King of Pain

Yesterday’s dentistry continues to vex me today. However, if honest, pain is at levels far lower than 24 hours ago, even with the benefit of three times the normal dose of injected numbing shiz… which tastes awful when the dentist fires it into your mouth and almost chokes you with it. It wasn’t all bad though, I got a commission out of it. All that needed was to destroy my mouth in the process.

Easy game.

This morning, I finally went and talked to the Health Club about Mental health and exercise plus other shiz. It all went remarkably well, considering. I had a receptive audience, who understands what needs to be done. We will see.

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Oh yeah, and the Bond 25 trailer’s due on Wednesday:

At least we’ve stopped trying to dress up that Mr Craig’s over 50, but honestly…nothing here screams of the originality that’s supposed to be dragging this franchise into the 21st century. Yeah, I know, it’s only 20 seconds, but what you stick in your promo is a big deal. However, whatever happens tomorrow, this is already a done deal for me. I’ll wait for it to hit DvD.

I’m not shelling out cash to see this at a cinema. The last Bond I did that for was Skyfall, after which this franchise and me were done, and still are. You cannot make this character relevant, and if you did, it would break the concept. So, you either pretend you care, or you move on. It’s time to do the latter. When all is said and done, there are better ways to use my time.

I hear Knives Out is really worth a watch.

Don’t Stand So Close to Me

Yesterday I took my first steps to becoming a Time to Change Champion. It is a process that will be better detailed on the work blog, because poetry needs to be part of the process too. For now, an important epiphany has resulted from a couple of hours in a lovely church annex: difference is perfectly fine. It isn’t like this wasn’t a realisation before, either: it is okay to admit to strangers you are flawed.

By doing so, you become further empowered to do good.

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What has become increasingly apparent is the level of awareness other people have of such personal shortcomings. Ignorance is the biggest single obstacle to overcome when trying to teach anybody anything: wilful ignorance has almost become a fashion accessory for some individuals in the modern world. As long as I am not inconvenienced, what harm does it cause not to be bothered?

Those people will never be reached on massive platforms like this. They continue to be joyfully obsessed with everything that matters to them. Those are not the people who will ever be reached unless you can get them on their own, free of distraction or influence. The best work, undoubtedly, is when unused nerves can be struck, or an unexpected response can be stimulated.

This is where I feel I have a real chance of affecting some change.

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As I said, go follow the work blog if you really care about such things. It will undoubtedly be mentioned in passing here, especially as I start training in January. You can also expect a few changes in other places too, because I am well aware that to make these new directions effective, there has to be places to relax and enjoy myself.  Plans are already in place for some new directions…

This is exactly the right thing to be doing.

Sing it Back

…ooh look, it’s two days into a new month and I’ve not put my belt on yet. Dun worry, that’ll all change tomorrow. For now, it’s probably time to celebrate last month’s achievement.

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4611 MEP’s to beat… that’s gonna take some work. I could strap on the belt 24/7, I suppose, but that rather defeats the object of the exercise. What’s needed here is CONSISTENCY, which is really quite easy to work on. Keep the rest days, know when it’s appropriate not to push, and ensure that there’s a proper balance between cardio and strength training.

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I always knew today would need to be an enforced rest day, and undoubtedly as we get closer to Christmas there will be other days where it is impossible to fit in the exercise required. If there’s a feeling on Tuesday morning there’s enough energy to catch up on today’s missed work I will, but it’s more likely to be a gimme. 22 days out of 31 with summat is brilliant. 

The aim is 20 days minimum on the calendar for November.

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With the news breaking yesterday that Google’s bought Fitbit, you’ll all soon be able to see my data, all over the interwebs without me needing to do screencaps… ^^ Until the changeover happens, I have plenty of opportunities to work on that 12k a day step total. If I wondered why I was so wiped after Wednesday night this week, I reckon almost 20k including a Blaze with hill incline runs probably had summat to do with it…

That’s tomorrow’s task too, with some heavy lifting thrown in for good measure. Why am I doing all this again…?

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However, I will be very much enjoying not having exercised today, oh yes…

Lucky Number

This weekend, I’m off up to the north of the county for initial training, so I can become a Mental Health Champion. I’m not sure about the last word in that title: most days, heroic is not a state of mind. To be that kind of person (in my head) requires an ability to self-believe, and after yesterday’s news that however healthy I may look and feel, the truth is some way from that… well, this is going to take a bit of work.

It doesn’t help that there’s been a bit of a struggle of late with what really matters as ‘important’ past family and writing. My favourite hobby’s taken a considerable battering in the last couple of months, plus I’ve had a fairly significant disconnect with socialising. It is all stress-related, a sensible brain rationalises, but now comes understanding that there’s more to it than that. My needs, undoubtedly, just do not mesh with the World.

