Choices And Changes

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I missed a Fitball class this week. My body and mind felt like lead, moving my limbs was like trying to wade through cold, claggy custard and the deep stresses from the last few days caught up with me to overwhelm and devour my energy. Depression tried to claw its way back into my mind  and erode away my sense of achievement and desire to continue this journey towards a healthy, happy me. I stayed in bed and the day disappeared- this has happened before…but this time there was a difference. Thank goodness.

I was able to practise kindness to self, to allow myself the time I clearly needed to recharge and replenish my inner resources instead of castigating myself in ever increasing circles of recrimination. I nurtured self and took the time I needed as opposed to sinking black despair at having missed a class. I chose to take a positive view rather than falling into bleak negativity. This is real change! This is me being the change I want to see. This change in attitude is as meaningful to my mental health as my exercising is to my physical health. This is holistic progress

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I used the time in the comfort and warmth of my safe and beautiful bed to reflect on the changes and choices I have made since last September. The decision, the positive and deeply personal choice to change my shape, my physical health, my space, my well-being, my happiness has been huge. It has not been a smooth journey, nor has it been easy yet overall the momentum is all forward and like a pebble thrown into a pond the ripple  effect has translated into so much more than an increase in physical health through exercise.

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I have started taking better care of me more often, I have decluttered and taken books, clothes and shoes to charity shops, I have tidied and cleaned, I have gardened… not perfectly, not every day, sometimes not as much as I would have wished for but consistently just that bit more than before. I am proof that one change leads to another and the ripple effect is real

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Mission: Snowdrop

Today was a glorious day- sparkling blue sky, frosty ground glinting in the sunshine, the air crisp and chilly! Delicious! Perfect weather for walking and running- particularly for sweaty betty menopausal me! I decided to go  on a mission to find my first snowdrops of the year as in previous years I have already spotted some within the first week or so of the New Year.

This little fellow drinking at the edge of the lake was the first delightful spot of the afternoon- unfortunately brain fog caused me to forget to take the phone cover off so it’s blurry, but it is possible to just make him out. Sadly he ran off before I could get a better photo!

I had decided to stay local rather go to Knole as one of my daughters and I plan to run there tomorrow and the ducks and geese at the lake were not impressed when I proceeded to continue on my merry way without casting plentiful handfuls of naughty white bread! The lakes were partly frozen and the water had barely a ripple so formed a perfect mirror for the trees.

The homework run is not as much fun as when we are together as a group but the sun and blue skies certainly helped to encourage me to keep going!dsc_0009


Haha! The photos are SO much clearer now I remembered to take the phone cover off! Overall I would say that the menopausal brain fog has improved just a tad since I embarked upon this back to fit journey, but obviously I am still having those ‘special’ moments!!

Finally on the last part of my run, just before the homeward bound cooldown I spotted some snowdrops!

Lovely! A successful mission for mind, body and soul as I felt my mood lift, felt the muscles respond to the exercise and fed my soul with the beauty of nature!  The bonus is I covered 3.74 miles and can now feel the happy hormones flowing through my veins: wonderful!

Tomorrow Is Another Day

Sometimes, when the bleak, black, all encompassing void swoops in for an unwelcome visit, it’s tricky to hold onto a realistic sense of perspective.

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I am aware I am unwell physically, but recovering nicely- albeit with a stupid and irritating cough so…. was it genuine reason or flakey, scaredy, anxious reason that stepped in to stop me from attending the first run of the year with the new SLJ season beginners? The void has claimed me somewhat, and bronchitis has supplied a welcome alibi for avoidant behaviour, which I am well aware is one of my markers for mental ill health.

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I wish to process it differently this time, to be kind, to be compassionate to self as I would so easily to others. I wish to be the change within the challenging times, as well as the rather more fun, positive ones. The change I have referred to previously is easy (or at least easier and more tangible) when the going is good, the mood is positive and inspirational intentions fuel my actions- the challenge is to find a path that maintains momentum whilst compassionately allowing for the missteps upon the way.

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Over the holiday season there have been good days, bad days and indifferent days and there has been a dramatic variation in levels of activity achieved- frankly sometimes it has been shite….yet within this period I have also managed my best day ever in terms of steps/active minutes/ h2o/ consistent activity through nine/twenty four hours.

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Tomorrow is FitBall Class and I love that class so much! So I missed a run yesterday? Yes, I am a little sad with myself, but in all honesty my chest is tight and my cough is troublesome, so a little self compassion allows that tomorrow is indeed another day and Wednesdays run is still waiting to embrace me.

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