Trust the process

I started doing 8 Weeks to Wow at the beginning of September. Yes, yes, Osher pointed me in the direction of Chief and Emilie Brabon; but it was more the exercises that have helped his head-space that I was interested in.

I’ve not deviated from the eating plan, mainly as it’s ridiculously easy. Barely any carbs, which isn’t an issue for me as I don’t have them often anyway. Minimum of 150g of salad leaves a day, have you seen how much that is? Unlimited egg whites, 2 egg yolks a day, palm sized amounts of lean meat and low fat cheese, yoghurt with <6g of sugar per serve, plus practically every other vegetable, herbs, spices etc.

I’m having bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach, an egg, plus another couple of egg whites to scramble it all together for breakfast. An epic salad with a boiled egg, or smoked salmon, or cheese, roasted veggies for dinner, and if I get hungry there’s unlimited celery and cucumber to munch on, with the additional egg if I’ve not had it at lunch time.

My head is clearer, I’m sleeping better and combined with the Steptember challenge at work I’m hitting over 10,000k a day on a regular basis, I’ve also been for a couple of runs. I’ve not drunk anything since Sunday 2nd September. And I’m very happy with that.

But man, the exercises are hard work. If I sneezed, coughed, laughed or stood up or sat down, it hurt. I shuffled up and down stairs, creaked and groaned for the first couple of days, I had to stop exercising as I could barely move. Just as I was getting ready to get going again, Arch woke up with a temperature and sore throat on Friday. Saturday we were all ok, Sunday I woke up feeling weird, lightheaded and dizzy. Monday I had a thumping headache. Tuesday Hubs woke up coughing, and went to the doctors on Wednesday. He’s still not right, and is starting antibiotics tomorrow (Sunday) as per GPs directions; I did suggest today as he had to go back to bed this afternoon, but as I’m not the GP… If he’s no better in a couple of weeks, he’s being tested for glandular fever. Yup, you read that right.

Hubs and I joke about having a normal week. We don’t think we’ve ever had one where what we’ve planned has panned out. At least we’re happy going with the flow. Trust the process, the end result is worth it, even if the route there is less than direct.

The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner

Yesterday’s run of 13.5km, or 8 and a wee bit miles was the hardest run I’ve done. Ever. Whatever comes up for me in my running journey, it’s gonna have to go some to beat the two hours I was out and about yesterday morning.

Let’s begin at the beginning. Run the Rock is a well-respected, well-attended run in country Victoria, organised and supported by Sole Motive. A fabulous company that support smaller, quirkier runs; The Harvest Run in the Yarra Valley is one of theirs. Kath and I had a great time with that run last year, (it also persuaded my GP that I had a problem with asthma, the gentlest of slopes defeated me, since then and a medication change, I’ve progressed in leaps and bounds).

Race bib collection opened at 7am, the half-marathon started at 8:15am, my race left at 9:25am. The joining instructions were clear, road closures in place from 7am. I booked a hotel room in nearby Woodend as I was not getting up before 5am to get up and ready to drive an hour so I could get in before the roads closed.

Then things started to unravel. Kath, my running buddy, messaged me on Wednesday, she’d came down with gastro and her daughter started vomiting that night as well. Thursday I checked in on her, she was still in bed, I asked Hubs if he wanted to come up for the night instead. Hubs asked Archie if he wanted to go on an adventure on Saturday morning?

On Friday Kath confirmed she wasn’t going anywhere fast; we threw some things in a bag and all headed to the motel after work, driving in rush-hour traffic, watching the sun set and chatting. We dropped our bags off at the motel and went for out dinner, finding a great pizza place nearby. Archie was ready to eat his arm off, they were flat-chat, by the time we got pizza, Archie was climbing the walls and on the verge of a meltdown. When he blood sugar dips, he’s feral. Just like his mother.

After we’d eaten we headed back to our room for the night, we all had showers, went to bed and got up before the alarm went in the morning. Mainly because Hubs and I had the weirdest, vivid dreams all night long. I can’t say either of us rested really. I got everyone packed back up while the boys had breakfast. It was cold, windy and spitting with rain when we left.

Mount Macedon was hiding behind clouds, the wind was picking up, and I was very grateful for my extra layers as it was a balmy 8c when I got dropped off at the Hanging Rock Racetrack. Due to the winds, the course was changed, we couldn’t Run the Rock any more, on account of low flying rocks. I collected my bib, then sat on a picnic bench, eating my breakfast while wrapped in a picnic blanket and trying to stop my paperwork blowing away.

