The prospect of heading out for a run before work this morning was too much to bear. It is an understatement of epic proportions to say that I am not a morning person.
When I was training for Kilimanjaro I gradually got to a point where I was working out before work in the mornings and it felt absolutely amazing. We reached the summit of Kilimanjaro on 23rd August 2014. It was an incredible experience. At times it was so challenging, both physically and mentally, but worth every minute of training and each moment we were there was spectacular. A lot has changed since then.
One of the medications I have taken in the last 12 months has had 2 profound side effects.
The first is that the drug acts as sedative. Within an hour of taking them I would be in a deep sleep. Without an alarm, meowing cat and co-habiting boyfriend (Giles) to pester me to wake up; I could literally sleep all day. Frequently I would. In fact, so tired from getting up every day in the week for work, I would regularly sleep from 10pm on a Friday night to 3pm on Saturday afternoon and then would need a nap at around 5pm. Needless to say this was partly responsible for me finding regular exercise so challenging. As such, I won’t be beating myself up for my sloppy yoga attendance last year too greatly.
The second side effect of this particular drug is weight gain. In fact, a lot of medications for people with mental health disorders cause weight gain. Often, and in my case for sure, mental health issues can be linked to a difficult sense of self and body dysmorphia. Who am I? Why am I here? Why do I feel like this? Why am I so fat? You get the picture. So what you want to add in at this point are some drugs that make you gain 2 stone in one year, make it really hard to exercise and make you sleep like the aforementioned cat.
I’ve recently stopped taking this medication with approval from the psychiatrist, as it’s been decided it may not be the most appropriate therapy for me. Thankfully I now don’t need to sleep all the time, but instead I am blessed with the inability to sleep through the night and still have 2 stone to lose!
Right, so back to the point…. I am not yet in the right place for running early in the morning. So today I achieved the following instead:
- 4 rounds of sun salutations before work
- A 5Km run with a little walking late afternoon
- A 90 minute hot Bikram yoga class this evening
Despite the negative feeling about exercise today I pushed myself to go and each one was a surprising success. The sun salutations woke me up so I had a productive day at work. I wasn’t sure I could run far today as I felt a bit sore from the last few days. Giles encouraged me to do our normal 5Km route and whilst I said yes, in my head was already planning to cut it short. However, by walking for about 15 seconds every kilometre I was able to get round the full route in 31mins 21secs! Not my fastest, but not bad all things considered.
Yoga was fabulous tonight. Led by the wonderful Marylou, who is a wonderful warm-hearted teacher. Her gentle encouragement, regular recognition of my practice, and a cheeky foot massage during the floor series made every minute in the hot room worth it tonight. I managed every posture but like last night I found that I had to stop some of them a bit short of the full time.
When I got home I read this amazing quote on a friends Facebook page. Exactly what I needed to hear! So my intentions for the next yoga class are to breathe more when the posture gets hard, to stay in pose for as long as my body allows me to, and not to give up when my brain says so. As it is that moment that the yoga really begins!
All in all, today has turned out to be pretty good. I am happy with my progress and despite my thoughts holding me back early on in the day; I was able to get out there and really enjoy being active. Yay!