Soooooooo, it’s been a while.
Let’s catch up……
After the half marathon I had my trip to Sheffield and those two amazing yoga classes, but running seemed to fall out of favour somewhat. I practiced yoga at home on the 28th; the morning of my friends mum’s funeral. There were many beautiful moments over the day of the funeral yet they were obviously tainted with sadness and loss. Like most funerals the day was an opportunity to see friends and to reminisce, but all the while there is a gentle reminder of how fragile and short life can be. Despite it really being a day of celebration and at times quite uplifting; I couldn’t help but feel the sadness and grief of this loss. Of my loss. My friends loss. My friends daughter’s as yet unrealised loss. I felt pained by previous deaths, by my old griefs.
Grief is such an unwanted friend.
I practiced a Bikram class on the Friday and on Saturday I went to Yin yoga at Midday and returned to the studio for a flow class in the late afternoon. This combination of Yin at lunch and flow in the afternoon is an absolute win. I hadn’t been to this particular teachers class before but, I love LOVE LOOOOOOVED it. It was really hard but I can see and feel how much better my practice has got over this year. I’m getting stronger and more flexible. It feels good even though I don’t really see that many physical changes.
I did another Yin class on the Sunday before heading away for work in Birmingham. I was away till Wednesday and didn’t exercise at all while I was away. I had good intentions but my mood just seemed a bit shit. In retrospect I was grieving and hadn’t aknowledged it really. It wasn’t anything too dramatic, I just felt low.
I was at a conference and I had to do a lot of schmoosing but with an underlying burden of feeling emotionally drained this all just seemed fake and pointless. I didn’t have a very good week. By Wednesday I was done at the conference and despite being home on Thursday and Friday I couldn’t be arsed to exercise. I felt trapped in this place of unmanageable misery, not exercising, feeling guilty that I was not taking measures to look after myself and then further resignation to feeing miserable. Thankfully after a few days the clouds lifted.
That Saturday, after 6 days of doing zero exercise and feeling like shit I went to a flow class. I found the class hard but I did feel like I had made progress from the last one. I spent a little time after class with the teacher trying to work on my chataranga; something I find really hard, but he was very complimentary of what I could achieve and gave me some great tips so I now have an objective of where I want to get this posture to and how I can get there in time.
I found the class quite tough but after a 6 day break that isn’t a surprise. On Sunday I had the most glorious and relaxing Yin class which was the perfect end to the week.
So, that week I didn’t run at all and only went to 2 yoga classes. I realised that after the half marathon I hadn’t a running plan to follow, so it was no wonder I wasn’t running at all. This year has shown me that above all I must have a plan to get out and exercise. So I met with Steve to think about our training and races for the rest of the year. We have booked some races for October, November and December and have a new half marathon training plan to follow with the intention of running another half in January sometime.
Having a plan makes me feel like running is acheivable. So last week while in Denmark with work I managed 2 x 5Km runs. The first I did the evening I arrived and then I went out again last Wednesday morning at 06:30 which is something I really would never do at home, but I really enjoyed it.
I love Autumn and feel like I should make the effort to run first thing more often to see what happens if I try sticking at it for a while. The fact I can run early when I am abroad means that is just a mental block, and with work I can surely overcome that.
This weekend gone I’ve not exercised which I’m a bit disappointed with myself for. We had a family lunch on Saturday and spent Sunday nursing hangovers. Not ideal.
I need to make my exercise more consistent, I’m keen to restart my weight training and to really own my diet over the next 4 weeks; before I go on holiday. I don’t want to spend a holiday covering up and lacking confidence so, I really set on making some changes over the next 4 weeks to really impact my body shape.
With that in mind this week I have started using Noom, an app that helps think about your eating psychology – why I eat the way I do. It thinks about emotional and environmental triggers that might cause overeating and hopefully with time will give me strategies for managing that. I’ve given it some thought and for me it’s really these main issues I need to address:
If I’m worn out from a busy day, or stressed from work or travel I will choose to have dinner and several glasses of wine over sticking to my exercise plan. When I stop following my exercise plan I tend to have a few days rest, eating and drinking as I like before getting back on track – but this probably totally counteracts all the good days.
I don’t eat badly – no cake, chocolate, pastries, junk food, but I can overdo the good fats like hummus and avocado, nuts and seeds. Although they are good fats they are calorific and should be eaten with moderation. Also did I mention wine?
I love wine. My job is fairly boozy so I need to make sure I’m not drinking at home on the days between the work dinners and events as well as at those. I don’t drink everyday, but sometimes the off days can be a bit few and far between.
Furthermore I am trying to improve my microbiome. I take probiotics and eat lots of prebiotic like sauerkraut, kimchee and kombucha; but to really get the benefit I should not be consuming items that are damaging my microbiome at the same time as trying to fix it (like alcohol). Really all I’m doing is keeping it in its current balance with no improvement.
As long as I have fat to lose, I need to be more mindful of these things.
I recently decided not to weigh myself anymore and after two weeks I did and my weight hadn’t changed which is good, well, the not going up bit. I was pleased to see that without a scale I can keep my weight stable by just feeling myself and how my clothes fit. Let’s not forget I have 2.5 stone to lose though! So with Noom you do THE EXACT OPPOSITE, and weigh in EVERY DAY!!!
By weighing in everday you can begin to appreciate the natural fluctuations in weight your body makes so if you move up or down day by day you don’t get fixated on it. Historically if I have gained on my weigh-in day it’s totally affected my mood. So I do understand how seeing thedaily changes would help that.
Over the last 2 days I’ve been tracking my food, making good food choices, exercising well, minimising healthy fats and not drinking. I’m planning on holding off alcohol during this and next week (Monday to Friday) to focus on improving my microbiome.
I feel good for it, for having a plan, for being more mindful about what I am eating and when. As I said it’s 4 weeks till I go away and I want to feel good in myself for then so as long as I can keep this up I feel confident I will get there. With just 3 months left of the year I am very keen to make some major physical changes which has really eluded me so far this year despite being fit and healthy.