I called Kath, people watched, dropped my bag in and like everyone else huddled under the marquees that were threatening to blow away. I warmed up as best I could, but knew until I started running, I was stuffed. After one last wee, we lined up, and trotted off. The wind blew my breath away, it took me 3km to warm up and get under cover of trees so I could run, breathe and feel like I’m enjoying this. Then, frabjous joy, Jac appeared out of nowhere. The pair of us shrieked with joy, ran, hugged and caught up on three years over 3km. We kept each other going, chatting and laughing with each other.

The course had now turned into trail running, which I do not do. I’m so clumsy, I prefer roads, at a pinch – grass, and will put up with footpaths in parks. Jac headed off as I needed to walk down the hills so I didn’t fall arse over tit. A girl has got to know her limitations.

It was now more than spitting. It was rain.

Then hail.

Then the rain started to come in sideways.

Then, despite the road closures, some fuck knuckle decided to move out a sheep transport articulated truck. Right in the middle of the runners. “Fuck you, I’m a truck”.

I was so cross I instagrammed a story, on my already damp phone, which pushed my phone over the edge and it gave up on me and shut down. I’d found my stride by then too, I felt strong and was consistently hitting 7 and a half minute KMs. The truck was the beginning of the end.

Did I mention the rain? And the wind? And that I was now soaked to the skin? With no way of contacting anyone? AND no Hugh Fraser reading me Poirot?

I was well grumpy. There was literally no way out but through. I ran, walked, ran a bit more. Peed behind a tree. Ran a bit. Walked a bit. Swore a lot. Complained to anyone who listened that this ‘was not fun’. Professed undying love to the CFA and volunteers handing out drinks and encouragement.

I got to the end, I didn’t even bother running over the line; I just wanted to find Hubs, Archie and get dry. I did make the lady who was handing out medals laugh, as I lifted my sodden jacket up to show my bib. I went to collect my bag and managed to miss Hubs completely who was waiting with a bath sheet, one of two he’d brought when the weather he and Archie had been in turned in his words ‘Biblical’.

I went to the bathroom, hands purple with cold and tried to wiggle out my wet clothes enough to pee. This was when I nearly started crying, I had stuff in my flipbelt I did not want to drop on the floor, but didn’t have the movement in my fingers to get lycra off. I also had dry clothes in my bag, but couldn’t cope with the thought of changing in a tiny stall with no room to move.

My phone thankfully switched on, I found my family and Hubs wrapped me in the towel. We walked to the car, found another toilet block with bigger stalls and as I was a bit dryer and with a bit more circulation, I got changed.

I can honestly say that buying those towels was up there with him helping me have a shower the day after Archie was born.

There was a coffee waiting for me in the car, another towel that I doubled up and spread over my legs. I put my heating on to 27c and thawed out. When we got home, I had a hot shower and got into bed with the duvet, a blanket and a hot water bottle. I emerged at about 3pm wanting cake.

That was a lot of work for two samples of a pre-workout drink.

Forty-five days

I’ve been sober for 45 days, the longest in years. I only nearly buckled once, when Archie had his meltdown at a birthday party. I stood in front of the wine rack and goodness me it was so tempting. I stood with my hands to my head as the bath ran; it could have been oh so easy – but I didn’t succumb. I read The Darling Buds of May instead, with my ears under the water. Blissful silence.

I’ve dreamt about drinking a glass of red a few weeks ago, in the dream I tip some down the bathroom sink to wash away the evidence, sobbing at Hubs that I was sorry for doing it. Thank you subconscious.

Some nights I sit at a set of traffic lights in our home town, next to a Taco Bill (franchise restaurant chain), where they serve goldfish bowl sized margaritas. I’ve never had one of them, but I loved their sangria. Gordon’s Gin have a new advertising campaign out. Bus stops all over the place have carefully stylised images of spirits, wines, beers. Until I’d stopped, I didn’t really appreciate how much advertising there was for alcohol.

At work I sit on the Health and Wellbeing Committee, our annual survey results are in. Nearly 70% of the people who responded said that they didn’t want assistance to reduce their drinking at this time, we don’t know if that is the same 70% that said they drunk at least one or two times a week. But we do know 45% of respondents said they drank more than five drinks on a single occasion. Talking about this yesterday, we were shocked it was so high, but at the same time around the table we acknowledged that a drinking culture in Australia is so all pervading, it is hard work to say you don’t or aren’t drinking.

