How do I know its time? I genuinely do not think I have ever felt so composed and calm for at least 10 years. All the dramas are done, the grieving for my beautiful parents will never end but is now part of every day life. I will never recover from that, but its part of my life I can face with a little smile.
How am I health wise? Well there are two kinds – Physical and Mental.
Physically I don’t think I can ever remember feeling this well. I enjoy exercising, I don’t I feel grumpy, lethargic, all out of sorts. My figure has never been so strong and lean – still a little way to go, but not far now. I can now walk into most shops and buy why I want, in a size 8 or 10 without having to force it on, blaming the ‘odd sizing these days’ (Ladies, I hear you!) I am still catching myself in the mirror and I can’t believe how small I am! Love it. I’ve worked hard for that. It was not remotely easy.
When we started this back in June I was out of shape, hardly able to do any exercise as I was burnt out. I did a little running, but the distances were getting shorter and leaving me for dead. Its only when I sat down with my trainer, he banned me from all cardio except what we did together – some gentle interval training and a little rowing/cycling for no more than 10 minutes. I have never felt so lazy or helpless. I hated it. I hated the fact that I was so unfit and so incapable. The first few weeks were thoroughly miserable, I felt like a fat, miserable failure.
Then I started Yoga, which really has transformed my whole mindset. It was the missing piece of the jigsaw. We all think exercise can only be sweating it all out, pounding treadmills or pavements or lifting weights. Its all of those, along with some re energising activities, and Yoga is what has worked for me. It won’t be for everyone, and it takes some perseverance. It also helps to have a great teacher, so if you have tried it and didn’t gel with your teacher, try another! After that hour I feel amazing. Like I have had a weeks holiday on a beach! (No tan though). As I progressed from the beginner classes to the normal sessions I felt my confidence soar. I was no expert, and still am not, but I realised I could do it, and how great it makes me feel.
The knock on effect started to come through to my normal training. I could see why now. I started to lift weights I never thought I could, do cardio I only thought super fit people did. Cycling – my nemesis, I conquered. Not a huge time or speed, but I do it every session now. It bloody hurts, my legs burn like they never have before (even after a night raving!).
Then the realisation came that in order to recover properly you need to eat properly. Bad food just doesn’t work. Sugar, processed foods, even alcohol just can’t be part of the day to day plan. Don’t get me wrong, I still love my chips and champagne, but in small doses. Its not for me anymore on a regular basis, my body just can’t process it. Same with chocolate, my sweet tooth has completely gone due to me working out the foods I need to fuel me. I was partly helped in those decisions by taking a DNA test to see what my DNA make up was, and to show me which foods/exercises would suit me. I did this half way through my plan, so I already had a rough idea what was working, but I am always looking to get any help!!
My DNA tests showed my body doesn’t process Caffeine or Alcohol as well as the rest of you. Now that may apply to a lot of people, but it made perfect sense to me. When I am hungover I can see the difference in recovery times between myself and others. I deteriorate as the day goes on. I usually hit rock bottom about 6/7pm. I used to feel like that at 11am!! As for caffeine, I know it doesn’t agree with me, but I LOVE MY TEA!! Tea makes me happy, I can’t give it up. Coffee I can take or leave.. I have plenty of versions of decaff tea, so I need to get back into the routine of that.
It concluded by telling me a Mediterranean Diet is best for me, with lots of Omega 3 foods. It gave me a diet plan to follow, which I adapted slightly to fit my tastes, but what a revelation. I no longer snack, my sweet tooth has gone, and I thoroughly enjoy my meals – I feel full after every one.
Its taken time, but I feel totes amaze. Body feels like it finally works, and it looks the part. My confidence is back, which leads me to my Mental Health…
Its safe to say I was about to have a complete and utter breakdown. After the last 3 years it was hardly surprising, but it was more than that. Those tragic events were just speeding up the process. Was it one single thing? No. An accumulation of stuff just all came together at once. Broken heart, lowest self esteem, overworked (my own doing to ignore the personal stuff) all lead to me pushing my brain and body to the edge. When your brain is that much in pain you feel it in your body. My chest hurt, my head hurt, I could sleep for days, I drank way to much to help me forget. Why didn’t I tell anyone? I did. I had CBT Therapy to help, which it did. But until I addressed the core problems it was just like putting a Miss Sunshine Plaster on a chainsaw cut.
So thats whats happened. Relationships are over. Friendships are ended. Negativity is not something i will tolerate anymore from anyone or lack of respect. Its no problem, I just will not stand for it. The last few years have shown me who my true friends are, and I consider everyone of them family. I don’t have any Brothers or Sisters, but I have the biggest family a girl could ever want. I just hope I can be as good to them as they all are to me.
Im focused far more than ever. I know what I want and what I need to do to get it. I know who I want to be around me. Im calm, composed and dare I say it Happy!
So by the time you have read this I am back at work, back to my team I miss, as the people are the best part of my job. It won’t be the same as it was before, and thats a good thing. My role will change, and thats progression. We all need new challenges, new targets to aim for, its what keeps the fire going in your stomach. Whether its a new car, a holiday, a handbag there has to be some form of goal in order to make me get up in the morning. Aim higher, aim bigger and better. It is a cliche but there is nothing you can not achieve if you really want it. Who would have thought I would have my own website? (coming soon!), Writing my own articles, travelling doing reviews? I used to read about people like that thinking ‘I wonder how they got into that?’ – well they just did it.
So now its time to JUST DO IT (As a well known sports brand constantly drones on about!). Kind of makes sense really.
Al’s Adventures are not over, they have only just begun…….