And so I begin Week 9. Life has been busy, as life tends to be, but I admit it’s been overwhelming me these last few weeks. As well as training four times a week, I am also doing a 5 week creative writing course. It’s important to me that I do everything as well as I can – particularly the course – and it’s hard to stop the mind from constantly going when there are so many balls to juggle. Sometimes I want to fall in a heap.
Two weekends back, I was really drained. Running on empty. Friends invited us for dinner and though I was tired, slow-cooked lamb sounded far better than the toasties I had planned. I stopped on the way to pick up some dark chocolate for dessert and pondered whether to buy a bottle of wine. I hesitated because I was already tired. I hesitated because I had training in the morning. I hesitated because I instinctively knew that if I opened that bottle of wine, I would drink that bottle of wine. And that’s exactly what happened. I bought the wine and then I drank the wine. Every last drop.
I was considerably intoxicated when I went to bed. In the past, going to bed at this level of intoxication would almost certainly have resulted in the following three things:
- I would wake an hour or so after falling asleep to a racing heart and spend the following 4 – 6 hours dealing with an escalating panic attack.
- After finally passing out in utter exhaustion some time around dawn, I would sleep like the dead for a few hours.
- On waking, I would immediately drink a can of Coca-Cola. I might follow that up with some greasy food washed down by more Coke. And then have a Coke.
Instead, these three things happened;
- I woke at 7:30am as I always do, showered and headed off to training.
- After training, Bren made me some eggs and I had a glass of mineral water.
- In the afternoon, I had a little nap and on waking, did some work on my writing course assignment.
I can’t express to you how much of an alternate universe I am currently living in. This is nothing short of a miracle for me! And my friends who watched me down a bottle of Sav Blanc were equally astounded. They’d have bet the house on me not getting to training on Saturday morning. But I went. My trainer, Nikki, told me how many calories a bottle of wine contains and I took it upon myself to kick my own arse. Hard.
I suppose the message I want to get across here is that as foreign as an active lifestyle might feel now, it can so quickly change into a way of life. And when you blow out on food or booze now and then, it’s second-nature to just pick up the healthy routine where you left off.
I never thought I could feel this way about exercise and healthy eating. I thought it would always be an effort. I’ve benefited from having been here before. Like any change, sometimes it takes a couple of goes for things to click on a deeper level. And I certainly feel that this time around.
So if you’re still umming and ahhing, I say now is the time to start. Don’t miss another summer! Your kids are watching you – don’t hide on the sidelines of life. Get up front and live with purpose. From the sneaky cheeseburger queen herself, believe me, you are capable of changing your life for the better.
And for my friends who suffer with mental health issues and/or flagging energy, science is now indicating that gut health is closely linked with energy levels and mood disorders. Changing up your diet, upping water intake and becoming more active can improve digestion and overall gut health which can in turn improve your brain function.
I also recommend Inner Health Plus capsules – I have been using them and have noticed a difference in how my tummy feels. Less bloating etc. You can also try fermented foods for this purpose.
Check out the following articles regarding the importance of gut health:
- Research Finding: Can the bacteria in your gut affect your mental health?: Black Dog Institute
- How gut bacteria ensure a healthy brain: The Conversation
- Fermented Foods: Choice
- Everything you always wanted to know about fermented foods: Science-Based Medicine
Week 7 and 8 Check In
I work out 4 times a week. It’s what I do. Two of those days are Saturday and Sunday mornings. Would I rather sleep in on the weekend? Sure. Do the kids ever let me sleep in? No. So is it better to start my day with intention, kick up those feel-good endorphins and enjoy the rest of the day knowing the hard work is done? Hell to the yes!
Is my energy peaking? Nope, not right now. I am particularly tired at the moment because sometimes life is like that. But I know I would be feeling that exhaustion on a whole other level if I was attempting to combat it with Coca-Cola and lying around feeling like shit.
I have decided to stop weighing myself because it’s proving counter-productive. Scales are helpful for general accountability but daily weigh-ins are a recipe for disappointment and self-loathing. Especially if you’re a mad water-retainer – like I am! – then daily weighing is maddening. How can I weigh 1.5 kilos MORE than yesterday? HOW???? Bullshit.
Still trucking away at the food thing. It’s certainly the most challenging when I am very tired and my brain tells me to eat all the things but just challenging in general really. It’s hard to forget how good deep-fried potato tastes. <crying emoji>
My pathway to lifelong changes is imperfect but as long as I am moving forward, I am still on that path.