Back in the UK if I said that I didn’t want to drink on a night out, it was pretty much left at ‘OK’ and that was it; here you can get the Spanish Inquisition and nth degree on why not. I’m still not sure on what to say about it yet, not that we’ve been anywhere really, but keep repeating ‘No thank you’ in my head for practice. At Book Club last month, I arrived with a bottle of sparkling mineral water, despite our penchant for vino, no one was bothered if I drank or not.

I can’t say I won’t ever drink again, I’m just not having one today, like I didn’t yesterday or the 44 days before that.

I’ve given up weighing myself. Excuse me here, but FUCK ME it’s frustrating. I got so excited about the number on the scales the other day, then within two days, 5kg appeared out of nowhere. Had I done anything differently? Had I buffalo. Hal Elrod and Jon Berghoff talk in this podcast about “trusting the process” when all else fails and nothing seems to be happening. Taking that into consideration, I’m now looking at my average KM speed when I run. This number has come down from 9.59 min/km at the beginning of January to 8.11 min/km.

I’m feeling stronger every time I go out, three times this week so far, and probably again tomorrow lunchtime, with a longer one on the weekend. Hills still exacerbate my asthma, but I run what I can, walk the rest, run again and each time it’s getting easier. As I puff my way back home, I come down a hill to the flat of the road we live on. By the time I get there, I feel on top of the world. As I said in a little video today on Instagram, if I could bottle this feeling and share it with you, I would.

I finished an awesome book this week, How To Break Up With Your Phone, ironically on my kindle as it’s not coming out as a print edition here in Oz. Before, during and after reading it I have done the following:

  • Taken the email and Twitter apps off
  • Taken Facebook app off, and changed my settings so I have to sign in every. single. time. I want to use it. I’ve also taken my phone number off, so now it’s yelling at me to put it back on. Limited my past posts, tightened up my security and would dearly like to tell it to take a long walk off a short pier.
  • Brought an alarm clock
  • I now charge my phone overnight in the kitchen, the alarm still goes off on my phone, (the clock is only if I need to know the time), but now I wake  up walk to the phone and switch it off. et voila, I’m out of bed.

In four days, I’m sleeping better, using my phone less and generally feel less angst and frazzlement. I still use it for my podcasts, music and if we’re out and I have a query, I’ll still search for the answer. But I am not mindlessly scrolling away because I have nothing better to do; it now lives in the kitchen, not in my hand.

I’m also working on the #MillionaireMorning by Mel Robbins, which is more aligned to me than the #MiracleMorning I like getting up and sitting in silence to let my mind wake up and ease into the day.

I’ve also (re)written a chapter of my book too. Here’s a piece of advice for you, if you’ve got notes, jottings or scribbles of book ideas. Put them into the cloud now. I had half a book on the Mac that got stolen, am now trying to find it again. *sad face*

We’re also working on limiting Archie’s screen time, he dug out Monopoly this morning. Not sure that he’s ready for the arguments that game always brings, I left for work this morning with him and his Dad playing Connect 4. Hubs has been signed off work with a chest infection, stayed home on Tuesday and has moved from couch to bed and back again. I can feel my chest tightening, and am coughing a bit when I get up, one of the reasons I ran today, in case I’m not up for it in a couple of days.

 

 

A new year

I think I blinked and missed 2017. It certainly didn’t seem like a full year had passed from putting the Christmas decorations away – it only felt like a couple of months and I was hauling them out again.

Christmas came down in our house yesterday morning so we could rearrange the lounge-room. Christmas was sorted, reconciled and put away with “order and method” as Mr Poirot would say. I also packed up the ornaments we never use, but brought as part of other sets, and put them in the charity box. We’ve two boxes and two black bags of things ready to pay it forward.

The fake tree was more branch than pine leaves after I’d taken the lights off; it was gently ejected from the house with gratitude and thanks. I’d tried to find another one in the Sales to replace it, but I should have been quicker getting to the shops. When I got to the sales on 28 December, Christmas was DOWN. The only festive articles remaining were wrapping paper and cards, both of which we’re fine for.

Our longe is an odd L-shape and our furniture doesn’t really fit in it. In an effort to maximise the space, we move it around much more frequently than in any other house we’ve lived in. As Archie has grown, his area of the space ebbs and flows, at the moment Lego is slowly taking over the house, containing it is hard work. Gone are the days with a big box of bricks, everything is now sold in sets, which is frustrating. Archie also has his own bookshelf, with sheepskin rug and cushion for lolling purposes.

I am back to work in the morning, Hubs is off until 8 January and is taking Archie off to Canberra tomorrow for a few days. I think I’m most looking forward to the house being tidy and not being asked where things are. I never realised that I would be the memory bank for random objects in the house.

