It’s that time of year when most people feel the need to start new things or do something that they have been putting off for the previous year, that ‘new year, new me’ idea that seems to get everyone all motivated. This feeling usually only last for the first month of the year and only a very small number of people do anything about it and an even smaller number of people manage to completely commit to whatever they have decided is their ‘new me’.
This series of posts are going to be all about me, and the changes that I am planning to make. It is to let you know that we all struggle, that we all have good days and bad, and that we all have different stories to share. This is mine.
I don’t usually make resolutions. I often think that I would like to change something about myself, we all do at times, but how is a new year going to help? It is just another day, nothing magical happens at midnight on the last day of the year, no switches get switched in your brain to make you a different person, so what is the fuss all about? Maybe it is the idea of a fresh start, another 12 months to make a change, a refresh button if you like, much like turning your frozen phone off and on again to reboot. No matter what you are trying to change, something about the New Year makes that change feel like it will be a little easier.
We are all creatures of habit, some more partial to change than others. Some completely avoid change and others relish in the experience of something new. I am more of the former. However; one change I would like to change is my feeling of self worth. I am a big girl, always have been, probably always will be. I have been bigger than I currently am, I have also been smaller than I currently am and during all periods of my bodies changes I have experienced different levels of ‘liking me’. And the one thing that I have found to have the greatest impact is the feeling of being strong, fit and healthy regardless of my size.
I also have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), I am not using this as an excuse, I never have, but unfortunately one of the symptoms is weight gain and sometimes changes to the physical me take a little longer than for someone without PCOS, our hormones are a little more erratic. Another symptom is irregular periods (over share ahead, you were warned), this is a symptom for me that is very easily monitored as it is a little hard to miss and the thing I have found to have the BIGGEST impact on this is my level of physical activity, not my weight, but how regularly I am exercising. Exercise regularly, get my period. Don’t exercise much at all, go months without having my period. This to me feels like my body is happy and I feel this physical activity also helps to keep my hormones in check on a nice predictable rotation from good to cranky to emotional (cry at a picture of a puppy emotional), and back to good again, no medication required!
Right now? I don’t really like me, and maybe because it is the new year or maybe I have just had enough, I have decided to make some changes and you are all coming along for the ride so here goes...
First things first;
I need to decide what I want to achieve and how I am going to get there. Sure I want to change, but WHAT do I want to change? I want to feel comfortable in smaller clothes, without caring what the scales say. I want to feel strong and know that I can do something rather than not even try for fear of failing. I want to feel fit and know that if I want to go for a run, I can without spending the next week on a ventilator (slight exaggeration), I want to do another Ironman!
HOW – we need some baseline measures, a starting point so that I know I am actually improving. I am going to jump on the scales (ugh!) and do some fitness testing. I am going to drink more water (3L+ per day) and make better food choices; I am not going on a diet. And I am going to train regularly, at least 4 times per week of 45 – 60min.
And what is the one thing that I can change right now that is going to get me to my feel comfortable/get fit/ do another Ironman goal? Increase my calories out over calories in. I am not going to see results straight way, but I know my energy levels will improve and I know that I personally make better choices (emotionally, physically and mentally) when I am regularly exercising. I will be doing monthly monitoring to make sure that I am on track which will include retesting and jumping back on those scales.
If I have done this all before, then why have I got to be the way I currently am? The usual excuses; I had no time, I was tired, I was sick, the gym was busy, my bike seat was too uncomfortable, the list is infinite! And to quote the master mind, Dr Seuss; 'Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.' I work with the most caring health practitioners that I have ever met, but they can only do so much. You are the one that has to do the hard work and by surrounding yourself with people who care and asking for help, things do get better and the hard work gets easier.
First 2 weeks down!
The scales have been jumped on (they didn't break!) and baseline measures recorded, numbers were not great but I now have my starting point.
I have been doing some pretty big training sessions and now my body is feeling rather fatigued, but mentally I am feeling good. Going to start putting in some more recovery type sessions to make sure that I don't get injured and to keep me moving on 'rest' days. I am finding that the exercise is making me want to eat better and I am avoiding really sugary, fatty foods. I now just have to cut down on the alcohol!
I was prepared for a hard week or two but so far so good! Already feeling the post exercise happy vibes that I have missed and feel really guilty when I give myself a rest day. My moods, apart from a little tired, have been pretty good (just ask Brendan & Luke!) for the last week and I am excited to keep this going!