…in updating both blogs, sorry.
It’s all been a bit hectic for reasons that will be apparent if you head over to the sister blog of this page. And this blog is going to be rather long, sorry in advance!
So fitness, weight loss and personal development; where do I begin? Last time we spoke I had hit that Valhalla of mental states where I was finally happy in myself. Unfortunately that took a turn back to old habits about two weeks ago and I’ve kicked, screamed and clawed my way back out of the maddening abyss that is low self esteem to regain my place back in the sun.
It all came to a head on Saturday last weekend (my wedding anniversary as well, my poor OH, how he copes with all this is anyone’s guess). We had decided to take the day as a complete rest day, no gym etc. We went shopping in my nation’s glorious capital and planned to have a slap up meal and then on to the cinema to watch The Dark Night Returns. In TK Maxx the horrors descended with alarming pace. I got hot and flustered, my temperature raised and my temper flared. It’s not pretty when the red mist of self loathing descends. It’s quite scary not just for me but for my other half. Sat in the changing cubical I had those thoughts again; the ones where I want to punch myself hard and take a knife to my fat. Those thoughts of utter worthlessness and the voice that screams at you to ‘grow up and act your age, stop trying to be something you’re not’. I thought those feelings and thoughts were long gone, but they reared their head in alarming fashion. And I became so scared, really very scared, then very angry. On leaving the changing room I handed the assistant everything, looked at OH and said that I wanted to go home. So we left Cardiff and headed homeward with me sobbing my heart out.
What brought on this apparent sudden U turn in my mental state, I can pinpoint pretty accurately. The weather in the UK has been awfully drab, wet and humid which doesn’t instil smiles and happiness in the most positive of people, recent photographs of me performing haven’t been complimentary at all, and the IT Band issue has hampered my training. I’ve felt very frumpy and frustrated. Add to that my disappointment in myself with returning to old habits of secret binge eating of chocolate and crisps, and I guess it was just waiting to explode. I’m glad it happened when it did and not 3 months down the line when I have every possibility of it spiralling out of control.
Half way home, I asked OH to turn the car into an out of town shopping complex and we had a lovely wander around, I bought myself some new trail shoes for a new goal I’m setting myself and we had our slap up meal of grilled chicken and salad (the waitress looked at us daft when asked for no potatoes or sauce) and then dessert was my small salted popcorn at the cinema whilst watching Batman (great film, go and see it if you can and if you are a DC fan like me, spot the different story threads from various graphic novels ). The red mist started to lift a little, and Pandora’s screaming tantrum lost a little of its steam.
The one thing I’ve learned on this journey is that you have to be honest if you’re going to journal about it. So that’s why I wanted to write about it here. I think this whole blog has been so cathartic that it’s made me realise there is a light at the end of the very long tunnel, and though there are light switches along the way, sometimes there has to be a power cut to help you refocus and march to the next switch and turn the light back on again. The light isn’t fully back on yet, I know from experience that it takes a few days but there’s a flickering ember on the filament and that tells me the power is there just building up in the background so a little time and it’ll be back to full wattage.
Apart from that, everything else has been amazing!
Well apart from the ITB injury – grrrr. We had our Race for Life (CJ and I) and we did really well considering I’ve not been able to run more than 3km without the knee giving in. We completed the 5km course in exactly 30 minutes. So happy with that, and CJ was a godsend, being that little voice of extra motivation when my knee really started to hurt. We raised £711.50 which I’m thrilled with, especially as OH’s cousin is going through treatment for breast cancer right at this moment. Cancer Research UK is a cause very dear to me as is, so it’s important that I keep doing these races. One day we will beat it.
So where am I currently?
Well after my episode on the weekend, I dusted myself off and started afresh almost immediately (no sauce or potatoes remember?), instead of waiting until Monday and thinking ‘Hell, I’ve blown it all anyway I may as well wait until Monday’. No sir, not me. This time I got myself back together, and stopped the slip becoming the slide. So since then I’ve gone cold turkey on the chocolate and crisps, and to be honest today was the first day I’ve thought ‘ooh I fancy…’ but I’ve dug my heels in. It’s just not worth it. Since Sunday I’ve been back to clean-eating; lots of vegetables, lean proteins, brown rice, fruit and nuts. Water is the order of the day, and lots of it. And within five days I noticed my skin was much clearer, I have more energy and I’d lost the weight I had regained through my binge eating plus and extra pound for good measure. My body fat is finally sitting at exactly 30%, only another 5% to get shot of so I’ll be in the healthy range.