I think this is what could be considered as an existential crisis.

The problem, undoubtedly, is trauma. Although it is reasonably simple to remove the physical vestiges of events, mental detritus requires considerably more effort. It means that in a group of people I don’t know, save for one or two people, it is sometimes impossible to function correctly… by which, to feel like anything except a total impostor. It’s also beginning to put strain on certain relationships, because I’m not ‘normal’ when it comes to reactions or actions.

Is this fixable? If you want to be a part of society, undoubtedly at some point, things need to change from the intractable. Expecting other people to accommodate your world view is largely unreasonable… except that’s becoming the way increasing numbers of people cope with their own existence. To be happy, maybe you do just ignore everybody else and do your own thing, even if it is to the detriment of others…

… except no, that’s not what’s wanted or needed to be happy. Sure, there has to be a level of self-promotion and self-belief to push yourself into a career where words matter, but honestly that can be done with one eye on other people and another on the matter in hand. If true happiness is the destination, then understanding shortcomings will really matter. Only by improving yourself will anything ever alter to the good.

This will, undoubtedly, put me in opposition with those who think and feel differently. It does, on a daily basis, if truth be told. Dependence and delusion in one person’s eyes can very easily be requirement and salvation in someone else’s, facts that are abundantly obvious whenever social media is opened. How others choose to deal with their own issues is up to them: you really don’t get a say.

Lots of people need to grasp that reality is accommodation and frustration combined.

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As to how I deal with disparity inside me? Talking about it is really helpful. Knowing where in my brain requires a clear-out is a definite advantage, although it is not simply a case of shoving everything in a bin bag and dumping it at the tip. Some very difficult and painful memories remain to be unpicked, places and times finally rationalised. Undoubtedly, it is easier to do this with sugary and fatty food as comfort.

Maybe cold turkey is the best answer for everything right now.

Waiting for the Man

Normally I’d write this blog early, preferably before starting work on the week’s project. Except, today that direction took precedent, then there had to be some PT (more of which at the weekend) and I’ve only just recovered sufficiently from that to be here and ready to write. Needless to say, it’s been a BIG DAY.

It’s my birthday this week: no, there is no celebration scheduled. I’ll go to the Gym in the morning, probably work on some writing stuff, maybe treat myself to a birthday cupcake. There needs to be pictures taken, and some made into blog headers. I can afford to go buy a couple of pairs of new glasses from the discount store down the road. All of this is a world and a bit away from how I felt this time last year.

I don’t think I’ve ever felt this positive ever for a birthday week before. Normally summat is bothering me, or there’s a moment of panic the World is getting away from me. This year, none of that: I am truly in the moment. Problems are dealt with as they happen. There’s less worry over everything than has ever existed up until this point. Truly, this is the land of new and unexplored possibilities.

It’s a fucking great time to be alive.

When I grow up I wanna be able to dance like this. I’d love to be a freerunner. All these things that (quite obviously) will not come to pass can at least be entertained in my head, whereas before there’d be just anger that time wasn’t being properly used and that everything was awful, and it was all my fault. I don’t want to go back to that past, the places that existed before. I know where the true joy lies for me now.

It’s great not to be on places like Facebook any more. The people who used to be part of my life are gone, truly history there is absolutely no desire to ever revisit. I’m not interested in my ancestors, or school reunions, or having those moments when others go ‘oh yeah, do you remember that time when…’ because I don’t. My life now is the last decade from time to time, yesterday maybe but pretty much now.

I am here, and ready to roll.

I’ve learnt the lesson. I’m never going back.

Big Time

This week’s been fucking mental, it has.

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The 5 of 7 days with exercise is working out quite nicely: ideally I should break on Tuesday instead of Sunday, which is easily fixed going forward. Thus far, Fitbit has recorded 369 active minutes and we’re only at Saturday lunchtime. Steady momentum, meet consistency. I’ve today also exceeded the MEP totals of September and August: not combined, obviously, but this will put me back on track for real progress.

With 12 days left this month, I’ll end up doing summat for at least nine of them.

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There are a number of key moments to cover: the most important came on Thursday night. That block of eight minutes may not look like much to you, but it represents an important realisation that if I wanna push, it’s there. The key is wanting to do so: eating better is definitely helping. Rest is absolutely vital, and making Tuesday one of my two days will make a huge difference. The biggest shift undoubtedly is psychological.

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The other key change this week is strength, and actual muscle mass. One of my favourite coats is now simply too small to go around my shoulders: arms are being forces to sit back from my chest thanks to improvement in arm definition and bulk. I could do with a couple of leg days as a result, if I’m honest, and Sunday will probably be the right time to go flex the running muscles a bit. I’m back to leg pressing 100kg, which is great.

