Tuesday, 29 October 2013

I hate that feeling when you drive into work and think it's going to be a shit day. Tired, suffering from another restless night and an early morning (needing a holiday), the drive in is slow because of lorries. And then, you get into work, set up the laptop and make a cup of tea, you look out of the window and see a rainbow. Physics on the grand scale.

Perhaps it won't be such a bad day after all. :-)

Monday, 28 October 2013

Floor skating and other things

Try this when you're bored in the supermarket, an evening shop with the aisles empty of people and, most importantly, the floor has just been freshly polished: floor skating. A fantastic new sport that is not just designed for children.

I was not in the mood for shopping tonight but, other than a dodgy looking bag of salad and some cauliflower, we had no food in the house. I can be ingenious when it comes to creating meals from random food - admittedly the kale omelette was a mistake that time - but there really was nothing I could make. So, off to the local supermarket we went. To make myself feel better, I went to the stationery section as soon as I got there.

I decided to find my partner who was prowling the homeware section, presumably for the same reason, (this can be dangerous. If I don't watch her, she would fill this flat with fluffy cushions and pink towels...), when I found myself sliding around the corner as if on ice. The soft soles of my Dr Martins (I am such a stereotype at times) helped on that freshly polished floor. That was it: I raced up and down the aisle and went into full skids up and down. How exciting. It was then I saw myself on the tv screen: caught mid slide.

But who cares? I have spent so much of my life caring about what other people think, tonight I decided to break that record. I came up with a cunning plan to make the shop go faster with fun. The rule was you had to pretend you were iceskating through the store. It was fun. OK so people looked at us oddly but I didn't care. If you can't laugh at yourself and let your hair down, then what's the point?

45 minutes later, we were bloody knackered and breathing heavily but the shopping was done and we had fun doing it. As a treat, we bought some giant sparklers to play with.

I suffer from stress quite a bit but it is moments like this (and with a forgiving girlfriend) that help me unwind. And now to relax. :-)

Monday, 21 October 2013

Today I was asked by a colleague to give diet advice. It makes me really happy when someone wants to make a positive, healthy change to their life. I don't know much but I'm happy to offer what knowledge I have.

It wasn't quite the blog entry I was going for, but this seems to be the theme of the day.

It isn't the first time I've been asked for diet advice in the last couple of year. It is because I lost 3.5 stone, which hasn't gone unnoticed. I don't have a "before" picture, but I do have the most recent picture which was taken at the weekend:

I am not thin (not in the modern size-zero sense), but I am happy. I am fit and healthy. Isn't that all that matters?

Having been a bit of a chubberchops, I honestly feel that, even with the best intentions and strongest motivation, a diet can only ever be a temporary phase. The diet will fail, or the resolve be blown apart the next time you get stressed out and need a chocolate bar. It is because we put so much meaning on the word 'diet'. It is like a punishment because you can't eat all the 'naughty' things you want to. My advice: don't do it, and especially don't try to be thin. Oh, and don't use the scales! Why set yourself up to fail?

The easiest thing I did was to simply cut out the crap: stop eating wheat, cheese, and sugar (which is sadly in almost every food you can buy these days), added lots of vegetables to my diet, and exercised. I have not made changes because I want to be thin, I have done it because I want to feel well, and to be able to enjoy my martial arts and other activities without getting ill. It was (and always will be) a lifestyle choice, not a diet. The weight loss was a side effect, as was good skin and increased confidence.

So many people spend so much energy on trying to fit into an image of what they think they 'should' be, instead of focusing on how they would like to be. They focus on goals that aren't achievable. Not everyone has a frame that can get down to a size zero, I know I don't (the thinnest I got was at 18 after being in the Peruvian rainforest for a month. I lost so much weight that size 8 clothes were hanging off me by the time I got to uni) nor would it be healthy to try.

I like being asked about my weight loss plan but not many people want to hear it. There is no quick fix that will last, you see. It is hard work all the way but it is worth it in the end.

Monday, 7 October 2013

If I could, I would be going to my kick boxing and kung fu classes tomorrow night. I can't...I mustn't. I shouldn't really...  Sigh. I know I won't, but I can dream of going. I can be an arm chair martial artist for the evening and dream of doing the most amazingly high front kicks and dazzling spinning kicks that land perfectly every time. I would be Michelle Yeoh in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, or Uma Thurman in Kill Bill. I would, essentially, be amazing. It would be the best training session ever (and it wouldn't even be showing off, because everyone else would have equally amazing skills which we would use to spar and train together).

