50 Words for Snow

This weekend was always planned to be off the exercise grid. I’ve worked stupidly hard across the last couple of months, and really need to reorganise my exercise plans. Therefore, this afternoon, there’s a calendar that’s been completed.

Rest is becoming the most important part of my planning. Having put that into my calendar first, twice a week, makes fitting the rest of my work around it easy. I also want to add more bike into the schedule, to start training with my husband who’s now back to full fitness after his operation. Eleven days in December’s a decent figure to aim for in terms of attainment, and makes for a solid foundation to build on in January.

After that, there’s a lot of psychology at play which needs to be addressed.

This article is an absolute corker: so much so I’ve copied the thirteen headers into a list and stuck them on the wall as reminders. Number 6 might be the most important one of all: avoid making judgements about your day first thing in the morning.ย This is so utterly true for so many things, not just exercise. I can remember a lot of days that went south because of me making a dumb decision before the first caffeine had kicked in.

Using this as a basis, I can make a strong effort to beat my monthly exercise total for October. There’s also the matter of becoming Gold status on the MyZone belt once the minimum number of MEPs is reached, which should be some time in the first ten days of next month. It doesn’t matter how they happen, just as long as they do, and that’s really not ever going to be a problem.

I’ll see you next week for an update.

Right Said Fred

Those of you who regularly frequent this space will know I quite enjoy a cuppa. For the last few years I’ve seen other people expounding the joys of a TEA ADVENT CALENDAR:ย considering my dietary restrictions at present, this is an idea I was really ready to get behind. Therefore, starting tomorrow, I’ll be using Instagram to record my experiences, and this blog for some reflection.

It’s also going to be an obviously blatant exercise in brand awareness.

This presentation box was not cheap, and was bought using the last of my birthday cash. However, it has the potential to be recycled after use on my bookshelf as storage as part of one of the New Year Endeavours (more on that in the week) so in that regard, it is already paying for itself. There’s already been a sneaky peek into Drawer Oneย and the surprise I didn’t realise existed is that there are other gifts than just the teabags.

We’ll be employing an ACTUAL MARKS SYSTEM too for this exercise: these are Whittard’s teas (in the interests of full disclosure and use of their Twitter tag on Social media) and will be considered on a number of Laughing Geek criteria:

Drinking the Tea Advent

LOOKS: To be fair to the experiment, and as there’s two teabags per day to work through, we’ll brew one the way the experts do (nice white cup so you can see what the stuff looks like) and drink it without milk. However, as a rule, I’m a milk gal (with the obvious exception of herbals and greens) so if I can stick the second bag into my daily routine with some semi skimmed and honey, I will.

SMELL:ย I have sniffed a fair few teabags in my time, and this for me is a decent indicator of whether any enjoyment will actually follow via drinking. Smell will be important. I’ll have to see if I can work out exactly what’s in a blend… and then whether that smell translates into something I would actually consider drinking.

FLAVOUR: Some of these teas are gonna be stuff I’d never normally consider quaffing, and that is where I suspect flavour will really come into play. There will be lots of open-mindedness too: just because I’ve never considered a blend should not exclude it from fair and objective consideration. Most importantly, as I’m not doing this for advertising or promotional purposes, there will be honesty. If it’s awful for me, I’ll say so.

RESULT:ย Would I drink this again? Is it worth buying a whole packet? Those are the two questions to be asked first, after which I suspect there’ll be some thoughts on mood, productivity and satisfaction. All these thoughts will, unsurprisingly, be recorded on PostIt notes for your perusal on Instagram, and I’ll do a slightly longer write-up here. If anything, it could work as decent feedback to Whittard on their current range.

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We’ll start on Monday, with posts Wednesday and Friday. It grants some much needed regular content into my month that isn’t exercise (more on that later) and is a nice side project away from writing.

You never know, I might even enjoy it.

Everybody Come On

FRIDAY, YOU SAY???

There is no fear at this point that I won’t want to go back to words once the weekend is done. Everything is working really well, typing out that sentence will not and cannot jinx the whole thing. There’s even a weekend off exercise, because it’s been a while since that happened too. The next three days effectively, is Christmas organisation. Once completed, I just gotta wrap gifts and throw them at recipients.

HOORAY FOR BEING ORGANISED.

The Gym very kindly allowed my youngest in to take some pictures of me for a media project. If I were a different person, a lot of them would have never seen the light of day, including this one.ย Instead this is the one being used for her project. It’s a good reminder that being fit does not mean being thin. STRONG is what matters more, and it’s time to reiterate that fact in my own brain.

That and other things will be suitably addressed this weekend.

Borderline

The airport’s quite close to my Gym. There isn’t a day where I don’t end up stopping to watch planes either take off or land, and it is always with the same thought: HOW DOES THAT STAY IN FLIGHT? Explaining the science is all well and good, but when I stare at a massive metal structure that is able to use air currents and propulsion to remain above ground… nope, does not make sense. My brain cannot cope with reality.

This is a pretty decent metaphor for my life right now. The logistics have been explained, there’s a plan and a direction… except, how does it work, exactly?ย Sheer force of repetition will ensure certain portions of the game-plan happen with minimal stress. For others you need to identify the flashpoint and then develop a coping strategy to address it. It takes time, effort and patience to cover them all.

The problems occur when you’re caught unprepared.

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This however does not make for a very enjoyable and spontaneous approach to things. So, occasionally one accepts that shit just happens and hopefully all the bits where planning supported you before allows an ability to just enjoy the moment. Amazingly, this does work. Leaning into stuff helps a lot. Not being up your own arse is a distinct advantage, and that gets easier over time.

