Exercise, Healthy Eating, Life Journey, Mental Wellbeing

It’s All Psychological

I’ve not been brave enough to step on the scales yet, but I’m working up to it. I don’t know what has changed, but there has been a mental shift somewhere in my brain over the festive period – as if my psyche needed a period of mourning for my beautiful hills, my running routes, my eensy-weensy WWs class, and well, basically my ‘old’ life. and that’s the thing – it took me two years to start to build that life. Making friends, joining running clubs – when I did, my mental and physical health was absolutely top notch. I slept like a baby, had bundles of energy, ate the most wonderful healthy food, tipped out at a very svelte 11st 9 (size 12- the joy of carrying my weight well) and enjoyed everything – work, company, family and achieved some things I never thought I could.

At risk of slipping into the old ‘year in review’ post, I’ll keep it brief. I recovered from a hideous knee problem, and ran my first half marathon the day before I turned 30. I completed a long-time dream of running to my WWs class and did it in style (16 miles!). I pulled on a pair of size 10 leggings. I made two of the best friends a girl could ever hope for, and coached one of them up to running her first 5k. I’ve never felt so privileged to be part of something. I had the courage to join a running club. As a result of all these things, bouts of depression were reduced to a few fleeting moments. And now it is all gone. I’m starting again.

I think I’ve ‘let’ myself have this period of mourning because I’ve needed it. The majority of my family and friends were worried about how I would cope with the move, especially since I was doing the majority of the packing myself with 6 very mobile puppies under my feet. I don’t cope well with prolonged periods of stress (who does?) and everyone thought I would crack. I didn’t. No outbursts, no anger, nothing. (Well, I did lose the tottie one morning, but in traditional Italian style it lasted all of about 10 seconds then I apologised – poor James!)

What’s happened is it has all come out in the wash. The process of James applying for his job to sitting down in the new house took nearly 2 and a half months, and I think it’s latent stress. I’m okay with this, and I’ve learned not to fight against it, because it only makes things worse. I’ve had my period of hibernation, daily tears and wretchedness and not wanting to wash or brush my teeth. Now I’m turning a corner and the ‘woe is me’ stage is by, I’m starting to think about how I can turn positives from my current point. I have everything to gain and nothing to lose (well, apart from some weight hopefully – fnar fnar).

My main motivation is The Operation. I’ve got the ball rolling and I’m now in the English NHS system. Having a gammy ovary has caused more issues than I thought it would, and over time has affected me more and more. It is extremely important to me to be as light as possible for surgery because the recovery time is looooong and the risks under anaesthetic increase with weight. I can’t run, but I can walk. I have three dogs. Bingo. But I also need to be healthy ‘upstairs’ if you get me. And I’m beginning to fix that right now. I’m ready. Regardless of weight, athletic ability or anything else, the last year taught me about capability, self-worth and determination. I’ve still got those tools, I just need to blow the dust off them.

Being healthy and maintaining a healthy lifestyle has nothing to do with being ‘skinny’. It’s all about what goes on in your head. You’ll never be healthy on the outside if the inside doesn’t want to do it. So do yourself a favour. Ask yourself some questions about what you really want – spend some time and get to know yourself – the real you. Don’t hide from your flaws and imperfections. Don’t sweep bad experiences under the carpet. Face up to them and look them right in the eye. And poke them in that eye with a big spoon of positivity.

It’s all in your head.

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