OK. So now I'm even fantasising about exercise. I'm not sure that's a good sign.

I am still incapacitated with my leg injuries: day 4 and I'm getting to the point of tearful frustration. At least the pain is beginning to subside.  I had to work from home today (thankfully I have a very understanding boss...plus I have proven that PA work can be done anywhere so long as you have a laptop, work notes and work phone). My feet up, phone beside me, I actually got an awful lot of work done, but I just didn't want to be here: stuck. With no exercise.

I never was very patient.

It wasn't so long ago, a couple of years perhaps, that I hardly exercised at all. That was before, when I was in the 'bad' relationship. I stayed at home most of the time, I drove everywhere, and I became overweight. I was back to exercising as soon as I got out of that awful relationship. In fact, at one point, you could say that I was mildly obsessional about exercise. I was running 7 miles 3 times a week, plus doing 30-40 mile cycles at the weekends, plus walks most days. You can have too much of a good thing: I got sick because I wasn't eating enough carbs and vitamins to cover what I needed. 

I take a more measured approach nowadays. Admittedly, if I hadn't been running back from a two hour kung fu session, I wouldn't be where I am now, but at least I always make sure that I am well fed with the right nutrients, hydrated and ready to go. I don't do nearly as much exercise either. But, if I can't exercise, I really do notice its absence. It has reminded me that I should be grateful for my fitness levels and ability more often, because I don't know when I could lose it.

I guess that's the same with everything in life: be grateful for it when you can.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Waiting to get back on my feet

I have injured myself. It was being over zealous during my Kung Fu practise, and because I ran the two miles in to Falmouth and back to get to the class. I have never experienced such pain in my thighs before.

At work yesterday, I deliberately dehydrated myself so that I wouldn't have to go down the stairs from my office to the loo. When I did need to go, I was in so much pain that I thought I might have a little accident on the way down (I didn't... nor did I really expect to. I was just avoiding the pain). I could have cried.

I am not good at being immobilised. In fact, you could say that I hate it. I am prone to suffering from anxiety and stress, and my normal exercise regime is something that keeps it under control. I am not impressed with myself for taking a risk. But there is no need for the 'what ifs' and 'should have dones'. It won't change it.

So here I am, with my legs raised, and unable to do much at all. I can only hope that I have decent movement by Tuesday which is when I have my San Shou kick boxing and Choy Li Fut Kung Fu lessons. In just a couple of weeks, I am expecting to be able to grade for Choy Li Fut, I can't afford to miss the lessons in between.

I will admit to feeling sorry for myself, certainly earlier. I bought some wheat free bread just so that I could eat some peanut butter (when I was young, we were very poor. I got the mumps and my brother scraped just enough money together to buy some peanut butter to help make me feel better, it did and it has had that effect ever since). I even sent a text to The Girlfriend to say I missed her (she called and asked why...I might have confessed that I missed her making cups of tea...my memory is hazy ;-) ).

I am tired, though. So tired. Sleeping proved difficult last night, for every movement of my legs set off the pain. I was half dosing, and then The Girlfriend came back. Even though I'd missed her (not just for her tea making abilities), it became...frustrating. She wouldn't leave me alone (she wanted kisses), and then she started fussing over the general mess I had created during the day and my half-hearted attempt to sort out things to sell in the spare bedroom. She complained that I couldn't pick things up off of the floor...I'd liked to have reminded her that I couldn't even reach my toes this afternoon let alone reach the things on the floor. However, she had a point. If I hadn't thrown them on the floor in the first place, they wouldn't have been there to pick up...

The good news is, she brought a Danish pastry back for me. Admittedly, this won't help my wheat intolerance and generally dodgy stomach, however I'd texted her continuously until she had agreed. (I know how to be persuasive). She even made me a cup of tea and placed it on the table at the end of the sofa (sweet, but I couldn't reach it...). She sighed heavily when I asked for her to get it for me. I think there might be someone else here who can't wait for me to get back on my feet!

[In all seriousness, S has been as good as gold, even if the tea was put in the wrong place. She's patient and kind. I am lucky.]