Anyhoo, break time is over – back to tidying up and working out what I’m up to for the rest of the week. I can go for a swim, run, yoga class or whatever I want to, when I want to. How excitement, so I want to make the most of it.

Before

It’s official, well kinda as I’ve not weighed myself yet, I do that in the mornings. But I know I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been. I weigh more than I did when I was 37 weeks pregnant, I’ve had to buy new trousers and I feel, well, slow? Sad? Sluggish? I’m struggling with my cycle too (more later), but sitting here on a laptop, with my belly resting on it isn’t great.

However, I did go for a walk on Thursday lunchtime and felt strong and did a regular loop in a decent time. It was far too hot to run, but I was pleased with how I went. We had a walk as a family today, (Saturday) stopped for breakfast and powered up the hill to home afterwards. Spurred on, and not just by an almond latte, again I felt strong. Mainly because my asthma is under control; recovering from bronchitis has meant I’m now taking better care of my lungs, which means I can do exciting things like running upstairs or walking up hills without puffing.

[As an aside, since we had an awful thunderstorm asthma attack a few years ago; thousands were hospitalised and ten people died, GPs and hospitals in Melbourne are collectively keeping a closer eye on people with it. It’s even been added to the emergency management warning systems, up there with fire, flood and so on.]

Not sure what the hell is going on, whether I’m grinding my teeth or clenching overnight, but I’ve managed to crack three teeth in a year. I’m facing three weeks of fun times and replacing of two fillings as they’re not sitting correctly and a new filling. Then I get moulds done to be fitted for a splint to wear at night (sexy). I woke up biting my tongue this morning!

One for you ladies: My mirena came out earlier this month, changing tampons and it came out with it. Whoops. I saw my GP before Christmas, who’s referred me to have an ultrasound in the next three weeks, followed by a follow-up with my OB-GYN, booked for early February. He was adamant, any changes after he installed (for the want of a better word) the mirena, I get referred back to him. My GP thinks I may have to have another one put back in, if I’m lucky I’ll have an ablation, if I’m really lucky, I’ll have a hysterectomy and be done with the whole bloody lot. Pun intended. We’re now on 30 December, 18 days later and I’m still not settling down.

Le sigh.

Tonight I pulled on my Hot Yoga kit and took front, side and in our full-length mirror, back photos. I will weigh myself in the morning, depending on the number I may share it. But the photos? No way!

I’ve been um-ming and ah-ing about what to do with food and have decided to go back on a variation of keto; low carb, high protein, high fat. I could easily hop back on to being vegetarian or vegan and drop weight quickly, but need to balance out my hormone pathway over just dropping kilos. Not least because of the mirena, but holistically I would be better in myself without the insulin spikes and crashes of carbs from gluten free replacement cereals, breads and that’s before fruit. The food decision has taken me longer than working out what exercise I do, when and where.

I’ll talk about alcohol another day as I’ve started listening to Russell Brand’s new book Recovery: Freedom from our Addictions, which is extraordinary.

I’ll check in with workouts and meals on Instagram, tagged #fatpants. Kath and I worked out what runs we’re doing in 2018 over a coffee at the zoo yesterday, I’ve got set milestones I’m working towards and I’m not looking for a number on the scales. I’ve decided I want to be strong and healthy, over a specific weight.

Lastly, my counsellor wants me to look at myself more in mirrors and do Louise L Hay’s mirror work and write about how I’m doing.  We had a session before Christmas and I said that I’d been struggling with looking in mirrors again, so off we go. At least I do my make-up looking in a mirror now, not a compact mirror like I had to for years so I didn’t have to look at the whole of my face.

I’m out here and open, being a Warrior of vulnerability.

I’m tagging this into Black Dog, but ironically I’ve never felt more settled, however, this is going to be a roller coaster of a ride, and sure to throw up some issues. 

Pardon..?

If you’re talking to me and I don’t answer, it’s probably because I didn’t hear you. I’ve got an ear infection in my left ear, then at the weekend I woke up with my right cheek sinus feeling like it was going to explode for good measure. Consequently, my head is ringing, if I lean forward too far, I can feel everything sloshing around. Grim.

I booked an appointment with the GP for Friday morning because I’d spent the week trying to clear what I thought was water from my ear after two hours in a floatation tank. Which was bliss, except for the crackling ear. She looked in my right ear, then my left and told me that my ear drum instead of being concave was convex, and said that I was ‘brewing’ something as I wasn’t firing on all cylinders. She then gave me a ‘flu shot, (I’d missed mine at work as I was in the UK), and sent me off with a prescription for ear drops.

