Hello lovely readers! Although my posts have been lacking, I’ve still been working away quietly in the background on my health and wellbeing. It’s nice to be back after a prolonged absence. I had to take a break from writing for a while. The idea of writers sitting up until the wee hours with wine and weaving tales sounds romantic, but in reality it sucks. It’s tedious and mostly involves a lot of editing. It was taking over my life and was becoming a chore, and as per usual I was putting far too much pressure on myself to do everything.
Which brings me neatly onto the title. The reason I suffered way back at the beginning when I fell ill was that very point. I was far too hard on myself. In fact, I was the undoing of my own sanity. Ten years on, I try and be a bit kinder. I try hard to resist the urge to be that girl who can do everything, and stop putting pressure on myself with things that don’t really matter. I am an incredibly competitive person by nature, but unfortunately it’s only competition with myself. Writing is important to me, but if I don’t line edit a manuscript/submit to a deadline/whatever there will still be food on the table and a roof over my head. In that respect my hiatus has been successful and I have to say I’m feeling better for it.
So does that make me a failure? In the past, I would have answered ‘yes’ to that. I’m a firm believer in finishing what one starts. It’s a rule that I apply to everyday life. Refer back to the competitive comment. However… I may be turning a corner. In making the decision to stop writing for a bit, I recognised that I wasn’t ‘giving up’ writing, but merely taking a breather so I didn’t end up hating one of my passions. The result has been that I’m now raring to go and excited by my projects. I’d say that’s a win.
I took the time away to focus on myself and my home life outside of my office door. I’m finally easing into a routine (god knows I love a routine!) at home and it’s having a positive effect on all the aspects of my life, including my health. I now walk my dogs for at least 45 minutes most days, I’m organised for meals, I have a regular running schedule and do a bit of living room yoga on my rest days. Pretty good, huh?
So somebody tell the scales for me, because they don’t seem to know. I’m stuck in half-a-poundland. And no, I don’t mean a fifty percent discount version of the popular high street chain. It’s excruciating. And it’s not even every week. Sometimes I STS. You hear people talking about hitting a plateau when losing weight, and I am definitely there. And it’s been going on for MONTHS.
In that past life pre-breakdown (and for a while post- also) I’d have dug my heels in, whittled my food intake down to the bare minimum and ran like hell every morning in part punishment, part stubbornness to get the scales going. It would work, and I’d feel validated and successful.
The problem with that behaviour is that I was miserable and obsessive. Yes, getting on the scales (every morning) and seeing the numbers coming down was good, but the manner in which I achieved it was neither healthy or sustainable. Then I’d end up on a binge and feel guilty and even more wretched than when I was only losing half a lb a week.
Not this time, dear readers. Sure, it does nothing to quell my inherent impatience and stoke my competitive edge, but I’ve been able to step back and see the bigger picture. In all these weeks, I’ve never once gained. Not even half a pound. That counts for a lot. I’m also nearly back to where I was before the trauma of moving destroyed my happy little routine-world for the umpteenth time. So who cares if it’s a tiny loss week on week? It’s not a race. I don’t need to compete with myself – I look in the mirror and see that I’m winning. I don’t need to be my own worst enemy.
I say this cautiously, as the saying goes, ‘a leopard never changes its spots’ – but I may be on the way to becoming my own best friend instead.