There are days when I wish this wasn’t so mentally draining.

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Last night’s exercise was undoubtedly tainted by mental exhaustion. However, looking at other people who did the exact same percentage of effort, mine seems a lot more controlled and stress-free.ย It certainly felt that way, and a very important realisation came to light post-workout. Working to my capacity is beginning to matter far more than pushing myself past it. This is no longer an incentive to try harder.

In fact, the feeling today is not unlike the day when it became apparent I didn’t need to play a certain game 24/7 to maintain the illusion of being relevant. Reality and time both came together to demonstrate the correctness of this decision, and it continues to be a distraction for the satisfaction of true progress. Therefore, if I want to play, that time needs to be earned. Right now there’s not nearly enough work being done.

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As time marches on, the priorities keep changing. Ironically, as I alter, a worrying amount of stuff remains exactly the same. There’s not time to worry about that or the mechanics of flight. These things will continue onwards without me, as they have for decades previously. What matters most is making changes, working on that ‘transforming idea’ portion of my journey out of the hole.

Let’s work.

Love Hurts

I fucking HATE the dentists. This is on the list of ‘historical trauma’ events: rotten teeth came out when I was probably four or five, the resultant nightmares have never gone away. It’s a good indicator of being in a high-stress situation when that particular subconscious moment resurfaces, reminder this has to be fixed with everything else. I have the first appointment on Monday next week to get it over with.

The dentist, more than aware that I have issues, was kind enough to front-load the warning that went with this: there may be more work. If there’s too much sensitivity post filling, it’s a root canal. Knowing everything possible is, of course, by far the best way to deal with a situation. It is undoubtedly the unexpected that causes more stress. Maybe I will get lucky. If not, pain is unavoidable. I HATE DENTISTS.

Balance is tough. Getting shit done is hard. However, once the momentum starts, it is a foolish person who ignores opportunity.

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Yes, it was only 30 minutes, but it’s a start. It’ll take about a week to readjust the legs to what’s being asked of them, but the key to this might be to start in 30 minute bursts and go from there. I’ll rearrange my Strava to accommodate this, then see where things go. I enjoy the bike, and have missed it, and it is undoubtedly all exercise to add to the total. The key will be not to overdo it. MUST STILL HAVE REST DAYS.

Time to pull out a calendar and sort that December Exercise Plan…

The Whole of the Moon

Once upon a time, I would not have known that today would be the turning point. It’s hugely helpful to now be able to look at myself, objectively, and understand when the tide shifts. It allows a measure of organisation that simply did not exist before. More importantly still, self-care is possible, where it did not take place previously. The fear that underpinned everything can then effectively be dealt with.

Right now, I’m not sad. I’m afraid.ย Saying that out loud is hugely useful as well, because it rationalises so much else. There is a scheduled dentistry checkup, which is inevitably fear-inducing without everything else that is currently taking place around me. My daughter is unexpectedly home sick and being able to be a good mum also makes me afraid. Most importantly however, my own fear of failure is inescapable.

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Understanding the difference between depression and fear is an enormous change. It’s pretty much the most important thing to happen to me internally since counselling and now that’s apparent, there’s the opportunity to employ some transformative ideas in order to move the personal narrative forward. Somethings are already in progress, others will undoubtedly appear over time.

However, the key to all of this is the significance of blame. No, it doesn’t matter who or what is at fault in most cases, and this whole situation is not to be played as a martyr, not ever. I don’t need those kind of games in my life any more. If there is to be acceptance of genuine progression, pointing fingers and apportioning blame needs to stop. That’s my problem to deal with, nobody else’s.

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The only way forward at this point is upwards, towards change and improvement.

Better start climbing, then.

Crying

YOUAREHERE2

How long does it normally take to deal with emotional issues, on average?

  1. Couple of Days
  2. Couple of Months
  3. Twenty Years or More

If you answer was 3, CONGRATULATIONS, you’re a Trauma sufferer just like me. Having this manifest on a Sunday in November is, let’s be honest, not optimal. The rest of yesterday, about an hour after I wrote the Sunday blog, was completely destroyed. Shredded, as it happens, into lots of pieces. Nope, no clue how any of them go back together.

Let’s throw them away, shall we?

incoming!

If it transpires I need any of that stuff in the future, it is probably easier to just make whatever it is new, from scratch. That includes my vital statistics, new from here.

Bust = 39″
Waist = 35″
Hips = 44″

My son was so big at birth my rib-cage moved two inches to accommodate him. My arse, let’s be honest, has never been small. Once upon a time those statistics would also have destroyed me, and yeah for a few hours yesterday I wobbled. I am never Ever EVER gonna be a size 12 again. This goes without saying. However hard I work. There is no desire to be so either, and those distorted body images need to be ignored.

This, here and now, is what I am supposed to be.

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How do you equate what you think you are to the reality of the moment? When all anybody wants to believe in is their own version of truth, do you have any chance at all of being real or honest under these circumstances? It doesn’t matter. What does, is being comfortable and happy. Other people are not the problem. To be genuinely happy beats everything.

Even though yesterday was a bit of a bombsite emotionally, all the things that remain are pretty solid. It doesn’t matter about the details, how big or small I am, how long it takes me to deal with stuff. As long as I’m happy in my skin and the things are learnt… it’s okay. Everything is fine. This is the best emotional headspace that’s ever been inhabited. I’m the fittest and healthiest I have ever been.

Those are the positives that need to be remembered as important.