I have sought physiotherapy for the injury and it was as I thought, I have IT Band Syndrome.
My symptoms have been caused by something we in my pole school have affectionately termed ‘lazy arse syndrome’. The medial gluteus has ceased to take on its correct function and a couple of the muscles in the quadriceps have taken control instead, so the leg chain is all out of kilter. I have a weak posterior Medial Gluteus on the right hand side (for all you anatomy buffs out there). And instead of that dictating the movement of the leg chain, the body has opted for the strong muscles to take over. The pain that this ‘cheating’ creates is unbelievable. It’s like someone scraping a razor blade on the lateral side of the knee. Because the work is being done by the quads, the IT band has shrunk slightly and starts to rub on the outside of the knee joint, hence the pain on the top of the tibia. However, treatment is simple and it doesn’t stop you doing the vast majority of your workouts, just running becomes painful after around 3km, so no running for me for a while until the IT band resumes its correct position in the leg and I do some interesting Pilates based leg exercises to strengthen my gluteus. I just have to be patient and not try to run before I can walk (quite literally in this case). I’ve switch the treadmill for the cross trainer but I have an appointment next week to see if I can resume short 1.5/2km runs to see how the IT band is doing.
Pole has been going from strength to strength, and that’s not just figuratively speaking. I have conquered the cross ankle and cress knee releases after overcoming my fear of just letting go. I have mastered the Eye Opener (or Hello Boys) and Lady garden wrist seat positions, Crucifix hold is in place and I’m now inverting and did my first inverted crucifix with Dawn’s guidance. We have also started a Choreography and Sass class and have the most fun doing routines to some cracking rock tracks. My upper body strength is on the increase all the time. I love pole, it’s the best fun ever.I’ve taken on my first client with weight loss coaching. She’s a wonderful, amazing and talented woman and I’m thrilled she’s asked me to be her coach. In many ways she’s been a great help to me to regain my focus as well. After all I can’t be a coach to someone if I’m not leading by example? I’m really excited about helping her fulfil her goals. She’s so determined and positive; she’s a real breath of fresh air.
I’ve completed the nutrition element of personal training (very happy with that) and have just received my advanced anatomy and physiology course book as well as the dates for the taught section of my Advance Training Approaches module. Once those are complete I only have two remaining modules and I qualify as a Certified Personal Trainer. While I’m building my client base I will start working on the three modules to progress to Advanced PT and the Level 4 module in Obesity and Diabetes. I have a plan written out and so far, apart from the hiccup in Nov 2011 where we had to pay for a new kitchen roof, all is on course for 2013 to be the year I start the Personal Training arm of the new venture in full swing.
I am beyond excited.
I’ve also set myself a new goal. I’ve joined the Spartan Chicks and am gearing up to compete in the Spartan series of races. These are obstacle races set over varying distances. The Sprint is over 3miles, the Super over 8 miles and the Beast over 12 miles, there is also the Super Beast which is marathon distance (26.2miles) and the Death Race, an endurance event over 48 hours and no real know distance mixing mud, obstacles, metal agility and stamina. Yep I’m going to get myself muddy in the name of fitness and fun. Mostly because I want to do them, but secondly because why the hell not? I’ll start out slow with a few Sprints, and work my way up. And, if all goes well fitness wise, I’d like to attempt the Trifecta in 2014 and the the Super Beast and Death Race in 2015 – when I’ll be celebrating hitting 40 😉 So something to aim for.
Strangely putting all that down in this blog has made me smile and appreciate that I’ve done a lot of late and I have much to look forward to. I’ve been through a small rough patch but ultimately in the grand scheme of things everything is still very positive. The injury will improve with care, my self esteem is back in the increase and even the weather has improved slightly (for how long is anyone’s guess). Told you this blog thing was cathartic. Here’s a little motivational poster I found on the day I had my attack of the horrors, it reminded me that sometimes we need to look back to appreciate where we are going:
Be kind to yourself, even when that voice shouts and you can’t hear anything but her.
Much love, as always,