm losing weight and eating fruit every morning. (I lost 2lbs the first week and 1.5 inches off my waist!)

I'm still a bit thick mentally but it's taken me two weeks to realise that the very thing I was wanting has actually happened. IS happening.

Here's me, asking the universe for signs, for help, for miracles and it's giving them to me hand over fist and I don't even see them!

For the first time in my puff, I've got a real desire to be healthy and I've lost the desire to overeat and sit beating the wine down m'fat neck every evening like a teenager, partying cos the parents are away. "Huh! They can't tell ME what to do! I can do what I like!"

At last, at the grand age of 49, I've grown up! What's that, if not a miracle?

And I also kept saying, "I'm all or nothing when it comes to food and drink". Now I realise that I'M the one who keeps that going by always saying it. So I'm singing a different song now. "I listen to my body and it tells me what I want and need. I don't have to think, I just have to trust and get out of the way, it knows what it needs. Simple."

Wow. Once again I'm humbled by the joyful surprise of life, just when I thought I'd never be joyfully surprised again.

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