Lungs continue to be the major sticking point in stamina, and cardio will always be my Kryptonite. It’s not a problem: sometimes, accepting shortcomings is the means by which you are able to become better regardless. I’m not winning any sprints any time soon, but response times are undoubtedly improving. The equation is all wrapped around active recovery, and that’s an ability that is is undoubtedly getting better over time.

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It’s important to note that Thursday and Monday’s sessions (above) were both at 75% effort but the output was a fair bit different. Undoubtedly fatigue will have had a hand in events. Again, rest and common sense need to be considered… but most vitally, I need to think less. This is becoming genuinely enjoyable, not just in single session, but every fucking time I walk in the Gym.

When did I alter? That’s easy: in a hospital bed. Alone, lonely and desperately tired, I found myself being grateful for the fitness already built or else I would never have been let go in three days. There was a quiet and determined promise made, early on a Saturday morning, as a woman lay opposite me, crying her eyes out. As long as I am capable, there will always be exercise, because this not only keeps me sane but helps me cope with the World right now. Without it, I would be broken.

It’s great to be strong. I love being strong. Long may strong continue.

Eat to the Beat

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I can remember reading something online, many moons ago, about someone who admitted that during their fights with weight loss the plot was lost and two whole ‘serves six’ cakes got scoffed in a sitting. That image has stuck with me for a long time, not simply because the desperation it set off within me remains palpably and frighteningly real. Sometimes, what’s wanted the most is what will eventually destroy you.

I have never been happy with my body. It would be the most gross of fallacies to sit here and type that there is peace now between self-image and reality as it presents itself, because it would not be accurate. Most days, yes, I am enough. My fears or concerns no longer stop me working, or adversely affect my dietary habits. There is peace on more days than not. All the other times, there’s a dance I willingly partake in.

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After my kids were born, the body that used to be mine vanished: an obsession with getting it back eventually destroyed my gallbladder and forced surgery. Before that happened however, my brain was a bigger obstacle to healthy living than anything else. It’s taken this long to pull both back into something approaching harmony: keto diets, 5:2 diets, any diet where the emphasis was on loss and never prevention. 

Nobody taught me how to live well in the first place.

Exercise really has become a foundation on which everything else is now built, and yet there are the extremists here, as existed in the dietary camps back then: you have to lose it all. No sugar, no carbs, this is never gonna work unless that bacon butty is removed and only then came the bigger revelation: everybody’s out to sell you their lifestyle. It’s just commercialism in another form. Nobody listens to the real issues.

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I absolutely fucking love cake. Existence would be far less interesting if chocolate wasn’t available. Having healthy and unhealthy side by side is possible, and the fact it has taken this long for the people who sell you products to lose weight to grasp that is significant. Yes, I feel better when my body’s not running on sugar but some days a craving is something to give into. Abstinence, as an addict, does work, but only to a point.

Of course, you can’t sell lifestyle choices on moderation. Nobody’s interested in normal or boring, you all want EXTREME and LIFE CHANGING and having a slice of cake once in a while is never going to make you a millionaire. You’re either or. There is no halfway. Except, I can deal with cravings by being sensible and eating what I want, but in a more mindful way. Mental training, yet again, you have become salvation.

You shouldn’t think too much though, that’s dangerous. That’s just eating cake because it tastes great for the 5 minutes you’re doing so, and then you’re fine. That’s having a sixth and wishing it was a quarter, or maybe the whole thing, because the hit of sugar you get is never enough. You’re not cured, and maybe you don’t want to be. That’s up to you, and it’s totally fine. Here’s how I eat my cake.

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I have it in eighths, cut horizontally. That gives me the top bit with frosting, and the middle filling with a bit of cake on top. It gives me two pieces of cake from one, so my brain thinks it hit the jackpot. The, I make myself eat it over 30 minutes, maybe an hour. I taste the flavours, appreciate the fact I’m able to afford cake in the first place. Not too worthy, just appreciative. It is, in the end, a luxury item.

I eat cake this way because, after half a century, improving my mental health’s a fight that needs to happen every day, until it becomes habit. There’s a long way to go, but on that journey without rewards, there really is no point. This is how there is sugar and still effort expended to be healthy. This is how self image recovers after decades of being told ‘you can’t eat that or you’ll get fat’ when I was a chunky girl since birth.

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Genetics are inescapable, but free will helps. I do not want to be thin any more. I need to be strong. Whatever form that takes is fine, as long as I can still eat as I wish and nobody tells me I’m doing it wrong. Nobody likes being told they are wrong, but I am particularly sensitive in that regard, for other reasons that may never get better. Maybe it can be better forgotten if the cake’s reward remains under my control.

Maybe all of this gets better when I’m the one dictating the terms.