Saturday was spent pottering about, then parked on the couch to watch the Lions tour match against provincial New Zealand Barbarian, known as Baa-Baas which made us all laugh. I went to bed early, woke up on Sunday feeling like I’d been hit by a truck. I wafted all morning, got myself together in the afternoon to head out the house with the boys. As we got shoes on, I was explaining to Peanut I had a ‘window’ of energy I could use. He’s been invited to a Prince and Princess dress-up party, so after pinterest-ing a bit, I found something I could do (and cope with), $30 later I found everything I needed, Hubs then took us for afternoon tea.

In the car on the way home, from the shops 20 minutes from our house, I fell asleep. Hubs packed me back off to bed again, where I stayed until this morning. Man was that shower great, although have you tried not getting an ear wet in the shower??

I did my meditation this morning, choosing ‘Intention’ on Buddhify, When I was asked what was my intention, get up, show up, popped into my head. I sprung out of bed, stripped it, put the duvet to air; stripped Peanut’s bed, am airing his duvet; ran a load of washing and hung it up; made lunches; enjoyed my shower and generally got going again on life.

I listen to Osher Günsberg’s podcast (and support him through Patreon), this week he was having a chat with Bridie O’Donnell, who’s another one of my favourite humans. She’s a doctor, has ridden professionally, she broke the hour record in a velodrome and specialises in providing life advice to people, motivational interviewing. Not just about drinking less, eating better, moving more, but creating a framework to hang your stuff on to make changes in your life.

Which brings me to the purpose for this post, I was pi$$ed off I’d not checked off my days, or did my plank, or did a long run over the weekend. My body was screaming out for me to rest, so I did.

I know that I missed heaps of stuff this weekend, but I will get back on track this week. Bridie in the conversation I listened to this morning was saying most athletes don’t want to train everyday, but there are lots of external forces that contribute to them training every. single. day. Don’t wait to be motivated to do it, get your kit ready and say ‘I’ll feel better when I’ve done it’ the delayed gratification is what you’re aiming for with health changes.

Now doesn’t that make y’all feel better? Knowing that you can make a choice every time you eat, that if you fluff up at one meal, enjoy that meal, but choose better the next, even the next mouthful. Don’t pi$$ up the wall the whole day. Relapse is part of the change process, notice it, move on.

Get up, show up, don’t give up. Incremental, daily changes, but if you miss a day, don’t beat yourself up. Have patience with yourself, compassion for yourself and recognise the simplicity in the now. Eat well now. Take time to rest now. Exercise now.

We got this. Be here now.

 

 

 

30 Days to Healthy Living – day six

I would kill for a coffee. A proper one, not a decaf one. Curling my hands round my mug, inhaling the aroma of the beans, closing my eyes in anticipation for that first taste.

coffee

Instead I’m sitting at my desk listening to a program simulating coffee shop sounds with a decaf in my mug and climbing the walls.

Considering we’re on Thursday, I started on Saturday, getting to the ratty stage now ain’t bad. This will be the third? fourth? time I’ve given up proper coffee, and will be the last time. I canNOT go through this again. I’m still having the odd bit of caffeine insofar Fizz Sticks have a smidge at 45.5mg, but compared to my three shot Americano…

However, I’m not missing alcohol, yay.

In terms of the rest of the items I’m tracking through the 30 Days, I’m doing well. I have only missed one morning meditation, I am using changing into my PJs as my cue / trigger to stretch, use my foam roller and do my plank-a-day. I then hop into bed, do my gratitude journal and set up my evening meditation which sends me off to sleep nicely.

I feel lighter in myself, but not on the scale alas; wrong time of the month for that. My weight can vary as much as >2-4kg with water retention and bloating, it’s maddening. I do know that I am not the number on scale, I am more than that.

Hang on, that did not come out right.

I do need to blow my trumpet here, yesterday I went for a run with one of the guys from work. Running to Plenty Road is something that a lot of the more serious runners do on a regular basis, at least once a week. I’ve never managed it. It was always too big, too far, too too. But yesterday, I DID IT! I was so frickin proud of myself. My legs felt strong, and once I’d warmed up, I felt I could run for ages. It was my lungs that were slowing me down, what with it being a cold day and still getting used to exercising. But every time I go out, it gets easier. 9.1km. Get in.

I can also report back, that I did not waddle round the office today either. *nods*